Over the weekend, a former New Jersey-based journalist named Brian Murphy appeared on Up with Steve Kornacki and postulated a reason why the Chris Christie administration orchestrated a conspiracy to close toll lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, causing a massive four-day traffic jam.
It might be the best theory so far. Murphy, who, like Kornacki, once unknowingly worked for David Wildstein, theorized that the lane closures were intended to stymie a multi-billion dollar land development deal, known as “Hudson Lights,” that Fort Lee Mayor Mike Sokolich was busily closing back in August. The land in question is located within spitting distance of the toll for the GWB. If the toll lanes were closed permanently, the traffic nightmare would jeopardize the deal.
More than any other theory, this is a solid and direct way for the Christie cronies to screw with Sokolich. Kill the Fort Lee development deal by deliberately making the existing infrastructure unacceptable. Clever. And dastardly, given the unprecedented traffic jam at an already traffic-heavy toll.
Meanwhile, other Jew Jersey mayors have stepped forward with their own stories about alleged Christie administration retribution. Via WNYC:
–The mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer, was asked to endorse Christie, and when she refused, a Hurricane Sandy relief state grant the city had applied for to the tune of $100 million was approved — for a sum total of $300,000. Not nearly enough for the city, which had been 80 percent submerged during the flood.
–The Christie administration also might’ve retaliated against Mayor Chris Bollwage of Elizabeth, New Jersey when legislators there opposed several Christie proposals in Trenton. Shortly thereafter, the only DMV in Elizabeth, the fourth largest city in the state, was closed. (You might recognize Elizabeth as the setting for The Sopranos.)
What’s most striking and eerily consistent about all of these stories is, to me, the centerpiece of the entire scandal. Specifically, it’s the ugly, emotionless way in which the Christie administration has deliberately hurt average, innocent New Jersey residents in its effort to exact its petty Neo-Cosa-Nostra vengeance.
As we follow the increasingly harrowing details of the scandal, it’s important to maintain an acute focus on this critical aspect of the story: the collateral damage, the civilian casualties… [CONTINUE READING]