Breaking Up PA Would Solve Christie’s Transportation Trust Fund Problem

Breaking Up PA Would Solve Christie’s Transportation Trust Fund Problem (via NJSpotlight)

Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to dismantle the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in order to give each state control more than $1.3 billion in annual tolls would solve his biggest fiscal headache: where to find $1.6 billion a year in state…

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Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Port Authority | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Conflicting reports on Bridgegate emails

The Star Ledger is reporting that David Wildstein, Governor Christie’s former “eyes and ears” at the Port Authority of NY/NJ sent an email to Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Ann Kelly, that read “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” on August 13, almost a month before the infamous lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that snarled traffic in Fort Lee for a week.

The New York Times says the email was sent by Kelly to Wildstein, which, if true, could be problematic for the Governor who has insisted that neither his staff or campaign had anything to do with or any advanced knowledge of the lane closures that Democrats have alleged were order as political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for declining to endorse Christie’s reelection.

Both the Star Ledger and the New York Times say they have the email in question, and other documents, but they have not posted the documents online.

Neither publication reveals any of the content of the email or other documents other than “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

Without a more thorough examination of the documents, it is impossible to conclude if Kelly had any involvement in or foreknowledge of the lane closures.  That won’t stop the left stream media from having a field day with them today, however.

Posted: January 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Bridgegate: What difference does it make?

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 Roundtablethe 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: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The Buck Stops With Christie


Governor Christie: I wouldn’t characterize myself as angry Matt. It just you know, I don’t like when mistakes are made, because of the question you asked me, right? Like, are you ultimately responsible? Yeah. I mean it’s OK when I make the mistakes, you know, that I’m responsible. When others make the mistakes I’m you know, it bothers me. But I think anger would probably be a little bit too strong a word. Bothered probably would be the better word, you know? I was bothered by it but, you know, folks around here – when I’m angry you tend to be able to see it. I don’t hide it all that well. I’m not angry but I’m bothered when people make mistakes that wind up reflecting poorly on their performance, because their performance is the performance of this Administration, and so I’d rather have us all doing things well, and so I’m bothered whenever that happens. But, you know, as I said before, I commend Senator Baroni for his service, for his four years there. I know how hard that job is and he worked very hard at it. So did Mr. Wildstein at the job he had and, you know, it’s unfortunate for them that a mistake got made near the end of their tenure but, you know, that’s just the way life works sometimes and no, I wouldn’t call myself angry, but bothered, yeah. I mean, I’d rather not be doing this, but, you know, this is the job. So, you know, when you lead this is what you’ve got to deal with sometimes, but other times, you know, I’m standing behind here when the folks that work for me have done extraordinary things, herculean things, that I get to smile and stand here and put my arms around them and take credit for it. So if you’re going to do that you got to be prepared to do this too, and that’s OK. I’m a big boy. I can handle it.

 

Posted: December 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Meet Deborah Gramiccioni


Governor Christie: I am sending to the Port Authority somebody who has been one of my most trusted friends and advisors for the last ten years, and my instruction to her is the instruction that I have given to her in every task I’ve asked her to undertake for me, to use her best judgment, to put integrity first, and to make sure that she makes the tough decisions that need to be made in order to make sure that the taxpayers of this state and in the case of the Port Authority, the toll payers of the region are protected and respected. I want to thank Senator Baroni for his four years of service to the people of the state and of the region, and I look forward to changes that will result from Deb’s leadership along with Chairman Samson and the other Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. So I’m going to introduce Deb to make some remarks and then I’ll come back to take your questions. Thanks Deb.

 

Deborah Gramiccioni: I would just like to thank the Governor for his continued faith in me. It has been an honor to work for the Governor the past ten years, first as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, then as director of the Authorities Unit and now as Deputy Chief of Staff. I also want to thank my policy team. I’m going to miss all of you, and I’m ready to get to work.

 

Posted: December 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Baroni Is Edged Out Of Port Authority

Governor Chris Christie has announced that former State Senator Bill Barnoni has resigned as Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of NY/NJ.

Deborah Gramiccioni has been tapped to replace Baroni.  Gramiccioni is a long time Christie staffer, going back to his tenure as U.S. Attorney.  She is the wife of Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Christie said he had been planning to the change ” a while back.” He said that Baroni offered his resignation and he accepted given the “distraction” over ‘Bridgegate.”

Christie said that Baroni had acknowledged that ” a mistake was made” regarding the George Washington Bridge closure last September, and that Baroni has taken responsibility for it.

Deborah Gramiccioni

Posted: December 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Port Authority | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Governor Christie Press Conference At 11 AM

There will be ‘Bridgegate’ questions

Governor Chris Christie has called a press conference for 11am this morning to announce personnel changes in his administration.

‘Bridgegate’, the controversy over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge last September, will likely be the hot topic the press corps wants to talk about, unless Christie declares the press conference ‘on topic’ or restricted to questions about his new appointments or nominations.  Christie has done this on occasion and then lambasted reporters who asked off topic questions.  Any reporter who lets him get away with that today, if he tries it, will deserve to be called an idiot.

