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Friday, August 27, 2010

Bloom Off the Rose, Christie Sacrifices Schundler

SINCE UPDATED: See this Wednesday 9/1/10 update explaining how Governor Christie and his chief of staff Richard Bagger could have potential exposure under federal criminal statutes, depending on the aggressiveness of Justice Department prosecutors and the egregiousness of official attempts to mislead or lie to the federal government for purposes of securing federal grant money.

Press reports (Star-Ledger, state that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fired state education commissioner Bret Schundler today after Schundler refused to resign.

This is in the wake of the embarrassing revelation that Christie rejected Schundler's negotiated Race to the Top application for federal education funding which correctly and accurately answered a question on funding, with the revised and deliberately evasive answer later losing points that were the margin of loss that cost New Jersey schools some $400 million. The record (see our earlier posts and assorted press links, courtesy of the Star-Ledger) shows Schundler crafted a complete application, only to get sandbagged by Christie (who famously rejected the application negotiated with the teachers' union).

On Wednesday, Christie accepted the blame, then tried to blame the Obama Administration. Then he announced that no one in the education department would get fired, only to sack Schundler today.

The shame here is that Schundler can demonstrate that he did his job properly. Apparently doing your job properly, even if it embarrasses your Governor, puts one's reputation and job in jeopardy under Christie.

This bodes very badly for the future.

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