Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.
Face Time: Steamed
Christie came out swinging after the latest revenue data showed another off month for New Jersey collections. Now, he's vetoed a perfectly good bill because he wants a $10,000 penalty for anyone who leaks the bad news in advance. If only this kind of energy went into an actual comeback.
Builders – WINNER
The latest extension to the Permit Extension Act is great news for builders who have approved projects, but not the money to actually get them off the blueprints and into the ground. Now, they have through 2014 to hope some kind of real estate recovery actually takes place.
Valley, Englewood hospitals – LOSER
Actually, make that "sore losers." The Bergen hospitals went back to court last week in their latest desperate attempt to keep the old Pascack Valley hospital from reopening. Maybe the panel of judges can issue its ruling on a medical chart, since neither hospital is able to read the writing on the wall.
Tucker Development Corp. – WINNER
The company opened the doors on downtown Newark's first hotel project in some 40 years last week. It's a huge win for the city, though it's an inauspicious time to open — the Prudential Center, which could have helped book rooms, remains dark following the NHL labor stoppage and departure of the Nets.
Port Authority – LOSER
Fearful of a bond rating downgrade, the bistate agency raised tolls on bridges and tunnels to support the bloated One World Trade Center tower. But it didn't work — Moody's downgraded the rating last week, potentially adding millions in borrowing costs for the agency as it works to shore up its infrastructure.
Rail riders – WINNER
Successful high-speed rail tests on the Northeast Corridor line in New Jersey could mean faster service for passengers on the antiquated line. The prospect of a faster ride could translate into more transit-friendly development, which would be huge for builders. Now when will Acela move as fast as its Asian counterparts?
Steve Sweeney – LOSER
Trenton's most outspoken cheesehead tried to to drum up support for a bill to block replacement refs from working NFL games in New Jersey. It's true that poor officiating is made the NFL a laughingstock, but the "scabs," as he called them, only bolstered the case of locked-out refs by showing how valuable they really are.