Monday, February 24, 2014


Chris Christie is not a straight-talking, even-handed, political tough guy that just wants to do good by the people he's paid to represent. No, in fact, it has become apparent that quite the opposite is true. What is interesting to me, though, is how did this facade come crashing down around Chris Christie and now the national media is appropriately casting him the liar and the bully. Perhaps the media writ large is superbly talented at hoisting its new darling up on that pedestal one week and whipping out the axe the next week to chop him down to size; but some would argue that the scandal with the George Washington Bridge (GWB) was so sloppy and obvious that Chris Christie practically invited the national media firestorm which ensued. So...What started this delicious, red-meat scandal that has all of Christie's salivating enemies gathering at his gates for a final attack? Let's start with the bridge, since that's when I started paying attention. The George Washington Bridge scandal has been dubbed 'Bridgegate' by some. Personally, I believe the GWB scandal is more aptly described as Bridge-Ghazi. Since the Benghazi pseudo-scandal was pushed so fervently by the tea party wackos and Hilary-haters as this career ending cover-up; I think it's fairly ironic that last-best political hopeful for the 2016 presidential election will most likely lose his career over this.

The GWB is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world. Yes, the world. It connects Fort Lee, New Jersey with Manhattan. The GWB is 4,760ft long with a total of 14 traffic lanes and 102 million vehicles per year. The George spans the state boundary between New York and New Jersey, which means it is owned and operated by a bi-state government agency called the Port Authority. This whole mess started on Sept. 9 when the traffic in Fort Lee suddenly stopped. Two lanes on the bridge temporarily closed on the Fort Lee side and traffic was backed up for miles and for hours. It was a disaster. New Jersey Democrats were rightfully suspicious and multiple reviews got underway. Christie, of course, began ducking, dodging, joking about the controversy as his re-election easily succeeded--thanks in part to a love-struck national media. Locally, an ongoing investigation into the trail of Christie corruption uncovered documents in which one of Christie's deputy chiefs of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, in an email to Port Authority official David Wildstein a month a month before the traffic jam. Wildstein, being a Christie appointee, wrote back: "Got it." As more information was uncovered, it became apparent the Christie camp was retalliating against the Fort Lee mayor for not supporting his re-election bid. Under increased scrutiny for misconduct, Christie leapt into action and began kicking staffers under the bus as quickly as possible. This did not stave off continued investigation or the class-action lawsuit on behalf of the people inconvenienced by the jam. Initially the former Christie staffers clammed up and closed ranks as their former chief trashed their character and morals in the media for his own benefit. The problem for Christie, though, is Sen. Jay Rockefeller leads the committee that oversees the Port Authority and initiated hearings on the scandal. The million dollar question being, will Kelly or Wildstein flip on Christie under threat of prosecution. Early indications are that one or both will--in exchange for immunity. Wildstein's lawyer disclosed in late January that "evidence exists" that Christie knew about the lane closures as they were happening". BOOM!

The injured Christie camp responded immediately with attacks on Wildstein's character and high school records. A limp-wristed counter punch, to say the least, but make no mistake; if any solid evidence emerges that Christie played a part in the traffic scandal--game over. From where I'm standing it seems only a matter of time before the former Christie staffers secure a deal with the federal prosecutor; but I'm just the Average Black Man and that's my 2cts.