Read the whole piece, but the three takeaways I got from it are
1. Christie and Cuomo plan to have a firesale of Port Authority property, selling it to their real estate campaign donors as payback for their financial and political support.
2. Christie wants Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye fired for exposing the Bridgegate scandal and talking to the US attorney. That will happen now under the Cuomo/Christie announced plan.
3. Cuomo wanted to hide his veto of the PA reform legislation. Unfortunately for him, news of the veto leaked out on the NJ side, making Cuomo look like he had lost control of the story narrative. When Cuomo's office finally released an announcement about the Port Authority, they buried the news of the veto in the last paragraph:
Here's how Fink described it:
At about 4:30 Saturday afternoon, staff from Governor Chris Christie’s office in Trenton New Jersey called the majority offices of both houses of New Jersey’s Legislature. Their message was that a massive structural reform bill for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would be vetoed.
In contrast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office told no one – not even the sponsors of the legislation – that a joint press release would be coming out later that night from the two governors, announcing rejection of the bill and implementation of their own reforms at the Port Authority.
The same release casually mentioned in the last paragraph that “neither governor is approving the legislation as passed.”
The lead was so buried on this one that my news desk at NY1 asked me twice if I was sure Cuomo was vetoing the bill. Yes, I told them, I am sure. But I could understand the confusion.
In New Jersey the news leaked. Of course it did. I covered news in Jersey for 13 years. I coulda told you it would leak. All credit goes to Shawn Boburg at the Bergen Record who has done some excellent reporting on Bridgegate and the Port Authority.
Boburg (who I do not know personally) was the guy who called former Christie aide Bridget Kelly last January to inform her that he had in his possession of an unfortunately worded email of hers that read: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
The problem with this leaking out the way it did is that it made Cuomo look like he was not in control of his own story. The story instantly became the vetoes, not the other reforms the two governors are implementing.
Cowardly Cuomo wanted to hide the veto, waiting until the last minute to do it, then trying to bury the news on Christmas Weekend with a diversionary PA reform release that further buried the news in the last paragraph.
Classic cowardice from Cuomo on this.
If you're wondering why I'm spending so much time on this PA story, it matters to public education advocates as Cuomo gets set next month to destroy public education in New York State.
He was already weakened going into Christmas after a difficult political season, but the way he went around hiding his killing of PA reform will further weaken him going into the New Year.
The next time Cuomo talks "reform," this Port Authority reform sham will come up to undercut whatever "reform" Cuomo is pushing - and that means education reform too.
They're already talking about privatizing PATH, something that's certain to end well...ReplyDelete
RE: "If you're wondering why I'm spending so much time on this PA story.."ReplyDelete
Actually, I find this whole issue fascinating on several levels.
1. There's the impact this story will have on anyone living in the New York region. Try avoiding the Port Authority.
2. Then there's the tie-in, made in the blog, to whatever changes are coming down the pike, so to speak, for schools in New York State.
3. And, for me, a relative oldster, the whole thing is a real education. It's amazing how stories unfold these days on the internet...how journalists like reality-based educator expose what's going on so quickly.
Seriously, who would you rather having teaching a high school class anywhere in this country ...someone like Zack Fink (link above) who actually thinks, asks questions and can write? A smart guy like that? Or, the usual toadies, flunkies and hangers on who get paid for sucking up at state ed or pushing common core nonsense? There's the REALLY interesting story for me. -John Ogozalek
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