Search the Site
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.
Add to Technorati Favorites

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Our Writers

Francine Graff, MH Columnist


Christine Fugate, MH Creator

Lily Williams, Movie Reviewer

« I kicked the crap out of that cancer b*tch or Happy Mother's Day!!! | Main | TMI or just plain fun? »

Batgate or how my mother fought the Big Boy

“The Governor really went after you,” I said to my mom as she got off the plane from New Jersey to Los Angeles. She sort of looked at me quizzically and said “I guess that’s why I have 30 messages on my voice mail."

I glanced at the Google alert on my phone while stopping my children from going up the down escalator in the Continental terminal. The article read: In a news conference about pension policy Thursday, the New Jersey governor demanded the press go after one of his Democratic critics, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg. Or, as [Governor] Christie put it: "Can you guys please take the bat out on her for once?" 

What? Even on the fifth read it still said, 'Can you guys please take the bat out on her for once?'

The controversy began when my mother, a New Jersey State Senator, answered a question from a reporter about Governor Christie having a double standard in regards to pension reform. The thin skinned Governor does not take well to criticism and strikes hard at anyone who dares to speak ill of him. If either of my children behaved in such a mean manner they would lose the dollars they get for their Wednesday ice cream treats. 

I don’t know if Governor Chris Christie is so mean because he has two first names (why would his parents do that to him?), or because he has unresolved issues with his mother (because she gave him two first names). If he said the same thing on the school yard as he did in a press conference, he would’ve been picked up by the seat of his pants and sent straight to the principal’s office.

While listening to the conversation and procrastinating with her homework, my seven year old daughter wrote an open letter to the Governor asking him to "stop bulieg Eevribati!"(Stop bullying everybody). After my mother posted the letter on her Facebook page, the crowd went wild.

Democrats, women’s groups and Christie haters took the opportunity to pounce on his very poor choice of words. Thanks to the 'Big Boy' as George Bush used to call Governor Christie, my mother spent her first day in Los Angeles being interviewed on several news shows including The Ed Show on MSNBC. Click on the enclosed link to check it out.

Over the past years, much bigger men then 'Big Boy' have tried to take my mother down. Trust me, it won’t happen. She has been my mom for the last 47 years. I know first hand, he will not get the last word.

My mother is an amazing politician, smart as a whip. She began as an activist during the 1960’s. Her political leanings are left of the left. They always have been and always will be. Whether you love her views or disagree with them, no tough talking playground bully governor will change them.

In this era of hating blaming scamming and misunderstanding politicians, (coupled with short tempered desperate reality television fame seeking Americans, who proudly proclaim…”I don’t vote”), it is more important then ever to be civilized.

For my mom, she views herself as "giving a voice to those who most need one." This is a calling that comes deep in her core. Her short chubby stature and her thick skin give her the ability to not take things personally. I believe this is her key to success. Although I don’t always see eye to eye with her politically or personally, she fights tirelessly. In a weird I-can-treat-you-like-one-of-the-boys-way, it was kind of a compliment that the governor thought she should be “batted around”. He knows as well as I do that she can take it. 

As politicans go, I would say my mother is probably a C+ celebrity. Maybe even a B-. She has campaigned with Presidents (present and former), Senators, and big time Union Leaders. Regardless of my celebrity grading, she, like many celebrities, maintains both a public and private persona. What the Big Boy Bully didn't get to see, and the true inspiration for Shayna's letter, was how upset she was by Governor Christie's comment after his bat remark.

My mother, along with the rest of our family, lost her life savings in the Bernard Madoff scandal. Losing her life savings was one of the reasons that my mother, at age 75, finally began collecting her pension. She could have started collecting it 15 years prior to that. Governor-two-first-names, in his press conference rant, accused my mother of "hiding behind Bernie Madoff".  

My mother has been a role model for many women over her long and distinguished career. To me she has been just a mom. One of those detached housewives of the 1960's who discovered work as an escape from the exhausting grind of childrearing.

