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Chris Christie Revenge Bill Pulls Legal Ads From NJ Newspapers

Chris Christie Revenge Bill Pulls Legal Ads From NJ Newspapers

Gold dome of the New Jersey State Capitol Building. (Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 16 December 2016 06:48 AM

Chris Christie's "revenge bill" is what some critics are calling a proposal to end a state requirement that governments, businesses, and individuals publish legal notices in local print newspapers. The new law would move the notices to local websites

The change is being called an attack on the print media for its coverage of the Bridge-gate scandal, reported NJ Advance Media.

The bill, an update from a past proposal, could save government agencies money but the New Jersey Press Association says the bill would damage Garden State newspapers and some question if the bill would save towns anything.

"This legal notices reform bill ... was first proposed in 2010, not 2016," said Christie spokesman Brian Murray, according to WCAU-TV. "It had nothing to do with the press then and nothing to do with them now."

Richard Vezza, publisher of the Newark Star-Ledger, testified back in 2011 when the bill was first proposed that it could cost the state's newspaper industry up to 300 jobs.

Newspapers complained, though, that along with a financial hit, the bill would cost the state in government transparency, said WCAU-TV.

"(It's) foolhardy to believe that making government less accountable is good for anyone aside from government officials," said an editorial in The Record about the proposed bill.

New Jersey State Assemblyman John Wisniewski said the bill is a payback by Christie against the media because of its coverage of the Bridge-gate scandal.

"This is nothing more than a politically motivated crackdown on the press in New Jersey," Wisniewski told NJ Advance Media. "Governor Christie is seeking retribution for the public service New Jersey's newspapers provided with their fair, in-depth reporting during the Bridge-gate scandal. This revenge bill is transactional politics at its worst."

Bridge-gate, the September 2013 lane closures on the Fort Lee, New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, was meant to punish the Democratic mayor of the city who declined to endorse Christie for his 2013 re-election campaign, reported CNN. Christie denied knowing about the lane closures.

A federal jury last month returned guilty verdicts in the case against Christie's former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Kelly and Baroni were convicted of seven counts that included conspiracy and fraud, noted CNN, and the trial put an unflattering light on the Christie administration, possibly damaging the governor's national political ambitions.

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Chris Christie's "revenge bill" is what some critics are calling a proposal to end a state requirement that governments, businesses, and individuals publish legal notices in local print newspapers. The new law would move the notices to local websites
chris christie, revenge, bill, legal ads, newspapers
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2016-48-16
Friday, 16 December 2016 06:48 AM
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