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These revelations will probably be explored extensively on MSNBC in the coming days.

As one of those who've been following Bridgegate closely, I believe that this report by The Star-Ledger represents a turning point in the Bridgegate investigations.

Port Authority officials: Battle over toll hikes was all for show

Six Port-Authority insiders (five of whom no longer work there, but one of whom still does) shared some jaw-dropping details with The Star-Ledger, regarding the 2011 PATH toll hikes.

From the start, the fix was in, said that former official and five others who occupied key Port Authority posts when the toll hike was rolled out and eventually approved.

The whole process, the authority officials said, was orchestrated from the outset to make the governors look good even as they reached deeper, through the long arm of the authority, into the public’s pockets.

The former Port Authority officials (five who are no longer with the agency and one who is still there) outlined the strategy and execution of the plan in separate interviews with The Star-Ledger. Each asked that their names not be used because they feared repercussions from speaking out even after they had left the agency.

The 2011 Toll Hikes vs. The 2013 Lane Closures -- What's the connection?  
One source said complete responses to the latest subpoenas from the legislative committee would reveal that the bridge closures and the toll hike were engineered out of much the same playbook.

A minimum of agency officials were made aware of what was happening with the toll hike and sworn to secrecy under the implied threat of losing their jobs, the six sources said. And both actions included some of the same players.

“He’ll find emails,” the official said of Wisniewski, who co-chairs the joint committee with state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen). “And he’ll find the emails between Baroni, Wildstein and the governor’s office. And he’ll also find emails between Baroni and Cuomo’s office.”

It would seem only fair to somehow reimburse all those commuters.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the key players wiggle their way out of this now.

Maybe they're hoping the Oscars will make the whole country forget about New Jersey.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As I said from the beginning, (49+ / 0-)

    "follow the money." The object was to increase revenues from long distance drivers after the toll hikes didn't generate what was promised. The idea was that if the long distance drivers were less delayed, they'd take the shorter route to new England, instead of heading up to I 84 and crossing the river for free.

    "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" was a sardonic reference to the colateral damage, a callous dismissal of the citizenry.

    Power, to be felt, has to hurt. So, public officials who are into the position for power, are bound to be disasterous. That people will get hurt is inevitable. Who gets hurt is up in the air. George W. Bush inflicted his hurt on the people of Iraq and the troops that were talked into sacrificing their lives and their families for nothing. Discombobulating commuters is minor in comparison to the bombing of Iraq. However, starting the assault on September 11th was pure malevolence--a sardonic warning that "it could be worse."

    Whenever Christie announces "I'm going to govern," he's claiming the right to hurt. His ilk do not accept that the people govern and they're hirelings.

    Christie, the hireling, has to be put in his place.

    http://hannah.smith-family.com

    by hannah on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:31:58 AM PST

    •  Rich people don't pay tolls... (8+ / 0-)

      And if they are in land bound vehicles that have to cross those bridges they are in limousines working incredibly hard in the back seat making those multimillion dollar phone calls setting up those terrible difficult meetings that are so important to keeping their economy going.  Their driver handles the small shit tolls and it's a business expense anyway.

      Oh YEAH, their economy is figuring more ways to screw the "little" people.

      The republicons moan, the republicons bitch. Our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich. Ferguson Foont

      by Josiah Bartlett on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:33:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As an outsider, I'm really glad that the NYNJPA (40+ / 0-)

    has no impact or influence in my daily life because what I know from simply reading the newspapers is that:

    It's a patronage pit

    They will strongarm people in unpleasant ways to gain their ends

    Christie seems to be creating a kind of personal "palace guard" with the Port Authority police whose ranks he has increased and who are paid salaries and pensions more than the regular New Jersey state police.

    They "find money" for impact studies even if the ones who benefit have nothing to do with the PA except for close ties to an insider.

    Highly placed executives have no qualms about voting on issues with direct financial impact for themselves personally or for other clients outside of the authority

    Many of the employees operate in a climate of fear and mistrust

    People who appear to attempt to do the right thing within the authority (Foye) incites anger for protecting and informing the public with those who seem to have their own goals.

    The Governors and their lackeys will play the public for fools in kabukis with pre-determined outcomes.

    All that corruption and patronage and sweetheart deals and misdirection of public monies costs a LOT of money. You think that stuff comes cheap?

    I'm glad the New York and Cuomo angle is starting to get some attention - is he completely unaware of what goes on in the PA? Is it a cohesive entity or 2 principalities? Why hasn't he had anything to say about all the revelations that have already come out?

    People of New York and New Jersey, your pockets will be picked by these crooks until you put a stop to it. You need an independent audit and some kind of interim trustee take-over in my opinion. And I suggest that you find another law firm than Wolf and Samson to do the above. You do have other law firms, right?

