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Just ask Honeywell International ... who reaped millions in tax breaks, by moving their home office to Morristown NJ.

Wolff & Samson, Firm At Heart Of Christie Controversy, Has Had An Ally In The Governor

by Christina Wilkie and Andrew Perez, -- 01/30/2014

Honeywell paid Wolff & Samson $80,000 in lobbying fees in 2010 to lobby agencies like the Economic Development Authority. It paid off. In July of 2010, Gov. Chris Christie (R) pledged to introduce a bill to increase the EDA's Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant program, which gave businesses tax incentives for keeping jobs in the state.

By the time the legislature made the changes at Christie's request, however, Honeywell had its sights set higher. The company now wanted a new kind of tax incentive, eventually dubbed the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program, which would greatly increase the dollar amount that a company could slice off its tax bill for each job it retained.

Honeywell went to Wolff & Samson once more, this time hiring the firm's newly created public affairs arm. And, once again, it paid off, with the legislature approving the bill in January 2012 and Christie signing it into law shortly thereafter.

Just ask NJ developer Berkenkamp ... who stands to reap millions in profits, by getting the Port Authority's "green light" in Harrison NJ.

Vote by Port Authority Chairman David Samson raises ethical question

by Associated Press; -- Jan 28, 2014

Questions are being raised about a high-ranking Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official's support for a $256 million reconstruction of a rundown PATH station in northern Jersey.

The Record reports Port Authority Chairman David Samson voted for the project three months after a builder represented by his law firm [Thomas Berkenkamp] proposed converting a nearby warehouse into hundreds of luxury apartments.

No need for David Samson to recuse himself on this "PATH station" vote at that Port Authority Board Meeting -- he was just serving the greater New Jersey good ... anyone could see that -- even the clients, for which he quietly lobbies ...

It would seem some take this insider "conflict of interest" a bit more seriously than does the Christie Administration does itself:

Questions on Port Authority Chairman David Samson's PATH station vote

by Shawn Boburg, Staff Writer, The Record; -- January 27, 2014

The votes [on the $256 million reconstruction of the rundown PATH station in Harrison] raise questions about whether the commissioners overstepped ethics rules meant to prevent entanglements between their private interests and their control over billions of dollars that flow through the public agency. The revelation marks the third time this month that the role of Samson, a close adviser to Governor Christie, who named him chairman of the bi-state agency, has come into question.

[... pg 2 ...]

“It looks from the appearance that both of them should have recused themselves,” said Jameson Doig, a Princeton political science professor who wrote a history of the Port Authority. “And because they did vote, one has to wonder if their vote was associated with the fact that either they or their clients were going to benefit.”

[... pg 3 ...]

Brigid Harrison, a Montclair University political science professor, said both commissioners should have recused themselves from the Port Authority vote since they had outside ties to the land around it. The board’s committee on operations voted 6-0 for the project while two commissioners, Anthony Sartor and Jeffrey Moerdler, recused themselves for unknown reasons, records show.

But such Go-to Insiders are hard to find. Chris Christie is not about to throw this one under the political expediency bus -- without dire due-cause. Because according to that intro Huffingtonpost post, David Samson is the guy that gets it done in New Jersey -- for all things Christie-approved:
Samson is the lawyer you would go to if you wanted to influence the Christie administration,” said a longtime Republican political insider in New Jersey, who requested anonymity because he does business with the Christie administration. “If you wanted to get the administration’s attention, you would go to Samson.”

It would be nice to know who that insider was -- but they are still currently conducting their business with the No-nonsense Governor -- SOOO that Brutus-ship has already sailed.

But stick around, play back a few Port Authority Board Meeting Minutes videos (from the next link) ... and sooner or later you may find someone who doesn't get their squeaky wheels greased -- that may be willing to talk.  

Because that Port Authority coy trick of self-recusal will only keep prying eyes away for so long. And sometimes the stakes are so high that, that "recusal formality" is simply by-passed, as too risky a public nicety.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Board / Committee Meeting Video

Committee on Capital Planning, Execution & Assets  (3rd video in the right panel)
12/04/2013 11:30 am  {Meeting Minutes}

So many members of the Port Authority Board, including David Samson, had to "recuse themselves" from that very first Project Funding vote, that only 1 or 2 members were left standing, to take the actual Vote on the Project Funding.

So much of the PA Board (in that above clip) were recused for the Vote that the Chair wondered aloud, 'if there was anyone left to actually vote?' Because someone had to approve the Newark Liberty Demolition Project, with the price tag of about $15 million. No doubt, only one project among dozens, rubber-stamped with the "NY-NJ Port Authority" seal of approval.

Or in other words, just another day at the office down at the pseudo-governmental agency, otherwise known as the NY-NJ Port Authority -- where the political-expediting of things often gets done ... for those clients willing and able to pay.

Far from those prying media eyes ... where the pseudo-boredom there, used to be the perfect cover.

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:31 PM PST.

Also republished by Christie Investigations.

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