Democrats are alleging that the lane closures were political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, for failing to endorse Christie’s reelection.

At his press conference on December 2 announcing Kevin O’Dowd’s nomination to be State Attorney General, Christie blew off questions about the GWB lane closures by joking that he was incognito, moving the cones to close the lanes.  But his joke did not satisfy Assemblyman John Wisniewski who is acting as if he finally has an issue with which to take down Christie, politically.

Christie’s men at the Port Authority, the bi-state agency that manages the GWB, said the lane closures were part of a traffic study. David Wildstein ordered the closure/study and has resigned.  Bill Baroni gave testimony to Wisniewski’s Assembly Transportation Committee justifying the study.  Wisniewski called Baroni’s testimony “less than truthful.”   New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s guy at the Port Authority, Executive Director Patrick Foye, threw Wildstein and Barnoni under a bus in his testimony before Wisniewski’s committee.  Wisniewski has called for Baroni’s resignation and has subpoenaed emails and memos from Port Authority.

The issue is beginning to get legs in the national political press as a possible threat to Christie’s 2016 presidential prospects.  A pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC is producing ads on the issue.

Tune in at 11 to see if Christie can put this issue behind him before it becomes a distraction to his second term, his chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association and to his 2016 presidential prospects.

UPDATE: BARONI RESIGNED.

 

Watch live streaming video from governorchrischristie at livestream.com
Posted: December 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Opinion: Can the Democrats Cash in on George Washington ‘Bridgegate’?

Opinion: Can the Democrats Cash in on George Washington ‘Bridgegate’? (via NJSpotlight)

By any measure, the last four years of Democratic control of the Legislature yielded the party little political benefit. But the Democrats may be able to recover some lost ground, courtesy of what started as a hellacious tie-up on the George Washington…

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Posted: December 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: NJNewsCommons, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Announce Reopening of World Trade Center and Exchange Place PATH Service on Monday, November 26

Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that weekday PATH service will resume to Lower Manhattan along the World Trade Center line beginning Monday, November 26 at 5 a.m.

The World Trade Center PATH line will run Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., with stops in New Jersey at Newark, Harrison, Journal Square, Grove Street and Exchange Place and in New York at the World Trade Center. Disabled access will be available at Newark and World Trade Center.

Floodwater from the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy had inundated the World Trade Center station, covering its track bed with several feet of water. Port Authority PATH crews have worked around the clock to remove millions of gallons of water from the tracks and platforms and also to fix and replace damaged switching and signal systems as quickly as possible. Weekend service will not yet be available to enable crews to continue the remaining necessary repair work.

The restored service to the World Trade Center will be in addition to the PATH service currently running from Newark in New Jersey to 33rd Street in New York. That line is running seven days a week between the hours of 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and includes stops in New Jersey at Newark, Harrison, Journal Square, Grove Street and Newport stations and stops in New York at 9th, 14th, 23rd and 33rd Street. Once service resumes at the World Trade Center on Monday, service on the 33rd Street line will resume running between Journal Square and 33rd Street and will make all station stops including Christopher Street in Manhattan.

Weekend service on the Journal Square to 33rd Street line extends to Harrison and Newark in New Jersey. Disabled passengers have access to the platforms at Newark, Journal Square, Newport and 33rd Street.

Service at the Hoboken station, which saw unprecedented and widespread flooding remains suspended due to the fact vital switching equipment was destroyed and cannot be salvaged. Crews are working 24/7 to replace the signal equipment and restore communications in the tunnels, a process that is expected to take several weeks.

To provide additional mass transit options from Hoboken to Manhattan, the Port Authority and New Jersey Transit are operating a ferry service from the Hoboken Ferry Terminal. NJ Transit customers will now be able to take a bus to the Hoboken Ferry Terminal and then transfer to a ferry that will take passengers to Pier 79 at 39th street in Manhattan. The fare is $5 and ferries will run back and forth between Hoboken and Manhattan from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Free shuttle buses will be provided from Pier 79 to midtown Manhattan.

Passengers who normally use the Hoboken station to get to Manhattan can also choose to make the ten minute walk to the Newport station, or take advantage of several other ferry and bus alternatives. Ferry service to Lower Manhattan is available from Liberty State Park and to Midtown Manhattan from Weehawken, New Jersey. In addition, NJ Transit has increased the number of No. 106 buses from Hoboken to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in both directions.

For up-to-date information on PATH service, visit the Port Authority’s website at www.panynj.gov/path/and follow them on Twitter @PATHTweet.

Posted: November 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy, PATH, Port Authority, Press Release | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Democratic Laundromat: Wisniewski’s Washing and Spinning

By Harold Kane and Art Gallagher

The legal money laundering of Assemblyman John Wisniewski in Middlesex County has been in the news this month as Politickernj and The Star Ledger brought to light the how Middlesex Democrats are circumventing state and local pay to pay laws by having government vendors, primarily the Middlesex based CME engineering firm, fund campaigns through PACs when the campaign finance laws prohibited contributions directly to the campaigns in jurisdictions where they were earning large fees.

