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« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2015, 05:55:21 AM »

Romney for vice president? Not so fast, Christie says
By Matt Arco

CONCORD, N.H. — Gov. Chris Christie is clearing taking concrete steps on a 2016 presidential campaign, but that doesn't mean he has a ticket in mind.

The governor all but laughed off a question tonight about whether he thought former Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney would make a good vice president to run with him in the event Christie officially throws his hat in the ring.

"Listen, the only person who gets to pick a VP candidate is the person who's nominated for president, and I'm not even running yet," Christie said. "So, I think it would be a little too presumptuous of me to start speculating about VP candidates."

The question was tossed at the governor after a reporter asked if Christie and Romney have patched up their personal relationship since Romney recently mulled mounting a third presidential campaign, but later bowed out.

"I disagree with the premise of your question. My relationship with Mitt Romney has always been great," Christie said.

The governor spoke at this year's Concord and Merrimack County GOP Annual Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner.

He told reporters residents in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state will be seeing a lot more of him in the coming weeks.

Of course, only if he runs for president, he said.

"I'll be here as often as I believe I need to be if I decide to be a candidate," Christie said.
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« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2015, 05:36:33 AM »

Critics in G.O.P. Say Chris Christie Is in a ‘Bubble’
By MAGGIE HABERMAN and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

He does not return phone calls. He does not ask for support. He arrives late for meetings. And he acts as if he has all the time in the world.

The complaints have piled up for weeks, dismaying many longtime supporters of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and sending others into the arms of his rivals for the presidential nomination, according to interviews with more than two dozen Republican donors and strategists.

As a half-dozen other candidates aggressively raise money and chase endorsements in Iowa and New Hampshire, friends and detractors alike say Mr. Christie’s view of his status and pre-eminence within the Republican field is increasingly at odds with the picture outside his inner circle.

Policy advisers, donors and even a prominent New Jersey state senator who met his wife through Mr. Christie have all flirted with or committed to rival candidates. One potential donor, Woody Johnson, the billionaire owner of the New York Jets, will back Jeb Bush, according to three people close to the Bush campaign. Mr. Johnson attended a round of Bush fund-raising events on Wednesday in Chicago, where the former Florida governor acknowledged him by name.

In Iowa and New Hampshire, Mr. Christie’s negative ratings in some opinion polls are higher than his favorable ones. He has been slower than Mr. Bush to lock down support within the Republican Party’s pool of big-name “bundlers,” and it is unclear how quickly Mr. Christie is amassing cash. A spokesman declined to say, or even provide a range for, how much money the governor’s leadership political action committee has raised.

“He’s a very popular figure, but he’s made a mistake by not creating the necessary momentum for the kind of national organization you need to be successful,” said Anthony Scaramucci, a New York hedge fund manager who is now backing Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. “He’s not touching enough people. And I think this is a classic rookie mistake.”

Friends say Mr. Christie is both understaffed and too controlling. They also say he is convinced that his raw talent and charisma can overcome the political obstacles in his way. Thomas H. Kean, a former governor of New Jersey and Mr. Christie’s onetime mentor, with whom he mended fences after a public break, said Mr. Christie had “gotten in the habit of kind of doing everything himself.”

“You can’t do that in a presidential campaign,” Mr. Kean said.

Mr. Christie is hardly without big-name support. In the coming weeks, he will attend fund-raisers around the country hosted by a number of prominent Republicans, including Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader, who is now an investment banker.

“The fact is, there is not a finite pool of donors as some seem to suggest,” said Mike DuHaime, a top adviser to Mr. Christie. “An essential part of Governor Christie’s appeal is his ability to bring new people into the political process, whether they be donors or activists. He has proven this ability time and again in the past, winning handily in a blue state. If he decides to run, it is clear he will have the resources to run an aggressive, winning race.”

Mr. Christie has recruited two former aides to Gov. Terry E. Branstad of Iowa to anchor his team there, and he has received dozens of invitations to speak in that state. His allies also point to their recent fund-raising events in Greenwich, Conn., a wealthy enclave that is home to several of Mr. Bush’s backers.

“Some guys move from Christie to Bush? That’s politics,” said Kenneth G. Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot and Mr. Christie’s leading supporter among New York donors.

