Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(2,419 posts)
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 02:02 PM Dec 2014

Christie Crime Digest-Vol. II

Last edited Sun May 3, 2015, 11:39 AM - Edit history (124)

The sheer size of the Christie Crime Digest got out of hand. So it's getting split into two because the story is far from over. You can still find the first 100 entries at Christie Crime Digest Vol. I with all the great replies from Rocktivity, Malaise, PNWMom, Prosense and so many others. A lot of the comments or additional information on entries up to and including #139 are over there as well. We'll just keep after this story wherever it may lead. I feel like J.K. Rowling! Maybe we'll call this thread Chris Christie and the Goblet of Fire! And now announcing-it's on to Volume III-The Prosecution! But first-the plot thickens.

Can you take this thing through the drive-thru at McDonald's on the way back to the State House?

101. Now let me get this straight-out of all of your text messages, this is the one you deleted? Regina Egea's phone records subpoenaed to discover missing text to Christie. N.J. legislative panel to subpoena phone and email records between Chris Christie and Regina Egea : http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/29/1325647/-N-J-legislative-panel-to-subpoena-phone-and-email-records-between-Chris-Christie-and-Regina-Egea

*I know Regina that you folks in Harding Twp. believe that you're above the law and all but always remember...oh what a tangled web we weave...WNYC's Andrea Bernstein took the time to match testimony, evidence and texts and found that Regina and the Governor may not have been, how should I put it, candid, with the legislative committee. Read about it here: http://bit.ly/1u7YNTN

102. The Port Authority cops knew something was amiss and were told to shut up about it. Port Authority cops told to 'shut up' about GWB lane closures, memo says : http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/09/port_authority_cops_told_to_shut_up_about_gwb_lane_closures_memo_says.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Plus-for those interested in source materials, read the memo here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1283440-papd-document.html

103. Christie Crime Digest put to shame! The Bergen Record has assembled a very compelling and visually appealing dossier on all things Bridgegate. A very nice compilation of materials for anyone looking for a way to make sense of this. The GWB Files: Christie and The World's Busiest Bridge: http://www.northjersey.com/news/the-gwb-files-christie-and-the-lane-closures-at-the-world-s-busiest-bridge-1.1080372

104. Christie and his family on the beach didn't just violate good taste-those ads also violated Federal procurement rules for Sandy money. Remember, Quod est in Loco! (For those who are new to this, that's Latin for "the fix is in" the Christie Administration Motto! 'Stronger Than the Storm': Federal audit finds N.J. did not fully comply with procurement rules: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/09/stronger_than_the_storm_audit.html

105. Let's see, high unemployment-check, higher property taxes-check, state's bond rating lowered-AGAIN-check- Fitch downgrades N.J. debt, saying Christie is repudiating his pension reform:http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/09/fitch_downgrades_nj_debt_saying_christie_is_repudiating_his_pension_reform.html#incart_m-rpt-1

106. No money for pensions. No money for infrastructure. No money for schools. But we do have hundreds of millions for a casino-that failed: Chris Christie loses a big Atlantic City bet, posing another challenge for 2016 run-http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/chris-christie-loses-a-big-atlantic-city-bet-posting-another-challenge-for-2016-run/2014/09/05/d7471a7a-33b0-11e4-8f02-03c644b2d7d0_story.html

107. She don't know nuthin' 'bout nuthin'-Guadagno office subpoenaed on 'Hoboken issues' -Apparently this happened back in July- its funny how it all seemed to be very quiet over the summer :http://www.northjersey.com/news/nj-state-news/guadagno-office-subpoenaed-on-hoboken-issues-1.1081619

108. Hey Putin! I got Ukraine, right here I got it! A frightening take on Christie's potential approach to foreign policy from The New Republic ( I know, I saw Shattered Glass too) Chris Christie Wants to Arm Wrestle Vladimir Putin, Basically: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119291/chris-christie-vladimir-putin-gaffe

Bridget, do you think that pizza place on the boardwalk is still open? And by the way, did you take care of that THING in Fort Lee yet? You know that THING?

109. Oh and by the way, today is Chris Christie's birthday and the Cake Boss wants to raise some money for the blowhard. NJ GOP gets fundraising solicitation from Cake Boss for Christie's birthday cake Let's make sure to send him some DU birthday best wishes!: http://www.politickernj.com/80496/nj-gop-gets-fundraising-solicitation-cake-boss-christies-birthday-cake

*Perhaps a little Karma in action? 'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro arrested on DWI charges, report says: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/11/cake_boss_buddy_valastro_arrested_on_dwi_charges_report_says.html Maybe Christie can bake him a cake. Just put a file in it!

110. I'll bet that Christie is touched that she remembered! Debbie Wasserman Schultz visited our fair state to commemorate the one year anniversary of the GWB lane closures. Debbie Wasserman Schultz rips Chris Christie over Bridgegate :http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/debbie-wasserman-schultz-bridgegate-chris-christie-110701.html

111. Just what DOES Billy Baloney Baroni know and who is the *%&$er he was being urged to "turn in" ? GWB probe: New email exchange raises more questions : http://www.northjersey.com/news/gwb-probe-new-email-exchange-raises-more-questions-1.1083499

112. Well Mr. Christie, we've established what kind of person you are, now we're just negotiating price. And I guess a $130,000 contribution to the RGA gets you something these days. Stile: Christie’s smoking-ban veto is noticed beyond N.J.: http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-christie-s-smoking-ban-veto-is-noticed-beyond-n-j-1.1086413

113. When Christie said NJ was "open for business" most people didn't think that meant everything was for sale. Apparently that is what he meant: N.J. sells controversial pension investment in fund tied to Massachusetts Republican candidate, report says: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/09/nj_sells_controversial_pension_investment_in_firm_tied_to_massachusetts_republican_candidate_report.html#incart_m-rpt-1

114. After generations of industry trashed the Passaic River, finally millions of dollars have been secured to clean it up. BUT...Christie uses the money to fill his budget holes instead.$190M settlement in pollution suit would end decade-long legal fight over Passaic River : http://www.northjersey.com/news/190m-settlement-in-pollution-suit-would-end-decade-long-legal-fight-over-passaic-river-1.1088416

115. The poor governor is tired! Come on fellows-eight months is enough. Christie Says He’s ‘Growing Tired’ of Bridge Investigation: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-18/christie-says-he-s-growing-tired-of-n-j-bridge-investigation.html

and a related update to #115: How The Media (Briefly) Exonerated Christie Oh, and Christie says he always tells the truth, except of course when he isn't. Read Matt Katz' coverage here: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/09/24/how-the-media-briefly-exonerated-christie# What remarkable coincidences. Here's 115 items (and counting) that tend to prove Christie is corrupt. All Brian Williams needed was one "anonymous source" to declare him innocent! Could something possibly be wrong here?

116. I should have posted this a while ago but I didn't read Mr. Manzo's book until I had a couple of days on the beach last month. It confirms everything we've been saying here and more. Ruthless Ambition: The Rise and Fall of Chris Christie : http://www.ruthlessambitionthebook.com/ He comes right out and calls Christie what he is-a sociopath.

117. Oh, I completely forgot about this one. The "Race to the Top" grant fiasco that let him throw Brett Schundler (one of the only non-U.S. Attorneys in his administration) under the bus Error on 'Race to the Top' application costs N.J. $400M in federal funds :http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/error_on_race_to_the_top_appli.html

and again for those who like original materials, read Brett Schundler's recount of the circumstances that Christie brazenly lied about (what else would you expect from a sociopath) here: http://media.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/other/DOETermination-ChronologyofEvents.pdf

118. Chris Christie IS a sociopath! All the signs point to it. Charismatic, lying, prone to angry outbursts, no empathy, ultra-ambitious, will do anything to win-not just once, but over and over again his behavior confirms it. The Sociopathy of Chris Christie http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Sociopathy-of-Chris-Ch-by-Barry-Sussman-Chris-Christie_Chris-Christie_Prosecution_Scandal-140208-879.html

119. Hello! They're getting the band back together! Samson, Griffa, Inglisino, Triple Five, Sheldon Adelson-They've all got a part in this-With pig farms gone, Sheldon Adelson mulls a casino in Meadowlands http://www.northjersey.com/news/with-pig-farms-gone-sheldon-adelson-mulls-a-casino-in-meadowlands-1.1101173

update: That's Sheldon (I gave $1 million to the RGA for Christie) Adelson in case you think there might be some kind of Quid Pro Quo-nah!:A bad bet: GOP Governors Assn. crossed state law with donation:
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20140610_A_bad_bet__GOP_Governors_Assn__crossed_state_law_with_donation.html (Thank you Beach Rat)

120. Here's some more evidence of the lack of the Governor's character. "Why would anybody with a functioning brain believe this guy?" Christie told a crowd gathered at a transportation summit last May. "How often do you have to be wrong to finally be dismissed?". Hopefully those words come back to haunt him when people start taking his advice. That's Christie ripping into the non-partisan Chief Budget Officer when he dared to disagree with Christie. Guess who turned out to be right-again.Christie's 'Dr. Kevorkian' was dead-on with budget prediction:http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/05/christies_dr_kevorkian_was_dea.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Isn't my husband a funny guy?

121. An update to #24-but deserving of an entry of its own. Christie aide discussed pipeline with husband, a top exec at firm behind project, emails show : http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/10/christie_aide_discussed_pipeline_with_husband_a_top_exec_at_firm_behind_project_emails_show.html#incart_story_package Turns out Renna & her hubby did discuss the Pipeline project-VIA OFFICIAL E-MAIL-and the Christie administration tried to hide that fact.

again-for those who like source documents, the Court's decision can be downloaded & read here:https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1310851/judge-jacobsen-ruling-on-opra-on-pinelands.pdf

also: don't lose this link to the memory hole-http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024442535#op that details the sordid connections and money trail from the pipeline's supporters.

122. This is as much about Massachusetts as it is about New Jersey-Chris Christie Blocks Release Of Pay-To-Play Probe Of Charlie Baker, Massachusetts GOP Nominee:http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-blocks-release-pay-play-probe-charlie-baker-massachusetts-gop-nominee-1708016 Oh, they'll release the records-2 days after the election!

123. The good governor worships at the "Church of Koch". If they say compromise a globally significant environmentally sensitive region so they can make a few more bucks, he does it! Only this time somebody stood up to him. Gov. Christie earned the Pinelands pipeline defeat: Editorial http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/10/gov_christie_earned_the_pinelands_pipeline_defeat_editorial.html

124. Now THIS is real leadership! Let's use a nurse who volunteers to put her life on the line with Doctors Without Borders as a political prop. Chris Christie's Quarantine Quagmire Is Over (for now) http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/10/27/chris-christie-s-quarantine-quagmire-is-over-for-now.

125. Having thoroughly bungled (and bungled is a polite and kind characterization of the job he's done) Sandy recovery, Christie lashes out at anyone who dares to question him publicly. Christie to Sandy heckler: 'Sit down and shut up!' http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/10/christie_lashes_out_at_hecklers_democratic_nj_senators_for_delays_on_sandy_aid.html

126. Just in case you haven't figured it out by now, being friendly with the RGA under Christie is extremely good for business.Chris Christie's N.J. friends got contracts from Republican group he chaired, records show :http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/chris_christies_nj_friends_got_contracts_from_republican_governors_association_he_chaired_records_sh.html#incart_m-rpt-2

127. What kind of unholy deal did Christie, Norcross & Sweeney dream up here? Christie’s Chief of Staff Quits for a Hospital Job: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/nyregion/christies-chief-of-staff-quits-for-a-hospital-job.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region Gee Kevin, what exactly are your qualifications for this job?

*Just a side note on this-Where have we seen something like this before? Oh yeah, entry #121! High-Profile Couple Will Have to Tiptoe Through Ethical Minefield: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/11/17/high-profile-couple-will-have-to-tiptoe-through-ethical-minefield/ Honey, what did you do at work today? Nobody from the Christie administration tip toes anywhere! I'm sure they don't even see a conflict in having Mr. & Mrs. Fox in charge of the chickens.

128. This is not really a new entry per se but for your reading enjoyment and to assist you with keeping up with the good governor of the Garden State (now how's THAT for alliteration?) here are some links to others that are accumulating information on Christie:

- An entertaining Facebook page-Chris Christie-Indict, Impeach, Imprison :https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Christie-Indict-Impeach-and-Imprison/277230469095651 (go give it a couple of likes!)

-The Christie Tracker- A project of WNYC in New York: http://project.wnyc.org/christie/

-The Christie Watcher at The Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Christie%20Watch/

-The GWB Files- A multi-media extravaganza put together by the Bergen Record home of Sean Bober whose reporting gave this story legs: http://www.northjersey.com/news/the-gwb-files-christie-and-the-lane-closures-at-the-world-s-busiest-bridge-1.1080372

-The Chis Christie page on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/chris-christie/

There are other reporters that are keeping after Christie like David Sirota and Ryan Lizza. The pressure just needs to be dialed up and something will give. There is just too much "there" there.

129. Here's one related to #97 and the looting of the public pension funds for the benefit of Christie's cronies-State takes $300 million pension gamble on Revel Casino owner : http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/money/business/2014/03/15/state-takes-300-million-pension-gamble-on-revel-casino-owner/6472093/ Public employees lose- FOC'ers (Friends of Chris) get rich-again!

* and I know that there are people out there who like original documents-check out the letter threatening David Sirota for writing about Chatham Asset Management's questionable investments of public pension monies here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/219802809/Anthony-Melchiorre-and-Chatham-Asset-Management-Legal-Letter

130. And yet another chapter in the ongoing story-Chris Christie-Bold Leader, Stand-up Guy-Chris Christie will have no opinion on immigration until he runs for president: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/20/1346186/-Chris-Christie-will-have-no-opinion-immigration-until-he-runs-for-nbsp-president -When last we left our hero he was ducking questions from Sandy victims and parents of kids killed in Newtown, CT

131. Christie is nothing if not consistent. Consistently an ass, but consistent. You'd think he learned after the dust up over his travel expenses when he was U.S. Attorney (Item # 9), but Nooooooo. State Secrets: Why Won’t Gov. Christie Disclose His Travel Expenses?: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/11/30/state-secrets-why-won-t-gov-christie-disclose-his-travel-expenses/ I'm sure the food tastes so much better and the pillow is so much softer when its on the taxpayer's dime.

132. And another chapter in the ongoing story- Chris Christie-Financial Genius- One of his "bold" moves has cost the state millions. Who would have guessed? Lawmaker calls for N.J. lottery review after revenue falls short :http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/lawmaker_calls_for_nj_lottery_review_after_revenue_falls_short.html I wonder how much money Northstar (or any of its key employees) donated to the RGA. (Thanks Rocktivity)

* Interesting update. Its a Festivus Miracle! G-Tech got the contract to run the lottery privately after giving the Republican Governor's Association over $275,000 and hiring-get ready for it-our old friends Wolff & Samson to be their lobbyists! They turned out to be the ONLY bidders for the work. Hey, you get what you pay for! http://www.dailyrecord.com/story/news/investigations/2014/12/05/nj-lottery-vendors-connection-chris-christie/19948237/ I got that one with no studying!

**It took a while but the Star-Ledger finally caught up with the Crime Digest and figured out the sordid connections that are costing the state money. Late is better than not at all. Gov. Chris Christie's gamble on privatizing N.J. lottery comes up a bust: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/04/editorial_gov_chris_christie_privatizing_nj_lotter.html David Sampson & Mike DuHaime strike again!

That's a good one David! And by the way-if anyone asks- I don't know you

133. Being a Democrat who endorsed Christie has its perks! (Just like donating to the RGA) High profile Democratic FOC'er (Friend of Chris) Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo found out! No evidence that N.J. state job held by DiVincenzo's son was publicly advertised : http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/nj_state_job_won_by_essex_county_executive_joe_divincenzos_son_was_never_publicly_advertised.html Out of 8 1/2 million people in the state, he was clearly the most qualified! (thanks Rocktivity)

134. This is an oldie but a goodie. Christie uses the State Police helicopter to catch one of his kid's high school baseball games. Gov. Chris Christie's 'CopterGate': Uses State Police Helicopter To See His Son Play High-school Baseball: http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/gov-chris-christies-coptergate-uses-sta Can I borrow it to get to one of my son's games? (After all me and about 8 million other people did help pay for it!) It's good to be the king.

135. Yes Master, whatever you say. Christie goes to Canada to support the Keystone XL on behalf of his puppet masters the Kochs. Stile: Supporting Keystone XL pipeline is safe for Christie http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-supporting-keystone-xl-pipeline-is-safe-for-christie-1.1145535 Meanwhile he hasn't said a word about the pipelines tearing up his home state.

136. Another non exoneration exoneration. Don't just read the headlines, look at the substance of the report: Christie bridge scandal: Excerpts of legislative committee's new report: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/12/christie_bridge_scandal_excerpts_of_legislative_committees_new_report.html#incart_river This is far from a report clearing him-in fact it makes him look very bad.

*Here you go sports fans! First the link to the interim legislative report: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/reports/interim_report.pdf another link to the actual documents obtained via subpoena: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/Subpoena_Production_Exhibits and separate exhibits:http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/Additional_Exhibits

** and a link to the excellent story and timeline done by Andrea Bernstein at WNYC who did the hard work of going through the report and matching statements with known facts. read it here: http://bit.ly/1u7YNTN Somebody's lying and that's the truth!

137. Oh Oh Domino! (Sorry Van) Could this just be the beginning of the fun? Potential Indictments in George Washington Bridge Probe May Be Handed Down in January: Sources: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/George-Washington-Bridge-Traffic-Jam-Fort-Lee-Chris-Christie-New-Jersey-Indictment-Port-Authority-284905201.html I'm sure nothing loosens the lips of recalcitrant witnesses like an indictment.

138. Missed it by that much. A nod to Maxwell Smart and props to Rocktivity, Christie the financial genius strikes again! Christie administration's pension liability estimate doubles under new rules: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/12/christie_administration_quietly_doubles_pension_liability_estimate.html Just imagine what he can do for the country.

139. In this week's installment of Chris Christie-Economic Genius we find our hero working hard on tanking the state's economy Job surge skipping New Jersey so far :http://www.northjersey.com/news/job-surge-skipping-new-jersey-so-far-1.1147574 Make sure to tune in next week when Christie invests the state pension funds with a former Nigerian dictator who sent him an e-mail promising to quadruple the current returns on the money! If only you send me the amount of $1,000,000 USD by money order the honorable Bank of Lagos will issue to you a check in the sum of $23,000,000 for your kind assistance.

140. Here's something important to remember before it all goes crazy. Why Dawn Zimmer Is Telling The Truth: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024364984 This goes all the way back to the beginning of this mess and is really the heart of how Christie and his cronies operate.

141. Will Christie tout this as one of his accomplishments? N.J. among worst run states in nation, study finds:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/nj_among_worst_run_states_in_nation_study_finds.html Words cannot express how proud I am at this moment!

142. The best defense is a good offense-Former Port Authority chairman Samson tries to head off ethics probe:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/former_port_authority_chairman_samson_tries_to_head_off_ethics_probe.html#incart_river You can't investigate me-don't you know who I am?

*Well never mind then...Former Port Authority chairman David Samson withdraws suit seeking to block ethics inquiry: http://www.northjersey.com/news/former-port-authority-chairman-david-samson-withdraws-suit-seeking-to-block-ethics-inquiry-1.1181934 Could it be because the fix is already in with the Christie dominated ethics panel? Quod Est In Loco!

143. Now this sounds kind of specific, doesn't it? Bridge Scandal Prosecutors May Use Fraud Law to Charge Christie Associates
: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/nyregion/in-george-washington-bridge-case-prosecutors-could-use-fraud-statute-to-charge-christie-associates.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region%AEion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1 Baby its cold outside, but its heating up down on Walnut Street! (via yortsed snacilbuper)

144. Falkner, Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, .....Christie? Deal would let Christie profit from writing book, boost N.J. legislative staff salaries: Read the story here. Oh Brother! I'm sure everyone on the beach will be reading this epic tome next summer. I wonder what the title will be? Make sure you get in line for the book signing now!

Allright! I did it. I'm the one who ordered the cones put out. Because the Governor TOLD me to!

145. New Jersey, Illinois and Kansas walk into a bar together.....Kansas Governor Proposes Using Pension Money to Cover Budget Gaps Created By His Tax Cuts :http://www.ibtimes.com/kansas-governor-proposes-using-pension-money-cover-budget-gaps-created-his-tax-cuts-1753626 They all used cuts in pension contributions to cover corporate and wealthy individual tax giveaways and they all have had their bond ratings significantly downgraded, and oh yeah, they all lag the nation in job growth. That's not a very funny punchline is it?

146.The sooner we can put Christie in the rear view mirror, the sooner we can concentrate on why whatever other clown the Republicans put up shouldn't be President. I'm not sure yet but somebody else is convinced that Christie is toast-Five reasons Christie will never be president:http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/12/five_reasons_christie_will_never_be_president_moran.html Only 5? We've got like 145 right here!

147. How deep is the bubbling cesspool of New Jersey's pension fund mangement under Christie? New Jersey Paid Fees To Mary Pat Christie's Firm After State Investment Was Terminated :http://www.ibtimes.com/new-jersey-paid-fees-mary-pat-christies-firm-after-state-investment-was-terminated-1760682 $475,000/year for Mary Pat for a part-time job? No wonder she has that stupid grin on her face! This smells worse than.....let's see, the Bayway Refinery on a hot and humid August night.

148. A critique of Christie's performance art. Getting Chris Christie’s goat: Activists try to rile up governor, pile up some YouTube hits http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/getting-chris-christies-goat-activists-try-to-rile-up-governor-pile-up-some-youtube-hits/2014/12/20/c1f4c29e-865d-11e4-9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html?wprss=rss_politics The Washington Post has actually broken the "Christie Tirade" down into three distinct steps. Master these steps and perhaps you too can learn to be a bully.

*Make sure to check out his 14 "greatest hits" here: How to get Chris Christie fired up: http://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/fired-up-christie/ He's not really a tough guy but he does play one on T.V.! What a coward!

149. Christie & Cuomo team up to bury reform of the Port Authority cesspool- They'll have all of the commissioners they appointed resign! That'll do it. Cuomo and Christie, Defying Legislatures, Reject Bill to Overhaul Port Authority:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/nyregion/cuomo-and-christie-announce-they-will-veto-bill-to-overhaul-port-authority.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region%C2%AEion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 Nothing to see here. Move along. (Look back to Vol I, Item #89)

150. Why was Chris Christie and his family flown to Dallas on Jerry Jones' private jet? Why was he in the owner's box for the Dallas-Detroit playoff game? Because he was a Dallas fan? I think not-Chris Christie Pushed Port Authority To Give Contract To Jerry Jones' Firm http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-pushed-port-authority-give-contract-jerry-jones-firm-1774154 Nothing to see here folks (again), just move along. Disgusting! (And wasn't it just a little uncomfortable to watch him try to jump up and down when Dallas scored?) Gravity is a bitch.

*I estimated the cost of the trip to Dallas at around $20,000. Boy was I wrong! It would cost between $125,000 and $150,000!

151. Well, just when you may have thought Mr. Fishman was a slacker, the plot thickens! Christie's records of canceled meetings with Jersey City mayor are subpoenaed: report: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/01/christies_records_of_cancelled_meetings_with_jersey_city_mayor_are_subpoenaed.html I wonder what we'll find here?

152. It's one year since the infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" e-mail was made public. It's been an interesting year-A Year After 'Traffic Problems' Email, Bridgegate in 18 Stories:http://project.wnyc.org/christie/#latest-424283 A mini Christie Crime Digest!

153. Very Interesting! It seems that the U.S. Attorney has taken an interest in the conjured testimony of Billy Baloney-U.S. attorney subpoenas Baroni testimony in Christie bridge scandal probe:http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/01/us_attorney_subpoenas_for_documents_in_christie_bridge_scandal_probe.html#incart_m-rpt-1 Too bad it wasn't under oath or it would be a slam dunk perjury case. As it is, he should have some interesting correspondence with the Office of Attorney Ethics in his future. I see a state's witness here. Perhaps we'll find the answer to item # 111.

154. Oh Baby! We're heading for Volume III. The IB Times is all over Christie. Before Bridgegate, Chris Christie Used Port Authority As Political Weapon : http://www.ibtimes.com/bridgegate-chris-christie-used-port-authority-political-weapon-1778062 Christie & Baroni are quite an act.

155. As my grandfather used to say-A leopard doesn't change his spots-and apparently neither does an arrogant ass-hole(sorry for the language) Harkening back to Volume I, item #9, he continues to have a blind spot about his travel expenses: Chris Christie's Dallas trip leaves unanswered questions, but not as much as gov's other travel: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/01/chris_christies_dallas_trip_isnt_only_one_with_unanswered_questions_about_cost.html?ath=80e8422d48902dc82ad87f5e39457178 He just seems to think he's above it all.

*A bit of a victory here: Court orders Gov. Christie to reveal air travel records, not hotel bills: http://watchdog.org/179348/christie-travel-records-3/ and check out the $7800 bill for a New Orleans hotel during the Super Bowl-the Cowboys weren't even playing!- http://watchdog.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2014/10/New-Orleans-hotel-bill.pdf

156. It's not quite the Christie Crime Digest and the title is a bit pretentious but....check out Everything you need to know about Chris Christie's scandals: http://www.vox.com/cards/chris-christie-scandals-explained/who-is-chris-christie It's ok. And it has pictures!

Next I'm Going to do a bunny-See! What's the matter, don't you believe me?

157. How did we miss this? Chris Christie's Entire Career Reeks It's not just the bridge : http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116601/chris-christies-rise-and-fall Now here is someone who has done their research.

158. I wonder if he gave them his famous recipe for mashed potatoes? Chris Christie Was Interrogated By Feds Over Bridge Scandal: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/exclusive-chris-christie-interrogated-feds-bridge-scandal/story?id=28117826 Very interesting that Josh Margolin was the one to break this story.

159. Christie could make it to the Cowboys game, but not to a young police officer's funeral-hum: Kelly: Christie's missed opportunity:http://www.northjersey.com/news/kelly-christie-s-missed-opportunity-1.1190593 Good to know he's got his priorities in line.

160. Christie and the Cowboys-and the Port Authority-Perfect together! Cowboys Great Roger Staubach Donated to Christie Months Before Landing PA Contract:http://politickernj.com/2015/01/cowboys-great-roger-staubach-donated-to-christie-months-before-landing-pa-contract/ Apparently nothing is out of bounds for Christie when it comes to his favorite team.

161. Christie's protection racket-Big Ticket: Costs to Protect Christie During Travels Up 1,800% Since He Took Office: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/01/12/big-ticket-costs-to-protect-gov-christie-during-travels-rise-1-800-percent/# So glad he can self-promote on the taxpayer's dime.

162. What was Christie really doing in Dallas? EXCLUSIVE: Chris Christie Lands a Key Texas Bundler for Prez Run: http://observer.com/2015/01/exclusive-chris-christie-lands-a-key-texas-bundler-for-prez-run/ He must really be pretty confident that he's going to skate.

163. Chris Christie's legacy? Chris Christie’s Jersey nightmare: Why his state hasn’t touched the economic recovery: http://www.salon.com/2015/01/13/chris_christies_jersey_nightmare_why_his_state_hasnt_touched_the_economic_recovery/ Imagine what he could do for the country!

164. Christie is doing his damnedest to make sure the state has no future-How Long Can New Jersey's Drinking-Water Supplies Hold Out? : http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/01/12/how-long-can-new-jersey-s-drinking-water-supplies-hold-out/ That's not as important a question to answer as who can be his next big ticket donor is it?

165. Christie's State of the State address was a very nice campaign speech but a little short on the truth (anyone surprised?) What Christie Said: Fact Checking the Governor’s State of the State :http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/01/14/what-christie-said-fact-checking-the-governor-s-state-of-the-state/ He should have started the speech with "a long time ago in a galaxy far away".

*And a pretty good critique of his bloviating, self-serving, and misleading State of the Stump speech-Christie’s National Aspirations Underlie State Speech: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/nyregion/chris-christie-state-of-the-state-speech-new-jersey.html?ref=nyregion&target=comments&_r=0#commentsContainer Hey rest of the country-don't believe a word this guy says!

** He conveniently left out any mention of Sandy recovery too. Christie's telling silence on Sandy: Editorial: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/01/christies_telling_silence_on_sandy_editorial.html#incart_river Tell this story on the campaign trail you miserable piece of garbage.

166. Maybe This Means Something....and maybe it doesn't, but.....it sure looks like fixer-in-chief Lori Grifa is bailing from her long-term relationship with Wolff & Sampson for a similar position putting the fixes in with another law firm. Ex-Christie commissioner joins lobbying firm that recently employed current commissioner: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/01/former_christie_cabinet_member_becomes_lobbyist_th.html#incart_river Grifa, who will be a director at Archer Public Affairs and a partner in the firm's law practice, comes on board just months after a previous lobbying director, Richard Mroz, was tapped by Christie to be president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The door revolves.

167. He is so fond of living the high life on other people's dime! Here's hoping that there are some taxpayer funded "non-luxury" accommodations in his future: In Christie’s Career, a Fondness for Luxe Benefits When Others Pay the Bills:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/03/nyregion/in-christies-career-a-fondness-forluxe-benefits-when-others-pay-the-bills.html?rref=nyregion&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=New%20York&pgtype=article The pillow is so much softer when someone else is paying for it.

168. It's a miracle! Everybody he meets becomes his friend-even after just one day. (at least people who give him expensive gifts) Exhibit 1-The Christie Crime Digest! Ethics watchdog group files complaint against Christie : http://www.northjersey.com/news/ethics-watchdog-group-files-complaint-against-christie-1.1265381 It's a trick question! Christie has no ethics.

169. As Roctivity has pointed out-it all comes full circle-Crime Digest Item #1 hits the news again-this time with a bit more splash: Feds talk to ex-N.J. prosecutor who claims Christie had allies' charges dropped: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/feds_interview_ex-nj_prosecutor_who_claims_christi.html#incart_river Hopefully some vindication is headed Ben Barlyn's way. A very brave man who stood up for what is right.

* And just to note-its cost the taxpayers of NJ over 1/2 Million dollars to defend Christie against Mr. Barlyn's lawsuit-more money for his crony law firms (this time Bill Pallatuci's firm-he's the guy who created this monster in the first place) NJ Paid Law Firm Of Chris Christie's Top Adviser To Defend Christie In Whistleblower Suit : http://www.ibtimes.com/nj-paid-law-firm-chris-christies-top-adviser-defend-christie-whistleblower-suit-1807346 Take him down Ben Barlyn!

** A little trip down memory lane to the day when then U.S. Attorney Christie stepped in on behalf of his good buddy George Norcross- Ex-Prosecutors in Trenton Respond to U.S. Scolding http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DEFDE113FF934A15752C0A9609C8B63

***Listen to an interview with Bennet Barlyn here: http://bit.ly/1C43jIR

Hold On There! You've Got The Wrong Guy!

