Late Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) top two appointees to the Port Authority, both of whom have since resigned, complied with subpoenas related to the ongoing bridge scandal. Soon after, state Assemblyman John Wisnieswki (D), chairman of the committee investigating the incident, acknowledged soon after that the probe will continue into 2014.
But while we wait for the process to continue and for the new materials to be scrutinized, one of the overarching questions is whether Christie could possibly be so petty as to cripple a community with paralyzing traffic, just to punish the local mayor for having refused to endorse him.
The evidence on the bridge controversy is still coming together, but Kate Zernike reported yesterday that Christie’s track record of bullying New Jersey officials for even minor slights is extraordinary.
In 2010, John F. McKeon, a New Jersey assemblyman, made what he thought was a mild comment on a radio program: Some of the public employees that Gov. Chris Christie was then vilifying had been some of the governor’s biggest supporters.
He was surprised to receive a handwritten note from Mr. Christie, telling him that he had heard the comments, and that he didn’t like them.
“I thought it was a joke,” Mr. McKeon recalled. “What governor would take the time to write a personal note over a relatively innocuous comment?”
But the gesture would come to seem genteel compared with the fate suffered by others in disagreements with Mr. Christie: a former governor who was stripped of police security at public events; a Rutgers professor who lost state financing for cherished programs; a state senator whose candidate for a judgeship suddenly stalled; another senator who was disinvited from an event with the governor in his own district.
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