Mr. Langone said he had been raising money for Mr. Christie’s new leadership PAC at a healthy clip, with many checks coming from big donors outside of Mr. Christie’s base in New York and New Jersey. “I’ve never had anyone say no,” Mr. Langone said.

The governor and his advisers have dismissed some defections with an air of almost imperious unconcern. Asked about the embrace of Mr. Bush by Mr. Johnson, who has hosted the governor numerous times in his Jets owner’s box, a person close to Mr. Christie brushed it aside by describing Mr. Johnson as a disgruntled team owner who got sweeter subsidies under Mr. Christie’s predecessors.

Some supporters critical of the governor’s campaign blame what they call “the Christie bubble,” a tight-knit circle of advisers who have known him for years and have worked for him through most of his tenure in Trenton. Virtually impenetrable to newcomers, this small group is seen as effective at home but also, now, as shielding him too closely from the realities of a competitive national campaign. Even after the George Washington Bridge lane closings and the resulting scandal, and amid a continuing federal investigation, Mr. Christie has not broadly expanded his inner circle.

Mr. Christie has also alienated onetime supporters by seeming to take them for granted, Mr. Kean said, adding that the thank-you notes, personal meetings and returned calls have been in short supply. “They start to get crabby,” he said.

Other complaints have been more specific: Mr. Christie’s travel schedule is robust, but the message he is delivering about his leadership is not. His recent trade mission to London, meant to compensate for his lack of foreign policy experience, ended in commotion about his position on vaccination. On a recent trip to Iowa, some Republicans said, he spoke mostly about his biography and how frequently he had visited the state, but said little about what he would do if elected.

Some supporters have also blamed “the Christie bubble” for some embarrassing moments for the governor. He told supporters in recent weeks that he was relying on Robert B. Zoellick, the well-regarded former World Bank president, to offer him guidance on global affairs. But by then, Mr. Bush had already made his own overtures to Mr. Zoellick, a longtime ally whose relationship with Mr. Christie was tenuous. In an email, Mr. Zoellick said that in January, he had clearly conveyed that “I could no longer assist Gov. Christie.”

Supporters argue that Mr. Christie won two recent elections in a Democratic state and is connecting with voters and activists in New Hampshire and Iowa in a way that few other candidates have. Mr. Bush, they say, has not faced voters in nearly a decade and a half, and despite his rapid consolidation of the traditional Republican donor establishment, he has made only a few public appearances.

Mr. Christie’s position is notably different from just a few years ago, when prominent Republicans around the country begged him to enter the 2012 race. At least three other major New Jersey donors and fund-raisers long presumed to be in Mr. Christie’s camp have attended or hosted events recently for Mr. Bush or have indicated they will back him, including State Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos, a longtime friend of Mr. Christie.

Mr. Christie is facing an intense challenge on his home turf not only from Mr. Bush but also from Mr. Walker, who is snaring those New York and New Jersey conservative donors who are skeptical of Mr. Bush. A luncheon for Mr. Walker at a Manhattan financial firm on Thursday drew about 30 current and potential supporters.

“People in New York City like winners,” said Jonathan Burkan, a financial services executive who co-hosted the lunch. “The fact that Scott Walker has won three statewide elections in four years is incredibly attractive to everyone.”


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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2015, 04:18:13 AM »

Judge rules Gov. Chris Christie broke state law by not making full pension payments
By Michael A. Fletcher

Problems keep mounting for GOP presidential hopeful Chris Christie. Rivals of the New Jersey governor are poaching some of his homegrown fundraisers, his recent trip to London to burnish his foreign policy credentials was less than dandy, and on Monday, a New Jersey judge landed a blow to the heart of Christie’s political brand: his tough stance against government spending and public employee unions.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled in favor of the unions that sued Christie, saying that his failure to make full payments to their pension system violated the state’s constitutional obligation to workers. She also ordered Christie to work with the legislature to satisfy the state’s obligation.

The decision came after Christie pushed unions into an agreement that required public employees to sharply increase the amount of money they contribute to their pensions. In exchange, the state promised to increase its contributions to the state’s underfunded retirement system.

The 2011 agreement helped catapult Christie to national attention for his determined stance against what he described as generous public employee benefits that were crippling New Jersey’s finances and contributing to the state’s high taxes.