170. Maybe United can institute direct flights to wherever you might want to fly: United confirms 'chairman's flight' subpoena in probe of former Port Authority exec: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/02/united_confirms_chairmans_flight_subpoena_in_probe_of_former_port_authority_exec.html#incart_story_package The "Chairman's Flight"! Just when I thought things were going nowhere it starts to get interesting.

* Well the U.S. Attorney seems to be following this story down the dark and sordid alley it seems to be leading: Feds contact South Carolina airport officials in probe tied to ex-Port Authority Chairman David Samson :http://www.northjersey.com/news/feds-contact-south-carolina-airport-officials-in-probe-tied-to-ex-port-authority-chairman-david-samson-1.1269309 This is really getting interesting.

** Looks like the Quid Pro Quo everyone was looking for! The Dinner Proposal That Led United Into Corruption Probe: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-28/the-dinner-proposal-that-led-united-into-corruption-probe Just some innocent dinner conversation-right? Samson is going down-and I'll bet not alone!

171. Apparently his loudmouth boor act didn't play well in England-who could have guessed? Christie's U.K. trip a 'failure,' presidential scholars say: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/chris_christies_uk_trip_a_failure_experts_say.html#incart_m-rpt-1 I say old boy, why don't you sit down and shut up. Pass the crumpets please.

172. So much for the promise of transparency. Chris Christie Is Now Waging 23 Court Battles to Keep State Documents Secret:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/chris-christie-transparency-records-requests What do you suppose they're trying to hide?

173. Could this have anything to do with Sheldon "I gave a million to the RGA" Adelson? Chris Christie accused of blocking casino deal to help billionaire donor: http://www.businessinsider.com/christie-accused-of-blocking-casino-deal-for-adelson-2015-2 Probably just a coincidence, right?

174. Once again re-visiting Crime Digest Item #1:Christie Accuser Renews Request for Grand Jury Records http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202718401357/Christie-Accuser-Renews-Request-for-Grand-Jury-Records -I especially like the line "I'm sure there's a Mrs. McGovern who appreciates your paycheck". What scumbags. I generally don't resort to language of this sort but it's just so accurately descriptive.

175. Ah yes, liberal judicial activism has once again raised it's ugly head! NJ Judge Orders Christie to Fund Pension Plan: http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202718703611/NJ-Judge-Orders-Christie-to-Fund-Pension-Plan#ixzz3Sc2dmbqS Oh well, he really doesn't like being held accountable for his misdeeds.

176. Another rat jumps ship-Mike "the Mouthpiece" Drewniak resigns:New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s Top Spokesman Leaving http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2015/02/24/new-jersey-gov-chris-christies-top-spokesman-leaving/ Maybe he has to go and gouge somebody's eyes out, pour gasoline in the sockets and light it up.

*But Mike isn't going away-Christie spokesman Drewniak named to newly-created NJ Transit job : http://www.northjersey.com/news/christie-spokesman-drewniak-named-to-newly-created-nj-transit-job-1.1279990 Not really qualified but they managed to create a new job just for him! Oh, by the way, another one of Christie's high school buddies is calling the shots at NJ Transit. What a coincidence.

177. Just in case the prior 175 items haven't convinced you that Christie is a man who will do or say anything to get ahead, he now reveals his "pro-life" credentials! After Linking Clinic-Funding Vetoes to Cost, Christie Now Claims ‘Pro-Life’ Motives:http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/02/26/after-years-of-linking-clinic-funding-vetoes-to-fiscal-prudence-christie-claims-pro-life-motives/ Such a shameful person yet he has no shame!

178. In our latest episode of Chris Christie Financial Genius Spring brings warm weather, the promise of new life and oh yeah, another budget shortfall: Another Budget Shortfall On Christie’s Watch -- State Tax Collections off $60M : http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/02/26/another-budget-shortfall-on-christie-s-watch-state-tax-collections-off-60m/ Tell us another one about the evil independent budget auditor!

* Number nine, number nine, number nine.....Moody's gives N.J. a 'credit negative' following pension ruling, budget plan http://www.northjersey.com/news/moody-s-gives-n-j-a-credit-negative-following-pension-ruling-budget-plan-1.1279028 The man's a financial GENIUS I tell you....downgrade number nine, number nine.....(that's a Beatles reference for you younger folks)

** WHAT AGAIN? At some point this stops becoming news doesn't it? Moody's downgrades N.J. credit rating, citing weak financial position and pension shortfalls :http://www.northjersey.com/news/moody-s-downgrades-n-j-credit-rating-citing-weak-financial-position-and-pension-shortfalls-1.1311053 I wonder if he's touting this as an accomplishment up in New Hampshire. Done me wrong same old song!

179. A contribution to the RGA under Christie has a long track record of being a prudent investment-that legacy continues: Exxon Mobil Settles $9 Billion New Jersey Environmental Case for $250 Million: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/28/nyregion/exxon-mobil-settles-with-new-jersey-over-environmental-damage.html?_r=0 The hits just keep coming! You can sell yourself out but you've just sold out generations of NJ residents you disgusting slob!

*Lori Grifa apparently learned very well at Sampson's knee. A follow up on #179 (and the prediction from #166) & a more in depth look at the miracle 3 cents on a dollar settlement-Chris Christie Backed Law That Lets Him Divert ExxonMobil Settlement From Environmental Cleanup http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-backed-law-lets-him-divert-exxonmobil-settlement-environmental-cleanup-1831558 Guess who represented Exxon? That would be Lori Grifa's new law firm-Archer & Greiner.

**IMPORTANT UPDATE Seems Mr. Christie had the Governor's Office interfere with the litigation-Christie’s Office Drove Exxon Settlement, Ex-Official Says:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/05/nyregion/christies-office-took-over-exxon-settlement-ex-official-says.html?ref=nyregion Now why do you suppose he would do a thing like that?

***For those interested in original documents (and I know you're out there!) Here is a link to some of the filings in this case: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/documents_read_excerpts_from_the_states_case_again.html#incart_river Paper trails are a bitch aren't they Chris?

180. Christie's insiders seem to be leaving in droves:Inside Team Christie: Severe Dysfunction and 90% of top staff have left: http://politickernj.com/2015/02/inside-team-christie-severe-dysfunction-and-90-of-top-staff-have-left/ The rats are jumping ship, but they all seem to be landing on yachts!

181. A little late but welcome nonetheless -Christie will face a real dilemma because of his close ties and dirty dealings with pension money, high school buddies and campaign donors Chris Christie Faces New Jersey Bill Restricting Campaign Cash From Firms Managing Pension: http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-faces-new-jersey-bill-restricting-campaign-cash-firms-managing-pension-1831938 or not- he could just veto the bill and start raking in the cash.

Hey, how did that Wildstein....I mean that guy I don't know get into the State House again?

182. Hey Chris, explain it again about why the pension system needs to be reformed! Chris Christie Administration Paid $600M In Financial Fees In 2014: http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-administration-paid-600m-financial-fees-2014-1833872 Oh it needs reform alright, except the problem isn't the benefit side. Then again, being a Christie insider is a benefit.

183. Chris Christie and Wall Street pirates have a swashbuckling history that goes way back: Christie has a Bernie Madoff Problem: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/03/1022317/-Christie-has-a-Bernie-Madoff-Problem# This article also raises the question-How did a lawyer fresh out of law school with no experience become a partner in an established law firm? Inquiring minds want to know. Does anyone in a position of authority or with say a platform with a large public following have an inquiring mind?

184. Matt Katz turns over a rock and look what scurries out! Christie Aide Took Political Trip Before Exxon Settlement:http://bit.ly/1G1iaVd Holy Toledo! You just can't make stuff like this up!

185. After giving Exxon a nice big sloppy wet kiss (and several billion dollars to go with it) he heads to Florida (after declaring a State of Emergency in NJ) to soak up the Sun at an Exxon funded event: Hours After Exxon Settlement, Chris Christie Attends Secretive Event Hosted By Exxon-Funded Group: http://www.ibtimes.com/hours-after-exxon-settlement-chris-christie-attends-secretive-event-hosted-exxon-1838686 If you sell us out, you might as well sell us out big time Mr. Christie.

186. Chris Christie's education policies are an utter failure-who would have guessed? Chris Christie’s Newark School Privatization Scam Is An Epic Failure:http://reverbpress.com/politics/chris-christies-newark-school-privatization-scam-is-an-epic-failure/ I wonder what he'll fail at next?

187. Christie came under the spell of the Koch Brothers and let the environment be damned. Oil Baron of the Pine Barrens: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/03/12/oil-baron-of-the-pine-barrens-chris-christie-embraces-big-oil We're all screwed.

188. Wildstein's personal calendar turns out to be a treasure trove of information-Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man:http://bit.ly/1L0vosj Christie is caught lying again-what a shocker. This one's going to be a bit tough to explain Mr. Class President and Athlete.

189. Taking the state police helicopter to your kid's baseball games wasn't bad enough-Christie rarely pays full cost of state helicopter air time during personal, political travel : http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/christie_helicopter_travel.html Hey, when you're entitled you're entitled, know what I mean?

190. This whole you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours thing Christie has going is quite a racket! Chris Christie Maintained State Pension Investments In Prudential After Top Official Gave Contributions ; http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-maintained-state-pension-investments-prudential-after-top-official-1843736 There's nothing to see here folks, just move along.

*This story is apparently even worse than it looks! Chris Christie Officials Sent Pension Money To Subsidiary of Donor’s Foreign Firm
:http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-officials-sent-pension-money-subsidiary-donors-foreign-firm-1847744 Looks like you've got both the quid and the quo!

**Did I say it was worse than it looks? I was wrong! It's way worse than it looks: Chris Christie Officials Suggest New Jersey Paid Millions in Undisclosed Fees: http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-officials-suggest-new-jersey-paid-millions-undisclosed-fees-1864514 Fees, who wants to know?

191. Yet again proving that being Governor is the next best thing to having a friend who's governor-Christie's Camden tax breaks reward political insiders: http://www.northjersey.com/news/christie-s-camden-tax-breaks-reward-political-insiders-1.1290521 Sadly, I'm having trouble getting outraged over anything this guy does anymore.

192. The plot thickens-Federal prosecutors file new subpoena investigating Chris Christie bridge scandal: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/federal-prosecutors-file-new-subpoena-investigating-chris-christie-bridge-scandal/ Keep running for President moron-nobody will ever notice what's going on back in NJ.

193. Oh yeah, that guy you didn't know-Just How Close Was Chris Christie to David Wildstein?: http://politickernj.com/2015/03/just-how-close-was-chris-christie-to-david-wildstein/ try the crab cakes at the Black Horse-they're delicious. then again-you've probably already had them-hey Dave?

Sorry kid. I gave all the Sandy money to political donors. Now go back to your trailer and shut up

194. Governor Christie is more than willing to get on his knees for David Koch: The Oil Baron Of The Pine Barrens : http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/03/12/oil-baron-of-the-pine-barrens-chris-christie-embraces-big-oil Citizens United has apparently ended the era of "cash in an envelope corruption"-it's a brave new world!

195. And don't EVER forget that Christie's shining achievement is recovery from Hurricane Sandy! At Christie's 131st town hall, a Boy Scout tells a Sandy horror story: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/at_christies_131st_town_hall_a_boy_scouts_den_moth.html The kid's still living in a camper 2 1/2 years later and the best Christie can do is blame somebody else and give the kid a pen (but not to keep)! The man is a true hero.

196. An excellent analysis of the Christie style of dealing with municipal officials who don't toe the line: Neverending Story: Feds' Bridgegate Probe Takes New Turn : http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/neverending-story-feds-bridgegate-probe-takes-new-turn The screws are definitely being tightened!

197. Being a FOC'er pays off again! This time for the friendly media member who tosses him softballs on his call-in radio show: Chris Christie Gets Corvette For NJ Radio News Director Who Interviews Him: http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-gets-corvette-nj-radio-news-director-who-interviews-him-1856420 Oh Brother!

198. Could this be a harbinger of good things to come? Former Port Authority chairman resigns from law firm he co-founded:http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/former_port_authority_chairman_resigns_from_law_fi.html#incart_river Merely quitting wasn't enough-the firm is changing its name to eliminate all traces of Samson!

*It's Every man (or in this case woman) for themselves! Wolff & Samson loses top lobbyist:http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/wolff_samson_loses_top_lobbyist_the_auditor.html#incart_river Yet another rat jumps ship.

** Will Mr. Samson keep quiet if he's indicted? Will he slit his wrists in the bathtub like Frankie Pentangelo in The Godfather? Chris Christie Ally David Samson’s Loyalty May Be Tested as Probe Winds Down:http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-16/christie-ally-samson-s-loyalty-may-be-tested-as-probe-winds-down I believe the answers to these questions will be coming soon.

199. Speaking of harbingers-could the vigil be over? Indictments May Be Near in George Washington Bridge Scandal:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/nyregion/indictments-may-be-near-in-george-washington-bridge-scandal.html?_r=0 This certainly fits with what I have heard in the last two weeks.

200. A fitting ending to Volume II-Is a defining moment near for U.S. attorney Fishman?:http://www.northjersey.com/news/is-a-defining-moment-near-for-u-s-attorney-fishman-1.1307587 I couldn't have asked for a better article to leave this edition with. A defining moment indeed, and not just for Mr. Fishman. Here's hoping he has what it takes to bring Christie down.

Not Now, I'm Practicing My Perp Walk

Find Items 1-100 at the original Christie Crime Digest Vol. I ! But more importantly, it's on to Volume III-The Prosecution!

146 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Christie Crime Digest-Vol. II (Original Post) Laxman Dec 2014 OP
k&r... spanone Dec 2014 #1
Hi there Laxman malaise Dec 2014 #2
I Remember When You Suggested Starting Vol. II.... Laxman Dec 2014 #5
LOL malaise Dec 2014 #6
I Went Back To Check... Laxman Dec 2014 #8
Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I spent 30 minutes and I still haven't read all of okaawhatever Dec 2014 #3
he belongs behind bars ... or in a gestation crate napkinz Dec 2014 #4
I've Got To Give Props..... Laxman Dec 2014 #7
I collect graphics from a wide variety of sources and share with others ... here's a few more; enjoy napkinz Dec 2014 #14
It Was Necessary..... Laxman Dec 2014 #9
Though it wasn't the number of entries that made Vol. 1 unwieldy rocktivity Dec 2014 #10
This message was self-deleted by its author rocktivity Dec 2014 #11
Excellent malaise Dec 2014 #31
On the second day of Bridge(t)-Gate, my boss said to me..."Shut up!" rocktivity Feb 2015 #91
On the third day of Bridge(t)-Gate, I was banished across state lines rocktivity Feb 2015 #92
On the fourth day of Bridge(t)-Gate, I Covered My Ass rocktivity Feb 2015 #93
"I'm tired... tired of playing the game... ain't it a crying shame... I'm so tired..." rocktivity Feb 2015 #94
Christie's Angels (of Mercy): How the Nurses (Union) Went from Naughty to Nice rocktivity Feb 2015 #95
Christie's Angels (of Mercy) II: Messing with the Wrong Nurse - "WHO'S 'Obviously Ill?'" rocktivity Feb 2015 #96
The latest from the Crew Christie Personnel Department (and just in time for feeling thankful) rocktivity Feb 2015 #97
Crew Christie Personnel Department Update: The daughter of a cousin of Christie's wife rocktivity Feb 2015 #98
The Unkindest (Christie) Cut of All: 21 Stab Wounds rocktivity Dec 2014 #12
Missed It By That Much (only two hundred and nineteen per cent) rocktivity Dec 2014 #13
Apparently David Sampson Doesn't Believe..... Laxman Dec 2014 #15
We cannot print money...but we can damn sure flush it down the toilet rocktivity Dec 2014 #16
The partisanship -- it burns: Bridge(t)-Gate Interim Report Bashed by Bridge(t)-Gate Suspect rocktivity Dec 2014 #17
Baby It's Cold Outside.... Laxman Dec 2014 #18
Here Is Another Unholy Deal In The Works..... Laxman Dec 2014 #19
The bill wouldn't raise the governor's salary? And they say Crew Christie has no class! rocktivity Dec 2014 #21
What Do You Think The Title Will Be.... Laxman Dec 2014 #23
beautiful collection, Laxman! Have you X posted in the Jersey group? bettyellen Dec 2014 #20
I've Got A Joke For You..... Laxman Dec 2014 #22
People Are Finally Starting To Figure Out.... Laxman Dec 2014 #24
More Pension Fund Shenanigans.... Laxman Dec 2014 #25
Mr. Fishman and the SEC have an ace in the hole indeed rocktivity Dec 2014 #26
Well, exactly what IS an "Illiquid Investment?" rocktivity Dec 2014 #27
Chris "The Coward" Christie Has Honed..... Laxman Dec 2014 #28
This whole "tough guy" character is a staged set-up! Beach Rat Dec 2014 #29
Well This Might Be Troubling.... Laxman Dec 2014 #30
Christie and Cuomo: "Happy Screw Ya -- Oops, We Mean, Screw Year!" rocktivity Dec 2014 #32
Speaking Of "Happy Screw Year".... Laxman Dec 2014 #34
Whoa, That question wasn't in the script! yortsed snacilbuper Dec 2014 #33
k&r yortsed snacilbuper Dec 2014 #35
Christie's Appointment To The Ethics Committee.... Laxman Jan 2015 #36
I just read something you posted on another thread about this. Beach Rat Jan 2015 #38
Oh, Jerry didn't get that contract for free rocktivity Jan 2015 #39
I Thought The Cost Of The Trip To Dallas.... Laxman Jan 2015 #55
K & R AzDar Jan 2015 #37
It's Nice To See... Laxman Jan 2015 #40
chi$tie ain't out of the woods yet! yortsed snacilbuper Jan 2015 #41
k&R for, yortsed snacilbuper Jan 2015 #59
A Year After The "Time For Some Traffic Problems" E-mail..... Laxman Jan 2015 #42
The Made Up Testimony From Billy "Baloney" Baroni.... Laxman Jan 2015 #43
Remember The Story About The Time..... Laxman Jan 2015 #44
Wow. Thanks for staying on this and pulling this all together, Laxman! pnwmom Jan 2015 #45
Great To Hear From You.... Laxman Jan 2015 #46
I had started to get discouraged but the latest news reports pnwmom Jan 2015 #48
Things Are Definitely Starting To Look Up.... Laxman Jan 2015 #49
That someone planning a Presidential campaign would have the gall pnwmom Jan 2015 #52
keep an eye out for the PA suggesting PATH train closures- revenge against Mayors Zimmer and Fullop bettyellen Jan 2015 #47
Is It Sloppy.... Laxman Jan 2015 #50
The Governor Continues To Have A Blind Spot.... Laxman Jan 2015 #51
This Seems A Bit Curious To Me... Laxman Jan 2015 #53
Exoneration won't help him, but because if he's completely innocent, rocktivity Jan 2015 #56
I'm lovng Volume 2 malaise Jan 2015 #54
Thanks Malaise.... Laxman Jan 2015 #57
Christie's "Cowboy Love" Isn't Just ..... Laxman Jan 2015 #58
Not To Beat The Cowboys Trip To Death... Laxman Jan 2015 #60
How did I miss this when it was posted? Omaha Steve Jan 2015 #61
Yet Another Chapter In Fiscal Responsibilty.... Laxman Jan 2015 #62
Maybe Christie Didn't Just Go To Dallas.... Laxman Jan 2015 #63
K&R Jamaal510 Jan 2015 #64
Christie's Lack Of Policy Knowledge Or Real Concern..... Laxman Jan 2015 #65
Holy Cow man! Beach Rat Jan 2015 #66
A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Away...... Laxman Jan 2015 #67
I Should Have Used This Article.... Laxman Jan 2015 #68
The Hero Of Sandy.... Laxman Jan 2015 #69
Oh man, that schlub gov makes you work hard! thanks Laxman Cha Jan 2015 #70
Keeping Up With The Good Governor... Laxman Jan 2015 #71
We're pulling for it! Cha Jan 2015 #72
I'll pop the bubbly right on this thread malaise Jan 2015 #73
Maybe This Means Something.... Laxman Jan 2015 #74
Christie says he and Jerry Jones didn't meet until September 2013 rocktivity Jan 2015 #75
k&r yortsed snacilbuper Jan 2015 #76
k&R yortsed snacilbuper Feb 2015 #80
The Eight Step Process.... Laxman Jan 2015 #77
Some More On Christie And His Famous Pals..... Laxman Jan 2015 #78
Christie has officially launched his political action committee rocktivity Jan 2015 #79
k&R yortsed snacilbuper Feb 2015 #81
Christie Is Moving Up In The World..... Laxman Feb 2015 #82
Christie concludes Britain trip by refusing to take questions rocktivity Feb 2015 #83
Christie Must Really Be A Great Guy.... Laxman Feb 2015 #84
The Hunterdon mess just got messier rocktivity Feb 2015 #85
A Big Day For The Crime Digest, Volume II.... Laxman Feb 2015 #86
Complete List of All The Famous People Chris Christie Hangs Out With rocktivity Feb 2015 #87
Well The U.S. Attorney Is Following Up..... Laxman Feb 2015 #88
"Mann said he assumed United had a business reason for maintaining the route rocktivity Feb 2015 #89
"Thank you for flying Crew Christie Airlines -- rocktivity Feb 2015 #90
Update on Christie's Political Action Committees rocktivity Feb 2015 #99
Christie Says He Doesn't Know This Guy.... Laxman Feb 2015 #100
A Portrait Of Chris Christie..... Laxman Feb 2015 #101
Well, when the political TMZ writes a Repub an obiturary rocktivity Feb 2015 #102
The NJ Courts...... Laxman Feb 2015 #103
I See That Christie Has Hired.... Laxman Feb 2015 #105
Drewniak's leaving due to illness -- everybody is sick of him rocktivity Feb 2015 #107
Have I been plagiarized? rocktivity Feb 2015 #116
The Saga Of Chris Christie Financial Genius.... Laxman Feb 2015 #106
Here's the "big pile of Sandy cash" rocktivity Feb 2015 #108
did you see this about Samson? bettyellen Feb 2015 #109
I Did Bettyellen.... Laxman Feb 2015 #111
A Disgusting Perspective On Christie's Attacks.... Laxman Feb 2015 #110
Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine..... Laxman Feb 2015 #112
Then you'll be delighted to know that Christie settled with Exxon Mobil rocktivity Feb 2015 #113
Enron New Jersey Style! rocktivity Feb 2015 #114
This Is One That Really Hits Home... Laxman Feb 2015 #115
You aint heard nothing yet rocktivity Feb 2015 #118
DREWNIAK'S BACK! rocktivity Feb 2015 #117
I Heard A Story Last Week.... Laxman Mar 2015 #120
Golden Parachutes Or Yachts For Lifeboats.... Laxman Feb 2015 #119
Christie's Manufactured Pension Crisis.... Laxman Mar 2015 #121
The Exxon Sell Ou....I Mean Settlement.... Laxman Mar 2015 #122
For Those Interested In Original Documents..... Laxman Mar 2015 #123
Matt Katz Turns Over A Rock..... Laxman Mar 2015 #124
And here's what NJ.com found when they dug underneath that rock rocktivity Mar 2015 #125
Hey Chris Christie, Now That You've Given Exxon A Multi-Billion Dollar Present...... Laxman Mar 2015 #126
You may have heard that Christie was heckled by New Jerseyites in Iowa rocktivity Mar 2015 #127
Christie: Exxon Settlement Is "Really Nice," The New York Times Isn't rocktivity Mar 2015 #128
The Oil Baron Of The Pine Barrens..... Laxman Mar 2015 #129
Sometimes The Truth Can Be Annoying..... Laxman Mar 2015 #130
Pension Money And Political Contributions.... Laxman Mar 2015 #131
"I'm only an executive director -- why would you expect me to know rocktivity Mar 2015 #134
I Was An Athlete And Class President..... Laxman Mar 2015 #132
This Is Quietly One Of The More Egregious.... Laxman Mar 2015 #133
Crew Chrisite Keeping Mum about Exxon Settlement, Aide turned Exxon Lobbyist rocktivity Mar 2015 #135
An Excellent Analysis Of The Evidence..... Laxman Mar 2015 #136
I find that last paragraph to be the most interesting rocktivity Mar 2015 #137
Journalistic Ethics (Or Lack Thereof) At It's Finest.... Laxman Mar 2015 #138
A Bit More On The Lottery Debacle.... Laxman Apr 2015 #139
This Might Be The Most Interesting Development.... Laxman Apr 2015 #140
Neither Bridget Kelly nor David Wildstein..... Laxman Apr 2015 #141
As We Prepare To Leave Volume II.... Laxman Apr 2015 #142
You Can Pick Your Friends..... Laxman Apr 2015 #143
I Need To Collect A Few Items.... Laxman Apr 2015 #144
An Interesting Dinner...... Laxman Apr 2015 #145
This message was self-deleted by its author rocktivity Jul 2015 #146


(2,419 posts)
5. I Remember When You Suggested Starting Vol. II....
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 03:23 PM
Dec 2014

after we reached 50 entries. Then I found myself adding # 139 and decided it was time to split it into more manageable bites. I keep having a nightmare about typing entry #247 Fishman closes investigation. (not really) I hope that's not where this is going.


(270,953 posts)
6. LOL
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 03:25 PM
Dec 2014

This is important work. It will be important for you to start screen saving articles for posterity before they disappear.


(2,419 posts)
8. I Went Back To Check...
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 06:17 PM
Dec 2014

that all of those links on the early entries were still live before I split the thread. You're right, a lot of those stories might soon start disappearing.


(9,480 posts)
3. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I spent 30 minutes and I still haven't read all of
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 03:03 PM
Dec 2014

Christie's alleged crimes. What a d-bag.


(2,419 posts)
7. I've Got To Give Props.....
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 03:25 PM
Dec 2014

to a true artist. You work in Photoshop the way other artists work in oils or clay! You're a real master of the medium!


(17,199 posts)
14. I collect graphics from a wide variety of sources and share with others ... here's a few more; enjoy
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 08:59 PM
Dec 2014


(2,419 posts)
9. It Was Necessary.....
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 06:30 PM
Dec 2014

after 11 months, 140 entries, 304 replies, 114 recs., nearly 26,000 views and a lot of fun, I had to split this monstrosity of a post into two. It just took too long to load up and was too unwieldy. Even though merely the effect of seeing so much stuff in one place speaks volumes about our favorite governor, it was high time for volume 2. I don't know how this next chapter will end, but I'm sure its going to be exciting. As for volume 1-I laughed, I cried, if your going to follow just 1 corrupt politician this year, make it Chris Christie. Volume 1 will always be here with not just the entries but some great information in the replies as well. Thank you to pnwmom, prosense, Willie T, Liberal Esto, Malaise, yortsed snacilbuper, and everyone else who pitched in, but mostly thank you to Rocktivity who is no doubt responsible for at least 2,000 of the 26,000 views and will not rest until Christie faces the consequences he has so richly earned and also has a wicked sense of humor. I've split the current Crime Digest at entry # 100. That seems about right. So keep going back to Volume 1 for your research and make sure to follow and contribute to the next chapter when its posted.


(44,610 posts)
10. Though it wasn't the number of entries that made Vol. 1 unwieldy
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 07:24 PM
Dec 2014

Last edited Mon Feb 16, 2015, 02:54 PM - Edit history (18)

We must leave no response behind!

A Few New Tidbits...

You want some sprinkles on those tidbits?

Christie Unilaterally Lifts Sports-Betting Prohibition? Wanna bet?

I Guess I Should Consider....

Christie Just Can't Stop...

Maybe It's Nothing...

Just A Quick Follow-Up...

More bungling on Christie's watch?

This Is A Disturbing Take...

For Those Keeping Score At Home....

The Suburban Sociopath....

It's worse than that

The Pig Farms May Be Gone....

Way Back In January....

More money laundering Christie style

How the New Jersey State Investment Council Invests

As Much About Massachusetts....

The Infamous Freeholder Ad...

In Another Classic Example...

A Tragedy (for Christie) in Two Acts

Perhaps We Should Just Invest...

Christie Was Dealt A Defeat.....

More Stuff (Sandy Voters Disenfranchised)

While Christie Was In Nebraska Campaigning....

Fortunately, some good did come of Christie vs. Hickox

Two Years After Sandy.....

Kaci Hickox: The Joseph Welch of our generation?

He Messed With The Wrong Redhead.....

Sandy-Gate at a glance

Pension Hustler Robert Grady Resigns!

Hidden In The Revel Casino Disaster.....

This Has The Look Of Can Of Worms (NJ Lottery Privatization)

...After Illinois declared the first privately run U.S. state lottery a failure

Well, You Just Knew....

For fiscal 2013, the last year under full state control,

The State Bridge(t)-Gate Committee Interim Report...

Download PDF of Report Here

Christie Tracker Analysis

I Guess They Didn't Wait Until Monday To Release...

Here You Go Sports Fans...

Just A Note That May Be Of Interest....

Will The Dominoes Start To Fall.....

Even if he's the only one not indicted, he can't survive this

Chris Christie's Economic Acumen....

You're welcome.


Response to rocktivity (Reply #10)


(44,610 posts)
91. On the second day of Bridge(t)-Gate, my boss said to me..."Shut up!"
Mon Feb 16, 2015, 01:24 PM
Feb 2015
Port Authority cops told not to reopen GWB access lanes during Fort Lee jam

On the second day of the George Washington Bridge lane closures last year...Port Authority police officer...Steve Pisciotta...picked up his radio. The traffic was creating “hazardous conditions” in Fort Lee, he told fellow officers...and the lanes needed to be re-opened. “Shut up,” ...Port Authority police supervisor...Deputy Inspector Darcy Licorish...allegedly replied, instructing the officer not to discuss the apparently secret operation over an open radio channel.

That exchange...is one of nearly a dozen accounts provided by an attorney representing rank-and-file police officers and given privately to lawmakers investigating the lane closures...Police Lt. Thomas “Chip” Michaels...and a police sergeant then “visited (Pisciotta) in person at his post to tell him that his radio communication had been inappropriate,” the attorney said. A second officer, Angela Tait, said she witnessed both exchanges...The accounts of 11 officers at the bridge during...the closures...many (of whom) have already been interviewed by federal investigators...share common threads and provide vivid new details about how the operation was put into effect on a Monday morning last September...

The instructions about the new lane configuration, many of them said, were delivered at roll call before the morning rush hour on the first day by Police Lt. Thomas “Chip” Michaels, who grew up with Governor Christie...He told the officers not to touch the traffic cones choking the number of access lanes out of Fort Lee from three down to one, according to the officers. Later that morning, officers said they saw Michaels driving David Wildstein — the Port Authority executive who ordered the closures and also grew up with Christie — around Fort Lee’s gridlocked streets...

