Governor Chris Christie received a lot of flack for his State of the State address on January 13, some from a source you would expect — the New Jersey Press Association, lashing out against Christie’s exclusion of local reporters from a pre-speech Q&A session (see letter below)— but also from NJ Biz, which in an editorial posted January 18 on njbiz.com went from complimentary to harshly critical:

“We’re never opposed to hearing politicians say they’re against tax increases, so in that sense, we enjoyed listening to Gov. Chris Christie’s State of the State address last week,” the editorial begins.

“That being said, this was clearly a speech laying out his national ambitions as opposed to giving an honest picture of New Jersey’s economic health. Budgets are balanced, but by failing to meet pension obligations. State spending is down, but the Transportation Trust Fund is bankrupt. Camden is making incremental improvements, but a third of Atlantic City’s casinos have closed on Christie’s watch.”

It continues: “Painting a rosy picture of the state may pass muster when you shut out the local press to cozy up to national media. But the spotty economic record in the Garden State is a responsibility Christie needs to take seriously.”

The editorial concludes: “There are still many, many passionate business owners who realize there are huge advantages to setting up shop in New Jersey. Unfortunately for them, all they got last week was more rhetoric from a leader who’s got his eye on the door. For shame.”

#b#Shame on Christie#/b#

Dear Governor Christie,

As the organization for New Jersey’s newspaper media statewide, and based on our understanding of what transpired, I am writing to express NJPA’s concern and disappointment over your decision to exclude New Jersey-based reporters from the meeting in your office yesterday for national news media held prior to your State of the State address.

Such arbitrary exclusion of some reporters, but not others, is, to say the least, concerning to NJPA. And, of course, it is the public that ultimately suffers if the media is not able to gather and report on the news.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss, we are available at your convenience.

Respectfully yours,

George H. White

NJPA Executive Director

#b#Correction#/b#

The article in U.S. 1’s January 14 issue titled “The Misanthropy of Big Philanthropy” incorrectly credited Stanley N. Katz with writing the book “Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History.”

Katz was in fact the author of a review of the book in which he criticized the book for its failure to properly define “philanthropy.”

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