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New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno denies Zimmer's allegations
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has taken her allegation that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration had linked Sandy relief aid to approval of a real estate project to the U.S. Attorney's office in Newark.
Zimmer said she met for hours this afternoon with staff from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, providing a copy of her daily journal and other documents. Zimmer, who leveled the bombshell allegation on Saturday, said the meeting was requested by prosecutors.
On Saturday, Zimmer said that last May, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno had told her that if she wanted Hoboken to get the Sandy relief aid that she had requested, she would need to approve a real estate project that Gov. Chris Christie wanted to see approved. According to Zimmer, Guadagno said her message was from Christie himself.

Guadagno, meanwhile, is denying Zimmer's allegation:

"Mayor Zimmer's version of our conversation in May of 2013 is not only false but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false," she said at a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday service project in Union Beach.
Note that Guadagno didn't deny that she had a conversation with Zimmer, and while she did reject Zimmer's characterization of the conversation, she didn't offer her own version of what transpired.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Christie Investigations.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Guadagno's response = evasion, not denial. (35+ / 0-)

    Another location of heavy smoke ...

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:48:11 PM PST

  •  it's probably not a crime (11+ / 0-)

    the use of discretionary relief funds is in the zone
    of executive discretion,  and lobbying for a project
    is also executive discretion,

    unless they can show a "Quid-Pro-Quo" for this,
    from a third party, it's not a crime.

    Is it likely a career ender for Christie?  Yeah.

    He's going to face some fairly angry voters, and
    it could be the legislature could impeach his ass.

    •  I think it is (14+ / 0-)

      I think intimidating an elected representative in an attempt to impede her ability to do the people's will is a criminal offense.  

      Kim was trying to make her agree to a deal that was bad for Hoboken in that form, because it didn't provide its own transportation needs (their bridges are already overused) and because they wanted extra redevelopment money, that others would not get, and because the project didn't take into account other development in that area, and would lead to a potential lawsuit of Hoboken.  Dawn said that if she had to testify she'd have to say the she approved it because that was the only way to get Sandy funds to project her city from future disasters.

      Dawn said she was not against the project, just she wanted it to work for Hoboken too, not be a giveaway that would screw her own residents and would lead to lawsuits.  

      I think that's against the law.

      •  protect not project (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mkor7, cablecargal

        so, instead Kim says ties are false, but she doesn't pretend to recall the conversation in a way that would give some plausible miscommunication, or pretend that Dawn had a different agenda and is now being spiteful, that is in reserve for when she needs it.  And gives her time to come clean if more is found, new facts every minute.  

        Right now Dawn feels the calm of the just, and Kim feels the fear she likes others to feel in her stead.  

    •  Be careful... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, rebel ga, VClib, Skyye
      it's probably not a crime
      the use of discretionary relief funds is in the zone
      of executive discretion,  and lobbying for a project
      is also executive discretion,

      unless they can show a "Quid-Pro-Quo" for this,
      from a third party, it's not a crime. one wants to hear this.

      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

      by Pi Li on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:59:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep, don't want to hear that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eviemarie, rebel ga

        that part is just sad, it's the business as usual thing that the Christie people are crouched behind.  What they want it to have something just against the law strictly speaking, or just dandy.  

        But there is an oath of office, and the duty is to those they represent, not to themselves, and this case is giving Dawn a choice, either sink the people one way, or they'll really sink, and that isn't business as usual.  Whatever the Christie people want anyone to think.  

      •  You don't get relief funds (5+ / 0-)

        Unless you approve this unrelated project?

        I think that's called extortion, a rather serious crime, no?

        "Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.” ― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

        by penguins4peace on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:06:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not all that much different from (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pi Li, VClib, BvueDem

          saying, for example, I won't vote for the Affordable Care Act unless you send federal money to this completely unrelated project I want in my district.

          It's very unsavory.  But I don't see the criminal violation.  

          And remember, the more discretion the governor's office has in making the allocation of the funds, the less likely there's a criminal violation.  Public officials generally have immunity for discretionary acts performed by them without the legal bounds of their authority.  For a discretionary act to be criminal, you'd probably have to show some PERSONAL enrichment -- like money went into somebody's personal pocket.  If you have those kinds of facts, then you are talking about criminal behavior.  

        •  let's go to the law books (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.
          Property :  There are two issues of property 1) the federal
          relief funds 2) the zoning authority within a city.

          I don't think you have a property right in relief funds,
          it's discretionary,  and it's a bit of  stretch to say a city
          has a "Property" right in zoning,  it's probably by state law,
          so it's considered a right but the jury may not buy it.

          Then you got force, violence or fear, none of that.
          so "Color of Official Right".  That's a hard one, it's usually
          if a cop comes in  and lays a fine on you without due process
          or for personal benefit.

