As Promised, Welcome to Chris Christie Scandal No. 3

In politics, if you’re denying, you’re losing. And Chris Christie finds himself in a serious cycle of denial.

AP Photo | Julio Cortez

AP Photo | Julio Cortez

Don’t you hate when people say “I hate to say I told you so” — when you know at that moment there is nothing they relish more than saying those words? I am at that moment right now. I won’t lie. I love telling you I told you so. As promised in my post last week, the third in the continuing series of Chris Christie scandals is here.


The latest scandal to bubble to the surface comes from a charge by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that those devastated by Hurricane Sandy in her town were denied million of dollars in recovery money from the Christie administration because she refused to give her approval for a politically connected construction project.

This is yet another allegation by a mayor that comes with another denial from the Governor’s office. You know what they say in politics, if you’re denying, you’re losing. Right now the Christie people are losing big time.

In denying Mayor Zimmer’s story, Christie’s spokesperson Colin Reed claims the administration has been trying to help Hoboken get money since the Hurricane struck. “It’s very clear partisan politics are at play here, as Democratic mayors with a political axe to grind come out of the woodwork and try to get their faces on television,” Reed said.

The first Democratic mayor out of the aforementioned woodwork was Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich who claimed that four days of mind-numbing traffic jams caused by lane closings at the entrance to the George Washington Bridge was punishment for not endorsing Christie for re-election.

Reed and the Christie administration denied that charge too, even ridiculed it. At a December 2nd news conference Christie said, “Unbeknownst to anyone, I was working the cones.” A month later when emails made it clear beyond a doubt that members of the Christie administration were working the cones, figuratively, if not literally, the governor dropped the flippant act and claimed immunity from scandal because he had been lied to by his own staff.

Then came scandal No. 2 and allegations that the governor used millions in federal money that was supposed to go Sandy victims to instead make self-serving “Stronger Than the Storm” ads just in time for his re-election campaign. When it was leaked that the feds were investigating, Reed again claimed it was all politics.

There are a couple of big problems with Reed and the Christie administration’s position. First, you can’t play hardball politics and then complain when others do. Second, once you deny a scandal so definitively and then have to eat crow, no one believes you the next time or the time after that.

There will be more scandals to surface as Christie’s opponents are emboldened. I compared Jersey politicians to a flock of seagulls who kill their wounded. The flock is pecking now and will keep it up until someone stops them.

But who will do that? The most startling discovery in the Christie saga is that no one has stepped forward to defend him. He is the chair of the Republican Governor’s Association. Where are the other governors? If he is, or was, the frontrunner in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, where is the Republican establishment?

Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe noted that Christie got out too far in front of his supply lines and was left without support. Christie didn’t feel he needed political allies because he had the media on his side. The New Jersey governor made the same mistake that so many past Media Darlings have made. He believed the love affair with the media would last forever. When, in truth, the media is like a stray cat, it loves the last person who fed them. And Christie’s enemies are feeding a juicier story right now.

And so, as I crow about being right about scandal No. 3, I can say with equal confidence that it won’t be the last. The seagulls aren’t through with Christie yet. Can he survive? Yes, if scandals Nos. 2 and 3 are unfounded and he doesn’t get caught in a lie. That’s a lot of ifs, and that is without taking into account the scandals to come.

Follow @LarryMendte on Twitter.

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  • Jane Yavis

    As startling as it is that no-one (except those using him to attack Obama and Clinton) has stood up to defend Christe, even more revealing is not a single friend or former associate attesting to his character and integrity. Quoting Colon Reed this AM, Morning Joe Scarborough sure sounded like he was attacking the character of the Mayor of Hoboken for not standing up to Lt. Gov this past summer.

    Very little money has gone to Hoboken. We at the Southern Jersey Shores have been will served by Sandy Money,,,,,North Jersey beaches and towns like Union Beach, Hoboken and Jersey City are pretty much dying on the vine.

    • jake

      Why dont you HACK HIS EMAIL LAR?

  • Josh Kruger

    I find this pretty breathtaking and revisionist given that you literally wrote a piece praising Christie for taking responsibility and being accountable in his press conference (and that he would survive, etc.).

    • Jane Yavis

      My feelings e x a c t l y ! ! ! !

  • Cellar Rat

    Who’s telling whom “I told you so?” Weren’t you at the head of the marching band last week singing Gov. Christie’s praises for being so “forthcoming” in his press conference? How’s that working out for you now? Pfft. Spare me. The governor has been caught in lie after lie since last week. Front page photos in the Wall Street Journal of the Gov. and his buddy Wildstein on 9/11 after he sweetie he hasn’t seen him in months, more allegations of shady dealings to either settle petty scores (Jersey City) or get his way (Hoboken) coming out of the woodwork. Once he and his goon squad come up for air from under the mountain of subpoenas that just rained on them, the real depths of the corruption and extortion will begin to come to light. He runs the state like an organized crime boss. The karma police (and soon the state police and/or the Feds) have caught up with him. Impeachment is the least of his worries.

  • clarkohrepub

    Lemme get this straight…NJ Democrats lying through their teeth? Nah! Tell me it ain’t so! I mean…their reputation for being above board Mayors, Governors and US Senators is flawless…right? Yeah….thought so!

  • Glenn

    Google Chris Christie’s arrest record. See what he is !

  • Cathy Melfi

    Hey Cellar Rat! Well said! I don’t have to say anymore. Other than, Larry…I can’t believe how quickly you jumped off the Christie band wagon and lead into your story with “I told you so.” Do you have an editor?

  • jan

    It he going to get fired