Streams

How Christie's Men Turned the Port Authority into a Political Piggy Bank

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 04:00 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the Borough Hall in Fort Lee to apologize to Mayor Mark Sokolich on January 9, 2014 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the Borough Hall in Fort Lee to apologize to Mayor Mark Sokolich on January 9, 2014 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. (Spencer Platt/Getty)


Back in October 2010, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey gathered reporters around him at the statehouse. “Approximately 30 days ago,” a grim-sounding Christie said, “I received information from Jim Weinstein, the executive director of New Jersey Transit, which called into great concern the projected cost of the ARC Tunnel.”

ARC was short for the clumsily-named “Access to the Region’s Core.” Twenty years in the making, it was the largest transit project then underway in the United States, a new tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to New York City. When completed, it would double the capacity of the maxed-out New Jersey Transit commuter rail service. But, Christie said, he was shocked to find there were cost overruns in the budget. 

“In light of that information, the executive committee has made a recommendation to me that the project be terminated,” Christie said. Over the next few weeks, there would be a public drama, one in which the then-U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, a fellow Republican, traveled to Trenton to try to change Christie's mind. But, asserting “you can’t fit a size ten foot in a size seven foot – you just can’t,” Christie killed the $8.7 billion project. 

As a source close to the negotiations put it, “Christie wouldn’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.”

According to multiple sources familiar with the negotiations, Christie’s public version didn’t square with the real version, which goes like this:   

During his first campaign for governor, Christie had vowed to rein in Trenton’s fiscal excesses. At the same time, he promised not to raise the state's gas tax, among the lowest in the nation. Doing so would have been the kiss of death for a Republican with national ambitions. 

But when he took office, his staff was caught off guard by just how empty the state’s coffers were. The state's new transportation commissioner, James Simpson, was telling people there was no money for roads.

So Christie turned to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. According to documents and interviews with more than a dozen top-level sources, the governor made clear from the get-go that the agency would be the source of cash for New Jersey’s hard-up infrastructure budget. And he and his team proceeded to wrangle billions from the bi-state authority to further his political goals — much of that for projects that had never been under the Port Authority’s jurisdiction before.

“It’s politics,” said City College of New York Professor Robert “Buzz” Paaswell of  Christie’s use of the Port Authority’s pot of money. “They’re using it to solve their budget problems.” 

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie, dismissed as "an extremely odd premise” the idea that the governor had abused the Port Authority. If the projects that Christie set his sights on "weren’t “on the boards” before,” Drewniak asked, “therefore, they should have continued to languish as merely an idea or a wish-list item while New Jersey, the Port (including NY) fall further behind competitively?”

Drewniak continued: “These are major public infrastructure projects with lasting benefits not just to a particular town but to the entire port facility, New Jersey and New York’s economic well being.”

Early in his administration, Christie appointed a former state senator, Bill Baroni, to be his top man at the Port Authority. And he tapped David Wildstein, a political blogger who went to high school with him to be director of Interstate Capital Projects — meaning Wildstein was in charge of the big money deals. Neither had any transportation expertise.

David Wildstein (L) in Trenton, December 2013 (Terri Langford)

One of the first things Wildstein did upon arriving at the Port Authority, sources say, was to start asking about the ARC money. Could New Jersey recoup the $2 billion the Port Authority was spending on the tunnel? What would the legal liabilities be?  What could the money be spent on?  The answer came back: it could be spent on roads. 

New Jersey’s roads “didn’t have dedicated funding sources,” said Tom Wright, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, a group that strongly backed the tunnel project. “And so by cancelling ARC, the governor was able to shift the resources to his priorities.”

At the same time Wildstein and Baroni were talking about pulling the plug on the ARC inside the Port Authority, Governor Christie was committing himself to the project, according to a letter Transportation Secretary LaHood later wrote to then U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat who also favored the project.

“In February, 2010, Governor Christie sat in my office and expressed his full commitment to the completion of the ARC project,” LaHood wrote. “In March of 2010 news stories called Governor Christie’s commitment to the completion of the ARC project into question. I asked the Governor to restate that commitment in writing. He did so in a letter to me dated April 6, 2010.”

Then LaHood essentially called Christie a liar. “The possibility that this project’s cost could run [as high as $12 billion] was first shared with New Jersey Transit as far back as August 2008. Any notion that the potential for cost growth constituted new and emergent information when the Governor made his decision is simply not accurate.”