My take on motherhood came equipped with a military helicopter protecting my two little targets from anything taking aim to harm them. My mother has always had the ability to quiet the hovercraft from within me. She also taught me to let go and laugh at life's curve balls, including when our family got thrown a foul ball by Mr. Madoff. She showed the rest of us that we were not to be victims and that this financial tragedy would not "define the rest of our lives." Put that in your "to be collected pension" Mr. Governor and smoke it.

My mother starts packing her bags after a two week respite from politics. In Los Angeles her main duties are folding laundry and heading to Target. My daughter starts to cry. She doesn't want Grandma to leave. My mom, always torn sits down next to Shayna and tells her she is going back to NJ to make sure the Governor doesn't bully anyone else. 

Back in NJ, my mom and I comment back and forth on her Facebook page. One of her colleagues sees this and writes:

"how folks forget that in the midst of public bantering...there are children of these officials who witness the back and forth and hurt inside." To Francine, your Mom is so loved and respected here on the East Coast. We love her and appreciate her service to the people."

I am struck when someone understands the sacrifice that families make when their loved one (especially a mom) leads a political life. Like another sibling, politics takes a lot of attention.

For Governor Christie's inappropriate behavior at the press conference, I look to Supernanny Jo Frost. A 48 minute time out (for a 48 year old man). He will need to apologize for his bad behavior. So far he has defiantly refused. Although there is buzz about his presidential run, it looks like he will be sitting in his time out chair far past the 2012 elections. My mother might add to the punishment by making him write “I will act mature and treat people with respect” one hundred times. 