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:41:13 AM PST

    •  Cuomo wants to be president--period (10+ / 0-)

      Everything else pales in comparison for him. He's going to continue to play this scandal in a way that maximally helps and minimally hurts his presidential prospects, with actual justice not even being an afterthought for him, except as it makes him look presidential. Our political and economic system has been nearly fully captured by morally and often criminally corrupt people motivated almost entirely by greed, power and vanity, who have no souls.

      I'm currently watching the original, British version of House of Cards, now nearly 25 years old. When I'm done with it I intend to watch the US remake, first the first season on DVD, then maybe the current 2nd season on Netflix.

      I find the British show to have been uncannily predictive of how US politics (and I'm guessing British, which I don't follow closely) has unfolded over the past 25 years, with the lead character, a Richard III-like character (with a bit of Macbeth thrown in), reminding me of Dick Cheney.

      Not everyone who gets into politics is corrupt or motivated by corrupt goals. But most, I believe, either become corrupted by it, or, seeing how corrupt it is, give in to it, lacking the courage, energy and talent to take on that corruption, and not wanting to be destroyed by it if they tried. Every now and then some brave and talented uncorruptables rise to the top, but usually its the corrupt ones who do. I think that's the case today, at the state and federal level.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:30:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why didn't Mario Cuomo run for President? (3+ / 0-)

        Back when he was NY Governor and a Democratic darling, Mario was seen as a contender. But he didn't run because the national spotlight would have exposed just how mobbed up (yes, mobbed up) he was.  I'm sure Andrew has no skeletons though.

        •  I attended one of the major speeches he gave (6+ / 0-)

          back then that were rumored to be his announcement speech. Didn't happen, of course, but it was a nice speech IIRC. No one understood why he didn't run back then since he seemed like such a strong candidate and was perhaps the most popular politician in the US at the time. So this explanation makes as much sense as any. However, I suspect that Cuomo's personal life might become an issue as well. I hope that's not what prevents him from becoming president, but I really don't want him in the WH. He's corrupt and ultimately weak, when it comes to standing up for the things that matter.

          I hope that de Blasio runs rings around him.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:55:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I thought that Mario was bought into (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Blue Bell Bookworm

            The '91-'92 conventional wisdom that Bush had 90% approval ratings and was unbeatable. So he didn't want to blow his Presidential chances by going down to certain loss.

            Bush was so unbeatable that only nobodies, like the Governor of Arkansas, even tried running against him....

            "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

            by Stude Dude on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:24:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This was '87-'88 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stude Dude

              The first time he was seriously considered for a run for president. I don't believe he figured into the '84 race but I didn't follow politics closely then.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:28:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  What evidence is there of him being "mobbed up"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior
    •  In how many other places is this happening? (6+ / 0-)

      To one degree or another, I'd suspect this is the rule, not the exception.  

      I'm from Philly.  A quick 'DRPA (Delaware River Port Authority) Waste' google search returns a long list of questionable activities.  Probably, throughout the country, other municipal and regional centers of power have experienced the corrosive effects of bad leaders and self-interested administrators.  How much of our economy goes to satisfy the other Samsons and Christies in, say, Denver or Cleveland or St. Louis or Dallas.

      People are becoming aware of just how much of so much 'business' is a rigged game in NY and NJ.  I just hope the attention of the investigators gets focused in other likely places throughout the country when they're done with Christie, Samson and that group.

      •  Much of that will depend on the quality (6+ / 0-)

        of your local journalists and how harmful the corruption becomes in terms of actually impacting citizens in a way they can see, hear, see, smell or touch as opposed to just quietly chugging along behind the scenes.

        Citizens can smell the exhaust fumes as they sit in traffic, they can see coal ash sediment in a river, but they neither see, or sense dollars quietly being slipped from their pockets in the course of normal day to day graft.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:36:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just tiny little crumbs that no one really notices (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, agiftagain

          crumbs that fall as the cake is being sliced.  

          They will never enjoy a full slice of that cake but there are thousands of those tiny little crumbs and they are all made of gold.  

          A man can get very very rich collecting those crumbs as long as he can keep them coming his way and can keep anyone from noticing.  Nobody notices until they do and that is when the smelly brown stuff hits the fan.

          The republicons moan, the republicons bitch. Our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich. Ferguson Foont

          by Josiah Bartlett on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:52:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is the next closet full of shoes to drop. nt (4+ / 0-)
    •  "I'm glad the New York and Cuomo angle is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, a2nite, Josiah Bartlett

      starting to get some attention..."

      Why? He didn't have anything to do with Bridgegate, the Sandy money being held hostage or Samson's law firm. Those are the areas under investigation.

      I MISS CACTUSGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      by rubyr on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:48:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you sure??? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        Is passive inaction the same as innocence?

        The Port Authority is a joint venture between the two states isn't it?

        The republicons moan, the republicons bitch. Our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich. Ferguson Foont

        by Josiah Bartlett on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:56:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  None of the NJ scandals that are being (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          investigated now involve the PA, per se. They involve Christie operatives that were appointed by CC to the PA. It has nothing to do with NY. Nothing. Cuomo has no say over what the NJ side of the PA is/was doing in that state. None.

