MMM photo/Art Gallagher
The former prosecutors that the Christie Administration hired to perform an internal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures and allegations made by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno told Zimmer that Sandy aid for Hoboken was contingent upon a development approval will release the findings of their investigation on Thursday morning at 11:30.
A New York Times article about the report published on Sunday says it will address what and when Mr. Christie and his aides knew about the lane closings; analyze the structure, practices and culture of the Christie administration that contributed to the scandal; and issue pointed recommendations to prevent such conduct in the future.
Randy Mastro, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Deputy to former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, lead the team of lawyers from Gibson Dunn in conducting the investigation. Over 70 interviews were conducted and thousands of documents reviewed in the probe that cost New Jersey taxpayers over $1 million.
Three key players in the Bridgegate scandal, Christie former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Ann Kelly, Christie’s former political strategist Bill Stepien and David Wildstein, Christie’s former #2 at the Port Authority of NY/NJ, did not submit to interviews with Mastro’s team.
A joint legislative committee lead by Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Senator Loretta Weinberg continues to investigate the Bridgegate matters. U. S Attorney Paul Fishman’s office is also investigating.
Christie told NJ 101.5′s Eric Scott during his Ask the Governor radio show on Wednesday evening that if Mastro’s report implicates members of his staff, that punitive measures will be taken.
MMM will livestream Mastro’s press conference on Thursday at 11:30 AM
Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Bridgegate, Chris Christie | Tags: Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Bill Stepien, Bridgegate, Bridget Ann Kelly, Chris Christie, David Wildstein, Loretta Weinberg, Lt Gov Kim Guadagno, Port Authority of NY/NJ | 1 Comment »
The problem is, they’ve already gotten special treatment
Tesla Motors, the manufacturer and retailer of electric powered cars, boasts on its website that it is “redefining the way cars are sold.”
They’ve been selling new cars in an unconventional way in New Jersey for one, two or four years, depending on who is telling the truth. They have a problem now, because the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission suddenly adopted what Tesla is calling a “new rule” that is consistent with decades old law allowing only franchised new car dealerships to sell new cars in New Jersey.
Instead of visiting a new car dealership where you test drive a car, haggle with a salesperson, wait for the salesperson to come back from pretending to talk to his/her manager, make a deal, get passed off to the business manager who bumps your interest rate, tries to sell you undercoating, credit insurance and an extended warranty and then wait a while longer to drive home in your new car, you can’t buy a car at Tesla’s two stores in New Jersey.
Tesla’s New Jersey stores are inside the Short Hills Mall in Short Hills and the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus. You can’t get your new electric car at one of those stores. You can’t even order it at the store. You can only look at a car and talk about it. If you want to buy one, you have to order it online and wait for it to be built in California before you take delivery. If you want to test drive one, you have to an request an appointment online. It might take a day or two for a representative to get back to you with an appointment. Test drives and new car deliveries are done out of the company’s service facility in Springfield.
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Posted: March 12th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Christie Administration, Economy, Motor Vehicle Commission, MVC, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Loretta Weinberg, Motor Vehicle Commission, MVC, New car sales, Tesla, Tesla Motors | 9 Comments »
Governor Chris Christie and Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly. Photo via facebook
Emails and text messages published by NorthJersey.com appear to implicate Governor Chris Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Ann Kelly in the planning of the George Washington Bridge lane closures that disrupted traffic in Fort Lee for a week last September. The documents support contentions by Democrats in the legislature and media reports that the lane closures were executed as political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for failing to endorse Christie’s reelection.
NorthJersey.com’s extensive coverage can be found here.
Prior to today’s revelations, the Christie Administration’s official story was that the lane closures were order by Christie’s top appointees to the Port Authority of NY/NJ, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, as a traffic study regarding the appropriateness of Fort Lee having three dedicated toll lanes to the George Washington Bridge.
