Drip. Drip Drip.
From NJ's largest paper:
State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union) said [Friday] that if a claim by a former Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge is true — that "evidence exists" Gov. Chris Christie knew about the closings when they were happening — then the state Assembly should take steps to start impeachment proceedings.
Lesniak then advises Christie to do the right thing and resign if David Wildstein's statements are "sustained".
Of course, this does not mean the Assembly will take this up, but I find it amazing that there is even talk of this by an elected official. It was only a few months ago, during the gubernatorial elections, that top Democrats supported Christie or basically sat it out.
Similar to the federal impeachment process, the NJ Assembly impeaches and the NJ Senate tries.
For those in need of a score card. Wildstein is the then Port Authority official and former Christie crony who arranged the George Washington Bridge lanes closures. He claims that there is evidence that Christie knew of the lanes closures as they happened. Christie denied he knew in his marathon news conference on the topic.
The headline to this article is
Governor Christie's brother invested in houses near new PATH station in Harrison
Three houses were purchased for around 150K and sold for around 450K. The investment is small potatoes compared to this:
[Christie's brother's] firm serves as a construction manager at the World Trade Center site...
The WTC site is owned by the Port Authority.
And how about this:
As chairman of the bi-state agency [Port Authority], Samson voted to approve the Harrison station overhaul, months after a client of his law firm proposed converting a nearby warehouse into luxury apartments.
For the uninitiated, the PATH is a light rail/subway that has run between NJ and NYC under the Hudson River for over 100 years. PATH stands for Port Authority Trans Hudson. Yes, it is owned by the Port Authority. The station was established long ago when Harrison was a thriving factory hub, no doubt transporting the many needed factory workers from nearby towns. When manufacturing left NJ, the area was left desolate and abandoned. For decades it has served as a park-and-ride for commuters to NYC with a couple of the buildings used as warehouses. The Red Bull Arena opened near the PATH station in 2010.
"This was a direct message from the Governor"
said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer quoting NJ Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. Mayor Zimmer was on CNN's State of the Union
this morning, responding to a question by Candy Crowley. Crowley was questioning if there was any evidence of Christie's direct involvement in the extortion scheme in which Sandy funding was greatly reduced because Mayor Zimmer did not support a specific redevelopment project favored by the Christie administration.
Mayor Zimmer also expressed the belief that the Lt. Governor would tell the truth under oath. Let us hope that she is right and that the legislature pursues this in its investigation.
Update: Josh Marshall has further details on some things discussed in this diary.
NJ Developers: Build in hell.
So reads my friend’s bumper sticker. In NJ, developers rule. I know many may think Wall Street rules. And for NJ national politics, that may be true. But locally it is the developers.
I believe that the GWB scandal has opened a window that allows us to view a small part of one tentacle of the development octopus that is smothering NJ. In this diary, Teach53 tells us the window has now increased to allow us to see more of the tentacle:
Mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer claims that the Christie administration told her that Hoboken would get its Sandy funds if she "moved forward with the Rockefeller [development] project".
The connection between the two?The Christie appointed Port Authority Chairman Samson’s law firm, Wolff & Samson, represented a developer
looking to develop the Fort Lee parcel at the foot of the GWB and the Hoboken parcel. Mayor Zimmer and Mayor Sokolich of Fort Lee refused to play and did not award the contracts to Wolff & Samson’s clients. Both got a kick in the butt via the Christie administration and its appointees. Fort Lee got the development-threatening traffic jam. Hoboken received a fraction of the requested money to rebuild a town that was 80% covered by the Hudson River during Sandy.
(more below the squiggle.)