I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The @starledger's Editorial Page Editor, @tomamoran, Is Once Again a Massive Hypocrite


Just when I think my world can't get any more bizarre:
The New Hampshire Union Leader's endorsement of Chris Christie for president has drawn fire from an unexpected quarter: another newspaper. 
A few days after the influential New England broadsheet threw its support behind Christie, Tom Moran, the editorial page editor and columnist for the New Jersey Star Ledger, which has been critical of the New Jersey governor, wrote a piece criticizing the Union Leader's endorsement. 
"The paper knows almost nothing about his record as governor," Moran writes, noting of the Union Leader, "the paper has been paying close attention to Christie's speeches in New Hampshire, and his visit to the editorial board. And that's a dangerous game when it comes to a slick character like our governor."
Oh my lord. My sweet, sweet, lord....

Go read Moran's dumb-ass column right now. No, go do it, seriously. I'll wait...


Did you read it? Well, that's good for Moran, whose newspaper is dying. He can thank me for the bump in readership later...

But did you notice something? Not once does Tom Moran mention that his own paper endorsed Christie's reelection for governor in 2013!

Moran issued his tepid mea culpa for endorsing Christie soon after it became clear the governor had let his staff run out of control during Bridgegate.  And yes, most of what we know about Bridgegate came after the Star-Ledger endorsed Christie on October 20, 2013. But Bridgegate is not the only disqualifier for Christie -- just ask Moran! Here's his column, weakly slapping at the Union Leader:
How about pension reform? The board in Manchester did not know that Christie broke his core promise on that by skipping pension payments. "I don't know if we went into the weeds on pension reform," Bosse said.
The editorial said he "dealt admirably" with Sandy. That would come as a shock to the actual victims, 60 percent of whom say they are dissatisfied with the state's response.
On jobs, the paper saw no reason to check Christie's dismal record. "Politicians don't create jobs, so we didn't want to give that any credibility," Bosse said.
How about the nine credit downgrades on Christie's watch as governor?
"That largely stems from the fact that while he's been successful holding back tax increases, he hasn't been as successful in restraining spending. Credit agencies like taxes. They don't reward states for fiscal discipline."
My lord, what a heaping helping of dung...

When the pension reforms of 2011 were passed, Moran and his crew at the S-L never bothered to ask how Christie would come up with the payments that were required under Chapter 78. The only people who seemed to care to ask the question in real time were crazy teacher-bloggers and, lord love them, the Asbury Park Press, who pointed out that that the state was going to have a hard time coming up with $5 billion a year to make the pension whole if they didn't start raising taxes.

During the 2013 campaign for NJ governor, not one moderator in the debates thought it was worth anybody's while to ask how either candidate was going to come up with the money to make the pensions whole. And yet Moran went ahead with his endorsement of Christie, despite never having addressed the issue.

And now Moran has the gall to wag his finger at a New Hampshire paper for ignoring Christie's failure on the pensions -- a failure Moran himself totally ignored! Moran sighs and shakes his head that the Union Leader ignores Christie's mediocre record on Sandy and job creation. He tut-tuts at the credit downgrades New Jersey has faced...

All problems he acknowledged in his own endorsement of Christie in 2013!
The governor’s claim to have fixed the state’s budget is fraudulent. New Jersey’s credit rating has dropped during his term, reflecting Wall Street’s judgment that he has dug the hole even deeper. He has no plan to finance transit projects and open space purchases now that he has nearly drained the dedicated funds he inherited from Gov. Jon Corzine.
His ego is entertaining, but it’s done damage as well. By removing two qualified justices from the Supreme Court without good cause, he threatened the independence of judges at all levels, and provoked a partisan stalemate that has left two vacant seats on the high court. This was a power grab gone wrong.
The public gives him top marks for his handling of Sandy, but the record is mixed. Why would his administration park NJ Transit trains in a low-lying area where they flooded, causing $120 million in damage? Why did the federal government have to strong-arm the state to include more relief for renters and Spanish-speakers than Christie had proposed? And why should anyone believe taxpayers got the best price on refuse removal when the governor awarded a no-bid contract through a political friend?
Those are Moran's own words in his own endorsement of Christie back in 2013. So why would he claim these things disqualify Christie from winning the White House, yet they weren't disqualifications for Christie winning Drumthwacket for a second term?

As I pointed out -- in the moment -- back in 2013, the issue for Moran was never Christie's fitness for high office. The issue -- as always for the creepily obsessive Moran -- was who hates the teachers unions more:
What is it that earns Buono such opprobrium from Tom Moran and his posse? Surely, they would mention her worst transgression first; surely, they would cast the first stone at her for her most terrible, her most heinous, her most unforgivable sin. 
True to form, they do. In the world of Tom Moran and the Star-Ledger, the most horrid crime a politician could ever perpetrate would be to side with a teachers union: 
Why then, are we endorsing him for a second term? Because his challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono, is a deeply flawed candidate. 
Begin with education. Buono’s close alliance with the teachers union is a threat to the progress Christie is making in cities such as Newark and Camden. She is hostile to charter schools, which now educate nearly 1 in 4 kids in Newark. 
Think about this for a minute. Moran and the S-L admit property taxes have skyrocketed under Christie, despite his claims that he's reined in taxes on the middle class. They admit Christie is waging war on the poor and the environment. They admit he is a fraud on the budget, they admit he is neglecting the state's infrastructure, they admit he has dangerously politicized the courts, they admit he is an out-of-control egomaniac, they admit he steers contracts to his political patrons, and they admit his handling of Sandy was less than admirable. 
But all together, none of this matters nearly as much to the S-L as the fact that Barbara Buono has earned the support of the NJEA and AFT-NJ. This so important to Moran that he mentions it first in the list of the reasons why the S-L won't back Buono against an admittedly failed governor. 
The Star-Ledger's jihad against the NJEA is a troubled and troubling obsession on the part of Moran and his editorial board. How deep must their hatred of teachers unions run that all of Chrstie's failures - failures they admit in their very endorsement of him - are swept aside so they can, once again, take a swipe at the only organizations in the state that stand for teacher workplace rights?
Moran knew Christie was a disaster of a governor back in 2013. But he could never, ever allow a candidate to be installed in Trenton who had the backing of the teachers union. So no matter how incompetent Christie may have been... at least he hated the NJEA!

