Archive for emails

New emails, interviews: Hoboken mayor under pressure from Christie administration

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chris christie angrytick tick boom

Why, it seems like only yesterday that I posted Ruh roh! Chris Christie's brother bought property just before Christie pushed for big overhaul. Oh wait, it was yesterday.

And now it seems like only today that the New York Times is reporting about emails showing that Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor Dawn Zimmer was indeed being pressured by the Christie administration.

drip drip drip

You remember this story, right? Governor "Heartbroken's" allies were oh, so "offended" and started pointing fingers at Zimmer for daring to suggest that she'd been leaned on.

Zimmer alleged that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno told her that the very pricey Rockefeller real estate project was important to her boss and that Zimmer should “move forward” with it in order to get Hurricane Sandy clean-up funding. The mayor even jotted down contemporaneous notes about the conversation in her journal. Oh my bad, Zimmer's a woman: Her "diary."

She had a meeting scheduled with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to discuss protecting Hoboken from future natural disasters. However:

But according to newly obtained emails sent among the participants, the first topic of discussion on the agenda was “review of concepts for flood control measures at Rockefeller property,” a reference to a billion-dollar office complex proposed at the north end of town. The developer, the Rockefeller Group, which had long been trying to gain approval from local officials, sent two executives, two lobbyists and an engineer to the meeting. [...]

The Christie administration has denied ever linking the Rockefeller project to hurricane relief, an accusation that is now under federal investigation.

But whatever the outcome of the inquiries, the emails and interviews make clear that the development-wary mayor was coming under increasing and repeated pressure from politically connected lawyers working for Rockefeller Group and from the Christie administration.

What's that saying again? Oh yeah:

ruh roh smallerUPDATE via TPM:

A longtime adviser to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) conducted a 2012 poll on behalf of a development firm at the center of one of the scandals that has recently rocked the governor's administration, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

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WI Gov. Scott Walker campaign, county staff collaborated after teen death

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the plot sickens smaller

Back in 2010, Jared Kellner, who was only 15, was killed by a 13-ton concrete panel that fell on him as he left a Wisconsin garage. A friend of Kellner's was injured. That was less than two months before the Wisconsin gubernatorial primary, so now-Governor Scott Walker was in full campaign mode.

Members of the Milwaukee County Board and others "suggested Walker and his administration’s policies resulted in deferred maintenance of the parking structure."

oops sorry

Scotty was "intimately involved in the discussions," per emails [which were part of that years-long John Doe probe], which include his aides "complaining about reporters they felt were biased against them in their coverage of the incident."

awwww

WisPolitics has a few more revelations about Walker's handling of the tragedy:

The discussions included Walker county exec staffers seeking guidance from the campaign on whether they should slow down their response time to open records requests.

things that make you go hmmm

[Former Walker aide Tim] Russell asked the email chain where Walker was following the incident, warning “Scott cannot be at a fundraiser or something like that. He’ll be eaten alive.”

and your point is...

In one email, an aide forwarded to Walker a request from the Daily Reporter to respond to Supv. John Weishan’s suggestion that a move in 2003 to move surplus money from the county’s 0.5 percent sales tax from the capital budget to the general operating budget contributed to the tragedy.

“I called him and beat down Weishan,” Walker wrote, adding “He is a back bencher who the board doesn’t even listen to.” [...]

Nardelli, in an email to Walker, Rindfleisch and Gilkes three days after the accident, criticized WTMJ-TV reporter Aaron Diamant for picking up on allegations made by former County Board Chairman Lee Holloway that maintenance at the garage had been deferred according to a report. “He is just as biased against you as (Journal Sentinel reporter Steve) Schultze…what a schmuck!”

rubber glue bounces off me sticks to you

In another email, Russell wrote Journal Sentinel reporter Jesse Garza had gotten a message to him that he was willing to help Walker get “good ink” if the county exec wanted to speak with the reporter.

spin

And word is, Walker could be the Big Presidential Contender in 2016.

walker world

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Video- CBS Evening News Highlights Collapse Of Right Wing Scandal Mongering Over Benghazi Talking Points

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Tsk, imagine R's exaggerating! Unthinkable. More here.

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How's that reachy-outy, makeovery, reinventiony thing workin' for ya, GOP?

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outreach my ass reach out inclusive

Oklahoma state Rep. James Lockhart (D) emailed a colleague for help, so Rep. Mike Reynolds (R) gave him some... some... well, gave him something, but it sure wasn't help.

Lockhart's email, in part, via the Oklahoma Democrats site. Bolding is mine:

Basically we are doing a poor job of improving the lives of the people we represent... [M]ost people think we either don’t care about them or are unable to do something about improving their standard of living.

