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The Port Authority's Big Money Shifting Scheme

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Port Authority Chairman David Samson at Newark International Airport announcing United Airlines adding routes in and out of Atlantic City Airport on Nov. 14, 2013 (Tim Larsen / Office of Governor Chris Christie)

The Port Authority board’s chairman David Samson is well connected to Chris Christie, and the head of a powerful law firm. WNYC's Andrea Bernstein discusses her reporting on how Samson uses all three positions to his benefit.

Guests:

Andrea Bernstein

Comments [10]

Rob from Pelham

You can ignore dirt if you want to, but you can't just wish it away; you either have to police your area or hire someone to do it for you -- or you'll wind up living in a place no sensible person would want to inhabit.

Feb. 13 2014 06:34 PM
MikeInBrklyn from Clinton Hill

This New Republic piece might help with connecting the dots re "The General" et al in the Christie orbit.
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116601/chris-christies-rise-and-fall

Feb. 13 2014 11:08 AM
John from Badlands, NJ

Not to contradict the theme here which is that the PA is heavily politicized and likely involves multiple conflicts of interest on all sides...
1 - Every city/region has some type of 'Development Commission' that is loaded with politically juiced attorneys and developers. How does anyone think these projects get approved? A public referendum on whether to spend $250M on a necessary rebuid in Harrison, NJ? Think that will pass?

2 - The note that Samson's Law firm picked up 100k from doing Muni Bond work - really if that is the best we can do here then this story is dead.

Feb. 13 2014 10:56 AM
Louis S from Jersey Shore

I thought when the Governor put crooked politicians in jail it was good deterrent to other office holders. After being elected his justice department has done nothing that he was proud of. Now I know why. I guess it is normal business.Gov Whitman eliminated the Public Advocate office. Gov.Codey restored it and Gov. Christie dissolved it.WE NEED a PUBLIC ADVOCATE not under the executive branch.

Feb. 13 2014 10:43 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Not to put too fine a point on it but WHERE WAS THIS LEVEL OF REPORTING WHEN THERE WAS AN ELECTION AT STAKE?!?

The PA shenanigans were out there. Samson's lobbying income bump was out there. Christie quashing the campaign violations by the Hunterdon County Sheriff's Dept was out there. Christie strong-arming Democratic pols to get their endorsement was out there.

The media doesn't set public opinion but they do need to think and act independently enough so that the rest of us are actually making up our minds on something *like* a complete picture.

I'm beginning to regard much of this coverage as "We're sorry. We're soooo very sorry. We really f*cked up!". My donations support this station. Start telling me how a miss this big is never going to happen again.

Feb. 13 2014 10:24 AM
KD from New York

I am a Port Authority employee. When Ms. Bernstein makes sweeping comments like "typical, garden-variety Port Authority ickiness" or "it's always been bad at the Port Authority" you denigrate the hard work of thousands of people who are not political appointees like Samson and Baroni and the hard work that they have done for many years long before the aforementioned men came on the scene, and will continue to do long after they are gone. I have become quite skeptical of WNYC's reporting precisely for these types of statements. Try not to become the Fox News of Public Radio.

Feb. 13 2014 10:23 AM

I hope we hear a fact or viewpoint that is surprising or gets us to look at what we already think we know in a new way!

Getting fatigued of the pile-on…

Feb. 13 2014 10:06 AM
hilts

The Port Authority needs to be thoroughly fumigated as a result of the putrid stench left by Messrs Samson, Baroni, and Wildstein. These guys are an absolute disgrace and shame on Chris Christie for hiring them.

Feb. 13 2014 09:14 AM
JT from NJ

Though it's way too soon to write the obit, I would like to hear Andrea Bernstein's take on this article:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116601/chris-christies-rise-and-fall

Since we have subpoena rebuffs and the sound of crickets following what seemed like a lot of damning evidence a few weeks ago (whatever happened with Christie's brother's real estate deals in Harrison, for instance), does Ms. Bernstein think there will be any significant findings or bombshells around this story in the near future?

Feb. 13 2014 08:47 AM

Of course there cannot be any reasonable comparison between a traffic jam arranged as a punishment for a political slight, and an official influencing the actions of the NYPD on behalf of a political ally.
But some questions can arise.

Will there be any legislative or news media investigation into the self-serving, and self-exonerating, statements by the Mayor, NYPD officials, and others who participated in the freeing of Bishop Findlayter?

http://politicker.com/2014/02/mayors-office-says-de-blasio-did-not-ask-for-ally-to-be-spared-night-in-jail/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/13/nyregion/mayors-judgment-debated-after-his-call-to-police-about-a-supporters-arrest.html?hpw&rref=nyregion&_r=0

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/19fh9pfb9n2okjpg/ku-xlarge.jpg

Should the NYPD policy of holding persons who have violated judicial warrants for minor offenses or, as in this case, "political" offenses be modified or done away with?

Will who is the attorney who may have committed malpractice in the handling of Bishop Findlayter's original warrant disposition?

When the Broadway revival of "A Tale of Two Cities" is staged, who will get to play the role of "Madame de Fargio"?

Feb. 13 2014 04:31 AM

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