Gov. Christie, Rand Share Opposing Views on Ferguson

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014 9:20am  |  COMMENTS (26)

Gov. Christie, Rand Share Opposing Views on FergusonGiven the protests in the wake of a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., and in the wake of a new federal report finding civil rights abuses in the Newark Police Department, NJ Spotlight’s Matt Katz asked Gov. Chris Christie on Friday if he thought there was a general problem in this country with the way police deal with young African American men and teenagers. Christie said: Continue Reading

NJ Spotlight: Will Chris Christie’s House of Cards Collapse?

BY  |  Monday, Jun 30, 2014 11:02am  |  COMMENTS (43)

House of CardsNJ Spotlight analyzes Christie’s chances for a presidentail run:

Looking at Gov. Chris Christie’s schedule in the days leading up to last week’s budget battle, you would think he didn’t have a care in the world as he continues to gear up for a 2016 presidential bid:

“Dad Dancing” with Jimmy Fallon, showing off the results of his “less is more” lap-band diet

Blaming Obama for Iraq in front of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington

Raising money for the Republican candidate for governor in New Hampshire, the first primary state

Telling former Romney donors in Utah he isn’t “worried” about Bridgegate

Playing nine innings of “celebrity softball” in Yankee Stadium with Boomer and Carton so they can talk about it on WFAN for days. Continue Reading

NJ Spotlight: What You Won’t Find in Bridgegate Documents

BY  |  Tuesday, May 06, 2014 10:45am  |  COMMENTS (5)

Governor ChristieJust one email.

The internal review of the office of Gov. Chris Christie in the wake of the Bridgegate and Sandy funding scandals yielded 4,612 pages — that included summaries of interviews with 75 people, plus dozens of emails and text messages from top Christie staffers. But the only shred of primary-source evidence from Christie himself is an email written on Dec. 6, 2013, the eve of the resignation of David Wildstein, who engineered the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

“Try this,” Christie wrote to spokesman Michael Drewniak. The governor said he wanted to add a line to the Wildstein resignation statement that thanks him “for his service to the people of New Jersey and the region.” Continue Reading

Short Summer Primary Campaign Favors Booker, Lonegan

BY  |  Friday, Aug 02, 2013 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

booker loneganWith New Jersey’s unusual U.S. Senate primary election just 11 days away, it is clear that Gov. Chris Christie did runaway frontrunners Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan a huge favor by compressing the campaign into nine summer weeks when voters are thinking about beaches not ballots.

“After the long presidential campaign in 2012, a lot of people said, ‘Why don’t we do it the way they do it in England with a short six-week campaign season?’ Well, this summer, we got our wish, and the shortness of the campaign clearly benefited the front-runners,” said John Weingart, associate director of Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.

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PSE&G Says Insurers Shortchanging It On Sandy Recovery Costs

BY  |  Friday, Jul 05, 2013 1:30pm

psegThe question of who will pay the cost of rebuilding the power grid after Hurricane Sandy is spilling into the courts.

In a lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Essex County last month, Public Service Enterprise Group and three of its subsidiaries accused 10 insurance companies of shortchanging them on coverage that should have reimbursed them $456 million for  damages to their power grid.

Instead, the insurers say they will only cover $50 million in payouts, arguing that provisions in the policies restrict reimbursements above that amount in specific flood zones, a matter disputed by PSEG and its subsidiaries in the 19-page lawsuit filed on June 18.

The dispute has big implications for utility customers, who could end up paying the bill to repair the infrastructure if the insurance companies’ view is upheld by the courts.

Public Service Electric & Gas, the state’s largest gas and electric utility, is not alone in suffering huge harm to its power grid after Hurricane Sandy, a storm described as the most destructive to ever hit New Jersey.

To read the rest of NJ Spotlight’s article, click here.

