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Christie Inaugural – Republicans Invade Trenton

January 19th, 2010 No comments




Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D), in hostile terrority

Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D), in hostile territory
















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Former NJ Gov. Christie Has Blood On His Hands For Thousands Of Excess NJ COVID Deaths

March 6th, 2024 No comments

Christie Abolished Governor’s Task Force on Public Health Emergency Planning

Christie’s first term Inaugural (Jan. 19, 2010 – Bill Wolfe)

Christie’s first term Inaugural (Jan. 19, 2010 – Bill Wolfe)

In November 2022, current NJ Governor Murphy issued a press release that announced a review of the State’s disastrous COVID response, which caused and contributed to thousands of excess deaths:

TRENTON – Governor Murphy today announced the beginning of an independent review of the State’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the state of readiness in early 2020, and how the State responded to the many challenges that emerged over the last three years. The review, which will contain recommendations to enhance the State’s preparedness for a future public health crisis, will be conducted by a team at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, in conjunction with the management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to commission an independent and comprehensive review on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The review was to be released by the end of 2023. Media reports say that the private consultants will be paid $400 an hour.

So here’s some absolutely free grist for that investigation.

First, at the very beginning of the pandemic, I wrote to expose the State’s negligence, see:

Second, just now in researching a completely different issue that had nothing to do with COVID, I came across this little bit of history that is almost certain to be swept under the rug.

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack and subsequent scares regarding the State’s public health emergency planning, preparation for an anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and overall ability to respond to public health emergencies, on January 14, 2002, Acting Governor Codey issued Executive Order #140.

EO 140 created a Governor’s Task Force on Public Health Emergency Planning (Task Force).

The Task Force was comprised of experts, including epidemiologists, infectious diseases, education and communication systems needed to respond to an emergency, and State Department of Health and Emergency Management officials.

The Task Force was directed to focus on NJ’s public health system, specifically with respect to responding to and “preventing epidemics”.

Here is the Task Force’s charge – note how each task is directly related to the current COVID failures:

3. The Task Force is charged with:

    • examining the infrastructure of New Jersey’s public health system (at all levels) to determine whether New Jersey is ready to serve the public health needs of its citizens in the event of a future terrorist attack or other public health emergency;
    • recommending a single definition of “public health” to allow the more than 600 boards of health and local health officials to coordinate their efforts and develop one coordinated public health system;
    • identifying the statutory and regulatory steps that should be taken to address any issues and/or shortfalls identified;
    • examining the relationships between local health officials and State health officials to determine whether there is adequate coordination and communication, whether the creation of county health departments is necessary and whether having approximately 525 boards of health and 115 local health agencies properly utilizes State resources;
    • determining whether the following public health system principles are being met:

      1. preventing epidemics;
      2. protecting the environment, workplace, housing, food and water;
      3. promoting good health behaviors;
      4. monitoring the health status of the population;
      5. mobilizing community action;
      6. responding rapidly and effectively to disaster;
      7. promoting the quality, accessibility and accountability of medical care;
      8. identifying and reaching out to link high-risk and inaccessible people to needed services;
      9. conducting research to develop new insights and innovative solutions; and
      10. leading the development of sound health policy and planning.
    • determining whether additional funding of our public health system is necessary;
    • recommending changes to New Jersey’s public health system.
    • leading the development of sound health policy and planning.
    • 4. The Task Force shall issue a report in 6 months presenting its findings and recommendations to the Governor and both houses of the Legislature.

So, who dropped the ball here?

The Task Force was abolished by Gov. Christie’s Executive Order #40 (see paragraph #36).

How can a Governor abolish a Task Force without assuring that its work is complete and recommendations implemented?

I do not know if the Codey Task Force ever issued its Report to the Legislature and Governor.

But if they did, then subsequent Governors Corzine and Christie are responsible for failing to implement the Task Force Recommendations.

If the Task Force did not issue a Report, then Gov. Christie was reckless in not finishing the work and improving NJ’s health system, particularly with respect to infectious diseases.

[End note: because I got strong pushback from NJ people claiming that Gov. Murphy deserves the blame, let me clarify: nothing in this post was meant to absolve Murphy of any responsibility and nothing does. I’ve criticized his administration for failures, including the nursing home debacle and the liability relief lie he signed. But Murphy should have inherited a stronger public health system, had Christie and Corzine adopted reforms made obvious in 2001.]

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Inaugural Echoes

January 18th, 2017 No comments

Trump ramps up repression of dissent from checkpoints to “pre-emptive arrest”

[Update: 1/26/17 – As expected, serious repression, but notice how the story is limited to the journalists, and not the protesters:

We are by no means trying to “normalize” Trump, but as we – cough, cough, “lace up our boots” – for the trip to DC to protest the Trump Inaugural, we are hearing echoes of days gone by.

As we predicted, the militarized police will be harassing and suppressing protesters under the guise of security – but the “pre-emptive arrest” bullshit is new to me and obviously totally unconstitutional:

The protesters are being marginalized (protest zones, et al):

Trump is winning the visual propaganda war.