But it appears even LaHood didn’t know how far along the plan to kill the ARC tunnel was by then. 

Baroni and Wildstein were eying the funds for the Pulaski Skyway, a broken-down bridge that funnels cars between the Holland Tunnel and Newark. The roadway, which didn’t even allow trucks, had never been within the Port’s jurisdiction. But if the Port Authority didn’t pay for it, Trenton would have had to - a daunting prospect, because the state's road fund was tapped out. (Only Wyoming and Alaska have lower gas taxes - the funding source for road projects - than New Jersey.) 

In later hearings before the U.S. Senate, Baroni provided this justification: “The Pulaski— we believe will have a benefit to the current crossings at Lincoln—certainly at Lincoln—and at Holland, so we believe it will be a marginal improvement there.”

(Pulaski Skyway)

Shifting money away from the ARC project allowed New Jersey to fund its road construction budget till well after 2016 - without raising the gas tax.

At the same time, multiple sources say, Wildstein and Baroni were working to push other projects. The purchase of an old army terminal near the Bayonne Bridge for $235 million bailed out the town of Bayonne, which was facing bankruptcy. Inside the Port Authority, sources say, the long-term value of the deal was sharply questioned. But a bankrupt town would have been a huge headache, not least for Trenton. 

Some 20 minutes away in Harrison, there was another big project—the upgrade of the PATH station for $256 million. Baroni got behind that project personally. “The folks who know me at the Port Authority (know) it’s been one of the projects I spent a lot of time pushing and pushing and pushing,” Baroni said in the Senate hearings. “And that’s a new train station in Harrison. Mayor [Ray] McDonough—working across party lines—Mayor McDonough in Harrison points out that the Harrison train station needed work.”

The Harrison mayor, a Democrat, would ater endorse Christie for re-election. The mayor denies there was any quid pro quo. “I happen to like the guy,” he told the Star-Ledger.

Many of these new projects were for roads and airports that have nothing to do with the Port Authority. “It’s the wrong thing to do,” said CCNY’s Paaswell. “There are other ways. You can solve the budget problems by being honest with the people of the state, saying if you want to improve transportation facilities, it’s going to cost more.”

To pay for all of these projects—not to mention rebuilding the World Trade Center, a Port Authority property  —the agency needed more money. But the Port receives no state or federal funding; just about its entire budget comes from airport fees and highway tolls.

And so, on a Friday afternoon in August 2011—just before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks—the Port Authority said it would raise tolls on the Hudson River crossings, in part to pay for the World Trade Center. (Port officials has since changed that narrative—although not before AAA filed a lawsuit, saying that the money raised from the toll hike should go solely to road infrastructure.)

Friday afternoons, particularly in the summer, are a common time for bad news to be announced. The Port Authority press release not only came late that day, but reporters’ email in-boxes soon filled with statements of support from business, labor and transit groups, all issued through the Port Authority press office. Then came a carefully-worded —and rare—joint statement from Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, who together control the Port. 

The plan, multiple sources say, was orchestrated by Wildstein and Baroni. But the governors' statement howled disapproval. “The Port Authority has informed us of its proposal to dramatically increase its tolls on tunnels and bridges.” The upshot was that the Port commissioners approved a somewhat lower increase. And that, sources familiar with the process say, was the plan all along.

Wildstein and Baroni didn’t return requests for comment. Governor Cuomo's spokesman said the governor isn't commenting on Port Authority matters while investigations continue into the George Washington Bridge traffic jam that cost Wildstein, Baroni and two other Christie associates their jobs.)

The toll hike was a significant new expense for motorists, but it wasn’t—crucially—a tax. Some months later, Baroni appeared at a hearing in Washington on the hikes before Senator Lautenberg, who asked wide-ranging questions beginning to scratch at what the Christie administration was really doing inside the Port Authority.

Baroni was ready. “Respectfully, Senator,” he said in a voice that was anything but respectful, “you only started paying tolls recently. For years, Senator, as a former commissioner of my agency, you received a free EZ-Pass. (Lautenberg had been a Port Authority commissioner from 1978-1982.)

With Wildstein seated behind him, Baroni referred to a large black binder, containing, apparently, dirt on Lautenberg. “Senator, you took 284 trips for free in the last two years you had the pass,” he said.

