Sunday, August 29, 2010

Christie Fires Schundler; The Fallout Continues

On Friday morning New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fired Education Commissioner Bret Schundler in the wake of the controversy regarding the denial of $400 million in RACE TO THE TOP money for Garden State schools because of a clerical error. The HOME NEWS TRIBUNE's editorial board contended that Schundler lied to Christie. My Letter To The Editor below says there is no smoking gun saying that Schundler lied, to the best of anyone's knowledge.

"Education Commissioner Bret Schundler got caught in an apparent lie- worth $400 million- and got canned by Gov. Chris Christie as a result".

This is how your editorial regarding Christie's firing of Bret Schundler in the Saturday (Aug 28) edition of the Home News Tribune began. I have a real problem with the wording of that should read "Bret Schundler was fired partly because Governor Christie says Schundler was caught in an apparent lie".

After New Jersey lost out on the RACE TO THE TOP millions, Christie decided to blame Washington bureaucrats and the President of the United States for New Jersey finishing out of the money. When the tape surfaced that showed the New Jersey's representatives in the application process were at fault, Christie said that Schundler gave him bad information of what happened during the process.

Now, according to other media sources- broadcast, online, and in print-  Schundler denies that he gave the governor bad information. According to those sources Schundler told Christie not to make the claims against Washington and President Obama....but Christie did so anyway. Schundler has emails that support his claims, but other than that it's a "he said- he said" scenario.

Schundler had to go; with this $400 million clerical error somebody had to take the fall, and the ball was in Schundler's court. But your newspaper has no impirical evidence whatsoever that Schundler lied to the Governor. Christie made the situation worse with his over the top and foolish fixing of blame on the Obama administration when the fault was with his own team. The Governor once again played tough talking prosecutor and made sure the other guy- Bret Schundler- was painted in the worst possible light.

The bottomline- a very embarrassing performance by all involved. And maybe with some investigating- and with time- the truth about what really happened will surface.

Update! According to The Auditor in Sunday's Star-Ledger, the United States Department of Education held a workshop last year regarding the second round application for RACE TO THE TOP funding. Tips were given on the correct way to submit the application, as well as reminders to proofread, and that no new information could be submitted after the June 1 deadline.

The workshop was held on April 21 in Minneapolis. In all, 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico sent representatives to the workshop.

New Jersey did not, and finished eleventh, out of the money

The ten states that finished ahead of New Jersey and received funds attended the workshop.

According to The Star-Ledger Governor Christie's office has declined comment.


Sue said...

according to my newspaper, Schundler ASKED to be fired instead of resigning because he has to be able to collect unemployment. It also said he had just 5,000.00 in his bank account. Hmmmm a republican needing unemployment, how funny!

Did you read this Hugh?

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue, yeah, it's true. When asked to resign he requested to be fired so he could get unemployment bennies (I guess he isn't a Sharon Angle Republican). He has a daughter at Boston College which costs a big chunk of change.....should have stayed home and gone to Rowan or CNJ.

I'm no fan of Schundler but I thought the HNT was unfair in assuming that he lied and it's Christie telling the truth- nobody has evidence one way or another so far.

And I think Christie frankly treated the guy like crap, under cutting Schundler when he brokered a deal with the NJEA and Christie tossed it and scolded Schundler publicly.

Even Dubya told Brownie he was doing a heck of a job before he showed him the door.

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