By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
What’s in the water up there, Save Jerseyans?
Something more than lead, I suspect.
In case you missed it, Mayor Ras Baraka took a shot at Governor Chris Christie today as fears mounted over lead-contaminated water in dozens of New Jersey schools.
“You see what the governor is allowing to happen in Atlantic City,” Baraka said in an interview with NJ.com. “The lead in the schools, we’re dealing with it. The city is dealing with the lead in the schools. Nobody else is really dealing with it.”
The Christie Administration responded with characteristic forcefulness to what they view as a ‘bizarre blame game.’
“Since the initial hours after the positive test results in some Newark schools were known, all the relevant state agencies have been fully engaged in Newark,” Governor’s Office Press Secretary Brian Murray shot back in a statement later in the afternoon. “The school district, the Department of Education, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the Department of Health are all at work.”
“The Mayor’s continued habit of distorting the truth in an attempt to score cheap political points is beneath the office he holds,” Murray continued, while the press office proceeded to cite examples of DOH and DEP engagement. ” The state bailed him out after he couldn’t get Newark’s streets plowed for his residents this winter, and the state will be there for Newark residents again now.”
Baraka’s comments belie his contradictory remarks from March 9th unless he’s willing to explain what’s changed in the last few weeks.
“I just want to say that the district and the city and the state has been working closely together,” Baraka explained at the time. “The minute we found out what was happening here, we began to, the district was called, we began to reach out and grab water. We stored some of it in Orange Street Schools that were affected, were delivered water right away. The City and OEM helped out with that immediately. The governor weighed in. The DEP, the EPA, weighed in as well.”
What I also haven’t seen: the Mayor taking to task the Newark School Board and political leadership that punted the issue – and rejected federal intervention – back in 2003 when we could’ve gotten a jump start on all of this.
I guess throwing mud at an unpopular Republican is simply too tempting for an ambitious Democrat ahead of the 2017 cycle?