Saturday, January 18, 2014

Are Patterns of Abuse Emerging?

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie--whose administration has already been charged with deliberately snarling traffic on a Hudson River bridge in order to punish a Democratic mayor who’d refused to endorse the Republican guv--they do. Now come allegations that Team Christie sought to practice “blackmail in Hoboken, telling Mayor Dawn Zimmer that she would not get [Hurricane] Sandy aid for her town unless she approved a real estate project pushed by the Christie administration.” Tom Moran of New Jersey’s Star Ledger newspaper explains why these new accusations are even worse than “Bridgegate”:
This one is beyond ugly. Because in the end, Zimmer did get shorted. Hoboken got $342,000, a pittance for a town that was 80 percent under water after the October 2012 storm. She had requested $127 million.

This is a credible charge. Zimmer is describing the same kind of thuggish behavior from the Christie administration that we saw during Bridgegate.

But this one cuts deeper. Leaving people stranded in horrid traffic for four days is bad enough. But denying aid to victims of Sandy as a means of leverage against an elected official is simply revolting. And surely illegal.

Time for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman to jump on this. And the Legislature should ramp up an investigation as well.
READ MORE:Christie Camp Held Sandy Relief Money Hostage, Mayor Alleges,” by Steve Kornacki (MSNBC); “Hoboken Mayor Discussed Chris Christie, Sandy Aid Allegations with U.S. Attorney, She Says,” by Ryan Hutchins (The Star-Ledger); “Is Bridgegate Politics as Usual, or Beyond the Pale?,” by Bo Cutter (The National Memo).

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