Tag Archive: Chris Christie

Murdoch: ‘More stuff coming out’ to hobble Chris Christie’s 2016 hopes

News Corp boss, hosted by Rand Paul, attends Kentucky Derby and hints at his thoughts for Republican presidential field

rupert murdoch
Rupert Murdoch talked about the race he cares most about at the race Americans cared about Saturday. Photograph: Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images

The main business of the day on Saturday was America’s most famous horse race. It was also a chance for Rupert Murdoch to check out the Kentucky Derby.

Murdoch, the media boss and Republican party kingmaker, cast his view over the GOP presidential field on Saturday and thought some mounts looked stronger than others. In particular, Murdoch thought New Jersey governor Chris Christie, hobbled this winter by an abuse-of-power scandal, looked weak down the stretch.

“He’ll be a very strong, fighting candidate in the primaries, but there will be more and more stuff coming out, I think,” Murdoch told New York Times reporter Jason Horowitz in a private suite at Churchill Downs in Kentucky, as Derby Day went on below. “Not him but, you know, on his aides. There will be more stories.”


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Christie declares state of emergency ahead of storm

Tuesday, February 04, 2014
state of emergency
  Eyewitness News

In anticipation of the severe winter weather expected to arrive in New Jersey late Tuesday and early Wednesday, Governor Chris Christie declared a State of Emergency.

The state of emergency authorizes the State Director of Emergency Management to continue coordinating the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm with all county and municipal emergency operations and governmental agencies. Governor Christie also authorized the closing of state offices on Wednesday, February 5th for all non-essential employees.

“Tonight’s winter weather is expected to produce snow and ice, creating hazardous travel conditions and affecting areas throughout the state that are already recovering from yesterday’s storm,” said Governor Christie. “I’ve authorized state officials to continue all necessary actions to assist, and my Administration will continue monitoring conditions throughout the remainder of the storm. I encourage all New Jerseyans to drive carefully and remain off the roads if possible so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations.”

The storm is expected to continue into Wednesday afternoon, bringing additional snow and ice to areas that experienced significant snowfall during Monday’s storm. A potential mixture of hazardous travel conditions, fallen trees, power outages and flooding are anticipated.

New Jersey Transit has adjusted its service schedule for Wednesday and advised riders to build additional time into their travel plans.

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Image: Chris Christie in Fort Lee to meet Mayor Mark Sokolich.

Chris Christie in Fort Lee to meet Mayor Mark Sokolich. (Spencer Platt / Getty)

Christie, ex-official clash over when governor learned of bridge lane closings

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office denied he knew anything ahead of time about an operation to jam traffic on the George Washington Bridge. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the official who ordered the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year clashed Friday over precisely when Christie learned about the controversial incident.

In a letter to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (.pdf), a lawyer for David Wildstein — the Port Authority official who actually ordered the event — says “evidence exists tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the Governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.”

In a statement Friday afternoon, Christie’s office said that rather than call Christie’s behavior into question, the letter “confirms what the Governor has said all along — he had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein’s motivations were for closing them to begin with.”

Christie’s statement goes on to say he denies “Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer’s other assertions,” which primarily have to do with Wildstein’s attempt to force the Port Authority to pay his legal bills.

The main disagreement appears to stem from the sequence of events.

In his statement Friday, Christie said he didn’t know about what’s come to be known as “Bridgegate” beforehand. In his Jan. 9 news conference — the one Wildstein alludes to — he said that “I had no knowledge of this — of the planning, the execution or anything about it — and that I first found out about it after it was over.”

Christie doubled down on that assertion late Friday night. In a statement issued to “clear up any lingering confusion,” a spokesman said, “Governor Christie has said each time he has been asked that he first learned about the closing of the lanes on the George Washington Bridge from press accounts after the instance was over.”

It’s that second contention that Wildstein contradicts in his letter, saying flat-out that Christie knew about the incident as it was jamming traffic between New York and New Jersey from Sept. 9 to Sept. 12.

“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the Governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter says — although it gives no hint of what that evidence might be.

A new allegation claims New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sanctioned a road closure as political payback. NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports.

Wildstein’s letter was first reported Friday by The New York Times and subsequently obtained by NBC News.

Christie — who’s considered a serious contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination — has repeatedly denied having ordered the closing of two of three local access lanes from Fort Lee, N.J., to the bridge, which is one of the busiest in the world. The closing froze traffic for four days — allegedly in retaliation over the mayor’s refusal to endorse him in the 2013 governor’s race.