This was, sources say, Baroni and Wildstein’s modus operandi: to aggressively push their goals and embarrass their enemies.

Back in December, after Baroni resigned over the GWB traffic jams, Christie defended him.

“Senator Baroni's tenure at the Port Authority, which I think was a very good one, where he fought very hard and got a lot of projects started for New Jersey that needed to be started for a long time, like the Bayonne Bridge and others. So I still have great respect for Senator Baroni, and consider him a good friend,” Christie said.

(Bill Baroni)

For years, the $1 billion Bayonne Bridge project had been sharply debated. The project raises the bridge so larger, so-called Panamax ships, can pass underneath.  Some see it as a crucial to the New York-New Jersey ports remaining competitive when the Panama Canal is expanded, but others see it as a waste of money.

(Bayonne Bridge)

When Christie's team settled in at the Port Authority, the message was clear: the New Jersey side would not support finalizing plans for the World Trade Center without an agreement on Bayonne. In August, 2010, the Port Authority board voted on the WTC plan.  A month later, Bayonne was approved.

“When we were campaigning last year,” Christie said at a press conference announcing the project, “I met with all of these groups and told them that this was going to be the highest transportation priority of this administration.”

Among the interest groups for which the bridge project was hugely important: the construction unions. And one of the Port Authority commissioners voting for it was Raymond Pocino, whose day job is heading the Laborers International Union of North America and who was appointed to the Port board by Governor Jim McGreevey in 2002.

A year after the bridge project got the go-ahead, Pocino (who didn’t return requests for comment) stood next to Christie at the very first rally of the governor's re-election campaign. To rousing cheers, claps and whistles, Pocino called Christie “our friend, my friend, our choice for governor for the next four years.” It was a big deal for Christie, who wanted to show he could attract labor support.

“This campaign has just started,” he said, to raucous applause, “but I doubt that I’ll have many better days than the day I was endorsed by the Laborer International Union of North America.”

The endorsement helped scare off strong Democratic challengers. In accepting it, Christie cited the Bayonne Bridge. “I’m not in this race for re-election just for the hell of it,” he said, adding a trademark nod. “I am in this thing, and I believe you’re in it with m,e because we are going to win—and we are going to win big. And that’s what it’s all about.”

Editors:

Nancy Solomon

Tags:

Comments [29]

AlisonShusterShea from Non-Contigious area of South Hackensack

The bigger scam is the soon to be expended $800 million in municipal junk bonds that are approved by the same cast of chacters at the NJ Meadowlands for Triple Five. It was the same crew, with David Samson's client and NJ CDA approving the funds and good old Ray Pacino with the Union support and the endorsements....

Mar. 02 2014 09:20 PM
JohnJO from Ground Zero

( In responce to Sandy and the PATH)I work at the WTC site. After Sandy millions off dollars in damage occurred as a result of salt water entering electrical components. Even if you moved everything UP (as one comment suggested) the majority of the damage was underground. 126million gallons of salt water will cause extensive damage to switch gear, HVAC units, electrical and mechanical components. It's 16 floors below street level therefor this damage was 100% unavoidable. It's just the way it is

Jan. 29 2014 04:57 PM
ko look from nj

Living in NJ for 40 plus years, it is felt that raising the gas tax is the most fairest way to raise the needed $$$$ for the many transit infrastructure projects that are not under direct PA control. This way, ALL NJ residents share for ALL the projects no matter what city/county is to benefit.

Regarding Christie and his sly bunch of devious corrupt inner circle thugs, they all should be thrown in jail. To purposely kill the opportunity for the ARC project is not only short sided but I am sure it will be found to unethical at best and criminal when all is uncovered.

When Christie killed the ARC, he made some unkind comments about what his wife remembered about taking the current route through the tunnel to her " job" in NYC. That " job" became her 500 k part time job that was conducted remotely without her having to travel into NYC anymore so therefore since it did not effect her anymore, the implication was that Christie had no other personal desire to be interested in a project that would have created 40,000 new jobs. Today, NJ is LAST out of 50 states w/r to economic development.

When all is said and done, we Jerseyites will reflect on Christie's time in office as an embarrassment to all of us.

Jan. 27 2014 01:02 PM
Bill Wolfe from Bordentown, NJ

Great reporting!