The documents show that Christie’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and the Governor’s chief spokesperson, Michael Drewniak, participated in conversations on how to respond to media inquiries about the lane closures. Stepien was named Christie’s choice to replace Sam Raia as Chairman of the NJ GOP yesterday. The documents also indicate that Baroni was very concerned about how Christie’s staff evaluated his testimony before the Assembly Transportation Committee on the lane closures in November.
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Posted: January 8th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Port Authority | Tags: Assembly Transportation Committee, Bill Baroni, Bill Stepien, Bridgegate, Bridget Ann Kelly, Chris Christie, David Wildstein, George Washington Bridge, Loretta Weinberg, Mark Sokolich, NorthJersey.com, Port Authority of NY/NJ, Steve Fulop | 1 Comment »
N.J. Senate pulls gay marriage bill
TRENTON — State Senate Democrats have pulled from consideration a bill that would write gay marriage, already legal in New Jersey by court order, into the law books. Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said Sunday that she decided to follow the…
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Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Gay Marriage | Tags: Gay Marriage, Lamda Legal, Loretta Weinberg | Comments Off
Some members of New Jersey’s press corps, along with Senator Loretta Weinberg, Assemblyman John Wisniewski and the Democratic National Committee seem think they finally have an issue to thwart Governor Chris Christie’s rising star. They’re hoping traffic jams in Fort Lee will prevent Christie from becoming President of the United States.
The Star Ledger has an article this morning quoting Democrats and academics saying “the scandal” could hurt Chrisite’s national ambitions.
But questions about the incident have fueled a scandal that even Christie’s masterful team of brand managers can’t make go away.
The Record’s Charles Stile writes that “Christie won’t easily shake GWB flap.”
Stile and The Star Ledger’s reporters have it wrong. Christie deftly accepted “ultimate responsibility” for the mistakes made in Fort Lee last September, while deflecting blame, at his press conference on the matter on Friday. As NJTV’s Michael Aron said on Reporters Roundtable, the issue is ‘fundamentally over.” If the ‘Bridgegate’ story gets any ink at all in 2014 and beyond, it will be deep in the back pages.
It’s doubtful that the subpoenas that Wisniewski, as Chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, issued will result in any smoking gun that proves that Christie or anyone in his inner circle other than Port Authority’s Bill Baroni or David Wildstein knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures that tied up traffic in Fort Lee for a few days is September. Even if a smoking gun is discovered, as Hillary Clinton would shout, “What difference does it make?”
Now that Christie is a legitimate presidential contender, the front runner in the early polls, it is perfectly appropriate that the press and his opponents attempt to make mountains out of traffic jams and other mole hills as part of the vetting process for a president. Barack Obama got a pass from the press and his opponents in 2008 and 2012. Look what that got us.
Posted: December 15th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Baroni, Bridgegate, Charles Stile, Chris Christie, David Wildstein, George Washington Bridge, John Wisniewski, Loretta Weinberg, Michael Aron, NJTV, Port Authority, Star Ledger, The Record | 9 Comments »
Trenton Democrats’ continuing quest to turn Governor Christie’s strongest issue against him suffered a set back yesterday when AshBritt CEO Randall Perkins won over Democratic members of a Joint Legislative Oversight Committee and flummoxed presumed gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono by calling her on the political motivation of her questioning.
Facing four hours of questioning by the bi-partisan committee chaired by Senator Bob Gordon (D-Bergen), Perkins frequently praised the legislators for exercising their oversight duties, while combatively swatting back Democratic allegations of impropriety disguised as questions.
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Posted: March 9th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Barbara Buono, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, FEMA, Hurricane Sandy, NJ State Legislature, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: AshBrit, AshBritt, Barbara Buono, FEMA, Hurricane Sandy, Joe Kyrillos, Jon Bramnick, Loretta Weinberg, Ralph Caputo, Sen. Bob Gordon, Superstorm Sandy, Trenton Democrats | 9 Comments »