Report Demonstrates Continuing Value of Preschool for New Jersey’s Poorest Kids

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 10:00am

Report Demonstrates Continuing Value of Preschool for New Jersey’s Poorest Kids (via NJSpotlight)

One of the common questions raised about preschool is, “Do the benefits really last?” According to a report to be released today, the answer is in the affirmative for New Jersey’s state-funded program. By the time they reached the fourth or fifth grade, kids who attended pre-K…

NJ Spotlight: New Jersey’s Wealthiest Counties

BY  |  Friday, Feb 22, 2013 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

wealthiest countiesWhile some New Jerseyans still have not fully recovered financially from the recession, the state remains home to some of the wealthiest counties in the nation.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau also shows that five New Jersey counties — Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Bergen, and Monmouth — have some of the largest concentrations of wealth in the United States, as defined by the percentage of households with an income of $200,000 or more. Four of five New Jersey counties also are among the ranks of those with the highest median household income.

Surprisingly, those two measures of wealth do not always overlap, at least not in New Jersey.

For instance, Sussex County made it into the ranks of the 25 wealthiest, at number 24, when measured by median household income. But it ranks 54th in the percentage of wealthy households.

Then again, Hunterdon and Somerset counties rank in the top 10 in both measures. With a median household income of just under $100,000, Hunterdon was the fourth-wealthiest county in the nation in 2011. The top three are all Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.: Loudon, Fairfax and Arlington counties. Those counties also were the three with the largest proportion of households having $200,000 or more in annual income. Hunterdon, where 16.5 percent of nearly 47,000 households were that wealthy, ranked fifth. Read the rest of this article at NJ Spotlight.

Tracking NJ’s Corporate Economic Subsidies

BY  |  Friday, Jan 25, 2013 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (5)

Tracking NJ's Corporate Economic SubsidiesNew Jersey has given some $1.9 billion in economic subsidies to companies of various sizes over the last five years in an effort to get them to relocate to or expand within the state, according to data from a national nonprofit policy research group.

That’s not necessarily a good thing, contend Good Jobs First — which on Thursday released a report titled “The Job-Creation Shell Game” and has made economic subsidy data for all the states available on its Subsidy Tracker website — and New Jersey Policy Perspective, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization studying state issues.

The report says that a number of states, including New Jersey, and metropolitan areas across the country waste billions of dollars every year giving out economic development subsidies to entice companies to move from one state or one area to another. The study contends that money would be better spent to create new jobs.

“What was long ago dubbed a Second War Between the States is, unfortunately, raging again in many parts of the country, and New Jersey is one of the leading participants,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report. “The result is a vast waste of taxpayer funds, paying for the geographic reshuffling of existing jobs rather than new business activity. By pretending that these jobs are new, public officials and the recipient companies engage in what amounts to interstate job fraud.”

Read the rest of the post and view an interactive map at

New Jersey’s Worsening Foreclosure Crisis

BY  |  Friday, Oct 26, 2012 9:00am

State legislators attempting to deal with New Jersey’s foreclosure crisis heard a tale of two administrations: one a best of, one a worst of, but both governed by Chris Christie.

First, Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable wowed the joint session of two Assembly committees by admitting past failures but promoting current success in distributing $300 million in federal foreclosure aid.

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State Inspections Reveal Nursing Home Violations

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 18, 2012 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Several nursing home facilities in our area are included in the list of those that were found to have violations, ranging from minor on up, resulting from a recent state inspection report. According to

The most recent data on inspections of New Jersey nursing homes show a wide range of differences in the number of violations found at facilities.

An analysis of the results of the three most recent inspections by the state Department of Health found only one problem at 29 of 331 nursing homes that accept Medicare or Medicaid patients, or 9 percent of all, in their most recent inspections conducted between February 2011 and July 2012.

Another 18 percent, or 60 nursing homes, had more than 10 violations, with 11 of those having more than 20 problems discovered.

This is already a concern for some 42,000 New Jerseyans age 65 and older who live in nursing homes and similar facilities, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2011.

And as the baby boomers age into their 60s and beyond, it will become a concern for a growing number and their loved ones.

State officials inspect homes on contract with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure the facilities meet federal standards and provide acceptable care to residents.
Inspectors typically spend several days at a location, checking compliance with about 1,500 state and federal regulations involving such areas as residents’ rights, dietary services, housekeeping, staffing and quality of care.

You can read the full story at NJSpotlight and click on the dots that correspond to local facilities included on an interactive map to see which ones have been cited for which kind of violations.

Featured Comment

Sad. Let's hope that this is not its "Last Tango." One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in town. Valentino, Garbo, Keaton must have played there.

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