After being lambasted for putting out a completely untrue story regarding the disparity in salaries between the Christie administration and the Corzine administration, the Associated Press has admitted their error. Below is the AP’s correction on this story:
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – In an April 19 story about Gov. Chris Christie’s payroll, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he is spending nearly $2 million more on salaries a year than did his predecessor, former Gov. Jon Corzine.
Treasury Department figures show the correct higher amount is about $440,000.
Because the AP had incomplete figures for all those on Corzine’s payroll – some were paid by other departments but still worked for the governor – the AP also erroneously reported that twice as many people in Christie’s office earn $100,000 or more than they did in Corzine’s.
Treasury figures show 34 people making $100,000 or more in Christie’s office, compared with 24 for Corzine in April 2009.
Corzine had a payroll of $8.43 million for 118 people, not $7 million, according to Treasury figures. Christie has 117 employees, including himself, with a payroll of $8.86 million per year. Unlike his multimillionaire predecessor, Christie collects the $175,000 salary allowed under the law.
Based on those payroll figures, the average annual salary for Corzine staff in April 2009 was $71,440; the average under Christie is $75,726.
Contrary to what most folks might believe, the story here isn’t the disparity between the administrations and their salaries. No. The story here is that the Associated Press didn’t do any of their homework in publishing the initial story. And for New Jerseyans, the larger story here is uncovering even more of the half-truths from the Corzine administration. Here’s a guy who had no connection to the average New Jerseyan and was thrown out of office a few months ago. Yet, as time goes by and our state takes the common sense approach to balancing our budget, we are still uncovering the type of “politics” garbage that we all hated about Corzine and his crew.
Come on – how could the Corzine administration legitimately not have included these “mobility” (i.e. de facto) Governor’s office members in their original figures? That’s why Corzine isn’t Governor any more – New Jersey doesn’t want the double talk or the double speak any more.
And can someone at the Associated Press please learn a lesson from this story? How hard would it have been to look at the data behind the information submitted by the Corzine administration versus the information submitted by the Christie administration? Any high school student can master that level of “research” yet the public shouldn’t expect this from the Associated Press? Unacceptable.