"You Can't Trust Anyone"

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

A former Christie staffer, Christina Renna, testified before an investigative committee yesterday - the first time a Christie official has given Bridgegate testimony. Matt Katz, reporter for NJPR explains what we learned from the testimony, including how Bridget Kelly told Renna "you can't trust anyone" after she was fired. Andrea Bernstein, senior editor for politics and policy for WNYC News, talks about her reporting on what the Bridgegate scandal means for the Port Authority and reform of the bi-state agency.


Andrea Bernstein and Matt Katz

Comments [12]

Follow the money! Someone needs to investigate how much the Port Authority shells out every year to Wall Street! In the most recent publicly available annual report of 2012, the PA paid $658 million in "non-operating interest expense on bonds". Considering the total revenue for the PA in 2012 was $4.1 billion, that $658 million is a big cost! It's over triple what the PA spent in material and equipment!!! ($216 million in material/equipment). Something is not right when you're paying triple your material/equipment for just financing.

My understanding is all states rely on the Federal Department of Transportation for funding. The Federal Government can get the best borrowing rate of any US institution, so why do we even need the PA if they are just a vehicle to pay high fees to Wall Street? San Fransisco gets by using their state DOT to fund bridges, and therefore pays much less in financing fees to investment banks. Do we only need the PA to act as an intermediary between New York and New Jersey? Is the relationship between our two states that bad that we need an expensive arbiteur? It's like paying a divorce laywer every year for your entire life!

May. 07 2014 11:34 AM
Bob from Westchester

The interstate rivalry for Port Authority funds goes back at least to the early 1960s, when Governor Rockefeller pushed the PA to build the World Trade Center in downtown NYC, a project that was a big drain on the PA's funds but had little if any connection to the PA's interstate port facility and transportation mission, and no obvious benefit for New Jersey. It was billed as the saving project for a dying lower Manhattan, where coincidentally David Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank had just built its very expensive new headquarters building.

May. 07 2014 10:40 AM

Times Union today: "Justin Elliott of ProPublica, a New York-based news organization, reported this week that aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo are conducting official business using private email accounts, which they may believe helps them avoid scrutiny. "

I suggest everyone concerned check out the ProPublica article if you are concerned about transparency and our democracy. "The price of democracy is eternal vigilance" on our part. Governor Cuomo really pursues secrecy and we do know what that means, and not just about the Port Authority.

May. 07 2014 10:38 AM
John from NYC

Isn't this sad. These authorities were set up to be independent of politics and of legislation. (Remember Robert Moses.)

They did things that put New York in the lead in the WORLD in infrastructure. The Triboro Bridge. Idelwild airport (there was nothing else the world like these when they were built.)

Now they are just money sources for corrupt politics as usual.

And our airports are among the WORST in the world.

May. 07 2014 10:31 AM

Isn't this federal tax dollars?
Where is the federal oversight?

May. 07 2014 10:28 AM
Barb from Manhattan

I love the coverage of the Chris Christie bridge scandal -- anything that hurts the big NJ bully makes me happy -- and I'm grateful to Sen. Schumer for speaking out about the Port Authority being exploited as a money-cookie jar by the NY and NJ governors.

But I'd be even happier to hear, on WNYC, coverage of the effect of money from Wall Street on Sen. Schumer's (and other legislators') work. In other words, following the effect of the money on Bridge-gate and Port Authority is fine, but let's also talk about the more important issue for our democracy, the corrosive effect of money on politics.

May. 07 2014 10:23 AM
Estelle from Brooklyn

Back in the 50's and 60's, my mother was complaining about corruption at the Port Authority. Even then, their books were "closed."

May. 07 2014 10:23 AM
Jerry from NYC

this station just don't like Christie

May. 07 2014 10:21 AM
John from Bklyn

Why did Gov. Cuomo and his Port Authority reps passively collaborate with Bill Baroni’s phony Bridgegate testimony?

May. 07 2014 10:20 AM

As a pledge drive perk you should give out a custom MP3 of 14 hours of your Bridgegate Scandal coverage.

May. 07 2014 10:15 AM

Is Bridget Kelly going to jail?

May. 07 2014 10:14 AM
Marco from Manhattan

Talk about beating a story to death....

May. 07 2014 10:02 AM

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