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View Diary: To: Steve Kornacki, Re: Christiegate (157 comments)

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  •  Dear Steve: Two unanswered questions (24+ / 0-)

    I am concerned about two things, one is the suggestion that Ted Mann of the WSJ made in this interview that there's a shakedown of reporters going on.

    The other is the lack of follow-through on this intriguing article by Laura Vecsey that there is entanglement with a real estate developer who failed to get the development deal on Fort Lee.

    TwelveEightyTwo: Smoking Gun For Bridgegate? Might Rest With Losing Bidder In Fort Lee's $1B Hudson Lights Development?

    Someone that I know and respect who essentially ran a big Northeast state as a key aide to a certain governor likes to paint Chris Christie's Bridgegate scandal like this:...

    Chris Christie and his top donors were angry. They had to be. Here was a billion-dollar development deal taking place in Fort Lee, promising developers and potential residents easy access to the George Washington Bridge...

    Which firms were the losers in this coveted and hard-won development Hudson Lights project? One of the firms that bid on developing the entire 16-acre parcel, which was split into two phases of development, was Silverstein Properties in conjunction with Taubman Centers...

    So what would be the point of the closures? We don't know know. But it's possible it was an attempt to scare off the developer who won the development, by meddling with Fort Lee's property values. That would open up the site to Silverstein, a long-time client of David Samson. From the links provided by Vecsey, it's clear that that a lot of horse-trading had gone on between Christie, Samson, Cuomo & Silverstein Properties. Versey suggests it was also a power play:
    [With the new development] Fort Lee was going to kick ass, and be the epicenter of one of the biggest development deals in the state. And who was in charge of giving out all those contracts for architecture, engineering, bond work, legal work? Why, it would be Fort Lee's [Democratic] mayor. It's a lot of power and money attached to development deals like this. It stands to reason that other people, especially a governor and his re-election campaign staff who were drunk on power might have felt a little emboldened to show Fort Lee just who's boss.
    Is this too hot for either WSJ or MSNBC to handle? Will we ever find out about the billionaires (their names & faces) for whom people like Christie & Cuomo are simply tools? Will we continue to be told this is a small-beans matter of political shenanigans involving childhood friends turned into hoods? Or will someone unveil the moneyed powers behind the politics who want nothing more than a tool like Christie to become 'their' President of the United States?

    "All politics is national."

    by Auriandra on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 03:39:11 PM PST

    •  great (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agiftagain, AnnetteK, txdoubledd

      thank you Auriandra

    •  also (5+ / 0-)

      I think Sokovich must know more than he's saying. Dawn knew what they wanted from her, and Samson seems to have had the most skin in the game, he wanted to punish Foley for playing in traffic.  And Sokovich always looks scared.

      Do you know anything about the Jersey City suit, does that touch on anyone other than New Jersey Transit?  There must be some way to cross-reference these guys. If only we could get client lists from the lawyers.

    •  Kornacki has indeed put his (17+ / 0-)

      finger on this as the likely motive for Bridgegate.  It was one of his first big shows on Bridgegate.

      There is no question in my mind that Hudson Lights was the target of Bridgegate.  As I have posted way too many times already, the smoking gun is that, before Bridgegate was an undeniable scam, both Christie and his favorite tool, Senator O'Toole, went public complaining about Fort Lee's outrageous three access lanes, and promising (in Christie's case) or urging (in O'Toole's) that one or two be taken away permanently.

      The purpose was either to blackmail the Hudson Lights developer into giving up a piece of the pie, or to kill the project, so that a Samson crony could buy it up for cheap.

      IIRC, someone did mention that a Samson client had bid on and lost the Hudson Lights project.  Maybe that was Silverstein?  I don't remember.

      Samson is the key to all of this.  I can't wait to see what we learn when they put the thumbscrews on the General.

      •  in the engineer's communication (5+ / 0-)

        I admit, I downloaded them ... they call it a 'test' but always with quotation marks, like they knew it wasn't a real test, but a 'test' test, heh heh.  And Christie's garbled "a test that turned into a study that turned into a ... "  And then "we didn't close any lanes," as if access lanes didn't count, and "three lanes for one town?," they sounded so righteously indignant over the unfairness of such a thing.

