Christie Aide Denies Role in Bridgegate Closure

[Update 1:30 pm] The Inquirer reports:

Gov. Christie’s chief of staff testified today before the legislative panel probing the George Washington Bridge lane closures that he had nothing to do with the controversy.

Kevin O’Dowd said he wanted to start the hearing “by making very clear to the committee that I had no prior knowledge of, or played no role in, the decision to close the lanes at the bridge last September.”

[Original] The Wall Street Journal reports that today could be a make-or-break day for the investigations into the Bridgegate scandal in New Jersey. Kevin O’Dowd, chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, has been subpoenaed to testify. His words may well decide where or how the investigations proceed from here.

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Will New Jersey Have Two Valentine’s Days?

“Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon wants Gov. Chris Christie to spread the love by declaring a double Valentine’s Day in the Garden State this year,” Business Insider reports. “McKeon introduced legislation last week calling on Christie to embrace an extra holiday devoted for love as a way to boost the economy. New Jersey’s second Valentine’s Day would take place August 14, 2014 and would be officially designated as ‘Half St. Valentine’s Day.’”

Christie Signs Bill Opening Adoption Records

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to sign a bill that would allow access to birth records for people adopted in the state,” AP reports. “Birth parents of children adopted before Aug. 1, 2015 would have until the end of 2016 to request their names be removed from the birth certificates.” Parents of children adopted after that date won’t have the option of redacting  their names.

Christie Legal Bill Climbs Over $3 Million

“Private lawyers hired by Gov. Chris Christie’s office after the George Washington Bridge scandal erupted are on pace to bill taxpayers roughly $3 million for their work, and it appears well over half that tab is being incurred for events unrelated to whatever led to the lane closures in Fort Lee,” the Daily Record repoorts.

“Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was originally hired for an internal investigation of the bridge incident and cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office inquiry. But its work rapidly expanded to include a review of the allegations leveled by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that federal Sandy aid was withheld by the state because of the city’s unwillingness to approve an unrelated development project.”

Gosh. Think how pricey this would be if Christie hadn’t been exonerated by his legal team?

Christie Considers Gun Bill, Presidential Aspirations

Conservative activists across the country are watching to see if N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will sign or veto a bill that reduces the allowable size of ammo magazines from 15 to 10 rounds.  While his presidential aspirations have been damaged by Bridgegate, he’s not necessarily out of the running in 2016 yet: Conservatives say he probably would end his candidacy by signing the bill.

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