The summary (was) written by the legislative panel’s attorney Michael W. Knoo and based on an interview with the officers’ attorney Dan Bibb...State Sen. Loretta Weinberg...who co-chairs the legislative panel, said the summaries indicate that “law enforcement was in on this whole thing...It was bad enough that it was the Port Authority and people close to the governor, but now you’ve got the people who are responsible for keeping us safe. Any time you have law enforcement involved in a political operation, that’s very troubling.”

Vivid new details here:



(44,610 posts)
92. On the third day of Bridge(t)-Gate, I was banished across state lines
Mon Feb 16, 2015, 01:26 PM
Feb 2015
From the PA officer state investigative summary:

On Thursday, September 12, (PA police officer Ray) Rodriguez (made) a pre-planned court appearance in Fort Lee...(and) shared an elevator with a man on a cell phone who was saying that he had spoken to the Christie administration and that no one knew what was going on. He also said he had spoken to PAPBA president Paul Nunziato, who likewise did not know what was going on. Afterwards, Rodriguez identified the man on the cell phone as (Fort Lee) Mayor Sokolich, based on his later appearances in news coverage of the lane closures.

During morning rush hour traffic, (PA police officer) Rajiv Sama('s) normal station is “Post 10,” which is the post that monitors Fort Lee’s three access lanes. Sama is typically the officer who puts the cones out each morning to segregate Fort Lee traffic from other Bridge traffic.

On September 9, 2013, however, Lt. Michaels instructed Sama during morning roll call that the lanes had already been coned off and that he was not to touch the(m)...When Sama later saw the new cone configuration, he noticed the cones were physically touching each other and immediately realized the lane reduction would create “a nightmare.” Sama would say Lt. Michaels instructed him that for that day and the rest of the week he was not to report to Post 10 but, instead...to at the corner of Central Avenue and Bruce Reynolds Boulevard...(to) help manage traffic. Sama described the traffic as “horrific.” To Sama’s knowledge, no one was assigned to replace him at Post 10.

(PA police officer Angela) Tait was present with Pisciotta when he made his radio request to remove the cones and reopen the Fort Lee lanes. She was also present when Lt. Michaels and Sgt. Rhem visited Pisciotta in person and instructed him not to further discuss the closures on air. Tait believes Dep. Insp. Licorish also gave a similar command in person...

Tait recalls telling upset motorists that they should call Mayor Sokolich’s office to complain. However...she did so because she believed that if Mayor Sokolich personally called the Port Authority, the matter would be resolved relatively quickly...(not) because she thought the lane closures had political overtones.

For the rest of the week, Tait was assigned to the New York side of the Bridge...

All coincidences, of course, especially with Tait. The good news is, the Feds got to them first!



(44,610 posts)
93. On the fourth day of Bridge(t)-Gate, I Covered My Ass
Mon Feb 16, 2015, 01:28 PM
Feb 2015

To be honest, the state legislative committee attorney interview with Port Authority Police Deputy Inspector Darcy Licorish, is pretty dull going. But the plot line takes an unexpected twist after you get past the middle:

...Licorish sent an email summary to Chief Louis Koumoutsos which described the events leading up to and during the lane closures. Licorish said he prepared the summary on his own initiative and as part of his standard responsibility to “report things of importance.” Licorish stated nobody asked him to produce the summary. He said the only response he received came from (his direct superior Assistant Chief Gloria) Frank, who simply noted receipt of the email.

And it does deliver a surprise ending:

Licorish would later learn that the re-opening of the lanes had been directed by (New York PA director and Bridge(t)-Gate whistleblower Patrick) Foye, but was unsure if he was aware of this at the time...

Licorish said that, during his time at the PAPD, he has seen other traffic studies conducted. Typically, he said, such studies involve posted monitors who monitor and record traffic volumes using handheld clickers. During the week of September 9-13, 2013, he did not observe any traffic monitors or data collectors in or around the GWB.

It was part of Licorish's standard responsibility to report things of importance? Why would it be "important" to inform his superiors about a traffic study that they should have told HIM about? Licorish wrote that email to cover his ass -- and sent a carbon copy to his direct superior -- because he KNEW something was going on that shouldn't have been! The man IS a detective, after all!



(44,610 posts)
94. "I'm tired... tired of playing the game... ain't it a crying shame... I'm so tired..."
Mon Feb 16, 2015, 01:46 PM
Feb 2015

Last edited Wed Jan 26, 2022, 02:27 PM - Edit history (1)

Another one of those amazing Christie coincidences!

1:04PM ET
Bloomberg:com: Christie Says He’s ‘Growing Tired’ of Bridge Investigation

Governor Chris Christie said he’s “growing tired” of the New Jersey legislature’s investigation into politically motivated traffic tie-ups at the George Washington Bridge a year ago.

Speaking today in Trenton...(he) said Assemblyman John Wisniewski...(and) Democrats who control the legislature and the panel probing the scandal are “addicted to MSNBC” and are leaking information for publicity...Christie decried the leaks, especially records of interviews his administration conducted with lawyers that were disseminated this month when he was traveling in Mexico.

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing,” Christie, 52, told reporters in his State House office. “Wrap up your work. Do your job.”

The closings also are being investigated by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman...

6:39 PM ET, 7:58PM ET
MSNBC.com, NBC New York: After 9 Months, Federal Probe of GWB Closure Finds No Link to Christie, Federal Sources Say

The U.S. Justice Department investigation into New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s role in “Bridgegate” has thus far uncovered no information he either knew in advance or directed the closure of traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge, federal officials tell NBC 4 New York.

Federal officials caution that the investigation begun nine months ago is ongoing and that no final determination has been made but say that...authorities have uncovered no information Christie either knew in advance or ordered the closure of traffic lanes.

“My experience with federal law enforcement is that once you reach critical mass if you don’t have it within nine months or so you’re not likely to ever get it,” (said) former federal prosecutor Robert W. Ray...who had no involvement in any of the probes into the bridge closure...

In case you've forgotten, here's why Christie feels that MSNBC is picking on him:


Since the NBC network has been so mean about leaking stories unfavorable to Crew Christie, I suppose it's only fair that an anonymous "federal official" with favorable news to leak would beat a path to their door. We don't know who these federal officials are -- how far up the ladder are they? Are they connected to lead investigator Paul Fishman? Are they connected to the investigation at all? At least the second story admits that investigations have not ended, and there's more on Christie's plate (a metaphor, not a weight joke) than Bridge(t)-Gate. So why is this "news" at all?

Are these leaks coming out of the federal investigation real? Or is Christie just "working the refs" -- huffing and puffing in hopes of making critics (especially Rachel Maddow) back off? Come to think of it, HOW does Christie know that investigators have found nothing -- because they told him so, because he has spies in Fishman's camp, because he's innocent, or because HE KNOWS he's destroyed any evidence that points at him?



(44,610 posts)
95. Christie's Angels (of Mercy): How the Nurses (Union) Went from Naughty to Nice
Mon Feb 16, 2015, 01:56 PM
Feb 2015

The Ebola crisis has come to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area in the form of a doctor who traveled from West Africa and was diagnosed ten days later. But you'll be happy to know that New York and New Jersey governors Cuomo and Christie have joined forces with the Centers For Disease Control to build a first line of defense with a new screening and quarantine policy. Now, if only Christie could just get those unpatriotic, overpaid, pension-grubbing healthcare worker unions to toe the line.

Three years ago, the nurses union torpedoed a deal that would have allowed a national healthcare network to take over a hospital in Jersey City -- a hospital that then went bankrupt. Which Christie had every right to be unhappy about: the hospital network's charity "wasted" a $25,000 donation to the New Jersey governor's mansion restoration fund!

But since the network got to buy another New Jersey hospital back in August, that's all water under the bridge(t), right? Apparently not: those uppity nurses have once again interfered with Christie by trying to contribute some expertise into how New Jersey hospitals should deal with Ebola. Of all the nerve -- I mean, what the heck do a bunch of nurses know?

The state’s largest health-care union wants any confirmed Ebola patient treated at a single designated hospital to both minimize exposure of workers and provide care by expert teams...(T)he Health Professionals and Allied Employees...would also like to see the state order every hospital to drill for encountering the unprecedented illness...(U)nion chief-of-staff Jeanne Otersen said her group wants to have a seat at the table when the state is issuing protocols for handling Ebola so there is consistency from hospital to hospital...

Such a centralized approach would go against current state policy, which has emphasized the need for each of the state’s 72 acute-care hospitals to be ready to treat the deadly virus. And as it stands, the state has simply recommended the drills...

His response? During his monthly radio show, Christie was dismissive of their concerns, saying flatly,
[font SIZE="3"]"I’ve generally found the nurses union to be unhelpful."[/font]

Well, here's a newsflash, guv -- nurses and other hospital workers are not in the business of being helpful to you, but to all of us. And since it just so happens that Ebola is spread through infected blood, pee, shit, and puke, there had damned well better be some janitors sitting at the protocol table, too!

Christie's Ebola plan: Three hospitals will treat any N.J. cases

Any Ebola patient who ends up in New Jersey will be treated at one of three hospitals in the northern part of the state, Gov. Chris Christie announced...Hackensack University Medical Center...University Hospital in Newark, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

The new plan was welcomed by healthcare workers, whose representatives had expressed doubt about the wisdom of expecting every local community hospital to cope with the life-and-death protocols of treating patients with a virus never seen here before...

Centralizing the care of Ebola patients in just a few hospitals is a slight change of course for the state, which had previously urged all 72 of New Jersey's acute-care hospitals to prepare for handling Ebola..."Instead of trying to do a little bit of training for a lot of people, it's better to have more intensive training for fewer people," said Ann Twomey, president of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, a union that represents nurses and other health-care workers...

Her group had urged transferring patients to one centralized hospital that would be highly trained in the care and treatment of Ebola patients...(But) Christie (had) dismissed the suggestion...saying, “I've generally found the nurses union to be unhelpful...”

One hundred and eighty degrees isn't my idea of a "slight" change of course. But it's nice that Christie has finally found that a union CAN be helpful after all!



(44,610 posts)
96. Christie's Angels (of Mercy) II: Messing with the Wrong Nurse - "WHO'S 'Obviously Ill?'"
Mon Feb 16, 2015, 01:58 PM
Feb 2015

Last edited Mon Feb 16, 2015, 11:21 PM - Edit history (1)

Just wanted to get this on record in case it gets "updated":

Christie defends Ebola quarantine announcement, saying he's trying to protect N.J. residents

The governor, speaking to reporters along the Republican Governor Association campaign trail in Iowa, stood by his Friday announcement with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to quarantine some travelers reentering the country...

“My first and foremost obligation is to protect the public health and safety of the people of New Jersey,” Christie said. "And so I’m sorry if in any way she was inconvenienced, but the inconvenience that could occur from having folks who are symptomatic and ill out and amongst the public is a much, much greater concern of mine. This is a difficult situation to deal with and my heart goes out to her because she’s someone who’s been trying to help others...

"When I left this morning...(nurse Kaci Hickox) still had a fever
and she was being tested for other illnesses after the Ebola test came back negative...She may to be tested for that again because sometimes it takes a little bit longer to make a definitive determination...There’s no question the woman is ill, the question is what is her illness.”

Christie said “all steps were taken” to try to make the nurse’s stay at the hospital comfortable. “I hope she recovers quickly, and we’re going to do everything we can in New Jersey and with our public health system to make sure that she does,” he said.

But in all fairness, perhaps Christie had not been informed that as of Friday night, the "fever" was diagnosed as being caused by ignorance about the fair-skinned:


...My temperature was taken using a forehead scanner and it read a temperature of 98... Three hours passed. No one seemed to be in charge... An official approached me with a forehead scanner...(which) recorded my temperature as 101...“You have a fever now,”...(a) female officer...said... I explained that an oral thermometer would be more accurate and that the forehead scanner was recording an elevated temperature because I was flushed and upset...

I was left alone in the room for another three hours...Eight police cars escorted me to the University Hospital in Newark...I was escorted to a tent that sat outside of the building. The infectious disease and emergency department doctors took my temperature and other vitals and looked puzzled. “Your temperature is 98.6,” they said. “You don't have a fever but we were told you had a fever” ...(Their) forehead scanner record(ed)...101... “There’s no way you have a fever,” he said. “Your face is just flushed..."

Meanwhile, in Washington DC:

RT.com The new measures to prevent an outbreak have been called a “little bit draconian” by...the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who warned of potential consequences of such an approach.“(W)e have to be careful that there aren’t unintended consequences,” (he) told NBC's Meet the Press...

WKYT.com: The Obama administration says it has conveyed its concerns to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo about those states' mandatory Ebola quarantines. The administration is calling the policy "not grounded in science..."

A senior Obama administration official says the policy could undermine efforts to stop Ebola by discouraging medical workers from traveling to West Africa...The official says the government will soon release national guidelines for returning medical workers.

Oh, now, MUST we drag politics into this? Only if you enjoy early Christmas presents!

Obama forces Chris Christie into embarrassing U-turn to allow Ebola nurse to leave New Jersey quarantine tent
Chris Christie was forced on Monday to allow a nurse being kept in a tent in a hospital parking lot to go home after intense White House pressure to relax a mandatory 21-day quarantine the New Jersey Governor had imposed at a state level.

The embarrassing turnaround came after Obama chaired a White House meeting on the rules and successfully lobbied Christie's New York counterpart, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to relax their quarantine rules – even as Americans grow more concerned about the possibility of a pandemic emergency.

Cuomo gave in on behalf of New Yorkers. But as of Sunday Christie was still pushing for more aggressive measures to protect New Jerseyans, saying he had 'no second thoughts' about the policy...

Unapologetic, Christie Frees Nurse From Ebola Quarantine
“I didn’t reverse my decision,” Mr. Christie said from the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Fla., where he was campaigning for that state’s governor, Rick Scott, a fellow Republican. “She hadn’t had any symptoms for 24 hours. And she tested negative for Ebola. So there was no reason to keep her. The reason she was put into the hospital in the first place was because she was running a high fever and was symptomatic.”

“If people are symptomatic they go into the hospital,” Mr. Christie said. “If they live in New Jersey, they can quarantine at home. If they don’t, and they’re not symptomatic, then we set up quarantine for them out of state. But if they are symptomatic, they’re going to the hospital.”

No, you DIDN'T reverse your decision about Nurse Kaci Hickox, governor -- SHE did:

New York Times: “I’m hopeful that this morning if all goes well we’ll be able to release her and send her back to Maine,” Mr. Christie said...

Her boyfriend...a nursing student...said she had not planned on speaking to the news media but changed her mind after Mr. Christie said on Saturday that she was “obviously ill...”

"...He messed with the wrong redhead," he said...

And just when it looked like relationships between Governor Sorprano and nurses were improving!



(44,610 posts)
97. The latest from the Crew Christie Personnel Department (and just in time for feeling thankful)
Mon Feb 16, 2015, 02:07 PM
Feb 2015

Since July 1, Joseph G. DiVincenzo has been working at the New Jersey Department of Education as an "education program development specialist" at a salary of around $92K. According to the job description, it involves “the design, production, and delivery of curricula, training, program improvement, and related education services to education agencies to ensure achievement of mandated goals and to meet existing and emerging needs...”

And according to DiVincenzo's father, "As a teacher for six years, Joe graduated with a master’s degree in educational leadership and earned certifications that qualify him to be a school administrator, principal, supervisor, school business administrator, K-5 elementary education teacher and grade 6-8 math teacher."

Lovely -- except that Joseph G. DiVincenzo's father is Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo...AND that Joe Jr. was SO qualified, his job was apparently never advertised!

After Department of Education spokesman David Saenz did not respond to more than half a dozen phone calls and emails on the matter since early October, NJ Advance Media filed an Open Public Records Act request for a copy of the public notice for the job that was filled by DiVincenzo (Junior). The department denied the records request "based on the fact the Department of Education does not maintain the records you have sought under this request.” But the Department of Education does keep such records for other jobs.

A subsequent public records request by NJ Advance Media for all job advertisements by the Department of Education during the month of May produced five records, including an advertisement for “Education Program Development Specialist 3” — the same job title DiVincenzo has, but for a different specific job in Morristown. DiVincenzo...works out of the Essex County Superintendent’s office in Newark...

Disclosure: I myself just applied for a job at New Jersey non-profit agency. But I won't know if I'll even get interviewed until after December 3, because that's the last day the agency will be accepting applications. It's possible that the agency has already made a hiring decision and are covering themselves by going through the motions of a hiring process. But that's the way it's SUPPOSED to be done.

“This is the type of job in the Department of Education that people generally get promoted into. I think it is highly unusual that somebody from the outside would be hired into the highest level of this title,” said...Rosemarie Cipparulo, a labor lawyer and professor of at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations...

Hetty Rosenstein, New Jersey director for the Communications Workers of America, the largest state workers union, said she reads the state’s lack of evidence to mean it never advertised the job at all, which would violate its contract with the union. She said she plans to file a grievance...“I think it’s really been obvious what it is. It continues to be obvious what it is. It is a patronage job...(DiVincenzo Junior) got it through political connections.”

Shame on you, Cipparulo and Rosenstein! They should be thankful that taxpayer resources WEREN'T wasted on contacting and interviewing people applying for a job that was not available, especially at this time of year. And think of the trees that were saved because no resumes had to be printed out!



(44,610 posts)
98. Crew Christie Personnel Department Update: The daughter of a cousin of Christie's wife
Mon Feb 16, 2015, 02:53 PM
Feb 2015

had a $95,000-a-year job as a school system administrator in Camden, New Jersey -- at least, until very recently after someone complained about the possible nepotism at a school board meeting:



(44,610 posts)
12. The Unkindest (Christie) Cut of All: 21 Stab Wounds
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 07:31 PM
Dec 2014

Last edited Mon Feb 16, 2015, 03:25 PM - Edit history (6)

It looks like Christie will be able to count on getting the unfit parent vote.

State plans to cut NJ cops' OT, a move unions worry will hurt kids

Human Services Police Department will no longer dedicate 25 of its 92 officers solely to child welfare workers...a department spokeswoman said, "By merging the groups, there will be a larger pool of officers from which to draw for shifts and calls, which will reduce overtime" and added that dispatching officers from a few centralized locations "is how most police departments are operating."

A decade ago, the unit was seen as an essential step toward improving New Jersey’s child welfare system after the body of a 7-year-old...was found...a year after caseworkers lost track of him and his family.

"Those dedicated police officers were trained in child welfare, and they provided important back-up to the workers. It was one of the most important reforms in terms of safety on the job and improving morale," said Hetty Rosenstein, state director for...the union representing child welfare workers.

For some reason, people forced to be held accountable to child protection agencies tend to be particularly vulnerable to taking things personally and reacting violently. Nonetheless, the decision to remove state police officers from ALL child welfare agencies went into effect twenty-four days ago...and this went into effect two days later:

(A)...caseworker...was stabbed multiple times...by...a woman whom (she) monitored, police and union officials said...

Another employee at the Division of Child Protection and Permanency “tackled” the assailant, said Hetty Rosenstein, state area director for...the union that represents workers from the Department of Children and Families.

The attack comes two days after the departments of Children and Families and Human Services reorganized the Human Services police force and disbanded a unit that assigned police to children welfare offices to save money on overtime, a long-standing problem in the department...The stabbing took place on the fourth floor...Prior to Friday, police officers had offices on the third and fourth floors in the building...Officers did not provide security for the building, but they frequently worked from that location...

Rosenstein said, “These workers are very brave. They risk their lives every day to protect children. It is incomprehensible that the Human Services Police were pulled out of the offices. It's inexcusable..."(T)he independent, court-appointed monitor of New Jersey’s child welfare system...said she was unaware the police officers were pulled from the child welfare offices, but planned to inquire about the reorganization.

Happy to report that the caseworker was released from the hospital last week. Unhappy to report that this resulted in more Christie versus union drama:

Gov. Chris Christie’s office is criticizing a possible protest from state child welfare workers who may boycott work for a day in their call for more security in their offices...Communications Workers of America Local 1039 president Lionel Leach...sent (an email) to union members...“if by Monday every worker is not protected, we will not be working on Tuesday.”

...Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie, had harsh words for anyone who takes part. “The job action CWA has been contemplating would be completely irresponsible, and the people hurt most would be the state’s most vulnerable children and families...CWA should unequivocally state that they will not walk out on DCF clients.”

No "harsh words" about the decision to create vulnerable caseworkers by irresponsibly making their police protection walk out and leave them without so much as a metal detector? Not even any apologetic words to the caseworker who got "hurt" (21 wounds from a steak knife) and could just as easily have gotten killed?

...Drewinak said...&quot The job action)...makes absolutely no sense since DCF and the administration advised CWA leadership last week of the security enhancements which are being implemented as we speak."

...The state began adding armed guards with metal-detecting wands to offices within days. The administration says that by Monday, 19 of the 40 offices had the enhanced security and the rest were expected to have the new measures in place within the next few weeks. Priority is being given to offices with the biggest caseloads and most foot traffic.

Well, I have to take Crew Christie's side in this case -- it doesn't make sense to carry out a threat if making the threat gets you the desired results. Which puts Drewniak's reaction within the realm of what is technically referred to as "sore losing."

P.S. If you're going to pay out that much in overtime, it should be obvious that you're understaffed and they're overworked. So why not just hire workers?

P.P.S. The independent, court-appointed monitor doesn't sound qualified to monitor a day care center at nap time.



(44,610 posts)
13. Missed It By That Much (only two hundred and nineteen per cent)
Tue Dec 9, 2014, 07:44 PM
Dec 2014

Last edited Fri Feb 6, 2015, 09:56 PM - Edit history (1)

Christie administration's pension liability estimate doubles under new rules

New Jersey’s unfunded public employee pension liabilities have soared to...more than double previous estimates as the state comes into compliance with new accounting rules...(which) call for a smaller rate of return when estimating how much money the pension system will earn in interest and investments...

The two largest pension plans, Public Employees Retirement System and the Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund, could run out of money by the end of 2024 and 2027 respectively, according to the bond disclosure...

(T)he new pension numbers...(are)...among the worst in the country...New Jersey has $40 billion in assets and $122.8 billion in liabilities, rather than $44 billion in assets and $81 billion in liabilities...

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration acknowledged the change in a Nov. 25 supplement attached to a Transportation Trust Fund bond offering...A task force appointed by Christie is expected to make recommendations on how state should deal with its pension problems...

Not holding my breath about rolling back the tax cuts being a "recommendation" of the task force run by the very administration who deliberately created the "problem..."



(2,419 posts)
15. Apparently David Sampson Doesn't Believe.....
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 11:17 AM
Dec 2014

that he can be subjected to scrutiny of his ethics. Yes that David Sampson. The man who knows that you're always on the winning side when you're on both sides. Whose firm orchestrated the Hoboken shakedown. Whose firm had clients benefiting from the decisions of the Port Authority while he was leading that entity. The guy who was going to get payback against Patrick Foye for revealing that the Bridgegate lane closures were unauthorized. Yeah, apparently you can't even question his ethics.

Former Port Authority chairman Samson tries to head off ethics probe

David Samson, the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to head off a state ethics probe of his work at the bi-state agency.

Samson and his law firm sued the New Jersey State Ethics Commission in U.S. District Court, claiming it does not have the authority to investigate Port Authority commissioners.

Samson, a close ally of Gov. Chris Christie, stepped down from the chairman’s post in March amid questions about whether his West Orange law firm, Wolff & Samson, had lobbied for companies that had business before the Port Authority.

Three weeks before, a coalition of labor and consumer groups called the New Jersey Working Families Alliance filed a complaint with the ethics commission claiming Samson had violated state laws governing conflicts of interest by using his chairman’s post to influence decisions that would benefit clients of his law firm.

The ethics commission appears to be moving ahead with its investigation of the alliance's claims.

read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/former_port_authority_chairman_samson_tries_to_head_off_ethics_probe.html#incart_river

And if you want to understand just what he's being investigated for check out this nice summary: GWB scandal puts a light on the benefits of lobbying


(44,610 posts)
16. We cannot print money...but we can damn sure flush it down the toilet
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:19 PM
Dec 2014
New Jersey is the eighth-worst run state in the country...Although the Garden State has a relatively low poverty rate and the third-highest median income in the nation, (they were) offset by...a downward trending credit rating as well as the 10th-highest unemployment rate and a...debt per capita of $7857...the fifth highest in the nation...(in) 2012...

Pension Trustees File Lawsuit Against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

The trustees of the boards overseeing New Jersey’s $80 billion public employee retirement system will file a lawsuit...against Gov. Chris Christie for his decision to not make legally required annual pension contributions...If successful, the lawsuit could compel Christie to reverse his recent cuts to the state's required $2.25 billion payment.

According to the lawsuit, the state’s teachers, firefighters, police officers and other government workers made their contributions, which under the new law increased from 5.5 percent of their paychecks to more than 7 percent of their paychecks. However, Christie in 2014 announced he was slashing the required contributions from the state...

In June, New Jersey lawmakers passed legislation to make the legally mandated pension contribution, funded in part by tax increases on high-income individuals and corporations. Christie vetoed the bill...at the same time that Christie has backed legislation dramatically increasing taxpayer-funded corporate subsidies, many of which have flowed to firms whose executives have made major campaign contributions to Christie-linked political organizations.

“It’s one thing to say there is a fiscal emergency, but it is another thing to veto a solid funding stream because you don’t like what that funding stream is,” New Jersey pension trustee Tom Bruno told IBTimes. “There is no fiscal emergency when you yourself are vetoing the funding. He is creating the crisis through his own actions.”

NJ.com: ...(O)n his monthly radio show in June (Christie) said..."A trial court is not going to shut down the New Jersey government. We would proceed to pass a budget and continue to appeal. Listen, you can make this as dramatic as you like but I’m willing to predict to you that this will get solved. And the reason this will get solved is we can’t print money. We cannot print money."

But you can restore the pension funding by rolling back the tax cuts and corporate subsidies. New Jersey one of the worst-run states? Surely you jest!



(44,610 posts)
17. The partisanship -- it burns: Bridge(t)-Gate Interim Report Bashed by Bridge(t)-Gate Suspect
Thu Dec 11, 2014, 02:59 PM
Dec 2014

Last edited Sun Dec 14, 2014, 09:28 PM - Edit history (2)

Bridge(t)-Gate Interim Report: Kevin O'Toole doesn't let being implicated stop him from criticizing it

...(T)he state legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge...gathered in public for the first time in months to discuss an interim report on the first 11 months of its investigation into traffic-clogging lane closings at the nation's busiest bridge in Fort Lee last September...The committee — which includes eight Democrats and four Republicans — voted along party lines to officially release the interim report to the public.

Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-Essex) — one of the GOP members of the committee...said he wanted to discuss the report Republicans released this morning called "Minority Statement," which says the Democrats who lead the committee have "ran up exorbitant public costs", "proved to be some of the most partisan elected officials in modern times", and abused their power to "destroy" Christie...But Wisniewski told O'Toole that...he would not put the Republican report on the agenda. "This is not North Korea, John," O'Toole told Wisniewski. "This is America. You want to censor what I want to say?"

...O'Toole...added that...the panel has instead become a "runaway committee" spewing "irresponsible conspiracy theories" that...has been "plagued by leaks" to the media, and accused...the panel's co-chair...State Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex)...of continuing the investigation to boost his political career.

Wisniewski...a possible candidate for governor in 2017...call(ed...the report) "a shining example of how American democracy and checks and balances are supposed to work...(that)...may well serve as a great example, perhaps the greatest example, of legislative oversight in our state's history."

It is far from shocking that Wisniewski would stick up for the report -- aside from being a Democrat, he helped spearhead the state-level investigation. And it is far from shocking that O'Toole would criticize the report, being a Republican. But it IS shocking that the other Republicans on the committee chose as their spokesperson on this matter the one member whose name showed up on a Bridge(t)-Gate email:

...In emails exchanged on Dec. 5, David Wildstein, the Port Authority’s director of interstate capital projects, thanked Gov. Chris Christie's Press Secretary Michael Drewniak "for all of your sound advice last night, I always appreciate your friendship. Spoke with O'Toole this morning and he will talk with you later today."

Wildstein resigned the next day...

O'Toole said in a brief interview on Jan. 16 he did not recall that conversation with Wildstein...and...said he did not speak to Wildstein about the Assembly's ongoing investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures. "I don't know what that means," O'Toole said of the email exchange.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Junior...(R-Union)...said he stands by his choice of O'Toole... State Senate President Stephen Sweeney...Sweeney (D-Gloucester)...said he will not question the appointment...

You'd think that since his name doesn't appear in the report, O'Toole would have enough sense to follow his mentor's advice -- "sit down and shut up." I therefore have no choice but to take Wisniewski's side: Having a spy in the enemy camp had to have made it that much harder to do a good job!



(2,419 posts)
18. Baby It's Cold Outside....
Fri Dec 12, 2014, 12:45 AM
Dec 2014

but it is apparently heating up down on Walnut Street! This is pretty specific for a rumor. It was sad when the big ship went down! (not really!)

Bridge Scandal Prosecutors May Use Fraud Law to Charge Christie Associates

Federal prosecutors investigating the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge last year are considering charges based on a rarely used provision of a fraud statute, under which they could argue that associates of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey used the bridge for a purpose other than its intended one, according to people close to the case.

The statute can be used against members of any government agency that receives more than $10,000 a year in federal money — which could include the state, or the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge — and it is typically used to elevate offenses committed by local officials into federal crimes.

People close to the case say prosecutors have not settled on a legal theory for any charges. But even identifying a possible theory is significant; a big question since the United States attorney in New Jersey began investigating the bridge scandal in January has been whether the lane closings violated any federal law. While one possible chain of events would be to charge people involved with official misconduct, that is a state, not a federal, crime.

The statute, Section 666 of Title 18 of the United States Code, concerning theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds, is commonly used in cases of fraud or embezzlement. But it would be novel, if not unprecedented in New Jersey, for prosecutors to bring charges using the particular clause of the statute being examined in this case, against anyone who “intentionally misapplies property” under the control of the agency.

Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/nyregion/in-george-washington-bridge-case-prosecutors-could-use-fraud-statute-to-charge-christie-associates.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region%AEion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1


(2,419 posts)
19. Here Is Another Unholy Deal In The Works.....
Fri Dec 12, 2014, 05:31 PM
Dec 2014

of course you can't run for President unless you have a book about you. So I guess we should have known this was coming. Faulkner, Hemmingway, Fitzgerald.......Christie? I'm sure it will be a classic!

Deal would let Christie profit from writing book, boost N.J. legislative staff salaries

State lawmakers are quietly considering changing the law to allow Gov. Chris Christie to profit from a book deal and in turn boost legislative staff and judicial salaries, NJ Advance Media has learned.

“It’s being talked about. I’m not going to deny it’s being talked about,” said Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “I haven’t seen the bill, though, and I won’t endorse it or condemn it yet.”

O’Scanlon said an Assembly Republican staffer, who he declined to name, reached out to him to talk about it.

“I think it was just ‘Hey giving you a heads up that there’s rumblings that there may be an effort to do these things,” he said.

