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Winners/Losers

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

FACE TIME: SLAM DUNKIN’
For Christie, an appearance on Dave Letterman’s show was the perfect time to make the doughnuts, as he produced a pastry early in his appearance, served up some of the favorite fat jokes the host has dished over the years, and generally distracted everyone from the woebegone economy.

Jeff Brindle – WINNER
ELEC has been trying to tighten lobbying legislation for years, but only now, with the AshBritt controversy gaining momentum, does he have Democrats on board. As Christie said last week, measures to do so died in the Legislature early in the governor’s term.

Bob Menendez – LOSER
True, ethics in New Jersey are like a foreign language elsewhere, but the current scandal in which Menendez is ensnared isn’t why he got the foreign relations chair. How will he be effective in such a high-profile role with those accusations looming large?

Parkway drivers – WINNER
How do you convince tourists the Shore is open for business again? We’re not sure what the answer is, but removing the traffic lights on the Parkway’s southern tip is a start. Visitors may mistakenly think the boardwalks all washed away, but they can reach the beach 10 minutes faster.

James Holzapfel – LOSER
Here’s one Republican who’s not comfortable turning right. The Toms River senator wants to prevent construction of future jughandles in favor of left-turn lanes. If that passes, we propose calling those left-turn lanes “sardine cans.” And seriously: This is a legislative priority right now?

Andrew Cuomo – WINNER
The governor’s rebuilding plan is about as far from Christie’s as you can get — he wants to give the coast back to Mother Nature, rather than rebuilding it like a sandcastle after high tide. We’re giving him a ‘W’ not necessarily because he’s right, but because he’s got guts.

Atlantic City – LOSER
Recognizing it as both an opportunity and a threat to its most lucrative — well, only — commodity, Nevada is moving to help companies break into online gambling. Finally, after years of dithering, New Jersey is approving online gaming. Is it too little, too late?

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