But it wasn't just the Port Authority that Chris Christie corrupted and used for his own personal political benefit.

You can't bring the political/electoral campaign into governing.

But Christie did just that, turing every government policy tool - whether a contract, funding, or regulatory oversight - into an opportunity to leverage (i.e. shakedown) everything from campaign contributions to other favors.

This is the over-arching theme to all the scandals: government was run exclusively for the political, partisan, electoral and fundraising benefits of Chris Christie.

Jan. 27 2014 11:37 AM
John Cannizzaro from Lodi ,NJ

Gov. Christie should stop embarrassing the people of N.J. and just resign before it gets any worse. This man is the personification of
the worst stereotypes about New Jersey .This is one of the worst political corruption scandals our state has ever had to deal with. I think a lot of people have " voters remorse " .

Jan. 25 2014 01:21 AM
iMan9796 from New Jersey

Bridgegatesque corruption, cover-up & retaliation is standard operating procedure at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC by Port Authority Supervisors.

Gov. Christie promised to disclose any evidence “that come forward that requires action to be taken.” He added, “I will take it, no matter how much it hurts me personally or dismays me, because this is the job I asked for, and I’ve got to do it.”

I wonder if that applies to the well documented rampant theft of Lost & Found property at the Port Authority Bus Terminal by Port Authority Supervisors, and the illegal written policy of throwing lost valid passorts in the garbage instead of mailing them to their respective embassies if their owners could not be found. Now just imagine the damage that a terrorist group or an identity theft ring could do with those valid passports. Google “Donna Lebourne abc news" & see the vile face of shame being confronted and exposed for the world to see.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=9105280
http://www.my9nj.com/story/24313600/inside-the-port-authority
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=9277998
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/found_stolen_trashed_by_pa_V4RMICgPyy2bhAVzDkW9EL

If the Gov. is a man of his word, he can start by axing all the supervisors at the Port Authority Bus Terminal involved in this criminal activity, the supervisors that turned a blind eye to it, and all the supervisors who participated in the coverup and retaliation as well. Every single one of them must be fired & prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for aiding and abetting this criminal activity.

Gov.Cuomo stressed that the traffic scandal did not take place on his side of the bridge, which is controlled jointly by New York and New Jersey.“It was done on the Jersey side of the bridge,” he said. “The Jersey officials handled it.

The thefts from the PABT’s Lost & Found Dept. by PABT Supervisors along with their illegal written policy of throwing valid lost passports in the garbage happened on the NY side of the GWB, so the New York officals should handle it. Gov. Cuomo it’s your turn to act, & don’t act like you didn't know. I've come to realize that ignorance is not only bliss, it is also contagious & spans both sides of the GWB. The new investigatory panel should investigate these well documented crimes as well because the Port Authority has degenerated into a cesspool of crime, corruption, cover-ups & retaliation staffed with a bunch of clowns, cowards, liars & thieves.

http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2013/12/george_washington_bridge_direc.html http://www.voicebase.com/voice_file/public_detail/402450/refine/"sarah+gonzales"

No one should be above the law, no matter who they are or who they work for.

Jan. 22 2014 11:12 PM
Irvin Dawid from Burlingame, Calif.

Correction to " But if the Port Authority didn’t pay for [Pulaski Skyway], Trenton would have had to - a daunting prospect, because the state's road fund was tapped out. (Only Wyoming and Alaska have lower gas taxes - the funding source for road projects - than New Jersey.) "

On July 1, 2013, that super liberal state of Wyoming raised it's gas tax by 10 cents - which translates to 71% increase (see http://www.planetizen.com/node/60780). Consequently, N.J.'s 14.5-cent gasolne excise tax is only higher than Alaska's (8-cent tax). In the "race to the bottom", N.J. came in second. If Christie had his way, he would try to win.

Jan. 20 2014 07:00 PM
Hawkeye5738 from Pearl River, NY

The costs of funding these private NJ projects using Port Authority funds is wrong. Where is NY's oversight Governor Cuomo ?

Jan. 20 2014 11:33 AM
shashinyc from Manhattan

Thank you for your (always) superb reporting, Andrea.

Jan. 19 2014 04:39 PM
RobertS from Brooklyn, NY

The NYS quid pro quo was continued funding for the WTC site - and maybe some promises to release JFK and LaGuardia back to the State or City.