But Christie decided against making the increased pension payments that were part of the agreement for 2014 and 2015, saying the state could not afford them. That prompted public workers unions to sue.

“We’re happy about this decision, and I have hope now that hundreds of thousands of people in New Jersey will not lose their pensions,” said Hetty Rosenstein, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Communications Workers of America, which represents many state employees.

With New Jersey’s public employee pension system underfunded by as much as $80 billion, the state could find itself unable to pay the full cost of pensions within the next decade if the state government does not live up to the 2011 agreement, Rosenstein said.

Christie promised to appeal the decision. “The Governor will continue to work on a practical solution to New Jersey’s pension and health benefits problems while he appeals this decision to a higher court where we are confident the judgment of New Jersey’s elected officials will be vindicated,” a statement from his office said.


In court, state employees argued that New Jersey could have done more to fund its pension system, including raising taxes.

Christie has repeatedly said raising taxes on millionaires and corporations, as previously offered by Democratic lawmakers, is not an option. What the state will do now to cover the huge pension payments that are due is an open question. Last year, the state held back a $1.6 billion pension fund payment, and this year’s payment was expected to be more than $2.5 billion, union officials said.

Jacobson’s ruling was announced one day before the governor’s annual budget message to state lawmakers. State revenue in New Jersey has been lagging, and its 6.2 percent jobless rate remains higher than the national rate of 5.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Christie’s approval ratings are at their lowest point since he took office in 2010. A recent poll from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics found that 37 percent of New Jersey voters viewed him favorably, down seven percentage points since the last poll was conducted two months ago. A majority of voters, 52 percent, disapprove of the job he’s doing as governor.
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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2015, 05:38:20 PM »

Key Christie ally pleads guilty to role in Bridgegate, two others indicted
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Robert Costa

A onetime political ally and former high school classmate of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pleaded guilty Friday — and two other former members of Christie’s inner circle were indicted — in connection with their roles in an intentional 2013 traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge designed to punish a Christie political opponent.

David Wildstein, who as an official at the Port Authority had ordered the closure of two of the bridge’s toll lanes, confirmed to a federal judge Friday that his goal was political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. Mayor Mark Sokolich had declined to endorse the Republican governor’s reelection bid.

Also indicted were Christie’s deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and William E. Baroni Jr., a top political appointee at the Port Authority. Wildstein told a federal judge Friday that he had conspired with the two to engineer the traffic jam and falsely claim it was part of a traffic study on the bridge.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said, based on current evidence available in the case, he did not anticipate further charges related to the traffic jam. However, a federal investigation into other matters sparked by the bridge inquiry continues.

Fishman said the three officials “callously victimized the people of Fort Lee, who were just trying to get to school, go to work, or travel whereever else they needed to go.”

“The laws of the United States do not permit this kind of behavior, and the public has a right to expect better,” he said.

Fishman said the plan was hatched in August 2013, after Sokolich withheld his endorsement, but was not implemented until early September, when the Christie allies knew the start of school would worsen gridlock.

Christie has maintained that he was not given advance warning when two toll lanes of the busy bridge were closed in September 2013. An internal investigation he commissioned cleared Christie of personal wrongdoing in the episode but found that the closure had been purposeful and politically motivated. Fishman refused to comment on those claims.

Fallout from the Bridgegate scandal has significantly deflated Christie’s presidential stock in the Republican Party, which two years ago was soaring after he easily won reelection in a deep blue state and was encouraged to seek the White House by some of the GOP’s biggest donors. In the painful aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, he cultivated an image as a hands-on, can-do chief executive.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows 56 percent of New Jersey voters disapproving of Christie’s performance as governor, with 38 percent approving — Christie’s lowest marks ever in that poll.

While the longtime aide’s plea deal implicated only the two other Christie aides, the development could spell trouble for the governor, as it indicates that Wildstein is cooperating with federal officials.

Wildstein’s attorney has said “evidence exists” that Christie knew about the closures, despite his denials. Speaking to reporters outside the U.S. District Court in Newark Friday, Alan Zegas stood by that claim, indicating that “There is a lot more that will come out,” according to the Bergen Record.

