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Did Christie Quick Pitch – Or Balk?

This year’s superb World Series saw at least 3 episodes of the “quick pitch” (none ruled a balk, and each one perceptively detected by Tim McCarver, a former catcher and the best announcer in baseball).

For those non fans out there, a quick pitch is just like its name implies. The pitcher throws before the batter is ready, disrupting his timing.  It is an illegal pitch (or balk), but a very effective tactic. Good hitting – like politics – is all about timing.  That’s why off speed pitches work – they mess up the batter’s timing and prevent the weight shift required for good hitting, but I digress on baseball matters, so I’ll get to my point.

Although I had written about the issue during the campaign (see this post), I felt quick pitched by Christie’s victory speech. Not expecting any policy statements, he blew a fastball right by me when he emphasized his plans to “turn Trenton upside down” and “cut onerous regulations”. Regulatory pitches being my forte, I swung from my heels for the fences, but missed.

So, I stepped out of the batter’s box, but was quick pitched again the next day when Christie told the NY Times that “ that he would move quickly to suspend new regulations on business…”.  I swung, was late on the pitch, but this time at least I hit a single to right with this post.

Christie’s quick pitch revelation in the headline and lede of the New York Times’ story was confirmed and reported in my more detail by Politicker: “Christie says first executive order will freeze unfunded mandates and regulations

Dave Pringle, NJ Envrionmental Federation. Acting as the CHritie Ambasador to the envrionmental community. NJEF endorsed Christie.

Dave Pringle, NJ Environmental Federation. Acting as the Christie Ambassador to the environmental community. NJEF endorsed Christie. It's unclear right now who Pringle is playing for - the Christie Team or the ENGO team.

The Christie Administration’s Ambassador to the Environmental Community, Dave Pringle of NJEF, was next to bat. But Pringle was quick pitched too, because his lame excuse for a swing in defense of Christie clearly was not prepared. Pringle simply spun out of the batter’s box and ducked from a high inside hard one.

But amazingly, again within 24 hours, the Christie pitch reported in the press changed dramatically.

What was initially characterized by the NY Times as a plan to “suspend regulations” and echoed by Politiker as a”freeze on regulations“, was softened considerably to a “90 day review” of regulations.

For those non governmental types out there,  that’s a HUGE difference in policy. Sticking with the baseball analogy, it’s akin to the difference between a 350 contact hitter and a 50 home run hitter with a 250 average.

Recalling the days of Dan Quayle (does anyone recall Quayle’s power on the Bush Council on Competitiveness?), this regulatory review is to be headed up by the Sheriff – ahem – I meant Lieutenant Governor Guadagno (she passed the bar and her NJ driving exams, but can she spell potato?). According to Friday’s Star Ledger:

Guadagno, who will be in charge of a committee given the task of taking 90 days to review the state’s regulations, joked that she didn’t expect to be this far along so quickly after the seemingly tight gubernatorial race.

So, it looks like we’ll have a 90 day Committee.

That sure is a long way from from the Governor imposing a freeze.

So, do we have a balk by Christie (i.e. did he misspeak to the NY Times? Or Did he back off a moratorium in favor of the 90 day review?)

Or do we have an error by the press?

Memo to Christie media team and press: you can do better than that.

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