The George Washington Bridge closures and the ensuing nightmare for commuters story isn't going to go away any time soon by the looks of it.
Last night Mike Kelly wrote an article in The Bergen Record
Assemblyman says order for GWB traffic tie-up came from outside Port Authority
The article states that the closures may have been implemented for "improper motives" and that inquiries will be continuing into who was behind the closure. No credible traffic related reasons have been found.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski has scheduled more meetings for next week and is trying to follow the evidence as to where the original order to shut four lanes of traffic came from.
“There are documents that we’ve received that would indicate that there was somebody else who initiated this,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski. “There are words that are used that would imply an improper motive.”
But he left little doubt that he planned to take a closer look at Governor Christie and his staff of political operatives. The governor jointly steers the Port Authority with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, appointing its top executives and commissioners.
Wisniewski’s statements represent the most serious accusation yet that Fort Lee’s gridlock involved more than a poorly conceived traffic study of access lanes to the bridge tollbooths and may, in fact, be linked to officials beyond the agency. And they come after months of speculation that the traffic jams — ordered by David Wildstein, a longtime Republican operative and ally of Christie — were intended to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse the governor’s reelection.
Talking Points Memo
have highlighted the article and added their two cents.........
But as I wrote a week ago, Christie has managed to be his own worst enemy in how he's handled the story to date - alternatively belittling its significance, making easily refutable claims that don't even go to the heart of whatever culpability, if any, he has in the incident and generally playing to a bullying personality that tends to make the unproven charges more credible rather than less.
There's no proof Christie knew about this or had a direct hand in it. Even if he did, I'd be shocked if he left any sort of paper trail that could prove it. But it seems very likely that someone did this as political payback on Christie's behalf. There's simply no other credible explanation. And those are his people. Unless he gets out ahead of it quickly by disciplining or firing people on his own - which he hasn't done and shows no signs of doing - that's plenty to besmirch his emerging national reputation in a big way. At its worst, it's definitely not fatal. But can become the sort of identifying scandal which colors his reputation permanently.
They blockquoted one of their readers comments which seems to sum up the problem for Christie quite nicely....
People who like Christie (and I count myself among them most days of the week) don't like him in spite of the fact that he's a bully. They like him because he's our bully. Whether it's unions, bureaucrats or the intolerance of the GOP he seems to be fighting for you and me.
I agree that ft lee is far from from fatal especially because there are almost certainly no fingerprints. But the risk isn't that he's perceived to be more of a bully than we thought. It's not that he appears petty and vindictive. We pretty much knew that. The problem is that he didn't give a shit about stealing hours from thousands of commuters lives. The risk is that ft lee shows that he doesn't actually give a shit about you and me at all.
Let's not forget that the traffic snarl up could have been fatal to anyone needing access to immediate help for health and other emergencies.
So, quite where this is going is anyone's guess, but it looks to be going further.
7:15 AM PT: Thanks for the recs and tips, it's an interesting story and one I expect we'll all be watching unfold with interest.