Wisniewski, of Sayreville, is the Chairman of the State Democratic Party and the Assembly Transportation Committee. 

Despite the fact that the PACs are run by his former staff members and fund campaigns in his district and county, Wisniewski says he has nothing to do with them.  If that is true, the State Democratic Committee needs a new chairman.  If it’s not true, the Democrats still should get a new chairman and the people of the 19th legislative district should elect a new Assemblyman.

Also in the news this month are the guilty pleas of insurance broker Frank Gartland of Federal Hill Risk Management.  Gartland plead guilty to giving $2 million in bribes to Toms River School Superintendent Michael Ritacco, and to theft by deception and money laundering for bilking the Perth Amboy Board of Education, an Abbott district, out of more than $2 million.

Gartland also admitted to making illegal contributions to the campaigns of former Assemblyman and former Perth Amboy Mayor Joe Vas through “straw” contributors.  Vas is now serving a 6 ½  year sentence for funneling illegal money from a real estate scheme into his unsuccessful 2006 congressional campaign.  Vas was Wisniewski’s running mate and they represented the 19th district together in the Assembly from 2004-2009.

While all of this bribery, stealing and money laundering was going on, Gartland and his associates were also donating heavily to the Middlesex County PACS that Wisniewski says he has nothing to do with.

All information from NJ ELEC

 

 

     

 

 

 
Democracy in Motion PAC

 

 

12 Deerfield Road

 

 

Sayreville, NJ  08872

 

 

democrat org

 

 

Christina Montorio – Treasurer

 

 

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Frank Gartland

1/16/2009

$3,200.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Frank Gartland

10/16/2008

$4,000.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Frank Gartland

10/24/2008

$3,200.00

     
New Expectations PAC

 

 

2 Lincoln Highway, ste 511

 

 

Edison, NJ  08820

 

 

other ongoing cmte

 

 

Denise Anstett – Treasurer

 

 

AST Development – Robert D’Anton

1/7/2009

$5,000.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Diana Gartland

1/7/2009

$4,666.00

 

 

 

Cmte for  Efficiency in Government PAC

 

 

11 Barton Road

 

 

Mountain Lakes, NJ  07046

 

 

other ongoing

 

 

Michael Revolinsky – Treasurer

 

 

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Victor Bramble

10/20/2008

$1,300.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Diana Gartland

10/20/2008

$2,400.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – John Hope

10/20/2008

$2,400.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt -  Victor Bramble

8/15/2007

$2,000.00

Dynamic Claims Mngt

8/15/2007

$1,000.00

E-Administrative Systems

8/15/2007

$1,000.00

Dynamic Claims Mngt

10/17/2007

$2,000.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Diana Gartland

10/17/2007

$2,000.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Derek Johnson

10/17/2007

$3,000.00

 

 

 

Women for Good Government PAC

 

 

PO Box 11434

 

 

New Brunswick, NJ  08906

 

 

idealogical pac

 

 

Deborah Celey – Treasurer

 

 

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Frank Gartland

10/22/2008

$2,600.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Diana Gartland

2/9/2009

$4,666.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Robert D’Anton

2/9/2009

$5,000.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Diana Gartland

10/30/2008

$4,666.00

AST Development – Robert D’Anton

10/30/2008

$5,000.00

 

 

 

Raritan Bay Leadership Fund

 

 

251 Livingston Avenue

 

 

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

 

 

idealogical pac

 

 

David Lonski – Treasurer

 

 

Federal Hill Risk Mngt

1/19/2006

$2,000.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Diana Gartland

1/28/2009

$4,666.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Frank Gartland

1/17/2008

$2,600.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Diana Gartland

10/30/2008

$4,666.00

 

 

 

Committee for Civic Responsibility

 

 

PO Box 184

 

 

Kendall Park, NJ  08824

 

 

68 Old Road, Princeton, NJ 08540

 

 

civic association

 

 

Bharat Patel – Treasurer

 

 

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Derek Johnson

6/9/2009

$2,500.00

 

 

 

19th District Democratic Leadership Fund

 

 

13 Zaleski Drive

 

 

Sayreville, NJ  08872

 

 

Michael D’Addio – Treasurer

 

 

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Frank Gartland

1/16/2009

$3,200.00

Federal Hill Risk Mngt – Frank Gartland

10/16/2008

$4,000.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$82,730.00

 

Wisniewski and Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, a former Republican State Senator, got into it this week over the PACS and Wisniewski using his authority as chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee to issue subpoenas requiring that Port Authority executives appear before his committee.  Baroni accused Wisniewski of a “shakedown” because CME did not receive preferential treatment while pitching their engineering services to Port Authority.

In response, Wisniewski said “the truth is an expendable commodity” for the “Christie character assassination team”

Let’s see some truth from Wisniewski regarding these PACS, including what quid pro quo Gartland received for his “contributions.”

Posted: April 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Pay-to-play | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »