“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee”

Filed in National by on January 8, 2014

Recently released emails and text messages make it clear that Chris Christie used threats and coercion to gain endorsements from New Jersey mayors and that the administration played a direct role in in establishing retaliatory lane closures that caused a traffic nightmare for Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Those e-mails and text messages, including one in which Christie Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly told Christie Port Authority appointee David Wildstein, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” have further fueled suspicions that the lane closures constituted retaliation against Fort Lee’s Democratic Mayor for not endorsing Christie. After Wildstein texted that he was “smiling” but felt “badly about the kids” affected by bus delays, Kelly responded, “They are the children of Buono voters.”

Christie is known for being a micro-manager but his level of involvement has been questioned as the scandal unfolded. The emails remove any doubt that the Christie was fully aware and directed the threats and coercion.

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (42)

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  1. Delaware Dem says:

    We await Governor Christie’s resignation. If he does not resign in 48 hours, he must be impeached.

  2. puck says:

    It takes more than that to have to resign as governor of NJ. It should eff up his presidential run though. His only chance is to double down and claim it is part of his lovable blunt personality.

  3. Jason330 says:

    “His only chance is to double down and claim it is part of his lovable blunt personality.”

    The media would eat that up with a spoon. Only problem – up to now he has denied any involvement.

  4. Truth Teller says:

    This guy is nothing but a bully how many children were stuck in traffic on school buses along with emergency vehicles putting the lives of Fort Lee’s citizen’s in danger and by the way Governor they also just happen to be New Jersey citizen’s which you are responsible for their safety

  5. Jason330 says:

    This from the NYTimes is damning:

    That conflicts with the governor’s carefully crafted reputation as the rare politician who will tell it like it is, even when the news is difficult. And the pettiness described in the emails flies against the image Mr. Christie’s aides have sought to craft for him, of a new kind of leader, above the partisan politics and small-mindedness of Washington.

    The emails indicate that Mr. Christie’s staff and his associates at the Port Authority were closely aware of the political context. Mr. Christie, a Republican, was leaning on local Democratic officials to endorse his re-election bid so that he could then seek his party’s presidential nomination by arguing that he was the candidate who could attract bipartisan support in a blue state.

    The fat fuck was winning by a mile, but that wasn’t enough – he had to win with a bunch of Democratic endorsements in order to hoist a fraud on the national media.

  6. Jason330 says:

    Also Anne Kelly’s view on governing “They are the children of Buono voters (so fuck them)” if basically the plain spoken view of governing in the modern GOP.

    The only surprising thing about any of this is that people are surprised by it.

  7. Liberal Elite says:

    Christie will sacrifice his cute senior aide, but I doubt it will do much good.

    This blonde is closer to Christie than anyone (politically speaking–and maybe also not politically speaking).

    His denials are simply not believable.

  8. He’s now saying that he was ‘misled’ by his staff. Right. Staffers decided to shut down the bridge and not tell the Governor, and they did that totally w/o direction from the Governor.

    And the Governor is only hearing about it now?

    I. Don’t. Think. So.

  9. xyz says:

    Yawn.Mountain.Meet.Molehill.

  10. Liberal Elite says:

    @xyz “Yawn.Mountain.Meet.Molehill.”

    You really think so??

    “Why the GOP’s Chris Christie will never be president”
    http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-ra-chris-christie-emails-bridge-closure-20140108,0,1740496.story

  11. But, but…Benghazi.

    This will be a lasting problem for Christie.

    The issue of whether he’d be the President of all the people, or only the President of those who will play ball with him, is a legit issue and a powerful one during any campaign.

  12. xyz says:

    Slow news week.

    This will be down the memory hole in about 3 days.

    Except for the mouthbreathers watching MSNBC or reading DailyKos/TPM.

    And they don’t vote in the Republican presidential primaries.

  13. It’s been a story for awhile now.

    And that was before the smoking gun of the e-mails.

    It’ll be fun to see if anyone who gets thrown under the bus dares to cross Christie, who didn’t take this seriously at all until today. He even joked about personally moving the cones. But that was then. This is now.

  14. xyz says:

    “This is now” is about 2 years from the Iowa caucuses.

    “The smoking gun” has yet to show Christie having any involvement in this whatsoever.

    Christie will indeed throw poor Bridget under the bus.

    A refreshing contrast to the current occupant of the White House, who keeps his friends close and his incompetents closer.

  15. Oh yes he did. He previously claimed that the reason for the road closures was a traffic study. That was a lie. He joked about the traffic cones.

    To point how pathetic your analogy to Obama is, it would have been like Obama saying after Hurricane Sandy, “Fuck Christie. He’s a Romney voter.”

  16. xyz says:

    Right… because waiting in traffic at a bridge for an hour is like a Category 5 hurricane knocking your house down.

    I can definitely see your analogy.

  17. pandora says:

    Actually… waiting in traffic is something every hates and understands.

    Christie mishandled this – when the story broke he should have said, “I will get to the bottom of this!” instead he made fun of the story and the press. Also, Rubio, Rand, and any other GOP Presidential hopefuls will go after Christie and do everything they can to take him out of the running.

  18. No, because Christie built his rep on his perceived competence and being a man of all people.

    To accept his claim that he had NO IDEA that this was going on would be to acknowledge incompetence on his part.

