Politico reports on the latest mini-scandal afflicting Gov. Chris Christie’s administration—jokes about causing Bridgegate-style “traffic problems” for a New Jersey rabbi:
Guess the Bridgegate scandal isn’t hurting him too badly among Republican donors: “The same day the RGA reported a hefty haul thanks to Chris Christie, an RGA aide tells ABC News they raised $1 million today at fundraisers in Chicago. Christie held one-on-one fundraising meetings as well as headlining a dinner. This morning the RGA reported it has raised $6 million with the help of Christie and other GOP governors, more than twice as much as it has ever raised during the same month. Christie’s trip last week to Texas raised $1.5 million and he has other fundraising stops in Massachusetts, Utah, Georgia, Connecticut and Michigan on his schedule.” [ABC News]
The Hoboken Record reports that Chris Christie’s attorneys are doing their own investigation into the Bridgegate scandal—even asking Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer for an interview about her allegations that members of Christie’s cabinet threatened to withhold Sandy recovery aid if she didn’t play ball on a development project the governor favored.
Is this the beginning of the end for Chris Christie? The New York Times reports: “The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening.”
AP: “Gov. Chris Christie’s office has agreed to pay $650 per hour to the lawyer representing the governor’s office in a traffic jam scandal. And the lawyer says that’s a discount. … Randy Mastro says the is 40 percent less than he usually charges clients and 20 percent less than other attorneys in the New York office charge.” Christie’s office released the info on Tuesday night.
Dept. of Things That Were Written Before Administration-Rocking Scandals: The Super Bowl media day guide, which gives “special thanks as well” to one Bridget Kelly, AKA, the now-fired Christie staffer who wrote the infamous “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” text message. Fifth name down on the left.
Mark Sokolich, aka the “Little Serbian” (actually not so little Croatian) punished for not endorsing Mr. Governor, has a ticket to the State of the Union address tonight. And there’s a 194% chance the camera will pan to him at one point. He’s there as the guest of U.S. Rep Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), who says Bridgegat had nothing to do with the invitation.
You thought Bridgegate was over? Please. Not close! A U.S. attorney has issued a grand jury subpoena Chris Christie’s re-election campaign, the New York Times reports.
The New Jersey Republican party has also been issued a grand jury subpoena by the U.S. attorney.
Chris Christie, once the darling of the media and the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination, is now the national whipping boy. He hasn’t just been knocked down a few pegs; he has been knocked to the ground. And now every hack with a political grudge is ready to kick him while he’s down.
Enter Olympic star and wannabe political hack Carl Lewis. From Houston he delivers another kick to the gut claiming that Christie bullied him out of the New Jersey Senate primary race against Christie friend and supporter State Senator Dawn Addiego. According to Lewis, the Governor threatened to drop a plan to appoint the gold medalist as the state’s first physical fitness ambassador.
I am certain that some will express Captain Renault-like shock at the story. Renault was the character in Casablanca who was “shocked that there is gambling going on in here” as he collected his winnings. Are we supposed to be shocked that this kind of backroom deal-making happens in politics? My reaction to this faux-scandal is a yawn so big that the National Weather Service may have to name it.
The Washington Post has obtained a video of a 1994 TV spot that got Chris Christie in a heap of trouble, back when he was running for Morris County Freeholder.