As the long-running scandal came to a head in New Jersey, Christie was in the Washington region, delivering a Friday morning speech to the politically powerful Northern Virginia Technology Council in McLean. He had been scheduled to attend an afternoon fundraiser for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), but that event was canceled as Hogan is dealing with the aftermath of unrest in Baltimore.

A legislative inquiry revealed Wildstein received an e-mail from a deputy chief of staff for Christie indicating that it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” the town at the foot of the bridge most affected by the closures. The e-mail exchange, which first suggested that the closure had been orchestrated, parked the 16-month investigation into the incident.

Wildstein pleaded guilty to two criminal counts, misusing federal property and denying Fort Lee residents their civil rights. Baroni and Kelly were each charged with seven felony counts in a joint indictment, including wire fraud.

While the criminal investigation began with the bridge incident, it broadened to include a probe of the activities of the Port Authority and allegations that Christie’s staff had leveraged public resources as political tools in other ways.

Top New Jersey Democrats put the blame for the incident at Christie’s feet.

“Today’s guilty plea makes clear that what the Christie Administration perpetrated on the commuters in Fort Lee was a criminal act,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) in a statement. “We have an admission that the safety of my constituents was callously jeopardized to inflict political retribution.”

Beyond watching his top-tier status fade in GOP circles, Christie has also seen a loosening of his grip on power in New Jersey — rapidly losing support among a handful of prominent home-state donors and power brokers, who are either hesitant to back him or shifting allegiance to former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

New Jersey state Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos, chairman of Christie’s 2009 campaign and a longtime personal friend, bolted in late April to Bush’s camp. New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, a onetime Christie booster, attended a major Bush fundraiser in Miami last weekend.

Speaking in March at the state Capitol, Kyrillos blasted Christie’s management of the Port Authority: “Rogue managers in place . . . toll increases: outrageous. Bridgegate: outrageous. Outrageous.” He added, “Biggest bridge in the world. An embarrassment to everybody, including the governor, who said as much at the outset.”

There have been other bumps along the way. Christie’s remarks about child vaccinations on a trip earlier this year to London drew a wave of scathing criticism and alarmed some of his supporters. He had to make a series of calls to assure contributors that he supports vaccination for diseases such as measles. His embrace of wealthy Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and a New York Times report on his penchant for private planes and luxury hotels made headlines.

Embattled but nonetheless determined to rebuild his political standing, Christie has moved aggressively in the past year to regain his footing with party leaders and activists, traveling frequently to early primary states and in 2014 raising more than $100 million for GOP candidates as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Christie’s political team, which once envisioned a robust early campaign, has narrowed its focus mostly to New Hampshire, where Christie has held a series of town hall meetings meant to reintroduce him to skeptical Republicans and regenerate some of the electricity that was a hallmark of his town hall meetings in New Jersey in his first term, when his loud clashes with public employees became viral hits on YouTube.

Nationally, Christie still counts several financiers as allies, including Kenneth G. Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, and Ray Washburne, a Dallas real estate developer leading the fundraising push for Christie’s political-action committee.

But the traffic snarl has continued to haunt his comeback efforts. In December, he was interviewed by federal investigators at Drumthwacket, the official residence of the New Jersey governor, before he traveled to Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation Republican presidential caucuses.

That same month, a state legislative panel that probed Christie’s role issued a 136-page summary of its findings, which included no evidence of Christie’s involvement but concluded that two of Christie’s allies created gridlock for political reasons.

While shaking hands at a Manchester, N.H., restaurant this month, Christie was teased by Buck Mercier, 69, who told the governor that he made sure when he heard of Christie’s visit that “the bridges were going to be open.” Christie smiled. “Which direction is the bridge?” he asked. “I’ll make sure it’s open.”


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« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2015, 07:49:49 PM »

LOL @ Christie running his team with an iron fist EXCEPT for that one thing which could cost him presidency.

LOL @ anyone still believing him.
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« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2015, 03:53:45 AM »

But... but... but... they were friends since high school.  Lips sealed


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« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2015, 07:51:21 AM »

LOL @ Christie running his team with an iron fist EXCEPT for that one thing which could cost him presidency.

LOL @ anyone still believing him.




You and the rest of the libs set the bar, enjoy it, lol.

