Home > Uncategorized > Same Port Authority “War Room” Tactics Used In Pinelands Pipeline Battle

Same Port Authority “War Room” Tactics Used In Pinelands Pipeline Battle

 Port Authority Manipulation Echoes the Pinelands and Sandy Recovery Funding debates

Before I finish the Bergen Record devastating story on the Christie/Cuomo Machiavellian political manipulations at the Port Authority and my head explodes completely, I need to get this posted.

[Note: Just reading that Record was not an exclusive: Star Ledger weighs in with a killer too.]

Exactlty the same “War Room” tactics were used in the recent Pinelands Pipeline Battle.

Pinelands Executive Director Nancy Wittenberg and John Valeri, lawyer from Wolff & Samson (who represented BL England power plant owner Rockland Capital) ran exactly the same goon style political campaign and used virtually identical tactics as Maggie Moran did here: (Record story):

Maggie Moran, then an employee of a large regional labor union led by a Port Authority commissioner, helped mobilize hundreds of union workers who flooded public hearings that were scheduled at times and places that made it difficult for the general public to attend. Drawing from scripted messages, laborers wearing orange T-shirts spoke favorably of the toll hikes at the hearings, providing Christie with a talking point.” 


But all of the people interviewed, some of whom were familiar with multiple toll increases going back decades, said they had never seen such a secretive campaign by the Port Authority, one that excluded many of the agency’s professional staff and manipulated the public hearing process. 

I wrote about some of these tactics in this post:

You Get Three Minutes – Then Sit Down and Shut Up


Similar arrogant and manipulative tactics were used in the Gov. recent $1.4 billion Sandy Recovery funding public hearing process, see:

The Public Reduced To Spectators At Christie “Mobile Cabinet” Performance on Sandy Recovery


Sandy Victims Blast Gov. Christie at Monmouth Public Hearing on $1.4 Billion Funding Plan


I will write a more in depth post after I read the entire Bergen Record article – the paragraph I excerpted above on Maggie Moran’s union public hearing scheme just stopped me dead in my tracks and the echoes of the Pinelands and Sandy debates are still wringing in my ears.

[End Note: and for a point of comparison of this gross political manipulation of the public hearing process, does anyone recall Gov. Corzine’s toll hike plan and the public hearing process for that? I do – take a look at that: The Many Faces of Jon Corzine 

Yesterday, I attended the Mercer County public hearing on the Governor’s toll plan. In my view, press accounts have not portrayed the complexity of the issues, the process, or the people involved. Bowing to the yahoo “pigs fly” faction of NJ 101.5 talk radio, media accounts have failed to honor or convey the dignity of the democratic deliberations (at least the hearing in Mercer). As they say, a picture is worth a thousands words – photo’s convey more subtle meanings lost in the dominant media narrative.

Corzine showed humility and the public was treated with dignity and respect – take a look – and I wonder if Assemblyman O’Scanlon and Senator Beck – who were in this photo and attacked the Corzine plan – would defend their Governor Christie now.

public comment during Corzine toll hearing (Feb. 9, 2008)


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