Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Opinion: Budget Will Indicate If Christie Still Governs from Position of Strength

As Gov. Chris Christie and his staff -- beset by scandals -- struggle to regain their footing and return to normalcy, they'll likely confront a newly empowered Legislature, one not disposed to acquiesce when faced with demands from a chief executive they perceive to be distracted and weakened by ongoing multiple investigations of his administration and his 2013 reelection campaign.

Opinion: Budget Will Indicate If Christie Still Governs from Position of Strength

As Gov. Chris Christie and his staff -- beset by scandals -- struggle to regain their footing and return to normalcy, they’ll likely confront a newly empowered Legislature, one not disposed to acquiesce when faced with demands from a chief executive they perceive to be distracted and weakened by ongoing multiple investigations of his administration and his 2013 reelection campaign.

Ever since it was revealed that a deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office set in motion the closing in September of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, the Administration has absorbed more body blows than Rocky Balboa.

While the administration was occupied with responding to inquiries over who was aware of the lane closures and why the plan was carried out, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer unleashed a political and media frenzy when she claimed that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno told her that favorable consideration of the city’s request for Hurricane Sandy relief funds hinged on the mayor’s support for a redevelopment project whose principals were represented by David Samson, close friend of the governor and chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Christie apologized for the bridge-closing scheme, denied any advance knowledge of it (nothing has surfaced thus far to implicate him), and fired the deputy chief of staff who he said lied about her involvement.

Guadagno likewise denied Zimmer’s version of events and the administration began an aggressive pushback campaign, questioning the mayor’s veracity and using surrogates to argue that the chairman of the Assembly committee investigating the lane closings should step down because he had already concluded Christie was guilty.

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