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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) no longer cares about making sense.

He hit the absurdist stage of what seems to be his Nixonian demise on Friday evening, after a letter from the lawyer for former associate David Wildstein said the governor knew about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening became public.

Christie’s office issued a statement that said the letter confirmed what the governor had previously said — though he clearly had insisted that he wasn’t aware of the “traffic study” until “after the whole thing was over.” The governor then attended Howard Stern’s birthday party, where he was cheered, and a Super Bowl ceremony in Times Square, where he was booed.

Those public appearances were followed by an email to Politico in which Christie’s office went after David Wildstein, noting “risible juvenilia” — including the former blogger being “publicly accused by his high-school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.” It went on to describe Christie’s long-time associate as a “contentious” “political animal” who “frightened people.”

You may wonder, then, why the governor hired Wildstein to be his “eyes, ears” inside the Port Authority, as one of the linked articles in the email notes — except that being a “contentious” “political animal” who “frightened people” is kind of how Chris Christie became a frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

Remember: Wildstein is a guy Christie referred to as “a tireless advocate for New Jersey’s interests at the Port Authority” — less than seven weeks ago.

Christie must crush his former associate now because his political future depends on maintaining the stance that he had “no involvement, knowledge or understanding of the real motives behind David Wildstein’s scheme to close the lanes on the George Washington Bridge,” at least until emails damning his staff were released on January 10. Obviously the governor assumes his ex-pal may testify otherwise.

But the bridge scandal also cracked a veil of fear that seems to have cloaked an effort by the governor’s office to use aid awarded by Congress for Superstorm Sandy relief as a political piggy bank to help his re-election.

Accusations by Mayor Dawn Zimmer (D-Hoboken) found relief for her city, which was reportedly 80 percent underwater during the storm, held hostage because she resisted developments favored by the governor’s office seem substantiated by new emails. Meanwhile in New Brunswick, a town that suffered little damage but did have a Democratic mayor who endorsed Christie, funds went to build an apartment tower.

“Furthermore, relief funds have been extremely hard to account for because Christie vetoed a bill that would have created a single website to track Sandy funding and contract information,” wrote Brian Murphy, a former intimate of all the key players in the Bridgegate scandal.

Great need went unmet as the relief effort literally became a commercial for the governor’s re-election. This is the scandal that should concern us most.


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  • Bill

    What does it say when he was the best the GOP had to offer? I hope the people wake up and see that the GOP cares nothing about normal people. They cut unemployment, food stamps, aid to schools and their programs all done when the economy is still hurting but they won’t take one cent from the rich. The GOP is quick to tell you this and a lot of people still support them even though they are the ones being hurt by their policies.

    • Patricia Richard

      Obviously the governor assumes his ex-pal may testify otherwise.

    • Dominick Vila

      A personal attribute that seems to fascinate the far right is the behavior and tactics used by some of the people they elect. Christie is far from being the only one who uses the power of his office to carry out vendettas and demonstrate how devoid of principles he is. Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott was the founder and former CEO of Columbia HCA, the company that got the largest fine for fraud in U.S. history…and Republicans elected him by a comfortable majority and are determined to do the same when he runs for re-election in November.

      • rkief

        Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) wrote, ”Peoples and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it”, and Harvard professor George Santayana said, “Those who do not learn or remember the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.” Unfortunately, today’s Republicans know and use these principles, but too many American voters don’t give a damn

    • vmartin65

      Bill: excellent first sentence! Indeed, the GOP is so out of touch with the majority Americans and has made so many enemies and closed up their tent so tightly that they don’t have a chance to regain the presidency. When will they ever learn?

      • Sand_Cat

        Let’s hope not anytime soon.

  • Dominick Vila

    With Christie out of the way, McCain too old to run, Jeb Bush reluctant to run, Ted Cruz eligible to run in his native Canada, Marco Rubio committing political suicide by endorsing immigration reform, Boehner crying, and nuts running rampant to everyone’s amusement, our focus ought to be on the only logical candidate left: Paul Ryan. His plan to dismantle MEDICARE is likely to be an albatross around his neck, but he is the only one standing among a group of losers.

    • sigrid28

      What about Ryan’s evil twin from Wisconsin, Scot Walker, who seems to be game to put his candidacy forward?

      • Dominick Vila

        I expect Scott Walker and Ran Paul to run, but I doubt they will win the GOP nomination. They carry too much baggage and are too controversial for mainstream Americans. In all fairness, so does Paul Ryan. His plan to dismantle MEDICARE scares seniors who are a major and reliable voting block that leans Republican.

  • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

    The descriptions I have heard about Christie is that he is politically savvy politician who carefully chooses the people in his inner circle and knows how to manage them. At the time of the Bridge Lane Closing – Christie was running for re-election with his eye on the big prize in 2016. I would think that this Smart, Savvy Politician would have instructed his staff to keep him advised of everything -good and bad- that happens within New Jersey. The good so he can puff it up and the bad so he can get ahead of it, so I am having a difficult time understanding why his Chief of Staff and Campaign
    Manager at the very least would not have told him on 9/8 thru 9/11 about the traffic jams caused by the lane closures.

    Lets say we buy into that, now he is asking everyone to believe that he never listened to the radio or the news Monday thru Thursday to hear about the traffic jams, or that his wife or his brother did not hear about
    the traffic jams caused by the lane closures and didn’t mention it to him at all. Are we to also believe that his Campaign manager and Chief of Staff did not listen to news coverage for those 4 days, or their families. Apparently the Lt. Gov and her family knew nothing of the traffic jams for 4 days, because if she knew she would of course asked Christie what was going on with the bridge. So no one in Christie’s family or Guadagno’s
    family were never impacted by the traffic, never heard or saw news coverage on the traffic; not on the radio, the television, the newspaper or the internet? Gee what an uninformed Administration and uninformed families.

    Okay so if we buy all that, than when the two from the Port Authority resigned, Christie never asked why they were resigning? Or when he
    fired Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly again he did not ask her any
    questions, like why did she ordered the shut down of the lanes.

    Sorry – something is not right.

    • Grace Dedier

      HHmmm, very important questions to be asked,

    • vmartin65

      this bridgegate is so ridiculous as to be completely unbelievable by any reasonably intelligent person – of COURSE Christie knew about it ahead of time and approved it ahead of time. We really didn’t just fall off the cabbage truck!!

    • rkief

      Just a little hard to believe, isn’t it?

    • plc97477

      I also have a problem with the email that shut the bridge. If anyone got an email saying “time for a traffic jam in fort lee” most of them would have said “what do you mean” not “got it”.

  • FT66

    The more we learn about Christie, the more we find out he is useless not only at the National level but also for being Governor of New Jersey. Why did he veto the bill that would have created a website to monitor/track how the Relief Fund for Sandy could have been used? Is this not Mafia like style? And how come that everyone in his inner circle according to him are hopeless? Why did he surround himself with hopeless people? Does he think that people can take his words without questioning themselves what kind of a leader he is? I hope those who are doing investigations will give us answers to our questions which are really disturbing us.

  • Lovefacts

    Christie’s “excuses,” I mean explanations, strains credulity. He’s the boss. The tenor and flavor of his administration, what’s acceptable and not flows down from him. That he would go so far back as a high school teacher to blacken Weinstein makes Christie look foolish and forces us to believe the negative stories swirling around him. Also, why did he wipe his hard drives? To destroy evidence. Sorry, if anything went via email, he’s SOL. The Patriot Act requires all providers to save “all” emails. They’re still available, every single email sent by anyone connected with Christie or the Port Authority or the developers, etc.

  • howa4x

    Christie’s arrogance got the best of him. He vetoed a number of projects that would help NJ, spent 2.6 million more to put his family in a NJ shore commercial during the election, refused to set up a monitoring system, that was part of a law the NJ legislature passed to oversee Sandy aid distribution, stole 700 billion from the utility surcharge program that was saved to fund sustainable energy projects, vetoed his own 50 caliber gun bill, because the tea party in NH said they wouldn’t vote for him if he signed it, defunded planned parenthood, let 400 million in race to the top education funds go because he didn’t want to deal with the teachers union, and spent 17 million on a special senate election because he didn’t want a big democratic turnout for his election. Between the Tunnel project and the race to the top Christie let 800 million go in federal funding. He has been one of the worst NJ governors.
    I personally don’t think the bridge scandal will bring him down but will wound him. What will bring him down is the Sandy reconstruction. Here is were the diversion of federal funds for political projects far from the destruction will attract the US attorney’s attention. Plus using the aid as a weapon against mayors who refused to endorse him has already started a grand jury investigation. His mismanagement of the recovery is disgraceful.
    Currently 26,000 still are living outside of their primary houses in the destruction zones. My friend who lives there and had his house partly destroyed told me the ineptitude of the people administering the aid was appalling. Every week they changed the documents they wanted and paperwork were being shuffled around from one desk to another and then back to the people for more information.
    FEMA that Rand Paul wants to do away with came in and cut checks in the 1st week. it is the State and the insurance companies that are the slowest. This is what he should be removed from office for.