          The only connection is that Christie is alleged to have called Cuomo to ask him to stop the NY side from asking questions about the lane shut downs, which Cuomo clearly didn't do, since Patrick Foye, head of the NY side of the PA, stopped the lane shut downs as soon as he learned of them on the fourth day and clearly stated that he felt that laws were being broken.  

          I MISS CACTUSGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          by rubyr on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:16:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I answered your question in the second half (7+ / 0-)

        of the sentence you quoted but cut off -

        is he completely unaware of what goes on in the PA? Is it a cohesive entity or 2 principalities? Why hasn't he had anything to say about all the revelations that have already come out?
        I just have found Cuomo strangely absent from the discussion so far. Does he have any concern about the ethical lapses in executives voting in situations that affect their own pocketbooks?

        What does he think about Christie enlarging the PAPD and taking over functions of the NYPD?

        Chris Christie's Private Army

        Cuomo is a dog that is not barking in this story. Apathy? Ignorance? Complicity? Compassion for another member of the I Got Mine Club?  

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:17:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  His silence on all this, in light of how NY taxpay (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, lexalou, agiftagain, Stude Dude

        ers were ROLLED here, in favor of NJ law firms and developers and their LOCAL NJ projects, always raised my suspicions.

        Frankly, I do not trust our Governor. Everything he does is completely calculated. E.g.: he went along with the very undemocratic coup that kept the Senate in Republican control because it suits his purposes and consolidates HIS power in Albany.

        Like "steamroller" Spitzer, if he gets into trouble over Port Aurhority shennanigans, I don't think he'd have that much genuine support. It will probably just evaporate.

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:28:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Steve Kornacki (18+ / 0-)

      is reporting on it

      We should attack now when they'd least expect it #WarOnChristmas

      by AnnetteK on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:02:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw it and heard the woman who is (18+ / 0-)

        bringing the ethics charges against Samson for his apparent multiple conflicts of interest at the PA.

        Saw the clip of Christie saying that despite all that he still "strongly" supports Samson.

        Which means that Christie strongly supports conflicts of interest by public officials. Glad he clarified that for us.

        This is a good read from Esquire:
        Christie's Got a Death Grip He Can't Hold On Too Much Longer

        with the great subtitle:

        Chris Christie can't save himself by pushing David Samson off the ledge, and Samson ain't jumping
        The article makes me think of Sherlock and Moriarty struggling and falling over Reichenbach Falls together and then they both land on . . . . Cuomo.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:24:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh my, (10+ / 0-)

          Good read, thanks Phoebe.

          Eh,

          No doubt. It's an ill wind that blows no good both ways in politics, and the same week that Christie held his single post-Fort Lee press conference, the Port Authority handed control over construction and Port Authority funding at LaGuardia and JFK airports to -- pause -- Governor Andrew Cuomo. I'm not saying this was a quid pro quo. I'm just saying.

          We should attack now when they'd least expect it #WarOnChristmas

          by AnnetteK on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:33:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Fabulous article (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, CenPhx, Jim Domenico, agiftagain

          Thanks for that.

          Yup indeed, those two are glaring at each other, and irrevocably now joined at the hip, neither willing to take the fall alone.

          I've long wished for fly-on-wall privileges at the 2-hour meeting the Gov had with Samson, just after the Wildstein emails forced Christie to about-face on Bridgegate, from which meeting Christie emerged "convinced that the Governor had no knowledge, no blame, for Bridgegate."

          Two hours to say, "gosh, Chris, I had no idea.  I'm a busy busy man, you know"?

          Or two hours to get their stories as straight as possible, and remind each other "if I go down, I'm taking you with me."

          And I soooooooooooooo look forward to the day when each is asked, preferably under oath, "hey tell us about that discussion you had, where [Christie] asked [Samson] to "look into" taking away Fort Lee's excessive bridge lanes permanently, because that was the real outrage revealed by Bridgegate."

          And oh General, what about this email from you, Foye was "playing in traffic, big mistake."

          Just for starters

          •  I thought I recall reading that they had a (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, a2nite

            meeting right around the time of the first "time for traffic problems" email from Bridget Kelly. THAT's the meeting that I'm interested in.

            “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

            by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:25:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are 3 meetings of interest (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Phoebe Loosinhouse, elwior, a2nite

              The first, of course, before the plot was put in motion.  Wildstein's disclosures infer that he believes the meeting was about Bridgegate.  That's the one you're talking about--there will probably be no paper trail as to that agenda, sadly.  But it's juicy to hope that Wildstein is holding some card there.

              The second meeting, after Bridgegate became a scandal, but while the governor was (i) still mocking it and (ii) clearly intent on going forward with the plot against Fort Lee, despite the temporary interference from Foye.  The one where Christie asked the General to "look into" permanently taking away those excessive three lanes.

              The third, after Bridgegate became an undeniable scandal, the damage control meeting referenced above.  Among other things, it now occurs to me, 2 hours to for Christie to say, uh oh.  I think we gotta call off the game against Fort Lee.  Yeah, I know you really really wanted it, General, but it's a nonstarter now.

