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Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:02 AM

DING DING DING! Why would Christie try to TORPEDO the billion $ Fort Lee redevelopment

Last edited Mon Mar 31, 2014, 05:11 PM - Edit history (7)

with those awful traffic jams?

Probably not because the Mayor failed to endorse him.

More likely because David Samson, Port Authority head and founder of one of the biggest law firms in the state, has his thumb on every scale. He and Christie and Michele Brown have their fingerprints all over this.

What probably happened in Fort Lee was that the wrong developer won the proposal bidding process – wrong, as in a Chicago firm, Tucker Development, not a Christie/Samson crony.

Remember that Mayor Zimmer of Hoboken says Christie was pushing for the Rockefeller Group’s 3-block redevelopment plan to get expedited in Hoboken – at the expense of similar neighboring properties which would not be designated as needing redevelopment? The Rockefeller Group, which would benefit by being able to buy up adjoining properties more cheaply than if they were also upgraded to “redevelop” status (entitling them to special government benefits), is represented by David Samson’s law firm.

Well, it turns out that another player represented by Samson is involved in the Fort Lee development. A LOSING PLAYER. The 16 acres are owned in two parcels, one by the Chicago firm, Tucker Development, and another by Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates. The Borough of Fort Lee solicited proposals for either all or half of the site. The winning bidders – Tucker Development (for its project called “Hudson Lights”) and the Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates – are working on getting their properties financed.

Tucker was days away from getting approval for its millions in construction financing when someone in the Christie administration ordered the lane closures. The biggest selling point of both developments was easy access to the GWB, so daily traffic jams there – or Christie’s ability to do that at will – put in jeopardy all the financing. If the financing fell through, the Tuckers from Chicago and the Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates would join the list of developers over the decades who had tried and failed to develop the property.

Who would benefit? Silverstein Properties, whose losing bid contemplated developing the entire property, including the part owned by Tucker.
And whom is Silverstein represented by? David Samson, attorney and head of the Port Authority. (And who is also a developer on NYC’s World Trade Center site? Silverstein. And who is in charge of the World Trade Center site? Samson, as head of the Port Authority.)

And to help facilitate this, Michele Brown, the completely unqualified Christie crony who Christie put in the job at the top of the Economic Development Authority – Christie’s eyes and ears.

Oh, what a tangled web they weave . . .

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/nyregion/traffic-jam-investigator-offers-ulterior-motive.html
In the early 1970s, when Burt Ross was the mayor of Fort Lee, he was offered a $500,000 bribe by Norman Dansker, a developer who wanted zoning variances to build a retail and office complex on the 16-acre site. Mr. Ross alerted federal authorities, then wore a recording device in a sting operation that led to the conviction of Mr. Dansker and several other executives.

Harry Helmsley, the real estate mogul who owned the Helmsley hotels, later bought the land but did not build on it. His widow, Leona, sold the property in 2003 to a developer.

But that developer’s plans failed to materialize, too. By 2009, the elected official of Fort Lee had decided to press for something to be built on the site and solicited bids from developers.

They selected SJP Properties to construct the entire project. But Tucker Development, an Illinois builder that owned rights to the western half of the site, sued the borough and SJP.

The settlement of that suit left Tucker to build Hudson Lights, which will include 143,000 square feet of retail space and 247 apartments. Tucker broke ground in October, but construction has not yet begun.


THE COMPETING DEVELOPERS, TUCKER AND SILVERSTEIN

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/realestate/16njzo.html?adxnnl=1&ref=realestate&adxnnlx=1389907071-3WNpug1GJYB8z49lOo2ADA

Silverstein-Taubman, by contrast, envisions an upscale fashion retail center with a mix of restaurants, to attract “a large trade area of underserved New Jersey and New York shoppers.” There would be apartment units over the low-rise part of the retail center; two housing towers would be built in a latter phase.

SNIP

One obvious hurdle for the two proposals that would extend over the full 16 acres is Tucker’s ownership of the eight acres on the west.

Mr. Tucker made it clear in an interview that his company intended not to sell its property but to develop it — though perhaps in concert with partners.

The Tucker proposal, called Hudson Lights (for the green “necklace” of lights sparkling on the bridge at night), calls for 940,000 square feet of construction: 185,000 square feet of retailing, restaurants and a health club as well as 357 rental apartments and 170 condominiums.


TUCKER’S IN THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING FINANCING

http://www.msnbc.com/steve-kornacki/the-bridgegate-theory-you-havent-heard


There was good reason for the project to be on Sokolich’s mind. The redevelopment of the land has been laying out in several phases. Twin 47-floor towers are currently under construction on half of it, with residents expected to begin moving in late this year. But back in September, when the lanes were closed, financing had not yet been finalized for the redevelopment of the second half of land – a plan to build a mix of commercial, residential and parking facilities. Speedy access to the George Washington Bridge – and to those access lanes in particular – is what made the land particularly valuable, both to developers and potential tenants. A study commissioned by Fort Lee a year earlier had stressed that, once the site was redeveloped, anyone living or working at it would be able to drive to the bridge expeditiously even during rush hour. And in a brochure, the lead developer of the second half of the project – a development called Hudson Lights – played up its proximity to the bridge.

Notably, a Bergen Record report from last September 16 announced that financing had – after an unexpected delay – been finalized for the Hudson Lights portion of the redevelopment. That date – September 16 – came three days after New York officials at the Port Authority intervened to put an end to the lane closures.

SNIP

And that September closure, we can now say, didn’t simply complicate the everyday lives of Fort Lee residents. It potentially jeopardized the value and the future of a $1 billion redevelopment plan that has been the centerpiece of Sokolich’s mayoral agenda for years.



WHO IS DAVID SAMSON AGAIN?

The (former) Chairman of the Port Authority, David Samson is one of the people who showed up in the bridgegate emails. When the executive director of the PA ordered the lanes to the bridge opened up again, Wildstein sent an email saying that Samson was helping him "retaliate." But Samson says he has no idea what Wildstein meant and Christie says he believes him.

He was also, at the same time, a partner of the Wolff and Samson law firm, which seems to have its tentacles all over NJ.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/chris-christie-appointee-david-samson-resigns-bridge-agency/story?id=23103051

Whether Samson was aware of the politically motivated traffic jam was brought into question by an email that Wildstein wrote to Kelly after the lanes were reopened. In the email Wildstein wrote to Kelly saying in part, , “Samson helping us to retaliate.”

Christie said in a January news conference that neither he nor Samson knew what Wildstein was referring to. The governor repeated today that he had “no idea” what Wildstein meant in his email.

The governor defended Samson today, saying the former attorney general insisted he was not involved in the decision to shut the bridge lanes.