This is not the first time such a measure has been discussed.Ten months ago, Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), sponsored a similar bill that stalled. Burzichelli acknowledged that a new effort is underway.

“Leadership said we think we’re going to look at that bill again. They said there are going to be some changes,” Burzichelli said. “I haven’t seen exactly what they’re thinking but I’ve offered to stay engaged with it.”

read more here: www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/12/nj_effort_underway_to_allow_christie_to_profit_from_a_book_deal_and_increase_staff_salaries.html#incart_m-rpt-1


(44,610 posts)
21. The bill wouldn't raise the governor's salary? And they say Crew Christie has no class!
Sat Dec 13, 2014, 02:55 AM
Dec 2014

Last edited Sun Dec 14, 2014, 10:33 PM - Edit history (2)

...(A) bill...introduced in February would have raised the salary of the govenror’s cabinet members up to $175,000 a year, matching the governor’s. Each legislative office would be allotted $140,000 for staff salaries, up from $110,000. And justices and judges would see their salaries increase 4 percent over four years. Though there had been talk of...(the) bill allowing the governor to make money from a book, the provision was removed before it was introduced.

State law prohibits the governor, cabinet members and his top staff from “receiving or agreeing to receive, whether directly or indirectly, any compensation, salary, honorarium, fee, or other form of income from any source, other than the compensation paid or reimbursed to him/her by the State for the performance of official duties.”

State Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-Essex), one of Christie's closest allies in the Legislature, stressed that no legislation has been finalized. But he said his opinion "is that everyone should be entitled to write a book and get paid for it. Why treat (Christie) any differently?"

As if Kevin "Spy In The Enemy Camp" O'Toole should be expected say anything else. Didn't I just tell him to sit down and shut up?

Why treat Christie any differently? Because he already has a job, and I can think about one hundred and forty other more important things that require his attention, up to and including disbursing nearly a billion dollars in federal Sandy money!



(2,419 posts)
23. What Do You Think The Title Will Be....
Mon Dec 15, 2014, 02:08 PM
Dec 2014
Moby Governor or Governor Dick? A tale of a man's monomaniacal quest for power and fame at the expense of an entire state.


(2,419 posts)
22. I've Got A Joke For You.....
Mon Dec 15, 2014, 01:58 PM
Dec 2014

New Jersey, Illinois and Kansas all walk into a bar together......

Kansas Governor Proposes Using Pension Money to Cover Budget Gaps Created By His Tax Cuts

Brownback joins fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie in coupling large tax cuts and credits with cuts to actuarially required pension payments. In New Jersey, Christie slashed required pension payments while signing legislation expanding tax credits to corporations, and doling out a record amount of corporate tax subsidies. Many of those subsidies have flowed to firms whose executives have made campaign contributions to Republican political organizations. Last week, New Jersey pension trustees filed a lawsuit against Christie for not making legally required contributions to the state's pension system.

Both Brownback and Christie promoted their tax cuts as instruments to boost economic growth. A recent review of federal data by the Kansas City Star found Kansas "trails most other states when it comes to job growth.” Likewise, an investigative series by Gannett newspapers recently found “New Jersey's job growth rate [is] the second worst in the nation. ... New Jersey's middle class has lost billions in income through layoffs, salary cuts and wage freezes [and] more than 100,000 job seekers have been unemployed for months on end.”

Read more here: http://www.ibtimes.com/kansas-governor-proposes-using-pension-money-cover-budget-gaps-created-his-tax-cuts-1753626

That's not really very funny is it?


(2,419 posts)
24. People Are Finally Starting To Figure Out....
Wed Dec 17, 2014, 09:28 AM
Dec 2014

that Christie's story(ies) about Bridgegate don't all add up. Every time he tries to back into new facts, his old version of what took place gets in the way. He didn't know until January? No, it was December. No, maybe it was September? He's been trying them all but the facts keep getting in the way. It all smells as bad as exit 15E on the Turnpike on a hot summer night.

It may not be a smoking gun, but this Bridgegate twist smells: Editorial

L’affaire Bridgegate still clings to the Christie Administration like a bad smell, this time in the form of false testimony from the governor’s top lieutenant.

We have a telecom to thank for that: Phone records show that on the day the Assembly select committee held its first hearings – essentially, a six-hour bludgeoning of that “traffic study” parable – Regina Egea was thumbing her Blackberry at a maniacal rate.

The governor’s Port Authority liaison exchanged 12 texts over five hours with her boss on Dec. 9, 2013, as she sat listening to PA officials testify that whoever ordered the lane closures probably had the IQ of a traffic cone.

And that constitutes a problem.

Two problems, actually.

For starters, Egea told the same legislators seven months later that she texted Christie only once throughout December. Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) even asked whether she texted the governor during the testimony of Patrick Foye, the PA executive director.

Egea replied, “I did not.”

AT&T records obtained by WNYC show that she texted Christie three times during the 108 minutes Foye testified – even as Foye was calling the antics of the Cone Cabal “aberrational” and “shameful.”

Maybe Egea can be excused for forgetting a text or two, but it stretches the bounds of credibility to suggest she forgot a dozen – three from Christie, nine from Egea.

It is less believable that the governor had “no recollection” of any texts.

Either way, thank you for lying to AT&T.

Secondly, those December hearings were still a month before the lane closures would be traced to Bridget Anne Kelly. For a fellow who asserts that he paid no attention to this until Kelly’s email proved her culpability, our governor seemed plugged in to the events that day.

Indeed, nobody knows whether those texts contained eggnog recipes, because they were deleted. Egea, meanwhile, is in control of the administration’s Bridgegate message, even personally editing the bogus legislative testimony of Bill Baroni, a charter member of Christie’s defenestration department.

Four allies have been fired, yet Egea remains in her new role as Chief of Staff, and smoke still hovers over the administration like a relentless gray fog. So does the stench.

Read it here: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/12/it_may_not_be_a_smoking_gun_but_this_bridgegate_twist_smells_editorial.html


(2,419 posts)
25. More Pension Fund Shenanigans....
Wed Dec 17, 2014, 01:04 PM
Dec 2014

this time with a $450,000/year part time job for Mary Pat.

New Jersey Paid Fees To Mary Pat Christie's Firm After State Investment Was Terminated

The disclosure that New Jersey taxpayers have been paying substantial fees to a firm that employs the governor's spouse -- years after state officials said the investment was terminated -- emerged in documents released by the Christie administration to International Business Times through a public records request.

A spokesman for the New Jersey Treasury Department, Christopher Santarelli, said via email that while New Jersey “ended its investment” with Angelo Gordon in 2011, the payments were legitimate because the state continues to hold an “illiquid” investment in the firm. Christie officials declined to disclose details of what exactly that illiquid investment is and the justification for continuing to pay fees to Angelo Gordon. The governor, Mary Pat Christie and executives at Angelo Gordon all declined to comment.

Pension overseers and financial experts characterized the appearance of the arrangement as deeply troubling. They saw it as symptomatic of a lack of transparency plaguing the management of public pension funds at a time when states and municipalities are entrusting increasingly hefty sums (and paying substantial fees) to Wall Street managers.

“This is extremely problematic,” Tom Bruno, the chairman of the board of trustees of one of New Jersey's three major pension funds, said. “This governor talks about what he is supposedly doing to help the pension system, but the possibility of him and his family deriving any kind of personal benefit from a deal like this raises some truly serious ethical red flags.”

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis Jr., a Republican official who has criticized high pension fees -- and whose endorsement is prized in the early presidential primary state -- said of the situation: “It smells to high heaven.”

read the rest here: http://www.ibtimes.com/new-jersey-paid-fees-mary-pat-christies-firm-after-state-investment-was-terminated-1760682

I'm running out of NJ places that stink to compare with Christie's actions! This smells worse than.....let's see, the Bayway Refinery on a hot and humid August night.


(44,610 posts)
26. Mr. Fishman and the SEC have an ace in the hole indeed
Wed Dec 17, 2014, 05:48 PM
Dec 2014

Last edited Fri Dec 19, 2014, 04:40 AM - Edit history (3)

also known as Mary Pat Christie.

A closer look at HER finances might raise questions about the United Arab Emirates Embassy making a donation to her Superstorm Sandy charity, as did Jon Bon Jovi -- two months after Christie signed a law he had championed.



(44,610 posts)
27. Well, exactly what IS an "Illiquid Investment?"
Wed Dec 17, 2014, 07:51 PM
Dec 2014

Is that the name of Christie's diet, or what the Secret Service calls his wife? According to Investopedia:

The state of a security or other asset that cannot easily be sold or exchanged for cash without a substantial loss in value. Illiquid assets also cannot be sold quickly because of a lack of ready and willing investors or speculators to purchase the asset. The lack of ready buyers also leads to larger discrepancies between the asking price (from the seller) and the bidding price (from a buyer)...

Some examples of inherently illiquid assets include houses, cars, antiques, private company interests and some types of debt instruments (notes, bonds, certificates, mortgages, leases)...Illiquid securities carry higher risks than liquid ones; this becomes especially true during times of market turmoil...(H)olders of illiquid securities may find themselves unable to unload them at all, or unable to do so without losing a lot of money.

So it's cheaper to pay fees with New Jersey taxpayer money than to cut the loss by selling off the investment? Then it's a good thing we have Mrs. Christie looking out for us. Behind every great man there's a woman...helping him stuff his pockets.



(2,419 posts)
28. Chris "The Coward" Christie Has Honed.....
Mon Dec 22, 2014, 10:16 AM
Dec 2014

his act of bullying people at his "town hall" meetings to an art. I love performance art! The Washington Post has broken down the methods of getting under his skin so you too can confront the scared bully. They've even analyzed the technique! It's a three part sequence every time. I hope he runs for President. There could be a drinking game in this somewhere!

Getting Chris Christie’s goat: Activists try to rile up governor, pile up some YouTube hits

What followed was a typical Christie town-hall tirade, which can be divided into three parts. The first is a reflection of the way Christie’s fights start now: a staccato burst of words, designed to seize control of the moment back from the heckler.

“Now listen. Now listen. Now listen. You and I, you and I have had plenty of — ” Christie said as Jackson continued to shout. “You and I have had, you and I have had plenty of private conversations. Don’t make a .?.?. don’t make a scene here.”

The “don’t make a scene” bit is the second part of Christie’s routine. He accuses his adversaries of doing exactly what the adversaries are trying to do, which is to use Christie’s stage for their own purposes.

The last part of the tirade is the kiss-off, a pithy parting shot. Like, “Sit down and shut up!” Or, an even pithier moment: “Idiot!”

Read it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/getting-chris-christies-goat-activists-try-to-rile-up-governor-pile-up-some-youtube-hits/2014/12/20/c1f4c29e-865d-11e4-9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html?wprss=rss_politics

and be sure to check out the 14 "greatest hits" compiled by the Post here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/fired-up-christie/

Beach Rat

(273 posts)
29. This whole "tough guy" character is a staged set-up!
Mon Dec 22, 2014, 11:04 AM
Dec 2014

here's a video analyzing how Christie does it. It's all made for YouTube bull. I think you've got it right, it's definitely performance art. Now that there's a science to it, everywhere he goes there should be somebody lighting the fuse that sets him off.


(2,419 posts)
30. Well This Might Be Troubling....
Sat Dec 27, 2014, 11:09 AM
Dec 2014

was the suit withdrawn because Sampson knows that the fix is already in with the ethics panel? (Crime Digest Vol. I, item 18)

Former Port Authority chairman David Samson withdraws suit seeking to block ethics inquiry

Former Port Authority Chairman David Samson, a central figure in last year’s George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, has withdrawn a lawsuit seeking to block an ethics investigation into his work at the agency, according to court records.

The notice of voluntary dismissal made by lawyers on behalf of Samson and his West Orange law firm, Wolff & Samson, was filed in U.S. District court Wednesday, just two weeks after filing the complaint against the New Jersey State Ethics Commission. The panel had subpoenaed Samson and the law firm in October in connection with a complaint made by the New Jersey Working Families Alliance alleging that Samson committed “various violations” of the state’s ethics and conflicts of interest laws.

But Samson’s complaint contended that the ethics commission did not have the power to investigate those alleged violations because the authority is a bi-state agency outside the jurisdiction of the state ethics law. It also said that the Port Authority had its own ethics code and that “both conflicts of interest and recusal issues have been dealt with internally.”

Samson, who resigned in March, has not been accused of having prior knowledge of the September 2013 lane closings. The former state attorney general was accused of participating in decisions benefiting clients of his law firm, including one instance reported by The Record in which Samson voted to change the lease on a park-and-ride lot in North Bergen that his client, NJ Transit, rented from the Port Authority. Samson later said he meant to recuse himself from the decision, which lowered the annual payments on the lot from $907,000 to $1.

Those sorts of dealings helped illuminate a broad level of dysfunction at the Port Authority, which for years had been accused of being a patronage pit that spent liberally and with little transparency of its dealings.

read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/former-port-authority-chairman-david-samson-withdraws-suit-seeking-to-block-ethics-inquiry-1.1181934

Always remember, Quod Est In Loco!


(44,610 posts)
32. Christie and Cuomo: "Happy Screw Ya -- Oops, We Mean, Screw Year!"
Sun Dec 28, 2014, 04:26 PM
Dec 2014

Just in time for the holidays: innocent-looking Christmas angels.

Posted by Laxman:
This might be troubling...Was (Samson's) suit withdrawn because Sampson knows that the fix is already in with the ethics panel?

MSNBC: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo jointly vetoed a bipartisan bill on Saturday to overhaul the Port Authority, which is trying to move past a series of scandals tied to lane closures at the George Washington Bridge last year.

Both states’ legislatures unanimously approved bipartisan legislation, which would have created a new top executive position and required commissioners to take a pledge of fiduciary responsibility to avoid any appearance of political gamesmanship.

In a statement Saturday night, Christie, a Republican, and Cuomo, a Democrat, offered up a long list of reforms they supported, including a new chief ethics officer position, but concluded that they would not support the bill in question. They said they would ask for all Port Authority board members to offer their resignation.

“While neither Governor is approving the legislation as passed, they are urging their respective Legislatures and the Port Authority to work with them to implement the broad reforms package recommended by the Special Panel, recommendations which will mark a new beginning and form a basis for meaningful reform for decades to follow,” (their) statement read(s)...

Independent federal prosecutor, anyone? As if Mr. Fishman doesn't have enough to do -- the minute I think they've kicked him out, they pull him back in!



(2,419 posts)
34. Speaking Of "Happy Screw Year"....
Tue Dec 30, 2014, 09:51 AM
Dec 2014

the Port Authority "reforms" include privatizing the PATH system and eliminating late night service! Thanks for looking out for the people of NJ Governor Christie! The acquisition and operation of the bankrupt Hudson & Manhattan Railroad was a big part of evening the benefits of the Port Authority between the two states as well as maintaining a vital link that is used by hundreds of thousands of people and accounts for over 70 million passenger trips per year. (that's right, over 70 million) Christie once again brings his financial and policy acumen to work for the Garden State-only mayhem will ensue. He might make a great Allstate Mayhem commercial-only Allstate can't protect you from this kind of mayhem.

PATH riders frustrated over potential cancellation of late night service

The suggestion to remove the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. overnight PATH service on weeknights and weekends comes from a report by a panel commissioned by Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York as part of a plan to reform the Port Authority.

According to the report, ridership falls off severely during the overnight hours and stopping the service altogether could save the Port Authority $10 million a year.

Riders see it differently.

"From a business sense, it's penny smart but dollar dumb," said Patrick Jones, a Jersey City resident who uses overnight PATH to commute to his job in Queens. "Sure they're going to save $10 million but in the long run they're going to cost the city, the taxpayers and themselves more to do this than anything. It's foolish from a business standpoint and a slap in the face to the riders."

Jones added that he would probably look for a new job if overnight PATH service is cancelled.

"Shutting down overnight PATH is gonna hurt the economy on both sides of the river," said Marleny Alonzo, a Jersey City resident who runs her own online business and says she uses the overnight PATH to get home from Manhattan most days of the week.

"The allure for people living in places like Hoboken and Jersey City and all of these other developing communities is the fact that there is 24-hour access in and out of the city," said Alonzo. "So if they shut down overnight service it's going to be bad for everybody all around. I honestly don't know what they are thinking."

Union City Mayor and State Sen. Brian Stack said, "I am strongly opposed to the termination of overnight PATH service, as this means of transportation is the only practical way for some of my constituents to travel to and from New York City. As the economy is only beginning to rebound, employees do not have the freedom to select optimum work hours, depending on overnight service to put food on the table. Accessible transportation to New York City, on a 24 hours basis, is what makes communities on this side of the Hudson so attractive to prospective residents. This idea needs immediate reconsideration.''

In a statement released by the PATH Rider's Council, a group comprised of PATH riders who aim to protect the interests of their fellow riders, Chair Ya-Ting Liu said the council "vigorously" opposes the suggestion to eliminate weekday and weekend overnight service.

"The proposal itself comes at a time when PATH is experiencing record ridership numbers, when jobs and commuting patterns no longer follow the traditional 9-5pm, and when governments throughout the region and country are investing – not divesting – in transit," said Liu. "The $10M cost reduction – a tiny portion of the Port Authority's $7.8B budget – would be devastating for communities on both sides of the Hudson, especially for hard-working New Yorkers and New Jerseyans in industries like construction, healthcare, and hospitality who rely on PATH to come home from an overnight job or commute to a job with an early morning start."

read it here: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/12/path_riders_react_to_cancellation_of_late_night_service.html#incart_river


(2,419 posts)
36. Christie's Appointment To The Ethics Committee....
Tue Jan 6, 2015, 10:12 AM
Jan 2015

doesn't see a problem with his family trip to the Dallas playoff game at Jerry Jones' expense. A private jet, seats in the owner's box all just the least Mr. Jones could do for a fellow Cowboys fan! No problem-or is there?

Chris Christie Pushed Port Authority To Give Contract To Jerry Jones' Firm

Less than two years before Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s tickets and travel to NFL games, government documents show Christie personally pushed the Port Authority to approve a lucrative contract for a firm part-owned by Jones. Christie nonetheless accepted the gifts from Jones, despite New Jersey ethics rules barring gifts to public officials from persons or entities that those officials “deal with, contact, or regulate in the course of official business.”

On March 19, 2013, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a press release announcing their selection of Legends Hospitality LLC to operate the observation deck on the top floor of One World Trade Center. The next day, the Port Authority board -- which is appointed by Christie and Cuomo -- specifically cited the governors’ announcement in voting to approve the contract for the company, which is jointly owned by the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and Checketts Partners Investment Fund.

The Port Authority press release announcing the vote quotes Dallas Cowboys executive Jerry Jones, Jr. as saying: "We are humbled to have been chosen to operate the Observatory Deck."

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news that Jones has business with the Port Authority. That story followed an International Business Times report about how Christie’s acceptance of gifts from Jones may conflict with New Jersey ethics rules because the gifts followed Christie’s administration delivering big tax subsidies to the NFL.

After IBTimes’ report, Christie officials acknowledged that Jones paid for Christie’s travel and tickets to recent Cowboys games. They assert that the gifts are legal under a separate executive order that aims to exempt gifts from “personal friends” of the governor. Christie on Monday said he is considering attending the next Cowboys game in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

According to the Journal, Randy Levine, a board member of Legends Hospitality, said Jones was not involved in the negotiations with Port Authority for the observation deck contract. However, Levine said Jones’ family is a “significant” investor in the firm.

Read it here folks! : http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-pushed-port-authority-give-contract-jerry-jones-firm-1774154

Can't you just feel the love?

Beach Rat

(273 posts)
38. I just read something you posted on another thread about this.
Tue Jan 6, 2015, 04:51 PM
Jan 2015

I agree. This is exactly the kind of friendship that sent Bob McDonnell and his wife to jail. Jones and Christie aren't friends and this isn't a gift. It's a relationship of convenience and mutual benefit. Christie wasn't down on the field, sitting in the owner's box or flown back and forth on Jones' private jet because he's a huge Cowboy fan or because he's Jerry's new BFF. I don't care who Christie roots for, I do care that he's being wined and dined (and then some!) by somebody who just got a big fat contract with the Port Authority. And Christie lobbied for Jones to get the contract. This stinks. What does he think, because he does it in plain sight nobody will say there's something wrong with this?


(44,610 posts)
39. Oh, Jerry didn't get that contract for free
Wed Jan 7, 2015, 11:08 PM
Jan 2015

Last edited Fri Oct 9, 2015, 07:57 PM - Edit history (1)

He's been paying for it with campaign contributions...



(2,419 posts)
55. I Thought The Cost Of The Trip To Dallas....
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 07:51 PM
Jan 2015

came in at around $20,000. Boy was I wrong. Turns out it's over $125,000!

The Dallas trip was gift from Jones, who sent a private jet to pick up Christie and four members of his family, seating them in the owner’s box, and inviting the governor to mingle with players on the field.

How much would something like that cost?

Brace yourself as we travel to the world of billionaires: It would cost between $125,000 and $150,000, according to a luxury travel agent who arranges this kind of junket.

“We get calls form CEOs or wealthy individuals who want to go a game, sit in the owner’s suite, go on the field afterward, meet a player prior to the game, all that stuff,” says Robert Tuchman from Goviva. “That’s our thing, all kinds of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”



(2,419 posts)
40. It's Nice To See...
Thu Jan 8, 2015, 01:29 PM
Jan 2015

that Mr. Fishman is still on the job. This sounds pretty ominous. If they're looking into intimidation and coercion in regard to the 2013 election, that means they're developing a motive for the GWB lane closures. If they build a case demonstrating the undue influence Christie's people wielded over municipal officials-well then the Hoboken extortion case can't be far behind.

Christie's records of canceled meetings with Jersey City mayor are subpoenaed: report

Documents that are related to meetings that were canceled between Gov. Chris Christie and Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop have been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in New Jersey, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Those meetings were allegedly canceled with Jersey City’s mayor after he declined to endorse the governor, according to people familiar with the matter, the paper reported.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman issued the subpoenas to Christie's re-election campaign, broadening an investigation related to the George Washington Bridge lane closures, according to the newspaper.

A Christie spokesman declined to comment and there was no response to a request for a comment from a lawyer for the re-election campaign, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Read it here: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/01/christies_records_of_cancelled_meetings_with_jersey_city_mayor_are_subpoenaed.html


(2,419 posts)
42. A Year After The "Time For Some Traffic Problems" E-mail.....
Thu Jan 8, 2015, 06:40 PM
Jan 2015

WNYC presents 18 stories of Bridgegate. It's like a mini Christie Crime Digest!

A Year After 'Traffic Problems' Email, Bridgegate in 18 Stories

1. A year ago today, the world became acquainted with the now-infamous "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email, sent by a top Christie aide to a top official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The email spawned criminal investigations, federal probes, a legislative inquiry...and at least one Bruce Springsteen song: Emails Tie Top Christie Aide to GW Bridge Scandal.

2. The Christie administration went into full damage control with what would become familiar themes: sarcasm, contrition, and outrage: Three Stages of Christie's Crisis Management

3. It turned out that Christie officials weren't just snagging commuters. The Port Authority's New Jersey staff had been systematically helping themselves to the agency's billions to fund New Jersey projects, win union and political endorsements, and solve budget problems: How Christie's Men Turned the Port Authority into a Political Piggy Bank.

4. And then another shoe dropped: It wasn't just Fort Lee. Hoboken's Mayor, Dawn Zimmer, says she was denied Sandy aid for not endorsing Christie: Mayor Alleges Chris Christie Used Sandy Aid As A Political Pawn.

5. One man emerged at the center of both scandals: David Samson. A WNYC investigation found Christie's chairman of the Port Authority saw his private business soar while running a bi-state agency bigger than most states: Under Christie, Business Booms for Port Authority Chief.

6. Samson (and his well-connected law firm) was working both sides of various business deals with the Port Authority: The Power Broker: How Christie's Port Point Man Plays All Sides of Transit Deals.

7. But Christie's legal team, headed by Randy Mastro, never interviewed Samson -- or anyone who worked at the Port Authority. Instead, the team employed this strategy to "exonerate" the Governor: A Jilted Lover, a 'Crazy' Man and Diane Sawyer: What Christie Crisis Management Looks Like..................

Read the rest of the 18 here: http://project.wnyc.org/christie/#latest-424283


(2,419 posts)
43. The Made Up Testimony From Billy "Baloney" Baroni....
Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:23 PM
Jan 2015

seems to have caught the attention of the U.S. Attorney. Remember back to item # 111 of the Christie Crime Digest where we learned about a strange e-mail encouraging Billy Baloney to turn that &%#*'er in. I wonder who that &%#*'er is?

U.S. attorney subpoenas Baroni testimony in Christie bridge scandal probe

Federal prosecutors are seeking additional documents related to a former Port Authority executive’s testimony before lawmakers about the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s office subpoenaed the joint legislative committee investigating the closures that rocked Gov. Chris Christie’s administration for documents and recordings of former Port Authority official Bill Baroni’s testimony before lawmakers in November 2013, the panel’s co-chair confirmed today.

“(The subpoena came) some time in the last couple of days,” said state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergan), co-chair of the joint legislative committee.

“We have gotten subpoenas before for the documents that we gathered and we shared those with the U.S. attorney,” she said.

Baroni, a former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, told an Assembly panel Fort Lee’s access lanes to the bridge were closed for a traffic study. However, documents later revealed a top Christie administration official ordered the closure in an apparent political payback scheme.

The joint committee received two subpoenas from the U.S. attorney, Weinberg said. The first is for any documents the committee received since federal prosecutors’ last subpoena for documents, and the second is for documents directly tied to Baroni’s 2013 testimony.

“We will comply,” said Weinberg.

Read it here: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/01/us_attorney_subpoenas_for_documents_in_christie_bridge_scandal_probe.html#incart_m-rpt-1


(2,419 posts)
44. Remember The Story About The Time.....
Thu Jan 8, 2015, 11:43 PM
Jan 2015

Baroni & Christie tried to bully Senator Lautenberg? No? Well then you can read about it here:

Before Bridgegate, Chris Christie Used Port Authority As Political Weapon

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was under fire. It was 2012 and the agency had just hiked tolls on area bridges and tunnels. Inside a hearing room on Capitol Hill, the Port Authority's deputy chief, Bill Baroni, was absorbing withering criticism from Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the late New Jersey Democrat.

Lautenberg carried a reputation as the political nemesis of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who had appointed Baroni to his perch. Baroni swiftly attacked the senator: How could Lautenberg justify his opposition to raising tolls when he had himself enjoyed free passage across area bridges and tunnels?

"Respectfully, Senator, you only started paying tolls recently," Baroni said, according to a transcript of the exchange. "In fact, I have a copy of your free E-ZPass," he continued, holding up a physical copy of the toll pass Lautenberg had received as a benefit from his tenure as a Port Authority commissioner. "You took 284 trips for free in the last 2 years you had a pass."

Within days, Christie himself disclosed further detailed information about Lautenberg’s private travel records. At a press conference, he alleged that the senator didn't "pay for parking at Port Authority facilities" and said Lautenberg went "through the tunnel to New York three or four times a week in 2005 and 2006."

A year later, the Christie administration's relationship with the Port Authority would burst into public view as the centerpiece of a scandal known as Bridgegate, in which the governor's staff allegedly conspired with the transportation overseer to close lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, generating traffic jams as punishment for communities whose elected officials had not amply supported the governor.

Christie has repeatedly dismissed the episode as a rogue decision by his staff, maintaining that he was not consulted and would never have authorized such a stunt. But the exchange with Lautenberg and Christie's direct citation of his personal travel records underscore the degree to which his administration was already using the Port Authority as an instrument in his famously hard-nosed brand of politics.

At the time, the discussion of Lautenberg's travel history seemed like just another prop in the confrontational style of politics that dominates New Jersey. But the data that Baroni and Christie unleashed in assailing Lautenberg was not publicly available. Indeed, in a recent letter responding to an open records request, the Port Authority deemed those very same travel records off-limits to the public. Tim Feeney, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, confirmed to International Business Times that under New Jersey law, E-ZPass records can be obtained only with a civil court order or criminal subpoena.

Read the full article here: http://www.ibtimes.com/bridgegate-chris-christie-used-port-authority-political-weapon-1778062

Go David Sirota!


(109,069 posts)
48. I had started to get discouraged but the latest news reports
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:55 AM
Jan 2015

are giving me a little more hope.

What do you think?


(2,419 posts)
49. Things Are Definitely Starting To Look Up....
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 10:21 AM
Jan 2015

for at least someone to be held to answer. I've got to believe that Christie's presidential hopes are spiraling downward right now. (although it would be nice if someone would take him off our hands). On the downside, I've heard that the U.S. Attorney is reluctant to go after Christie directly because they don't have the direct evidential trail leading to him. That might change if they start indicting some of his underlings, but that sounds discouraging. I do still believe that Hoboken is a real problem for him-or at least for Guadagno and Sampson. On the other hand, his arrogance may be playing against him right now. A lot more of his sleazy moves are coming to light. The latest moves by the U.S. Attorney seem to be honing in on being able to prove motive and method. The problem is that this isn't the "cash in and envelope" type of corruption that is much easier to understand and prove. It's far more destructive, but also far more inchoate and difficult to get a handle on. However, there's just such a pattern of bad behavior. It even continues today. Just the notion that a sitting public official takes a gift with a value that the Cowboys playoff junket had , let alone from someone doing business with the state, has to raise some eyebrows down at the U.S. Attorney's office, doesn't it? I remain cautiously optimistic that a day of reckoning for the good governor is drawing neigh. There's just too much "there" there.


(109,069 posts)
52. That someone planning a Presidential campaign would have the gall
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:18 PM
Jan 2015

to thumb his nose at voters faces with the Dallas junkets is amazing to me. Even if it's somehow legal, it just shows that he doesn't give a f*k. I know that's part of his NJ persona, but are national primary voters going to go for that? Much less in a general election.



(47,209 posts)
47. keep an eye out for the PA suggesting PATH train closures- revenge against Mayors Zimmer and Fullop
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:41 AM
Jan 2015

no doubt. And also the language he attached to a bill last month that could open up Liberty State Park for more commercial development. The PATH thing is just so obviously punitive. He's getting sloppy.


(2,419 posts)
50. Is It Sloppy....
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 10:41 AM
Jan 2015

or is it arrogance? Just like showing up in Jerry Jones' luxury box and flying on his private jet. He thinks he's untouchable. The PATH closure would only save $10 million/yr. from a multi-billion $ budget. It's a joke. And privatizing PATH? An even bigger joke. The Port Authority had to take over the Hudson & Manhattan RR in the 60's because it was going bankrupt. A private operator with large Port Authority subsidies perhaps? Breaking the union perhaps? The privatization idea must have a Christie crony David Sampson somewhere close by. It smells worse than the Newark Bay sewage pumping station after a power failure.


