Cris Christie needs a bigger shovel. And a deeper bucket. Team Christie doesn’t seem to understand damage control, as the larger-than-life NJ Governor continues his flippant attitude toward the very real and very damaging scandal that’s rising around his cankles. Famous for his plain talk and outspoken comments that gave him the reputation of being a no-nonsense kind of leader desperately needed in the dying GOP, Christie’s recent handling of the bridge scandal in his office may well spell political doom for the once-favored presidential nominee.
It all started with some stereotypically Jersey petty political back-stabbing. The Christie Crew doesn’t like Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich because the Democratic mayor didn’t endorse Christie in the last campaign. So they decided it was payback time. Now, the mafia proper would’ve just stuck a dead horse’s head in Sokolich’s bed. But instead, one of Christie’s top aides decided to tie up traffic on a the George Washington bridge, so everyone gets to suffer! Here’s a sample of the email exchange that burned Christie’s political bridge:
Citizens missed work, kids missed school, ambulances couldn’t pass. Isn’t this fun!? This is how the Washington Post explained it:
Democrats have accused Christie and his Port Authority appointees of closing access lanes from Fort Lee, N.J., to the heavily trafficked George Washington Bridge for several days in September as retribution for Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich not endorsing Christie’s 2013 reelection campaign. The closures created severe traffic problems.
Christie has said he didn’t believe his office wasn’t involved in the closures. But text messages and e-mails show Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, sent an e-mail to top Port Authority official David Wildstein that said: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
Wildstein responded to Kelly’s e-mail: “Got it.”
The Christie administration has said the lane closures were part of a study to see whether bridge traffic flowed better with the access lanes closed. It has said the study was conducted solely by the Port Authority. Christie himself has said the situation is “not that big a deal.”
The e-mails were first reported by the Bergen Record. The George Washington Bridge is the most heavily trafficked bridge in the world.
Kelly’s e-mail, from her personal account to Wildstein’s personal account, is dated Aug. 13. The lane closures started Sept. 9.
In the intervening period, Kelly and Wildstein continued to exchange e-mails about Fort Lee. On Sept. 6, Wildstein told Kelly that they were “ready to do this” and that the governor’s office should inform another mayor that it had approved $60,000 for a traffic study.
Wildstein appears to recognize the dicey nature of his move. After the lane closures concluded, he shared a newspaper article questioning the reason for the closures and later wrote: “I had empty boxes to take to work today, just in case.”
So this top aide knew he was playing a dangerous game, but we are to believe that Christie was completely oblivious to the whole scheme? If that’s true, is he fit to govern if he cannot control the juvenile (but dangerous) pranks perpetrated by his own merry band of morons? And if he really believes his own staff’s lame cover story about a bridge traffic study, then why the outrage now?
Worse, in discussions with the press about the vengeful act, Christie comes across as a Soprano-style bully, not a potential presidential candidate.
Film at 11 . . . . .
Visit www.burningbooksbuffalo.com to find out how the US postal service is snooping into the mail of private citizens.
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