….put Cory Booker under a microscope like they have Governor Chris Christie and Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann.
By Art Gallagher, [email protected]
photo via facebook
Star Ledger sports columnist Steve Politi has a column this morning that is part of his ongoing campaign to take down Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann; Julie Hermann: It would be ‘great’ if The Star Ledger went out of business.
Politi has been trying to get Hermann fired since Rutgers hired her to turn around their Athletic Department last spring. Something about alleged bullying and sex discrimination at a previous job and lying about whether or not she talked to the parent of a Rutgers student who alleged he had been bullied.
Turns out that Hermann doesn’t like The Star Ledger. Several weeks ago she told a journalism class that, “That’d be great [if the Star Ledger died]. I’m going to do all I can to not to give them a headline to keep them alive because I think I got them through the summer,” according to a Rutgers student alternative news site, Muckgers. (Note that Hermann didn’t actually say the words ‘if the Star Ledger died.’ She was responding to a student’s question that was not quoted.) The Muckgers reporter broke the “news” of Hermann’s several weeks old remarks to a journalism class last Thursday, the same day The Star Ledger told 167 employees they would be out or work in September with severance pay.
As part of his pity party for his 167 colleagues, Politi wrote a column with a headline that implies Hermann threw a celebratory party to celebrate the coming hardship on those reporters, advertising execs, copy editors and clerks who don’t find work before their severance and unemployment benefits run out.
Forget, for a minute, what you think about the newspaper. It doesn’t matter if you think its Rutgers’ coverage stinks, or its news coverage is biased, or if its columnists are too smug for their own good.
What matters is this: The Star-Ledger employs a lot of people. And if the Rutgers athletic director thinks it would be great if it closed down, then she relishes the idea of seeing those people lose their livelihood, their benefits and maybe more.
I don’t know Hermann. Never talked to her. But I’d bet that she doesn’t “relish the idea of seeing those people lose their livelihood, their benefits and maybe more.” She probably just feels that way about Politi, who has been trying to see her lose her livelihood, benefits and more.
I don’t begrudge Politi taking his shots at Hermann. I have no idea if his coverage of her career is accurate or not. I respect the fact that his bias against her is obvious.
But I think that The Star Ledger spending so much on an Athletic Director while giving a U.S. Senator a pass is disgraceful.
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Posted: April 7th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, Cory Booker, Media, NJ Media | Tags: AshBrit, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Julie Hermann, Rutgers, Steve Politi, The Star Ledger | Comments Off on It would be great if The Star Ledger…
By Art Gallagher
Yesterday I was interviewed by The Star Ledger and went on the record saying that I would be voting for Joe Kyrillos for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District Republican primary on June 4th. Consistent with my slogan of being fair and biased, it is appropriate that I tell you, my readers and the reason my opinion matters to The Star Ledger, that MMM is now part of the story and that I have made a decision that can’t help but color my coverage of the rest of the campaign.
MMM is part of the LD 13 story, instead of just covering the story, because we’ve provided the bulk of the media coverage of the primary campaign to date and because Kyrillos’ challenger, Leigh-Ann Bellew, attacked this site in a press release, according to The Star Ledger.
On many important issues, Life and The Right to Bear Arms in particular, I am in more philosophical agreement with Bellew than I am with Kyrillos. Despite my philosophical differences with Kyrillos, the choice between him and Bellew has become a very easy one. Kyrillos is a very good State Senator. Bellew is a deeply flawed candidate. She never should have exposed herself, her family, and friends who care about her deeply to the rigors and vetting of this campaign.
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Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Amy Handlin, Art Gallagher, Declan O'Scanlon, Joe Kyrillos, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Monmouth GOP, Primary Election | Tags: 13th legilslative district, Amy Handlin, Art Gallagher, Declan O'Scanlon, Fair and Biased, Joe Kyillos, LD 13, Leigh-Ann Bellew, The Star Ledger | 65 Comments »
In the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Governor Chris Christie and Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa warned New Jersey businesses, gas stations, hardware stores, food stores, hotels and other retailers who had electricity and were able to sell life sustaining products and services to a vulnerable public against price gouging. By the end of November, one month after Sandy hit, Chiesa’s office was investigating thousands of gouging complaints and had filed at least 10 civil rights lawsuits against hotels and gas stations.
