“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”
“Do they only hire stupid people at Chasing New Jersey?”
What a couple of weeks. The Governor of New Jersey has had his moments. Some great, some good and some…well… He’s had a history of going after his enemies and escalating minor encounters to national news stories. Remember the boardwalk ice cream incident? Or “Sit down and shut up”? He’s brash and direct and seems to be most comfortable in an adversarial role with others. The former US Attorney turned Governor, turned FOT (Friend of Trump) is at it again. This time things seem different.
And the win goes to… you! Because of your attention to the tricks and political games in Trenton, together we put a stop to two things today that could have had disastrous effects on life in the Garden State. The first was the gas tax… the legislature wanted to raise it $0.23 per gallon with a built in increase should the projected revenue fall below expectations. As we’ve discussed on Chasing News, NJ 101.5 and on social media, it’s because of your constant phone calls, emails and tweets that the GOP legislators on the fence thought twice about voting for a new tax and the Democrats on the fence found cover that helped firm up their opposition.
Today’s #BlueFriday honoree is the Director of Public Safety in Newark, Anthony Ambrose. Leading a police force in any major city is a huge undertaking. In a dangerous city like Newark it’s especially trying. Decades of failed leadership and increasing crime have hurt local residents. I’ve often talked about solutions that go back to successful models of city policing from the past couple decades. Looks like the team in Newark are starting to make some headway.
Had a great opportunity to help congratulate and send off a brave, patriotic young man over the weekend as he prepares to depart for Parris Island, South Carolina. Our friend Jax’s little brother Matt is headed off to the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot. He’ll go through the full training as a US Marine recruit before heading to Ole Miss as a freshman in January. Although I suspect he’s got his eyes on more than just reserve status in the USMC, but that’s a discussion I’m sure he’ll be having over the next few months with his drill instructor and his parents.
Had a great conversation with New Jersey first Lt. Governor today, Kim Guadagno. We discussed the latest proposal to raise the gas tax, the Governor’s bold idea to reduce property taxes and a little Star Wars…
The Star Wars conversation was in reference to the ‘Lightsaber’ I brought into the studio courtesy of our Chasing News Senior Producer Jason M. Rosenberg. It was part of my message this week pushing back on #DarthOroho, the Republican State Senator pushing for a higher gas tax. Oroho has been using scare tactics about the financial depletion of the Transportation Trust Fund and the ‘imminent danger’ facing commuters from NJ’s infrastructure. Of course, as is typically the case in politics, much of what is being used to justify a huge burden on working and middle class families is an exaggeration.
It only comes once a year but when it’s here you gotta celebrate. Our executive producer Jerry Burke has a birthday today. Thought I’d spend a minute sharing a bit about the guy who has served as a mentor, friend and leader for the past few years as I made a dramatic transition out of a stable, successful corporate career into the chaos of media.
Jerry is a friend, a mentor and what we refer to in the TV business as my ‘Rabbi’. Arguably one of the smartest, most creative and most clever talents I’ve ever had as a boss. Jerry is the Executive Producer for our nightly news show, Chasing News. He’s been in the TV business for a long time serving as as producer on Inside Edition, A Current Affair and as the daytime head for Fox New Channel. He’s worked directly with TV legends like Roger Ailes and has a wealth of experience and talent that he’s eager to share with up and coming talent in the business. It was Jerry who took the risk hiring a politician/real estate executive to host a new show on Fox TV that would be disruptive enough to change the way news is delivered into viewers homes.
You don’t often remember the first words a person says to you when you meet for the first time. I saw Jerry across the room making a bee-line for me as I entered the ramshackle, sort of studio at the Dow Jones building in Princeton. I planned to head into my day job late that day so I could stop by and interview with a reporter for a new show that probably would never air.
Is that Sparky Lyle? Yup. That’s him.
Legendary Cy Young award winning major league relief pitcher who pitched his way to an exemplary career with Boston, New York and Philly. For the past few weeks I’ve been making the rounds with my colleague from Chasing News, Jessica Nutt to minor league ballparks around the Garden State.
It’s gotten to the point where someone came up to me at a recent speech I delivered and had a pressing question before I went on, pulling me aside, asking me to explain the joke. Oh boy.
Had a great guest on the radio this morning, Jay Pharoah.
A couple takeaways, first, he’s hilarious. Second, I grew up calling the candy spread on ice cream, Jimmies. Some call it sprinkles. Now, so do I. Listen to Jay’s take on the name and you’ll see why.