The Toll of Bridgegate

Monday, January 13, 2014

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)

Friday afternoon saw a new batch of emails related to the so-called "Bridgegate" scandal and Chris Christie's involvement. Matt Katz, New Jersey Public Radio reporter, discusses the latest information, and its impact on Gov. Christie's national standing, and how other New Jersey mayors have run afoul of the governor.


Matt Katz

Comments [24]

cc from nyc

Please stop calling it 'bridge-gate'!!
When are the media ever going to quit attaching 'gate' to every scandal?
Lead the way, Brian!

Jan. 13 2014 04:35 PM
Keira from Manhattan

Christie's personal apology to Mayor Sokolich would not on the face of it confirm that Bridgegate was directly aimed at the Mayor. As the highest elected official of Fort Lee he would be the obvious person to apologize to symbolically represent all the people affected in Fort Lee. That would not on the face of it rule out that the target was actually state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, though Steve Konracki's theory does seem to hold more water. Clearly, whatever it's intent, the plot was less " "The Cask of Amontillado" and more "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight".

Jan. 13 2014 02:51 PM
Adam Kipiniak from Weehawken

A caller today, and some comments here, imply that the lane closings caused big traffic on GWB in general. Is that true? It caused great traffic in Fort Lee but didn't it make the ride quicker for everyone else? Rt 80, Rt 4 and Rt 46 did not have to compete with as many Fort Lee drivers and were going faster, right?

Jan. 13 2014 01:05 PM
Peg Margoshes from Bayonne, NJ

Because of all that's being left out of what we're being told about Christie's actions, I think this should really be called ABRIDGE-gate.

Jan. 13 2014 11:19 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Christie was runing a mob style protection racket. Rewarding those who supported
him and punishing those who did not. He needs to be removed from office.

Jan. 13 2014 11:11 AM
FBastit from NJ

P. Obama's scandals are more damaging and barely covered by Lame Stream Socialist Media (WNYC): Fast & Furious ( Assault Weapons Sales to Drug Gangs resulting in MURDER ), NIXON LIKE IRS Tea Party Targeting, Obama and his stooge officials LYING to US Public and Congress (NSA, IRS, Obamacare, Libya, Syria, Employment ) Obama's wasteful crony capitalist green energy programs (Solyndra). P. Obama gets a pass from his CHEERLEADERS/PROPAGANDISTS in the LAME STREAM SOCIALIST/COLLECTIVIST MEDIA because they allow his LIES because he does their bidding!

Jan. 13 2014 10:47 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Yes, but he did fry the vice-president.

Jan. 13 2014 10:44 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Do you think it's a bit overdone? Don't we have bigger problems? The government in 24 hours started an investigation into this incident. They haven't started one on the IRS scandal, or on Benghazi. Hmm.

Jan. 13 2014 10:41 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"calling a vocal woman "shrill""....

You obviously have never actually listened to her comments during that hearing.
(And does raising your voice and shouting suggest guilt?)
Join us in the "if the shoe fits..." world.
Speech is not (yet) totally policed by the likes of you.

Jan. 13 2014 10:38 AM
rich z. from NYC

Forgive my ignorance, but how does a massive traffic jam caused by the GWB reflect poorly on the mayor of Ft. Lee? Doesn't it damn the Port Authority?

Jan. 13 2014 10:35 AM
Skeptic from NYC

Martin Chuzzlewit, you call Hillary Clinton "shrill" -- how original, calling a vocal woman "shrill" when, if she was a man that word would never come to your mind. Please, join us in the 21st century.

Jan. 13 2014 10:32 AM
ken from beacon from beacon

Okay. It's obvious that matt katz harbours professional hatred or jealousy of Rachel Maddow. And it's stupid. Just report what you think you know. Stop taking puerile jibes at your journalistic colleagues. That's annoying radio. Seems petty.

Jan. 13 2014 10:29 AM
RJ from prospect hts

The stories of individual harm are important. But the "retribution" discussed in passing has had more long-term substantive effects that haven't been discussed at all. According to Michael Powell in last weeks Times":Then there are the three respected prosecutors in Hunterdon County who obtained an indictment of a Republican sheriff and asked questions of a favored Christie fund-raiser. The attorney general’s office — which is controlled by the governor — took over the Hunterdon office, tossed the indictments and fired or forced into retirement the three lawyers.