In the November 28 release announcing the lawsuits, Christie said,
“The last thing people put out of their homes in a natural disaster should have to confront is price gouging from unscrupulous profiteers,” said Governor Christie. “It’s illegal, offensive and completely opposite the spirit of cooperation we saw just about everywhere else in our state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I encourage more of the same treatment from the Attorney General for any other instances of price gouging he discovers.”
A Star Ledger article posted Tuesday morning raises questions as to whether the State and 43 municipalities were gouged by the Florida contractor, AshBrit Environmental, that was awarded a $100 million no-bid contract to clean up state roads and waterways and allowing municipalities to hire the firm without going out to bid.
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Posted: January 31st, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy | Tags: Anthony Mercantante, AshBrit, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Conti, Governor Chris Christie, Haley Barbour, Long Beach Township, M Public Affairs, Maggie Moran, Matt Doherty, Middletown, Mississippi, Point Pleasant, Randal Perkins, The New York Times, The Star Ledger, William Schroeder | 4 Comments »
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon called for fiscal accountability in Newark this week. You wouldn’t have known that unless you read The Star Ledger. The
Asbury Park Press, the newspaper/pay site that covers O’Scanlon’s Monmouth County district missed it.
At issue is the $24 million in state aid that Newark is “due” this year, after the state taxpayers kicked in $32 million to Newark’s budget last year, in the face of blatant waste on the part of Mayor Cory Booker and the city council.
Booker squandered $3.7 million in legal and consulting fees in a fight with the New Jersey Devils hockey team over revenue sharing. Booker lost the fight, which even The Star Ledger says was a waste and should have been settled, and vowed to spend more—O’Scanlon says $1 million more, The Ledger says $100 thousand more—in appealing the ruling that favored The Devils. As the ruling stands, Newark owes the Devils $600 thousand.
Newark’s city council is disgrace. A “gaggle of blowhards,” Ledger editor Tom Moran calls them, who “awards itself the highest salaries in the state, along with a free car.” Newark’s city council is paid six times more than Jersey City’s city council, according to Moran. $3.45 million in salaries paid to the Newark city council in 2011.
Also at issue is that the overpaid council has yet to pass their budget that was due in February. Yet, they want the $24 million from Jersey taxpayers.
According to The Ledger, O’Scanlon said,
“Cory Booker is fighting an expensive personal vendetta with one hand while he has the other hand out expecting state aid”
“As the ranking Republican member of the Assembly Budget Committee, I cannot, in good conscience, imagine handing Newark another $24 million when the mayor is continuing to rack up legal fees and costs for litigation that could have been settled months ago,” O’Scanlon said. “The state should not be in the habit of bailing out towns and cities that are unwilling to help themselves.”
Moran, The Ledger’s editorial page editor, responded to O’Scanlon’s rebuke of Booker, with a racially charged column under his own byline, From a perch in the suburbs, a cheap shot at cities.
As if $24 million, or $32 million, or $3.7 million or $3.45 million is cheap.
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Posted: July 14th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Cory Booker, Declan O'Scanlon, Newark | Tags: Asbury Park Press, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Cory Booker, DCA, Declan O'Scanlon, Department of Community Affairs, New Jersey Devils, Race, Racism, Racist, The Star Ledger, Tom Moran | 19 Comments »
The State Attorney General’s office executed search warrants on Birdsall Services Group’s Eatontown office yesterday, according to reports in Politickernj and The Asbury Park Press.
Politickernj cites a source saying that the investigation is into campaign contributions, including the Middlesex County PACS first exposed by Harold Kane writing for MMM in September of 2011. Politickernj is erroneously claiming credit for first exposing the activities of the Middlesex County PACs and their donors.
Birdsall Services is cooperating with the investigation, according to The
Posted: May 3rd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Harold V. Kane, Pay-to-play, Public Corruption | Tags: Asbury Park Press, Birdsall Services Group, Harold Kane, Politickernj, State Attorney General, The Star Ledger | Comments Off on Pay to pay investigation probes Birdsall Engineering
Asbury Park Press account.
Politickernj writers Darryl Isherwood and Max Pizarro posted an in depth piece yesterday afternoon that exposes an incestuous web of influence driving planning, zoning and development approvals before the Middlesex County Freeholder Board and several municipal planning boards in the county.
State Senator Bob Smith of Piscataway is the leader of the PACs that fund the campaigns of the Freeholders and municipal officials who approve the applications. The applicants are donors to the PACs. Smith is the applicants’ attorney.