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« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2015, 08:54:41 AM »

Christie is a pathological liar.

The first time he ran for office he made a TV ad blatantly lying about his opponents and even though the won the election was sued for defamation, required to apologize but clearly he learned that lying works.
http://aattp.org/watch-chris-christies-1994-political-ad-that-earned-him-two-defamation-lawsuits-video/

When he ran for governor he flat out lied to the teachers union and later redacted an open letter to the teachers union from his website - archived copy here:  http://www.gofoster.com/images/An%20Open%20Letter%20to%20the%20Teachers%20of%20NJ.htm

The lies just continued during his term as governor - http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/jon_stewart_rips_into_christies_deal_with_exxon.html

He is quite possibly a sociopath (which is not uncommon among politicians, ceos, and similar types)

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« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2015, 02:12:23 PM »

Christie’s Camp Mobilizes to Salvage White House Hopes
By MICHAEL BARBARO and MAGGIE HABERMAN

Around 7:30 a.m., as an audience of technology executives started streaming through the ballroom doors of a Ritz-Carlton HOTEL in suburban Virginia on Friday, Chris Christie’s IPHONE buzzed with the grim news he has awaited for 16 months.

Federal charges were coming in the bizarre case of traffic and revenge with which he had become synonymous.

Mr. Christie, the governor of New Jersey, consulted with advisers, adjusted his jet-black suit and GAMELY walked onto a stage before 300 guests eating yogurt parfait and almond croissants. He recited statistics about Social Security and Medicare costs and projected the air of a man thoroughly unbothered by the swirling legal drama BACK in New Jersey, which he left unmentioned.

But behind the scenes, his aides, his allies and even his wife were mobilizing, working the phones and blasting out memos to supporters, trying to hold on to whatever chance Mr. Christie had to make a run at the presidency, ACCORDING to interviews.

Over the next few hours, Mary Pat Christie called donors, trying to OFFER reassurance that everything was still on track and encouraging them to read her husband’s speech on overhauling the federal entitlement system.

Mr. Christie himself, JOINED by top aides, reached out to longtime financial supporters, like the billionaires Kenneth Langone and Stanley Druckenmiller, to talk through what he saw as the limited scope of the indictment.

And Mr. Christie’s political action committee emailed talking points for loyal backers to deliver to the news media, framing the guilty plea of David Wildstein, a former Christie ally, and the indictment of the governor’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and his appointee, Bill Baroni, as a moment of vindication.

“Key messages,” the talking points read. “Today’s announcement reinforces what the governor has said since Day 1.” Mr. Christie, they said, “had no knowledge or involvement in the planning, motivation, authorization or execution of the decision to realign lanes on the George Washington Bridge.”

In call after call, they squeezed whatever optimism they could from an ugly day, calling the legal charges the “best possible outcome in a bad situation.”

But amid the bustle, there was an absorption of a new reality for the governor and those closest to him: that his BID for the White House seems increasingly far-fetched. A political team long characterized by its self-assuredness now sounds strikingly subdued, sobered and, realistic about his odds.

In two dozen interviews over the past 24 hours, many of the most trusted allies and advisers to Mr. Christie acknowledged that WINNING the Republican nomination required a domino-like series of stumbles from his rivals and an unlikely breakthrough for him.

They used gentle descriptions like “in a different place” to describe how Mr. Christie had fallen from the high of his re-election in 2013: unpopular at home, limping near the bottom in national Republican polls and lacking the MONEY and momentum of his competitors.

These people spoke on the condition of anonymity, to treat a delicate situation with a LEVEL of candor frowned upon in politics.

Instead of crowing about fund-raising records (as Jeb Bush is) or traveling the COUNTRY as an announced candidate (as Senator Marco Rubio is), Mr. Christie’s team is in a sense starting over now, hoping that the developments in the legal case represent a new chance at a campaign unburdened by the threat of direct legal action against the governor.

Ray Washburne, who oversees fund-raising for Mr. Christie’s political action committee, said there was a sense of relief from potential donors after Friday “that there wasn’t anything else out there” that would directly implicate the governor.

But even those who expressed fewer doubts described a Christie campaign unlike what they had once envisioned — burdened by well-known baggage, focused largely on winning a SINGLE state, New Hampshire, and taking its inspiration from the resurrection of Senator John McCain in 2008.

