Bridgegate

“I willingly drank the Kool-Aid”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Bridgegate, the lane-closure scandal that directly implicated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a political conspiracy to punish a local Democratic mayor who refused to endorse him, appears to be over.

Christie's life-long associate and former Port Authority director David Wildstein was sentenced yesterday, but he won't be going to jail.

He faced 21 to 27 months in prison under a plea agreement, but federal prosecutors asked that he only get probation after his testimony helped convict former Christie staffer Bridget Kelly and Wildstein's former supervisor, former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni. [...]

"All three of us put our faith in a man who neither earned it nor deserved it," Wildstein said in court of the three charged and Christie. "I willingly drank the Kool-Aid of a man I'd known since I was 15 years old."

Wildstein, Kelly, and Baroni all testified that Chris Christie himself knew all about the bridge lane closures and Wildstein testified that he and Christie shared a big laugh about it on the 12th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Attorneys for Kelly and Baroni even displayed pictures of Wildstein and Christie sharing a laugh about it in court. Kelly also testified that she told Christie about the lane closures beforehand.

But Kelly and Baroni are the only ones may serve jail time for it.

I wouldn't say I necessarily have sympathy for them and I wouldn't say they're innocent, but this doesn't feel like justice. Seemingly everyone in the proverbial room knows Chris Christie is guilty, but he's sunning himself on a private beach while ditching his official duties to audition for a sports radio hosting gig. Christie threw his entire inner circle including a life-long friend under the bus so he could run for president.

Christie's approval rating is currently 15 percent, the lowest approval rating of any governor in New Jersey history.

Kelly and Baroni are appealing their sentences.

  • muselet

    Chris Christie’s concept of loyalty is similar to a Mafioso’s concept of loyalty: a quality that flows upward in a hierarchy, but not necessarily downward.

    My sympathies for David Wildstein, Birdget Kelly and Bill Baroni are limited, but it strains credulity to claim—as Christie’s lawyers do—they shut down the George Washington Bridge on their own.

    Luckily, Christie has as much chance of moving up the political food chain as he does of becoming a jockey. And if people don’t hate-listen to his sports radio show, maybe he’ll be reduced to bagging groceries at the A&P to keep himself in deep-fried Snickers bars.

    –alopecia

    • Draxiar

      “Chris Christie’s concept of loyalty is similar to a Mafioso’s concept of loyalty: a quality that flows upward in a hierarchy, but not necessarily downward.”
      Sounds like trump’s concept of loyalty.

  • Aynwrong

    The last few years of American politics have been sickening. All the worst actors have been rewarded for the worst behavior. Christie at least only got away with it.

    I’m not a sports fan by any stretch but if were I would never be able to listen to this loud mouthed thug.

  • Why haven’t charges been brought against Christie?

    • ninjaf

      This.

    • JMAshby

      The local municipal prosecutor refused to pursue charges against Christie, claiming he couldn’t prove anything.

      A county judge ruled in favor of a citizen complaint to file charges against Christie, but then a state supreme court judge struck that down on a technicality.

      That’s where it was left at.