              That's a lotta meetings.

        •   "as long as I'm governor and he's governor." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          jus' sayin'

          "we're flying high on affluenza, mounting severed servants heads on the credenza" -Sanctuary City of the Rich

          by Xavior Breff on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:51:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Read the whole series. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoebe Loosinhouse

          Thanks for the link. One of the most interesting things I read was in the comments where a person said "keep your eye on Christie's weight. If it goes back up, he's given up on being a candidate in 2016." Then other commenters jumped in saying he's already putting the pounds back on.

          Makes sense in a lot of ways. Christie's weight loss surgery and efforts were all about running in 2016, in an effort to convince Americans they weren't being asked to vote for a guy whose visibly unhealthy. If he thinks his chances to pull out of this and run for president are as dismal as most do, hey, pass the
          potatoes.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:46:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, awesome and disgusting (12+ / 0-)

        So much suspected is confirmed in that article:

        Christie and his operatives had their sights on the PA's piggybank from the gitgo.  To secure political power, Christie needed a slush fund of public money to hand out for favors.  To be a conservative, he had to run on never ever raising taxes.  He got that non-tax slush fund from (i) killing the ARC tunnel, (ii) dipping into the PA's discretionary budget, to be replenished with toll hikes (not taxes!!) and (iii) when Sandy happened along, well that was a nice little bonus fund.

        Two juicy details from the article:

        Big ass secret meeting to plan the toll hike campaign, attended by Christie, Samson, Baroni and Wildstein.  Baroni and Wildstein were obviously Christie's dedicated political operatives at the PA, there he is meeting with them in a super-secret meeting to plan some dirty work, but of course:  Wildstein who?  Christie barely ever heard of him.

        Second:  There is yet another trademark Christie lie.  He's in on a plot from the very beginning, then makes a public show of being completely unaware and shocked!! when news of the toll hikes come out.

        If the Bergen Record doesn't get a Pulitzer for its work here, there is no justice

      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnetteK

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:24:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  i'm not sure i understand about how the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnetteK, elwior

    toll hike is such a big deal? And how it relates to Bridgegate? Other than that they followed the same process?

    Don't things like that happen regularly?

    Sorry I'm a ltitle dense this morning, could someone spell it out for me?

    (The above was probably snark, for the snark challenged) (The below was actually said by George W Bush in a press conference) I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

    by Tamifah on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:47:57 AM PST

    •  It's the same players (12+ / 0-)

      Wildstein and Baroni acting ostensibly on the part of Christie. Christie himself again with plausible deniability.

      Again Foye was left completely out of the loop.

      To keep track of who knew what, a list was kept of those with knowledge of the scheme, the former officials said. And just as Port Authority officials have testified that the lane closures were kept secret from the agency’s current executive director, New York appointee Patrick Foye, Foye’s predecessor, Christopher Ward, was also excluded from the planning and implementation of the toll hike.

      According to the former agency officials, the toll hikes were planned behind the scenes, primarily by Wildstein though Baroni was Wildstein’s official supervisor.

      You get a clearer picture when you read the article agiftagain linked.

      Also of note are the comments beneath the article, Christie apologists are fewer and getting more pushback.

      I really think this will be the straw that breaks Christie's back.

      We should attack now when they'd least expect it #WarOnChristmas

      by AnnetteK on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:16:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The toll hikes were not for actual PA costs. (13+ / 0-)

      Instead, they were a cash grab, with said cash to be distributed as political payola.

      The volume of money is in the 10s of millions per year. So this is huge.

      And on top of that Cuomo seems to have been in on it. This isn't just the usual miscreants from Christie's cabal. The investigations might now into the Cuomo administration.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:19:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As long suspected, Cuomo (6+ / 0-)

        was too personally implicated in the PA piggybank scheme to provide any restraint.

        We know that from Christie appealing to Cuomo to put the kibosh on any bridgegate investigation, and Cuomo quickly denying the conversation.

        Jesus, guys--you realize, were it not for Foye, and Wisniewski, and the Bergen Record, we'd be staring at President Christie?  So slender the reed.

    •  Toll hikes need to be reflective of rising (10+ / 0-)

      costs for ongoing and planned operations. Inflation has been quite low in recent years so any toll hikes should be seen as quite suspect, especially if the additional revenue they generate has gone to places other than where proper or needed. My understanding is that there was skimming going on.

      It's kind of like that "ACA Tax" in that Florida restaurant chain. The company doesn't insure most of its employees and those it does insure haven't been covered by the ACA yet due to the 1 year delay for small companies. It's pure theft plus political posturing. Just like NJ politics. An I-95 corridor thing?