“I spoke to General Samson on Jan. 8. I asked him what he knew about this...He said ‘absolutely not,’” Christie said.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/nyregion/post-scandal-future-unclear-for-port-authoritys-low-profile-leader.html?hpw&rref=nyregion&_r=0

He has been a close adviser to three New Jersey governors and was appointed state attorney general by a fourth. He was a co-founder of one of the state’s largest law firms. And for two years he has led the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Yet outside of New Jersey political and legal circles, David Samson, 74, has steadfastly maintained a low profile.

That appears likely to change. After Mr. Samson spent decades as one of the state’s most influential behind-the-scenes power brokers, his role in the aftermath of the bridge scandal and his ties to Gov. Chris Christie, who appointed him, are expected to receive close scrutiny.

SNIP

Last year, Wolff & Samson was among several firms selected for possible use by government agencies to audit the spending of Hurricane Sandy relief money, which has come under federal review for its spending on commercials that featured Mr. Christie.

“It would be like if Major League Baseball appointed A-Rod to audit their drug testing program,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey branch of the Sierra Club. “The law firm is so close to the Christie administration that there’s barely any line of separation.”



HOW ELSE IS SILVERSTEIN CONNECTED TO SAMSON?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_site

The World Trade Center site (ZIP code: 10048), formerly known as "Ground Zero" after the September 11 attacks, sits on 16 acres (65,000 m2) in Lower Manhattan in New York City. The previous World Trade Center complex stood on the site until it was destroyed in the September 11 attacks; Studio Daniel Libeskind, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Silverstein Properties, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation oversee the reconstruction of the site. The site is bounded by Vesey Street to the north, the West Side Highway to the west, Liberty Street to the south, and Church Street to the east. The Port Authority owns the site's land (except for 7 World Trade Center). Developer Larry Silverstein holds the lease to retail and office space in four of the site's buildings.

While the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is often identified as the owner of the WTC site, the ownership situation is actually somewhat complex and ambiguous. The Port Authority indeed owns a "significant" internal portion of the site of 16 acres (65,000 m2), but has acknowledged "ambiguities over ownership of miscellaneous strips of property at the World Trade Center site" going back to the 1960s. It is unclear who owns 2.5 acres (10,000 m2) of the site, being land where streets had been before the World Trade Center was built.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704483004575524730536657048

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday nominated as chairman of the Port Authority David Samson, a prominent attorney who for years had as a client World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, the bi-state agency's most high profile tenant and frequent adversary.


HOW IS THE ROCKEFELLER GROUP (property owner in Hoboken) CONNECTED TO SAMSON?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/politically-connected-real-estate-firm-stalled-hoboken-article-1.1584451

The Rockefeller Group’s most obvious tie to Gov. Christie’s administration was its law firm, Wolff & Samson, which is home to partner David Samson, who was appointed chairman of the Port Authority by his friend Christie — and whose name has surfaced in the Bridgegate scandal.

WHY WAS CHRISTIE’S GAL PAL MICHELE BROWN (to whom Christie once lent $46K and forgot to report it in his taxes), APPOINTED THE HEAD OF THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY? i.e., the person in charge of all this redevelopment?

http://www.njbiz.com/article/20120924/NJBIZ01/120929960/&template=printart

Lesniak (D-Union) is feuding with Gov. Chris Christie's administration over the appointment of Christie appointments counsel Michele Brown to replace Caren S. Franzini as CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Lesniak said it was a political pick to lead a nonpartisan agency.
"Did they do a search to replace Caren Franzini and Michele Brown's resumé popped out as number one in this search? Of course not," Lesniak said.

MORE ON MICHELE BROWN:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024326360



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Reply DING DING DING! Why would Christie try to TORPEDO the billion $ Fort Lee redevelopment (Original post)
pnwmom Jan 2014 OP
WhiteTara Jan 2014 #1
leftyohiolib Jan 2014 #2
ebbie15644 Jan 2014 #3
Baitball Blogger Jan 2014 #4
Baitball Blogger Jan 2014 #5
pnwmom Jan 2014 #8
Baitball Blogger Jan 2014 #11
pnwmom Jan 2014 #14
Squinch Jan 2014 #6
giftedgirl77 Jan 2014 #7
calimary Jan 2014 #9
pnwmom Jan 2014 #13
calimary Jan 2014 #84
pnwmom Jan 2014 #85
okaawhatever Jan 2014 #86
calimary Jan 2014 #89
JDPriestly Jan 2014 #102
juajen Feb 2014 #114
tridim Jan 2014 #10
Lisa D Feb 2014 #111
madrchsod Jan 2014 #12
starroute Jan 2014 #27
madrchsod Jan 2014 #91
mountain grammy Jan 2014 #15
DURHAM D Jan 2014 #16
sulphurdunn Jan 2014 #17
Cirque du So-What Jan 2014 #18
salin Jan 2014 #19
livetohike Jan 2014 #20
aquart Jan 2014 #21
Justice Jan 2014 #22
barbtries Jan 2014 #23
pnwmom Jan 2014 #24
valerief Jan 2014 #44
pnwmom Jan 2014 #45
valerief Jan 2014 #46
pnwmom Jan 2014 #48
valerief Jan 2014 #49
pnwmom Jan 2014 #51
valerief Jan 2014 #54
dotymed Jan 2014 #25
DURHAM D Jan 2014 #26
elfin Jan 2014 #28
NJCher Jan 2014 #97
mtasselin Jan 2014 #29
BumRushDaShow Jan 2014 #30
DontTreadOnMe Jan 2014 #34
BumRushDaShow Jan 2014 #57
JHB Sep 2014 #124
Enthusiast Jan 2014 #31
warrior1 Jan 2014 #32
pnwmom Jan 2014 #39
polichick Jan 2014 #33
panader0 Jan 2014 #35
valerief Jan 2014 #36
polichick Jan 2014 #42
heaven05 Jan 2014 #37
Z_California Jan 2014 #38
Jacoby365 Jan 2014 #40
WeekendWarrior Jan 2014 #41
pnwmom Jan 2014 #47
Sancho Jan 2014 #43
pnwmom Jan 2014 #50
truebluegreen Jan 2014 #52
MNBrewer Jan 2014 #53
FourScore Jan 2014 #55
NastyRiffraff Jan 2014 #56
SunSeeker Jan 2014 #58
Spazito Jan 2014 #59
senseandsensibility Jan 2014 #60
Matariki Jan 2014 #101
WillyT Jan 2014 #61
loudsue Jan 2014 #62
flamingdem Jan 2014 #63
BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2014 #64
CtDemoFarmer Jan 2014 #65
Spitfire of ATJ Jan 2014 #66
loudsue Jan 2014 #67
rocktivity Jan 2014 #68
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2014 #69
questionseverything Jan 2014 #77
hedda_foil Jan 2014 #98
starroute Jan 2014 #92
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2014 #93
starroute Jan 2014 #94
DirkGently Jan 2014 #70
pnwmom Jan 2014 #75
me b zola Jan 2014 #71
Hekate Jan 2014 #72
Coyotl Jan 2014 #73
Madam Mossfern Jan 2014 #74
rocktivity Jan 2014 #79
Number23 Jan 2014 #76
Arugula Latte Jan 2014 #78
Liberal_in_LA Jan 2014 #80
Initech Jan 2014 #81
krispos42 Jan 2014 #82
Cha Jan 2014 #83
nashville_brook Jan 2014 #87
Mnemosyne Jan 2014 #88
rhett o rick Jan 2014 #90
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pnwmom Jan 2014 #96
valerief Jan 2014 #99
Matariki Jan 2014 #100
JDPriestly Jan 2014 #103
nikto Jan 2014 #104
MaeScott Jan 2014 #105
Lil Missy Jan 2014 #106
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AlisonSchusterShea Feb 2014 #108
pnwmom Feb 2014 #109
sendero Feb 2014 #110
calimary Feb 2014 #112
pnwmom Feb 2014 #113
idendoit Feb 2014 #115
pnwmom Feb 2014 #116
davidpdx Feb 2014 #117
malaise Mar 2014 #118
pnwmom Mar 2014 #119
malaise Mar 2014 #120
pnwmom Mar 2014 #121
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rocktivity Sep 2014 #123

Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:12 AM

1. Good work!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:13 AM

2. tag

 

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:18 AM

3. Toast!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:21 AM

4. Expedited contracts?

Do you think that construction activity is part of the scheme to drum up work where profits can be expected to pass on to the GOP as contributions?

So, where you see heightened activity, it's possible that it's also a GOP fund center?

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:23 AM

5. I had to highlight this:


The Rockefeller Group, which would benefit by being able to buy up adjoining properties more cheaply than if they were also upgraded to “redevelop” status, is represented by David Samson’s law firm.


Another highlight:

And to help facilitate this, Michele Brown, the completely unqualified Christie crony who Christie put in the job at the top of the Economic Development Authority – Christie’s eyes and ears.

Boy, do I see similar patterns here and the things that happened in my community in the nineties. Economic Development ideas used to expedite a development to keep it out of the hands of an outside developer.

Damn. Things never change. Hopefully now they will because the NJ debacle is getting attention.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:28 AM

8. Yeah, I couldn't figure out at first why the Port Authority study came back only giving

redevelopment status to the 3 blocks owned by the Rockefeller group, but not all the blocks in the parcels -- though Mayor Zimmer and the (majority of the) city planning board thought the whole property should have the same status.

Then I read that the Rockefeller group had been actively buying up properties in the area -- and another puzzle piece fell into place. Having that "redevelopment" designation increases the value of a property, so the last thing they want is for the properties they might want to buy to go up in value.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:31 AM

11. Every state which relies on construction and where there is big money,

should have a task force set up to investigate hijinks. Because I can tell you from experience that sometimes it goes off the charts as far as dirty play is concerned.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:36 AM

14. I have a former in-law who used to work in construction in NJ -- so I heard some stories. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:26 AM

6. Wow! This is an amazing post!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:27 AM

7. This shit's about to get ugly, now we're getting into RICO.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:30 AM

9. MAN, this is a juicy post. Gotta spend some more time with it!

GREAT detective work, pmwmom!

I cannot fully or more vehemently express how important it is to connect the dots!!!

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Response to calimary (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:34 AM

13. Thank you, calimary.

The bully in this guy always repelled me. I'm so glad this stuff is coming out now, and not a month before the next Presidential election . . . .

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 06:08 PM

84. I have always found that behavior off-putting. Certainly nothing I'd vote for.

To me it doesn't read as some sort of display of macho or big balls or bravado or Rambo/John Wayne/Batman/cartoon-cowboy/whatever-it-is-this-week thing. You have a good term for it: repellant. It's not something I admire in a tabloid "hero" or leader or lover. It's not something that I'm attracted to in the least. And I can't imagine having THAT go to the UN or to any NATO or international gathering or conference representing me. Whoever it is, that is MY face to the world as an American citizen. And that's not the image I would ever want to project. That my-way-or-the-highway crap is just that: CRAP. And it went out with bush/cheney (at least for most Americans who recognized the need to go a different direction by the 2008 elections).

Unfortunately there are still people who - I guess - need something projected on their behalf to infer more strength and power and force and macho than they feel within themselves. They're not intimidating in the least, so they gravitate toward someone they perceive as WAY intimidating, and get there once-removed. I'm just guessing here, mind you. But this strikes me as the acting-out of a whole lot of Americans who feel like weenies in and of themselves, and need to sidle up to some bullying brute on the playground to make sure some other bullying brute doesn't come along and snatch their ball away or kick sand in their face.

And I just think we need an entirely different mindset. It's not about who the biggest brawniest caveman is with the biggest stick who can strike the biggest blow and make the biggest noise. It's about being much more wily, much more brainy, much more shrewd. Muscle can only take you so far. Just look at the big ferocious monsters that used to roam the earth. They eventually were driven to extinction - by whatever cause it was, meteor strike or climate change or overactive volcanoes or whatever it was. They were too big to self-sustain. What survived? The smaller, more adaptable, more nimble, more flexible species. They didn't have brawn going for them. But they didn't need it. It's like the big-ass aircraft carrier versus the smaller gunboats. Fearsome as hell, the big one is. But it's slow, cumbersome, takes forever to turn or maneuver. The little boats, by contrast, are lighter weight and with less mass to have to move around, and can zip around and dart around and confound the hell outta the big guy. I can think of a thousand other examples. Look what a ragtag handful of wily sneaky-ass plotters with box cutters did to Fortress America back in September 2001. Sometimes big and blustery gets rolled. All the guns and ammo and tanks and cruise missiles and drones may be no match for some little 98-pound weakling with internet shrewdness and a laptop.

Again, I'm no expert here. Just spouting off, really. Nevertheless, I really believe we need to start thinking differently. Frankly, with power and money at stake all the time, it's probably never gonna happen. We may NEVER evolve as a species the way we really need to.

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Response to calimary (Reply #84)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 06:18 PM

85. You may be onto something. He's a bully, but he's their bully, so it's okay. Well, he's not mine!

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #85)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 06:23 PM

86. I've read a couple of articles recently that have changed the word bully to thug or thuggish. The

distinction is important. Many don't realize the true nature of a bully. Using the word thug doesn't leave much to the imagination. Christie 's behavior is thuggish and his political operatives are clearly thugs as well.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #86)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 06:53 PM

89. Agreed. This certainly qualifies as thuggish behavior.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #86)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 01:11 AM

102. He is also a bully, as in his interactions with teachers and others who question him.

The OP is shocking, really shocking.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 05:33 PM

114. Yet, he was "colorful", and many liked that. Bullies should never win, NT

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:30 AM

10. Christie is Warden Norton with unlimited power.

Or am I being obtuse?

