POLITICS is a cut-throat business. That was reinforced last week in New Jersey.
The political scene reared its ugly head in the Garden State. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie was forced into an apologetic mode after the revelation that one of his top aides was one of the major players in a bogus traffic study. The so-called study brought traffic to a screeching halt on one of the busiest bridges in the U.S.
Christie had denied any involvement by his administration in the controversy. His rhetoric rang hollow, however, after the disclosure that his deputy chief of staff had a big hand in the collusion. It was staged as retribution for a Democratic New Jersey mayor failing to support Christie's re-election bid.
Christie subsequently fired his staffer and held a press conference which lasted two hours and featured some two-dozen Christie apologies.
Ironically, many Republicans take delight in the governor's problems. He is seen as one of the leading GOP candidates to replace President Obama in the White House. However, many in the Republican Party have little use for Christie for his close working ties with Obama.
I am a big Chris Christie fan. I would have no problems if he becomes our next president, as he is a straight shooter, shaker and mover and is willing to work with the opposing party. If he does become president, he may be able to break down some of the political partisanship which paralyzes progress.
I don't believe Christie was involved in the scheme, nor do I think it will have any long-lasting damage to his political career, unless his own party sabotages him.
OHIO STATE football fans had a bitter pill to swallow with the way the season ended. Losing to Michigan State in the Big 10 championship game was tough enough. Taking a two-game losing streak into 2014 was not on any Scarlet & Gray radar. You can bet Urban Meyer will be working overtime to get the Buckeyes into the national four-team playoffs this coming season.
THE BELLAIRE Area Chamber of Commerce is still selling its historic calendars for 2014. The price is $10 each and are full of old pictures of Bellaire. They may be purchased at the Bellaire Area Chamber Office located at 3287 Belmont St., next door to Rigas Restaurant or at the mayor's office. For more information, call 740-676-9723 or 740-676-4817.
KUDOS TO Kim Clifford. The St. Clairsville High boys' hoop boss reached a coveted milestone in his profession last week, recording his 400th varsity triumph. The Bellaire High product pocketed each one of those 400 with class and professionalism, the same way he handles losses. You won't find any of his peers who say an ill word about Kim. We hope he sticks around to garner 500 wins.
JERRY SANDUSKY is seeking to have his Penn State pension reinstated. After being convicted of heinous child sex crimes, that is a ridiculous request by the former Nittany Lions' defensive coordinator. He was due to receive $4,900 per month.
THE DEEP freeze which iced the Ohio Valley Monday night through Wednesday morning was felt throughout the nation. On Tuesday, ALL 50 states were at or below freezing temperatures.
THE NEXT Bellaire Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon/meeting will be held Thursday at noon in the Community Room of Bellaire Public Library, 330 32nd St. The cost of the luncheon is $7. There is no charge to attend the meeting. Ryan Manfre from Red Fynn Technologies (merchant services) will be our guest speaker. All local business owners and their employees are invited to attend. Please make your reservation by Tuesday by calling the chamber office 740-676-9723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE NATIONAL coal report released last week continues to frustrate me. It says coal will see a small spike in production this year, but mostly in Western states. Then in 2015, the coal industry we see a decline. I know I am coal-biased, my dad was a miner, but coal should be the driving force in this nation. China and other Asian nations cannot get enough of coal, but our nation's braintrust handcuffs it. I have said repeatedly, until the U.S. relies on coal for its energy foundation, we will be an underachieving nation.
Kapral may be reached at email@example.com