Tom Moran ignored Chris Christie's many, many failings and endorsed him for reelection as governor for one reason: Christie was willing to go to war with the New Jersey Education Association. In Moran's bizarre world, Christie's jihad against the teachers union was more important than solving the pension problem, or adequately managing Sandy relief, or keeping the state's credit rating up.

Tom Moran is the most shameless type of hypocrite imaginable. He looks down his nose at another newspaper for ignoring the facts about Chris Christie -- the same facts Moran ignored just so he could stick it to teachers and their union.

The Union Leader was wrong to endorse Chris Christie, arguably the worst governor in America. But it's beyond belief that Tom Moran would scold another newspaper for ignoring Christie's record when Moran's own hatred of New Jersey's teachers unions led him to endorse Christie only a couple of years ago.

I don't know about the rest of you teachers in New Jersey, but speaking for myself: I've had enough of this foolish, feckless clown and his idiotic editorial page. I feel badly for the many fine reporters at the Star-Ledger, but I'm not going to spend my hard earned money supporting a newspaper that employs an editorial staff that repeatedly ignores the truth about what is happening in this state just so it can beat up our union.

If Tom Moran wants to continue to wage his obsessive and illogical war against the NJEA, he's going to have to do it without my support. How about the rest of you?

The Star-Ledger Editorial Board, doing what they do best.


The editorial page editor of the Union Leader didn't take kindly to Moran's hypocrisy either:
Bosse didn’t like that, responding Tuesday night on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.
“At this point, the Star-Ledger is like Chris Christie’s crazy ex-girlfriend,” Bosse said. “They dated him in 2013, they broke up with him last year, and now they’re going around town bad-mouthing anyone he takes out to dinner.” 
The Star-Ledger did endorse Christie for governor in 2013, but recantedon that endorsment just a few months after the election.
“You want to stick with that metaphor, Mr. Bosse?” Hayes asked, with raised eyebrows.
“Yeah, they’re just going around saying bad things,” responded Bosse during the interview. “Maybe their headline should have been newspaper that endorses Christie slams newspaper that endorses Christie."
Moran, of course, couldn't let that be the last word:
This is a first: The New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper that just gave Gov. Chris Christie its coveted endorsement for president is aiming its fire at me now, saying that I'm acting like "Chris Christie's crazy ex-girlfriend." 
Like any crazy ex-girlfriend, I can't let that be the last word. So, for a moment, please hear me roar. 
Let's start with this: Why does the crazy ex have to be a girl? Aren't boys sometimes crazy, too? What about the guys who post naked pictures of women who dump them? Couldn't the paper at least call me a "crazy ex-lover" to be fair?
Everybody got that? The Union Leader is sexist because they used a "crazy girlfriend" metaphor (yeah, that is sexist, but hang on...). Keep this in mind as we skip down and read Tom Moran's explanation of why he endorsed Chris Christie back in 2013 , but chides the Union Leader for endorsing him today:
On to crazy ex-girlfriend. That's based on the fact that the Star-Ledger endorsed Christie for re-election in 2013, and has soured on him since.
I offer two explanations for that. One is that elections are about choices, and the Democratic candidate, Sen. Barbara Buono, was not ready for the job. She ran because all the major players in the party were scared to challenge Christie at the time, given his post-Sandy bump. Yes, Cory Booker, I'm talking to you.
Endorsements, sadly, usually boil down to picking the less bad candidate. That's not complicated. If this primary came down to Christie versus Donald Trump, we'd endorse Christie again. That's life.
"Sen. Barbara Buono, was not ready for the job." Seriously?

Buono was first elected to the NJ Legislature all the way back in 1994. By 2013, she had served in Trenton for nearly two decades. Some highlights of her storied career as a public servant:
After serving seven years in the New Jersey General Assembly she was elected to the New Jersey Senateon November 6, 2001. Buono served in the Senate on the Budget and Appropriations Committee (as Chair), the Intergovernmental Relations Commission and the Joint Budget Oversight Committee.[2] She was the first woman to serve as Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. At the beginning of the 2010 session, Senator Buono became the first woman to be elected Majority Leader of the New Jersey State Senate. She held the position through the end of the 2011 session, when she was succeeded by Loretta Weinberg, after Buono declined to agree with Senate President Stephen Sweeney on the terms of a power-sharing deal.[11]
I mean, how much more ready could Buono have been? By 2013, Barbara Buono had more experience in Trenton than Christie and Booker combined

As I say above: the first reason Moran himself gave for giving the nod to Christie over Buono was that Buono had won the endorsement of the NJEA. It didn't matter that Buono was highly qualified for the job; it didn't matter that even the Star-Ledger's editorial board had to admit Christie was a disaster.

All that mattered was that a union whose membership is about three-quarters women had endorsed Buono.

So, Tom: who's really the sexist here?


Christine said...

Moran is ruled by his love of charter schools and his affinity for the Montclair and Newark folks pushing them. Totally closed minded. Wrecks the paper.

Rebecca deCoca said...

Powerful article, Mark.

czarejs said...

It's a good thing for Moran that this is verbal war between you and Moran, because this article is a serious beatdown. Great work.