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:37:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The "connection," if any, is overhyped here n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah

      Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

      by oblomov on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:20:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the same playbook, (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chujb, elwior, Tamifah, lexalou, agiftagain

        using the PA for personal and political ends, through secretive, improper and unusual proceedings,

        via the same operatives (Baroni and Wildstein) who blew any pretense of proper motive when the Wildstein Bridgegate emails came out

        with Christie publicly lying his ass off about his knowledge and involvement

        and big cherry on top: this time, with a paper trail showing Christie and Samson cheek-by-jowl scheming together.

  •  This explains why Cuomo never hammered Christie (6+ / 0-)

    after Christie asked him to shut down the PA investigation:

    The first proposal disclosed to the public, the former officials explained, was deliberately inflated. Also planned was Christie and Cuomo’s shocked — shocked! — reaction
    I wonder just how deep Cuomo's knowledge of Christie's plans runs, and how many things they planned together?

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:08:53 AM PST

  •  Given all the damning evidence that's coming out (6+ / 0-)

    that implicates all these top authorities, my concern at this point isn't whether there's a strong enough case to be made against most of them, but whether the corruption reaches even higher, to the justice system, at the state AND federal level, and that while they'll make a show of justice for the public, in the end few if any principals will face any meaningful legal consequences.

    I really do believe that this is a distinct possibility, that the fix is in, and that the only reason there's even a pretense at justice going on is because it would seem too odd if there weren't. NJ is clearly a corrupt state across the aisle and I wouldn't at all be surprised if nothing comes of this at the state level. But so is the federal government, including, clearly, Obama's own DoJ, and I wouldn't be shocked if the fix is in there, as well.

    Lots of winking and back-scratching going on behind the scenes?

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:22:05 AM PST

    •  I think they have a big problem with (6+ / 0-)

      Wildstein. It looks to me like he is the designated scapegoat and I don't get the impression that he has any inclination to go down alone. I also think it is ballooning out of control and is becoming to large to keep the lid on.

      Although, to your point - multiples and varieties of crimes were reported in the mortgage swindles, meltdowns and securities frauds, and as we have seen it made no difference in the larger scheme of things. The criminal enterprises are still in place, the heads are still getting raises and bonuses, they are paying their paltry nuisance "costs of doing business" fines and continue on their merry way. The rest of us got a great lesson in our dual system of justice - one for the wealthy and connected and one for the lesser 99% of us.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:36:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think our president is corrupt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Josiah Bartlett, Stude Dude

        There, I said it. I believe it. Not in the obvious, cash in an envelope on his desk sense. That's silly. It's more complicate and diffuse at his level. More like in a we'll help you get elected through massive donations and then take care of you for the rest of your life, if you take care of us as president, but if you don't play ball, we'll destroy you, sort of way. Quid pro quo. Yes, he's done a lot of good blah blah blah, but I think that in important ways, he's corrupt. As was Clinton, and of course both Bushes and Reagan. I think that Carter was the last essentially non-corrupt president we had, and they destroyed him.

        It's going to take a very, very, very special person to rise above this to the presidency. Obama was not that person, no matter how "cool" he is.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:41:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cynisim corrupts one's judgment (6+ / 0-)

          Obama is going to be known for doing more bold things that needed to be done than for corruption.

          Are his hands dirty? Maybe but he inherited a mess and did not have the advantage of having a working bipartisan Congress to clean it up.

          Aren't you ever curious about what might have happened if Obama had the full support of Congress to clean up the
          investment and banking community, establish a healthcare system that primarily supported the consumer and created an EPA that wasn't hamstrung by corporate money?

          Ignoring these factors speaks volumes about your judgment.

          •  What does the DoJ have to do with (0+ / 0-)

            congressional support? I'm frankly bored with these "Most powerless greatest president evah!" arguments that insult my intelligence.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:47:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, and nice with the ad hom (0+ / 0-)

            Speaks volumes about your debating abilities.

            Now it's your turn with the predictable "Well I call 'em as I see 'em and it's not my fault if you have bad judgement something something".

            And, of course, that I'm a "hater", therefore my judgement is clouded (not asking, of course, why I might "hate", even though I actually don't, just don't respect the man, given all that's happened).

            Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

            Sorry, I don't grade my team on the curve. Everyone gets judged by the same standard. Political partisanship is complete and utter bullshit.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:50:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you have some issues to work out (5+ / 0-)

              No one called you a "hater". That's trash talk.

              You changed the subject form the Port Authority to Obama.
              I've notice you often do that in your postings.

              I believe Obama's presidency will be judged by his actions in full but the last time I looked his presidency wasn't over.

              He has been overall a good leader. Lots of stumbles but I expected that.

              I wouldn't be so quick to write his presidency off as the Republicans did from day one.

              •  Those issues being people often (0+ / 0-)

                reverting to calling people who criticize Obama "haters", duh. And while many of the stumbles were the unavoidable kind, some were not. Not prosecuting banks, BP and the like was no "stumble", but a deliberate move to protect his main backers or potential enemies, at the cost of the country's good.

