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January 13, 2014 | By Alana Semuels, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
NEW YORK -- The week of headaches for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues: He is facing questions over whether his office improperly used Superstorm Sandy aid funds for political purposes. The Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will audit how New Jersey spent $25 million of Sandy aid funds, according to the office of Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., a New Jersey Democrat who asked the Inspector General to look into the issue in August. The probe comes days after Christie was engulfed in a political scandal when emails surfaced implying that top aides orchestrated the closure of lanes on the busy George Washington Bridge and snarled traffic in a town whose mayor had declined to support the governor's reelection bid. The scandal led to a rare, two-hour long press conference by Christie, who apologized and said he had fired a staffer and an advisor, and that he knew nothing about the retaliation plans.
January 13, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani and Alana Semuels
TRENTON, N.J. - For Gov. Chris Christie, the questions about the traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge are just beginning, as New Jersey Democrats announced a new investigative committee that would push to figure out who ordered the four-day traffic snarl, and why. Democratic leaders in the state Assembly said the committee would begin with the bridge closure and possibly expand to look into other allegations of political retribution by...
January 13, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
The most specious (and probably predictable) reaction to the unfolding scandal imperiling the presidential aspirations of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a silly attempt at misdirection by whiny conservatives who complain that journalists ignored the Obama administration's Benghazi and IRS “scandals” but have jumped all over Christie. Because he is a Republican. I don't know where this fake talking point first originated - my guess is Fox News - but my in-box has been full of emails from readers asking, as one did: “So how does Benghazi impact Clinton?
January 13, 2014 | By Barbara Garson
If Chris Christie's insistence that he didn't order his aides to snarl traffic on the George Washington Bridge sounds familiar, it should. Think Shakespeare. More specifically, think "Richard II. " Reading the emails sent by Christie's aides and appointees, I couldn't help but think about the scene in which Sir Pierce of Exton has a conversation with an unnamed servant. They've both heard King Henry IV express what sounds like a wish to have the imprisoned former king, Richard, executed.
January 12, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- A growing number of Republican and some Democratic leaders said Sunday that, for now, they are accepting at face value New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's word that he knew nothing about the George Washington Bridge traffic-jam scheme that has rocked his political career. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he found it “pretty darn credible” that Christie was unaware that his aides shut down lanes to the bridge in September in what was apparently an act of political retribution.
January 11, 2014
Re "Emails link Christie aide to scandal," Jan. 8 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denies direct responsibility for the retaliatory traffic jam in Fort Lee, whose mayor refused to endorse the governor for reelection. Christie may say the traffic tie-up was the action of rogue staff, but he must accept responsibility for presiding over a moral swamp in which such a vicious scheme would even be considered. The GOP's dirty tricks go back to Richard Nixon. The catalog of uncivil Republican actions demonstrates a lack of consideration for the interests of the American people: holding up important nominations, shutting down the government, threatening to default on the debt and doing everything possible to undermine healthcare reform (and having the chutzpah to complain about its implementation)
January 11, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani
HADDONFIELD, N.J. - A four-day traffic hell that trapped cars headed to one of the nation's busiest bridges, supposedly engineered by gleeful political operatives as payback: Deeply stupid, for sure. Unbelievably vindictive and petty. And, in its way, so quintessentially New Jersey. The George Washington Bridge scandal that has engulfed Gov. Chris Christie, bizarre as it is, also somehow stands as an example of the state's hardball political traditions. In the Garden State, political bosses have never gone out of style, corruption cases pile up more victims than the Sopranos, and elbow-to-the-face tactics are shrugged off by voters - as much a part of Jersey culture as boardwalk custard and stainless-steel diners.
January 10, 2014 | By David Horsey
Gov. Chris Christie is in extreme damage-control mode, apologizing to constituents and asking forgiveness for the dunderheaded shenanigans of some of his closest staffers. He is desperate to evade a growing reputation as a political bully that could scuttle his chance to become the Republican nominee for president in 2016. As revealed by a series of email exchanges, three of Christie's top aides closed down all but one of the traffic lanes at the entrance to the George Washington Bridge to punish the Democratic mayor in the nearby town of Fort Lee, who failed to fall in line behind the Republican governor in his recent reelection campaign.
January 10, 2014 | By Alana Semuels and Brian Bennett
Port Authority officials appointed by Gov. Chris Christie knew that the closures they engineered on lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge in September were causing serious delays for emergency responders but still ordered the closures to continue, documents released Friday show. The documents, more than a thousand pages of emails and texts between Port Authority officials and staff, curious reporters and Christie staffers, did not clarify what the New Jersey governor knew about the lane closures, which he said were engineered by his staff without his knowledge, apparently as retribution to the Fort Lee mayor, who had failed to endorse his reelection campaign.
January 10, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the talk of the political press on Thursday after his news conference in which he told the nation that members of his staff had lied to him about an allegedly planned traffic snarl on the George Washington Bridge that's now being called "Bridgegate. " And David Letterman just happened to have CNN host Anderson Cooper as a guest, so he made sure to bring it up. "Is this a big deal? Is this not a big deal?" Letterman asked Cooper. Cooper explained that yes, the scandal, which involves alleged retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for failing to endorse Christie in his reelection bid, is a big deal.
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