If the State Legislature finds anything definitive on Christie working with the PA to spikethe ARC Tunnel, which would divert drivers from the PA's bridges and tunnels,and possibly from the PATH trains as well - his poll numbers are going to tank in the North and Central Jersey commuter belt - there's a lot of voters waiting on those trains every morning to get through those tunnels, especially since the mid-town connection added most of the trains that used to head to Hoboken...

Jan. 18 2014 10:31 PM
Will from Brooklyn, NY

Thank you so much for this reporting. I never bought into Governor Christie’s rationale for canceling the ARC tunnel project. It just didn’t seem convincing. I am now learning that he had ulterior motives and I’m also realizing how politicized, dysfunctional, and corrupt the Port Authority has become under the governors of both states, starting with Governor Pataki (http://www.wnyc.org/story/port-authority-christie-appointees-control/), and it is profoundly disheartening and disgusting. Why is good, transparent governance so difficult to achieve?

Jan. 18 2014 09:06 AM
Drew from New York

This story is a terribly slanted presentation. First thing is that the Part Authority is jointly governed by NY and NJ. If you want to place blame on any irregularities you have to look to both Governors. Second, if Christie and his team was so adept at redirecting those monies to valid projects in NJ; we in NY, and all those who think that Cuomo has a place in higher Office, need to rethink Cuomo's competence. Looks like Christie ate his lunch! The time line and logic of the decisions, as presented, is not based in any fact bringing all of the "cause and effect" statements into question. Purely political conjecture.

Jan. 17 2014 01:46 PM
B.R. from NYC

During hurricane Sandy NY put their train cars on hi ground. NJ had the same info. & put theirs in harms way. Then Christie said don't pick on the decision maker any one can make a mistake. Was this a scam to get federal $ to buy new trains for NJ. Is that what the $ was used for or did it disappear? What companies and who is behind those companies that are benefiting from these expenditures? Also: I hope that if they start rebuilding the Hudson River Train Tunnel they make it capable of handling freight trains.

Jan. 17 2014 12:53 PM
Linda Stamato from Morristown, NJH

I just joined the conversation and wanted to offer readers and listeners a link to an op/ed in yesterday's Star Ledger:

http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2014/01/after_bridge_scandal_cleaning.html

It argues for both states, not just New Jersey, to take a good, hard look at the Port Authority in order to identify and to undertake the reforms that are clearly essential. We've reached a new low in the politicization of the Authority and we need to put it right. It's an essential institution--regional interests will become even more paramount in the years ahead--but we need to have its integrity back!

Jan. 17 2014 12:02 PM
nk from West Orange

The PATH trains were woefully managed after Hurricane Sandy. They still malfunction much more regularly while the NYC subway as rectified all of it's issues. I compare because the excuses from the NJ Port Authority are always related to the submerging of the stations. NYC subway tunnels were also submerged.

Ask any PATH commuter how packed the trains get when they have "signal problems". Please shine more light on the damage done by cronyism.

This story is a good start.
Thank you

Jan. 17 2014 11:26 AM
Bill King from Elizabeth, NJ

I always knew there there was more to killing the ARC Tunnel then just funding.

Jan. 17 2014 11:25 AM
Janet Moyers-Bowmer from NJ

While I appreciate the coverage done by WNYC and NJTV and thought Andrea's story was well done my point on the FINANCIAL aspects of loosing NJN were cut off. My point is that we didn't have (?) $6 million to keep NJN on the air a few years ago but since then we've coughed up how much to cancel the ARC Tunnel? How much for XANADU? How much for a 'Special Election' ? You do the numbers. The DAILY in-depth coverage that a NJ focused news organization would have done alot to keep NJans informed and the governor's office in check. (For those who don't know: when Christie ran for governor the first time, a New Jersey Network reporter named Zachary Fink broke several unflattering stories about Christie being bullying a cop who stopped him ("Don't you know who I am?") and loan interest from a staff member not reported. Once elected Christie proceeded to get even with NJN by quite literally giving away one of the state's greatest assets, our own NJ focused TV network.)I would like to see the roots of that deal investigated.http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/15-chris-christie-controversies-you-missed-101999.html#.UtlP2xyWkiZ

Jan. 17 2014 10:51 AM
Chris

The tolls had to be raised because the construction costs of the World Trade Center are wildly over budget. The "Freedom" Tower will be the most expensive building IN THE WORLD when finished.

