By Kyle Balluck
The Star Ledger “blew” its fall endorsement of Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) reelection campaign, a member of the Newark, N.J., newspaper’s editorial board wrote on Sunday.
“Yes, we knew Christie was a bully,” he added. “But we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.”
Moran wrote that the endorsement split the vote of the editorial board, saying Christie was regarded as “the most overrated politician in the country.”
“We could have skipped the endorsement altogether, as the New York Times did,” he wrote. “But voters have to push one button or the other, and we felt The Star-Ledger should belly up to the challenge and offer them our best advice. My guess is the Times would never punt on a presidential election for the same reason.
“So we swallowed our hesitations and endorsed Christie, complete with our long list of deep reservations.”
The U.S. attorney in New Jersey last month subpoenaed Christie’s reelection campaign for documents related to lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. A subpoena was also issued to the state’s Republican Party.
The state legislature is also probing the closures, alleged political payback against the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who did not endorse Christie for reelection.
Hoboken, N.J., Mayor Dawn Zimmer (D) also alleged last month that two top aides to Christie threatened to withhold Superstorm Sandy relief funds unless she approved a redevelopment plan supported by the governor’s office.
Democrats have also charged that Christie improperly used Sandy funds for a tourism campaign for the Jersey Shore.