References (61)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: navigate here
    Very good page, Stick to the very good work. Thank you so much!
  • Response
    How can I get Firefox 3 to stop logging me out everytime I close the browser?
  • Response
    Response: free iva help
    Hi,. . I want to know can I use content from websites like Microsoft or apple or similar to write technical articles or is it violation of copyright law?. . Thank you.
  • Response
    Response: company debt
    I am looking to start my own blog, but I want to make sure it is on a popular site where people will read it. I plan on discussing sports, video games and whatever else is interesting at the time. What are the best/most popular sites to blog on?.
  • Response
    Response: white hat
    What is the top blogging site in the United States?
  • Response
    Response: marketing company
    What is the best short or from home creative writing course available in London?
  • Response
    Response: seo firm
    Hi. I have a blog which i installed wordpress. So far so good. Except that wordpress stats shows me the visits and i want it to show how many visitors visited my blog. Can anyone help me? Thanks a lot..
  • Response
    Response: precious metals
    How do I configure my computer to be able to act as a server (host) for my second computer using crossover?
  • Response
    Response: website marketing
    I don't see a prompt or indication about how to start writing a blog. I want to know how to initiate one. Thank you..
  • Response
    I have heard that you can make money from blogging, but i really don't understand the concept. How do you make the money? How much can you make? Is it hard? Is it easy? Is it time consuming? Is it worth it? If you could answer that would be great, thanks.. ...
  • Response
    What is the easiest way to make money off of my blog posts?
  • Response
    How does blogging/setting up a blog help a small to meduim size business grow?
  • Response
    Response: diseases
    How can you tell if a video has copyright content or not?.
  • Response
    Response: american bullion
    How to add your blogspot address to google web search?
  • Response
    I use a micro SD card between my laptop and netbook as an external hardrive for my class files. I often download files on one computer or the other without the drive in that computer. Is it possible to set my computer up so that when I insert my drive my ...
  • Response
    Response: click this site
    If I start a blog on Myspace, will it get listed in search engines like Google? If so, is there a way to keep them from being crawled?. . Thank you.
  • Response
    Response: click here!
    Do adsense people mind if I publish articles whcih are not copyrighted?
  • Response
    on fire fox,. how do you get to your favorites???. =/. haha im dumb.
  • Response
    Response: Roofer Dublin
    I want to create a blog that has a creative layout like what you find on MySpace, but with more traffic. I'm not a fan of the Blogger site. . . Any suggestions?.
  • Response
    Response: cool training
    I have a printer hooked up to the computer in my room. My daughter has a computer in her room and no printer. How can she do her homework on her computer, but have it print out on the printer in my room? Do I need the internet on one computer ...
  • Response
    How to transfer my blog from blogspot to paid hosting?
  • Response
    So how can I delete an activity from my blogspot profile? Thanks <3. So I just followed another persons blog and then I clicked on my profile from the list of her followers and I want to delete one of my activities from there but I don't see a delete button? ...
  • Response
    Response: this post
    What are the best websites and blogs dedicated to reading and literature?
  • Response
    Response: why not look here
    How do I start a blog under a pen-name and maintain my anonymity. How do you then get regular readers?
  • Response
    And I HAVE read wordpress support page. Just want to know, if my files over 3GB will be deleted if I will not extend my upgrade for another 12 months..
  • Response
    Hi!. I would like to have an online store using blogger and paypal. Any ideas how to do it? Could you please give me step by step instructions? I appreciate it. Thanks!.
  • Response
    Response: more info
    I have a website I will be updating a few times a week with original animations and short films along with concept art for the animations and other kinds of media. How can I copyright everything on my site so that the copyright info I have on the bottom of every ...
  • Response
    i want to be able to do that kind of work with computers, but they don't necessarily pay that well (40k a yr). Are there any other computer careers that involve repair work, ect. that pay at least 10k higher yearly? Thanks!. thanks anyway ppl i got some information from my ...
  • Response
    Response: try what he says
    Firefox / internet does not work but internet connection is excellent?
  • Response
    I have a wordpress blog now, but I can't figure out how to get readers into there! I have been using myspace and it's been great, subscriptions like crazy, but a lot of them don't have no leads there. Besides, I am posting the same info to both, so it's ...
  • Response
    What are the best websites and blogs dedicated to reading and literature?
  • Response
    How come I get this ? when using Firefox and when I am using Internet Explorer shows what I am supposed to get, (Wed) ,as the text. If you cannot see what I put down it is a small box with the numbers 26 and 20 inside of it.. Is there ...
  • Response
    I wonder why those servers with copyrighted content stay up. I see a lot of "don't post any US content" but they don't care at all about content from japan.. . Is it just that Japan doesn't care much about their copyright laws?. . It is hundreds or maybe even thousands ...