There are crucial differences, however, between Mr. McCain’s experience in New Hampshire and Mr. Christie’s situation today. Mr. McCain had ALREADYcultivated a base of support from his landslide win there in the 2000 presidential primary. Mr. McCain benefited from a timely issue that he had championed — the surge of American forces into Iraq — that was thrust into the debate as he was mounting his comeback. And, finally, in 2008, there were no flush “super PACs” to keep campaigns alive in New Hampshire, as there will be in 2016.

What’s more, the indictment against Mr. Christie’s onetime associates means months of split-screen television images, with one half showing Mr. Christie out campaigning, the other, the latest report on the legal PROCEEDINGS of his allies.

Mr. Christie has tried to remain outwardly upbeat. But signs of frustration have been spilling out. Over a month ago, ACCORDING to two people familiar with the exchange, Mr. Christie spotted Tim McDonough, an aide to Woody Johnson, the New York Jets owner, during a trip to MetLife Stadium. Mr. Christie told Mr. McDonough that Mr. Johnson, who had supported him as governor but was planning to back Jeb Bush in the presidential race, had shown his “true colors.” Asked about the exchange, an aide to Mr. Christie said his boss had moved on.

His aides say they anticipate he will announce his presidential candidacy in late May or June, but some in the Republican establishment wonder if he will ultimately run.

Even before Friday’s news, Mr. Christie seemed to be facing cemented opposition within his own party. A March Wall Street Journal/NBC poll revealed that 57 percent of Republican primary voters said they could not see themselves supporting him, the highest NUMBER among potential candidates except Donald Trump. Mr. Christie’s campaign aides have declined to say how much money he has raised so far this year; unlike many of his rivals, he appears to lack a prominent wealthy donor prepared, at this point, to sustain a campaign with a multimillion-dollar contribution.

Influential party figures have started to publicly write him off. After Friday’s indictment, Alex Castellanos, who advised Mitt Romney in 2008, summed up the views of Mr. Christie’s detractors: “Now we’ve learned that his political style is contagious. He infected his own government with it.”

But for Mr. Christie, who reluctantly passed up the chance to run for president in 2012, a campaign for the White House may be an irresistible proposition.

Next week, he will head to New Hampshire for a two-day visit, where he is likely to face skeptical questions about the indictment.

Joseph McQuaid, publisher of The Union Leader newspaper in Manchester and a longtime conservative kingmaker in New Hampshire, said the state “OFFERS a gregarious guy like him a chance to overcome the current perception, but it’s a tough climb.”

The indictment against Christie associates “just reinforces the public perception of a Christie credibility gap,” he said.

Mr. McQuaid recalled meeting Mr. Christie and asking him what he learned from the lane closings. He was taken aback by the reply — that Mr. Christie had learned to be less trusting.

“The guy was U.S. attorney and he trusts people?” he said.


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« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2015, 02:15:04 PM »

Governor Christie’s People
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

No matter how Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey spins the George Washington Bridge scandal as he eyes a run for president, one thing should be clear: These are his people, charged with a conspiracy to exact revenge against a LOCAL mayor by closing lanes to one of the world’s busiest bridges.

David Wildstein, a Christie associate who once held a top job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to the incident. Two others indicted on Friday for allegedly PARTICIPATING in the scheme were also members of Mr. Christie’s inner circle.

Their BEHAVIOR shows Mr. Christie’s inability to choose employees, to manage them and, most important, to keep them from abusing their power. His failure to do so created a culture that allowed his underlings to bully the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, by creating a monster traffic jam in 2013 and then lying about it.

While Mr. Christie was in Virginia on Friday morning talking about the need for trust and truth in government, Mr. Wildstein was in federal court in Newark pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and “conspiracy against civil rights” of residents caught in the traffic jam.

A SHORT time later, Bridget Anne Kelly, Mr. Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, who was the deputy executive director of the Port Authority, were indicted by the United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul Fishman. Ms. Kelly and Mr. Baroni face nine counts, including conspiracy to misuse property receiving federal benefits, commit wire fraud and deprive citizens of civil rights by engineering the traffic nightmare as political payback to Mayor Sokolich for failing to endorse Mr. Christie in his 2013 re-election campaign.

