Tuesday, August 4, 2015

'There are some who say Christie is the wave of the future. Let them come to Fort Lee!'

Is there a major scandal looming over Chris Christie and a bizarre allegation of political retaliation?

'There are some who say Christie is the wave of the future. Let them come to Fort Lee!'

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There's a lot that you can criticize President Obama for, but one thing I never understood is why conservatives accuse him of "Chicagoland politics." Seriously? It seems to me that Obama could use the metaphorical brass knuckles on his political foes a little more, not less. Lyndon Johnson is laughing from the the grave at his inability to push anything through Congress -- although in fairness when LBJ was around, Republicans actually wanted a new dam in their district.

But at least there's someone out there who understands political bullying. And it's exactly who you'd expect:

A political ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who ordered disruptive lane closures on the George Washington Bridge this year has resigned from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, people familiar with the matter said.

David Wildstein, a veteran political operative who was the authority's director of interstate capital projects, will leave his post on Jan. 1 and cited the continuing controversy over the bridge incident in early September in his resignation letter, one of the people said.

Mr. Wildstein, whose salary is $150,000 a year, didn't respond to a message seeking comment.

First of all, why is this an $150,000 a year job? Second of all, you'll never believe the reason that this Berlin Wall of bridge-crossing was erected:

Lawmakers have said Mr. Wildstein's maneuver appeared to be retaliation against the borough's Democratic mayor, who had declined to endorse Mr. Christie's re-election two weeks before the lanes were shut off.

Those who suspected a political motive included Mayor Mark Sokolich himself. In a letter in September to authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, asking for relief from the traffic, Mr. Sokolich called the lane changes "punitive." He later backed off that suggestion.

On one hand, OK, it's kind of a funny little story. On the other hand, why is this not a bigger deal, especially since Christie is clearly a leading contender for the presidency in 2016. Obviously, more investigation is required, but on its face this looks like naked political thuggery. Does America really need Christie's "Fort-Lee-land"-style politics in the Oval Office?

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About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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