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Response to tridim (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:08 PM

111. Spot on!

Reminds me of the warden too. Now Christie just needs to disappear like a fart in the wind.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:31 AM

12. where`s the mob in all of this ?

were they backing christy and friends? bringing in a chicago firm might have upset them.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:32 AM

27. I think this is mob tactics taken to a higher level

I did some googling last night, and the Mafia in Jersey isn't what it was. They've been hit too many times and these days they keep a pretty low profile. They've still got an interest in Atlantic City gambling, but the rest is mostly penny-ante stuff, like cigarette smuggling and shaking down local merchants for protection money.

Christie and pals are doing what the mob once did, but on a much more advanced level. So why would they want to cut a bunch of hoodlums in for a share of the profits?

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Response to starroute (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 07:16 PM

91. never thought of that.....

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:39 AM

15. good post.. putting it all together.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:45 AM

16. Well done! Great Dot connecting.







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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:45 AM

17. Impressive



But here's betting that no one involved will do any time.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:47 AM

18. We can only hope

that prosecutors exhibit as much diligence as DU investigators like yourself. The public deserve justice - not some half-baked case that falls apart by design.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:50 AM

19. Brava!!

Great job of pulling together the information on the players in this way.

Interesting read.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:52 AM

20. Wow pnwmom!! Thank you for putting this all together

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:00 AM

21. GOOD WORK.

Tweeted the link.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:01 AM

22. Excellent work

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:03 AM

23. this will make a good movie.

i am so so sick of these bastards who are purportedly working for the public good and in reality will never give a rat's ass about anything or anyone but themselves and their cohorts. i don't even know what it would take to get to a point where that is the exception rather than the norm.
to me the christie story is a lot like nixon. he could have gotten away with so much, and i'm sure he has. but that wasn't enough. fucking assholes. if after all this he doesn't go up in flames i'll be ready for the revolution.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:06 AM

24. I've been thinking about that ever since I heard about the traffic jams.

The ambulances jumping onto curbs to drive around traffic, and medics getting out and running to the patients.

Yeah, this could make an interesting movie.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:28 AM

44. It just needs a Mexican-American fake sheik. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #44)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:29 AM

45. And J-Law. Who should she play? n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #45)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:30 AM

46. Briget Kelly, of course! And Amy Adams does "earnest" well. She could be Mayor Zimmer. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #46)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:31 AM

48. But Kelly is way too old. Isn't there anyone younger

and cuter she could play? Tell will tell.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #48)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:33 AM

49. Well, American Hustle made the players way younger than the actual Abscam players were.

J-Law played a woman who was in her forties at the time, but the movie made her younger. They could do the same for your movie. What would you name it?

(on edit: I know! Silverstein Linings Playbook.)

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Response to valerief (Reply #49)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:37 AM

51. Hah! Yes. I wish I could afford to buy the movie rights.

But there would be so many people to buy them from . . . I guess Bill Gates could produce the movie.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #51)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:49 AM

54. Or a real Arabian sheik! nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:12 AM

25. Thank you.

If you look deep enough into these big money projects, you will find political corruption.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:16 AM

26. I just noticed that this is posted in Politics 2014.

Please consider cross posting in GD for greater exposure as your research is way too good for any DUer to miss.

Hopefully someone will pass it on to CNN and Morning Joe.




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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:41 AM

28. Wow - is your last name in real life Kornacki?

Excellent work.

I have been scanning the subpoena list repeatedly hoping for Michelle Brown's name to appear.

So far, not there. Still hoping.

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Response to elfin (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:16 PM

97. oh, it will appear

as time goes on. Wisnieski said that the beginning round of subpoenas are on the periphery. Then, as they gather more and more facts, they go a little higher up
the totem pole.


Cher

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:42 AM

29. Hope

I hope the news media doesn't get bored with this story or some strings aren't pulled to try and make the story go away. We are being given an inside view of what happens not just in New Jersey, but around different parts of the country which is run by the rich and powerful.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:00 AM

34. The cancelled Tunnel project was the BIGGEST PROJECT in the tri-state area

It was cancelled by Christie. It would have provided tens of thousands of jobs... it was a multi-billion dollar project, like the "Big Dig" project in Boston.

I was GOOD for New Jersey and New York.

So WHY did Christie cancel it?

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Response to DontTreadOnMe (Reply #34)

Tue Sep 9, 2014, 05:53 AM

124. I'm sure he had several reasons, but a big one was...

....grandstanding for the Tea Party types in south Jersey. At the time he was positioning himself for a 2012 presidential run, and was playing to the teabaggers as "stopping YOUR tax dollars from going to a big pork project."

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:51 AM

31. They must turn over every stone and prosecute

the EVIL DOERS to the fullest extent of the law. Either this is a nation of law and order or it is not. This cannot stand.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:58 AM

32. I saw this last night on twitter and posted and it sank like a rock.

Eric Boehlert tweet about David Sampson
https://twitter.com/ericboehlert/status/424739815364382720

@EricBoehlert: FIXED: Port Authority chief Samson makes $300K a year via taxpayers and uses his perch to push his real estate deals onto NJ pols? #jersey

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Response to warrior1 (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:18 AM

39. People are catching on. Too bad it sank like a rock, though. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:00 AM

33. msnbc could use you! k&r

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:02 AM

35. Excellent--bookmarking.

K and R

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:02 AM

36. Holy mackerel! Love this post. Every cloud has a Silverstein lining, it appears. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:23 AM

42. "Every cloud has a Silverstein lining" - perfect!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:05 AM

37. if these clowns

get out of this one, our system of government is screwed and run by crooks and corporations. Oh, the latter already run it, so if the former win on this one........

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:15 AM

38. This is an awesome post

This is what I come to DU for. The real story. Excellent job.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:20 AM

40. Excellent investigative work. I appreciate what you have done.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:21 AM

41. Back when this scandal first broke,

I turned to my wife and said, "Okay, so who didn't get a construction contract?"

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Response to WeekendWarrior (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:30 AM

47. Are you from N.J. or is it like that everywhere? n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:27 AM

43. Does Rachel and Steve Kornacki know about this? Great post...

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Response to Sancho (Reply #43)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:36 AM

50. Well, my dot-connecting is largely speculation.

I suspect they've seen all these dots but they're not going to report things that aren't solid. I, of course, am free of those constraints.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:41 AM

52. BOOM goes the dynamite.

At last a reasonable explanation for the bridge closure. It always seemed to me too high a profile incident for punishing a Democratic mayor for no endorsement. But to route a big chunk of a billion-dollar development to one's cronies? That's different. The mayor has been worried about the effect on the development from the gitgo, as evidenced in his emails. It all hangs together with the stunt that was allegedly pulled in Hoboken and with Chris Christie being very careful to absolve his old pal Samson in his marathon press conference.

