Brief: The Chris Christie Bridge Scandal
So what exactly has been going on with the feisty New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and that bridge you’ve been hearing all about? Here’s the brief.
Chris Christie, currently serving his second term governing the nation’s 11th-largest state, is widely seen as a rising star in the Republican Party - as well as a possible presidential contender in 2016. He is the president of the Republican Governors Association and was the keynote speaker at the GOP’s 2012 convention, a prestigious position (a formerly obscure, first-term Senator named Barack Obama was chosen for the Democrat’s 2004 convention).
Back in September, Christie was running for reelection when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey unexpectedly announced closures affecting two of the George Washington Bridge’s three across lanes - the nation’s busiest bridge.
The closures were ordered by David Wildstein, a longtime friend and ally of Christie (indeed, Christie appointed him). This alignment immediately sparked speculation that the action was effectively a form of political retaliation against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, who had declined to support Christie in the election. This speculation eventually caused enough of a stir to result in hearings of New Jersey’s state legislature and Wildstein’s resignation, who insistently claimed that the closures were “part of a traffic study.”
At least for a little while, all seemed well. Then, an e-mail sent from a top Christie aide to Wildstein surfaced last week, saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” OUCH.
Needless to say, Christie had some questions to answer; in a lengthy news conference this past Thursday, he said that he had fired the author of the e-mail and was “humiliated” by the move. Though Christie has so far claimed complete innocence, analysts are looking into whether or not any federal laws were broken, or if any incidents or deaths were caused by the unnecessary closures.
And that’s where we are now. What do you guys think - is the Garden State’s head honcho in some deep trouble, or was he just caught in a rough situation? Let me know what you think.