          Now, that said, between this and the GWB,  they just may impeach his ass.

          he's certainly wounded.

          •  NJ definition of property (0+ / 0-)

   interpreted more broadly than the definition you have here:

            Theft by Extortion [N.J.S.A. 2C: 20-5]: a person is guilty of fact by extortion if he purposefully and unlawfully obtains the property of another by extortion. A person extorts if he or she purposefully threatens to take her withhold, as an official, or cause an official, to take or withhold an action. A person extorts if he or she inflicts any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor, but which is which is calculated to materially harm another person. The state must prove the defendant obtained the property of another, and property means anything of value including intangible personal property, services, and other intangibles. Property is broadly defined. Anything of value is defined as any direct or indirect gain or advantage to any person.

            You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” --George Bernard Shaw, JFK, RFK

            by CenPhx on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 04:47:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  now that's interesting. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CenPhx, VClib

              but action is still a broad issue.

              see you have something if it's take a ministerial action
              or withhold ministerial action such as issuing a drivers
              license or a routine building permit,

              but,  executive discretion?

              Courts defer on that.

              and harming someone by proxy?  

              it gets a little fuzzy, but the law is broader, you have a point there.

    •  It's just a political problem until someone finds (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patbahn, BvueDem

      the smoking campaign donation from developer to Christie / Guadagno.

      I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:02:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hah, even the Rockefeller group, who have direct (10+ / 0-)

      ties to Christie through Samson, have said that this would be completely illegal if it were true,  When they made that comment after MSNBC interviewed Zimmer, they were, in effect, distancing themselves from the potential legal fallout.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

      by nailbender on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:06:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Discretion in allocating Sandy funds, not a crime (4+ / 0-)

      But using Sandy funds as a lever to pry the development approval out of the mayor is definitely a crime, which is why the US Attorney listened to Mayor Zimmer.

      Right now, it seems unlikely that the crime can be proved to have happened, but if it were proved, people would go to prison.

      •  it can (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eviemarie, Woody

        because of the evidence in email.  This isn't a 21st century crime, this is old school, Godfather stuff, won't stay hidden in these days of electronic communications and can't get rid of evidence. No more missing minutes in the watergate tapes, that's yesteryear.

      •  It's definitely a political problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but I'm not sure it's enough for a criminal indictment.

        Public officials "buy" and "sell" votes, or support for a project, all the time.  

        It's very unsavory, and may be a big political problem, but generally not criminal, unless you have facts that show money went into somebody's personal pocket.  It may be that the  U.S. Attorney is looking to see if they can find that personal enrichment that would make it a crime.  

    •  Bain didn't do anything illegal either. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patate, patbahn, a2nite

      But it sure didn't help Mitt's campaign.

    •  This was a rezoning request. (0+ / 0-)

      they keep talking about "expediting" the project, which is Zimmer's language as well.

      But legally there are differences that apply in NJ where you're talking zoning. That area is always targeted for bribes....

      Zimmer could have reported the attempted bribe.

  •  before she spoke it was this, according to CNN (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eman, AnnieR, hulibow, Ky DEM, CenPhx, AnnetteK, Woody, Patate

    "The lieutenant governor recalls having a conversation with Zimmer that day, but says she remembers Zimmer arguing that Sandy recovery aid and redevelopment were the same issue, according to the source close to Guadagno, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

    "Kim remembers in their conversation that she was talking about redevelopment and making investments in Hoboken. She remembers Zimmer pressing Kim for money for Sandy. Kim remembers saying you can't tie the two together," the source said. "And she remembers Zimmer continuing to press and showing her a map of the city and pressing for aid for Sandy.

    Guadagno remembers it as a "friendly conversation," the source said. "Zimmer was laser-focused on getting Hoboken money for Sandy recovery and that is not the role Kim Guadagno plays in the administration," the source said.
    She remembers telling Zimmer that the administration would like to do more to redevelop Hoboken, but she doesn't recall talking to her specifically about The Rockefeller Group project. But the source said Guadagno, a veteran prosecutor and former county sheriff, is still going through her records, preparing for a possible subpoena."

    Seems like she thought this over and realized she'd be implicating herself, so best to say nothing?  

    •  so she is letting another person (6+ / 0-)

      relate her story to the press?

      maybe i am suspicious by nature, but isnt that rather odd? why couldnt she tell CNN her version? why have another do it?

      think you are right about implicating herself. lawyers really dont like to talk about themselves.

    •  Thanks. I just posted the same thing. Surprised (6+ / 0-)

      that other outlets have not picked up the CNN story.

      The dollars Mayor Zimmer mentions are confirmed, even by the state.

      The meeting with Guadagno has been confirmed.

