Fort Lee Fiasco — Follow the Money (and the Political Donations)

By Max Pizarro | January 22nd, 2014

 

FORT LEE – Ever since the infamous "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" memo, the state's political class has buzzed with theories about a motive.

The original theory – that it was retribution for Mayor Mark Sokolich's failure to endorse Gov. Chris Christie's re-election – created more questions.

The theory posited by MSNBC's Steve Kornacki and advanced by Brian Murphy (former reporters at this website) – suggests that the motive for BridgeGate connects to a development project in Fort Lee called Hudson Lights.

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Newark volatility: establishment pressures mount on mayoral candidate Ramos

By Max Pizarro | January 22nd, 2014

 

Newark politics continues under the siege of statewide headlines, and at the center of it stands North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos attempting to make a decision about his political future.

Mayoral candidate Ramos faces panicking donors who in an advantage African-American city do not think the Latino can defeat South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, but are convinced Ramos can be Newark’s kingmaker.

Allies this week continue to advise him to pull out of the May nonpartisan contest to back former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries.

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Bridge scandal made Dawn Zimmer's Hoboken story believable: Editorial

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on January 20, 2014

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno told her last May to approve a redevelopment plan for the Rockefeller Group, which has ties to friends of Gov. Chris Christie, or lose millions in Hurricane Sandy aid. Guadagno and others in the Christie administration have denied Zimmer's accusations. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

 

Had Dawn Zimmer told her story last May – that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno threatened to hold Hoboken’s hurricane aid hostage unless the mayor signed off on a pet construction project – would anyone have listened?

Not likely. If a Democratic mayor accused the Republican incumbent of playing politics with Hurricane Sandy money – while the governor was knee-deep in a re-election campaign – Zimmer’s allegations would have been dismissed as election-year shenanigans. Her word against Gov. Chris Christie’s.

We’ve all seen how Christie treats those who cross him.

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Lieutenant Governor Calls Hoboken Mayor’s Claims ‘Illogical’

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U.S. Attorney Said to Meet With Hoboken Mayor

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For Christie and MSNBC, a Messy Divorce Plays Out in Public View

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Volatility in Governor's Office sparks political questions in Essex

By PolitickerNJ Staff | January 18th, 2014

In the event of a statewide shakeup, the brutal political war between powerful Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and fellow Essex Democrat state Sen. Dick Codey (D-27) could come to a head in a special Democratic Party Primary.

The two men despise each other.

A former Senate president, Codey holds DiVincenzo responsible for cutting the deal with South Jersey Democrats which dethroned Codey in 2009.

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Mayor of Hoboken Says Hurricane Relief Was Threatened

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A Hiring by Christie Raises Questions Over Cooperation

By Kate Zernike

The New York Times

Jan. 17, 2014

Gov. Chris Christie speaking on Thursday in Manahawkin, N.J. His administration has hired Randy M. Mastro, a longtime associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, to help cooperate with a legislative investigation. Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

TRENTON — As the New Jersey Assembly voted unanimously on Thursday to authorize an investigation into abuses of power by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, Mr. Christie seemed to be maneuvering against the inquiry, hiring a high-powered defense lawyer and resisting questions about whether he would cooperate with the Legislature’s efforts.

The investigative panel created by the Assembly issued subpoenas to 17 individuals and three organizations that members believe may be able to answer why Mr. Christie’s deputy chief of staff gave the signal to close lanes onto the George Washington Bridge in September in an act of political punishment.

Mr. Christie’s administration announced that it had hired Randy M. Mastro, a longtime associate of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York City, to conduct an internal review and cooperate with the investigation announced last week by the United States attorney’s office into the lane closings, which gridlocked emergency vehicles, commuters and school buses in Fort Lee, N.J., for four days.

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Christie and Springsteen: A Tale of Devotion, and a Very Public Snub

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