It’s the latest piece in a puzzle that has been emerging over the past few months of Christie as a swaggering political bully.

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Christie’s Office Attacks Motives of Former Ally’s Lawyer’s Claims

Feb. 1, 2014 9:01 p.m. ET

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has attacked the motives of a former ally whose attorney claims the GOP presidential hopeful knew of highly disruptive lane closures on a New York area bridge as they were going on, contrary to the governor’s previous statements.

Mr. Christie’s office challenged the claims of his former associate, David Wildstein, in a public statement on Saturday. “Bottom line—David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” said the message, first reported by Politico and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrived on stage Saturday during the Super Bowl Hand-Off Ceremony on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square in New York. Reuters

Mr. Wildstein’s attorney Alan Zegas in the letter released to the Port Authority and the media on Friday said “evidence exists…tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge” of the lane closures while they were still going on during the week beginning Sept. 9.

He didn’t identify the evidence to which he referred or say of what it consists. Mr. Zegas’s letter also said Mr. Wildstein could prove various statements made by the governor about Mr. Wildstein weren’t accurate.

Mr. Wildstein personally directed the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge from Sept. 9 to Sept. 13, causing traffic jams in Fort Lee, N.J. that lengthened commutes and delayed emergency vehicles.

The closures were seen by many people as political retribution against Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, who didn’t endorse Mr. Christie’s re-election. The exact motive for the lane closures has yet to be proven.

Mr. Wildstein has since resigned as director of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge, which is one of the busiest in the world.

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Published on Jan 13, 2014

Just days after dismissing two top advisers for their roles in the George Washington Bridge scandal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is facing questions over the use of Superstorm Sandy relief funds.

Watch Full Segment Here: http://goo.gl/gX7uAi
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Chris Christie rocked by Superstorm Sandy relief scandal

NEW JERSEY governor Chris Christie is being investigated over claims he used Superstorm Sandy relief funds to make tourism ads starring him and his family.

News of the investigation couldn’t come at a worse time for the “scandal-plagued Republican”, says CNN. Late last week he was forced to sack two aides who allegedly ordered the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge as part of a vendetta against a political opponent.

Christie’s office has been “paralysed” by the bridge scandal which is about to trigger a “flurry of subpoenas”, according to reports.

CNN says the federal probe examining New Jersey’s use of $25m in relief funds for a marketing campaign to boost tourism in the state, could be even more damaging to Christie’s political ambitions than the bridge scandal. That’s because the governor’s performance during and after the storm has been “widely praised and is a fundamental part of his straight-shooting political brand”.

The New York Post understands that Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and his campaign manager, Bill Stepien, are likely to be issued with subpoenas as early as today in relation to the bridge scandal. Kelly allegedly orchestrated the lane closures in an effort to undermine a New Jersey mayor who refused to support Christie’s re-election campaign; Stepien was “kept in the loop” about the plan.

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• State body seeks documents from 17 people and three groups
• Governor uses appearance to focus on Sandy recovery

  • theguardian.com, Thursday 16 January 2014 18.28 EST
Chris Christie
New Jersey governor Chris Christie hugs a homeowners who lost her home to Hurricane Sandy. Photograph: Mel Evans/AP

A special legislative panel investigating an apparent political payback scheme involving New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s aides issued 20 new subpoenas on Thursday, the day the Republican star made his first trip since the scandal broke, to pledge that he will not be distracted from the job of rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.

Christie also announced the hiring of a legal team to help his administration deal with multiple investigations into a scandal that will not be put to rest quickly.

The governor’s legal team, to be led by former federal prosecutor Randy Mastro, will “review best practices for office operations and information flow, and assist with document retention and production”, the administration said in a brief written statement. A spokeswoman would not say who was paying for the team or how much it cost.

Two state legislative committees, including one also using a former federal prosecutor; the US attorney’s office in New Jersey, which Christie headed before running for governor; and the chairman of a US Senate committee are conducting inquiries into what happened in September, when lanes to the George Washington bridge from the town of Fort Lee were shut for four days, causing massive traffic gridlock.

The plot was apparently hatched by Christie’s aides as a political vendetta, possibly because Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor would not endorse the Republican governor’s November re-election campaign.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who is leading the primary legislative probe, said the new subpoenas sought documents from 17 people and three organisations. The recipients of the subpoenas will not be named until the documents are served, presumably by Friday. The likely targets are people who worked for Christie or who are or were part of his inner circle, such as Bridget Anne Kelly, the fired aide who suggested in an email to another Christie confidante that it was “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee”. Another likely target is Bill Stepien, Christie’s two-time campaign manager who appeared to gloat over the traffic chaos.