It’s all legal. And no one would know about it if not for Harold Kane of Monroe Township painstakingly examining thousands of pages of ELEC reports to find out where all the Middlesex Democratic money was coming from and the good journalists at Politickernj and The Star Ledger following the money.
Smith, the Senator working the system, and Peter Barnes, the Assemblyman and Middlesex County Democratic Chairman who’s candidates benefit from the system, know the solution to this “craziness.” Barnes said that “any impetus to close the hole lies with the legislature.” Smith said, “There is a solution to the craziness we have now and that is publicly financed elections – or complete transparency. “In New Jersey, we have nothing but chaos. The state needs one set standard across the state.”
Where is their legislation? Smith and Barnes are both powerful members of the legislature. They obviously know how the work the system. They know how to fix it.
Sponsor the legislation gentlemen. Publicly financed elections won’t work. Complete transparency will.
Here’s a campaign finance system that would be transparent:
1) Remove all limits on campaign contributions.
2) Require that all candidates and campaigns disclose all contributions of any amount on a dedicated website within 24 hours of receipt.
3) Competing campaigns, good citizens like Kane, and good journalist will examine the donations and expose influence. Voters will decide if the influence is acceptable of not.
Correction: Peter Barnes, Jr, the Middlesex Democratic Chairman is no longer in the legislature. His son, Peter III is an Assemblyman.
Now there are two Barnes and a Smith who can advocate for legislation that creates complete transparency.
Posted: April 20th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Campaign Contributions, Campaign Finance, ELEC, Middlesex County Democrats, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Assemblyman Peter Barnes, Darrly Isherwood, ELEC, Harold Kane, Max Pizarro, Middlesex County Democrats, Middlesex County PACs, PACS, Pay-to-play, Politickernj, Scandal, Senator Bob Smith, The Star Ledger | 12 Comments »
Why Do They Want to Pick on Ann Romney?
Karin McQuillan, a retired psychotherapist and author who served in the Peace Corps in Senegal, writes at American Thinker that Hillary Rosen’s recent rant that Ann Romey never worked a day he her life is part of the Obama political strategy rooted in the politics of envy. Worse, she says the strategy is deeply rooted in Obama’s psyche as a result of his upbringing.
I guess that’s a theory that one would expect from a psychotherapist. McQuillan makes a fascinating case.
A FUNNY GAME OF TABLE TENNIS
Closer to home, our friends at InTheLobby have a hilarious account of how Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni turned the table on U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg during the senator’s hearing this week over the fairness of toll increases and patronage at PA.
Turns out that Lautenberg as a former commissioner of the PA he had a free EZ pass for decades and didn’t pay tolls from 1978 through 2006 when the PA stopped issuing free EZ passes to cronies.
Regarding patronage, a former Lautenberg campaign staffer joined PA in 2002, and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s son is an intern at PA now.
West Virginia U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller came to Lautenberg’s defense. New Jersey Democrats have been silent, just as they were during Lautenberg’s dust up with State Senate President Steve Sweeney and George Norcross over the Rutgers-Rowan merger earlier this month.
The InTheLobby piece quotes The Asbury Park Press and The Star Ledger.
Posted: April 19th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, 2012 U.S. Senate Race, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race | Tags: American Thinker, Ann Romney, Asbury Park Press, Barack Obama, Bill Baroni, Frank Lautenberg, George Norcross, Hillary Rosen, InTheLobby, Jay Rockefeller, Karin McQuillan, Rutgers-Rowan merger, Steve Sweeney, The Star Ledger | 5 Comments »
“I’ve never seen a less optimistic time, in my lifetime, in this courtry. And people wonder why. I think it’s really simple. It’s because government’s telling them stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you. We are turning into a paternalistic entitlement society…”
“….more importantly, there will be more money, more hope, more aspirations, in the hearts of our children and grandchildren than there are today. And that’s what will make the 21st century the second American century. That more than anything else, will allow the United States to export hope, and liberty and freedom around the world. Not by just saying but by living it everyday in the way we conduct ourselves and in the way we govern ourselves.”
~Governor Chris Christie
Chris Christie believes that unrestrained by oppressive and “paternalistic” government, that ordinary people can and will live lives of accomplishment.
Tom Moran, that sanctimonious polyhistor responsible for The Star Ledger’s editorial page, thinks that makes Christie conceded.
The Asbury Park Press editorial board, the Nudniks of Neptune who have fewer orginal thoughts that Joe Biden, agrees with Moran.
