DESPITE THE EVIDENCE CHRISTIE SAYS LANE CLOSURE SCANDAL ‘NOT THAT BIG A DEAL’
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s arrogance and secrecy about his administration’s role in the George Washington Bridge lane closure reached new heights Thrusday as Christie dismissed the scandal that is already defining his second term even before January’s oath of office, calling it “not that big a deal.”
Christie continues to dismiss the scandal, refuses to answer simple questions and refuses to provide evidence of a traffic study or other proof of why his administration closed the lanes. Christie continues stonewalling despite the intensifying investigations and the condemnatory 105-day timeline of events that followed.
- September 6: “The Port Authority’s director of interstate capital projects, David Wildstein, orders the bridge’s general manager to carry out the closures.”
- September 9 to 13: “After the two local lanes handling Fort Lee traffic were closed, cars and trucks quickly clogged streets used by local travelers to reach the bridge and New York City. Local officials said the backup led to long delays for Fort Lee buses traveling for the first day of school Monday.”
- September 13: The Herald News was the first to report on the lane closure. In the story the Fort Lee mayor is quoted: “I’ve asked the Port Authority for an explanation, but they haven’t responded… I thought we had a good relationship. Now I’m beginning to wonder if there’s something I did wrong. Am I being sent some sort of message?” The story also said that the tipsters had suggested that the closure was retribution.
- September 17 “A spokesman for the Christie administration referred questions to the Port Authority. A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said the agency has no jurisdiction over the toll lanes and wasn’t involved with any traffic study. Amid the controversy, there was even speculation that the closures could be retribution for Mr. Sokolich’s decision not to endorse Mr. Christie in his re-election bid in November. The Christie campaign has received endorsements from at least 48 elected Democrats across the state, including 17 mayors.”
- November 20: “With the threat of subpoenas, [New Jersey Assemblyman John] Wisniewski requests that top Port Authority officials including Baroni, Foye and Wildstein testify before the transportation panel about the closures.”
- November 27: “Wisniewski subpoenas Foye to testify before the Assembly committee, and Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex) writes a letter to Port Authority Inspector General Robert Van Etten requesting an investigation into the lane closures.”
- December 6: “But on Friday, the man who ordered the closings — a high school friend of the governor’s who was a small-town mayor and the founder of an anonymous political blog before Mr. Christie’s appointee created a job for him at the Port Authority — resigned, saying the issue had become “a distraction.”
- December 10: “The inspector general’s office of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said today it will investigate September’s controversial closing of local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.”
- December 13: “Bill Baroni resigned Dec. 13 as deputy executive director, following the resignation of David Wildstein as director of interstate capital projects for the agency, amid controversy over an order to close lanes of the George Washington Bridge.”
- December 16: U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee On Commerce, Science And Transportation, which has oversight the interstate port authority, launches an investigation of Christie’s lane closure scandal.
- December 18: News breaks that Christie’s political allies and appointees to the Port Authority who both resigned following the lane-closure scandal have hired criminal defense attorneys.
- December 19: CHRISTIE SAYS IT IS ALL “NOT THAT BIG A DEAL”
- NOW: It’s #timetorespond