Posted by: philipfontana | February 20, 2014

Christie: The End

The End

for

Chris Christie

55th Governor of New Jersey

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Governor Chris Christie at the 2011 Time 100 Gala held annually by Time Magazine

     Excuse us for living, but it is time for New Jersey to move on, post-Christie. Those who have objectively watched Chris Christie in action as our Governor for the past four years saw this scandalous fiasco dubbed “Bridgegate” coming. It was only a matter of time.

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     Governor Chris Christie appearing at one of his many Town Hall Meetings. He is known for his combative style at such events which has added to his fame. This one was in Union City, NJ.

     It is not my intention here to review and analyze the facts as they have unfolded about Bridgegate and other on-going inquiries. I’ve expended about as much time and energy and space here (six Christie posts) on Christie’s shenanigans over these years as I can stand. At this point, the local and national news media have well versed the citizens of New Jersey and the nation about this ever growing political debacle. – – So no one needs a rehashing of this news story here…However….

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      In an August 13, 2013 e-mail ( two weeks prior to the September 9 lane closures & traffic pictured above), “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” wrote Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly to David Wildstein, Christie’s Director of Interstate Capital Projects at the Port Authority.

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                       Governor Christie on his way in to Fort Lee’s Municipal Building to apologize to Mayor Mark Sokolich.

     I do owe a brief explanation to the global audience of this website that stretches from Canada to Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Americans, feel free to skip this paragraph! A simplified overview is that Republican Governor Chris Christie of the State of New Jersey &/or his staff members for four days closed two of the three auto lanes exiting the town of Fort Lee, New Jersey, immediately going onto the George Washington Bridge to New York City. This was done September 9-12, 2013, causing an immense traffic jam in Fort Lee and hardship to children on the opening days of school as well as people commuting to work and emergency vehicles. The act was seen as one of retribution because the Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, did not endorse Governor Christie running for re-election in the upcoming November 2013 election. The scandal has grown, suspecting political blackmail in other towns for similar political endorsements, in addition to political pressure on at least one town to approve a multi-million dollar building project and possibly withholding federal superstorm Sandy money for political reasons. At this point the New Jersey Legislature and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are trying to get at the truth of these matters;  i.e., Did Governor Christie order the lane closings or did his staff act unbeknownst to Christie? – -And so on with other scandals related to Christie as they unfold.

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                                               A photo capturing Governor Christie’s belligerent, bullying Christie style.

     So what need be said about the Governor on his downward slide? Chris Christie has put his own inimitable mark, his own spin, on everything he has touched since becoming Governor in January 2010. I started calling it the “Christie Twistie.” He has left no stone unturned and no feet untrammeled since taking office. (***See the footnote below from my June 20, 2013 post. It details the travails of the Governor’s first term, a partial listing, including his accomplishments.)

Then last June 2013, I observed that Christie was getting carried away with himself, out of control. The first incident was the first week of June. Christie orchestrated a special, separate election in October to replace our deceased U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. He did so to avoid having the popular Democrat Corey Booker running for the open seat on the same ballot in November when he was scheduled to run for re-election as Governor. Christie’s egotistical strategy was to run his winning number of votes up as a Republican without a popular Democrat on the ballot with eyes toward a presidential run in 2016.

The second red flag incident occurred in the last week of that same month of June 2013. Governor Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (Democrat, Gloucester County) conspired to propose legislation to dissolve the Rutgers University Board of Trustees & empower the Governor to appoint all 15 members of the remaining Rutgers Board of Governors. Fortunately, the legislation was stopped by cooler heads prevailing in the State Senate. It was an obvious act of revenge against the Trustees who in June 2012 had put a halt on the Governor’s reorganization plan to give the Rutgers-Camden campus over to Rowan University, both located in proximity in southern New Jersey. It was clear to me that Governor Christie was totally out of control with this attempt at revenge. This time Chris Christie had gone too far, taking “one step over the cliff,” as they say.