And I couldn't help but notice that the governor's office issued a classic non-denial denial: MSNBC is partisan and gleeful and arglebarglewaaaaaaaaaaah!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:42 AM

53. "General" Sampson may wind up in the stockade.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:59 AM

55. Impressive work, pnwmom! Very impressive! n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:02 PM

56. VERY nicely done, pnwmom

I'm bookmarking this for a later, careful read.

I don't think this is going to go away. Dots are being connected daily.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:15 PM

58. This explains why Baroni et al were so pissed off when the cones were pulled up on day 5.

The traffic jam had not accomplished its purpose yet.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:18 PM

59. Wow, excellent work!

This makes so much sense, it ties it all up, imo. Property development is the be all, end all in so many cases and closing the lanes due to a lack of endorsement made no sense. To activate such a high-risk plan there had to be a BIG benefit to be had in order to make it worth doing. Your tying Sampson's law firm to both the Hoboken scandal and the Fort Lee one due to property development clients answers so many outstanding questions.

Well done!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:20 PM

60. Please post this in GD

Many DUers never visit this forum, and will miss all your information. It must have taken a lot of work to put this together, and as many people as possible should see it and comment.

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Response to senseandsensibility (Reply #60)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 12:29 AM

101. +1 Please do!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:44 PM

61. K & R !!!


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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:45 PM

62. Wow. Great post! And it makes me sick what crooked assholes these guys are.

You also have to remember that George Bush's brother, Marvin, was in charge of security at WTC on 9/11. So, of course KKKarl Rove would want to keep Christie and his 9/11 cohorts in the political loop.

Also, George bush's sister, Dorothy, is married to a Koch. So how better to keep the teaparty/Kochheads 9/11 connections together in the republican party than running Christie for president.

It's a republican mob circle jerk.

On edit: I looked up Dorothy Koch....it's not the same Koch family!!!! Which surprised me. In fact, Dorothy Koch's husband seems to be a liberal!! Now THAT is interesting.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:46 PM

63. Great post! Samson has

some 'splainin to do

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:51 PM

64. damn you're good!

Wow. Sure makes sense. Totally.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:55 PM

65. Real issue is who are development principles

Sanson just a front for the 1 per centers that want this land verses another group of 1 per centers. Remember that the system is rigged and this is just one layer of the bigger play.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 12:56 PM

66. Ain't it a shame they don't have a Republican on the NY side to cover for them?

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #66)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 01:02 PM

67. I wonder if Bloomberg had anything to do with helping keep this quiet.

The timing is interesting, anyway.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 02:00 PM

68. This is "amateur night in Dixieland" compared to your efforts

Last edited Mon Sep 8, 2014, 12:51 PM - Edit history (1)

but this is what I posted the other day (contains links to the Tucker Development web site):

I am VERY interested in the financing deal for the Ft. Lee development, especially since it wasn't completed until right after the bridge closing after a "delay."

...Why would "Governor Soprano" do anything to jeopardize the development -- because HIS financial backers weren't getting a piece of the action?

And it looks like I'm in good company:
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/is-a-billion-dollar-development-project-at-the-heart-of-bridgegate


rocktivity

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 02:32 PM

69. The same Silverstein who made $$$ from WTC insurance after 9-11???

It was finally revealed that he had been losing $$$ on ownership of WTC, until 9-11 came along .

What an interesting nest of cockroaches are showing up in the spotlight.

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #77)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 10:44 PM

98. Thanks, questionseverything! That link is a goldmine.

From your link: http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/silverstein.html

Silverstein Makes a Huge
Profit off of the 9/11 Attacks

Six months before the 9/11 attacks the World Trade Center was "privatized" by being leased to a private sector developer. The lease was purchased by the Silverstein Group for $3.2 billion. "This is a dream come true," Larry Silverstein said. "We will be in control of a prized asset, and we will seek to develop its potential, raising it to new heights."

But the World Trade Towers were not the real estate plum we are led to believe.

From an economic standpoint, the trade center -- subsidized since its inception -- has never functioned, nor was it intended to function, unprotected in the rough-and-tumble real estate marketplace.
How could Silverstein Group have been ignorant of this?

Also, the towers required some $200 million in renovations and improvements, most of which related to removal and replacement of building materials declared to be health hazards in the years since the towers were built.

It was well-known by the city of New York that the WTC was an asbestos bombshell. For years, the Port Authority treated the building like an aging dinosaur, attempting on several occasions to get permits to demolish the building for liability reasons, but being turned down due the known asbestos problem. Further, it was well-known the only reason the building was still standing until 9/11 was because it was too costly to disassemble the twin towers floor by floor since the Port Authority was prohibited legally from demolishing the buildings.
Other New York developers had been driven into bankruptcy by the costly mandated renovations, and $200 million represented an entire year's worth of revenues from the World Trade Towers.

The perfect collapse of the twin towers changed the picture.

Under a pending agreement, a developer and his investors will get back most of the down payment that they made to lease the World Trade Center just six weeks before a terrorist attack destroyed the twin towers. Developer Larry Silverstein and investors Lloyd Goldman and Joseph Cayre are nearing a deal that would give them about $98 million of their original investment of $124 million, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Instead of renovation, Silverstein is rebuilding, funded by the insurance coverage on the property which 'fortuitously' covered acts of terrorism. Even better, Silverstein filed TWO insurance claims for the maximum amount of the policy, based on the two, in Silverstein's view, separate attacks. The total potential payout is $7.1 billion, more than enough to build a fabulous new complex and leave a hefty profit for the Silverstein Group, including Larry Silverstein himself.

As reported in The Washington Post, the insurance company, Swiss Re, has gone to court to argue that the 9/11 disaster was only one attack, not two and that therefore the insurance payout should be limited to $3.55 billion, still enough to rebuild the complex.

Update: WTC Leaseholder May Collect Up To $4.6B

A federal jury on Monday ruled that the assault on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center was in fact two occurrences for insurance purposes. The finding in U.S. District Court in Manhattan means leaseholder Larry Silverstein may collect up to $4.6 billion, according to reports.

The result of court ruling: Silverstein makes a huge profit off of the 9/11 attacks.


