One might imagine that after about a half a dozen or more allegations of Governor Christie's administration misappropriating funds, or channeling tax breaks to supporters we would have hit the bottom of the barrel, and it would just be a matter of investigating the many alleged scandals we've already heard about such as:
• The many Port authority projects that appear to be given in sweetheart deals to David Samson's clients, or Christie donors.
• The $1 billion diversion from the Port Authority for the Skyline Bridge repair that the SEC and Manhattan Attorney General Cyrus Vance Jr. is investigating for fraud.
• The ARC tunnel cancellation and use of funds for alternative purposes.
• The $15 million that the state of Massachusetts is investigating from the pension fund invested in a campaign donor.
• A few days ago The Guardian reported that Paterson's mayor Jeffrey Jones alleges that The Hampshire Companies owned by Hanson Donor's property venture given a $106m tax break by New Jersey.
• The the NJ EDA's use of $23 million in Sandy disaster recovery fund for a TV add starring Christie is being audited by the federal government. They are the group that issued the $223 million tax break to Prudential we are about to hear about next.
But, one would be wrong. Governor Christie is a man with many friends, with lots of money - here is another accusation from the Guardian, sent to us from rexxnyc: Chris Christie backers awarded $223m tax break to build New Jersey mall, that is majority owned by Prudential which has given $125,000 to the RPG which Christie chairs, and the Chairmen of Prudential and his wife chairs the Drumthwacket Foundation, which is restoring the governor's mansion Christie lives in.
Prudential also donates $50,000 a year in the Durmthwacket fund, and Prudential's chairmen and CEO, John Strangfeld chairs the Drumthwacket Foundation and his wife, Mary Kay, is the vice-chair, and they have donated $5,000 to the foundation. FEC filings also show that Strangfeld ave $25,000 to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign while Christie served as one of its top fundraisers.
A major new shopping mall and housing development in New Jersey, which is controlled by the biggest corporate funders of Chris Christie’s official mansion, has been awarded a $223m public subsidy by the governor’s administration. ...
The $223.3m, 10-year subsidy was awarded without fanfare to Sayreville Seaport Associates LP, a corporate partnership that owns the 440-acre development alongside the Raritan river, where construction on a shopping mall targeted at millennials is due to begin later this year.
But a detailed proposal for the $2bn venture discloses that the project is majority-owned by Prudential, the New Jersey-based financial and insurance giant, which has in the past three years given more than $125,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which Christie chairs.
A spokesman for Prudential, Bob DeFillippo clarified that none of the financial contributions by the firm or the Stranfelds had any impact on their project that received the $223.3 million tax break it just received from New Jersey, saying “None of these activities had any impact on this project”.
Well I'm glad he cleared that up because it sure looked suspicious there for a moment.
I hope he doesn't mind terribly if the various attorney generals and other investigative bodies take a quick look at the books just to make sure. And maybe ask a few questions before a grand jury under oath - you know just for the record.
And, just for more reassurance, Keven Roberts, a spokesperson for he Governor, says Christie never discussed this project with Mr. Strangfeld and that the the Governor has nothing to do with EDA grants.
The Guardian also tells us that apparently, corporate subsidies through the EDA are not covered by New Jersey's pay-to-play" laws. Michele Brown, EDA's CEO is a longtime personal friend of Christie's who also worked for Christie when he was the US attorney.
"Drip, drip, drip ... "
Or maybe by now we should be saying "Gush, Gush, Gush .....? "
3:35 PM PT: Please check out this rather scathing indictment of our DEA and DOJ I wrote this morning. DEA targets doctors linked to state legal medical marijuana clinics in MA reports Boston Globe