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     And so, in my opinion, the famous Watergate questions, “What did Christie know and when did he know it?” while legally warranted, are not necessary to establish culpability in Bridgegate. Governor Chris Christie is guilty of malfeasance (official misconduct, violation of the public trust) in the conduct of official business in the Governor’s Office. One staff member can be a scoundrel. But two and three and four or more? I smell a skunk. He physically enters his Office every day with, “How’s my New Jersey?” as the premise for himself and his staff. That includes superstorms like Sandy and it includes a four day traffic jam in Fort Lee at the George Washington Bridge as well.

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The State flag of New Jersey

     Chris Christie has violated his oath of office as Governor to uphold the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. There are only two choices; resign or impeachment. “Plausible deniability,” that Watergate strategy that the President did not know what his staff knew, will no longer work. This is not Watergate of 1972. Bridgegate of 2013 cannot wait the drip, drip, drip of facts to come out now that we have the fast paced news cycle of cable TV and on-line websites. It is already time to go, Governor Christie.

Excuse us for living, Governor, but as far as that Presidency thing is concerned, as we in “New Joisey” say, “Fagetaboutit!”

     Comments: Please!

***footnote: As Governor, Chris Christie assumes powers and takes action on things nobody knew a New Jersey governor was empowered to do constitutionally. Putting that question aside, here is a partial list of Governor Christie’s record thus far: giving away the $11 million State owned NJN TV to WNET in New York City, not fully funding New Jersey’s education budget, incorrectly filing Race to the Top federal education grant losing $400 million, halting the construction of the new Hudson River railway tunnel, creating turmoil with the appointment of State Supreme Court Justices and lower court appointments as well as Commissioners & Prosecutors, replacing members of the Highlands Commission halting preservation of this sensitive environmental area, adopting into law a quick fix to State pensions and benefits (creating collective bargaining difficulties over benefits), halting progress on the NJ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, including student test scores in teacher evaluations, cutting salaries of school superintendents, a clumsy political restructuring of Rutgers and UMDNJ. Yes, he has been a determined and effective leader in the aftermath of storm Sandy. Yes, he successfully capped New Jersey’s property taxes at 2.0%. (with ramifications for municipal, county, and school budgets and teacher salary negotiations). And yes, he expanded Medicaid opting to participate in this part of the Obamacare program (but opted not to create a State Health Insurance Exchange under Obamacare). But his efforts to put our fiscal house in order in terms of a balanced budget are more a temporary fix and overall impression than a responsible program to manage NJ’s debt on the road to future stability and genuine fiscal health. While Christie boasts a balanced budget, now required by law, in truth the State of New Jersey’s debt totals almost defy calculation and comprehension. There is a quote of a $71 billion debt for 2012, counting outstanding bonds & State pension & benefits shortfall. However, there is a whopping NJ debt figure of $281 billion for FY 2012 which accounts for everything from the $54 billion the State owes to the pension fund, post-employment benefits, Unemployment Trust Fund loans & the FY 2013 State budget gap. You can “choose your own poison” as they say!

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Responses

  1. Time to put the Rhino to bed he makes this Independent Conservative cringe! Throw the BUM out!

    • Father Eddie, Thanks Padre! As Lincoln said, “It’s not which side has God on their side, but that we be on God’s side.” And we know God does not approve of what’s been going on in New Jersey’s government. So, in your words, “Throw the bum out!” Phil

  2. Another interesting story by you my friend! I didn’t even know who this man was, but the way you write your articles always keeps me reading, even when I know nothing about the subject. You put so much research and effort in your articles! I always feel a bit more educated when I have visited your blog! 🙂
    Lots of love and hugz ♥

    • Patty, So nice of you, considering it’s a story about a little old state in the USA , New Jersey! Glad you keep reading & don’t give up on the obscure subject for a Nederlander! This was easy on the research…all in my head. Did you see the impact YOU had on my blog? Because of YOU & the people that follow you &, therefore, have taken an interest in “Excuse Us…”, I addressed my “global audience” with a paragraph of background information on the story! –All because of Patty! Now that’s saying a great deal about your affect on this one person, me! Thanks, kiddo! Phil

  3. Thank you, Phil, for your customarily well-reasoned thoughts supported by facts. As a born and raised and educated in New Jersey guy, it is with a certain sadness that I say Christie needs to go. He has elevated the much-ballyhooed NJ corrupt politics to a higher place and shames all that is good about our state.