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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #69)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 08:30 PM

92. I have some odd stuff on Silverstein and the WTC in my notes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center#Lease

In 1998, the Port Authority approved plans to privatize the World Trade Center. In 2001, the Port Authority sought to lease the World Trade Center to a private entity. Bids for the lease came from Vornado Realty Trust, a joint bid between Brookfield Properties Corporation and Boston Properties, and a joint bid by Silverstein Properties and The Westfield Group. By privatizing the World Trade Center, it would be added to the city's tax rolls and provide funds for other Port Authority projects. On February 15, 2001, the Port Authority announced that Vornado Realty Trust had won the lease for the World Trade Center, paying $3.25 billion for the 99-year lease. Vornado outbid Silverstein by $600 million though Silverstein upped his offer to $3.22 billion. However, Vornado insisted on last minute changes to the deal, including a shorter 39-year lease, which the Port Authority considered nonnegotiable. Vornado later withdrew and Silverstein's bid for the lease to the World Trade Center was accepted on April 26, 2001, and closed on July 24, 2001.


http://observer.com/2001/04/silverstein-recovers-dark-horse-may-win-world-trade-center/

A little before 10 p.m. on Jan. 25, Larry Silverstein, the 69-year-old, red-haired real estate developer, was crossing East 57th Street near Madison Avenue when he was run down by a 1997 Ford sedan. His pelvis broken, he was taken to the New York University Medical Center. As Mr. Silverstein would later tell his daughter, the accident was a bad break at the worst possible time: He was one of three bidders in the running to win a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center. Mr. Silverstein faced a Jan. 31 deadline to submit his bid to the Trade Center’s current owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

For the next few days, business partners, advisers and acolytes lined up in chairs along the hallway outside Mr. Silverstein’s hospital room as the bid’s final details were worked out. Just five days after his brush with death, Mr. Silverstein made a blunt declaration in the New York Post : “We’re lusting after the World Trade Center, the prize of all prizes.”

Few gave Mr. Silverstein much chance of consummating what was about to become the biggest real estate deal in New York’s history. Of the Port Authority’s three finalists, “he was the dark horse,” said Michael Cohen, chief executive of the real estate brokerage GVA Williams. The conventional wisdom only seemed to be confirmed when the bids were unsealed and Vornado Realty Trust blew away the competition with a bid of $3.25 billion–$600 million more than Mr. Silverstein offered.

That’s when Mr. Silverstein showed why, through booms and busts, he has retained his reputation as one of the city’s smartest real estate minds. He brushed himself off and kept going, upping his bid to just $30 million less than Vornado’s. He waited, quietly, as negotiations between the Port Authority’s board and Vornado’s chairman, Steven Roth, broke down. Then he stepped into the breach.

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Response to starroute (Reply #92)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 08:44 PM

93. I did not realize he had owned it for only 9 months...

what a....co-incidence.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #93)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 08:55 PM

94. He shows up in 9/11 conspiracy theories for his remark about "pulling" Building 7

I don't put much stock in any 9/11 stuff these days. What I think is more relevant at this point is that Silverstein appears to be ruthless, well-connected, and accustomed to getting what he wants. Still, it is an odd connection.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 02:40 PM

70. Daily Kos has been all over this angle recently.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/17/1270589/-PA-Chairman-Samson-had-a-keen-interest-in-the-Fort-Lee-Bridge-Traffic-This-may-be-Why

Smoking Gun For Bridgegate? Might Rest With Losing Bidder In Fort Lee's $1B Hudson Lights Development

by Laura Vecsey, lauravecsey.com -- Jan 16, 2014


It begs the question: Which firms were the losers in this coveted and hard-won development Hudson Lights project? One of the firms that bid on developing the entire 16-acre parcel, which was split into two phases of development, was Silverstein Properties in conjunction with Taubman Centers. Silverstein is the World Trade Center developer. It was Silverstein's bid to develop the entire parcel, including the Tucker piece. But it appears that Tucker wanted to keep its piece and develop it themselves.

Larry Silverstein was a long-term client of David Samson.

Mayor Sokolich was called "an idiot" by one of Christie's key staffers, now fired. Mayor Sokolich has had some fun calling himself "the idiot" who has spearheaded Fort Lee's progressive moves, including this landmark development deal. The level of animosity in this "war" goes far deeper than anything having to do with a failure by Sokolich to endorse Chris Christie's re-election. That alone just is not a plausible reason for the timing and nature of the lane-closure retribution.

(snip)
Take away that "easy access" to the GW bridge, and you may very well take away the "easy financing" -- financing that the Tucker Development Corporation, was still in the process of securing.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/18/1270740/-Christie-GWB-and-NJ-pay-to-play

I believe that the GWB scandal has opened a window that allows us to view a small part of one tentacle of the development octopus that is smothering NJ. In this diary, Teach53 tells us the window has now increased to allow us to see more of the tentacle:

Mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer claims that the Christie administration told her that Hoboken would get its Sandy funds if she "moved forward with the Rockefeller project".

The connection between the two? The Christie appointed Port Authority Chairman Samson’s law firm, Wolff & Samson, represented a developer looking to develop the Fort Lee parcel at the foot of the GWB and the Hoboken parcel. Mayor Zimmer and Mayor Sokolich of Fort Lee refused to play and did not award the contracts to Wolff & Samson’s clients. Both got a kick in the butt via the Christie administration and its appointees. Fort Lee got the development-threatening traffic jam. Hoboken received a fraction of the requested money to rebuild a town that was 80% covered by the Hudson River during Sandy.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #70)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 03:53 PM

75. Whoa. Especially the second post, and the 2007 article it links to on “pay to play.” THANKS!

No wonder some of the panelists on Kornacki the other day were acting as if this stuff was legal. Maybe it still is, if the pay-to-play reform laws were having to be passed separately in each municipality, as the “real deal” article indicates. I wonder why they could have a statewide ban on some of these practices but not others? I wonder what, if anything, has changed since this was written in 2007.

And then there’s the stuff about Fulop. Wow.

http://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/new-jersey-tackles-pay-to-play/

In Jersey City, where there are 39 designated redevelopment areas and development has been in high gear in the city’s downtown and waterfront, the proposed reform ordinance also sparked political fireworks.

Councilman Steven Fulop said he proposed the ordinance in order to put all development decisions on a level playing field, without campaign contributions being a part of the equation.

“If there is no public bidding we need to take the highest possible road,” said Fulop. “This will go a long way as it is written to eliminate the influence of this type of money.”

Mayor Jerramiah Healy said the state law already addresses “pay-to-play,” and opposes the new law because he said it would set an uneven playing field in the political arena. He said limiting donations would eventually mean only those who would be able to self-finance their campaigns would be able to run for office.

“I think this is a form of self-flagellation and to show that I am holier than thou we have a state law on this,” Healy said. “Since I’ve been here, we literally do the right thing. Campaign contributions are never a criteria for designating a redeveloper. Never, never, never.”

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 02:40 PM

71. Outstanding post n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 02:46 PM

72. Give that girl an A+ on her report!

This is juicy stuff.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 02:59 PM

73. K&R. Someone tell Fox.

This post is getting tweeted about.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 03:41 PM

74. One can connect all the dots....yet

unless there is written, electronic or even taped evidence implicating direct involvement by Christie, he remains untouchable.