Christie made his remarks at a George W. Bush Presidential Center gathering in New York on Tuesday, April 10. Moran posted his rant calling the governor’s message “condescending” early yesterday morning, the 12th. The Nudniks followed yesterday evening calling Christie’s message “hectoring,” “insulting” and “condescending.”
The editorialists of New Jersey’s two largest news outlets must be appalled by Christie’s soaring popularity.
It was the content of Christie’s remarks in between the two phrases I quoted above that got to the liberal regressive pundits. Without naming the president, Christie had the audacity to point out that the Obama agenda has not resulted in hope, but in pessimism. That if it continues we will be financially and morally bankrupt, waiting for the check to show up rather than striving for bigger checks.
Here’s what Christie said, unfiltered by the bias of Moran, the Nudniks or MMM:
Posted: April 13th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Barack Obama, Chris Christie, Economy | Tags: Asbury Park Press, Barack Obama, Chris Christie, George W. Bush Presidential Center, Neptune Nudniks, The Star Ledger, Tom Moran | Comments Off on Christie’s “Condesending” Message
Over the holiday weekend Politickernj and The Star Ledger caught up with the good work that MMM contributor Harold Kane did last September in shedding light on political spending in Middlesex County.
Like Kane, Politikernj and The Star Ledger framed their articles as if the PACs set up to funnel campaign donations from engineers, lawyers and their firms to political campaigns were doing something scandalous. Each of the articles acknowledges that the contributions are legal, yet they say that the donors “skirt” or “cloud” the law or that the contributors are “buying” the candidates that ultimately benefit from the contributions.
The real scandal is that campaign finance laws at every level of government, federal, state, county and local, that are ostensibly designed to eliminate the influence of money in our political system and to increase transparency actually have the opposite effect, by design.
Money is like air and water. Set up a structure to restrict it and money, like air and water, will find a crack in the structure to get to where it wants to go. With enough pressure the structure breaks. Fix or reform the structure and the cycle repeats itself.
Our campaign finance laws decrease transparency in the process. Kane and the reporters from Politickernj and The Star Ledger spent many unproductive hours combing through ELEC reports of campaigns and PACS to connect the dots. Not many people have the time or resources to make that effort. Kane, Politickernj and The Star Ledger reporters did us all a service by connecting those dots. It is appropriate for the public to know who is financing the campaigns of their candidates for public office.
Restricting the amount of money that a person or entity can contribute to a campaign is inappropriate. Such restrictions are impediments to free speech and push otherwise well meaning people out of the political process or into breaking ill conceived and complex laws. Such restrictions don’t and won’t keep “bad money” out of the process.
The only way to increase transparency in the process is to require immediate disclosure of campaign contributions. Removing the limits that candidates and campaigns can accept would reduce the utility of PAC, Super PACs, etc.
Creating a simple system of full disclosure would increase participation in the political process. It would increase competition among government contractors and professionals. It would make the entire process more democratic, which is probably why we won’t see such a simple system anytime soon, if ever.
Posted: April 9th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Campaign Contributions | Tags: Campaign finance laws, Harold Kane, Harold V. Kane, Middlesex County, PACS, Pay-to-play, Politickernj, Super PACs, The Star Ledger | 3 Comments »
Given the results of the audit of Port Authority released earlier this week, it is fair to conclude that PA has been overcharging New Jersey commuters and truckers for decades.
Too much money has been the addictive substance that made PA “dysfunctional.”
Lack of money is what has enabled Governor Christie, and many other governors across the country to implement necessary reforms. Christie is extraordinarily talented, but would he have been able to get the Democrats to compromise with him if tax revenue was rolling in with abundance? No way.
Yet, with the September toll hikes, Governors Christie and Cuomo have helped the the dysfunctional, wasteful, corrupt Pork Authority to more of their destructive substance.
New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen County) and New York State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) have called for the latest toll hikes to be rolled back, according to The Star Ledger.
At the very least, tolls should be rolled back to their pre-September levels until the ongoing audit of PA is complete and reforms implemented. A rollback to the 2001 toll levels should be seriously considered.
Phase two of the toll increases announced last August take effect in 2014. Christie and Cuomo should immediately revoked that authorization and roll back the current tolls to the September 2011 levels, at the very least.
Posted: February 9th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Port Authority | Tags: Andrew Cuomo, Andrew Lanza, Chris Christie, Pork Authority, Port Authority, The Star Ledger, Valerie Vainieri Huttle | 4 Comments »