Mr. Wildstein acknowledged in court what many had assumed to be true all along: that he had worked with Mr. Baroni and Ms. Kelly to shut down sections of the bridge, causing huge traffic jams, as an act of political revenge. Mr. Wildstein said that the threesome also AGREED to concoct a phony traffic study as a cover story.

Ms. Kelly read a statement DENYING the charges and calling Mr. Wildstein a liar. She also said that it was “ludicrous” to assume she was the only member of the governor’s staff who knew about the bridge caper. Mr. Baroni denied the charges through his lawyer and also said Mr. Wildstein was lying.

Mr. Fishman said Friday that no further charges were expected concerning the bridge scheme. Still, many important questions are yet to be answered, especially about other suspicious dealings of senior officials at the dysfunctional and patronage-riddled Port Authority. One is whether David Samson, Mr. Christie’s close friend, misused his POSITION as former chairman of the authority for personal or professional gain. In one case, as United Airlines was angling for improvement in its terminal, which is overseen by the authority, the airline began scheduling a FLIGHT from Newark to a city close to Mr. Samson’s weekend home in South Carolina.

Mr. Christie’s response on Friday was to reiterate, on Twitter, an earlier claim that he had “no knowledge or involvement in” the bridge scandal. He recently told journalists in New Hampshire, where he is drumming up support for his implausible, undeclared campaign, that the trouble occurred because he is “too trusting” and too much of a delegator. Mr. Christie can’t slough these problems off on hired hands. They belong to the man in charge.
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« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2015, 02:21:00 PM »

David Wildstein looking guilty and skinny!  What a difference guilt makes.


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« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2015, 07:45:17 AM »

David Wildstein looking guilty and skinny!  What a difference guilt makes.
HA!..he has been dieting and lifting..getting himslef ready for jail
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« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2015, 04:45:57 PM »

HA!..he has been dieting and lifting..getting himslef ready for jail

Just imagine how much weight Christie would lose if he were prosecuted and found guilty.
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« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2015, 05:20:49 PM »

I bet he lost weight as a final FU to Christie

This is how you do it fat man
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« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2015, 07:01:49 AM »

Just imagine how much weight Christie would lose if he were prosecuted and found guilty.


LOL...good point......I don't think Christie had anything to do with it directly...but him being a bully and a hardass I think he set up and atmosphere where his people thought it would be ok to do what they did on his behalf
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« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2015, 03:36:18 AM »

Ex-Official Says Chris Christie Broke Grand Jury Law
By KATE ZERNIKE

The players at the center of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal are not finished causing headaches for Gov. Chris Christie.

The latest indication comes in a sworn statement by David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official and the admitted mastermind of the access-lane closings, that describes Mr. Christie breaking the law as he exercised a heavy hand over state politics from the front office.

Mr. Wildstein’s statement, in a civil case separate from the federal prosecution in the bridge case, offers the first insider confirmation of a long-rumored tale of New Jersey political corruption, and places Mr. Christie at the center of it. It also portrays the governor, a former United States attorney, casually revealing information about a grand jury proceeding he had overseen, which violates federal law.

It reinforces nagging doubts about Mr. Christie just as he says he is preparing to make an announcement this month about whether he will seek the Republican nomination for president. Even apart from the potential violation of grand jury laws, the statement reinforces the image of Mr. Christie as an intensely hands-on manager who used the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the George Washington Bridge, to deal with political problems. And Mr. Wildstein, a former political blogger who is known as a pack rat with a long memory, indicated that this may not be the end: His statement says he has emails and further “documents to be produced for inspection.”

A spokesman for Mr. Christie, Kevin Roberts, said on Sunday: “This is just the latest legal jockeying in yet another legal proceeding involving Mr. Wildstein, but one thing should be made clear: Anyone suggesting the governor disclosed grand jury information is either lying or mistaken.”

Mr. Wildstein pleaded guilty last month to federal charges in the lane-closing case in exchange for his cooperation with prosecutors. Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer, Alan L. Zegas, declined to comment on the statement.

The statement is Mr. Wildstein’s response to questions in a lawsuit by Gerard J. Speziale, who was the three-term sheriff in Passaic County when the Port Authority hired him in August 2010 for a $199,000-a-year job.