We hear these echoes of our quotes – from not one, but two page one NY Times stories on the second Bush inaugural (2005):

Bill Wolfe, 47, who made his way from Ringoes, N.J., to protest the inauguration, took one hour to go 50 feet in line, and when he got through expressed his anger with the entry procedures.

Holding a “War Mongers” sign, he yelled, to no one in particular, “You don’t need a ticket for democracy, folks.”

“They got us compartmentalized like rats in a cage,” he said, gesturing to the line of shoulder-to-shoulder police officers who far outnumbered the spectators at 11:00 am when thousands were still waiting to get through security.

“It’s overkill to the extreme,” he said. “I think it was designed specifically to suppress dissent and keep out protesters. They want to control the visual image, it’s part of a coordinated effort to mislead the American people about the level of opposition to this administration. They’re trying to make it a coronation and it’s not.”

Protesters lamented the restrictions.

“They got us compartmentalized like rats in a cage,” said Bill Wolfe, 47, who came from Ringoes, N.J., carrying a “War Mongers” sign. Mr. Wolfe looked at the shoulder-to-shoulder wall of police officers, blocking his way as he inched along. “You don’t need a ticket for democracy, folks,” he hollered, to no one in particular.

We are not afraid, but we would be foolish not to expect violence.

We strongly doubt we’ll get the money quotes again in 2 NY Times page one stories, but we’ll keep you posted.

[End note: we have room for 2-3 passengers, leaving Thursday morning from central NJ. Let me know if you’d like a ride – ask for help with gas and tolls, and must be able to tolerate my stinky dog!]

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Trump Following In Gov. Christie’s Footsteps

November 12th, 2016 No comments


[Update below]

Conventional wisdom (CW) is that Donald Trump just threw Gov. Christie under the bus by demoting Christie from head of his Transition Team in favor of VP Pence.

CW is wrong – again.

Trump has paid Christie the ultimate compliment: emulation. (can you imagine what a Trump Inaugural will look like? – hit link – photos below from Christie’s first Inaugural, Trenton, NJ, Jan. 19, 2010)


Trump is following the same strategy Christie used in NJ. Christie’s fingerprints are all over the Trump strategy.

Now that the press has framed the post election narrative as  “Trump won due to support of the working class that was betrayed by Democrats”, the stage is set for Trump to forge the same “bi-partisan” “Christie -Crat” coalition of timid corporate Democrats that Gov. Christie did.

Buyers remorse set in early. May 2010, Trenton NJ protest

Buyers remorse set in early. May 2010, Trenton NJ protest

(CAPTION: tens of thousands of protesters came out early against Christie, on May 20, 2010)

This manufactured political dynamic will enable Trump to impose a corporate right wing agenda (tax cuts, privatization, deregulation) under the guise of promoting jobs and working class interests – all with “bi-partisan” support in Congress.

The first issue to cement this coalition and illustrate this strategy is likely to be infrastructure, where timid corporate Democrats will be promised union infrastructure jobs in exchange for huge corporate tax cuts.

Of course, the Trump infrastructure deal will include privatization (“public-private partnerships”) and unrelated items like deregulation, attacks on unions, Wall Street financing giveaways, and environmental rollbacks too. (Obama already set the stage for all that with his Executive Orders to “streamline” NEPA and environmental reviews of infrastructure projects. Congressional Democrats – including corporate Wall Street Dems like Cory Booker – have already introduced “public private partnership” infrastructure bills, just like NJ State Democrats supported Gov. Christie’s privatization of water infrastructure and anti-democratic elimination of prior local voter approval requirements).

Just to show that Trump is not serious and is playing the same divisive political games Christie played, take a look at how Trump’s “100 Day Action Plan” proposed to pay for infrastructure:

  • SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.

Of course there are no UN Black Helicopters, just like there is no “billions in UN climate change payments” honeypot (while Trump doesn’t mention that the cost of infrastructure upgrades is in the trillions).

The same emulation of Gov. Christie’s strategy can be seen in Trump’s pledge to repeal Obama Executive Orders and take bold Executive actions in the first hour of his first day in Office –

That’s exactly what Gov. Christie did by issuing Executive Orders #1 – #4 – declaring a moratorium on regulations and granting “regulatory relief”. At the time,  Christie bragged about this to the NY Times.

Just like Christie abandoned the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Trump will exit the Paris Climate accords.

Just like Christie scrapped the Corzine Energy Master Plan renewable energy goals to promote fossil power plants and pipelines – all with the support of Democrats –  Trump is all in for fossil:

  • ★ FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.

  • ★  SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward.

Just like Christie, shifts in billions of dollars to corporate cronies and deregulation will be real, while the promises to Democrats never materialize.

Trump will play the Democrats, just like Christie did.

Trump will act the authoritarian, “conservative without conscience“, just like Christie.

The strategic, political and policy parallels with Gov. Christie are striking and far too strong to be random.

