There's an "endorsement" of Chris Christie for re-election in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer. It's kind of odd.
While they give him credit for embracing President Obama in exchange for Superstorm Sandy aid, they say in the same paragraph, "he has imposed a measure of fiscal discipline."
Let's look at Christie's record of fiscal discipline.
At the beginning of his term, he unilaterally cancelled the ARC tunnel, a project that was largely funded by federal aid and would have created tens of thousands of economy-stimulating jobs. That's fiscal discipline?
After the storm, he unilaterally gave the clean-up contract to a politically-connected Republican firm which charged more that twice as much for debris removal as other reputable firms. That's fiscal discipline?
When the Affordable Health Care act was affirmed multiple times, Christie turned down federal aid for assisting with the sign-up process. Aid that would be spent in New Jersey and would go back into our economy. That's fiscal discipline?
After what was to be secret meeting with the Koch Brothers, Christie unilaterally pulled the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, killing 1,800 New Jersey jobs. That's fiscal discipline?
When it became necessary to hold a special election for United States Senator, Christie decided to squander millions of dollars on a Wednesday vote in order to maintain his own placement on the top line of the ballot. That's fiscal discipline?
When it came time to appoint a superintendent to run Camden's schools, Christie chose an inexperienced hedge fund manager and waived the salary cap. That's fiscal discipline?
The list goes on and on. Apparently, the Inquirer interprets fiscal discipline as "balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class."
The Inquirer does get a few things right in their "endorsement" pointing out
Christie has wrongly demonized teachers and abandoned a school aid formula that attached funding to at-risk children. And he should forget about an income-tax cut that would favor the wealthy and unnecessarily reduce state revenue.The editorial mentions that Democratic party leaders have failed to embrace the candidacy of Christie's opponent, Barbara Buono. What they fail to mention is that one of those Democratic leaders is a part-owner of the paper. And while there's supposed to be a separation between editorial positions and newspaper management, there's no doubt in my mind that the "old" Inky would have gone with the right choice and endorsed Barbara Buono.
Christie's opposition to same-sex marriage and Planned Parenthood funding are retrograde. And he should improve his poor environmental record by replenishing open-space funds and setting more ambitious clean-energy goals.
Christie has also shown an unfortunate tendency to be self-serving.
Cross-posted from Blue Jersey