At a news conference last week, Christie said he would continue interviewing his senior staff to determine if there is any other information he needs to know and if he needs to take any further action, but he did not indicate his review would go further than that.

Christie did not address the scandal directly on Thursday, when he made his first public appearance outside the State House in the eight days since the lane scandal broke wide open. He went to friendly territory – heavily Republican Ocean County – for an event initially scheduled for 8 January that was postponed after the revelation of emails that appear to show Kelly, formerly a top aide, ordering the lane closures for political retribution.

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New Jersey’s Christie hires law firm to fight bridge scandal

NEW YORK Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:49pm EST

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during his annual State of the State address in Trenton, New Jersey January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during his annual State of the State address in Trenton, New Jersey January 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) – The administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has hired a high-powered legal firm to help his office as federal prosecutors investigate whether any laws were broken when a top aide ordered seemingly politically motivated traffic jams.

Christie, a likely 2016 Republican White House contender, turned to a former deputy of ex New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, another Republican with presidential aspirations, after revelations that a former aide called for “traffic problems” at the George Washington Bridge in apparent retribution against a local Democratic mayor.

About 20 subpoenas were issued in the case on Thursday, according to Democratic state Assembly member John Wisniewski. They included some 17 people and three organizations, he said, but no names would be disclosed until subpoenas are served.

He said Christie was not among those subpoenaed.

The governor’s office said it retained the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP to help with an internal review and to cooperate with an investigation announced last week by U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman.

Randy Mastro who in the 1990s served as chief of staff and deputy mayor for operations to Giuliani will lead the team.

The outside attorneys will bring a “third-party perspective to the situation, and they will be a valuable asset as we move forward,” Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said in the statement announcing the law firm’s hiring.

Working for the Giuliani administration, Mastro led efforts to clean up Times Square and rid organized crime from the city’s Fulton Fish Market, private carting industry and popular San Gennaro Festival.

In private practice since then, he frequently took on the administration of Giuliani’s successor, Michael Bloomberg.

Gibson Dunn’s partners charge $980 an hour on average, according to a survey published by the National Law Journal.

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Glenn Greenwald “I Would Say To Democrats Imagine If The NSA Was In The Hands Of Chris Christie”


Published on Jan 10, 2014

January 10, 2014 MSNBC News


New documents reveal ‘Bridgegate’ PA appointees ignored danger warnings

Bill Baroni and David Wildstein — despite email warning that traffic problems could threaten lives — continued with punitive Washington Bridge scheme. Now documents reveal that Baroni reached out to another Christie appointee: PA Chairman David Samson. Samson issued a statement earlier this week denying knowledge of the shutdown.


Published: Friday, January 10, 2014, 3:21 PM
Updated: Friday, January 10, 2014, 7:49 PM


Mel Evans/AP

Top aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ignored warnings of potentially life-threatening traffic problems such as this email: “Wanted you both have a heads-up — Peggy Thomas, Borough Administrator, called me regarding the increased volume and congestion,” warned PA employee Tino Lado, “She mentioned there were two incidents that Ft Lee PD and ems had difficulty responding to: a missing child (later found) and a cardiac arrest … If there is anything you need me to do, let me know.”

Gov. Chris Christie’s top two Port Authority appointees continued the George Washington Bridge gridlock for three days after learning the traffic jams were life-threatening.

A Sept. 9 e-mail to Bill Baroni and David Wildstein laid out the emergency response problems for police and ambulances in Fort Lee, N.J., after the punitive rush-hour lane closings.

“Wanted you both have a heads-up — Peggy Thomas, Borough Administrator, called me regarding the increased volume and congestion,” wrote PA employee Tina Lado.


“She mentioned there were two incidents that Ft Lee PD and EMS had difficulty responding to: a missing child (later found) and a cardiac arrest … If there is anything you need me to do, let me know.”

The lanes instead remained closed for three more days in the “Bridgegate” scandal that led to the resignations last month of Baroni and Wildstein.

A 91-year-old Fort Lee woman died on Sept. 9, and local officials said it took twice the usual time for first responders to reach her home.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke  about his knowledge of a traffic study that snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge during a news conference on January 9, 2014.

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke about his knowledge of a traffic study that snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge during a news conference on January 9, 2014.


