Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Democratic Party Chairman Rejects 'False' Ruling

New Jersey Democratic Party Chairman John Wisniewski criticized our recent ruling in a letter to the editor
New Jersey Democratic Party Chairman John Wisniewski criticized our recent ruling in a letter to the editor

On the night of Nov. 8, Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski was surely in a celebratory mood.

His party had just retained control of the state Legislature against the advances of Republicans led by Gov. Chris Christie.

But less than two days later, Wisniewski was not pleased with what he saw in The Star-Ledger: a PolitiFact New Jersey story giving him a False for claiming Christie is to remain the only governor from either party since World War II whose party did not win control of at least one legislative body during his or her tenure.

The chairman of the state Democratic Party, Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) wrote a letter to the editor, which was published today, expressing his "vehement exception" to our ruling.

"Your harsh judgment of 'False' misleads your readers. It implies my statement was a lie, which it was not," Wisniewski wrote. "Worse yet, it fails to meet the same standards by which you are judging others."

You can read Wisniewski's entire letter here.

Our fact-check centered on a statement made by Wisniewski in a Nov. 7 memo to his fellow Democrats. In that memo, Wisniewski claimed Christie "remains the only Governor since World War II, among both Democrats and Republicans, who failed to have his party win control of at least one legislative body over the course of his term."

As Wisniewski points out in his letter, that statement was made in regard to the prospective results of the recent election.

That statement was made on page 2 of the memo found here.

However, PolitiFact New Jersey stands by the original ruling. As we indicated in the original story, Wisniewski's statement is misleading and premature, because it compares "a governor only midway through his first term with governors who served up to eight years in office."

What do you think of Wisniewski's argument? Join the conversation at NJ.com and tell us what you think.