Mr. Speziale, known as Jerry, a colorful and often controversial former narcotics detective, was so popular in Passaic County that he had raised more than $1 million for his re-election campaign, despite only token opposition.

When he took the job at the Port Authority, he said he wanted to spend more time with his ailing wife, and pledged to donate the $600,000 left in his campaign account to charity.

His fellow Democrats cried foul, noting that it would hurt other Democrats on the ballot and remove his war chest, which could have been used to help other candidates. Calling for a federal investigation, one county freeholder, Bruce James, called it “nothing but a quid pro quo into giving out a government job in order to get somebody out of the race,” according to The Record, a North Jersey newspaper.

Democrats called it the long arm of Mr. Christie, but his office scoffed at that idea.

In the lawsuit, filed against the authority, Mr. Wildstein and several others, Mr. Speziale says he was brought into the job to root out corruption, but was harassed when he tried to reveal it. He ended up leaving for a job in Alabama that paid far less. (He recently returned to Passaic County as the police director in the crime-plagued city of Paterson.)

Mr. Wildstein’s statement, sent to lawyers in the case late Friday, says that in June 2010, Mr. Wildstein met in the governor’s private office with Mr. Christie and others, including Bill Baroni, then his boss and Mr. Christie’s top staff appointee at the Port Authority; Michele Brown, then the governor’s director of appointments; and Richard Bagger, then Mr. Christie’s chief of staff.

At the meeting, Mr. Wildstein says in his statement, Mr. Christie directed the Port Authority officials to fire Arthur Cifelli, who held the double titles of deputy superintendent of the Port Authority Police Department and deputy director of security, and to hire Mr. Speziale in his place.

“Christie told Wildstein and the others that he wanted to get Speziale to drop his re-election bid to help Republicans win the post, and to take Speziale’s campaign war chest,” the statement says.

The governor, according to the statement, told the others that he “would not have Cifelli working for his administration” and that Mr. Cifelli had perjured himself during the grand jury proceedings related to John Lynch, a former State Senate president who had been one of the most influential Democrats in the state.

Mr. Christie told those assembled in his office that he would first have to talk to David Samson, then chairman of the Port Authority board, “since Samson was friends with Cifelli and Lynch,” Mr. Wildstein says.

Under federal law, prosecutors may not identify people who have testified before the grand jury except in extremely limited circumstances, generally restricted to other law enforcement entities or proceedings.

The statement also reveals a list of about 40 people with whom he discussed Mr. Speziale’s hiring, duties and resignation — indicating that Mr. Wildstein was regularly involved in administration conversations, and not the lone-wolf operator that Mr. Christie has described.

That list includes the governor, Mr. Samson, other agency officials and Mr. Christie’s attorney general, chief counsel and several deputy chiefs of staff, as well as Michael Chertoff, the former secretary of Homeland Security, who was brought in to conduct a review of Port Authority security.

(Mr. Chertoff now represents Mr. Samson in a federal investigation surrounding accusations that he used his position on the Port Authority board to enrich himself, including getting United Airlines to reinstate a little-used flight to an airport near his weekend home in South Carolina.)

Under his agreement to cooperate with federal prosecutors, Mr. Wildstein is obligated to be truthful, including in any civil proceedings. He is to be sentenced in the bridge lane case this summer.

Last week, the two former Christie administration officials facing trial in that case — Mr. Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff — won a small victory when the United States attorney’s office said it would not object to their lawyers’ attempts to subpoena more documents from the law firm the governor hired to do an internal investigation after the scandal exploded in January 2014.

The firm and the administration said that the investigation had exonerated the governor. But members of the governor’s staff said they had been misquoted, or challenged its portrayal of characters and events. And the report left unresolved many contradictions between the accounts of key players.

Defense lawyers say they expect that the subpoena will produce notes showing even more contradictions, reviving questions about what the governor knew, and when, about the lane closings.
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« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2015, 07:23:05 AM »

 Shocked


* image.jpg (93.59 KB, 768x587 - viewed 60 times.)
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BayGBM
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« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2015, 12:15:00 PM »

Bay no likey!  Lips sealed

Almost made me vomit!
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