Well crap! Looks like NJ Governor Chris Christie’s goon squad foolishly left an email trail implicating themselves in the Fort Lee lane closures scandal.
Quick summary if you haven’t been following the story:
Over the summer, the mayor of Fort Lee declined to endorse Chris Christie for re-election. Then, on the first day of school in September, “someone” closed three lanes leading from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge, turning the town into a parking lot. Governor Christie, of course, denied any involvement with the lane closures. But, unsurprisingly, his staff was so full of hubris they sent a number of emails pretty much announcing they were, indeed, retaliation:
A series of newly obtained emails and text messages shows that Gov. Chris Christie’s office was closely involved with lane closings on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge in September, and that officials closed the lanes in what appeared to be retribution against the mayor whose town was gridlocked as a result.
Mr. Christie has insisted that his staff and his campaign office had nothing to do with the local lane closings, and said that they were done as part of a traffic study.
But the emails show that Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff in Mr. Christie’s office, gave a signal to the Port Authority to close the lanes about two weeks before the closings occurred.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she emailed David Wildstein, Mr. Christie’s close friend from high school, and one of his appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge.
Just how clear are we that the Fort Lee lane closures were retaliation by Chris Christie?
It’s very clear that Fort Lee was being punished. The reaction of Chris Christie’s cronies to the NY Port Authority undoing the lane closures is pretty much the final nail in the coffin:
After the lane closures were reversed by New York officials at the Port Authority, New Jersey officials expressed panic that their plan was not causing enough trouble.
“The New York side gave Fort Lee back all three lanes this morning. We are appropriately going nuts,” Mr. Wildstein wrote to Ms. Kelly. “Samson helping us to retaliate.”
“What??” she emailed back.
“Yes, unreal. Fixed now,” he emailed
You don’t go “nuts” and “retaliate” over a “traffic study” being disrupted. Seriously, to have this much of a concerted effort going on to maintain lane closures and claiming the Governor Christie DIDN’T know that Fort Lee was being screwed strains credulity. So yeah, Chris Christie’s in deep political hot water and that’s not good.
Chris Christie not running in 2016 is bad for America.
I’m actually really pissed off about this. Not because I liked Christie (I don’t) but because he would have been skinned alive in the primaries. I know that sounds strange but let me explain.
I don’t like the governor for his economic policies but his social policies are not in line with the GOP’s rabid bigotry. At all. Chris Christie refused to demonize Muslims, hasn’t dropped jokes about Obama being black and while he didn’t support marriage equality, he didn’t jump up and down about how gays are destroying the country.
The spectacle of Governor Christie being annihilated for not being a rabid bigot would have been epic because he would have gone down swinging. The “liberal” media likes to pretend the GOP is not overflowing with hate but it would have been impossible for them to gloss over the rage that would have been thrown at Christie. And Chris Christie is the not the kind to keep his mouth shut for party unity. He would have been on every talk show complaining, loudly, that the party has been taken over by fanatics and idiots. What a glorious sight that would have been.