I am here to try to improve the quality of life of the average person in however small a way possible.

I would suggest you do the same.

Of course, anyone with a modicum of compassion would go out of their way to show how much they truly care about their constituents. A little grace and empathy goes a long way to inspire mutual respect among all citizens. After all, if they thrive, then everybody benefits: families, the state, even the public officials who represent them! There's nothing like generosity, comfort, and good will to help those who depend on you, who trust you, to succeed and build a little self worth.

Right Rep. Reynolds?

It is not our job to see that anyone gets an education. It is not the responsibility of me, you, or any constituent in my district to pay for his or any other persons education... Their potential to benefit society is irrelevant.

Compassionate conservatism at its best. Way to go Mike!

By the way, "person's" should have an apostrophe, Mr. Not Our Job To See That Anyone Gets An Education. Clearly Reynolds never had one.

FYI: The title of the OK Dem's post was "REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE MIKE REYNOLDS CALLS STUDENT’S POTENTIAL IRRELEVANT."

How's that reachy-outy, makeovery, reinventiony thing workin' for ya, GOP?

because we care

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E-mails link Jeb Bush foundation, corporations, ALEC, and education officials. Corporate funders benefit.

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jeb bush george bush

Gee, who'da thunk it? A foundation associated with GOP darling Jeb Bush hooking up with ALEC and pushing school vouchers? We're shocked, we tells ya, shocked!

E-mails have been posted online here between the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) and a group Jebby set up called Chiefs for Change. Here are its members. They are current and former state education commissioners who support Bush’s agenda of "school reform," meaning more charter schools, meaning vouchers, meaning privatization, meaning cutting union jobs... and pushing for "cyber schooling" and standardized tests among other things.

Having worked at public schools for years as an educator, I have my own voucher: I can vouch that more teaching to the test and less public education are bad for this country. I can also vouch that private schools mean more discrimination, more inequality... well, just take it from ALEC Exposed:

ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher's unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds.

Oh, and three states are pushing an ALEC bill to require teaching climate change denial in schools.

Via WaPo, a must-read:

A nonprofit group released thousands of e-mails today and said they show how a foundation begun by Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and national education reform leader, is working with public officials in states to write education laws that could benefit some of its corporate funders. [...]

[The e-mails] reveal — conclusively, he said — that foundation staff members worked to promote the interests of some of their funders in  Florida, New Mexico, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Louisiana. [...]

There are strong connections between FEE and the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to the nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy...

bush is our children learning

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So much for Bobby Jindal's "transparency": His top aides use personal emails to strategize on Medicaid cuts

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The next time any Republican gets hot under the collar when you call one of their own a hypocrite, or gets a tingle up their leg over their new BFF and potential presidential candidate Bobby “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first” Jindal, ask them to defend this:

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Top officials in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration used personal email accounts to craft a media strategy for imposing hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid cuts - a method of communication that can make it more difficult to track under public records laws despite Jindal's pledge to bring more transparency to state government. [...]

It's unclear whether he knew his top staff used private accounts to conduct public business. The practice folds into a national debate over the use of personal email accounts by government officials to discuss official business. [...]

When running for office in 2007, Jindal campaigned on improving government transparency in a state known for its backroom political deals, imprisoned elected officials and ongoing investigations into public corruption. Since then, the governor has opposed attempts to open more of his office's records to public scrutiny, and agencies in his executive branch have exerted new claims of privilege to shield documents.

Seems Ba-ba-ba-Bobby's knack for keeping promises and being transparent is only surpassed by his knack for public speaking. (Click on link for explanation of Ba-ba-ba. Hint: Rachel Maddow.)

Details at the link.

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Yet another Mitt Romney Etch A Sketch moment: The one where he strongly defended the individual mandate

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I need some new Willard flip-floppy Etch A Sketch images to go with these posts, because mine are in quadruple reruns.

Just as I finished typing up the one about Romney's contradictory statements about serving in Vietnam, another example of his hypocrisy raises its multiple heads.

The Wall Street Journal won't let me in, so here's Taegan's excerpt:

When Mitt Romney left office as Massachusetts governor, his aides removed all emails from a server computer in the governor's office, and purchased and carted off hard drives from 17 state-owned personal computers," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"But a small cache of emails survived, including some that have never publicly surfaced surrounding Mr. Romney's efforts to pass his now-controversial health-care law. The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it... Romney and his aides, meanwhile, strongly defended the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts have or buy heath insurance. And they privately discussed ideas that might be anathema to today's GOP -- including publicly shaming companies that didn't provide enough health insurance to employees."

Of course, because all of this was prior to May 30, 2012, when Willard became the official nominee, none of this matters. It no longer exists. It's gone. In fact, they made sure of it. That's what Republicans do.

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