        That's what confirms they are stupid.  That they thought this could go unnoticed, they did not realize they'd done something very very obvious, which is stupid. Without that, Zimmer wouldn't have had the nerve to tell.   It's what opened it up.

        And what's scary, if Christie had been just a little less stupid, he might have been our next president.

        •  I really think it was more nefarious than that (9+ / 0-)

          I think they intended to -- at least threaten -- to take one of the lanes away permanently.  where the month-long "traffic study" fit is not clear to me.  Perhaps just to show the blackmail target that they had the PA so firmly in their pockets, they had the muscle to do it in real time, taking 2 lanes as a "test," that the target had better take the threat seriously.  

          Or perhaps to scare off financing with a vague threat that this was under serious consideration and oh, just in case you wondered, loss of that great access would do nasty things to the project.  Hence, "now is the time for traffic problems," given the financing was just about to be firmed up.

          Christie would absolutely have gotten away with it in an R state, probably thought he had enough control over D bosses.

      •  I've been saying this for weeks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anna shane, HCKAD, jsquared

        Haven't written a Diary on it but have commented on it to the Diaries others have made.  It's NEVER been to get back at Sokovich for not endorsing Christie but always about Hudson Lights.  Samson is the GENERAL and put all the players together with Christie's help.  They were both salavating over how much they could make on the project.  By the way, didn't Silverstein only recently settle on his 9/11 claims?  Wonder if that settlement included Hudson Lights.

        Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

        by Rosalie907 on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 10:28:19 PM PST

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        •  can we find out? (0+ / 0-)

          Can Steve?

          •  I'm sure we can (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            anna shane

            But I can't remember Silverstein's first name to Google him.

            Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

            by Rosalie907 on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 11:27:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's Larry, found in jamess diary: (0+ / 0-)

              PA Minutes: "Where there's Smoke, there usually is Fire"

              Now we come to learn that Mr. Rechler here has a close relationship with Navigant. I'm not suggesting that Mr. Rechler has done anything wrong any more than I am suggesting that Mr. Samson has done anything wrong as Chairman, even though he represented Larry Silverstein for many years when Mr. Silverstein was anything but a friend to the Port Authority and was operating very much against the public interest.

              "All politics is national."

              by Auriandra on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 03:16:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the Vecsey link. I recommend it to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anna shane, agiftagain, AnnetteK, a2nite

      everyone who's been asking "Why?" for the last two or three months.  I've been hoping someone would dig into who would make money out of sabotaging the Hudson Lights development.  Maybe it's getting a tiny bit clearer.  

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:30:14 PM PST

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    •  Silverstein's bid (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, anna shane

      included development of the 8 acres that were owned by Tucker Development, the company that won the bid. Tucker had no intention of selling this piece of property, but they needed the financing to develop the entire project. The lane closure took place just as the financing was about to be finalized. I think the lane closures were punishment for the mayor and an effort to block the financing and push Tucker into selling its property.

    •  Auriandra, great links (and post anna shane)! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dochackenbush, jsquared, anna shane

      I'm guessing that the Samson client bidder was a sore loser who wanted another shot.  We know that the lane closures were supposed to go on for a month.  I've read that the financing for the billion dollar Ft Lee project got approved the week after the lanes were reopened.  

      My guess is that you are right.  Christie's crew may have wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the financing of the project.  The project would be worth a lot less if Ft Lee had only one access lane.  Christy seemed to be toying with Sokolich and the developers at the conference where he was joking about moving cones around himself.  If you remember, he said that he was really sauced that one town had three access lanes.  He insinuated that perhaps they shouldn't.  Then, he went further and stated that he was going to have "General" Samson look into that.  This took place before the controversy broke out with Bridget Kelly's email in January.  But, he seemed to be using the media to make a veiled threat to someone.

    •  I don't live in the NY/NJ area (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, anna shane

      but once I heard about the 16 acres.. this whole thing is about those acres.. just like the Hoboken story..  it is about developers.. and their constant greed for more and more..  

      Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

      by Caniac41 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:54:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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