      The best Guadagno can seem to do is claim Mayor Zimmer "mischaracterized" the meeting.

      Then there is this.  (again, bolding mine)

      N.J. Lt. Gov. Guadagno flatly denies Hoboken claim

      "I deny any suggestion made by Mayor (Dawn) Zimmer that there was ever any condition on the release of Sandy funds by me," Guadagno said Monday at a news conference in Union Beach, N.J.

      Note the "by me."

      Mayor Zimmer never claimed the threat was from Guadagno, but was specifically a message delivered by the Lt. Governor directly from the governor.

      So Guadagno is perhaps technically correct.

      "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Antonin Scalia, John Boner, or Scotty Walker (pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

      by Eman on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:04:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's true (5+ / 0-)

        Dawn said she seemed embarrassed, said she was just passing a message from Christie, told Dawn she'd been with Christie the evening before for two hours and admitted it wasn't right. That's what led Dawn to think that under oath Kim will tell the truth.  Not by her, by Christie.  

        And when Steve mused, how would someone respond to a threat from a lt. gov, Dawn's all, what I said was is every mayor being asked to approve a Christie project to get their share of Sandy relief money? That isn't in her diary, Steve's question made her recall what she had said, and then she went no to give Kim's response.

        Recall, Hoboken was hardest hit of all inland cities, it's dense, it's 80% below sea level, people were stuck in high rises without water or heat, and the suffering was terrible.  And this money is for building to protect Hoboken before the next disaster, that's the 300,000 out of 100,000,000 that she got. She used it well, she did studies and she has plans, but she needs the funds to execute them, and trouble may be around the corner, this isn't anything to stall.  

    •  That's a great twist (0+ / 0-)

      but the money Hoboken was looking for was for mitigation not redevelopment.

  •  what is illogical (21+ / 0-)

    is that Zimmer would make this up. what would she gain by coming forward with this now?
    I havent heard one logical reason for her to lie about what happened.

    on the other hand. there is a reason for the Christie camp to have resorted to these threats.

  •  Guadagno source seems to confirm Zimmer account (6+ / 0-)

    CNN broke a story early in the day which other outlets seem not to have picked up. (bolding mine)

    First on CNN: Lt. governor to deny mayor's Christie claims

    The lieutenant governor recalls having a conversation with Zimmer that day, but says she remembers Zimmer arguing that Sandy recovery aid and redevelopment were the same issue, according to the source close to Guadagno, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

    "Kim remembers in their conversation that she was talking about redevelopment and making investments in Hoboken. She remembers Zimmer pressing Kim for money for Sandy. Kim remembers saying you can't tie the two together," the source said. "And she remembers Zimmer continuing to press and showing her a map of the city and pressing for aid for Sandy."

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Antonin Scalia, John Boner, or Scotty Walker (pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    by Eman on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:55:16 PM PST

    •  Not quite (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tuffie, coffeetalk, VClib
      Guadagno source seems to confirm Zimmer account
      She seems to confirm a conversation took place at the date and time, and on the general subject matter that Zimmer alleges, but it also appears she characterises the conversation in very different ways.

      There's going to have to be more here...corroborating evidence of Zimmer's account (her diary isn't enough) of what was said establishing a quid pro quo. And there very well could be...but we haven't seen it yet. Until then, all we have are two women with different recollections of the same conversation.

      Of course, again that's speaking in terms of criminality. In political terms, it's already damaged Chrisite considerably.

      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

      by Pi Li on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:05:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Crime and proof are different things (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hester, CenPhx

        You'd agree that if things happened the way Zimmer said they happened then a crime occurred, correct?

        I mean, if I were sitting in a jury box, and the only evidence I had was what we've seen so far, I would not convict Guadagno, because I wouldn't be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmer was telling the truth. But if I was sitting in the jury box and I believed Zimmer (beyond a reasonable doubt, maybe because further evidence appeared such as a video) then I would certainly convict.

        What Zimmer is alleging is a crime, if it happened, even if it can't be proved.

        •  you might (0+ / 0-)

          Zimmer makes a compelling witness and there is the later warning that happened while being recorded. When that recording is uncovered, it will give even more credence to her diary.  

        •  I'm not sure it's a crime. It's definitely a huge (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, Pi Li

          political issue, and might even lead to some to talk impeachment (which is a political, not a legal, process).

          But as for criminal, I haven't necessarily seen it yet, even in what Zimmer alleges.  I think it all depends one the parameters put by law on the distribution of the funds Zimmer was seeking.  Who got to divide up those funds, and what were the rules for divvying out the money?   The more discretion the governor's office had in distributing the funds, the less like that a crime was committed, even if what Zimmer says is true. There's a general principle that if a government official is involved in a discretionary act within the scope of his legal authority, there's some immunity for that.   There's certainly a huge political problem, but I don't necessarily see a crime.