The punitive closings were apparent payback for the refusal of Fort Lee’s mayor to endorse Christie’s 2013 re-election bid.

The email was included Friday in a massive document dump by New Jersey state legislators investigating the Sept. 9-12 lanes closings that paralyzed traffic in and around the west side of the bridge.

PA Executive Director Patrick Foye said in a fiery email that “this hasty and ill-advised decision violates Federal Law and the laws of both states … I pray that no life has been lost.”


Foye’s page-long Sept. 13 rant detailed how “appalled” he was by word of the massive tie-ups.

“I will get to the bottom of this abusive decision which violates everything this agency stands for,” Foye continued. “I intend to learn how PA process was wrongfully subverted and the public interest damaged, to say nothing of the credibility of this agency.”

David Wildstein  invoked his right to remain silent at a legislative hearing. “Will be at bridge early Monday to view new test lane,”  Wildstein had emailed.

Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

David Wildstein invoked his right to remain silent at a legislative hearing. “Will be at bridge early Monday to view new test lane,” Wildstein had emailed.


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The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 11/05/2013 10:11 pm EST  |  Updated: 11/06/2013 1:48 pm EST


barbara buono democrats


New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono slammed members of her party Tuesday after losing the race to Republican incumbent Chris Christie.


In her concession speech, Buono praised supporters who “withstood the onslaught of betrayal from our own political party.”


“The Democratic political bosses, some elected and some not, made a deal with this governor,” she said, according to NorthJersey.com. “They didn’t do it for the state. They did it out of a desire to help themselves.”


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Despite Chris Christie’s emphatic win in New Jersey governor’s race, it was a bad night for conservative factions in the GOP

Chris Christie

Chris Christie won decisively with a campaign that appealed to moderates but alienated the conservative wing of his party. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz /Reuters

Republicans were considering the implications of a night of mixed electoral fortunes on Wednesday, capped by the re-election of New Jersey governor Chris Christie who won decisively with a campaign that appealed to moderates but alienated the conservative wing of his party.

Christie’s emphatic win in New Jersey cemented his position as a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and provided a boost to moderates in the GOP who have been battling with hardline conservatives.

The victory in New Jersey contrasted with defeat in Virginia, were the Tea Party-backed Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The race was closer than expected, but nonetheless represented a blow to Republicans; the first time since 1973 the party in the White House has won the state’s gubernatorial race.

The New Jersey and Virginia races differed in significant ways, and analysts cautioned against drawing hard-and-fast conclusions about the wider political landscape for Republicans.

But it was symbolic moment: a centre-right, pragmatic Republican triumphed in New Jersey, a solidly Democratic state, while a staunchly conservative Republican lost in Virginia, a traditional swing-state he had been tipped to win just a few months ago.

Polls indicated that anger over the government shutdown, which was sharply felt in parts of northern Virginia, as well as discomfort with Cuccinelli’s deeply conservative views, handed the race to McAuliffe, a controversial Democratic fundraiser and close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In New York, a Democrat won the race for city mayor for the first time in 20 years, with a landslide victory for Bill de Blasio. In Alabama, a closely-watched Republican primary was won by Bradley Byrne, in what was considered a victory for the party establishment against another Tea Party-inspired candidate, Dean Young.

Christie, who is due to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA), was the most high-profile winner of the night. His election, which drew the support of African American, Latino and women voters who have elsewhere been deserting Republicans, catapults Christie to the ranks of front-runners in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Other likely candidates include senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who have all adopted staunchly conservative positions that appeal to their base but alienate the moderates and independent voters generally seen as essential to take the White House.

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The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 11/06/2013 4:16 pm EST  |  Updated: 11/06/2013 4:54 pm EST

marco rubio chris christie

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s landslide reelection has led some observers to declare him all but certain to seize the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another likely Republican contender for president, on Wednesday cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the significance of Christie’s victory.

“I think we need to understand that some of these races don’t apply to future races. Every race is different — it has a different set of factors — but I congratulate [Christie] on his win,” Rubio told CNN’s Dana Bash.

“Clearly [Christie] was able to speak to the hopes and aspirations of people within New Jersey. That’s important,” he added. “We want to win everywhere and Governor Christie has certainly shown he has a way of winning in New Jersey, in states like New Jersey … so I congratulate him on that.”

But Rubio stressed that New Jersey, a decisively blue state, has its own distinctive traits and a race in the Garden State wouldn’t play out the same as it would elsewhere.

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