    Actually, I agree with Chris Matthews’ description of this as Nixonian. I think that Christie will be correctly labeled as a bully, and he will no longer be seen as the so-called moderate alternative.

    If you don’t think it’s gonna make it tougher for him to get elected, well, I disagree. This story has legs longer than Christie’s heavily-marbled stumps.

  19. xyz says:

    “Nixonian”

    Tell me you don’t really believe that. Reality based, and all that.

    Then again, I guess if Chris Matthews said it, it must be true.

  20. Have you ever heard of the enemies’ list?

    In one sense, you’re right, though.

    Nixon just went after his enemies, not constituents of his enemies.

  21. Jason330 says:

    Anne Kelly is being thrown under the bus. Hopefully she’ll get jail time

  22. Jason330 says:

    Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich is going to be a strong voice on this. He’d been staying out of it so far because he simply couldn’t believe that it was the administration. Now he is ready to go to war.

  23. SussexAnon says:

    A NJ democratic legislator is saying there are even more documents that have yet to be reviewed.

    drip….drip…..drip……

    It is Watergate-(ish) if first he downplays it, then tries to isolate it, then is evidence show involvement in it. Christie is at step 2.

  24. Jason330 says:

    That Christie is corrupt is not a problem for GOP primary voters. They expect that. However, Christie has either lied his ass off, or is not in control of his office. Either way, this does not look good for his Presidential ambitions.

    As a big Christie worry wart, I feel much better.

  25. And it’s not like he’s gonna have the support of the right-wing echo chamber. They hate him.

  26. jason330 says:

    I wonder if he’ll try to make some dumbass joke about moving cones?

  27. pandora says:

    Christie is in deep doo doo.

    First, his, and his staff’s/friends, method of retaliation was easily understood. Causing a major traffic jam is something everyone can understand and relate to – that means everyone will have an opinion. If you’re going to have a scandal, be sure to make it about something most Americans don’t understand and care about. It’s the Harvey Milk dog poop rule!

    Second, his initial handling of the story was typical Christie – mock it and mock anyone who dared to question him on it. Had Christie handled this differently in the beginning he wouldn’t be where he is now, which is…

    Third, Christie’s newly found outrage rings hollow. What he’s saying now should have been said in the beginning. Not sure how he backtracks now.

    Fourth, Christie’s image of a straight shooter able to put politics to the side was created by the press – it sure as hell didn’t have anything to do with his politics or method of governing. Christie bought into the press’ false image of him, but he forgot that what the press creates it can destroy.

    What will bring Christie down is what was always going to bring him down – hubris.

  28. Geezer says:

    @xyz: This isn’t about a slow news week. It’s about giving political campaign reporters something to do with three years to go until the election. In short, they have lots of time to dig, and if he keeps denying involvement, they’ll have plenty to dig for.

    Your mistake is in underestimating the reach of the New York media market. If he were governor of Tennessee this would be a three-day story, but New York is one of the few competitive media markets in the US. It will be a story as long as reporters can find little shreds of information to add to it.

    Remove your conservative-colored glasses for a minute and you’ll realize that lots of stories with no basis in fact — think Whitewater, or Obama’s birth certificate — have shelf lives measured in years, not days. Naturally, if we have a major news story in the next few days this will die down, but it’s going to dominate the news for at least the next 24 hours. Candidates don’t hold news conferences to address stories that are going away.

  29. cassandra m says:

    Jason might like this — TPM has posted a round up of the front pages of NY and NJ papers this AM. A traffic cone features prominently in one of them.

  30. pandora says:

    Christie speaking now – apologizing and throwing his staff under the bus. Also apologizing for not understanding. Kelly fired. So… Christie is going for the Sergeant Schultz defense? Also, he only speaks with two members of his staff.

  31. cassandra_m says:

    I’m watching/listening now. Two things:

    1. The Bully Boy thing is really in check here. REALLY in check. He’s in trouble over this, and I think he gets it.

    2. The first part of this where he apologized and discussed her termination — Chip Flowers could learn something from this.

  32. pandora says:

    Christie: “I’m a dupe!” :-)

  33. pandora says:

    Christie says he’s naive and, as Chuck Todd tweets, a hands-OFF manager. Also, he’s “not a bully”

    This doesn’t seem like a winning move on his part.

    Oops! Now he’s saying he’s not a micro-manager and that he’s a big delegator. He’s destroying his image/schtick.

  34. cassandra_m says:

    This is an interesting take on a Sargent Schulz impression.

  35. pandora says:

    And he says he didn’t speak with Kelly??? What???

  36. Jason330 says:

    What kind of douche throws his closest personal friends and advisers under the bus so cavalierly?

  37. Joanne Christian says:

    In this pop media culture we live in now, honestly, part of me can’t help thinking of the SNL skit after Hurricane Sandy and Christie appearing “thanking Obama, and calling out the mayor/town that wouldn’t evacuate”…..And now he gets a staff, “who showed them” w/ or w/o Christie’s knowledge. One of my all-time favorite SNL parodies.

    That being said, I have no idea how old his staff is, but seriously…..I have young adult kids, and it amazes me how much they seamlessly integrate all this “stuff” in their work world, free time, conversations etc…

    Looking forward to SNL tonite…….

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