    • Rich, Thanks for the kind comment. I had to write this for the very reasons you stated about growing up in NJ & the heightened level of corruption & shame upon our State. While he was doing the “Christie Twistie” at every turn, on every issue, putting his own stamp on everything (even the stupid NJ lottery drawings are no longer on TV due to him!), he was putting a new face, a good face on New Jersey to the nation. But people out of state did not know the truth about him. The few I spoke to over the years said they did not know the bad things I related to them. If right prevails, his authority will erode as each & every thing he tries to do is now circumspect. He will then be forced to resign. Thanks, my friend! Phil

  4. and then there’s obama and the democrats who are destroying america turning it into a socialist country so we can all stand on a bread line begging for a morsel

    wake up America…here are the real issues

    • Hey, Hocus! Do some reading about socialism. From time to time in American history there have been different means to accomplish the redistribution of wealth.; e.g., the GI Bill, the Great Society programs of LBJ. Without them we would have revolution. How did you like the Christie article? Phil

  5. Sofar I have briefly skimmed the article but as a big fan of Comedy Central I have already seen enough of the man to extend my congratulations to the inhabitants of the state of New Jersey. I doubt that whomever follows up this man can’t possibly be worse. Gonna read it a bit better later on when I isilenced the growling of my stomach

    • Thanks so much for taking the time & interest in my Christie post! The irony is to see a person up so high you know he is about to fall & then your prophecy comes to pass! And again the next irony is that such a person does not resign & go quietly away but proceeds to let himself be dragged through his own mud grasping on to his fading power as if it too will not end. Phil

  6. Favorite quote ” got carried away with himself”. I mean.. who else could carry him away? but I digress…Just more Jersey politics as (un) usual.

  7. John R, Good comments & thanks! Love your humor on my line! Yes, New Jersey politics infamous & now disastrous! Appreciate you saying so much in few words….a talent! Phil

  8. This dude comes across corrupt and well informed on Crime..
    Wouldn’t surprise me if he had connections to the mob.

    Good read Phil!!

    • Shaun, He certainly acts like a mobster! And he is half Sicilian!!!!!! Prior to being Governor, he was the US Federal Prosecutor for New Jersey. Thanks, Shaun! Phil

      • Not surprised to hear that!!!

        Ta bud

  9. Ah, pension fund deficits. The City of San Diego knows them well. The Pension Fund Scandal (it has a name!) resulted in the resignation of the San Diego Mayor and the whole pension fund board. Unfortunately, it also resulted in a total idiot being elected as City Attorney, who did his best to destroy what was left of the pension fund.

  10. Russel, San Diego’s pension saga…a story I did not know!!! Thanks! Phil

  11. Phil, this is very interesting. Lots I didn’t know. I have to admit have been taken in by Christie’s charm! Or anit-charm. . .

  12. Annet, Thanks. Many out-of-staters are taken in by Christie until they read or talk to someone from New Jersey. Then they say, “Oh, I didn’t know that!” And there is A WHOLE LOT TO KNOW ABOUT HIM that is very negative & getting worse. Phil

  13. I agree completely about talking to someone who is really aware of the situation. Husband’s first job was in a architectural office in Baltimore. There was a trash strike and the nightly news found a rat running from a pile of trash and broadcast that “rats were running the the streets of Baltimore!” We got calls from all the relatives. Husband worked right downtown and never saw a rat! that was very interesting and enlightening ~ Seems to me they are all rascals ! Anne

  14. Anne, What a story about your husband in Baltimore & the “rats in the news” story!!! We must all search for facts & truth, right???!!! Phil

  15. There just seems always a touch of truth and then lots of assumptions that may or may not be true. You sound like a wonderful, inspiring teacher. . .

  16. Anne, Thanks! My father wanted me to be a lawyer to the point that I was into the 2nd semester, year one, of law school when I was drafted & sent to Vietnam. At that point I had not been a teacher. But I won the “argument” with my father & became a teacher upon my return from Vietnam. I like to say that I would have been a good lawyer but I was A GREAT TEACHER!!!….Social Studies grades 6,7,8. Glorious years, half my career, & then the other half as a principal. Phil


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