Do you ever wonder why Governor Chris Christie has a good chance at the presidency in 2016, even though he's been a miserable failure for New Jersey? Then read this endorsement from the Star-Ledger's editorial board for Governor.
They endorsed him, even though he's refused to speak to them for four years running--while Buono did a full interview. They call him a failure with a big, fat ego who is more about spin than the truth. Oh, I guess their most important criteria is that he plays a mean game of town hall.
Equally impressive is his skill at playing Trenton’s inside game. Faced with Democrats in solid control of the Legislature, he’s managed to split them down the middle by seducing a handful of pliant party bosses whose self-interest compelled them to hitch their wagons to his.
The surprise is that his achievements have been only modest. He signed an important reform to contain pension and health costs, but it was mostly done before he arrived. He signed a useful tenure reform last year, but it is a weak version that still protects bad teachers with seniority. His reorganization of the higher education system is promising, but untested.
Balance that against his measurable failures, and you have to conclude he is much better at politics than he is at governing.
The property tax burden has grown sharply on his watch. He is hostile to low-income families, raising their tax burden and sabotaging efforts to build affordable housing. He’s been a catastrophe on the environment, draining $1 billion from clean energy funds and calling a cease-fire in the state’s fight against climate change.
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?
Our own view is that Christie is overrated. His spin is way ahead of his substance.
They disapprove of Barbara Buono because she supports the teachers union and doesn't like charter schools -- which, in their opinion, makes her fatally flawed. Well then, what do you call Christie who has been exposed as a over-hyped blowhard that's done nothing for the people of NJ?
They call him their champion. It's insane.