With the press corps focused on “horse race” vapid coverage – and Democrats immersed in identity politics to battle the Right wing cultural warriors – Christie has done his work quietly behind the scenes and laid the foundation for Trump’s “transition”. He was not thrown under the bus by Trump.

Trump’s reactionary agenda will be imposed very quickly – it is imperative that national Democrats not repeat the NJ Christie-crat experience.

The media, under withering criticism for having missed the rise of Trump and ignored all those working class people that support Trump, will be tripping all over themselves to frame a pro-working class Trump manufactured narrative.

Progressives need to quickly organize and not only protest in the streets, but tell Democrats not to sell out.

The Left must rebut CW and the misleading and rapidly solidifying media narrative about the duped “working class” supporters and tell the truth about who will benefit from Trump’s policy agenda..


[Update – 11/16/16 – We told you exactly this was coming – and it sure didn’t take very long (NY Times story):

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats, divided and struggling for a path from the electoral wilderness, are constructing an agenda to align with many proposals of President-elect Donald J. Trump that put him at odds with his own party.

On infrastructure spending, child tax credits, paid maternity leave and dismantling trade agreements, Democrats are looking for ways they can work with Mr. Trump and force Republican leaders to choose between their new president and their small-government, free-market principles. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, elected Wednesday as the new Democratic minority leader, has spoken with Mr. Trump several times, and Democrats in coming weeks plan to announce populist economic and ethics initiatives they think Mr. Trump might like. ~~~ end update]

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Gov. Christie Uses The Environment To Bash Public Workers

January 13th, 2016 No comments

Groundhog Day on “Regulatory Relief” – Echoes First Official Act: Executive Order #2

Christie campaign veto record didn’t mention legislative veto day before speech

Christie's first Inaugural, Jan. 19, 2010

Christie’s first Inaugural, Jan. 19, 2010

In one of the more despicable and hypocritical moments – and there were many – of his State of the State address, Gov. Christie used the environment in a divisive way to bash public sector workers:

Because none of that [public employe pension] spending is guaranteed by the Constitution.  All of those issues; education, health care, crime, our environment, support for the poor, protection for our children would be subject to elimination to pay for the pensions of 800,000 current and former public employees. 

… We cannot deny funding for health care, education, criminal justice, the poor, our environment, our children and our infrastructure to pander to pensioners.

I don’t know whose environment the Gov. was referring to in his ironically cruel but correct characterization of the collective nature of “our environment”.

It’s always comical when right wing, market fundamentalist, anti-government ideologues try to frame “collective” public goods or common pool resources with possessive personal pronouns like “our”. And it always begs the same question: Cui bono?

Contradicting his collectivist characterization of “our environment”, Christies’ administration has waged a war on “our environment”, making Governor Christie the worst Gov. in modern history on the issue of protecting public health and the environment.

That horrendous legacy is magnified by Christie’s: policy denial of climate change; dismantling of NJ climate change programs; diversion of over $1 billion of clean energy funds; roll back of NJ’s renewable energy goals; failure to honor his promise to develop offshore renewable wind power; slowdown on expansion of solar power; promotion of construction of new fossil power plants and pipelines, including one through the Pinelands; attack on Obama EPA’s Clean Energy/climate plan; and total lack of any new environmental accomplishment over his 6 year tenure.

In just the most recent examples of Christie’s war on the environment:

  • the day BEFORE the Gov.’s State of the State address, the Legislature moved to veto a massive 936 page overhaul by DEP of regulations that provide protections from flood risks (along the coast and inland rivers and streams) and NJ’s few remaining streams, lakes, and rivers that provide “exceptional” water quality.

We all know that Christie micro-manages the Port Authority (is there an email bragging: “time for some pollution problems in Newark”?), and that the Port asks Christie’s permission before flushing the toilets.

While building on his horrendous legacy and ignoring environmental issues, the Gov.’s unusually long 50 minute speech used the word “environment” exactly 3 times – twice to attack public sector workers and once to pledge “regulatory relief” for Charter Schools:

This is what I heard. Charter schools in New Jersey have been successful in spite of our regulatory environment – not because of it. 

The Gov. attacked regulations with fervor:

Instead of giving charter schools the autonomy they need to deliver great education outcomes, we’re regulating them using almost all of the same regulations that apply to traditional public schools. It’s not good for innovation and it’s not good for attracting more innovative charter school operators to our state.

Today, I’m announcing that my administration will aggressively prioritize regulatory relief for charter schools.

The policy of “regulatory relief” echoed that exact same regulatory policy Christie established by Executive Order #2, his first official act as Governor, taken in the first hour of his first day in Office.

For immediate relief from regulatory burdens, State agencies shall:

EO#2 even pledged three distinct forms of “regulatory relief”: “immediate” “intermediate” and “long term”.

Finally, again playing to the Republican primary voters of New Hampshire and Iowa, on the day of his SOS address, the Christie campaign bragged that Gov. Christie’ 400 vetoes had never been over-ridden by the Legislature.

Funny, he didn’t mention the legislative veto the day before the speech.

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