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Breaking: Media Discovers That Christie is a Radical Ideologue

The Christie Mask is Off – Gov. Brags About Regulatory Dismantling 

Today the Star Ledger reports on a topic we have been writing about here for 18 months with this story: Gov. Christie says deregulation is key to N.J. economic comeback

This coverage comes in the wake of similarly right wing pronouncements by the Governor, i.e. denying that global warming is man made and implicitly endorsing teaching of Creationism in public schools. (just read a new one: defying the Supreme Court)

[Update: Christie has since said he would comply with the Court’s decision.].

My sense is that Christie’s Creationism comments finally opened the media’s eyes to how far the Governor is out of the political mainstream – or how cynically willing he is to pander to Republican wingnuts.

[Update: see this April NY Times story for the national context, which features Christie prominently: G.O.P. Push in States to Deregulate Environment – why is NJ press corps so behind the curve on this?]

Up until recently, any negative press coverage of the Governor largely focused on his demagogic and confrontational style, not ideology or policy.

Have we turned the corner? Has Christie’s overreach sown the seeds of its own destruction, as we recently wrote about in “The Dialectic of Red Tape”?

In the latest, the Star Ledger reports that Christie is bragging about his assault on regulatory protections that we have been documenting here for months:

NEW YORK – Deregulating the private sector is crucial to New Jersey’s financial recovery, Gov. Chris Christie told an economic forum here today, and boasted that in his first year in office he cut one-third of the state’s red tape.

The Republican governor cast himself as an “unashamed, unapologetic” advocate for businesses interests, which he said shouldn’t have to pay lobbyists and consultants to get their requests considered promptly.

In that regard, he praised Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who has been meeting with business leaders and, as he put it, handing out her cell phone number asking people to call if they run into regulatory hurdles. …

David Brogan of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association agreed, saying environmental restrictions, for example, were too prohibitive.

“It’s not just reducing the number of pages, it’s also changing the tone and changing the way the state deals with business,” he said. “When you’re talking about where companies choose to relocate, perception is reality.”

Perhaps our newly awakened press corps will now do followup stories that focus on the substance of that radical regulatory rollback – and the slogans used to jusify them.

Better yet: the media can start to print substantive rebuttals of the Christie rollbacks and the affirmative case for why we need strict environmental regulation.

(or they can continue to swallow Dave Pringle’s spin.)

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