Gov. Chris Christies statewide gambling/entertainment plan has triggered the old north-versus-south battle, with northern New Jersey lawmakers wanting slots in the Meadowlands and southern New Jersey lawmakers staunchly opposed, preferring Christie's approach to making Atlantic City a premiere destination resort.
So it probably came as no surprise to anyone this morning that The Press of Atlantic City ran an editorial supportive of the governor's plan.
Still, the common sense of the plan wasn't lost on editorial boards at newpapers up north. http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page/2010/07/a_bold_and_sensible_plan_for_a.html" target="_blank">The Star-Ledger of Newark gave it a hearty endorsement, and the http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/editorials/98993789_Jersey_jackpot.html" target="_blank">The Record of Bergen County offers more cautious support. Also in the Record, http://www.northjersey.com/news/politics/political_stile/98993769_Political_power_flies_south_this_summer.html" target="_blank">Charlie Stiles column is worth reading for its take on South Jersey's newfound political clout with the ascendency of Senate President Steve Sweeney.
The Record editorial made a point of saying the report language was carefully worded to indicate support for gambling in the Meadowlands once Atlantic City is on firmer competitive ground. That's true. Atlantic City has some momentum going now, and - if the plan doesn't get bogged down in the Legislature - it has a window of opportunity. But that window could quickly close.