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Thread: NJ Gov Chris Christie and the Fort Lee lane closure scandal

  1. #1 NJ Gov Chris Christie and the Fort Lee lane closure scandal 
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    It doesn't matter whether someone is the CEO of a company, the captain of a ship, the general of an army, the mayor of a city, the governor of a state or the president of a country. A leader cannot be everywhere at once, and so, one of the most important qualities of leadership is the attitude and atmosphere that the leader imposes on those who comprise the leader's inner circle and everyone else on down to the lowly stockboy, soldier or garbage collector. Does the leader insist on his people acting maturely, professionally and selflessly — or petty, emotionally and selfishly?

    Contrary to responsible government practice, New Jersey state officials did not notify local area officials, emergency services officers, and the general public of the upcoming lane closures. Christie's advisers and staff, including the governor's deputy chief of staff, press secretary, and campaign manager, as well as three of his senior appointees to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (which manages the bridge traffic), apparently attempted to cover up these actions and suppress disclosures. The lane closure delayed emergency services responses (which involved at least one death), disrupted schools by delaying the arrivals of students and teachers caught in the traffic jams, caused overall economic distress due to lost work and wages, and caused physical and emotional distress for drivers and riders who had to get up hours early and sit in traffic for hours in order to get to work or other obligations on time.

    Several of Christie's appointees and aides later resigned or were forced out. David Wildstein, who directly ordered the traffic lanes closures, resigned, as did Bill Baroni, who told the New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee that the closures had been for a traffic study after accused of violating protocols and trying to hide their plans for the lane closure. Christie himself fired his deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, who had emailed Wildstein advising him that it was "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee". Christie also withdrew support for his former campaign manager Bill Stepien to become the state Republican Party chair.

    I say that the fact that Gov Christie's underlings seemed to have orchestrated the Fort Lee lane closures for no legitimate reason has ruined his run for president whether or not he ordered them to do it, or he only learned about it from media sources after it was all said and done. Why?
    • He's the boss, and so, he's generally responsible for everything his administration does.
    • He appointed these people, some he knew rather well, who apparently didn't know the serious problems that the lane closures would produce even if caused by a legitimate traffic study. That is, some sort of cabal "schizophrenia" (a disconnect from reality). And they thought they could get away with it.
    • It seems that Christie's underlings thought that the lane closures would help him or please him.
    • It gives the impression that Christie wanted the people and/or the government of Fort Lee to suffer — that is, it portrays Christie as petty, emotional and selfish.
    • Christie cannot realistically defend his claim that he first learned about the lane closures from media sources after they had ended. That's somewhat like President Bush trying to claim that he first learned of the 9-11 attacks from watching the news the day after they occurred.
    • If Christie first learned about the closures as he claimed, then it exposes a serious problem with the flow of information through his administration about disasters, whether natural or man-made.
    I think it petty and farcical that Christie has now attacked David Wildstein by claiming that their high school social studies teacher had, back then, accused Wildstein of being deceptive. Additionally, back then, Christie wanted to bring a lawsuit in high school to prevent another student from transferring to Christie's school because the student would probably bump Christie from his position as catcher on the school's baseball team.

    The only way Christie will get to see the inside of the White House is on a public tour.


    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    "If Christie first learned about the closures as he claimed, then it exposes a serious problem with the flow of information through his administration about disasters, whether natural or man-made"

    What disaster?


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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    "If Christie first learned about the closures as he claimed, then it exposes a serious problem with the flow of information through his administration about disasters, whether natural or man-made"
    Normally I would support this type of statement (Mostly because I don't care for the guy) but is it really realistic for him to know about EVERY lane closure everywhere in his state? there is absolutely no way he can know about everything that goes on within his state in real time.

    That being said, I'm just waiting for hard evidence to come out showing that he has been lying about his involvement.
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    Normally I would support this type of statement (Mostly because I don't care for the guy) but is it really realistic for him to know about EVERY lane closure everywhere in his state? there is absolutely no way he can know about everything that goes on within his state in real time.
    I'm pretty sure that he'd be getting information about ambulances being delayed and someone dying because of it. Even if his staff didn't tell him about how and why the lane closures were organised, he wouldn't have missed the news about the hours long traffic jams. For four whole days.

    The big problem is that he's on a lose-lose issue here. I don't see how he can spin it into any kind of win. Either he's incompetent and his "can-do" approach is just talk or he's dishonest and he can't be trusted to do the right thing for the citizenry - or both.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I'm pretty sure that he'd be getting information about ambulances being delayed and someone dying because of it. Even if his staff didn't tell him about how and why the lane closures were organised, he wouldn't have missed the news about the hours long traffic jams. For four whole days.
    Actually such delays are routine anywhere near large American cities...it gets covered on the radio traffic news but seldom goes any further unless there's a huge pile up with fatalities.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Normally I would support this type of statement (Mostly because I don't care for the guy) but is it really realistic for him to know about EVERY lane closure everywhere in his state? there is absolutely no way he can know about everything that goes on within his state in real time.
    I'm pretty sure that he'd be getting information about ambulances being delayed and someone dying because of it. Even if his staff didn't tell him about how and why the lane closures were organised, he wouldn't have missed the news about the hours long traffic jams. For four whole days.

    The big problem is that he's on a lose-lose issue here. I don't see how he can spin it into any kind of win. Either he's incompetent and his "can-do" approach is just talk or he's dishonest and he can't be trusted to do the right thing for the citizenry - or both.
    The like is for the "lose lose" statement. I agree with lynx about your first statement.
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    Obama and Holder knew nothing about Fast and Furious. Obama and Hillary knew nothing about any security problems in Benghazi. Obama and Sebelius knew nothing about any problems with the health care web site. Why should Christie know about traffic jams?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Obama and Holder knew nothing about Fast and Furious.
    A program started under Bush, but let's just pin this one on Obama too.

    I got to hand it to you, what your party lacks in smart they sure make up for in tenacity.

    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    On January 31, 2012, Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report titled, "Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona".
    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    [36] The report concluded that there was no evidence of involvement by high-ranking appointees at the Justice Department in "gunwalking." Rather, Operation Fast and Furious was just one of four such operations conducted over five years during the Bush and Obama administrations, and was only "the latest in a series of fatally flawed operations run by ATF agents in Phoenix and the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office."[99]
    ATF gunwalking scandal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Obama and Hillary knew nothing about any security problems in Benghazi.
    Consistency, get some.

    I do wonder though, