Emails Suggest Christie Staff Snarled Traffic For Political Revenge

Revelations could ignite a simmering scandal that threatens his presidential prospects

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Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME

Newly released documents suggest that top aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie clogged a major bridge last year in a deliberate attempt to exact retribution against a political opponent.

Emails and text messages obtained and published by the Record newspaper in northern New Jersey show senior Christie staffers discussing how to snarl traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., whose Democratic mayor declined to endorse Christie’s reelection campaign, weeks before lane closures snarled traffic on the New Jersey side of George Washington Bridge in September, causing gridlock that coincided with the first day of school.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, a senior adviser to Christie, wrote in an Aug. 13 email to David Wildstein, a Port Authority official and childhood friend of Christie’s.

“Got it,” wrote Wildstein, who resigned last month as questions about the lane closures mounted.

In a text message exchange with Wildstein, another official, whose identity is redacted in the documents, wrote that they felt “badly about the kids” struggling to get to school.

“They are the children of Buono voters,” Wildstein replied, referring to Christie’s Democratic opponent Barbara Buono, who lost in a landslide to Christie in November.
The emails are likely to ignite what had until now been only simmering questions into a full-blown political scandal that could damage the 2016 presidential hopes of Christie, a Republican thought to have his eye on a White House bid. Christie has said he had no prior knowledge of the closures, and blamed them on a traffic study. Revelations that the study was a pretext for political punishment may stoke the perception that Christie, famous for his volcanic outbursts in public, has used his office to bully political opponents in private.

Christie called the actions of his aides “unacceptable” in a statement late Wednesday.

“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable,” he said. “I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.”

41 comments
iMan93
iMan93

This same type of Bridgegatesque crime, corruption, cover-up & retaliation is standard operating procedure at the Port Authority Bus Terminal's Lost & Found Dept. in NYC concerning lost & found property brazenly stolen by Port Authority Supervisors. Google  “Donna Lebourne abc news" & see the vile face of shame being confronted & exposed for the world to see. 

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=9105280

Port Authority Supervisor Donna Lebourne also has an outside job, she is the Vice President of her & her husband’s charity Caribbean Sports International that donates cellphones & other electronics.  If you lost an item at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and did not get it back, contact her charity, perhaps she may donate your item back to you out of the kindness of her cold evil heart. It's very easy to be charitable when you are giving away someone else’s property.

http://www.corporationwiki.com/New-Jersey/Maplewood/caribbean-sports-international/85267222.aspx

http://www.gmdu.net/corp-390048.html

Also, the Port Authority of NY & NJ has become a threat to national security and has placed everyone's safety & security in jeopardy, by employing an illegal policy of disposing lost valid passports in the garbage that are found in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Now just imagine the damage that a terrorist cell could do with those valid lost passports or an identity theft ring. Google "Port Authority - Passports."  

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=9277998

http://www.my9nj.com/story/24313600/inside-the-port-authority

If the Port Authority will not prosecute and punish their own supervisors for theft, especially when they are caught redhanded, how much confidence do you have in their ability to actually put a stop to their illegal passport policy or any other crimes they uncover? The Port Authority's inaction and cover-up is tantamount to treason.

In this age of global terrorism and rampant identity theft, the Port Authority is a reckless shameful disgusting embarrassment of bi-state transportation agency when it comes to safety & security in this area. To ignore this gaffe would be a crime on all levels of local, state & federal government, who have the power to put a stop to this lunacy. 

Action must be taken against these corrupt incompetent criminals in the Port Authority before another terrorist attack takes place & more innocent lives are lost due to their utter disregard about our safety and security, not to mention their disgraceful feeling of self entitlement to patron's lost property found at the PABT. Google “found, stolen, trashed by PA.”  

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/found_stolen_trashed_by_pa_V4RMICgPyy2bhAVzDkW9EL

The culture of fear is alive and well at the Port, because crime, corruption, cover-ups & retaliation is the Port Authority way. Believe me, I know firsthand and I have the evidence to prove it. General Manager of the George Washington Bridge Robert Durando’s testimony at the New Jersey State Assembly Transportation Committee on 12/9/13 exposes the culture of fear that exists at the Port Authority, he is fully aware of what happens to whistleblowers at the Port. Sadly, Durando and his boss Cedrick Fulton, along with many other Port Authority employees decided to put tens of thousands of lives in jeopardy just to save their own jobs. They are all cowards, nothing more than highly paid puppets of the Port Authority. All of them should be fired.

http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2013/12/george_washington_bridge_direc.html

Intentionally gridlocking traffic on 9/11 for the sake of a "traffic study," a day that terrorist use to cause mayhem is absolute insanity.

It’s time to stop the madness!

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

It's almost like they think these things won't get out.

TheDers
TheDers

for those of you talking about Hillary Clinton. get this straight. Hillary Clinton would have never even thought of something so simple minded. not only that she most certainly would not have been caught. she is a professional. Governor Christie is sloppy. if you're going to be president. start getting your game together this is the big leagues Chris.

romerjt
romerjt

Cristie left the Rep. convention furious at Romney the campaign over their criticism of his speech b/c they said it was more about him than Mitt.  As the campaign went on it didn't get any better.  So, does anyone think his embrace of Obama days before the election was deliberate?  I do.