                Wrt to some of this country's critical structural issues, Obama may well turn out to be another Buchanan, ducking them in order to avoid a real fight. The ACA, flawed but admirable though it's been, will not make up for that. And it too was done in a way that benefited the mighty.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:13:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Democracy's foundation rests upon compromise (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  agiftagain

                  Obama has made some bad compromises. Some were necessary, others are questionable. ALL presidents do this.Ask George WH Bush. He compromised on raising taxes in order to avoid a crushing deficit that was the result of Reagan's economic policies. He did the right thing and lost his second run for office.

                  Read history and understand that there are no perfect presidents. They all fail to some degree,even Lincoln.

                  •  Typically meaningless response/justification (0+ / 0-)

                    You just justified and explained away Bush II's entire presidency. Hey, stuff happens, compromises, mistakes were made...

                    How was not prosecuting criminals who crashed the economy by committing financial crimes a "compromise"? Where do you folks get this nonsense?

                    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                    by kovie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:31:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  And please don't patronize people (0+ / 0-)

                    if you want to be taken seriously. I majored in history. I'm not exactly ignorant about the imperfect choices presented to and made by rulers. But the "no one is perfect" argument is a class non-sequitor because it justifies EVERYTHING.

                    Hey, Nixon wasn't perfect. Christie. Reagan. Mistakes were made!

                    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                    by kovie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:33:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are going to get very tired waiting for the (0+ / 0-)

                      perfect president to come along.

                      Bush's mistakes were clearly done because he lacked curiosity and good judgement. He wouldn't even listen to his  own father when it came to invading Iraq. He wasn't just imperfect, he was willful and arrogant. The worst president in our history.

                      Debate is your strong point but reason is not.

              •  Also, yet more ad hom (0+ / 0-)

                with the bannable suggestions of mental issues. Nice. Plus the uprates.

                Again, I don't grade on the curve. "My" team gets zero points for being on "my" team.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:16:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  So Obama went through all the troubles of getting (0+ / 0-)

          elected President so that he could be taken care of the rest of his life?

          Being pragmatic about battles can he win and battles he cannot win is now equivalent to corruption?

          •  How was prosecuting banksters (0+ / 0-)

            a battle he couldn't have won, unless you're saying that it would have been so politically damaging to him and Dems as to have not been worth it? And how is that not a different form of corruption, putting politics ahead of justice and the economic well-being of the country?

            And I'm not saying that protecting his (and his family's) future is his sole concern, but it's clearly up there. These interests could do him a lot of damage, as they did to Clinton. I think he just wants to avoid that.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:31:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is our system and no one can bring it down (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a2nite

              in one go. I even doubt if anyone can even bring it down. There is a reason people covet money. It brings great power. And very few of the rich are saints enough to not exercise the power that comes with being rich.

              If that convinces you that Obama is corrupt, then go ahead.

              The rich will always have their way and they will get away most of the time. It has been happening since time immemorial.

              •  Non-responsive (0+ / 0-)

                What does any of this have to do with prosecuting criminals? Are you saying that our system is corrupt and that Obama was powerless to do anything about it? That's the best you can do, that he was unable to prosecute them?

                Why? At least elaborate.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:17:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  List the people you want prosecuted. (0+ / 0-)

                  Then I can respond better.

                  •  Please (0+ / 0-)

                    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                    by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:37:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Strike Two... (0+ / 0-)

                      Asking for that list is a valid query, since ZR may have his reasons for wanting to discuss each potential criminal on the basis of each one's individual circumstances, or wrongs.

                      If this were an actual debate with the traditional rules for same, you were just disqualified for failure to answer. With all these multiple comments, you just seem on edge, why is that?.  

                      You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

                      by paz3 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:23:15 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Please (0+ / 0-)

                        This verges on one or more of the list items on that "How to spot a troll" diary a few days ago, in which you try to wear down the other person with stupid questions.

                        What's the third plant from the sun?
                        How much is 1 + 1?
                        What's the capitol of the US?

                        If this is a sincere questions, go read some books or articles about the collapse. Plenty of names are named. Most of the people aren't even well-known. Can you name the BP employees and contractors responsible for the gulf spill? No? Then obviously no crimes were committed!

                        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                        by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:26:14 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Elizabeth Warren is a senator today (7+ / 0-)

        That speaks volumes to how seriously some of us are taking the corruption that is still going on in the financial world. Its tenticles are very strong and at every level. It didn't happen over night and won't be gone as quickly.
        It will years and many concerned citizens who keep their eye on the ball and keep calling for accountability and justice.

        Personally, I believe Americans are fed-up and want things to change. I believe it so much that I send money to candidates who demonstrate concern and action in correcting our government's weaknesses.

        Meanwhile, focusing on blaming Obama is a waste of one's time and energy. Corruption has been around longer than he has.

        •  Elizabeth Warren for President 2016! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Citizenpower, Stude Dude

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:59:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So we should only look for corruption (0+ / 0-)

          where it's convenient for us to look, because Obama is groovy something something? He's not the sole source of the problem, or even the main one. I agree that it's been around for a long time, way before anyone ever heard of him. But he's part it now, and to deny that is just silly.