(2,419 posts)
51. The Governor Continues To Have A Blind Spot....
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 11:39 AM
Jan 2015

when it comes to traveling. Remember back to Volume I, Item #9, he did the same thing as U.S. Attorney. A leopard doesn't change his spots. And he's defiant about it! Talk about a guy who just doesn't get it.

Chris Christie's Dallas trip leaves unanswered questions, but not as much as gov's other travel

Gov. Chris Christie’s trip to Texas to root for the Dallas Cowboys with owner Jerry Jones has generated quite a bit of heat this week, but there have been plenty of unanswered questions about other times the governor has traveled out of state.

The governor’s office has provided few details for many of the out-of-Jersey jaunts since taking office, many times claiming security concerns. Here’s a breakdown:


By now, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t seen footage of Christie hugging Jones in the owner’s private box after the Dallas Cowboys wild card win on Sunday. Christie attended five Cowboys games this season, including three at the invitation of Jones, according to the governor’s office. Jones invited Christie to a game in Dallas on Dec. 21, to Maryland for a matchup against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 28, and again to Dallas on Sunday for the wild card game against the Detroit Lions.

Jones paid for Christie, first Lady Mary Pat and their four children to fly to Dallas on a private Jet for Sunday’s game, but the administration won’t say who paid for Christie’s travel to Maryland for the prior week’s game.

Christie was already traveling with his family in Texas when Jones hosted him there for the first game, but the administration wouldn’t say where, with who or why he was traveling out of state – instead directing questions to the New Jersey Republican Party, which didn’t respond for comment.

According to published reports, the state GOP footed the travel bill for that trip.

The governor and Jones sat next to one another in Philadelphia the prior week for an Eagles matchup against the Cowboys. Christie was already attending the game and only sat with Jones for a portion of it. The administration won’t say who paid for that game.

read the rest here (its aggravating but worth it!) :http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/01/chris_christies_dallas_trip_isnt_only_one_with_unanswered_questions_about_cost.html?ath=80e8422d48902dc82ad87f5e39457178


(2,419 posts)
53. This Seems A Bit Curious To Me...
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 06:27 PM
Jan 2015

or perhaps I'm over thinking this but this looks very suspicious. Josh Margolin has connections with the U.S. Attorney's office from his days at the Newark Star Ledger and from writing his book The Jersey Sting. It makes me wonder who fed him this story and why. It had to come from either someone in the Christie administration or someone at the U.S. Attorney's office-and likely someone who was there while Christie was the U.S. Attorney.

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Christie Was Interrogated By Feds Over Bridge Scandal

Gov. Chris Christie, a potential presidential contender, was interrogated recently by federal investigators probing the 2013 lane-closure scandal that has threatened his political future, officials confirmed to ABC News.

Christie met with federal prosecutors and FBI agents last month during a secret session at the New Jersey governor’s mansion in Princeton. He agreed to sit down with investigators voluntarily after they offered him a chance to provide his side of the story. Interviewing Christie was one of the final steps in the investigation, which appears to be wrapping up, according to those briefed on it.

Anyone being questioned by federal agents is required to tell to the truth or potentially face criminal charges. The governor was accompanied by his personal attorney, Christopher Wray, a former chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“Governor Christie made clear from day one that he and his administration would fully cooperate with all appropriate inquiries,” Christie spokeswoman Maria Comella told ABC News. “That’s exactly what he has done and will continue to do, and he is very much looking forward to this matter’s conclusion.”

US Attorney Paul Fishman, who’s leading the investigation, declined to comment on the meeting.

The New Jersey US Attorney’s Office and the FBI have spent a year investigating the September 2013 closing of access lanes at the George Washington Bridge, which caused unprecedented traffic jams for the better part of a week and crippled Fort Lee, where the GWB is anchored in New Jersey. It has been alleged that the lanes were closed as political payback for the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee after he declined to endorse Christie’s gubernatorial re-election in 2013, though Christie has repeatedly denied it.

Read the rest here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/exclusive-chris-christie-interrogated-feds-bridge-scandal/story?id=28117826

This seems depressingly like a prelude to his exoneration. Plus he's headed for the playoff game this weekend (this time on his own dime) The fix must be in.


(44,610 posts)
56. Exoneration won't help him, but because if he's completely innocent,
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 08:00 PM
Jan 2015

then the only other logical explanation for his "naivete" is that he's completely incompetent -- in every sense of the word.



(2,419 posts)
58. Christie's "Cowboy Love" Isn't Just .....
Sun Jan 11, 2015, 11:52 AM
Jan 2015

for Jerry Jones! Seems Roger Staubach got himself a fat Port Authority contract too soon after making a nice contribution to Christie's campaign fund.

Cowboys Great Roger Staubach Donated to Christie Months Before Landing PA Contract

It’s now widely known that Governor Christie is a Dallas Cowboys fan. Less widely understood—and reported for the first time in PolitickerNJ—is that the player at the root of his fandom, former great Roger Staubach, was awarded a juicy Port Authority contract just months after making a maximum contribution to Chris Christie’s campaign.

As 2012 came to a close, the governor was making a push to post an intimidating fundraising number to ward off any top-tier Democratic challengers. On the final day of the year, one check stood out—a $3800 contribution from Dallas Cowboy Hall-of-Famer Roger Staubach.

On its face, there’s nothing fishy or even all that surprising about the max-out donation. Christie has long cited his admiration for “Captain Comeback” – the scrambling hero of Super Bowl VI and VII who won the Heisman Trophy and did a tour in Vietnam—as the reason he became a Cowboy fan in the first place. He told the NFL Network in 2013, “I saw Roger Staubach play for the first time, and this was 1971, and I became a huge Staubach fan. And as a result, a Cowboys fan, and I’ve been one ever since.”

What’s more surprising is that four months later, the Port Authority awarded a $12.5 million contract to Staubach’s real estate firm, Jones Lang LaSalle.
According to the minutes of a Port Authority meeting that took place on April 24, 2013, “It was recommended that the Board authorize the Executive Director [Patrick Foye] to enter into an agreement with Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. (JLL) to provide professional real estate development and operations support services for the World Trade Center (WTC) site redevelopment, on an as-needed basis in coordination with Port Authority staff, at an estimated amount of $12.5 million through December 2015.”
This engagement was the result of a Request for Proposals (RFP) that was publicly advertised and allegedly “evaluated on a ‘best-buy’ basis.” But that’s hard to assess because the minutes also say that it was the only proposal received and evaluated.

Read the rest here: http://politickernj.com/2015/01/cowboys-great-roger-staubach-donated-to-christie-months-before-landing-pa-contract/


(2,419 posts)
60. Not To Beat The Cowboys Trip To Death...
Sun Jan 11, 2015, 10:13 PM
Jan 2015

but this needs to be followed. This was an unconscionable breech of ethics-and likely of the law. And for anyone who didn't think that the Governor placing one of his loyal underlings in charge of the state ethics panel wouldn't pay off for him sometime in the future-read on. This guy has me so mad I'm losing sleep at night over it.

Christie's 'friendship' doesn't justify pricey gifts: Editorial

But is Jones really a friend? He is a billionaire who made his money in the fossil fuel business. He could be extremely useful to Christie by introducing him to his Texas friends in the business. Note here that Christie has done all he can to support the oil and gas business, notably removing New Jersey from a regional pact to limit climate emissions.

So when did these two becomes friends? How often to do they talk on the phone, or see one another in person? Did they become friends only when Jones started lavishing expensive gifts on Christie?

We asked the governor’s aides about that, and they refused to comment, no doubt on orders from the boss. We asked Susan Guerrero, a Christie appointee who runs the ethics commission, and she refused comment as well.

Maybe they became friends when the Port Authority awarded a contract to run the observation deck at the 104-story One World Trade Center to a partnership that included the Cowboys. The agency expects to earn $875 million from that operation over the next 15 years.

How much will Jones make on that deal? Again, no comment from Christie’s office.

Obviously, the legislature should take a fresh look at the law that supposedly permits this nonsense. We are dealing with a governor who knows no restraint. He is hoping to go to next week’s game in Green Bay, when the Cowboys take on the Packers.

If the law is as permissive as Christie claims, then it is an open invitation to corruption and should be changed. At a minimum, the governor needs to come clean by describing his “friendship” with Jones, and disclosing the value of these gifts.

It is hard to believe that Christie came to office promising a new level of openness in government. He routinely denies access to public records, and has lost over and over again in the courts. Apparently, he feels no obligation to explain this behavior to voters.

and this follow up:

Lavish gifts deserve attention of Ethics Commission: Editorial

This is not about Gov. Christie’s man-crush with Jerry Jones, a relationship that can be valued in six figures and viewed through the prism of a Port Authority deal. It is about how appearances don’t bother the person responsible for determining whether it’s all kosher.

Here is what Susana Guerrero, the governor’s former attorney who runs the State Ethics Commission, said about their radiant fellowship: “He sort of went as a personal thing,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “They can accept gifts from friends.”

You heard her. Move along, nothing to see here.

Guerrero won’t respond to inquiries pertaining to gifts or propriety, so assume she sort of went along with her patron’s lead as a personal thing.

As Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) put it: “She hadn’t even looked at the issue. This is the director for the Ethics Commission. If it weren’t sad, it would be funny.”

For a man who once used ethics as a governing principle, this is more evidence that Christie has abandoned that code. It has nothing to do with spreading his orange joy around Cowboy Nation – he can do on his own dime. It’s about the appearance of payback, which ethics watchdogs know is more endemic to politics than it is to football.

read more here: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/01/lavish_gifts_deserve_attention_of_ethics_commission_editorial.html#incart_river


(2,419 posts)
62. Yet Another Chapter In Fiscal Responsibilty....
Mon Jan 12, 2015, 11:34 AM
Jan 2015

Christie style. An 1800% increase? All so he can go gallivanting across the country on his shameless self-promotion tours.

Big Ticket: Costs to Protect Christie During Travels Up 1,800% Since He Took Office

It’s no secret that the governor has racked up some sizable expenses; the mystery is where much of the money went.

No matter who paid for Chris Christie’s ticket to the Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers football game on Sunday, the New Jersey governor ran up the score on taxpayers.

The total amount of travel expenses for state police troopers assigned to protect the governor are 18 times higher than when Christie took office, a New Jersey Watchdog investigation found.

New Jersey spent nearly $1 million on travel expenses for its state police Executive Protection Unit (EPU) during Christie’s four years and nine months as governor, according to documents obtained under the Open Public Records Act. Those costs do not include salary or overtime for the troopers.

Last year, Christie traveled out-of-state on more than 100 days while visiting 36 states, Mexico, and Canada, primarily on personal and political trips that were not official state business.

The current average monthly travel costs to protect Christie for a single month are 50 percent more than former Gov. Jon Corzine’s entire final year in office, according to state records. For 2009, EPU’s expenses were only $21,704 -- compared with $32,933 per month for the first three quarters of 2014.

Spokesmen for Christie did not respond to New Jersey Watchdog’s requests for comment.

Read the rest here: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/01/12/big-ticket-costs-to-protect-gov-christie-during-travels-rise-1-800-percent/#


(2,419 posts)
63. Maybe Christie Didn't Just Go To Dallas....
Mon Jan 12, 2015, 04:36 PM
Jan 2015

to see a football game! Seems he's been making some new friends to go along with Jerry Jones down in the Lone Star State. He must be pretty confident that he's going to skate free.

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Christie Lands a Key Texas Bundler for Prez Run

The New York Observer has learned that Chris Christie for President has landed a highly coveted name to be its finance chairman for a 2016 campaign that is quickly taking shape. As soon as the end of this week, Mr. Christie will announce that Dallas investor Ray Washburne will be its new finance chair, tasked with raising the $80-100 million it is expected to cost to win the GOP nomination.

Mr. Washburne most recently served as the Republican National Committee finance chairman, taking the reins after the party’s failure to win the White House in 2012.

Reached on Monday afternoon, Mr. Washburne would not directly confirm the appointment but did tell the Observer, “I’m finance chairman of the RNC and we have our annual meeting this week in San Diego and I’m not standing for re-election. All I’ll say is I’m going to be very involved in 2016, but stepping down should be very indicative of what I’m thinking about. I wouldn’t say you’re reporting anything incorrect. But Chris hasn’t announced anything yet and he’s going to one last governor’s inauguration in Maryland, but I don’t want to say anything more than that.”

The developer of shopping malls and other real estate is a co-founder of M Crowd Restaurant Group, which operates the Mi Cocina and Taco Diner restaurant chains, Mr. Washburne also logged some time in the publishing world, though that did not turn out as favorably as his other endeavors. He was a major fundraiser for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, hosting the nominee several times in his home in the posh Dallas suburb of Highland Park. The tall and good-looking developer also married well—his wife Heather is a member of the Hunt family, which sold Hunt Petroleum for more than $4 billion in 2008.

Mr. Washburne brings to the table many assets the Christie campaign feels it badly needs. The most obvious is access to cash, as the wide, unsettled field will certainly set a record for what is going to be spent to attain the GOP nomination. But Mr. Washburne checks other boxes, as well.

As a prominent Southerner, he immediately establishes Mr. Christie’s credentials as a national candidate, able to tap wells outside his Northeast home base. He also makes clear that the New Jersey governor will compete everywhere for support. Many will undoubtedly have expected prominent Texas fundraisers to sign on with Jeb Bush, whose family branches in the state are obvious, or Texas Senator Ted Cruz, or Texas Governor Rick Perry, all of whom are widely expected to run for president, as well.

Then there’s the ideological box. Mr. Washburne is the co-founder, along with George Seay III, of Legacy, the group of “affluent Evangelicals” who became an important screening committee in the aughts, as well as a critical funding source for presidential hopefuls. Mr. Washburne’s endorsement will send signals that Christie has been koshered as a conservative to primary voters worried about the right-wing bona fides of a governor from a high-tax, deeply blue state

Read the rest here: http://observer.com/2015/01/exclusive-chris-christie-lands-a-key-texas-bundler-for-prez-run/


(2,419 posts)
65. Christie's Lack Of Policy Knowledge Or Real Concern.....
Tue Jan 13, 2015, 10:13 AM
Jan 2015

for anyone other than himself or his potential donors has come home to roost with NJ's residents paying the price for his failures. Meanwhile, he continues to try to climb the ladder.

Chris Christie’s Jersey nightmare: Why his state hasn’t touched the economic recovery

Twenty-first century New Jersey is a state so disconnected from the national narrative of “recovery” it might as well be its own country. The fact that the major media has ignored this story for so long is a tribute to Governor Christie’s prowess as a great entertainer. Not since the arrival of the Great Pandas from China has the major media been so distracted by sideshow antics.

New Jersey is only one of three states where poverty has gone up according to the latest U.S. Census data. (New Mexico and Washington are the two others.) Back in 2007, 8.6 percent of the state lived below the poverty line. That went up to 9.4 percent in 2009 and in 2013 hit 11.4 percent.

By 2013, close to the end of Gov. Christie’s first term, Advocates for Children New Jersey had documented that poverty, historically confined to the state’s urban core and rural areas, was getting worse state wide and was now getting a foothold in the state’s traditionally affluent suburbs. Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of the non-profit advocacy group told New Jersey Public TV that “almost a third on New Jersey’s children” were now living “in low income” households.

But the top-line poverty numbers were only part of a wider New Jersey macro trend that portends a kind of economic unraveling on Gov. Christie’s watch. Last fall, the United Way of Northern New Jersey teamed up with Rutgers University to look at a broader slice of the state’s population that, by the numbers, were above the federal poverty level but financially struggling to make ends meet.

The report entitled ALICE, looked at Jersey residents that were Asset Limited, Income Constrained, but Employed. What they found was that when they added up the families living in poverty to this larger ALICE cohort, there were 1.2 million households, nearly 40 percent of the state, that were struggling on a weekly basis to “afford the basics of housing, food, transportation, childcare and health care despite working.”

Read the rest here: http://www.salon.com/2015/01/13/chris_christies_jersey_nightmare_why_his_state_hasnt_touched_the_economic_recovery/

Beach Rat

(273 posts)
66. Holy Cow man!
Tue Jan 13, 2015, 11:28 AM
Jan 2015

I was just reading through all this stuff and it hit me, there's no editorializing in it. It's all just a collection of sources. I know some of them are from sources with a slant, but this is just an amazing collection of , I don't even know what to call it. How much crap does this guy pull? It's overwhelming. The only editorializing is in what you select and the captions of the pictures. (and I've got to say the Randy Mastro caption in Volume1 is my favorite). If just one or two of these items came out about a different politician it would be over for them. What are you on like 160? How the hell does this guy have the gall to run for president?


(2,419 posts)
67. A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Away......
Wed Jan 14, 2015, 09:42 AM
Jan 2015

should have been the opening lines of Christie's first presidential-I mean State of the State speech. Anybody surprised he took some liberties with the truth to make himself look better? Not about little things either-property taxes, unemployment, the budget...pretty much just made up. Hey if lying gets you ahead-go for it! He could have ended the speech with they lived happily ever after but that would be too much of a lie for NJ-fact is we're screwed.

What Christie Said: Fact Checking the Governor’s State of the State

The governor’s claims about his successes sound very impressive, but are they accurate?

Gov. Chris Christie’s State of the State address was full of numbers and percentages, claims and assertions about how much better life in the Garden State has grown in the past year -- under the governor’s guidance.

We have no problem with that. Where it gets dicey is when Christie gets it wrong -- sometimes slightly, sometimes seriously.

In order to set the record straight, here’s a look at a few of Christie’s claims -- and the real numbers.

Read the rest here: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/01/14/what-christie-said-fact-checking-the-governor-s-state-of-the-state/


(2,419 posts)
68. I Should Have Used This Article....
Wed Jan 14, 2015, 11:20 AM
Jan 2015

from the NY Times. A very nice job of critiquing the Governor's State of the Stump speech.

But his speech was more striking for its omissions. He did not mention the recovery from Hurricane Sandy, which was once his calling card, but more than two years later has produced lingering resentment from homeowners struggling to rebuild. He declared that he would veto any income tax increase, but was silent on the idea of a gas tax increase, which even some Republicans believe is necessary to fill the state’s transportation trust fund and to fix bridges and roads.

Nor did Mr. Christie mention Atlantic City, where one-third of the casinos closed in 2014, the fourth year in what had been a five-year plan by the governor to turn that struggling city around.

Mr. Christie has been governor five years and has the scars to show for it. As he used his speech to pitch himself to a national audience, he had to explain some of those blemishes.

So he argued that state employee pensions are underfunded “because of poor decisions by governors and legislatures of both parties, over decades, not just years.” He did not add that he failed to make the pension payments he himself had promised. And he emphatically declared — saying it twice — that his administration had contributed more money toward the state’s outstanding pension obligations than any other. (His critics note that his Democratic predecessor, Jon S. Corzine, contributed more, on a percentage basis.)

Mr. Christie blamed high taxes for the recent news that Mercedes would leave New Jersey for Georgia, but offered no hint at how to reduce taxes. And he made a swipe at “some overly partisan corners of this chamber” who have continued to press questions about the scandal that started with the disclosure of his administration’s role in closing lanes to the George Washington Bridge, apparently in an act of political retribution.

Mr. Christie has traveled the country as chairman of the Republican Governors Association over the last year, and on those travels, he said, “anxiety was the most palpable emotion I saw and felt.” He described an 82-year-old woman in Vero Beach, Fla., who grabbed his hand in a rope line and asked: “What’s happening to our country? We used to control events. Now events control us.”

read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/nyregion/chris-christie-state-of-the-state-speech-new-jersey.html?ref=nyregion&target=comments&_r=0#commentsContainer


(2,419 posts)
69. The Hero Of Sandy....
Wed Jan 14, 2015, 09:13 PM
Jan 2015

is looking like a chump. Hopefully the rest of the world is finally starting to realize just what a creep he is. Perhaps Sandy victims should accompany him on the campaign trail.

Christie's telling silence on Sandy: Editorial

The Sandy victims who helped make Christie a national celebrity have since become a political liability. They don't fit into the narrative that could help him win the presidency.

The truth is, Christie’s management of this effort has been sloppy. The state hired a contractor to help homeowners claim needed federal aid, but the firm turned out to be so incompetent it had to be fired. State leaders refused to attend public hearings to answer basic questions from desperate homeowners and renters. Meanwhile, Christie steered money to towns like Belleville for political reasons, even though it was barely damaged by the storm.

Here are some numbers, more than two years after Sandy: Of the 10,800 homeowners approved for relief grants, just 328 have actually finished rebuilding their homes. The rest are still crashing on couches, in rentals or on the second floor of damaged houses, cooking on hot plates.

Only about half of those approved for rebuilding grants have gotten any money. About 3,000 homeowners who have been off the state’s waiting list since last May still haven’t gotten any funding from the program. For those in the main rental program, the latest data show that only 51 homes have been completed, out of a total of 5400 replacement rental units.

Christie’s presidential ambitions have been a curse to this state. He should be here, working with these families. He should be negotiating a pension deal and selling it to the public. He should be finding ways to replenish the bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund. He should be working day and night to revive the moribund economy.

Maybe the Sandy victims should send a delegation to Iowa and New Hampshire to spread the word. If Christie does for America what he’s done for New Jersey, it would be wise to consider other options.


(2,419 posts)
71. Keeping Up With The Good Governor...
Wed Jan 14, 2015, 09:41 PM
Jan 2015

has certainly been a challenge. It will all be worth it if he goes down in flames!


(2,419 posts)
74. Maybe This Means Something....
Thu Jan 15, 2015, 04:59 PM
Jan 2015

and maybe it doesn't, but.....it sure looks like fixer-in-chief Lori Grifa is bailing from her long-term relationship with Wolff & Sampson for a similar position putting the fixes in with another law firm. The firm has been shedding partners lately. Could it be that the rats sense an approaching reef ready to tear the bottom out of the good ship Quod Est In Loco?

Ex-Christie commissioner joins lobbying firm that recently employed current commissioner

After one of its top lobbyists resigned to become a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s cabinet, a law firm today announced that it has hired a former Christie cabinet member for a similar position.

Former Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa, who became embroiled in fallout from the George Washington Bridge scandal, has left her longtime firm, Wolff & Samson, to be a director of Archer & Greiner’s lobbying shop.

“I am excited to join Archer & Greiner as it continues its efforts to develop a state-wide presence,” Grifa said in a press release by her new firm. “It is one of the State’s oldest and most respected law firms and I am very proud to join their ranks.”

Grifa, who will be a director at Archer Public Affairs and a partner in the firm's law practice, comes on board just months after a previous lobbying director, Richard Mroz, was tapped by Christie to be president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

A spokesman for the firm did not respond to a question about whether Grifa was selected to replace Mroz, and whether she will have the same job title.

Grifa served two years as community affairs commissioner beginning in 2010. After that, she returned to Wolff & Samson, which has close ties to Christie and where she worked for 12 years before becoming commissioner.

Grifa most recently made headlines a year ago, when Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer alleged she pressured her to back a development project that was represented by Wolff & Samson.

The firm was founded by then-Port Authority Chairman David Samson, whose role in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal has drawn scrutiny. Grifa also served as Samson’s chief of staff when he was state attorney general from 2002 to 2003.

Grifa denied Zimmer’s allegations, and a statement from Wolff & Samson at the time said her conduct “was appropriate in all respects.”

Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/01/former_christie_cabinet_member_becomes_lobbyist_th.html#incart_river


(44,610 posts)
75. Christie says he and Jerry Jones didn't meet until September 2013
Fri Jan 16, 2015, 04:52 PM
Jan 2015

Last edited Fri Jan 16, 2015, 08:15 PM - Edit history (4)

IB Times:...Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a press release announcing their selection of Legends Hospitality LLC to operate the observation deck on the top floor of One World Trade Center. The next day, the Port Authority board -- which is appointed by Christie and Cuomo -- specifically cited the governors’ announcement in voting to approve the contract for the company, which is jointly owned by the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and Checketts Partners Investment Fund...

New Jersey ethics rules bar(s) gifts to public officials from persons or entities that those officials “deal with, contact, or regulate in the course of official business...”

NJ.com: Gov. Chris Christie tonight sought to set the record straight on his relationship with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, just weeks after he’d clarified it in a PBS television interview.

The timing of the two men’s relationship became relevant after it was reported that Christie had accepted tens of thousands of dollars in private jet travel from Jones to fly himself and his entire family to attend a Dallas game last week, and that a firm co-owned by Jones’ Cowboys, Legends Hospitality, had been awarded a lucrative Port Authority contract to run concessions atop the World Trade Center observatory...

“Jerry Jones and I first met in September of 2013,” Christie said on his monthly radio call-in show on New Jersey 101.5. He added that by his recollection, he only first spoke to Jones on the phone in the summer of 2013...

Nice try, sir, but the Jones/PA deal went down in MARCH of 2013, which in New Jersey falls in the SPRING. But since that's indisputable, what does it matter when you had your first face-to-face meeting? It certainly doesn't mean you never done business together -- which you certainly could have done via telephone, teleconferencing, online conferencing, postal mail, or electronic correspondence.

“When he got the contract, I knew nothing about it. I didn’t know him. I had no relationship with him. Nor did I have any influence or knowledge of who was going to run the concessions at World Trade Center 1, nor quite frankly, do I care. That was a New York issue. That’s a building in New York. I don’t deal with those issues.”

Well, I suppose it's possible that Cuomo's staff released this public statement and simply added your name to it. While you may not have known anything about who'd be running the concessions, New Jersey HAD to have had a hand in who would "develop and operate" the project. And the passage from this press release must be some kind of typographical error:

(Mar 20, 2013): The Port Authority Board of Commissioners’...vote followed yesterday’s call from Governors Cuomo and Christie to endorse the award of a contract to Legends to bring a world-class observation deck to what will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere when it reaches its final height of 1776 feet.

Well, let's not take that TOO literally -- that could refer to either a phone call from the governors to award the contract to Legends, or a call to action from the governors to award the contract to Legends. A typographical error? It's outright libel -- Christie and Cuomo should demand that the press release be retracted immediately or face legal action! Who's responsible for creating this scandalous innuendo? The Port Authority...oh, well, Christie and Cuomo said they were planning to dismiss all their board members anyway!



(2,419 posts)
77. The Eight Step Process....
Sun Jan 25, 2015, 04:53 PM
Jan 2015

for making a fat obnoxious blowhard a national candidate. An examination of Christie, the YouTube governor.

The YouTube Governor, Decoded

Any day now, Gov. Chris Christie is expected to formally announce that he’s exploring a presidential run. In six years he has gone from a relatively unknown US Attorney in New Jersey to a household name around the country. He did it by running a sophisticated media operation that capitalized on his charm, temper and ability to step past the reporters who cover him. Here's a breakdown of how he built his brand:

1) YouTube

Christie was the first governor -- maybe the first American politician -- to use the medium of YouTube as a primary means of communicating with the public. It effectively began with a video of this response to an elementary school teacher who challenged him at a town hall meeting in 2010: "If what you want to do is giggle and put on a show every time I talk, then I have no interest in answering your question." At nearly 1.4 million views, this is still Christie's most popular video on his official gubernatorial YouTube channel.......

read the rest of Matt Katz' excellent analysis here: http://project.wnyc.org/christie/#latest-426482


(2,419 posts)
78. Some More On Christie And His Famous Pals.....
Sun Jan 25, 2015, 05:02 PM
Jan 2015

Jerry Jones & Jon Bon Jovi. (in the spirit of disclosure, I don't like the Cowboys or Bon Jovi's music) We know all too well about lavish gifts from the new operator of the observation deck of One World Trade Center (that's Jerry Jones for those who haven't been keeping up on current events), what's lesser known is the relationship between Bon Jovi's charity and Mary Pat Christie's Sandy Fund. It all smells.

Bon Jovi, Jerry Jones & Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie's much discussed friendship with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones began with none other than Jon Bon Jovi. WNYC has confirmed that the Jersey-born rocker was the first to connect the two.

But other details about the relationship are proving hard to pin down, because Christie has made conflicting statements about when he first spoke to Jones. And that timeline matters. Here's why: In March 2013, Christie issued a joint press release with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo encouraging the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which the governors control, to issue a lucrative concessions contract to a company that Jones co-owns. After that, Jones made gifts worth an estimated tens of thousands of dollars to Christie in the form of luxury box tickets to three Cowboys games this season -- plus airfare to one game in Green Bay.

Christie has invoked the "friends" provision of state ethics laws that allows such gifts. But when did the men become friends? Was it before the contract was awarded? If so, that could pose an ethics violation, Democrats argue.

Christie said last week that there was no chance of favoritism because the men didn't have contact until the summer of 2013. "When he got the contract, I knew nothing about it, I didn't know him, I didn't have any relationship with him, nor did I have any influence or knowledge of who was going to run the concessions at World Trade One, nor quite frankly, do I care," Christie said on his call-in radio show on 101.5 FM.

But last month, on an interview show broadcast on PBS, he said: "I’ve become friends with Jerry over the last five years."

And last April, according to newly unearthed tape, he went futher, telling a detailed story about how he revealed his fandom in a 2009 interview with a newspaper reporter, prompting Jones to call him. "So that got out and it got national press that I was a Cowboys fan running for governor of New Jersey," he said. "And the next day I got a call from Jerry Jones."

It appears that this particular newspaper article didn't publish until 2010, after Christie was in office, so his memories may be muddled on this point. He also may have been taking some storytelling liberties in truncating the timeframe. Plus, Jones himself has said the men didn't meet until 2013.

But the discrepancy of several years has yet to be cleared up by the governor.

read the rest here: http://project.wnyc.org/christie/#latest-426784


(44,610 posts)
79. Christie has officially launched his political action committee
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 03:49 PM
Jan 2015

LMFAO, for short. But what the F does the F stand for -- Fat? Felonius? Fracking?

I'm sure I've heard George Bush say "leadership matters" at least once...it turns out that he used it as recently as two months ago!

ON EDIT: This just in...an encore...



(2,419 posts)
82. Christie Is Moving Up In The World.....
Tue Feb 3, 2015, 09:32 AM
Feb 2015

now he has royalty paying for his junkets! Jerry Jones? Yesterday's news.

Christie $30,000 luxury hotel weekend paid for by king of Jordan, report says

A sumptuous family weekend Gov. Chris Christie took at the end of his 2012 trade mission to Israel was paid for in part by King Abdullah of Jordan, according to a report in the New York Times.

At the time, Christie had already flown to Israel on a private plane belonging to billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, bringing with him three of his four children, his wife, his mother-in-law, his father and stepmother, four staff members, his former law partner and a New Jersey state trooper, according to the report.

By the end of the Middle Eastern junket, the tab for the Christie family and their guest rooms at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel in Jordan totaled some $30,000, which would be covered by the King of Jordan, Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein, the report said.

NJ.com had previously reported that Christie's weekend in Jordan was a "personal, family visit by invitation of the king," according to a statement from the governor's office at the time. Garden State taxpayers underwrote the price for seven state troopers and contract security during the weeklong trip to Israel and Jordan, but the total cost of security has never been released by the governor's office.