Eric F. is right - NPR/WNYC want MORE government. And in the NYC area, MORE government = MORE corruption.

There are two clear lessons from this:

1) NJ/NY infrastructure is in a woeful state and underfunded
2) Elections every four years insures short-term thinking and patronage decisions

New Yorkers are going to seriously miss Bloomberg, a true long-term thinker (funded the water tunnel) and philanthropist.

Jan. 17 2014 10:51 AM

So nice to see such thorough investigation. Right on, Andrea Bernstein and Matt Katz. Please look into Christie and NJ public education. His belligerence toward teachers, and their union, is about power and money for him. Same as Port Authority/Transit issues. There are more scandals/patronage to be found.

Jan. 17 2014 10:51 AM
David from New Jersey

Instead of concentrating on mass transit they scuttled the Hudson River tunnel project in favor of bridge repairs. It seems to me that although the bridge repairs are indeed very important the tunnel project is perhaps the way of the future. A good Governor would of figured out a way of implementing both projects by securing more federal funding and the use of State backed debentures.

Jan. 17 2014 10:43 AM
Carole Kenyon from Scotch Plains NJ

Now we know why the tolls on the Port Authority bridges and tunnels have had to be increased!

Jan. 17 2014 10:19 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

Sean Cullen - Why only 2 years? The PA has sucked up, and never held accountable for the millions raked in from us every year. It's time for better transparency.

And "no agreements" needed for supporting more car-bound traffic, over solving the NJ Transit issues of priority passage into New York? Many of us would beg to differ.

Jan. 17 2014 09:36 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

Well now we know where that Fed ARC money went. Typical that they'd fund car traffic into New York over a more sustainable option. Thanks, Governor Fat@ss!

Jan. 17 2014 09:19 AM
Linda Patscot from Southport Ct

It is anathema that Chris Christie had no queries.
The Bridgegate 'scandal' gets curiouser and curiouser
while he is only aroused when he is pinned in a corner.
Passive aggressive in inverse order.

Jan. 17 2014 09:11 AM
Eric F

NPR wants more government
PA = more government

Every authority has patronage hires including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The only reason you are pretending to be surprised by it is because you want to take down Christie. Indeed the point of elections is in part to change the composition of patronage hires at agencies across the spectrum to people sympathetic to the new guy.

Or are you agitating to privatize the agency's assets?

Jan. 17 2014 09:09 AM
Sean Cullen from Brooklyn

First, has anyone investigated closely lately the condition of the George Washington Bridge? Where has all that toll money been going?

Second, the solution: make a thorough and quick investigation and study of all Port Authority -- two years, max -- and then carefully dismantle and dissolve it, leaving funding, maintenance and capital improvements of the individual components to the individual states, with joint state agreements where needed. For right now, a few places where such agreements would not be needed (in New Jersey):

-- $1.8 billion for renovation of the Pulaski Skyway (redirected from the killed NJ Transit tunnel under the Hudson)

-- $1 billion to raise the Bayonne Bridge so larger ships can pass under it

-- $235 million to purchase the Military Ocean Terminal, which bailed out the city of Bayonne

-- $256 million to upgrade the Harrison PATH station

-- Taking over the money-losing Atlantic City airport

Jan. 17 2014 09:05 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

This is a perfect example of what happens when the fox guards the henhouse. Time for independent oversight. :-)

Jan. 17 2014 09:03 AM
martin zelnik from the bronx

Does this beg the question that Gov Cuomo and his NYS operatives at the Port Authority were asleep at the wheel...or can one find a quid pro quo on the east side of the Hudson?

Jan. 17 2014 08:54 AM

In fairness to Chris Christie - and I am loath to be fair to someone who is so belligerent and rude - the Port Authority has been a patronage pit for decades.

The Guv is largely using it consistent with past precedent. The GWB Scandal is (probably) a deviation from that norm, but not by far.

I think it's not new that Governors would divert ARC/ PA funds to their own priorities.

For those of us who are NJ political watchers, the business of the gas tax was discussed years ago. The press was attentive but the voters were either indifferent or ignorant to it, as their selfish needs usually prioritizes automobile travel over most train travel.

Jan. 17 2014 08:39 AM

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