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Response to Madam Mossfern (Reply #74)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 04:37 PM

79. If he's telling the truth about not knowing, there WOULD be evidence

An honest, innocent governor would have acted at least month sooner: firing the culprits (not allowing them to resign) for closing the lanes improperly, and putting the nomination of his chief of staff on hold. Then, to ensure the most independent, impartial investigation possible, he would called in the Feds himself.

There isn't any evidence pointing directly to "Governor Soprano" because he arranged it that way -- and he's the ONLY person who COULD HAVE arranged it that way!


rocktivity

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 04:08 PM

76. I'm K&Ring the dwindling handful of posts in this forum that actually go after REPUBLICANS

instead of the Dems as a loud group only seem capable of doing. And this is a good one.

Edit: Ha! I should have known!! This isn't even in GD!! That is hilarious and sad at the same time.

I hope you post more and can breathe more life into this forum.

K&R

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 04:12 PM

78. Who woke up with a horse's head in their bed?

Christie + Cronies = Organized Crime Thugs

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 04:46 PM

80. great informative thread. bookmarking

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 04:58 PM

81. But... but... he doesn't know anything!!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 05:04 PM

82. Follow the money. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 05:18 PM

83. thank you so much, pnwmom.. I'm going

to need some time to read and digest this.. so kicking for now!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 06:32 PM

87. Laura Vecsey from Daily Kos: "Smoking Gun for Bridgegate might rest w/Losing Bidders"

http://www.lauravecsey.com/2/post/2014/01/smoking-gun-for-bridgegate-might-rest-with-losing-bidders-in-fort-lees-1b-hudson-lights-development.html


It begs the question: Which firms were the losers in this coveted and hard-won development Hudson Lights project? One of the firms that bid on developing the entire 16-acre parcel, which was split into two phases of development, was Silverstein Properties in conjunction with Taubman Centers. Silverstein is the World Trade Center developer. It was Silverstein's bid to develop the entire parcel, including the Tucker piece. But it appears that Tucker wanted to keep its piece and develop it themselves.

The New York Times outlined the deal in this 2009 article, including some minor details about what each bidder had in mind for the site.

"Tucker’s ownership of the eight acres on the west. ... Mr. Tucker made it clear in an interview that his company intended not to sell its property but to develop it — though perhaps in concert with partners,'' the Times reported in 2009.

Oddly, the NYTimes has not noted the development site as a potential issue in the strangest retribution scenario ever to involve the world's busiest bridge, a GOP presidential frontrunner and lane closures.

Larry Silverstein was a long-term client of David Samson.

Mayor Sokolich was called "an idiot" by one of Christie's key staffers, now fired. Mayor Sokolich has had some fun calling himself "the idiot" who has spearheaded Fort Lee's progressive moves, including this landmark development deal. The level of animosity in this "war" goes far deeper than anything having to do with a failure by Sokolich to endorse Chris Christie's re-election. That alone just is not a plausible reason for the timing and nature of the lane-closure retribution.

But a billion dollars in development, and all the contracts that come with it? That could get someone really "sauced," as Christie admits he sometimes gets over things having to do with Fort Lee and the GW Bridge.

___________


It has also come to our attention that Chris Christie DOES know how to play bridge hardball. He did it with the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein over WTC subsidies.

From the New York Daily News:


New Jersey pols struck a $1 billion back-room deal with the Port Authority as their price for supporting a breakthrough pact to restore the World Trade Center, it was revealed Tuesday.

The PA board voted to pony up the cash to rebuild the Bayonne Bridge - a top priority in the Garden State - after Jersey commissioners agreed last month to back a new financing deal for Ground Zero.


Without the bridge funding, a boost to Port Newark, New Jersey Gov. Christie would have blocked the PA from providing $1.6 billion in financing to developer Larry Silverstein, officials confirmed.

At stake was $1 billion in public financing and subsidies the PA would provide for Silverstein's 64-story Tower 4 on Church St. and $600 million for his 71-story Tower 3.

Built in 1931 to link New Jersey to Staten Island, the Bayonne Bridge's 151-foot clearance is too low for superjumbo containerships to pass beneath. The $1 billion bonanza will help the PA raise it to 215 feet - or rebuild it.

"We were placed in business 90 years ago to move people and goods around this region effectively, and we've made the decision that the Bayonne Bridge is a vital part of doing that," PA Chairman Anthony Coscia said.



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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 06:39 PM

88. K&R for magnificent work! nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 06:59 PM

90. Thanks for the great post. nm

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:07 PM

95. Thank you pnwmom for your informative, illuminating post!

 

"Deep Throat" could have told us Democrats how to immediately identify a motive for the GWB fiasco. Powerful Republicans like Nixon or "wannabe" Presidential candidates like Christie don't encourage their minions to commit crimes for a reason as petty and unprofitable as revenge.

For a while, I couldn't understand why on earth a newly re-elected governor may have victimized thousands of commuters and schoolchildren by trapping them in hellish traffic standstills for four straight days. Now that Rachel Maddow and my other MSNBC heroes have pushed aside a boulder and exposed the squirming, panic-stricken creatures hidden underneath it, I'll just watch and wait as they follow the money!







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Response to notgoinback (Reply #95)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 09:52 PM

96. Yes, Maddow and Kornaki really opened this all up for me.

After that, it's a matter of scooping up and untangling the mess.

And I'm sure this is just the beginning. Christie is going to wish he never thought about running for President.

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Response to notgoinback (Reply #95)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 11:14 PM

99. It's always about the money. That's their drug of choice. nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 12:13 AM

100. Excellent, excellent post!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 01:31 AM

103. Great post. Great research pnwmom. Thanks. K&R.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 04:06 AM

104. But how can this info possibly be an adequate counter-argument to the GOP's claim of...

Benghazi! Benghazi!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 08:13 AM

105. K and R. nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 09:18 AM

106. marked for later

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 10:41 AM

107. K&R.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:32 PM

108. GWB is really a smokescreen for the larger NJ political scandal

Look the real scandal for Christie is the nations largest municpal junk bond deal that is going on in the same county as the GW Bridge and that is the American Dream Shopping Mall, which Republican Lobbyist Alan Marcus is pushing to get and also the Wolff Samson law firm is the attorney for the developer, the Canadian Firm Triple Five.




Seems like the demise of Gov Christie was done in not by a Democrat (although there are many) but by an old war horse Republican himself Alan Marcus.
And it is this sex scandal where GOP Party Boss Alan Marcus was having sex with a young hot woman, where in return Bergen County contracts were awarded based on this sex that led to the GWBridgegate scandal and eventual resignation of the Gov.

http://www.northjersey.com/new...