In the Times report, a Christie aide, Maria Comella, stressed that King Abdullah was "a friend" whom the governor first met at a salon-style dinner in New York in the fall of 2010, at the home of Michael Bloomberg, then the mayor of New York City.

Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/christies_30000_luxury_hotel_tab_paid_for_by_king.html#incart_m-rpt-1


(44,610 posts)
83. Christie concludes Britain trip by refusing to take questions
Tue Feb 3, 2015, 08:48 PM
Feb 2015
NJ.com: The trade mission that began inside a London stadium with thousands of enthusiastic fans cheering the home soccer team to victory on Sunday ended here today with an icy exchange with reporters.

Gov. Chris Christie capped off a three-day trip to the United Kingdom by scrapping plans for two question-and-answer sessions with reporters..."Is there something you don't understand about 'no questions'?" Christie bristled when asked if the threat of ISIS attacks on the U.S. and Britain came up during his discussions with British officials...

The Republican governor's comments on foreign soil about the need for "a balance" between the government and a parent's right to choose whether a child is vaccinated prompted his office back in Trenton to take the unusual step of issuing a statement modifying Christie's remarks.

A little more than 12 hours later, The New York Times reported on Christie's tendency for luxury travel paid for by others, including some $30,000 in hotel bills for Christie, his family and their guests at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel in Jordan in 2012...

Why to show off your foreign policy chops, gov! At least you avoided Mitt Romney's mistake and didn't discriminate against the American reporters by refusing to talk to ALL of them!



(2,419 posts)
84. Christie Must Really Be A Great Guy....
Thu Feb 5, 2015, 03:48 PM
Feb 2015

because everybody's his friend and everyone just wants to give him lavish gifts! Plane rides, luxury hotels, football tickets. To know the guy must be to love him-and to want to give him whatever you can-you know-just to show him how much you care!

Ethics watchdog group files complaint against Christie

A Washington group filed a complaint with two New Jersey boards today arguing that Governor Christie violated ethics rules by accepting free travel, lodging and entertainment.

Part of the complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington cites a report by The New York Times this week that said casino magnate Sheldon Adelson provided his private jet for the Christie family to go to Israel at a time when Adelson was opposing pending state legislation to legalize online gambling.

The complaint also challenges the argument by the Christie administration that he was allowed to accept a $30,000 trip to Jordan paid for by King Abdullah because he and the king were friends.

CREW has a long history of challenging public officials' actions, and even complained to federal regulators in 2009 about Christie's actions when he was U.S. Attorney.

Its past actions included criticism of two Democrats in New Jersey's congressional delegation, but last year its board was taken over by a prominent Democrat, David Brock, who was described in a story by Politico as an enforcer for Hillary Clinton.

Another group supported by Brock, the American Democracy Legal Fund, filed an earlier ethics complaint against Christie over his acceptance of flights to Dallas Cowboys games and tickets in the owner's box paid for by team owner Jerry Jones.

The gambling bill Adelson opposed was ultimately signed by Christie, and his office told The Times that while Christie explained his reason for doing so to Adelson, Adelson had not been personally lobbying the governor.

The CREW complaint notes that Christie accepted the flight while on an official trade mission to Israel, and at a time Adelson had made it known publically he opposed the bill.

"That's exactly the situation these rules were intended to prevent," said Anne L. Weismann, interim executive director of CREW. "You don't get to violate the rules and say it's OK if in the end you didn't give in to the pressure. You're supposed to avoid even the appearance of impropriety."

The complaint also challenges Christie's acceptance of lodging and a champagne reception worth $30,000 during a three-day stay in Jordan paid for by that nation's King Abdullah. Christie's office told The Times the governor and king became friends after meeting once, and therefore the gift was allowed under an exception in an executive order Christie had issued.

Read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/ethics-watchdog-group-files-complaint-against-christie-1.1265381


(44,610 posts)
85. The Hunterdon mess just got messier
Thu Feb 5, 2015, 04:44 PM
Feb 2015
The very first chapter of the Christie Crime Digest started with "The Hunterdon mess," which is now officially the target of yet another federal investigation:


Two criminal investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday interviewed...Bennett Barlyn, (who) was fired from the Hunterdon County prosecutor's office in August 2010, and subsequently brought a whistleblower lawsuit against the Christie administration, claiming he had been punished for objecting to the dismissal of the indictments of the governor's supporters for a range of corrupt activities.

Barlyn told IBTimes that he met with the federal investigators at his Pennsylvania home for more than an hour on Wednesday afternoon. He said they specifically focused on why Christie’s then-attorney general, Paula Dow, had moved to expunge the indictments. The investigators are examining what state and federal laws may have been broken in the process. Barlyn said the investigators appeared to be at an exploratory stage, with no certainty that criminal charges would ultimately be filed. The meeting followed a June letter to Barlyn from New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney, Paul Fishman...

So I guess the Christie Crime digest has officially come full circle. Congrats -- and yum!



(2,419 posts)
86. A Big Day For The Crime Digest, Volume II....
Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:24 AM
Feb 2015

4 new items today-each one interesting:

168. As Roctivity has pointed out-it all comes full circle-Crime DigestItem #1 hits the news: Feds talk to ex-N.J. prosecutor who claims Christie had allies' charges dropped: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/feds_interview_ex-nj_prosecutor_who_claims_christi.html#incart_river Hopefully some vindication is headed Ben Barlyn's way. A very brave man who stood up for what is right.

* And just to note-its cost the taxpayers of NJ over 1/2 Million dollars to defend Christie against Mr. Barlyn's lawsuit-more money for his crony law firms (this time Bill Pallatuci's firm-he's the guy who created this monster in the first place) NJ Paid Law Firm Of Chris Christie's Top Adviser To Defend Christie In Whistleblower Suit : http://www.ibtimes.com/nj-paid-law-firm-chris-christies-top-adviser-defend-christie-whistleblower-suit-1807346 Take him down Ben Barlyn!

169. Maybe United can institute direct flights to wherever you might want to fly: United confirms 'chairman's flight' subpoena in probe of former Port Authority exec: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/02/united_confirms_chairmans_flight_subpoena_in_probe_of_former_port_authority_exec.html#incart_story_package The "Chairman's Flight"! Just when I thought things were going nowhere it starts to get interesting.

170. Apparently his loudmouth boor act didn't play well in England-who could have guessed? Christie's U.K. trip a 'failure,' presidential scholars say: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/chris_christies_uk_trip_a_failure_experts_say.html#incart_m-rpt-1 I say old boy, why don't you sit down and shut up. Pass the crumpets please.

171. So much for the promise of transparency. Chris Christie Is Now Waging 23 Court Battles to Keep State Documents Secret:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/chris-christie-transparency-records-requests What do you suppose they're trying to hide?

Can Volume III be in the near future? This might actually be enjoyable if it wasn't causing so much pain for the people of NJ. Hopefully Christie has been stopped from wreaking his destruction elsewhere-Kind of like the new Godzilla movie. Nature seeks balance.


(44,610 posts)
87. Complete List of All The Famous People Chris Christie Hangs Out With
Tue Feb 10, 2015, 04:22 PM
Feb 2015

Last edited Tue Jul 19, 2016, 12:11 AM - Edit history (20)

(Disclosure: I am a big Bon Jovi fan, and during my tenure as a rock music journalist, I wrote about Bon Jovi, interviewed a member, and became an acquaintance of a member of Jon Bon Jovi's immediate family.)


...Governor Chris Christie has drawn some tough press in recent weeks for associations with America's rich and famous. But these guys are only a handful of celebrity friends that Christie has accumulated since becoming governor in 2010. Here's the most complete list ever compiled about famous people who Christie has hung out with...Know of others? Contact [email protected] or https://twitter.com/mattkatz00.

Runs the gamut from Roger Ailes to Bono to Sofia Vergara. But this is the one that jumps out at you:

JON BON JOVI, ROCK STAR: The Jersey rocker known for liking Democrats became friendly with Christie after Bon Jovi's daughter nearly died from a drug overdose (in November 2012).

Jon's daughter OD'd in New York, but no charges were filed -- not because she's a celebrity offspring, but because New York has a "Good Samaritan" drug law "providing legal protection to those who call 911 for drug overdoses." No doubt out of gratitude that the law may have saved his daughter's life and definitely kept her out of jail, Jon joined the ongoing community effort to get one passed in New Jersey.

When Christie signed a Good Samaritan bill...Bon Jovi came to the bill signing. He later gave $1 million to the Sandy Relief Fund started by Christie's wife and toured his Sandy-ravaged hometown, Sayreville, with the governor. They warmly embraced when they saw each other that day.

And if the timing, weren't enough, Jon's donation jumps out at you because he has been running his OWN charitable foundation since 2006. Bribe? Shakedown? Quid pro quo? Surely not between such good friends!



(2,419 posts)
88. Well The U.S. Attorney Is Following Up.....
Wed Feb 11, 2015, 08:53 PM
Feb 2015

on "the chairman's flight". I'm sure that there's no coincidence that it was a Thursday evening TO Columbia,SC and a Sunday night TO Newark pair of flights. You know, because Thursday is the most popular day for folks in NJ to fly to Columbia, SC. Let's see the chairman weasel out of this one.

Feds contact South Carolina airport officials in probe tied to ex-Port Authority Chairman David Samson

Federal investigators have contacted officials at an airport in Columbia, South Carolina, its executive director said Wednesday, as part of an investigation into whether a United Airlines flight route between Newark and Columbia was initiated to provide the former Port Authority chairman with a direct route to his weekend home.

Dan Mann, executive director of Columbia Metropolitan Airport, said in an interview that the twice-a-week flight between Newark and Columbia — bracketing weekends — was unusual for a large carrier like United. He also said he was surprised the route lasted as long as it did, 19 months, given the relatively low demand for it.

“It was not performing well, and it hadn’t performed well from the start,” Mann said.

Despite that, he said he had no reason to believe there was any ulterior motive behind the flight route until he read recent news stories about the federal investigation.

Former Port Chairman David Samson often took the flight to spend weekends at a home in Aiken, South Carolina, about 50 miles from the airport, The Record reported last week. Samson, the co-founder of a powerful law in West Orange and a key adviser to Governor Christie, referred to the route as “the chairman’s flight,” one source said. The flights were, on average, only half full. United stopped the flights in April of last year, just three days after Samson’s resignation.

As chairman of the Port Authority, which operates the region's airports, Samson would have been a powerful ally for any airline, but he was particularly involved in negotiations with United. Samson and Christie met with United's chief executive at least once to discuss the airline's expansion of service to Atlantic City and its operations in Newark, a spokeswoman for the airline has said previously. And Samson publicly supported the Port Authority's decision to extend the PATH train system to Newark Liberty International, a $1.5 billion project that would provide a direct link between Manhattan and United's hub.

Both the Port Authority and United have received federal subpoenas in the investigation.

Mann would not say whether federal authorities in New Jersey had issued a subpoena to airport officials in Columbia, only that they had made contact within the last month. The probe is one of several lines of inquiry arising out of an investigation that began last year into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal.

Read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/feds-contact-south-carolina-airport-officials-in-probe-tied-to-ex-port-authority-chairman-david-samson-1.1269309

Squeeze the orange!


(44,610 posts)
89. "Mann said he assumed United had a business reason for maintaining the route
Fri Feb 13, 2015, 04:27 PM
Feb 2015
...He also said he was surprised that the route lasted as long as it did -- 19 months -- given the relatively low demand for it...(H)e did not remember whether United representatives had raised the idea of starting the new route. But he said he and airport officials had not prepared a 'business plan' for the route, a common practice when trying to convince an airline to add new service to the airport..."

A standard operating procedure in which he obviously should have been involved was not followed? Now where have I heard of something like that which involved New Jersey?



(44,610 posts)
90. "Thank you for flying Crew Christie Airlines --
Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:17 PM
Feb 2015

You're The Graft Beneath Our Wings!"


Four (Port Authority) commissioners who flew through Newark Liberty and John F. Kennedy airports in the last four years requested and received special escorts from tarmac to curbside, bypassing regular security lines, boarding planes early, and getting shuttled to an airport lounge...according to documents released by the agency...Such VIP treatment is usually reserved for "high-profile" people who travel with security details, including...a "small" number of...elected officials, a Port Authority spokesman said...But it has also been one of the perks of being an unpaid, governor-appointed commissioner of the bistate agency that operates the region’s major airports...

Commissioner David Steiner and his wife requested much of the VIP treatment, but escorts were also provided to former commissioners Anthony Sartor, Virginia Bauer and ex-chairman David Samson and their family members...Steiner is a real-estate developer who also owns Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, the largest film and television production complex outside of Hollywood...(For) Steiner’s Aug. 19, 2013 flight to Moscow from JFK, with two friends and his wife, (a)irport officials started exchanging emails...three days in advance...“This is extremely important,” (the) Port Authority Airlines Supervisor...wrote...to more than two dozen...employees. “As you can see, Commissioner Steiner is traveling a(nd) we MUST have a Port Authority Rep available to meet him."

Another airport official...said airport and Delta Airlines officials arranged for Steiner’s friends, who were meeting Steiner at JFK after a flight from Washington, D.C., to be met by a representative of Delta, escorted through expedited screening and driven on a golf cart to a lounge...A week later, Steiner and his family arrived back at the airport. “All went well: assisted the Commissioner with luggage; cleared Customs; and walked him to his limo which was parked in the inner roadway closer to the taxi lane,” ...an operations group supervisor for the Port Authority at JFK wrote...

Current Port Authority Chairman John Degnan, who has tried to restore the agency’s credibility in the wake of the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, said Thursday that the practice has “basically come to a halt.”

Now before you start going crazy over this, remember that these people are UNPAID: between making contributions to Christie and Cuomo large enough to qualify for PA commissions, and paying for their plane tickets out of what they can earn by doing things like running a movie studio, you're going to begrudge them a little free curb service? How petty can you get!



(44,610 posts)
99. Update on Christie's Political Action Committees
Tue Feb 17, 2015, 01:46 PM
Feb 2015

Last edited Fri Feb 20, 2015, 03:52 PM - Edit history (5)

What I found out about PACs:

OpenSecrets.org: A political (action) committee (is one) organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates. Most PACs represent business, labor or ideological interests. PACs can give $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general or special). They can also give up to $15,000 annually to any national party committee, and $5,000 annually to any other PAC. PACs may receive up to $5,000 from any one individual, PAC or party committee per calendar year...Many politicians also form Leadership PACs as a way of raising money to help fund other candidates' campaigns.

A PAC must register with the Federal Election Commission within 10 days of its formation, providing name and address for the PAC, its treasurer and any connected organizations. Affiliated PACs are treated as one donor for the purpose of contribution limits.

What I found out about SuperPACs:

HowStuffWorks.com: ...(T)he emergence of Super PACs has the potential to fundamentally alter the landscape of money in politics...That's because as of July 22, 2010, the FEC green-lighted Super PACs, all but eliminating the previous financial donation limitations...(I)ndividuals, corporations and unions can now contribute unlimited cash to Super PACs, which essentially means there is no ceiling to how much money is injected into elections.

The main prohibition placed on Super PACs...is that they cannot coordinate directly with the campaign staff of individual candidates...Super PACs can't contribute directly to candidates the way PACs do. The money Super PACs raise can only be used for such things as creating TV or radio ads supporting or excoriating particular candidates.

What I've found out about Christie's PAC (also known as LMFAO):

USA Today: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his allies have...tak(en) the first concrete step toward launching a presidential bid and joining the battle for the Republican Party's top donors. The(ir) PAC, called Leadership Matters For America, will allow Christie to build a political team and start to collect money ahead of a 2016 bid...Christie reportedly has lined up several key Republicans to take on fundraising duties, including...Phil Cox, the outgoing executive director of the Republican Governors Association...

What I've found out about Christie's SuperPAC:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's supporters are getting ready to launch a super PAC that could raise and spend unlimited sums of money as he moves toward a formal campaign for president in 2016...That would put Christie on the same footing as many of his likely challengers for the Republican nomination as he continues to mull a run for president. The move would allow Christie to begin raising far greater sums than he is allowed to collect through his political action committee, Leadership Matters for America, which launched last month...

Phil Cox, the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association who is working for Christie's political action committee, is likely to play a role...

Phil Cox is going to be fundraising for one PAC while running another? How can he possibly do that without "coordinating directly" -- by attending the meetings in a coma, sort of like that character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Or maybe he doesn't have to raise any money at all: The PACs would be the perfect place to park any bank interest skimmed from undistributed federal funding and donations meant for superstorm Sandy victims!



(2,419 posts)
100. Christie Says He Doesn't Know This Guy....
Fri Feb 20, 2015, 05:44 PM
Feb 2015

In an email exchange with IBTimes, Hariri dismissed as "patently false" the notion that he had improperly received a police badge. He said Russo had given him a sheriff's department identification card so he could visit with sheriff's deputies to discuss emergency preparedness, a subject in which he is well-versed as a medical expert.

Hariri also denied a friendship with Russo. "I do not know Russo other than through four or five very professional exchanges where he requested my opinion of educational matters relevant to first responders," he said.

That characterization collides with some 93 pages of email correspondence Hariri exchanged with Russo over a five-year period that are included in the filing expected to be made on Thursday. In one email, Hariri urges Russo to attend a 2009 fundraiser he hosted for Christie at Equus, a gourmet restaurant in Bernardsville, N.J. In another email sent on Dec. 9, 2009, Hariri tells Russo he had raised $15,000 for Russo’s campaign for sheriff in neighboring Warren County, assuring him, “I have lots more coming.”

Hariri used his private plane to fly Russo to Washington for a law enforcement conference, Russo's lawyer told IBTimes, confirming previously published reports.

The same correspondence between Russo and Hariri suggests that the undersheriff also enjoyed access to Christie, challenging the governor's assertions that he did not know the principals involved in the Hunterdon County case.

Throughout his emails, Russo frequently refers to the governor as “Chris,” while detailing at least seven events he claims to have attended with the governor. At two of those events, Russo claims to have spoken with Christie.

In an email sent to Hariri on Sept. 30, 2009, Russo claims to have spent several hours with the governor’s running mate: “I’ve been campaigning with Kim [Guadagno] all morning!” Barlyn pointed the IBTimes to a photo Russo published on his campaign website as he pursued his bid to become Warren County sheriff: Russo posing with Christie.

Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said in an email to IBTimes Thursday that it was possible the governor had some dealings with Russo and other figures in the Hunterdon case. "The Governor and Lt. Governor crossed paths with hundreds of people during the course of the 2009 campaign and Mr. Russo may very well have been one of them," Roberts wrote. "We’ve never claimed otherwise."

read the rest here:http://www.ibtimes.com/gov-chris-christies-office-made-inquiries-hunterdon-county-scandal-according-1821896


(2,419 posts)
101. A Portrait Of Chris Christie.....
Sat Feb 21, 2015, 11:16 AM
Feb 2015

as a young man.

Portrait of the Governor as a Young Man

Chris Christie's forgotten early years of scandal and failure

Christie has not yet fallen, but the look in his eyes suggests he knows his fingers are slipping off the ledge, one at a time. Even if no documents emerge that put Christie’s fingerprints on the George Washington Bridge, he’s already in such trouble that to let even something as inconsequential as a months-old endorsement rest unrevoked would be an embarrassment.

Amid all the hand-wringing by the press over Christie warning signs they might have missed, it’s instructive to take a close look at the governor’s earliest, mostly forgotten, political adventures. Bridgegate wasn’t a sudden fall from grace—it was just the first time anyone was paying attention.

As a young lawyer in the 1990s, the rules and customs of small time campaigns were not of particular interest to Chris Christie. Local New Jersey pols—no strangers to bare-knuckle tactics—had never seen anything like him. Picture Christie, as he is today: overreaching, overbearing, over-everything. A personality so big it threatens to subsume the state he rules. Now take that image and superimpose it on the quaint landscape of the local Jersey politics of 20 years ago, with minuscule campaign war chests and candidates hammering in their own lawn signs.

Christie in Lilliput. There was a lot of breakage.

His early political career saw him kicked off a ballot, successfully sued for libel and all but chased out of local Republican politics by a pitchfork-wielding mob.

Read the rest here: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/portrait-of-the-governor-as-a-young-man-chris-christie-103502.html#.VOig2uGunZc


(44,610 posts)
102. Well, when the political TMZ writes a Repub an obiturary
Sun Feb 22, 2015, 11:19 PM
Feb 2015

you really ARE politically dead!



(2,419 posts)
103. The NJ Courts......
Mon Feb 23, 2015, 07:18 PM
Feb 2015

don't seem to be on board with Governor Christie's pension and budget tricks.

NJ Judge Orders Christie to Fund Pension Plan

A New Jersey judge on Feb. 23 ordered Republican Gov. Chris Christie to work with the Democrat-controlled state Legislature to find a way to replace $1.57 billion in pension funds that Christie diverted to balance the state's 2014 fiscal year budget.

Mercer County Assignment Judge Mary Jacobson, in a 130-page ruling in Burgos v. New Jersey, said the administration violated the contractual rights of hundreds of thousands of current and retired public sector workers by line-item vetoing the pension payment out of the budget.

Jacobs said Christie's decision "constitutes a facial violation of the funding requirements of the public pension statute," otherwise known as Chapter 78.

Jacobson denied the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit and granted the unions' request for relief. She did not, however, set a deadline.

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie, said the ruling would be appealed.

"Once again liberal judicial activism rears its head with the court trying to replace its own judgment for the judgment of the people who were elected to make these decisions," Drewniak said. "The governor will continue to work on a practical solution to New Jersey's pension and health benefits problems while he appeals this decision to a higher court where we are confident the judgment of New Jersey's elected officials will be vindicated."

Lawyers for the unions did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Chapter 78, enacted in 2011, was hailed as a bi-partisan effort between Christie and the Legislature aimed at reforming the pension system for current and retired public-sector workers. Christie promised to fully fund pension obligations in return for public employees agreeing to increased contributions and lower cost-of-living raises.

The state's retirement systems currently face about $83 billion in unfunded mandates.

During oral arguments in January, Assistant Attorney General Jean Reilly said Jacobson should dismiss the unions' lawsuit because Christie acted within his authority when he made the decision to line-item veto the funds out of the fiscal 2014 budget.

"The decision was reasonable in light of the unprecedented revenue shortfall," Reilly said. The state's constitution requires a balanced budget and does not allow for deficit spending.

Funding decisions, Reilly said, are governed by the debt limitations clause and the appropriations clause of the state constitution.

But Jacobson said Chapter 78 created a contract between the government and the pension funds, which means that the contracts clause of the U.S. Constitution also must be considered. Jacobson noted that options, such as tax increases, were available that could have shored up the state's finances.

Christie, who is considering a run for his party's nomination for president next year, has repeatedly vowed to veto any tax increases passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature.

Reilly said the administration believes that any tax increases would not have brought in enough revenue to make up for the shortfall.

In her ruling, Jacobson said Christie has done an "apparent about face" regarding his position on the accomplishment of passing Chapter 78, adding that he initially described it as an "historic effort" and his "biggest governmental victory."

Jacobson said the clear intent of Chapter 78 was to "insulate the state contributions into the pension funds from the vicissitudes of the political process that had placed the integrity of the funds in significant jeopardy in the past."

Read more: http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202718703611/NJ-Judge-Orders-Christie-to-Fund-Pension-Plan#ixzz3Sc2dmbqS

Ah yes, the ugly head of liberal judicial activism-that's a good one from Mike "the Mouthpiece" Drewniak.


(44,610 posts)
Wed Feb 25, 2015, 03:19 AM
Feb 2015

Last edited Sun Mar 1, 2015, 01:10 PM - Edit history (6)

Longtime Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak leaving N.J. governor's office

Gov. Chris Christie's longtime spokesman Michael Drewniak is leaving Christie's office, according to a top administration official...

Drewniak('s) often blustery and combative statements mirrored the governor's...He left the...Star-Ledger (newspaper)...to work at the U.S. Attorney's office in 1998...was kept on by Christie when he became U.S. Attorney in 2002...(and)...joined Christie's administration as soon as he was sworn in...

Drewniak...was able to speak about most matters without prior approval by higher-ranking administration officials. (He) is not expected to join Christie's likely 2016 presidential campaign.

This is not insignificant, because whatever Drewinak knows, Christie either also knew or must have told him. He doesn't appear to have another job to land on -- not even with Christie's newly-formed PAC -- and what with Christie trying to introduce a new budget and pension reform, the timing couldn't be worse.

Or maybe Drewniak's sudden departure had to do with his breaking the cardinal Rethug commandment "Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican." The pension ruling judge who Drewniak described as a "liberal activist" was appointed and given tenure by Republican New Jersey governor Christine Whitman (Disclosure: I met Gov. Whitman as a member of press at two different Bon Jovi concerts). In the absence of his other gaffes, I suppose Drewniak could have been forgiven, especially at Christie's orders. But in combination with them, it was probably the last straw for Christie's political and financial backers.


P.S. I've said that if Mr. Fishman were having trouble with this investigation, he would have long since started dishing out immunity deals like Frisbees. Will Drewinak receive the first one?


(2,419 posts)
105. I See That Christie Has Hired....
Wed Feb 25, 2015, 03:19 PM
Feb 2015

a 20-something from Google to be the communications director for LMFAO.

Christie adds Google executive to political team

Governor Christie’s political action committee has hired a Google executive as its communications director.

Christie’s supporters launched the Leadership Matters for America PAC last month to hire staff and fund his travel as he considers entered the GOP presidential primary contest. Samantha Smith is the newest addition to a group, which consists largely of people close to the governor.

Michael DuHaime, Christie’s top strategist who is working with the PAC, confirmed Smith’s hiring, which was first reported by the New York Times.

“Sam has the rare combination of both high-level political and tech experience that will prove extremely valuable,” DuHaime said.

Smith’s hiring comes at a time when Christie is facing stiff competition against former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has been aggressively raising money, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose potential candidacy has gained momentum in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, amid sagging poll numbers and recent headlines questioning his viability as a national candidate, Christie used his state budget address to return to an issue that won him national prominence four years ago – overhauling public employee pensions and health benefits. The governor is reviving his town hall-style events, with a stop in Moorestown today, to push his proposal, which calls for health benefits savings, freezing pensions at the current level and giving the unions control of new retirement plans going forward, which would be more in line with benefits the private sector offers.


Mike the Mouthpiece has been his front man for over a decade. Something has to be up.


(44,610 posts)
107. Drewniak's leaving due to illness -- everybody is sick of him
Wed Feb 25, 2015, 03:38 PM
Feb 2015
Wall Street Journal Metropolis.com: Mr. Drewniak, 53 years old, has said he was not interested in working on a presidential campaign. People who had spoken with him said he was increasingly tired of day-to-day battles with reporters after months of fallout from the George Washington Bridge scandal.

Mr. Drewniak...was often more than a spokesman...lobbying legislators on the governor’s agenda, advising Mr. Christie on tough issues and sometimes playing the role of a fixer
...The spokesman...had appeared to lower the volume since profane emails he sent about officials and reporters emerged in the aftermath of the George Washington Bridge Scandal..In recent months, much of his work had been transferred to Kevin Roberts, 29, who is expected to replace Mr. Drewniak...

He's tired? Well, he picked a damned strange time to get tired -- just as Christie is trying to introduce a new budget and treasury-looting scheme (I mean, pension reform plan). And if this wasn't a sudden decision on his part, why is he leaving without an offer he couldn't refuse -- is he scheduling to be interviewed by Mr. Fishman first? Maybe what Drewniak is really tired of is working on a sinking ship.



(44,610 posts)
116. Have I been plagiarized?
Fri Feb 27, 2015, 09:19 PM
Feb 2015

Last edited Sun Mar 1, 2015, 01:08 PM - Edit history (3)

PolitickerNJ.com looked at the senior staff masthead on the official governor's site and noticed that 1) the personnel listing hasn't been updated in years, and 2) only one of the ten on the list is still there:

As the Communications Director, Maria Comella's...relationship with Drewniak was called “toxic” by one Christie insider. Said another, “They hated each other.” Apparently, the problem was one of both personalities and org chart. (Comella) expected the press secretary to report to her, as is typical...But Drewniak...was said to resent working for a young, attractive woman...(Also,) Drewniak...had bonded with Christie during their years together at the US Attorney’s Office and had a “direct line to Christie”...helping to create “horrible chemistry”...

Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for the Governor’s office, told PolitickerNJ that “turnover happens in literally every administration in every state in the course of history” and strenuously disputed the notion that there has been a particularly great rate experienced in this administration...

Now, with Mike Drewniak joining the exodus, there’s one last thing worth considering. Drewniak is regarded as...(the) one last person sufficiently senior and tough enough to tell Christie when the boss was veering off track. It is strange that he’d leave in the thick of budget week—very sudden for a transition that can take months to make smoothly...

Raising even more eyebrows, Drewniak has not announced some cushy landing at a lobbying firm or “government affairs” shop...His most recent financial disclosure filing with the State Ethics commission lists no stocks, bonds, real estate...whole life insurance...and ...bank accounts of less than $5000...No one wants to say where he’s headed, which is underlining the feeling that Christie’s closest confidantes are abandoning ship...

I just found this article today, honest!!!



(2,419 posts)
106. The Saga Of Chris Christie Financial Genius....
Wed Feb 25, 2015, 03:22 PM
Feb 2015

continues with more budget nonsense and gimmicks.

Step right up folks and get a bottle of Dr. Christie's magic budget potion. Guaranteed to be a national model. Drink a little of this and you'll be screwing public employees in no time! Turn over your pension funds to your high school buddy. Ignore infrastructure investments. Laugh at the budget projections of the independent auditor. Hide a big pile of Sandy cash. A good long swig will have you believing you've reached a deal with the teacher's union. Reality is no obstacle! Dr. Christie wants to bring this cure-previously only available to the people of New Jersey-to the entire nation for the benefit of the rich and poor alike.

This would be laughable and of interest only to people from NJ except that this is a glimpse into the Republicans' 2016 playbook. Christie is touting this as a "national model". So coming soon to a state near you:

Christie lays out $33.8B budget; wants to make public pensions more similar to those in private sector

Democrats were skeptical of Christie’s pension proposals and were quick to point out that this address on the proposed $33.8 billion budget did not include long-term funding plans for the Transportation Trust Fund, which finances road and bridge repairs but doesn’t have the funds for new projects. Other public employee unions scoffed at the suggestion that they should agree to further pension changes, when Christie has failed to live up to a promise he made to phase in large increases in the state’s contributions.

Christie, who is considering a presidential bid, will begin selling his budget and pension proposal at a town hall event in Burlington County this afternoon, and he’s expected to reference his work to overhaul pensions when he speaks alongside other presidential hopefuls at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Thursday.

He made a point Tuesday of saying that pension obligations are not just a New Jersey issue, but are a struggle for many other states.

“In state after state, pension, health care costs and debt service are crushing the ability of states to finance schools, colleges, new technology and new infrastructure,” Christie said. “I will not willingly sit by and let this continue.”