          He appointed Geithner and Holder and neither has done anything substantial to rein in financial corruption. Whether that's because he fears the banks or owes them, is anyone's guess. Probably both. But what does it matter? Letting corruption stand is itself corrupt. Morally corrupt.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:20:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I just realized you are replying to my comment (0+ / 0-)

          Number one I made no reference to President Obama.

          Yes, hip hip hooray that Elizabeth Warren got elected showing how seriously "some of us" are taking the corruption still going on in the financial world.

          But why should it take "years and many concerned citizens who keep their eye on the ball and keep calling for accountability and justice" to clean up the financial world?

          Why should we have to beg Democrats already in office to do their jobs? There is a Democratic Attorney General of the United States. There is a Democratic Attorney General of the State of New York. There are Democratic Attorneys General in many of the states most impacted by the financial and mortgage swindles. There are USAs in every state and a bunch of them are Democrats and appointed by Democrats.

          Exactly how many years before we get Democrats that the people of the US can depend on to look out for their interests and enforce the Rule of Law? I'd like your estimate.

          “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:38:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do Not Hold Your Breath! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            agiftagain, Phoebe Loosinhouse
            But why should it take "years and many concerned citizens who keep their eye on the ball and keep calling for accountability and justice" to clean up the financial world?

            Why should we have to beg Democrats already in office to do their jobs?

            Because the corruption that's at the heart of this discussion is deeply entrenched. And, because it involves money and power, it's like a metatasized cancer in the late stages. It will take a miracle cure to undo do it.
            Exactly how many years before we get Democrats that the people of the US can depend on to look out for their interests and enforce the Rule of Law? I'd like your estimate.
            You didn't ask me, of course, but I say that you and I will have walked off to be with our ancestors before the Democrats will be looking out for our interests, even if you are in your twenties.

            I'm in my seventies, and this has been going on, in my awareness, for at least 50 years.

            You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

            by paz3 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:32:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sad to rec this. But I did. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      If reality clashes with your belief, then the problem clearly is reality.--God

      by Flyswatterbanjo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:38:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Something about this whole thing (6+ / 0-)

        just has that "feel" to it. Other than a few MSNBC prime time hosts, no one's really covering this, and Dems aren't talking about it. Today's corruption is bipartisan, vast, institutionalized and at all levels, up to the executive branch. To meaningfully go after any part of it would be a threat to all parts of it. It's become one huge interconnected club that takes care of its own.

        Then again, perhaps it's just one big house of cards, readier to collapse than we realize. Plus, there are careers to be made for ambitious (and hopefully virtuous) rising 2nd tier players by exposing all this corruption. But they have to be careful, lest they be destroyed before they can.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:47:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The ONLY thing that can begin to answer (5+ / 0-)

          a situation like that are some brave, non-corrupt individual prosecutors who actually believe in Justice and the Rule of Law in an abstract, personal and powerful way and who know that they serve the larger society and not the current occupants of the thrones of power.

          I guess we'll find out if Fishman is such a person. Holder wasn't/isn't. He flat out said he let economic considerations influence him as did Lanny Davis. I found that disgraceful

          I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult to prosecute them … When we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps world economy, that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large. It has an inhibiting impact on our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate.

          “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:01:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If Pat Fitzgerald was unable to meaningfully (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Flyswatterbanjo, elwior

            prosecute the Plame leakers, then what makes you think anyone will be allowed to effectively prosecute this one, especially given that the corruption here is clearly bipartisan, with likely federal ties?

            I hope I'm wrong. I won't be surprised if I'm not.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:09:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I never understood the Plame failure (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bink, elwior, kovie, sharman, agiftagain

              and I found Fitzgerald's explanation of "sand" in the umpire's face extremely unsatisfactory. What was he even saying with that statement? Someone obscured the facts so effectively he couldn't uncover them?

              Plame had the potential to go exponential if he cared enough to examine the root system of Scooter Libby's aspens. I sort of thought the abyss he was looking at was so deep and broad that he said "Holy Shit!" and threw the sand in his own face.

              “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

              by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:22:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I.e. "above my pay grade" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior, agiftagain

                But then what pay grade is that? I'm guessing that he saw the lack of strong bipartisan support from enough key players as a sign that it would not end well for him or the case if he pushed further. I know that this site frowns upon CTs so I won't go there except to remind all of what an evil and amoral man Cheney was (and still is) who clearly engineered a war on lies (and of course outed a top spy and her network that ironically actually WAS protecting us from mideast WMD), so I've zero doubt that he'd be more than able and willing to translate his particular kind of evil to a somewhat smaller stage.

                I think what's going on here is the sense among all the players, even the good ones, that a serrated knife has been stuck so deep in the US political and economic system that to take it out would be catastrophic. The corruption has become a core feature, not a bug or ancillary feature, and it's going to take a much larger and more sophisticated effort to fix things.