More and more likely it's clear that this Bergen GOP sex scandal led to a desperately needed bigger scandal or smokescreen in order to get approval for the nations largest junk bond deal right up in Bergen County, ony 4 miles away from the GWB.

Here are the clear "Tells" that Alan Marcus was behind the revelation of an actual political story that was covered in Bergen County.

The "Tells"

Tell #1 Steve Kornacki - Zimmer Disclosure. Some of the best investigative reporting has been done by Kornacki when he revealed all with Hoboken's "Lady" Mayor Zimmer, but it wasn't until the final minutes of Kornacki's 2 hour UP story, this past Saturday that something very interesting was revealed. Kornacki's last guest was the best friend of BC GOP Party Boss Alan Marcus and that was failed Congressional Candidate/Bernie Madoff enabler, early 1970's ex-Ft. Lee Mayor Burt Ross, pulled from a Nursing Home in Fresno, Califnoria, at 3AM Pacific time to talk about the good old days. This is classic Marcus allowing his BFF to assist in the big diversion (and to sell his book). Why or who was pushing for this tool to be on national TV? None other than Alan Marcus?

Tell #2 - For the Bergen Record to take the lead on any political story it has to benefit the Bergen Record and Alan Marcus and this one fits the exact criteria. 2014 is going to be tough year for Marcus - with a swirling sex scandal and a College lobbying scandal, where the FBI is already investigating. He plans to make about $2-5MM from the American Dream Meadowland shopping mall and this GWBscandals are the perfect smoke screen to distract from the corruption of Wolff Samson/DCA/BCIA/Goldman Sachs. Again it was one cell phone call to Steve Borg on Sept 9th (according to published reports) that started everything.

That started the inquiry and Marcus speaking to Borg fed the story and Bergen Record reporter Shaun Bromberg gets the document on jan 9th and reveals all about fellow Bergen Republican Bridget Anne Kelly.

(Link is Steve Borg puff-piece for his advisor)

http://www.northjersey.com/new...

Tell #3 - Still zero action by Alan Marcus client- Bergen Republican County Exec. Donovan on Bridgegate. A criminal action was done on Bergen County roads in Fort Lee and Donovan has taken no action, no complaint with BCPD, no investigation by the BCPD.

Tell #4 - The original theory behind Bridgegate was that it involved Hudson Towers. That was another plant by Marcus (to Kornacki) to deflect away from the nation's biggest junk municipal bond scandal in the nation, the financing of American Dream mall in the Meadowlands.

Tell #5 - Its well-known that Christie doesn't get along at all with Bergen GOP Party Boss Alan Marcus and has no love loss for the Republican County Executive of NJ's largest County. Donovan is still angry about not getting the Lt. Governor. Marcus wants Christie gone, so he can move ahead under the sh#t storm that breaks out on the financing of the project. With the County Executive election heating up and his documented well known sex scandal where has sex with young woman, having Christie resign is perfect.

Tell #6 - follow the Money. The biggest public works financing in the nation, nearly $800Million of straight taxpayers dollars going into Alan Marcus client Triple Five, despite Donovan direct pledge never to issue the bonds and the scandal around the a Bergen Republican underwriter, who is a Closter Republican Councilman and even Donovan's very own Campaign Treasure going to profit with thousands in BCIA fees. Also the BCIA Commissioners who all have their own issues that the Democratic Freeholders are pursuing. There is way too much money involved and also with Goldman Sachs doing the lead banking, its classic Alan Marcus to take down Christie, so he could make more money. Alan Marcus stands to gain the most from a Christie resignation and so a Christie resignation it will be. Here is today article on Marcus sweating on the BCIA and blaming American Dream of all people on Ferrerio Democrats.

http://www.politickernj.com/71...

Tell #7 - PolictkerNJ.com finally does a story on the Bergen County races and the only thing that Donovan (aka Marcus) focuses on is the role of the BCIA and how the BCIA is allegedly controlled by Ferrerio Democrats. Using this old yarn may be a good deflection, for Marcus really knows that he has to deflect as Donovan vetos all the minutes and he doesn't want anyone asking to many questions about Wolff Samson fees from BCIA and American Dream. It the only thing Marcus cares about.

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Response to AlisonSchusterShea (Reply #108)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:58 PM

109. Are you saying that Christie opposes the mall?

Welcome to DU!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 06:54 AM

110. Wow!

Nice work indeed. It sure makes sense to me.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 02:58 PM

112. So pleased to see this is still pretty high up among the posts on this forum!

An excellent, comprehensive tutorial that should be MUST-READING for everyone here, and everyone everywhere else, too.

Brava, pnwmom!!!

You've got a lot of hearts already, but I thought you deserved yet another one!

I often quote Mad-Eye Moody as telling Harry Potter: "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!!!!"

Well, know what else he told Harry Potter, and frequently? "You've GOT to KNOW!!!!!!!" Knowledge really is power. The more you know, the less often you're apt to get fooled.

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Response to calimary (Reply #112)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 03:23 PM

113. Thank you, Calimary!

From you, that's an honor.

I'm so glad Christie's corruption is coming out in time to keep him away from the Presidency. I'll always remember Nixon getting elected AFTER the Watergate break-in, because no one was yet taking it seriously.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 07:28 AM

115. If you're not already a reporter, you should be.

 

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Response to idendoit (Reply #115)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 07:45 AM

116. Thank you. I'm not but I have great respect for the profession n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 06:17 AM

117. I have no doubt money was involved in some way

It was far beyond just political retribution. There was a dollar to be made if things fell the right way.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 04:50 PM

118. Bump for others to read n/t

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Response to malaise (Reply #118)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 04:52 PM

119. Thanks, malaise.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #119)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 04:54 PM

120. It was an excellent post



It's on Laxman' great Christie Crime Digest.

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Response to malaise (Reply #120)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 04:56 PM

121. I just saw what he did



and I'm still blushing.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #121)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 05:11 PM

122. It's why I joined DU

We still have great posters and terrific camaraderie.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 01:13 PM

123. Talking Points Memo Kick

published Jan 12 and certainly worth archiving:

Is a Billion Dollar Development Project at the Heart of Bridgegate?

The Hudson Lights project is a billion dollar project because it offers unparalleled access to the George Washington Bridge. But take away that access and it’s no longer a billion dollar project.

...On August 15, two days after the go was given to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee, Mayor Sokolich and the Fort Lee town council held a meeting during (about) the redevelopment project’s contract...(O)n August 22, the mayor was authorized by the council to finalize...how one phase of the redevelopment was to be financed...(T)here was one last thing to lock down: the money...

I find it hard to believe that would-be investors in this project weren’t alarmed by the prospect that Port Authority officials had decided, without warning, to begin running experiments to see what would happen if local access to the GWB was temporarily, and then permanently, restricted...



rocktivity

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