          On the other hand, if that government official PERSONALLY benefited (like he was personally paid money), then you would certainly be talking about a criminal act.  It may well be that's what the U.S. Attorney is looking for.

      •   but she didn't (0+ / 0-)

        because it was just her off the record friend.  

  •  Americans aren't buying Christie's story (10+ / 0-)

    USA Today Poll: Most doubt Chrisite did not know about scandal.

  •  For the last couple of decades it's been (8+ / 0-)

    a continuous stream of the party of "family values" being debunked.  I think we can honestly call bs on their claim from here on out.  

    I've wondered before, and will again, just how long with these sob's go, from voting rights to bullying?  Are we going to start seeing people "disappeared."  Good grief, I'd put nothing past any of them these days.  

    What a hateful disgusting bunch.  And the kicker is they've treated us forever as though we were the disgusting ones.  Go figure.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:55:57 PM PST

  •  Did Guadagno offet to testify under oath,,, (5+ / 0-)

    and take a lie detector test? I bet if she is forced to testify without being given immunity she will plead the 5th.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:56:04 PM PST

    •  At some point she'll be interviewed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, irate

      By the FBI, the US Attorney's Office, or whoever in the Feds.
      She'll then be subject to the sanctions of 10 USC 1001 (she's a former Asst. US Attorney and knows what that's about).

      Basically, false statements, etc. to the Feds will  get you 5 years.  If she's going to take the 5th, that's when it will first come up.

    •  why, no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      gee, wonder what that means.

    •  Could be email as well.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They were smart enough to not leave a paper trail with Zimmer, but they might not have been smart enough to avoid discussing the thing via email internally.  Requesting these emails will almost certainly involve new subpenas.

      And given that the Port Authority is involved with this mess, it is possible that Wildstein knows something about it, and could start to sing once he gets immunity.  Remember that the subpoena that he responded to already was limited in scope to the bridge - if you expand the scope to also cover Hoboken, who knows what might be divulged.

  •  Guadagno said she'd deny saying it... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eman, live1, hester, Janet 707

    .. and she has, so there: She's telling the truth!  (Welcome to Bizarro logic land)

  •  Wolf said this could (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eman, PorridgeGun

    all be a misunderstanding, it's an even-Steven she said/she said - maybe they just need to get together and straighten this out, a summit if you will. It's a kerfuffle, a bump in the road, a distraction, a learning experience - everything but what it is. Desperately trying to keep President Christie hopes alive...

  •  She's very slick (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, mkor7

    and may well wiggle-worm her way out of this, but Zimmer has an advantage... the truth.

    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints!

    by SpotTheCat on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:57:35 PM PST

  •  Mayor Zimmer offered to take a lie-detector test (6+ / 0-)

    Guadagno? I don't think so ...

  •  Bugs Bunny sums up chris christie Admin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:58:54 PM PST

  •  what a cringe making performance. (10+ / 0-)

    She was relying on emotional projection to try to get us to believe her.  Is this the way she always talks?  

    Also, she's doing what the Christie crew has been doing since Bridgegate became a thing: toss out rhetorical sand in our faces in the form of irrelevant and unconnected events such as her campaign to bring jobs to various communities.  So what?  

    And just how should Zimmer have acted in her presence subsequent to the Rockefeller/Sandy conversation?  Should she have shunned her and thereby put her community's prospects for assistance in further jeopardy? Should she have brought the topic up and lectured her after Guadagno had told her that she would deny ever having the conversation?

    I just hope Fishman is both up to this prosecution and that he doesn't have a dog in the hunt himself.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

    by nailbender on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:59:43 PM PST

  •  Probably still working on getting the "facts" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, blue aardvark, Eman, CenPhx, annan

    straight with the other members of the Cabal.

    Note that Guadagno didn't deny that she had a conversation with Zimmer, and while she did reject Zimmer's characterization of the conversation, she didn't offer her own version of what transpired.

    Notice: This Comment © 2014 ROGNM UID 2547

    by ROGNM on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:59:54 PM PST

  •  Let's see what happens when people are put (7+ / 0-)

    under oath, shall we?

    Zimmer is willing to do that.

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:01:16 PM PST

  •  NJ created a Lt Gov position (4+ / 0-)

    because their Governors kept resigning, and now this...

    •  Agnew / Nixon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, waterstreet2013

      No one actually wants to see Guadagno as Governor, so the powers that be are arranging a scandal to remove her first, then Christie. /total speculation

      I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:06:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the PowersThatBe want Jeb Bush (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        on the ticket against Hillary C.

        Check List:

        -- Pappy Bush41 headed the CIA which is the all out motherload-central for trade craft.

        -- Don't be surprised to see scandals of money, sex, abuse with all of the GOP rivals.

