Gov. Chris Christie is a ruthless man who is a master of misdirection. He presents himself as a top choice for U.S. Attorney (he, his wife and his brother bought him the nomination with their hefty Bush campaign contributions), someone with bipartisan support (because he bought off state Democrats) and moderate positions -- when really, he's just another corporatist GOPer who will do or say anything to win. The unfolding story of the George Washington Bridge closure is typical of his bully-boy, vindictive tactics:
The George Washington Bridge lane closures that led to paralyzing gridlock in Fort Lee this past September were ordered by someone outside the Port Authority and possibly for “an improper motive,” said the state lawmaker leading the investigation into whether the closings were politically motivated.
“There are documents that we’ve received that would indicate that there was somebody else who initiated this,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski. “There are words that are used that would imply an improper motive.”
Wisniewski, who has scheduled more hearings next week in Trenton on the controversy in his role as chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, declined to say who those other officials might be or what their motives were.But he left little doubt that he planned to take a closer look at Governor Christie and his staff of political operatives. The governor jointly steers the Port Authority with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, appointing its top executives and commissioners.
Wisniewski’s statements represent the most serious accusation yet that Fort Lee’s gridlock involved more than a poorly conceived traffic study of access lanes to the bridge tollbooths and may, in fact, be linked to officials beyond the agency. And they come after months of speculation that the traffic jams — ordered by David Wildstein, a longtime Republican operative and ally of Christie — were intended to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse the governor’s reelection.
In signaling that he plans to expand the investigation beyond the Port Authority, Wisniewski said that Wildstein did not act alone, but appears to have been following instructions from higher-ups.“This didn’t originate with David Wildstein,” said Wisniewski, a Democrat. “It came from a higher authority.”
Private messages between Governor’s Christie’s deputy chief of staff and two of his top executives at the Port Authority reveal a vindictive effort to create “traffic problems in Fort Lee” by shutting lanes to the George Washington Bridge. Read more...