If you thought we might go a day without more details on Christie shenanigans, boy were you wrong. NBC New York and New Brunswick Today are reporting that more Sandy relief funds went to real estate deals that had nothing to do with proving, you know, Sandy relief.
Gov. Chris Christie's administration is again facing questions about how Sandy aid was distributed in New Jersey after it was revealed $4.8 million in relief funds went to help build an apartment tower in New Brunswick, a town that saw relatively little storm damage.More below.
New Jersey's Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency approved the disbursement as part of the state's Fund for Rebuilding Multifamily Housing. The program is intended to speed the construction of new affordable housing in communities ravaged by the storm.
But New Brunswick lost relatively little of its housing stock when Sandy stormed through the state, and a Rutgers University study ranked New Brunswick 188th on a list of communities that suffered the most hardship due to Sandy.
New Brunswick Today allages that the developer, Boraie Development LLC, has strong political ties to both the governor and Cory Booker. Shaquille O'Neal of all people has been implicated as well.
From the New Brunswick Today article:
Shaquille O'Neal said he doesn't often endorse politicians, but Chris Christie was worth it, in a TV commercial promoting the Governor's 2013 re-election campaign.I think as more of these deals come to light, we are going to find out that the original bridge scandal had nothing to do with political retribution and everything to do with development money. We may to see corrupt Democrats go down too.
O'Neal, a Newark native, and Boraie, who immigrated to New Brunswick from Egypt, have teamed up for several development projects that received millions in subsidies from the state government, and political support from former Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Booker left the mayor job in Newark after he was elected in a landslide this October, replacing deceased Sen. Frank Lautenberg in a special election made possible by a controversial Christie decision.
Booker's Senate campaign office in New Brunswick was on the ground floor of 120 Albany Street, another Boraie building. Representatives for his campaign and Senate office never responded to questions bout how much, if any, rent was paid for the office.
(edited to try and cut down on my use of quotes.)