        -- Don't be surprised if they come up with a Margot Robbie lookalike before this is over. Gotta top the Spitzer scandal.

        And as one open question: how did that suggestion of blocking traffic at the GW Bridge come to Bridget Screwup ???

        Was it during a phone call with a big GOPer donor?

    •  who's also SoS in charge of ... ? oh ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      elections ?

      isn't that SPECIAL.

      Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

      by greenbird on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:24:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe what we learn from all this is that there's (4+ / 0-)

    a necessary modicum of what you might call "rightness," that most people expect and even demand. The stuff we are loaded down with, every depressing day, is tales of Christie acting like every abusive autocrat in history. And maybe people, ordinary people, who fund all this with the wealth they create every day, are beginning to see that they are being had, for dinner, on a huge scale.

    The old Mayor Daley did lots of this mean-spirited, retaliatory, extortionate stuff in Chicago, and his proteges and successors and acolytes now "serving" at various levels in government, and dis-serving in the business world, did it too. "Rough politics," some call it. What an insipid phrase, when set against the horrors that these people are happy to perpetrate for the most picayune and idiotic of reasons, out of ego and greed and stupidity, mostly free of consequences.

    Daley at least gave back a certain amount of value for the graft. If you went along, you got your streets plowed free of snow and your garbage collected, stuff like that. What I am seeing more of is just flat taking, with no concomitant return. Down here in FL, we have Skeletor Scott bleeding the real wealth to favor his buddies.

    Humans apparently expect and are willing to tolerate a certain amount of "slack," of skimming and pettiness and graft -- "honest corruption," that can help keep the wheels turning. These folks maybe see that the wheels a coming off, and are looking to scam and feather their nests as heartily as they can, knowing it's just speeding up the dragging-down.  

    It takes a whole lot of goodness and decency and sharing to even begin to balance, let alone rectify, the damage and pain that so few very privileged self-serving SOBs can cause to so many others, for so little real gain even to themselves...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:06:46 PM PST

  •  Not Quite Clear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, Naniboujou, Janet 707

    I thought I heard Zimmer state that she favored the development project, she just was not ready to support Christie's choice of the Rockefeller Group to develop the entire project. If that is the case, why is Christie pushing the Rockefeller Group over any and all competitors? That might be worth investigating.

    •  Again, the issue was not about the development (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2013, HCKAD

      project but of designation of a area so those redeveloping or building could get tax incentives and relief.

      The study recommended only the 3 blocks owned by the Rockefeller group and others in the area objected to such a designation for just Rokefeller group, so a lesser designation was given for the whole area, which means anyone taking advantage of tax incentives would get a less proportion of those tax incentives.

      A "I could make money on this but unless you entice me to make money by giving me deferred property taxes for a number of years, I won't do it" type situation.

      •  That's essentially it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If they had approved the 3 blocks owned by Rockefeller, then the owners of the other 16 blocks would likely sue as the whole thing would stink to high heaven.  And if they sue, the mayor would be required to testify, and would have to admit on the stand that the reason she had approved it was that she was being shaken down by Trenton.

        Some might say there isn't much evidence yet, but the results of the 'study' that was done by the PA are highly suspicious all by itself, and there is plenty of documentation for that.

        •  Actually, not really, though you have to wonder (0+ / 0-)

          the company doing the study had pictures of the inside of the Rockefeller property but never asked other owners to go in and take pictures.

          The unsafe gas station made me chuckle, especially the company trying to insist the gas station was to blame for the bad drivers.

          How many fender benders do you think happen in a Walmart parking lot every year?  Would the company suggest that all Walmarts be closed and developed into something else?

      •  Also major rezoning. (0+ / 0-)

        Taking the property off the established Plan.

    •  The Rockefeller Group only owns a portion of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the property to be developed. Christie wanted Zimmer to approve the Rockefeller project, and got funds from the Port Authority to do the appropriate study. Zimmer didn't feel she could approve one project and not the rest. At this time, no development has occurred. Note the Port Authority involvement.

  •  Newark Star Ledger says Zimmer is believable (6+ / 0-)

    Bridge scandal made Dawn Zimmer's Hoboken story believable: Editorial

    "Critics say Zimmer lashed out only when she saw blood in the water. The reality is less calculating. She spoke up because Bridgegate made her story more believable.

    Opportunistic, yes. But Zimmer’s eight-month wait is the reason anyone is listening today.

    •  $300,000 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, hester, Val

      To me that speaks the loudest.  This town was ground zero of Hurricane Sandy.  80% of the town was under water.  There is a lot of redevelopment to do and Hoboken gets $300,000 out of $100M.  The area Hoboken wanted to redevelop was nine acres.  The Rockefeller group owns three of those acres.  Apparently they want the taxpayers to pay for their plans for the land they own.  The Hoboken planning committee declined the honor.