"One prosecutor, Bennett Barlyn, sued the state, charging political interference. I asked Mr. Christie’s spokesman, Michael Drewniak, about that and he scoffed: “This truly is some of the most wild-eyed conspiracy theories I’ve heard in a long time.”

So NJ lost major, long-term legal officers and the prospect for law enforcement concerning public official corruption has diminished dramatically, given the prospect for intimidation of other prosecutors has grown exponentially.

Jan. 13 2014 10:29 AM
Skeptic from NYC

Please stop calling it "Bridgegate," that's just lazy. Let's call it what it is: the Chris Christie bridge scandal.

Jan. 13 2014 10:28 AM
Amy from Manhattan

On the existence of "alternative theories" on who was the target of the lane closures, Ms. Kelly's email did refer to Fort Lee, not the entire district. And weren't there references to an ethnicity that's relevant to the mayor?

Jan. 13 2014 10:26 AM

@Scott -

And my point is that there was no evidence of political abuse in the IRS scrutinization of Tea Party and other groups. It's been investigated, the Right throws this up as if it held some validity. It does not.

Neither does Benghazi - which MartinC has linked with the word 'murder'. Come one guys, this is not a 'sauce for the goose' situation. The Christie Team clearly used their publicly granted power to hurt citizens of the state. Bringing up Benghazi, fast and furious, IRS is just bridge-trolling, rightwing talking points that are without merit.

Jan. 13 2014 10:16 AM
Seth Peckstiff

Isn't it all about "plausible deniability"? That seems to be fading. The cover-up, as always, is worse than the crime.

Jan. 13 2014 10:15 AM


My IRS comment was simply another example of political abuse. Both parties do it and they should be held accountable for breaking the public trust.

Jan. 13 2014 10:05 AM
john from office

I want to know who is the female police officer that is in his security detail. She looks really interesting.

Jan. 13 2014 09:52 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"What difference does it make??!!"

To ask the question that a shrill future U.S. President used when she was trying to evade explaining her actions in a case that actually involved the murder of 4 people.

LOL, milk this all you can, Brian.

Jan. 13 2014 09:50 AM


"...I wonder what the crack team of journalist could have uncovered if they put 1/2 the reporting effort into investigating the IRS scandal."

They would find the same thing that Issa and the Treasury IG has already found out. IRS gave 'additional scrutiny' to right AND left wing charitable organizations. Some of the IRS officials in the chain thought it wrong at the time but followed their supervisor's instructions. There WAS NO WHITE HOUSE involvement.

Catch up!

A given in politics has been "You help your friends and hurt your enemies". To some extent all politicians do it and we understand why. However, Rule #1 for a public servant is "Does this action help or harm THE PEOPLE I represent?" #2 should be: "Am I being fair in the application of the power granted to me?" and these are precisely the rules that the Christie team appears to have disregarded...if they ever regarded them at all. Try looking at Bridgegate from this simple point of view, and you'll understand better why this and not that.

Until then, get back under the bridge, you troll!

Jan. 13 2014 09:50 AM
Jim from NJ

Isn't it curious that Christie isn't mentioned in these emails? It makes you believe that his name appears in emails that we haven't seen yet. After all, if the aides were doing things that they were keeping him from knowing about, why don't their emails say things like "What if he finds out?" "He can't know about this," "What are we going to say if he asks us?" etc.

Jan. 13 2014 09:47 AM
john from office

The interesting angle here is the NY state influence. Andrew Coumo has proved to be a very skilled politician. He knew months ago where this was going and played it well. Andrew tamed Albany, crushed Christie and now what??

Seriously, his dad raised a skillful man.

Jan. 13 2014 09:12 AM

Great reporting on Bridgegate. Who knew that Jersey politics were so dirty? I wonder what the crack team of journalist could have uncovered if they put 1/2 the reporting effort into investigating the IRS scandal.

Jan. 13 2014 09:03 AM

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