  • Response
    Response: this guy
    I've seen other bloggers have more than one image per post, but the templates blogspot only allows one image per post. Does anyone know the .html or is there something else I have to do to get multiple images?.
  • Response
    Response: online
    I'd see all kinds of ads about blogging on the Internet to earn money, but don't know of anybody that has actually made any money this way. I'd love to hear from anybody who has..
  • Response
    How does a computer virus getting formed?. I have a lot of computer viruses lately but thanks to Norton Anti-virus and Malwarebytes Anti-malware my computer is 100% secure. But how does a computer virus formed? Do people actually make it and they spread it throughout the internet?. . Please tell me ...
  • Response
    Response: see it here
    I have an essay in Microsoft Word format which I want to copy/paste into my blogspot blog. But every time I do this, I get error messages from blogspot about all the weird Word coding, and then it comes out looking all crazy format-wise. How can I strip the text of ...
  • Response
    I have Joomla and a Joomla template(rt_refraction_j15) installed on my website. But i want the same template and css styling, as a basic HTML template, so i don't have to use Joomla for editing. Is there an easy way to convert the template to basic HTML/CSS template?.
  • Response
    Response: visit
    How can I create a Wordpress Theme without installing Wordpress on my computer?
  • Response
    Response: read full report
    Hi to all,. . Need tool for checking content copyright.
  • Response
    I wanna write stuuf like journals or bloggs, but not saying who I really am. Is there any website where I can do this? Websites for blogging or writing journals and get to post them online?.
  • Response
    Response: great site
    Im based in London have worked as a secretary for more than 10 years and have an HND in Business Studies but am tired of admin work and office politics and would like to do something more creative- change careers.. . I write in my spare time and have attended an ...
  • Response
    My goal here is to link the wordpress blog entries to a frame in a personal site. So I want only the blog entries to appear, but none of the menu bars or other things associated with wordpress only what was posted. I know wordpress is done in PHP so i ...
  • Response
    How to transfer my blog from blogspot to paid hosting?
  • Response
    Thing is, I've just migrated to Wordpress. However, I have a number of people who have subscribed to my feeds from my blogger blog. What should I do to ensure that they now receive updates from my Wordpress blog? . . FYI, I have a feedburner account..
  • Response
    Response: view website
    I have not read too many good things about Webfetti - mainly people wanting to remove it from their computers, so I'm looking for alternatives that I do not need to install.. Do you have web-sites where I can copy codes from to change the layout of my blogspot blog? The ...
  • Response
    How to configure joomla that can retrieve the data from mysql?
  • Response
    Response: on front page
    I know that there are probably millions of bloggers out there. I also know that there a small percentage of them make money from blogging. Does anyone out there do this, (make money from blogging) and how do they do it?.
  • Response
    Response: term insurance
    How to apply a wordpress theme downloaded from other websites?
  • Response
    Response: this site
    How to upload a template that was made in dreamweaver to my joomla site?
  • Response
    Creative writing copywright: How to protect work when submitting to potential publishers or literary agents?
  • Response
    okay so i downloaded firefox. i've been using firefox for a while, and all a sudden when i x'ed out my firefox and opened it again it wont go to websites, it wont even say page not displayed. it will just be blank. so i unstalled it and re stalled it ...
  • Response
    Response: accelerate bonus
    I want to start a blog. How do I get free web site traffic?
  • Response
    I just figured out that my computer has this kind of trojan. I was running pretty much all of the Anti-virus things my computer has. The main one says there is nothing there and my Windows defender says I have two trojans so I'm not sure what to do. I'm thinking ...
  • Response
    Mothering Heights - FW Columns - Batgate or how my mother fought the Big Boy
  • Response
    Response: social media types
    I just downloaded Mozilla firefox, how do i make it so my opening page is bebo? I know its possible i just can't remember how. I mean so that when you open firefox its not google its bebo, if yous get what i mean?.
  • Response
    Response: car insurance
    I never installed any copyright stuff online/offline. I know what i did or not. i just want to remove this warning from my computer but don't know how. can anyone help me??.
  • Response
    Response: bonuses
    where is the best site to do a blog,blog tips be grateful. thanks for help. sam i tried get your blog but seems no thread,check it out.
  • Response
    Whenever I open firefox, it instantly crashes. I've tried opening it in safe mode and still it doesn't work. I even tried changing my homepage. When my friends give me a link in my msn messenger, it opens up firefox and it works fine, I'm able to browse the internet normally. ...
  • Response
    I have been blogging since last month, my blog was indexed already in google but during the test i conducted, i search for a certain keyword related on my blog but it only shows the blog title and it directs me to the homepage not on the actual post. Need help!!!. ...
  • Response
    so basically, i want to down;oad one of those programs that makes ur mouse pointer cool, but i don't want it to screw up my computer.. . what's a good one?.