  •  Many of these statements aren't mutually exclusive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Assume that Dawn Zimmer is telling the truth.  In her account, as I understand it, Lt Gov Kim didn't say that Christie wouldn't give Hoboken the money without favors for the developer.  She evidently said that the two were unfortunately linked and that the one would facilitate the other.  As Dawn Zimmer related it, Christie's name wasn't necessarily used nor was it relayed as Christie's demand.

    Remember the diaries of the weekend discussing David Samson as the eminence grise behind all this.  Samson was Christie's mentor and predecessor as U.S. Attorney.  He encouraged Christie's career.  He has prominent law firm that represents scads of developers, many with dealings with the Port Authority.  Samson helps Christie ascend and become Governor, Christie points him Chairman of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners.  Now he is in a position to influence and profit from loads of PA dealings.  Christie people have to help Samson and his clients out when asked, not necessarily by Christie but by various messengers.   This makes sense of the Hoboken and GW Bridge and some other stories.

    And it can all be true that Hoboken got much less than it asked for, that much money went to individuals not cities, that Hoboken could have gotten more by playing ball, that other cities haven't really gotten a whole lot more and that the demands on all available money for compensation, remedial and preventive work far exceed the funds available.  Just because different things are at least partly true doesn't mean the other things are false.

    And the essential truth, which everyone knows, is that Christie has reveled  in putting people down, had his people videotape the incidents and post them to You Tube, and his people seemed to relish payback.  And New Jersey is corrupt, largely because of the huge amounts of property development money floating around.  That all makes it entirely plausible that Christie's people did these things with his tacit or overt consent.

    Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

    by Mimikatz on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:10:18 PM PST

    •  no, it was clear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jackson L Haveck

      you won't get the funds unless, and it came from Christie, it's clear.  they are tied.  If not one, then not the other. And it turned out to be true, she got 300,000 that she used to study and plan, but not the 100,000,000 that she needs to build and protect.  

    •  No, Zimmer says it came from Christie (0+ / 0-)

      She said Guadagno told her she was relaying a message from Christie.

      From CNN story:

      "She said that to me -- is that this is a direct message from the Governor," Zimmer said, referring to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno ...
  •  This scandal is gonna led to arrests. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Explorer8939, dservgun

    The feds are involved and you know they will get to bottom of things once immunity is offered. Christie and Guardano better get ready for a court trial.  

  •  So what that the Lt. Gov. didn't deny they spoke? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Explorer8939, a2nite

    And also, she did give her version.

    I really wish we would quit looking at this through "Rove will go to jail over Plame" colored glasses.

    Zimmer has oogatz for proof, as they say.  'Diaries'?  Yeah, today I wrote down my sorrow that a co-worker threatened to shoot me.  In six months, I'll alert the press.

    Is this 'evidence'?

    Come on, Kossacks!  Stay earthbound.  

    The fat bastard isn't resigning, isn't gonna get impeached (especially not by the groin-massaging gutless puke 'Democrats' in New Jersey) and will most likely skate with some poll damage at most, because the highest law of our land remains:

    •  it would work against you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it would show you were planning to be shot, but you'd have to set it up so it would happen.

      That's the thing, she hadn't been refused at that point, she didn't know she wasn't going to get the funding at that point, at that point she was still a vocal advocate for Christie.

      And, after that she didn't endorse him because she'd realized she'd been had, that was just another jersey crook. She didn't openly diss him, she still hoped for second round funding.  But she didn't endorse him, and for his first run she did.  

    •  It's not clear what exactly is illegal. (0+ / 0-)

      According to Wisniewski, if this....., then it's illegal. But we don't know yet what happened. We're at the allegation stage still.

    •  Democrats are most definitely working (0+ / 0-)

      toward impeachment.

      That line:

      "groin-massaging gutless puke 'Democrats' in New Jersey"
      is bxllshxt.

      Dems here are up against corporate media and corporate-funded GOP candidates as tough as it gets.

    •  She also described the Guadagno conversation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... to her chief of staff, who saw her talking to Guadagno and noticed she was disturbed by it. Unless he's lying, too, that would at least strengthen the case that the diaries weren't invented out of whole cloth well after the fact and only because Christie is vulnerable now and she smelled blood.

  •  More and more stories are coming out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dservgun, Naniboujou

    This one from Carl Lewis:

    "TRENTON — Three years ago, a plan to make Carl Lewis a “youth fitness ambassador” for New Jersey was scrapped by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration when the Olympic track and field star decided to run for state Senate as a Democrat, Lewis said today.

    Now, with the George Washington Bridge scandal raging, the nine-time Olympic gold medalist says he sees a “strong parallel” between his own interaction with Christie and what happened in Fort Lee, and says Christie is an "insecure person."

