WINNERS/LOSERS

September 24. 2012 3:00AM


Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.

FACE TIME: BATTERED
Not a good week for the governor: His administration's full-court press on Roche failed to keep its research operations here; tax collections are off the mark, putting his income tax cut at risk; and the unemployment rate is now just a shade under 10 percent. When's the next YouTube video due out?

Manhattan – WINNER
Just a few years ago, the state's economic growth czar described New Jersey's courtship of New York companies as "back(ing) the Brink's truck up to them." Imagine how those words taste after the decision that Roche was taking its lucrative research center across the Hudson after a prolonged incentive battle with New Jersey.

Newark – LOSER
We won't take sides in the millionaires vs. billionaires labor war that's locked out another NHL season. Instead, we'll point out that with the Devils' arena dark — remember, the Nets are gone, too — there will be few reasons for bars, restaurants, parking lots and rank-and-file arena employees to pack in crowds of fans.

Democrats – WINNER
The increasingly cowed party is finding its spinal cord after years of being trampled by the governor. The weak revenue picture and body blows from credit agencies are opening up opportunities to pounce on things like the now-taboo "comeback." Expect more of this as speculation heats up on who will represent the party next year.

Commuters – LOSER
An audit of the Port Authority, released last week, found the whopping toll hikes ordered by the bistate agency are very necessary to fix its woebegone facilities. The only positive is the report urged the agency to work in partnership with businesses, which might get bloated projects like One World Trade Center completed.

Retailers – WINNER
Shopkeepers and other employers of low-wage workers can take some heart that a much-threatened effort in Trenton to raise the minimum wage seems to have hit a stumbling block, with the houses of the Legislature disagreeing on how to pursue this. With consumer confidence flagging, that must be a source of relief to retailers.

Trump Plaza – LOSER
It had the most popular beach bar in Atlantic City, but the casino is pulling in the deck chairs for good, saying it won't be able to compete with the nonunion competitors expected at Revel and Margaritaville. A shame to see it give up the beach — the one asset out-of-state casinos can't duplicate.


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