Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Daily News telling it like it is
In a marathon press conference today, the Governor of New Jersey threw his deputy chief of staff under the bus, saying that she was fired for ordering the closure of traffic lanes on the GW bridge to New York city to punish the local democratic mayor for not endorsing the governor in his reelection bid.

Christie claims he only learned about the incriminating emails/texts yesterday. That would mean that not only did his Deputy Chief of Staff and Port Authority appointee lie to him repeatedly since September, they didn't even tell him after the emails/texts were turned over to investigators two weeks ago.  Does he really expect any rational person to believe that?

Two other appointees were forced to resign over this incident weeks ago, and daily press stories were claiming that emails/documents turned over to investigators were incriminating for his administration.  But he says he didn't know those documents even existed until yesterday??? Has he been living in a cave for the past two weeks?

At that time (two weeks ago) Christie said his staff had given him a "full briefing" on the investigation.  Want to know how the governor of New Jersey conducted that briefing?   He gathered everyone at an "all hands" meeting just one hour before a press conference and announced the following:

 If there is any information that you know about the decision to close these lanes in Fort Lee, you have one hour to tell either my chief of staff, Kevin O'Dowd, or my chief counsel, Charlie McKenna.

 And I told them that in an hour I was going to go out in a press conference. And if no one gave me other information to the contrary that I was going to say that no one on my staff was involved in this matter.

This does not even come close to being a serious investigation!  What sane person would think any staffer would come forward just minutes before a press conference and contradict the storyline that your boss clearly wants to convey?  I'll tell you what this flimsy-ass "briefing" was-- a classic bullying session.  And one that's cleverly designed  to give Christie plausible deniability with no paper trail attached. 

Although Christie once denied being a bully, it's now obvious that the culture of the governor's office is nothing but outright intimidation and bullying.  Why else would his top aides feel comfortable fucking over some small-town mayor (and thousand of commuters to boot) over a meaningless irrelevant endorsement?

Remember that bullying incident where he screamed at the school teacher during his campaign? The video of that incident wasn't caught by someone working for his rival--  it was taken by a Christie staffer, and posted online by his own campaign. They were actually proud of the fact that their candidate bullied a civil servant.   Given that Christie once boasted that "for better or for worse, this staff will reflect my personal style of leadership and decision-making," we now know that to be absolutely true-- petty, vindictive and bullying.

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