    “I felt like he was trying to intimidate me, absolutely. But I definitely didn’t feel intimidated,” Lewis, who recently moved to Houston, said in a phone interview.

    Added Lewis: "It’s interesting, everyone calling him a bully. I don’t really see him as a bully. I see it more as someone who’s insecure, and he’s governor now and has got the power."

    •  Carl Lewis: the untarnished one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is so nice to hear from one of the greatest athletes in modern times. My vote is always dem..and for some reason I never could vote for Christie. Now it seems to me that those who voted for Buono have been vindicated: though a little too late. In fact, we can argue that Ms Buono would have had a more efficient distribution of funds than the alternative. Commute during those early days after Sandy was horrendous..arrgh! Finally some hope for us Jersey folks!

  •  how can you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, Val

    tell if someone in the christie admin is lying, their lips are moving.

  •  Nothing in Guadagno's denial can erase the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bfbenn, a2nite

    fact that there was a huge discrepancy between the millions in funding Zimmer needed and requested and the paltry amount she was given $300,000.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:42:36 PM PST

  •  Education money ties to two Christie scandals. (0+ / 0-)

    Diane Ravitch and the Education Law Center pulled out a couple of megabuck scandals. Bigger than the Rockefeller Group rezoning scam.

    1. School Turnaround Proposal

    We're talking for-profit "privatization" on 5% of New Jersey schools. They get seized by State government and cast out of union contracts. Christie goes RWNJ-$$$ for major union busting.

    "Schools will be freed from the [School D]istrict's collective bargaining agreement and the school's [privatizing] operator will have control over personnel decisions."

    The rest of the document is a puffy set of excuses for a grab of schools and school property.

    Firing the five Principals is a typical start to privatizing a school.  Diane characterizes Christie's scheme as a "shell game."

    2. $43,000 vs. $90,000 for Special Ed slots.

    That's what Christie's "shell game" has produced privatizing school for New Jersey's Special Ed students. Cost more than doubles going over from New Jersey Education Association members and public Special Ed schools to Christie's friends and their privatized, non-union profit centers.

    -- $43,00 was the annual cost to School Boards to educate a heavily disabled, wheelchair bound student. That was average cost for 2012/2013 for public Special Ed schools.

    -- $90,000+ is where this billing stands with the privatized schools. That is the real current billing for 2014.

    School boards pay this $90,000 per student per year. State/federal contribute nothing. Land parcels under the closed Special Ed schools have learn how to do the Jersey Tango.

    We're talking 10,000 severely disabled students in NJ. Kids in wheel chairs. Dozens of schools closed.

    $47,000 times 10,000 = $470,000,000 a year for NJ in added expenses to Boards of Education, to local taxes.

    Wanna reason to generate a headline, first week of school in 2013 ????? An excuse for corporate media to dump the story about Special Ed costs skyrocketing?

  •  Allegation Against Christie (0+ / 0-)

    I don't mean this in an aggressive or hostile way, but how do we know she took it to the U.S Attorney, rather than the other way round (after her public accusation)?

  •  What an endless drama queen performance! But, (0+ / 0-)

    something feels very phony about it. My instinct is that she's a pathological liar. The outrage doesn't seem real. It seems highly practiced and calculated. It's also interspersed with little smiles, which are known as "duping delight." Those are the the hallmarks of a pathological liar.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 04:01:47 PM PST

  •  Some dirt on the Lt Governor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PAbluestater, a2nite

    She fits right in with the Christie mob - A little pension fraud.

    This is from NJ Watchdog:

    Investigative Report by Mark Lagerkvist -

    His running mate, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, is a central figure in a hush-hush pension fraud probe that began more than two years ago. Now the Christie Administration is arguing in court that the outcome, findings and all other records of the investigation should remain state secrets.

    DCJ began its investigation in May 2011 at the behest of a pension board, according to a sworn statement by a state official. Christie, Guadagno and DCJ officials have declined comment. In court papers, the state refuses to acknowledge whether the case is open or closed.
    The inquiry followed an investigative report by New Jersey Watchdog detailing how false statements by Guadagno enabled one of her top aides to improperly collect and keep $245,000 from the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System.

    As Monmouth County sheriff in 2008, Guadagno hired Michael W. Donovan Jr. as “chief of law enforcement division” at a $87,500 annual salary. She announced the appointment in a memo to her staff. The sheriff’s official website identified Donovan as “sheriff’s officer chief,” supervising 115 subordinate officers and 30 civilian employees.

    Donovan faced a legal problem. He was already collecting an $85,000 a year state pension as a retired investigator for the county prosecutor. While double-dipping is often legal in New Jersey, this case was different.

