Friday, October 29, 2010

Gov. Christie shouldn't cozy up to muckraker of 'Teachers Union Gone Wild' |

In the Friday October 29th edition of the Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), the editorial board chastised Governor Chris Christie for apparently choosing to ally himself with conservative muckraker James O'Keefe and, in the Star-Ledger's words, "(for co-opting) the questionable material for his political purposes".

The "questionable material" is a video called "Teachers Gone Wild" which supposedly shows less than extraordinary behavior by teachers (NJEA members), administrators, and union reps. For all of you newbies, Chris Christie and the NJEA, New Jersey's largest teacher's union, have been engaged in open warfare from Day One of the current administration.

Every taxpayer in New Jersey may have a beef with the NJEA; they might be the biggest lightning rod locally since Darryl Strawberry's days with the Mets or Patrick Ewing's near misses at titles with the Knicks. But for a sitting governor, and former federal prosecutor, to ally himself with O'Keefe's background is questionable in itself.

Conservatives and Tea Partiers love O'Keefe because of his videos that brought down ACORN last year. But then last January O'Keefe posed as a repairman to try to tap the office phone of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu in a federal building, was caught along with his accomplices, and temporarily jailed with felony charges. The felony charges were dropped and reduced to a misdemeanor; O'Keefe was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and fined $1,500.

And then the James O'Keefe saga starts to get really weird.

CNN's investigative reporter Abbie Boudreau was putting together a series on young conservative activists in the United States. One of the persons Boudreau wanted to interview was James O'Keefe. O'Keefe agreed to a meeting with Boudreau aboard a boat in Maryland. Supposedly Boudreau and O'Keefe were to discuss a music video; O'Keefe told Boudreau the meeting on the boat was an attempt to protect his privacy.

But it was a setup, an attempt to "punk" and discredit Abbie Boudreau. O'Keefe had champagne and strawberries, and a plethora of sex toys and aids onboard the small boat. He was going to attempt to seduce Abbie Boudreau, and get it on tape in to discredit her and CNN. An associate of O'Keefe's tipped off Boudreau to the plot. This became one of the most bizarre stories to surface last summer.

It is amazing to me that a former federal prosecutor and current governor would ally himself to a man who'd enter a federal building under false pretenses to secretly tape a sitting member of Congress. Add to that, O'Keefe's lame and hairbrained plan to sandbag Abbie Boudreau and CNN for his own agenda.

But I suppose Chris Christie and James O'Keefe do share one thing in common; it's all about winning. It doesn't matter who gets hurt, it's all about painting the other guy as a villain, even if it means showing a distorted view to their true believers and to those sitting on a fence.

Some say "Chris Christie for President in 2012". Who knows? Maybe James O'Keefe can be his communications director.

Click the link below to read the Star-Ledger editorial about the Christie- O'Keefe relationship.

Gov. Christie shouldn't cozy up to muckraker of 'Teachers Union Gone Wild' |

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