                But even if so, you know what? It's going to be painful and take out a lot of people no matter how carefully we do it. So let's just do it and be done with it!

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:45:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think we are entering our own (4+ / 0-)

                  Mani Pulite era where the corruption is becoming so disabling and so corrosive to society in general that it will have to addressed, probably only after the next financial meltdown.

                  The Italians had to get to the point to where they had half built train stations and highways and the ability to support the graft overcame the pockets of the people.

                  New Jersey is a microcosm for the kind of corruption we face as an entire country that paralyzes and diminishes us and intrudes on our daily lives. Why should the people of New Jersey pay higher tolls when it is going to funding cronyism?

                  “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

                  by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:59:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  And yeah, Holder was concerned about (4+ / 0-)

            HIS "economic considerations", post-AG. A deeply, deeply incompetent AG.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:10:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Another call for Samson resignation (11+ / 0-)

    Plus, O'Toole.

    From Bob Ingle, Asbury Park Press

    http://www.courierpostonline.com/...

  •  NYDN verdict on the PA (12+ / 0-)
    Clearly, the authority is a diseased agency. It suffers from the sickness that sooner or later afflicts all powerful bureaucracies when they are allowed to escape public accountability. The Port Authority’s 12-member board of commissioners manages that trick through blatant lawlessness.
    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/...
  •  Thanks for the info (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, AnnetteK

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:49:56 AM PST

  •  Lots of people in this diary seem very happy to (9+ / 0-)

    throw NY, a Blue state, right into the corruption barrel with Christie. Bridgegate, the Sandy funds being misused, the abuse of power re: Samson's role at the PA and Samson's law firm, and almost all of the corruption going on at the Port Authority have nothing to do with NY. Even the toll hikes were orchestrated by Christie's people.

    Granted, Cuomo may have been in on the toll fare hike political theater, but that is nothing compared to the enormous amount of corruption being discovered under Christie's reign. Nothing, truly.

    I am not saying that Cuomo is blameless and pure, but nothing has been proven regarding corruption in his administration at this time and many of you are falsely equivocating (just like the Repugs do) and acting as if Christie and Cuomo are equally corrupt.

    Democrats eat their own and Repugs defend their own and that is why this country is in the mess that it is in.  

    I MISS CACTUSGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by rubyr on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:57:41 AM PST

  •  Cuomo's quid pro quo (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, oceanview, agiftagain

    I recall reading, and fully believe, that the reason Cuomo was in on the deal was that he was using the PA piggybank for the World Trade Center, and so he happily signed off on NJ getting its fingers in the honeypot for Christie's wish list.

    E.g., that sweetheart deal for the NJ Transit agency, 49 years free use of a PA property, for which NJ Transit previously paid almost $1 million/year.  Once again, more money for a NJ transportation need, so Christie can use available transportation funds for something other than running the NJ Transit authority--and all without raising the gas tax, what a fiscal conservative hero.

    And of course, Samson had to have his personal cut too, almost $2 million to his law firm to negotiate that remarkably sweet deal.

  •  The Samson/Christie connection (6+ / 0-)

    This story further illustrates how Christie and Samson worked hand-in-hand to make use of PA money and powers (Bridgegate an example of abusing PA power to achieve whatever political objective Christie was after there).

    Those two are now revealed to have attended, together, several top secret meetings, along with Christie's hand-picked PA operatives, Baroni and Wildstein.

    We saw another such dot to be connected in the recently released, less-redacted Wildstein emails.  In one exchange between Wildstein and Bridget, one of the two asks, "So, what did the General want?"

    I don't believe you can tell from the email what "the General wanted" at that time, but one thing is crystal clear:  The General communicated his personal wish list to Christie via Wildstein to Bridget.

  •  also article in the North Bergen Record... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, AnnetteK, davelf2, agiftagain

    some detailed figures involved:

    Running the campaign were former Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni and his aide, David Wildstein, both central figures in the bridge scandal and its first political casualties.

    Hanging from the door of the war room was a sheet of paper that warned: “Do Not Enter.” The room was accessible to very few of the agency’s senior staff, but not the New York-appointed executive director, who had fallen out of favor with Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
    - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/...

    link

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:42:05 AM PST

    •  So Foye had pissed off BOTH Christie and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, AnnetteK, kishik, agiftagain

      Cuomo. That's a new revelation as far as I know.

      Foye is  the only one who has come off as a champion of the people and he is certainly reviled openly by the Christie-ites as a press informer and Captain America and a knight riding a white horse. It's kind of funny how most people would see all those descriptives positively and these guys use them like pejoratives and scornfully. Foye is like an honest player on the Chicago Black Sox team.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:07:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Orchestrated backing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, AnnetteK, a2nite, agiftagain

    “They drafted press releases, endorsement and comments for blogs and comments sections of news websites,” said one source familiar with the operation. “They also orchestrated the public hearings, picked the most inconvenient times and locations for the hearings and prepared testimony outlines for various speakers for the public hearings.”

    http://www.northjersey.com/...

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