If I were a big fan of Cristie I wouldn't bet a lot on his presidential progress, I bet he can not stand scrutiny of full vetting or the pressure of 24/7 campaign which are more and more about not saying dumb things like the 47% comment.  Just sayin 

MrObvious
MrObvious

Say what you want about Christie but this matches his ego. He's a political petty bully.

zelskid1
zelskid1

Why would a man with Presidential ambition do something so petty?

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

If this is the worst thing Christie does - and let's be fair and hear his side - I am still okay with him.

Compare him to Hillary Clinton, his likely rival, and he looks like Jesus's brother.

jjrowe01
jjrowe01

how in this day and age does someone think no one will find out. Sending emails and texts?  Yeah those are totally secure and anonymous...

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

You mean the wanna be mob boss tried to run a protection racket and got caught? Cue the shocked face.

MikeHurly
MikeHurly

Americans will forget about this by next week... Who really cares about minimal manuscha like this..

TAHKICT
TAHKICT

So much for Christie’s run for president.Typical political bull$#!+ WILL NOT VOTE.

PhillyCannabis
PhillyCannabis

How could anyone vote for this Tony Saprano wannabe? What will the rest of the world think if we elect a obese jersey guy? 

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

I guess nothing to see here. Chris Agnew, I mean Christie just cancelled his one public today event citing no reason.

Of course if he gave a reason, who would believe him?

LocalCrank
LocalCrank

This should actually improve Christie's standing among Republican primary voters. Is there anything they love more than gridlock?

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

Suggest? You mean like boiling water suggests 212 degrees?

Rustyballs
Rustyballs

They are worse than little children in a playground, Taunting, teasing and bullying. Unfortunately it costs a lot of money to cope with physical hardships, by causing the delays in traffic. Hope they don't win any votes.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

Now the fire works start. Just like that senile old fool, McCain Christie thought the media are his friends. They are your friends as long as you do not run against their favorites. McCain against Obama and Christie against Hillary probably. This is just the start.

chemoelectric
chemoelectric

@zelskid1He’s from New Jersey. It is very corrupt. People get away with a great deal there for many years before being caught, if they ever are.

chemoelectric
chemoelectric

@lordoftheflyChristie’s lies about what was behind this amount to an admission of guilt (to the preponderance of the evidence, if you will). Attempts to cover up are an indication of guilt, not innocence.

jason024
jason024

@lordofthefly Hmm....when have you clowns listened to a liberal's side...right..never. BTW: He claimed to have "nothing to do with it." 

TimRobinsonAus
TimRobinsonAus

Would u still be ok if your mother or kids died waiting for emergency services delayed in traffic... Oh right sorry... Didn't affect your world did it

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@lordofthefly 

Only if Jesus was a mob boss.He put people's lives at risk since ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles ended up stuck in a traffic jam he deliberately created merely because the Mayor of Ft. Lee refused to endorse him. What would he do if president against someone he had a genuine grievance with?

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

We heard his side. Neither he, his staff, nor his campaign had anything to do the it.

Heizzzenberg
Heizzzenberg

@jjrowe01simple...it's a generational thing...most of us young people understand that electronic communication is never private or lost in space once sent. People in their 40s/50s and up using tech are actually pretty hilarious sometimes...especially in the public sector. Case in point above. Also when I see a relative "attempting" to use a smartphone or laptop...I'm not surprised by these type of headlines...they simply underestimate the power in their hands and how easy it is to use against them. Not their direct fault mind you, just raised in a completely different society.

tommyudo
tommyudo

@MikeHurly 


Hey genius, what's a "manuscha", a Czechoslovakian stew? You Christie backside munchers are really dense.

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@MikeHurly 

Agree. Aren't there bigger issues going on in this world - even in NY - to spend too much time with this?

jason024
jason024

@ReneDemonteverde So the problem is.....he was found out and you have  NO DEFENSE for his stupidity and blame the "liberal media" Figures. 

TimRobinsonAus
TimRobinsonAus

About as dumb as a dumbass who has such a limited vocabulary as to insult someone because of your own ignorance

tommyudo
tommyudo

@jason024 @ReneDemonteverde 


Christie cancelled a public appearance today so reporters wouldn't pepper him with questions. Once the damage control PR flaks are called in, Big Chris will appear and tear  a new one out of some members of the media. It's always the standard GOP response - blame the messenger.

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@tommyudo @ReneDemonteverde 

No. Chris Christie is not a joke or out of some sports bar. Maybe that's the best measurement you have for people. He is highly intelligent, educated and has leadership qualities that most people running our government in D.C. never thought of. And you sound prejudiced against people from the Northeast.

jason024
jason024

@lordofthefly@tommyudo@ReneDemonteverde He had done what exactly in Jersey? Had a no brainer photo op with Obama and....

Intelligent people do not get into petty disputes and make others lives miserable because they have thin skin. 

If you think that is a good quality to be president then you are misguided.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@lordofthefly @tommyudo @ReneDemonteverde 

What leadership qualities? Like bullying people?

No thanks - we don't need a bunch of arseholes running our political system, we have enough of them. Imagine someone like this as a president. We don't need another Nixon.

tommyudo
tommyudo

@lordofthefly


 What I am prejudiced about are the phoney tough guys. You don't know where I reside, it could be Newark or Princeton, so shut your trap. What has Christie done positive for the state other than walk beside Obama on the Jersey shore  with a knitted brow, doing what he was elected to do? Brown nosing with the Prez is part of a Gov's job description in an emergency. That's not leadership, unless you are simple-minded enough to be enthralled by a photo op.