Christie’s announcement of another partial contribution came one day after Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson ruled he could not slash the payment for this fiscal year by nearly $1.6 billion because of the 2011 pension overhaul law he signed, which she ruled guaranteed the contributions. Jacobson ordered the governor to work with lawmakers to come up with a solution. The governor has pledged to appeal, and the state treasurer said the ruling would have no impact on the budget Christie introduced Tuesday.

“No matter how many backroom meetings transpire, there won’t be a solution until we address the problem by putting the legally required money into the pension,” said Hetty Rosenstein, New Jersey state director of the Communications Workers of America, the largest state employee union.



(44,610 posts)
108. Here's the "big pile of Sandy cash"
Wed Feb 25, 2015, 04:38 PM
Feb 2015

Last edited Wed Feb 25, 2015, 07:46 PM - Edit history (2)

Grand total of undisbursed Sandy money: $945 million -- not including nearly two years' worth of any interest accrued.



(2,419 posts)
111. I Did Bettyellen....
Fri Feb 27, 2015, 09:32 AM
Feb 2015

It's a long road to Christie. He's insulated himself like a mafia don. I hope this incident, along with the Hoboken shake down, put enough pressure on Sampson to get him to sing. It's the only way to get to Christie.


(2,419 posts)
110. A Disgusting Perspective On Christie's Attacks....
Thu Feb 26, 2015, 10:12 AM
Feb 2015

on public pensions. The average annual pension payment for a retired NJ worker is roughly equal to the cost of his stay at a luxury hotel-or around $30,000. But he's a regular guy, right?


(2,419 posts)
112. Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine.....
Fri Feb 27, 2015, 01:36 PM
Feb 2015

Moody's downgrades NJ's credit rating for a ninth time on Christie's watch. Combine that with yet another shortfall in revenue projections-Another Budget Shortfall On Christie’s Watch -- State Tax Collections off $60M : http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/02/26/another-budget-shortfall-on-christie-s-watch-state-tax-collections-off-60m/ He's a financial Genius! What was that crack about having to be brain dead to believe somebody who's consistently wrong Chris? I's sorry, we're not supposed to remember what you said before.

Moody's gives N.J. a 'credit negative' following pension ruling, budget plan

New Jersey’s finances continue to be a concern on Wall Street, and a major ratings agency is calling the week’s turbulent budget developments a “credit negative.”

Moody’s made the declaration in its weekly credit outlook issued Thursday. The term “credit negative” is not a downgrade – New Jersey has had eight of those by different agencies under Governor Christie – but the agency’s analysis of a major financial event or, in this case, events.

Moody’s last gave the state such a negative mark in December, when the controversial red-light camera program ended. The red-light cameras were viewed widely by the public and by some legislators as a money grab, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to the ratings agency. Ending the program, it concluded, constrained local governments’ ability to bring in new revenue while they faced restrictive property tax caps and uneven growth in sales tax.

Christie, whose office declined to comment, is selling a brand of fiscal conservatism to Republicans in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire as he frames a presidential run.

But ratings agencies, including Moody’s, have regularly downgraded the state’s credit rating under his leadership, citing reasons such as his cuts to the pension funds, overly optimistic revenue projections and a lack of consensus among leaders to deal with long-standing gaps between tax revenues and projected expenses. Christie has said that ratings analysts have been overaggressive.

Read the rest here; http://www.northjersey.com/news/moody-s-gives-n-j-a-credit-negative-following-pension-ruling-budget-plan-1.1279028

Number nine, number nine......


(44,610 posts)
114. Enron New Jersey Style!
Fri Feb 27, 2015, 02:47 PM
Feb 2015

In the Rethug tradition of his West Coast counterpart Arnold Schwarzenegger, and despite New Jersey's budget woes, Christie has settled out of court for less than three cents on the dollar:

A long-fought legal battle to recover $8.9 billion in damages from Exxon Mobil Corporation for the contamination and loss of use of more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes, meadows and waters in northern New Jersey has been quietly settled by the state for around $250 million.

The lawsuits, filed by the State Department of Environmental Protection in 2004, had been litigated by the administrations of four New Jersey governors, finally advancing last year to trial. By then, Exxon’s liability was no longer in dispute; the only issue was how much it would pay in damages.

But a month ago, with a State Superior Court judge believed to be close to a decision on damages, the Christie administration twice petitioned the court to hold off on a ruling because settlement talks were underway. Then, last Friday, the state informed the judge that the case had been resolved.

Well, what with Christie now owing at least $1.5 billion to the pension fund, his record ninth credit downgrade, and the overall budget shortfall, it isn't as though New Jersey NEEDED the money!



(2,419 posts)
115. This Is One That Really Hits Home...
Fri Feb 27, 2015, 03:37 PM
Feb 2015

his abysmal record on the environment is just as damaging as any of his criminal corruption. I think I'll transfer what little money I have left in my 401(k) to the RGA. It has sure proved to be a place where you can get a solid return on your investment!

Mr. Christie we have established what kind of person you are, now we're just negotiating price. Chris Christie once again proves that he will do or say anything to promote himself. He's also shown that one of the most valuable investments you can make is a donation to the Republican Governor's Association. ExxonMobil has taken full advantage of that investment opportunity.

DU'er Keepitreal started this thread this afternoon http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=1024919 about the news that the Christie Administration has settled a major environmental damage claim for less than three cents on the dollar. Exxon Mobil Settles $9 Billion New Jersey Environmental Case for $250 Million: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/28/nyregion/exxon-mobil-settles-with-new-jersey-over-environmental-damage.html?_r=0 This is wrong on so many grounds it's hard to know where to begin.

Let's start with the fact that one of the largest donors to the RGA under Christie's leadership was Exxon Mobil http://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?ein=113655877 It's a miracle (a miracle I tell ya!) that Exxon gets themselves a sweet deal on a law suit where liability wasn't even in question. I believe that's called a Quid pro quo. ExxonMobil polluted about 1,500 acres of marshes, wetlands, water and meadows in NJ. There are clean-up costs involved and an actual valuation of the land that ExxonMobil damaged. Consider the following from NJ's own Department of Environmental Protection's Natural Capital Report:

New Jersey is blessed with a wealth of breathtaking and highly valuable natural resources. Our beaches, forests, wetlands and other natural resources provide countless benefits to the public. In order to make wise policy, planning, and regulatory decisions, it is important to understand the worth of these resources. This report summarizes the results of a two-year study that aims to quantify the value of these resources. As a way of expressing the value, it estimates the dollar value of the services and goods produced by New Jersey’s natural capital. Natural capital consists of components of the natural environment that provide long-term benefits to society. Many of the benefits provided by natural capital come from ecological systems or ecosystems, a dynamic complex of plant, animal, and microorganism communities and their nonliving environment, all interacting as a functional unit. Forests, wetlands, and lakes are examples of ecosystems.

Read more here: http://www.nj.gov/dep/dsr/naturalcap/

These natural resources have a substantial value, unless of course, the entity that destroyed them is a major donor to the RGA. Environmental damage is expensive and difficult to remediate. Holding polluters accountable financially for their actions is the only way we can even hope to attempt to clean up contamination. Christie has proven that he is always willing to sell out the people of NJ, especially in the case of environmental damage. He settled a major suit over contamination of the Passaic River in similar fashion for pennies on the dollar about a year ago. Not only did he sell out the state in that lawsuit, he diverted the money to the general budget and is allowing a less than complete clean up to occur. Looks like the same thing is happening here. A $9 billion bill settled for $250 million! Now there's a sweet deal. I'd be willing to bet even money that this settlement will also end up covering one of Christie-the Financial Genius' budget shortfalls instead of cleaning up ExxonMobil's mess that generations of NJ residents will have to live with. But hey, if it helps Christie get ahead-we can make a deal. Quod est en Loco! (the fix is in)

So yes Mr. Christie we've established what kind of person you are-but we don't even need to haggle over price. The price is right there on the OpenSecrets web site for everyone to see. (Are you looking Mr. Fishman?) It's bad enough that you've already sold yourself (although who in their right mind would pay for your?) but now you're selling out everyone who lives in NJ. Thank you for proving that no matter how low our expectations for you might be-you're always capable of going a bit lower.


(44,610 posts)
118. You aint heard nothing yet
Sat Feb 28, 2015, 12:57 AM
Feb 2015
IBTimes.com: Only three months before New Jersey agreed to accept $250 million in cash from ExxonMobil to settle claims the oil giant sullied public land, Gov. Chris Christie was still signaling a hard line. The governor called the ecological damage from the firm’s refining operations “staggering and unprecedented,” and his administration continued to pursue a state lawsuit seeking nearly $9 billion in damages.

Yet as the Christie administration this week agreed to shut down its case for a fraction of its original demands, a little-noticed provision tucked into the governor's 2014 state budget appears to shed light on why he was willing to strike a settlement that quickly drew accusations of reckless lenience from environmentalists.

The language in question -- the handiwork of Christie's own administration -- empowers the governor to divert money obtained from environmental litigation away from pollution cleanup programs and into the state’s general fund, where it can be used to fill budget gaps or finance corporate subsidies. The provision explicitly takes precedence over other state laws designed to direct proceeds from environmental lawsuits into New Jersey’s environmental protection programs...And because the provision is temporary, remaining in force only until a new budget is enacted, critics say that it effectively encourages Christie’s administration to settle cases as quickly as possible to free up cash that the governor can then tap however he sees fit...

“This is money that rightfully belongs to the people of New Jersey to make up for the injury to the environment,” said Jeffrey Tittel, executive director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Instead, the governor is diverting it for other purposes. It’s a two-fer: reduced settlements help the oil companies before Christie’s presidential campaign, and Christie can quickly get more money for the record amounts of corporate subsidies he is handing out.”

Really? If he'd met them half way at only fifty cents on dollar, he could have had more than enough for both the environmental cleanup AND the general fund!



(44,610 posts)
Fri Feb 27, 2015, 09:47 PM
Feb 2015

Last edited Sun Mar 1, 2015, 11:00 PM - Edit history (1)

North Jersey.com Michael Drewniak, who served as Governor Christie’s combative spokesman and trusted advisor for much of Christie’s political career, has received a newly-created position at NJ Transit. Drewniak will have broad powers at the agency, overseeing policy, strategic planning, technology, safety and capacity planning for all bus and train services, according to a press release issued late Friday afternoon by NJ Transit.

Drewniak’s salary will be $147,400. His official title will be Chief Of Policy And Strategic Planning.

And what are his policy and strategic planning qualifications...besides being someone that might go blabbing to the Feds about Bridge(t)-Gate if he WASN'T offered a cushy job in a hurry?



(2,419 posts)
120. I Heard A Story Last Week....
Mon Mar 2, 2015, 11:40 AM
Mar 2015

that the Executive Director of NJ Transit is not really the person in charge there. There is a high school buddy of Christie's who is pulling the strings and making sure everyone is in line with the program-al a Wildstein at the PANYNJ. I'm sure its just a coincidence that Drewniak landed here. Loyalty above competence. Self interest above public good. A great way to run a government.


(2,419 posts)
119. Golden Parachutes Or Yachts For Lifeboats....
Sat Feb 28, 2015, 11:40 AM
Feb 2015

the rats are all jumping ship but they all seem to be landing quite well. No matter, over 90% of Christie's key staff members have abandoned the good ship Christie. A very interesting read:

Inside Team Christie: Severe Dysfunction and 90% of top staff have left

A political junkie looking for a fix could do worse than clicking here, where the viewer can see the governor’s “Senior Staff.” Not only does one discover that the gov’s team is not great about updating its website (the link has not been freshened in at least four years). But the more startling revelation is the number of people listed who are no longer at the governor’s side. Nine of the ten names listed here are no longer in the governor’s office. Adding Mike Drewniak, the spokesman who just announced his departure (during budget week!), that’s 91% of Christie’s core advisors who have jumped – or been pushed – elsewhere.

According to a brutal story in the New York Times headlined Critics in G.O.P. Say Chris Christie Is in a ‘Bubble,’ one of the explanations for Christie’s struggles of late has been the unwillingness of those close to him–those in the bubble—to stand up to him. So let’s drill down into this list to examine what the loss of each has meant to the Christie administration.

read the rest here: http://politickernj.com/2015/02/inside-team-christie-severe-dysfunction-and-90-of-top-staff-have-left/


(2,419 posts)
121. Christie's Manufactured Pension Crisis....
Tue Mar 3, 2015, 09:40 AM
Mar 2015

owes a large part of it's origins to the mismanagement of pension funds and the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in management fees to Christie's friends. It's good to be a FOC'er!

Read David Sirota's article here: http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-administration-paid-600m-financial-fees-2014-1833872

Chris Christie Administration Paid $600M In Financial Fees In 2014

Under Chris Christie, the New Jersey pension system paid more than $600 million in fees to financial firms in 2014 -- 50 percent more than a year ago, and a higher rate than almost any other state reports paying for pension management. The figures are buried within an otherwise routine annual report that appeared to change the way the fees were counted to make them look smaller than they actually are.

That accounting change comes at a time when the Christie administration is under scrutiny for investing pension money in high-fee firms whose executives made campaign contributions to Republican political groups. The move obscuring the increase in reported fees also comes on the heels of Christie telling New Jersey teachers, firefighters, cops and other public workers that “there are no alternatives” to cutting their retirement benefits because the state pension system is so strapped for cash.

“The lack of transparency, skyrocketing risks and fees and chronic underperformance makes New Jersey the poster child for the kind of shenanigans happening in pension systems across the country,” said former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney Ted Siedle, who conducts forensic investigations of state and local pension systems.

The New Jersey Department of Treasury and Christie’s office did not respond to International Business Times' request for comment.


(2,419 posts)
122. The Exxon Sell Ou....I Mean Settlement....
Thu Mar 5, 2015, 10:06 AM
Mar 2015

just got a bit more interesting. Why do you suppose the governor's office stepped in to interfere with the work of the career environmental prosecutors in this instance? I'm sure there must be a good answer, right?

Christie’s Office Drove Exxon Settlement, Ex-Official Says

For more than a decade, the New Jersey attorney general’s office conducted a hard-fought legal battle to hold Exxon Mobil Corporation responsible for decades of environmental contamination in northern New Jersey.

But when the news came that the state had reached a deal to settle its $8.9 billion claim for about $250 million, the driving force behind the settlement was not the attorney general’s office — it was Gov. Chris Christie’s chief counsel, Christopher S. Porrino, two people familiar with the negotiations said.

One of those people, Bradley M. Campbell, was the commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection in 2004 when the lawsuits against Exxon were filed. Mr. Campbell, in an Op-Ed article appearing in The New York Times on Thursday, wrote that “even more troubling” than the decision to settle the lawsuit were “the circumstances surrounding the decision.”

He goes on to say that former colleagues of his in the state government told him that Mr. Porrino “inserted himself into the case, elbowed aside the attorney general and career employees who had developed and prosecuted the litigation, and cut the deal favorable to Exxon.”

The settlement, first reported by The Times on Friday, came two months after the attorney general’s office, in a court brief, argued vigorously for $8.9 billion in damages, saying, “The scope of the environmental damage resulting from the discharges is as obvious as it is staggering and unprecedented in New Jersey.”

Read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/05/nyregion/christies-office-took-over-exxon-settlement-ex-official-says.html?ref=nyregion


(2,419 posts)
123. For Those Interested In Original Documents.....
Thu Mar 5, 2015, 11:56 AM
Mar 2015

and I know you're out there, here are some excerpts from the filings in the case. The state has a VERY strong case to support it's claim for damages.

The state's "primary restoration plan" was estimated to cost $2.63 billion. The consulting firm hired by the state also recommended an additional $6.4 billion to restore enough wetland and forestland "to compensate for the decades of harm at the two facilities."


$250 million seems fair-don't you think?


(2,419 posts)
124. Matt Katz Turns Over A Rock.....
Thu Mar 5, 2015, 02:12 PM
Mar 2015

and look what scurries out. This guy represented Solomon Dweck? You mean the informant who was at the crux of the questionable investigation that made Christie's reputation? This is mind-boggling. It's wrong on so many levels. I encourage you to read the entire story. It's pretty disturbing.

Christie Aide Took Political Trip Before Exxon Settlement

Gov. Chris Christie's chief counsel, Christopher Porrino, allegedly intervened in an $8.9 billion environmental lawsuit to get a better deal for Exxon Mobil, which funded a political group that flew Christie and Porrino around the country last year.

On the day before Election Day Christie criss-crossed five states on a private plane supplied by the Republican Governors Association, which he chaired. He brought along his inner circle for this final leg of a long campaign season -- including Porrino, one his one of his two highest ranking governmental aides.

The private jet that whisked them from Utica, Michigan, to New London, New Hampshire, and beyond was funded by the more than $100 million that Christie raised that year from RGA donors. Of that $500,000 came from Exxon Mobil, which was the 13th biggest contributor out of more than 1,300 people and corporations that gave to the RGA while Christie was chairman.

Less than a year later, according to an explosive new accusation by a former state environmental commissioner, Porrino intervened in an ongoing lawsuit between the state of New Jersey and Exxon Mobil, which was being sued to pay for extensive contamination at sites on 1,500 acres in Linden and Bayonne. Just as a judge was about to rule on how much Exxon would have to pay, Christie's attorney general asked the judge to delay a verdict because the state had suddenly settled with the company for a pittance of the money sought -- just $250 million, according to The New York Times.

Today, The Times ran an op-ed piece from Bradley M. Campbell, a former commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection who initiated the case


Porrino is a former criminal defense attorney who represented Solomon Dwek, the central figure in perhaps the most famous poltiical corruption case that Christe handled in his former job as US Attorney of New Jersey. Porrino's partner in private practice was Michael Himmel, who now represents former Port Authority official Bill Baroni, who is under federal invesgtigation for his role in Bridgegate.

Read it here: http://bit.ly/1G1iaVd


(44,610 posts)
125. And here's what NJ.com found when they dug underneath that rock
Fri Mar 6, 2015, 09:36 PM
Mar 2015
Christie counsel behind controversial settlement had stake in ExxonMobil

...Christopher Porrino — appointed by Gov. Chris Christie as his top legal adviser in December 2013 — owned shares of a mutual fund valued at more than $100,000. ExxonMobil was the largest holding of the fund, representing nearly 5 percent of its assets.

Kevin Roberts...(a) spokesman for the governor's office...said there was no conflict. "Any suggestion that Mr. Porrino's publicly disclosed ownership of a mutual fund that holds a small amount of ExxonMobil stock within its diverse portfolio of investments is somehow a conflict of interest is flatly wrong...Mr. Porrino has no direct stake in ExxonMobil and his interest in the mutual fund is an entirely passive, indirect investment over which he has no control."

The state's Uniform Ethics Code says only that no state officer or employee "should have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his/her duties in the public interest."

An examination of Porrino's most recent financial disclosure filing detailing his net worth revealed his stake in ExxonMobil through one of his mutual funds...(H)e owned (a) share of more than 20 stock and bond funds, including the Schwab Fundamental U.S. Company Index Fund. The Schwab portfolio lists its biggest holding as ExxonMobil Corp., representing 4.6 percent of its assets.



(2,419 posts)
126. Hey Chris Christie, Now That You've Given Exxon A Multi-Billion Dollar Present......
Sat Mar 7, 2015, 05:57 PM
Mar 2015

what are you going to do next? Well, he didn't go to Disney World, but he did head to Florida! (right after declaring a State of Emergency and telling everyone to "ask the Attorney General" about the Exxon settlement-watch out for that bus Mr. Hoffman)

Hours After Exxon Settlement, Chris Christie Attends Secretive Event Hosted By Exxon-Funded Group

On Thursday, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration announced it was settling New Jersey’s $8.9 billion lawsuit against ExxonMobil for just $225 million. Just hours later, amid outraged calls for a federal probe of the deal as far too lenient, Christie attended a secretive conference in Georgia organized by an think tank that has been funded by ExxonMobil.

Christie was scheduled to give the opening speech at the American Enterprise Institute’s World Forum at a luxury resort on Sea Island, according to Bloomberg News. Corporate documents show that ExxonMobil has been a major benefactor of AEI, a conservative think tank in Washington whose scholars have disputed the scientific consensus on climate change and touted ExxonMobil as a “taxation hero.”

In 2012 and 2013, Exxon disclosed giving AEI a total of almost $600,000. The Union of Concerned Scientists has previously reported that AEI received $3 million from ExxonMobil between 2001 and 2011. In its past “corporate citizenship” reports, Exxon has touted its support of the group. A former CEO, Lee Raymond, served as the vice chairman of AEI’s board of trustees.

A Christie spokesman, Kevin Roberts, confirmed that the governor attended the AEI event, but he did not respond to IBTimes' separate request for comment on whether Christie discussed the Exxon settlement there. Exxon declined IBTimes' request for comment.

Bloomberg reported that an AEI World Forum agenda showed that Christie is attending the event along with other prospective Republican presidential candidates, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. In response to IBTimes’ inquiry about the nature of the event, AEI spokeswoman Judy Mayka Stecker said: “The AEI World Forum is an informal gathering of leading thinkers from all ideological backgrounds to discuss challenges that the United States and the free world face in economics, security and social welfare.”

Asked if Christie discussed New Jersey’s Exxon settlement over pollution at the company’s refining facilities -- cemented mere hours before the World Forum commenced -- Stecker said that in order to “maintain intellectual freedom and free discourse, the event is private and off the record, therefore we do not comment further on the content or attendees.”

While receiving ExxonMobil cash, AEI has often publicly defended the company. Its reports have, for instance, touted the company for paying taxes, have argued that the punishment assessed to the company over the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska was “oversized” and have asserted that proposals to reduce taxpayer subsidies for major oil companies are “abusive.”

Read the rest here: http://www.ibtimes.com/hours-after-exxon-settlement-chris-christie-attends-secretive-event-hosted-exxon-1838686


(44,610 posts)
127. You may have heard that Christie was heckled by New Jerseyites in Iowa
Mon Mar 9, 2015, 06:10 PM
Mar 2015

Did you hear about how one of them got there?

NYC.org: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie...made another trip to Iowa on Saturday to speak alongside other prospective candidates...(S)everal Sandy victims from New Jersey also travelled there to call attention to what they see as problems with Christie’s handling of the recovery.

While Gov. Christie was speaking, Joe Mangino -- who’s still displaced from his home in Beach Haven West -- interrupted...imploring Christie to “finish the job” of the Sandy recovery...Mangino says he’s not a political person, so he never thought he’d end up chasing the governor halfway across the country. He’s completed repairs on his home, but he can’t move back in because he’s still waiting on contractors to come elevate it. In the meantime...The utilities have been disconnected...I don’t see an end in sight,” he said.

...(H)e got together with a few others and formed a group called the New Jersey Organizing Project. They held meetings to answer questions from other storm victims about the recovery process. They discussed their concerns with various lawmakers including Senator Menendez’s office. They also tried to arrange a meeting with the governor, but were told he was too busy, so last month, Mangino turned to a crowd-funding site on the internet to raise $300 to cover his airfare to Iowa. In less than two weeks, more than $1,300 came pouring in, some of it in the form of $50 donations from fellow Sandy victims. It was a sign, he said, that people were rooting for him...

It sure doesn't get much "Jersey-er" than that, LOL!



(44,610 posts)
128. Christie: Exxon Settlement Is "Really Nice," The New York Times Isn't
Thu Mar 12, 2015, 12:27 PM
Mar 2015
Christie Breaks Silence on Exxon Settlement

Gov. Chris Christie says the controversial settlement agreement with Exxon Mobil is "actually...really nice..." and blasted The New York Times for not getting its facts straight...

(S)peaking...at a town hall event in Somerville, (he) stressed the $225 million the oil giant agreed to pay is on top of the billions Exxon will dole out to pay for cleanup at contaminated sites in New Jersey. "They have to fix everything that they polluted to state standards, and there is no cap on what they have to pay...They're going to have to clean up everything no matter what it costs, and we're going to get the $225 million on top of it," Christie said... "If you read The New York Times, you'd never know this."

"This is a good deal...for Exxon," (says) Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club... "Under the original order, Exxon would have had to restore the site, which is more than a clean-up or remediation. Exxon would have to remove all the oil and chemicals then restore the wetlands to the state they were in before the spill. Now Exxon can just cap the site, which is not really a clean-up. This would leave tons of oil and chemicals in the ground, saving Exxon millions of dollars."

So the choices were between restoring the polluted areas to pre-pollution condition and ensuring that they simply can't pollute any further; and between putting a financial cap on the bill versus putting a physical cap on the pollution. Meanwhile, nearly nine billion dollars slips away from New Jersey's coffers.

But it's not a done deal. The court has until May 6 in which it can reject the settlement, and the state legislature has scheduled hearings and filed a counter suit. At any rate, here's how it's supposed to work:

The plaintiff tells the court what they think they should be paid by the defendant, and why. The defendant tries to talk the plaintiff into taking less out of fear that the court will make them pay more. If the court decides the plaintiff is asking for too much money, the courth will award the plaintiff get less money. If the plaintiff allows the defendant to decide that the plaintiff is asking for too much money, the plaintiff will most likely get even less money than the court would award: I believe the actual legal term for that is "getting screwed." The thing is, Chris Christie himself started out as a lawyer -- doesn't he understand any of that?



(2,419 posts)
129. The Oil Baron Of The Pine Barrens.....
Thu Mar 12, 2015, 01:02 PM
Mar 2015

I'm not even going to make a comment on this. Just read it and come to your own conclusions. Some days I wonder why I even get out of bed.

Oil Baron of the Pine Barrens
Chris Christie campaigned for governor as a moderate who backed clean energy. After a meeting with David Koch, that changed

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has become closer to traditional energy interests as his national profile has grown.
By Alan Neuhauser

March 12, 2015 | 12:01 a.m. EDT

There’s an old joke in New Jersey: When the Texas oil fields go dry, the next great source of crude will come not from the Gulf or the Arctic but from Arthur Kill, the historically polluted shipping channel separating the Garden State and Staten Island, New York.

But a still better source might lie 50 miles down the New Jersey Turnpike, where political analysts say oil and gas has seeped into the statehouse, fueling the national ambitions of a governor who has carefully built an unusually close and personal relationship with the energy sector – an apparent evolution that's allegedly come at the expense of local voters and public safety.

"Chris Christie has focused his thinking on a national level, so New Jersey for so many years has become less important," says Brigid Callahan Harrison, president of the New Jersey Political Science Association.

That dynamic came into stark relief last month, Harrison and others say, when the GOP governor quietly agreed to settle a decadelong $8.9 billion legal battle with Exxon Mobil for just $225 million.

Legal experts say victory for the state was virtually assured – Exxon Mobil was already liable for contaminating at least 1,500 acres of sensitive wetlands along Arthur Kill and Newark Bay. All that remained was assessing how much the company owed for the restoration and loss of use of the land. Yet just weeks before an expected decision, reports say, Christie's chief counsel intervened, overstepping career attorneys who had worked the case for years to institute the settlement with Exxon.

Read it here: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/03/12/oil-baron-of-the-pine-barrens-chris-christie-embraces-big-oil

its long but its worth your time.


(2,419 posts)
130. Sometimes The Truth Can Be Annoying.....
Thu Mar 12, 2015, 02:54 PM
Mar 2015

Wildstein, I don't know no stinking Wildstein....or maybe you did. Sunday, at the Black Horse-directly across the street from St. Joe's where you go to church-I know you've been there Chris-I've seen you.

Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man

The political operative who helped mastermind the notorious lane closures at the George Washington Bridge – and is now cooperating with a federal investigation of the Bridgegate scandal – had more extensive contact with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s inner circle than the governor has acknowledged.

That is the conclusion of a WNYC examination of calendars maintained by David Wildstein during his four years at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, along with a review of more than 1,000 photographs provided by the Port Authority and thousands of pages of documents released by the governor’s own legal team and the New Jersey Legislature.

Christie has insisted he had little to do with Wildstein, his former $150,000-a-year appointee at the Port Authority with whom he attended Livingston High School in the 1970s.

“I don’t even remember in the last four years even having a meeting in my office with David Wildstein,” Christie said at his marathon two-hour press conference in January 2014, after the legislature released Bridgegate records including the now infamous email to Wildstein declaring, “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Christie told reporters: “I may have, but I don’t remember it.”

But the documents, corroborated by current and former Port Authority and Trenton staffers who requested anonymity because of the ongoing federal investigation, paint a new picture of Wildstein’s role in the Christie Administration. That view chips away at Christie’s and his lawyers’ portrayal of Wildstein as a rogue employee largely isolated from the governor who acted with one staffer in closing lanes and causing epic traffic jams on the roadways of Fort Lee for four morning commutes in September 2013.

The records and interviews indicate that during his tenure at the Port Authority, Wildstein met at least twice with Christie and others in his office, joined him at seven public events and had regular meetings with the governor’s closest confidantes. On the day after a news report revealed that Wildstein was involved in the mysterious lane closures, his calendar had one 14-hour entry: Trenton.

Wildstein’s schedules list seven meetings at the statehouse, but his calendars are sometimes inconsistent with records maintained by the Christie Administration, and WNYC was not able to independently confirm the five other meetings took place.

The digital calendar entries were posted on an obscure section of the Port Authority’s website. Wildstein did not return repeated emails and his attorney, Alan Zegas, would not comment.

Read it here: http://bit.ly/1L0vosj


(2,419 posts)
131. Pension Money And Political Contributions....
Thu Mar 12, 2015, 03:18 PM
Mar 2015

are like milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly, Christie and corruption

Chris Christie Maintained State Pension Investments In Prudential After Top Official Gave Contributions

Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration has over the past five years paid at least $6.5 million in taxpayer fees to Prudential Financial to manage New Jersey pension funds, even after company officials made substantial contributions to Christie's 2009 gubernatorial campaign, International Business Times has learned. One of the Prudential officials was Christie's top fundraiser, adviser and donor. Christie appointees nonetheless maintained investment contracts with Prudential despite state rules that require such contracts to be canceled when executives at firms managing pension money donate to or raise money for state lawmakers.

“It sounds like it’s a clear conflict with the rules,” said Melanie Sloan, a former U.S. Department of Justice official who served as executive director of the watchdog group CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), after IBTimes described its findings. “It seems like this thing is a clear violation of the rules. The rules just haven’t been enforced and now everyone is scrambling for cover.”

State documents show that Jon Hanson, who served on Prudential Financial’s board of directors until 2011, and his wife each donated $6,800 to Christie’s campaign in 2009. While leading Prudential, Hanson also served as finance chairman of Christie’s gubernatorial campaign, spearheading Christie’s fundraising operation. In 2009, when Hanson donated and raised the campaign money, New Jersey was investing hundreds of millions of dollars of state pension money in the company’s subsidiaries.