Reader Comments (13)

LOL and cheering for you and your Amazing Mom!
May 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Lardizabal
Tough and "thick skinned" as I'm supposed to be, my children and my very awesome grandchildren can always cause tears to come to me. You did so again, my beautiful and awesome daughter. I balance this between just finding out that Danny's (that's my son) dog killed Ally's (that's the new 'love of his life") rabbit. So if their relationship survives that, it will be a real test! Another example of how we can sometimes laugh at life's most troublesome moments. I love you.
May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterI'm the Mom
Your mother is an amazing woman (but I don't have to tell you that), and I hope she runs for governor in 2013.
May 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdeciminyan
Well done, Miss Francine! You and many young women, and some of us older ones, have greatly benefitted from her using her voice on our behalf. Nice to see she has raised an activist or two herself.
May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Lustgarten
Your mom has been the hero of those of us who try to deliver quality health care every single day. As the Senate Chair of the Health Committee, she "gets it" and takes on the tough issues that so many would rather avoid. She is responsible for laws to allow mothers the care they need when they deliver their children and the safety standards for those who are pressured to do more with less. Francine - your mother is the epitome of competency, compassion and intelligence.
May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Twomey
Your mother, Senator Weinberg from New Jersey is one of the best! She works hard for all of us here in New Jersey, especially women! Loved reading this. Thanks! And without a doubt she will continue against this and other words thrown out carelessly by our current Governor. I loved working with her during my time in Governor Corzine's office.
May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber
It was fun reading your summary of "bat-ling" between Christie and your mom. The more this incident is described far and wide - the better for us all. It might keep Christie off the Presidential path. It adds to the "bully" description of this Governor.
May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi
Francine, it's so ironic...I feel your pain as I have felt my children's pain when folks went after their I am the colleague who wrote those words because when I read or hear awful words said against public matter who they are...I think of their kids, spouses/partners, siblings, grands, etc. etc. Senator Weinberg has done so very much for so many of constituencies...she's tireless and more compassionate than the average person in public office. Jeannine
Ah, Francine, even if I didn't have the utmost admiration and respect for your wonderful mother, I would still see you as a soul mate. You are the first person I've heard to address the first thing that occurred to me, when I became aware of the man who is now, unfortunately the governor of my state. He has the same first and last name!

Ever since then, I've been looking for someone to agree with me, that this is troubling. I hadn't thought about him being annoyed by it. I just kept asking "What kind of people give their kid the same first and last name? That's something you'd hear on Hee Haw, or The Beverly Hillbillies."

Of course, it has turned out that his name is his least objectionable feature. You've hit the nail on the head exactly about saying that his behavior would be viewed in a much different light if he did his bullying on a playground rather than the State House.

I think he'd gone way too far the moment when he began publicly undermining children's confidence in their teachers by loudly and vociferously bad mouthing them, at every opportunity, in public forums. He even went so far as to tell a group of local school children that they were short on supplies in their school because their teachers were greedy and selfish. That was despicable. These children don't have the same option of the reputed $30,000 a year private high school Christie's daughter attends. These children are depending on their local schools.

How can a child learn from his teachers, or believe they are worthy of respect, when he continues to hear the governor of the state tell him otherwise? I don't hear enough mentioned about the fact that his comments are likely responsible for more damage to the state education system than could be inflicted by even the most incompetent teacher. And Mr. Christie's beliefs to the contrary, such teachers are really few and far between.

If there is one bright side to his comments about your mother, it is that they may just what turns the tide of public opinion against this man I've heard called a "Republican Rock Star." Saying what he did about your mother seemed to be the point at which nearly everyone decided he'd gone too far. Even the local Asbury Park Press ran an editorial to this effect.

I adored your daughter's letter to him. Out of the mouths (or pens) of babes!

Hopefully this will mark the end of his reign as NJ bully,and mark the beginning of his permanent assignment to the timeout chair. If Rolling Stone magazine still exists these days, I might suggest he be allowed to grace its cover. I suspect, however, that by the standards of today's rock stars, a man who urges taking a bat to a woman might just be considered a little too uncouth.
May 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen O'Neill
well said fif ..well written and focused ...interesting to read 2 thumbs up Bob
May 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdan weinbeg
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Francine. Your Mother is a wonderful example of a modern woman trying to balance it all. She has worked tirelessly for her constituency and at the end of the day enjoys the blessings of her family. The Governor didn*t know what he was up against trying to put a bat to your mom...she*s got honesty and integrity on her side.
May 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlaura gould
Thank you everyone for your wonderful and insightful comments. Stay tuned for the next chapter.
May 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrancine Graff
-<a href="">Casio Swiss watch replicas</a>
Love is like a butterfly. It goes where it pleases and it pleases where it goes.
August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandra F. Sutton

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.