The Whole Truth, So Help Us God

Kim Guadagno, our silver-tongued Lieutenant Governor, went before the people on TV yesterday (1/20/14) to deny Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegations that she was guilty of an attempted shake down. The Demosthenes of Trenton looked us in the eye and said the claim that Federal money for rebuilding and fortifying Hoboken was predicated on the mayor’s backing of a development deal for the next Rockefeller-Center-by-the-Hudson was “not only false, but illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all the facts are examined.” She shut down the press conference without allowing any examination of said facts.

Of course, she would deny, Mayor Dawn said in rebuttal. Her Honor predicted the not-guilty-by-denial defense tactic when first exposing last Saturday (1/18/14) the alleged dirty trick played on her city, punishment in the backwash of Hurricane Sandy, a flood of biblical proportion that left Hoboken 50% underwater.

So far the Kim vs. Dawn debate has been totally mesmerizing. I can’t go to bed without my nightly fix of New Jersey politics at its finest. It makes the using of the GWB to turn Fort Lee into a parking lot just another violation of Interstate Commerce law. The way the cable networks are covering it, this story is as big as World War III. Even bigger.

I am keeping a hand-written journal, in case I am some how subpoenaed to testify in this fast-moving crime story which might eventually involve every mayor and citizen all the way to Cape May. But that’s all down the Turnpike.

Where do I stand, or sit, on the issue? Who is telling the truth?

I have been trying to be as objective as Fox News, as I keep my eye peeled to MSNBC, the cable news network of record on this story.

By night, Christie and his henchpeople are once again guilty as charged by chief prosecutor Rachel Maddow. Acting also as the judge and jury, she has been rubbing her hands in glee, happy as a kid playing in mud.

But she is a serious, deliberative thoughtful member of the cable TV news bench compared to the frenzied assistant prosecutor, Steve Kornacki, who hauled in the big fish, Mayor Zimmer, last Saturday morning.

Not only are the alleged culprits guilty as charged on MSNBC but the governor and his gang that can’t lie straight should all be sent to Gitmo.

By morning, there is Joe Scarborough on my favorite informative political science show. What are we getting so upset about, if I can paraphrase his argument on “Morning Joe”? All of this is Politics 101. If she thought she was the victim of a shakedown, why didn’t she go to the U.S. Attorney? You say, “If you don’t retract that, I’m going to the U.S. attorney.” That’ s what Joe always did as a member of House of Representatives. For evidence, she had writing in her diary? “Give me a break!” Congressman Joe suggested.

Some people argue Joe is guilty of explaining too many things in his mega hour stint on “Morning Joe” through the context of his serving time in the House. “Would they prefer I use the context of my being a high school football coach?”

Who are we, the poor people in the TV audience, supposed to believe?

The crusading mayor of a city that for a time was the Venice of New Jersey? And who may yet get her own TV docudrama about her life as a reformer in a city where her two predecessors were indicted and served jail time.

Or anyone associated with the clean as a shark’s tooth Christie administration, whose leader seems to be humming “Hail to the Chief” preparing for his inaugural in 2017, when he should be minding the store.

It occurred to me it might be helpful if cable network news had a panel of experts weighing the case as they make it. MSNBC, for one, already runs a commentary by social media scholars in twitter posts at bottom of the screen.

I would prefer a decision rendered by a more impartial jury composed of former New Jersey mayors, city council members, and other elected officials who have been indicted or served time for being bribed by developers, and willing to do community service by exercising their learned opinions. A jury of their peers, so to speak. New Jersey has a long list of eligibles for such a jury pool.

Meanwhile, as the Hoboken case plays out, and we wonder what’s next, I will continue to hold my breath or nose. New Jersey is not known as the garbage state, I mean, garden, for nothing.


Marvin Kitman
Jan. 21, 2014

Marvin Kitman is the author of “The Making of the Preƒident 1789.” “George Washington’s Expense Account” by Gen. George Washington and Marvin Kitman PFC (Ret.) was the best-selling expense account in publishing history.