    Since the position of sheriff’s officer chief is covered by the pension system, Donovan should have been required to stop receiving benefits, re-enroll in the retirement plan and resume contributions to the pension fund.
    Instead, Guadagno falsified Donovan’s job title in several documents so her aide could get two checks, not just one, totaling $172,500 a year.

    NJ Watchdog calls this Doublegate and they wrote a followup article in light of Bridgegate.


    Will a contrite New Jersey governor finally be willing to address “Doublegate” – a $245,000 pension abuse implicating his second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno?

    Or will Christie and Company revert back to the arrogant ways and bully-boy tactics that put his presidential aspirations and political future in jeopardy?

    Doublegate poses direct questions about the ethics, judgment and accountability of both the governor and his lieutenant. It also raises concerns on whether the administration used its power to cover up a possible crime by one of its own.

    The article has a summary of the issue with links to several other articles.
    •  this is done all the time, in the open (0+ / 0-)

      in every city in the state; retired cops are hired to be "police directors" or director of the rec dept. The city saves because it doesn't have to pay benefits. I don't like it but it is legal.

      •  I don't think it's legal everywhere (0+ / 0-)

        According to the article:

        Under state statute, “Any person who shall knowingly make any false statement or shall falsify or permit to be falsified any record or records of this retirement system…shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
        If it's legal, why are they investigating it as a case of fraud and why is the Christie admin fighting so hard to keep the records sealed?

        I do think it happens a lot but it isn't strictly legal. Even working in the private sector, in my former company we could receive a company pension and a company paycheck but there was an annual dollar limit on what could be earned income. If you were going to receive more than that limit, your pension would stop.

        You could, however, return as a consultant under a contract and have unlimited earnings without any impact on your pension. The issue was being on the payroll because of the company contributions to the pension plan while you were also receiving a pension.

        •  I admit it is a fine line, but I see it all the (0+ / 0-)

          time. in the old days you could collect two pensions; esp if you went to a different state. We had teachers in NJ who were retired firemen and cops from NYC. That might even still be permitted, but I read that MA will notlet you into the pension system if you are getting one from another state already.

          •  Of course you can collect multiple pensions (0+ / 0-)

            from different states or different companies without any consequences because they're different pension systems. You can even retire from the government, collect a government pension, and go to work in the private sector and eventually retire from the private sector job and collect that pension. The issue is when it's all within the same pension system.

            •  Well you can't do that in NJ (0+ / 0-)

              so she changed the job title, and I think that's where the issue might be, But you can go back and work for the same govt agency in NJ as long as you are not in the pension system again; if so you have to stop collecting the pension because you are deemed to have returned to work. But I'm seeing there are now restrictions, as I understand it, where MA if I read correctly, won't let you into their system if you are collecting one from another state. I could be wrong but I read that when I was thinking of moving there. Private sector is a whole nother ball game, and if you can get a pension there while collecting a govt one, more power to ya.

  •  Hardball had a segment in which (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they discussed the Lt Gov's statement. If you haven't seen it, go on MSNBC .  I couldn't stop laughing at the analysis by Chris Matthews and Eugene Robinson  as they discussed  how scripted and fake the Lt Gov seemed .

    It was brief but funny but, of course, they got back on track.

    •  Hysterical (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I watched Tweety (on Hardball) bring up the Lt. Gov's speech pattern on four separate occasions. He couldn't stop laughing at one point. I loved it.
      Lt. Gov was speaking to us like we were a bunch of idiots who couldn't handle multi-syllable words.

  •  I thought Christie would escape all of this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wasn't expecting all these first hand accounts of people having to deal with the bully.  NOW I think he's toast.

    'Slower Traffic - Keep Right!'

    by luvbrothel on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:11:41 PM PST

  •  Zimmer~You go, grrl! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We got 47 responses to 59 emails…none, not 1, believes Guadagno or Constable. Zimmer is honorable & NJ knows it. She'll take lie-detector test—will those 2 clown-liars? Watch Constable & Guadagno's denials—every1 can tell they got busted!  

    Fire the Vulgar 2 now!
  •  need more than a diary (0+ / 0-)

    The Senate has no guts. The House has no brains.

    by gossamer1234 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:20:20 PM PST

  •  What a textbook case of lying. She's bad at it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skyye, a2nite

    Whenever she looked to the right her voice would rise. When she was making her strong denials she was always looking to the right and away from everyone.
    She would really start to move back and forth toward her exit when she was making strong denials.
    She DID NOT/didn't use one contraction that I heard.

    When she was remembering things that were obviously unimportant she was always looking to the left and her voice would drop to a normal tone.

    She's gonna be in trouble too.

    A hungry man is not a free man ~ Adlai Stevenson

    by Max Runk on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 09:54:55 PM PST

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