Slatest PM: Christie's Policy-Themed Damage Control

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 14 2014 4:50 PM

Slatest PM: Christie's Policy-Themed Damage Control

462674383-new-jersey-gov-chris-christie-delivers-the-state-of-the
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers the State of the State Address in the Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse on January 14, 2014 in Trenton

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Mistakes Were Made: Washington Post: "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday vowed in a high-profile speech to take steps to ensure the 'breach of trust' that led to a turbulent political scandal that has rocked his office will not happen again. 'The last week has certainly tested this administration,' Christie said. 'Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve. I know our citizens deserve better. Much better.' Christie made his remarks at the top of his annual State of the State address as questions swirled about a traffic incident involving top aides and appointees. What could have been a plum opportunity to solidify his standing atop the probable 2016 GOP field was instead the latest chapter in an unfolding political drama. The governor pledged to 'cooperate with all appropriate inquiries' to prevent a repeat of the incident. State legislators have intensified their efforts to uncover more information about the matter."

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A Closing Window: Associated Press: "Now, [Christie] is hoping his State of the State address will help him rebound from the apparent political payback scheme that could damage his second term and cut short any ambitions to run for president. The first year of his second term is considered a key building block for his political future. After his November re-election, his advisers suggested he had just a one-year window to stack up accomplishments as a can-do, bipartisan leader before his lame-duck status—and a prospective White House campaign—start to interfere. The recent revelations may have slammed that window shut."

Time to Talk Policy: New York Times: "[Christie] outlined plans to extend the school day, lower taxes for homeowners and reduce urban crime. The level of detail was a marked change from his remarks last year, when he spent two-thirds of his speech recalling the toll that Hurricane Sandy had taken on the state, with tales of individual fortitude largely taking the place of policy initiatives. ... He will continue to focus on improving the state’s education system, a perennial policy goal of the governor. Besides a longer school day, he called for an extended academic year, a proposal whose popularity has grown in urban school districts across the country."

It's Tuesday, January 14th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Today's School Shooting: ABC News: "A middle school student is in custody after opening fire in his gym with a shotgun and critically injuring two teenagers in Roswell, N.M., according to authorities. Law enforcement sources told ABC News there were two victims in the shooting at Berrendo Middle School. The Eastern New Mexico Medical Center confirmed it treated two patients, who were then air lifted to the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, located about 175 miles from the middle school. A spokesperson for UMC said a 14-year-old boy is out of surgery and is listed in critical condition. A 13-year-old girl is also being treated at the hospital and is listed in serious condition, according to the spokesperson. A staff member suffered a minor injury and was not treated. The shooting unfolded shortly after 8 a.m. this morning, according to officials. An official said the boy went into the gym where students congregated before school to get out of the cold."

Ex-Cop Claims Self-Defense in Text Shooting: TBO.com: "An attorney for a retired Tampa police captain said his client was in fear when he fatally shot a man at a movie theater. The attorney said Curtis Reeves Jr. was attacked and hit with an unknown object in a dark theater — popcorn, according to deputies. A judge said that 'doesn’t warrant taking out a gun and firing it at someone’s chest,' and denied bail for Reeves during a first appearance Tuesday afternoon. Reeves, 71, who appeared on a video monitor from the Land O’ Lakes Jail, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson. A confrontation between them started because Reeves wanted Oulson to stop texting during the movie previews, deputies said. One of Reeves’ attorneys, Richard Escobar, said his client was in fear for his life when he shot."

Net Neutrality: Wall Street Journal: "A federal appeals court on Tuesday opened the way for broadband providers to charge content companies for faster speeds, striking down federal rules that had required equal treatment of Internet traffic. The ruling threw into turmoil a top priority of the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration and suggested that if the FCC wanted to revive its rules, it might have to regulate broadband Internet like it has long regulated phone companies. ... The FCC's 'open Internet' rules, often referred to as net-neutrality rules, were passed in 2010 and designed to ensure Internet service providers treated similar content on their broadband pipes equally. Verizon Communications Inc. sued to block the rules, saying the FCC lacked the authority to impose them. On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with Verizon."

Villegas Freed: NBC News: "Texas man imprisoned for half his life for a double homicide that he, witnesses, and hundreds of supporters all maintain he did not commit was freed Tuesday, nearly two decades after he was sent to prison. Daniel Villegas, 37, of El Paso, has been behind bars since 1995, when a jury convicted him of killing two teenagers and sentenced him to a life prison term. His conviction was largely based on a confession that Villegas, just 16 at the time of the 1993 drive-by shooting in northeast El Paso, has said was coerced by detectives. On Tuesday morning, District Court Judge Sam Medrano set bond at $50,000 for Villegas. He was released about an hour after the hearing ended."

Senate (In)Action: Politico: "The Senate blocked two separate proposals to revive emergency unemployment benefits that expired in December, placing the prospects of reviving jobless aid before next week’s recess in serious jeopardy. The chamber voted 52-48 to reject a bill that would have extended benefits through November and pay for it by extending the sequester’s mandatory spending cuts into 2024. A different measure to extend the aid for three months — without a pay-for — was defeated 55-45. Both measures needed 60 votes to advance."

Weigel: A Breathtaking Display of Crony Politics in Wisconsin

That's all for this today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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