Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Christie Chronicles - A story of betrayal | Bob Braun's Ledger

Chris Christie in his masterful mea culpa melodrama declared that he is a "loyal person" and is "sad" at the disloyalty of some in his DeNiro-esque "circle of trust".  One link led to another - as we all try to figure out how this GWB gridlock student came to pass.  Rachel Maddow has been trying to connect it to the struggle with the Legislature over the progressive state Supreme Court that the governor is sworn to dismantle.  But those pieces don't fall into place.  Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg is from Ft. Lee but she did not take that bait when offered by Andrea Mitchell this morning.
That led me to this post by the Star Ledger's legendary education columnist, discussing the end of Associate Justice Helen Hoens' term of office.  Though some judges might have stepped aside, she voted Christie's way even though her husband is a policy adviser to Christie - a lawyer and long-time Trenton Reporter for the Ledger - the State's largest.  Though she was on the verge of qualifying for a full pension he dumped the veteran jurist for an undistinguished judge from south Jersey.  So much for Christie's loyalty. - gwc

A story of betrayal | Bob Braun's Ledger:
...The real omissions are this: The newspaper failed to mention Schwaneberg at all—not even in an indispensable context of substantive importance: The husband of Associate Justice Hoens was an at will aide to Christie at the time when the court was dealing with issues of extraordinary political sensitivity,  including school funding, judicial pay, and fair housing.                Christie indulged in unlawyerly political rants about all those cases, making it clear he would deem it a personal betrayal  for justices to vote against his political position.  Hoens should have recused herself—both because her own future on the court and, more importantly, her husband’s job,  could be seen as at risk.                She didn’t recuse herself.  Indeed, she voted to support Christie’s positions when he illegally flouted the school funding  law,  when he went on a rage against the absolute, Constitutional necessity of independent compensation for judges, and when he tried to destroy even the wimpy efforts of the state to ensure fair housing for the poor.         Hoens may or may not have had her own, acceptable reasons for her dissents, but her actions clearly created the perception that she might have been afraid of losing her prestigious and well-paid position on the court as well as her husband’s not quite so prestigious, but remunerative, position with the Christie Administration.
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