Rules from the New Jersey State Investment Council, which oversees the state’s pension fund, mandate that the state “terminate the contract” of any firm managing state pension money if that firm’s senior officials donate more than $250 to the governor, or solicit money for the governor’s campaign. Yet, even after Hanson made donations and raised money for Christie’s election, the Christie administration’s investment council continued to invest roughly $366 million of state pension money in Prudential funds, according to New Jersey documents. In 2011, Christie appointed Hanson’s son, James, to the council, where he currently leads the audit committee.

A spokesman for Hanson’s real estate firm, the Hampshire Companies, did not respond to questions from IBTimes, saying they had been forwarded to Christie’s office and to Prudential. The Christie administration declined to comment, referring questions to the Treasury Department. Attempts to contact the Treasury were unsuccessful.



(44,610 posts)
134. "I'm only an executive director -- why would you expect me to know
Sun Mar 22, 2015, 12:28 AM
Mar 2015

Last edited Sun Mar 22, 2015, 01:25 AM - Edit history (1)

what my subsidiary companies are doing?"

Chris Christie Officials Sent Pension Money To Subsidiary of Donor’s Foreign Firm

...(A)s New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pursued re-election, his administration found itself mulling investment options for the state’s $80 billion pension fund. In one deal in May 2013, officials settled on a subsidiary of U.K.-based foreign financial conglomerate Prudential PLC. With little fanfare, state pension overseers quickly endorsed the deal.

Weeks later, a Hong Kong-based executive director and board member of Prudential PLC delivered a maximum $3,800 contribution to Christie’s gubernatorial campaign, followed by a maximum $32,400 donation to the Republican National Committee, which was about to launch a get-out-the-vote effort for Christie. Two months after that, New Jersey began moving public employees’ retirement savings into two funds managed by the Prudential subsidiary as part of the state’s new $300 million investment commitment to the company.

State and federal rules are designed to prevent firms that manage public pension money from contributing to the campaigns of public officials who have the authority to influence pension investments...Prudential PLC said the donations from Barry Stowe, one of the firm's executive directors, were in no way improper...Prudential plc spokesperson Jonathan Oliver said in an emailed statement. "Mr. Stowe, who is a U.S. citizen, has donated to Chris Christie and several other candidates in a personal capacity. Until the approach by the International Business Times this week, he was unaware of the New Jersey pension fund’s investments with (Prudential PLC subsidiary) M&G (Investments)." The company declined to make Stowe available for an interview, and Stowe did not respond to requests for comment...

The British insurer and financial services company (which is not related to Newark’s Prudential Financial) joins an extensive list of companies that received New Jersey pension money around the time firm executives made donations to Christie’s political apparatus and other Republican groups...(W)ith Christie appearing to move toward a 2016 White House run, this latest case adds an international twist to a seemingly local pension controversy...


Speaking of international twists, would this be a bad time to mention that the United Arab Emirates Embassy donated $4.5M to Christie's wife's Sandy charity?



(2,419 posts)
132. I Was An Athlete And Class President.....
Sat Mar 14, 2015, 07:23 PM
Mar 2015

who knows what Wildstein was up to. Open mouth, insert foot-never bad mouth the guy who has the evidence that can bring you down.

When it comes to Bridgegate mastermind, Christie has selective memory

Most news outlets still refer to David Wildstein as "The Mastermind" of the Bridgegate debacle, which is like calling Cosmo the Sign-Language Chimp a master linguist.

But that depiction has more credibility than Gov. Christie's last reference to Wildstein. You remember the cringe-worthy line from the epic press conference in January of last year: "We were not even acquaintances in high school," the governor said. "We didn't travel in the same circles in high school. I was class president and an athlete, I don't know what David was doing."

In other words, Wildstein was the anonymous nerd occupying another lunch table at Livingston High, whom the governor bestowed a $150,000 salary and executive status in one of the most powerful agencies in the world.

It has yet to be determined how much prior knowledge the governor had of the fiasco in Fort Lee, but new evidence shows that Christie either has a poor memory, or was lying about his contact with The Mastermind during the four years Wildstein was his eyes and ears at the Port Authority.

Christie claimed that he didn't recall "having a single meeting in my office with David Wildstein," but WNYC reported this morning that there were as many as seven meetings, including two that were verified through attendees.

Imagine, seven more meetings than the governor's mind was able to recall.

The radio station combed through Wildstein's digital calendar at the Port Authority website to arrive at that figure. It found another for a Sunday in November of 2013, just as the scandal was unfolding; it involved a rendezvous with "CC" at the Black Horse Tavern in Mendham, across the street from the governor's family church.

A Christie spokesman denies the existence of that meeting, which is hard to confirm because the governor doesn't make his schedules public - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo actually posts his on the internet - and a judge has denied requests to make Christie's meetings available.

But WNYC pieced together Wildstein's schedule and discovered monthly meetings with Bill Stepien, Christie's campaign manager; "repeated" meetings with Michele Brown, the governor's consigliere; and numerous lunches and dinners with Michael DuHaime, the governor's political strategist.

Christie's attorneys (he meets with them a lot, too) have tried to portray Wildstein as a rogue whom the governor hardly knew.

But with little doubt, Wildstein was always at the cool kids' table - not to mention involved with pet Christie projects such as raising the Bayonne Bridge, the PATH station in Harrison, and, yes, soliciting an endorsement from Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich that never came, according to WNYC.

Regardless, let's return to the script: "I could probably count on one hand the number of conversations I had with David Wildstein since he worked at the Port Authority," Christie said after firing him.

OK, not entirely implausible. Because whether it was traffic management or political machination, we know now that the Mastermind required no supervision whenever he worked his magic.

Read it here: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/when_it_comes_to_wildstein_christie_has_selective.html


(2,419 posts)
133. This Is Quietly One Of The More Egregious....
Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:13 AM
Mar 2015

examples of Christie's style of governing. Tax breaks that exceed the value of the company getting them? David Cay Johnston's book was supposed to be an expose of bad practices, not an instruction manual on how to enrich your cronies. You've got to hand it to Christie, he really knows the meaning of "go big or go home":

Christie's Camden tax breaks reward political insiders

During Chris Christie's first term as governor, he made tax incentives a cornerstone of a promised "New Jersey Comeback" that would lure new businesses to the state. With New Jersey's job growth still poor at the beginning of his second term last year, the governor doubled down.

New Jersey's Economic Development Authority has handed out more than $2 billion in tax breaks since 2014, more than the total amount issued during the decade before Christie took office.

The aid has gone disproportionately to businesses in Camden, a city of 77,000 that ranks among the nation's most impoverished. Development projects in the city received $630 million in future tax breaks last year. Because of those grants, Christie said in his State of the State address, Camden is "seeing a new tomorrow."

As Christie considers a Republican presidential campaign, the prospect of a renaissance for heavily Democratic Camden would offer a useful counterpoint to New Jersey's lackluster economic performance. But a closer look at the grants — which will amount to nearly four times Camden's annual budget — indicates they may do less for the city than advertised and more for Christie's political alliances.

Most of the jobs coming to Camden are filled by existing employees who currently work just a few miles away. One tax break exceeded the value of the company that received it. Another went to a developer who owes New Jersey millions of dollars in long-unpaid loans. And nearly all the recipients boast notable political connections — either through an affiliation with a prominent southern New Jersey power broker, Democrat George Norcross, or through donations to Christie and the Republican Governors Association during his tenure overseeing it.

New Jersey's Camden incentives raise questions about his administration's stewardship of New Jersey's finances — and whether Christie's claims of revitalizing Camden will resonate with Republican voters opposed to corporate welfare. For conservatives, incentives buck the free market and could undermine New Jersey's prospects for legitimate tax reform.

"Giving huge subsidies to companies moving from the suburbs of Camden to the city is just off-the-charts crazy territory," said Michael Doherty, a Republican state senator. "If you're a high-profile individual, you can get the EDA to make decisions to your benefit."

Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said in an email that critics of the tax breaks "offer no alternative plans for creating jobs, growing the economy or renewing our urban centers."

Read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/christie-s-camden-tax-breaks-reward-political-insiders-1.1290521


(44,610 posts)
135. Crew Chrisite Keeping Mum about Exxon Settlement, Aide turned Exxon Lobbyist
Sun Mar 22, 2015, 01:22 AM
Mar 2015
Two weeks ago, Christie’s appointed attorney general formally announced that the state had agreed to settle its lawsuit against Exxon for widespread contamination at its Bayonne and Linden facilities for just $225 million...(and) said the agreement with Exxon would also cover “relatively minor” natural resource damages at 16 undisclosed “company service stations and other facilities located throughout New Jersey.” According to state Sen. Ray Lesniak, the Democrat who is leading an effort to block the settlement, Christie officials plan to keep those details secret.

“The administration not only wants to give Exxon a big break with a settlement of cents on the dollar for polluting the Bayonne and Bayway [Linden] communities, it wants to let them off the hook for damage at 16 other facilities and a countless number of service stations,” Lesniak said in a news release. “They won’t even identify the facilities or say if assessments have been done to determine the extent of contamination. Exxon could be getting off the hook for billions of dollars in additional damage costs.” (T)he state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) had rejected his open records request for information about pollution at the other Exxon sites and retail gasoline stations included in the agreement...

The settlement, which was far less than the nearly $8.9 billion the state had been seeking, came when the judge presiding over the case was reportedly set to issue a ruling.

The court is still in a position to reject the ruling, however. Or will these additional details of the settlement be kept a secret from the judge, too?

After news of Christie’s Exxon settlement first leaked, IBTimes reported that Exxon’s New Jersey lobbying firm had hired Christie’s departing deputy chief of staff, Lou Goetting, in October. IBTimes filed an open records request seeking all emails to or from Goetting that mentioned Exxon. On Tuesday, the governor’s office released a letter saying it is withholding an undisclosed number of communications referencing Exxon, citing an exemption for "inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative, or deliberative material."


A song by Christie's NJ-based rocker BFF Jon Bon Jovi fits in really well:



(2,419 posts)
136. An Excellent Analysis Of The Evidence.....
Sun Mar 22, 2015, 09:14 PM
Mar 2015

from Brian Murphy showing us where the federal investigation may be honing in. This is pretty damning stuff. The players who have been pretty quiet may very well have been speaking very loudly to the U.S. Attorney and his grand jury.

Neverending Story: Feds' Bridgegate Probe Takes New Turn

On Monday September 9, 2013, the first of four days of now-infamous lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that triggered paralyzing traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee, N.J., the mayor of that town, Mark Sokolich, placed a phone call to Bill Baroni, the No. 2 executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Baroni, a former Republican state senator, had been the agency’s deputy executive director since being appointed to the job in 2010 by Gov. Chris Christie. On paper, his title may have been “deputy,” but because the agency is structured to distribute power between New York and New Jersey, that position is actually equal to the executive director. Under an agreement between the two states, New Jersey’s governor appoints both the deputy director and chairman of the agency’s board of commissioners, while the New York governor appoints its top director and the vice-chairman of its board. As a practical matter, then, the “deputy” and “vice” adjectives are mostly meaningless formalities; Baroni had the real power in the agency, for which he was paid a $290,000 salary.

When Mayor Sokolich tried to reach Baroni, warning him of an “urgent matter of public safety in Fort Lee,” Baroni’s assistant forwarded him the message by email at 9:29 a.m. Baroni didn’t reply. Instead, he sought guidance from a subordinate: David Wildstein, a former political blogger (and my onetime boss) who held the title of Director of Interstate Capital Projects – a $150,000 a year job created especially for him and abolished following his resignation.

Among officials who worked alongside Wildstein, it was widely understood that he was – as the Bergen Record noted in 2012 – Chris Christie’s “eyes and ears” at the Port Authority. One top New York appointee described him as someone who looked at the agency as a garden; “[Wildstein] was there to cultivate political opportunities.” In that role, it often was unclear to staff whether Baroni was in fact Wildstein’s superior; both took orders from Trenton, and Wildstein was frequently in contact with members of Gov. Christie’s staff.

Read the rest here: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/neverending-story-feds-bridgegate-probe-takes-new-turn


(44,610 posts)
137. I find that last paragraph to be the most interesting
Sun Mar 22, 2015, 11:47 PM
Mar 2015
Among officials who worked alongside Wildstein, it was widely understood that he was...Christie’s “eyes and ears” at the Port Authority...(I)t often was unclear to staff whether Baroni was in fact Wildstein’s superior; both took orders from Trenton, and Wildstein was frequently in contact with members of Gov. Christie’s staff.

And this is a guy that Christie barely knew, and had an allegedly questionable background, yet allowed to be hired with no resume or job description. If Wildstein didn't take orders directly from Christie, maybe it was because he didn't have to.



(2,419 posts)
138. Journalistic Ethics (Or Lack Thereof) At It's Finest....
Mon Mar 23, 2015, 09:52 PM
Mar 2015

being a FOC'er (Freind of Christie) pays off big time for the "journalist" who runs Christie's call in show.

Chris Christie Gets Corvette For NJ Radio News Director Who Interviews Him

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has discovered a creative new way to make sure he’s always in the driver’s seat with his state’s news media. The Republican governor -- and likely 2016 presidential candidate -- can add “sports-car broker” to his list of media persuasion techniques after he successfully petitioned an auto dealership to loan a Corvette to the radio news host who interviews him each month on “Ask the Governor,” a public-affairs program on New Jersey 101.5. It is a situation that media experts say crosses major ethical lines.

The monthly call-in radio program, whose March episode airs Monday night at 7 p.m., is hosted by 101.5’s executive news director, Eric Scott, one of the few local media professionals who gets access to Christie on a regular basis. After Scott said on the Feb. 25 broadcast that he is not paid much money for interviewing the governor, Christie spent a portion of the broadcast urging the show’s main sponsor, the Lester Glenn Auto Group, to reward Scott with a free car. The governor even picked out the color -- dark blue.

“Maybe you can get something from the Lester Glenn Auto Group,” Christie told the host. Then he looked around the studio and asked, “How about a new car from the Lester Glenn Auto Group for Eric Scott? Right, can we do that? Are the Lester Glenn Auto people listening? Eric Scott is getting the shaft here, and what we need is a little love for Eric Scott. So maybe it could be coming from the Lester Glenn Auto Group.”

Moments later, a caller identified as John from Toms River suggested the car should be a Corvette, and Christie quickly agreed: “Nice -- a nice Corvette for Eric Scott.”

The comments could easily have been dismissed as playful banter, except the folks at Lester Glenn were paying attention. The dealership’s president, Adam Kraushaar, showed up at the radio station to personally deliver a dark blue Corvette for Scott, filming the stunt and posting a video of it on YouTube. Kraushaar also contributed $5,800 to the governor’s 2013 re-election bid, campaign records show.

Scott went on to boast about the “sweetest ride of my life,” and thanked the dealership on Twitter.

Reached by phone, John Perillo Sr., Lester Glenn’s vice president of operations, said the car is a temporary loaner and the dealership just wanted to prove it was listening when Christie mentioned it on the air. He said the dealership will pick it up from Scott at the end of this month. “We didn’t give it to him,” he said. “He’s just using it for the month, basically.”

Neither Christie’s office nor Scott responded to IBTimes’ request for comment.

Though the governor and Scott chuckled about the Corvette idea on air, media ethics experts say it is no laughing matter.

“I struggle to find any ethical justification for a call-in show host/news director to accept a gift of any kind, much less a Corvette, from someone at the behest of a talk-show guest, much less when that guest is the governor of the state,” said Robert Dreschel, the director the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Journalism Ethics. “Accepting such a gift inherently compromises or at least leaves the appearance of compromising the independence of not just the host/news director, but of the public affairs/news operation of the station itself. Although there may seem to be no quid pro quo here, I think there actually is. Surely a gift made under such circumstances leaves the host vulnerable to feeling beholden to the guest who has facilitated the gift, and to the gift-giver as well. Surely it would be reasonable for listeners to suspect as much.”

Read the rest here: http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-gets-corvette-nj-radio-news-director-who-interviews-him-1856420


(2,419 posts)
139. A Bit More On The Lottery Debacle....
Tue Apr 7, 2015, 08:40 AM
Apr 2015

and an update on Digest Item #132-a little more attention is being paid to this crooked deal that once again costs the taxpayers and benefits Christie's cronies. It took a while but the Star-Ledger finally caught up with the Crime Digest and figured out the sordid connections that are costing the state money. Late is better than not at all.

Gov. Chris Christie's gamble on privatizing N.J. lottery comes up a bust

In a playbook for turning a valuable asset into an unmitigated disaster, New Jersey paid Macquarie Capital Group, an arm of an Australian bank, $1.8 million in 2011 to study its lottery and suggest improvements.

Although Macquirie found that New Jersey's lottery to be in excellent health, with growing sales and the highest profit margins of any in the country, it went ahead and recommended privatization anyway.

When the Legislature passed a law prohibiting the governor from privatizing the lottery without the lawmakers' consent, Christie vetoed the bill and turned the games over to Northstar New Jersey - a joint venture led by Gtech S.p.A, which, not so coincidentally, is a former Macquarie client.

Gtech had already hired Wolff & Samson, the law firm of Christie buddy David Samson, whose name is instantly familiar to anyone who followed the George Washington Bridge scandal. Gtech also reached out to Mercury Public Affairs, which lists another of the governor's pals, Mike Duhaime, as partner.

Scratch this lottery ticket and you find way too many familiar faces and an unwelcome pattern.

While PR and lobbying firms near and dear to the governor pocket hundreds of thousands in fees, millions of New Jersey residents who depend on lottery-funded services come up empty.

Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/04/editorial_gov_chris_christie_privatizing_nj_lotter.html

David Sampson & Mike DuHaime strike again!


(2,419 posts)
140. This Might Be The Most Interesting Development....
Tue Apr 7, 2015, 03:44 PM
Apr 2015

in quite a while! Could this be a harbinger of good things to come?

Former Port Authority chairman resigns from law firm he co-founded

Former Port Authority Chairman David Samson, who resigned from the agency a year ago amid the broadening investigation into the 2013 Goerge Washington Bridge lane closures, announced Tuesday that he was retiring from the powerful law firm he co-founded.

"For personal, professional and health reasons, I have made the decision to retire," Samson, 75, said in a statement issued by his spokeswoman, Karen Kessler. "After my five decades of practicing law, it was time for new leaders to transition the firm for the future."

The politically connected firm, Wolff & Samson, has a broad range of practices including lobbying and real estate law, and has represented public agencies.

Not only is Samson leaving the firm, his name is, too. The 43-year-old firm, based in West Orange and New York City, is changing its name to Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, according to its website. The leadership reflected in the firm's new name includes Jeffrey Chiesa, a former state attorney general appointed by Gov. Chris Christie, who had also named Samson as Port Authority chairman.

Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/former_port_authority_chairman_resigns_from_law_fi.html#incart_river

Merely quitting wasn't enough-the firm is changing its name to eliminate all traces of Samson! Heath and professional reasons my eye!


(2,419 posts)
141. Neither Bridget Kelly nor David Wildstein.....
Wed Apr 8, 2015, 10:25 PM
Apr 2015

will be taking one for the team. They both have excellent lawyers who are used to working with the U.S. Attorney's office. Kim Guadagno has been unusually quiet. David Samson "retires". I believe things are about to get very interesting.

Indictments May Be Near in George Washington Bridge Scandal

It has been falsely predicted many times in the last year, but now it seems to be true: The federal investigation into the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge appears to be coming to a head, with an announcement of indictments as early as next week.

In recent weeks, people close to the case say, federal investigators have interviewed members of the Borough Council in Fort Lee, N.J., the town gridlocked when its three lanes accessing the bridge were narrowed to one for several days in September 2013 — a move at first bewildering, and later revealed to be the result of orders from aides and allies of Gov. Chris Christie.

The interviews were said to be largely perfunctory, the kind of t-crossing that investigators would do before wrapping up.
Subpoenas have made it clear that the inquiry has gone beyond the lane closings to include possible conflicts of interest and bribery. But the United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman, has said little about it, beyond that any news reports purporting to say what he was doing were “most likely wrong.”
His silence has meant 15 months of suspense and speculation. Hearings by a special investigative committee of the State Legislature and a report by Mr. Christie’s own lawyers provided more questions and contradictions than they did answers to the most basic question: What prompted a deputy chief of staff to the governor, a Republican, to send a note calling for “some traffic problems in Fort Lee”?

Mr. Christie’s political ambitions wait on Mr. Fishman. As the investigation has dragged on, the governor has pushed past the dates he set for a decision on whether to run for president in 2016.

While Mr. Christie says he was blindsided by rogue aides, the scandal has damaged his once-Teflon finish, as well as his poll numbers among Republican primary voters and his constituents. Even if the investigation produces no legal problems for Mr. Christie, any indictments will almost certainly add to his political challenges.

People close to the case say prosecutors are likely to bring charges based on a rarely used provision of a fraud statute, under which they would argue that Mr. Christie’s associates used the bridge, or the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs it, for a purpose other than its intended one. In the case of the bridge, the closings were apparently meant to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, a Democrat, after he declined to endorse the governor’s re-election bid in 2013.

Read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/nyregion/indictments-may-be-near-in-george-washington-bridge-scandal.html?_r=0

What will entry # 200 be?


(2,419 posts)
142. As We Prepare To Leave Volume II....
Tue Apr 14, 2015, 12:38 PM
Apr 2015

and move on to Volume III-I couldn't have asked for a better article as an epilogue/prologue than this piece from the Bergen Record on U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman:

Is a defining moment near for U.S. attorney Fishman?

He has a gold-plated résumé, a roster of high-profile friends and one of the highest-ranking law enforcement jobs in the state.

Now, the legal legacy and professional reputation of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman could be, in large part, determined by one case.

A year and three months has passed since Fishman’s office began investigating the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge. It is among the few criminal investigations to reach into the governor’s office in New Jersey history and the most closely watched case out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in years. More than $9 million of taxpayer money has been spent on law firms representing public officials embroiled in the scandal. And multiple players have put their lives and careers on hold as they wait for a result.

But Fishman’s office has given little clue about its intentions beyond a trail of subpoenas.

The silence has engendered intense speculation. Every passing week sees a flurry of new rumors about pending indictments. Every subpoena issued sparks another round of questions about the scope and potential targets of the case.

“People are getting understandably very antsy,” said Carl Golden, a Republican strategist who worked for Govs. Thomas H. Kean and Christie Whitman. “He understands the anxiety and the angst that is out there. He also understands that if ever there is a case where everything has to be exactly right, it’s this one.”

Fishman, 58 and originally from River Edge, is so revered by his colleagues that it is rare to hear a negative word about him beyond a passing joke about his small stature — which is often the subject of Fishman’s own self-deprecating humor.

Otherwise, they describe him as a firebrand and a passionate public servant. He is known for his meticulousness and sense of historical responsibility. In private, some wonder if those traits have lengthened the George Washington Bridge lane closure investigation.

“This has been Paul Fishman’s modus operandi as U.S. attorney,” said Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union. “He does take his time; I don’t say that to be critical. He takes his time because he wants to get it right all the time.”

Lesniak, one of the first state lawmakers to call for the federal investigation, said lawmakers are waiting to see what Fishman does before instituting reforms of the Port Authority, the bi-state agency that oversees the bridge.

“Sure, I think it’s taking too long, but that’s from my perspective, not from his.”

No matter what Fishman does with the case, the George Washington Bridge inquiry will become a part of his legacy, legal experts said.

“It’s actually noteworthy that, despite New Jersey’s reputation, most of the criminal charges levied against politicians in recent decades have been aimed at municipal officials, and very few have alleged wrongdoing by state officials,” said John Weingart, associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. “Even if he goes on to win the Nobel Prize, his obituary will say, ‘Paul Fishman, who investigated the George Washington Bridge scandal in 2015.’”

Fishman declined a request for an interview.

The bridge investigation also has national implications because Christie’s presidential ambitions could hang in the balance. The high stakes mean that Fishman’s decisions will be the subject of debate.

“If there are no charges against the governor, there will be those who write that it’s a travesty. If there are charges, people will write that it was blatantly political and a travesty,” said Gil Childers, former first assistant prosecutor under Fishman in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/is-a-defining-moment-near-for-u-s-attorney-fishman-1.1307587


(2,419 posts)
143. You Can Pick Your Friends.....
Tue Apr 21, 2015, 12:39 PM
Apr 2015

and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose. But when it comes to family, Christie's brother Todd just keeps popping up all over the place. It was Todd's Wall Street connections that enabled Christie to rise to power in the first place as a "Bush Ranger". They've been using their positions ever since. Had to go back and actually update Volume I again!

Chris Christie Officials Give Atlantic City Contract To Firm Of Governor’s Brother

As one of its first moves in its state takeover of financially strapped Atlantic City, Chris Christie’s administration has awarded a lucrative government contract to the financial services firm that employs the Republican governor’s brother, Todd Christie. The deal followed an even bigger contract given to the firm by Christie officials only weeks after the governor’s brother began working there.

In January, Chris Christie signed an executive order installing an emergency management team to develop “a plan to place the finances of Atlantic City in stable condition on a long-term basis.” Two months later, Reuters obtained documents showing that Christie administration officials signed a contract with Ernst & Young, which hired Todd Christie as a New Jersey-based director in March 2013. Todd Christie is listed as working on the firm’s “business development” in campaign finance records.

The Christie administration contract will pay Ernst and Young more than $250,000 to provide financial analysis of Atlantic City. As the casino town faces a $101 million deficit and hotel closures, the deal cemented by Christie’s Department of Law also will allow Ernst & Young to bill taxpayers $455 per hour for other services, according to Reuters. The Christie administration gave the contract to Todd Christie’s firm at a time when New Jersey’s executive branch ethics code says that public officials may not use their positions “to secure a job, contract, governmental approval or special benefit for yourself, a friend or family member.”

“I hope the governor’s advocacy for the state takeover of Atlantic City was not simply to repay a favor to his brother, Todd Christie, for all of the support Todd has given him over the years,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the Democrat who co-chairs the legislature’s investigative committee. “It is fair to ask questions any time you have the executive branch taking actions that at least on the surface appear to uniquely benefit somebody very close to the governor.”

In a statement provided by Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts, the New Jersey attorney general’s office said Ernst & Young was selected “based on its expertise in this area,” and noted that the firm had been involved in Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings, which it says are “functions similar to the services they are providing in Atlantic City.”

Roberts did not answer whether the governor or his staff spoke with Todd Christie about conducting financial analysis of Atlantic City, and referred any questions about Todd Christie’s role at Ernst & Young to the company.

John La Place, a spokesman for Ernst and Young, said in a statement that, as a matter of company policy, "Todd Christie has no involvement in any work with the government of New Jersey." La Place said the Ernst and Young employees working on the contract are "highly qualified" and "have performed similar work for several other municipalities, most notably the City of Detroit." Todd Christie did not respond to International Business Times’ request for comment.

The Christie administration’s Atlantic City-related contract to Todd Christie’s firm follows Todd Christie delivering more than $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which backed his brother’s election campaigns. The governor’s brother also delivered a maximum $3,800 contribution to his brother’s reelection campaign after he started at Ernst & Young.

This is not the first time Todd Christie’s business has intersected with the government business his brother oversees.

Only weeks after Todd Christie started at Ernst & Young, Christie administration officials awarded the firm separate contracts worth more than $550,000 for auditing services in connection with the state’s expenditures on Hurricane Sandy recovery. Ernst & Young has said Todd Christie was not involved in the deal, and noted that Ernst & Young is a large company with many employees.

Todd Christie also was part of a group of investors who purchased and sold properties near public transit facilities that his brother’s appointees redeveloped, according to the Bergen Record. At an event touting the redevelopment, the governor joked that his father was the “lobbyist in the Christie family for this project.”

Todd Christie’s business dealings also came up during the 2012 presidential campaign.

Read the rest here: http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-officials-give-atlantic-city-contract-firm-governors-brother-1888988


(2,419 posts)
144. I Need To Collect A Few Items....
Wed Apr 29, 2015, 06:28 PM
Apr 2015

before starting a Volume III, but it's starting to look like it will be Volume III-The Prosecution!

Former Christie Ally David Wildstein Set to Plead Guilty

David Wildstein, a former ally of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, is set to plead guilty this week, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, suggesting he may be cooperating with prosecutors probing traffic jams he ordered near the George Washington Bridge.

Wildstein is scheduled to appear Friday in federal court in Newark, where grand jurors have heard testimony in secret for months about gridlock over four mornings in Fort Lee, New Jersey, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the matter isn’t public.

He would plead guilty to a charging document known as a criminal information, the person said. It was unclear what the specific charges would be in the plea. The plea was originally scheduled for Thursday, the person said.

A plea by Wildstein, who was a top appointee at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, would be the first conviction for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in an investigation of the September 2013 lane closures. The scandal has hurt Christie’s popularity as the Republican weighs a run for the White House and tests his tough-talking image with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Christie has denied knowledge of a plot to close two of the three local-access lanes to the world’s busiest bridge, which is run by the Port Authority. If Wildstein pleads guilty and cooperates with prosecutors, he could give them an inside view of how the plot unfolded.

Fishman spokesman Matthew Reilly declined to comment. Wildstein’s lawyer, Alan Zegas, didn’t immediately return an e-mail and call seeking comment on the scheduled plea. Zegas has said “evidence exists” that Christie knew of the traffic jams at the time.

Read it here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-29/former-christie-ally-david-wildstein-said-to-plan-guilty-plea

My gut tells me that Wildstein's lawyer and Bridget Kelly's lawyer have a plan.


(2,419 posts)
145. An Interesting Dinner......
Wed Apr 29, 2015, 10:09 PM
Apr 2015

for Mr. Samson and the President of United Airlines, this looks like the quid pro quo that will sink Samson, and I'll bet he's not going down alone.

The Dinner Proposal That Led United Into Corruption Probe

United Airlines Inc. was seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in public investment for the airport in Newark when its chief executive dined with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s top Port Authority official in September 2011.

Jeffery Smisek, United's chief executive officer, wanted funding for several projects, including an estimated $600 million extension of the PATH train from downtown Newark to the airport, as the airline worked through its merger with Continental Airlines.

Halfway through dinner at Novita, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan, Port Authority Chairman David Samson surprised the group with a request of his own. He complained that he and his wife had grown weary of the trip to their weekend home in Aiken, South Carolina, because the best flight out of Newark was to Charlotte, North Carolina, 150 miles away. Until 2009, Continental had run direct service from Newark to Columbia, South Carolina, 100 miles closer.

In a tone described by one observer as “playful, but not joking,” Samson asked: Could United revive that route? An awkward silence fell over the table.

Though the United CEO didn’t agree to the request at the dinner, according to the accounts of some who attended, the airline ultimately added the money-losing route that became known as “the chairman’s flight.” Now federal prosecutors are looking into whether its genesis crossed the line from legitimate bargaining into illegal activity.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey is investigating whether United employees made improper attempts to influence Samson at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, according to people familiar with the investigation. The authority oversees Newark Liberty International Airport.

Read the rest here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-28/the-dinner-proposal-that-led-united-into-corruption-probe

Response to Laxman (Original post)

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Christie Crime Digest-Vol...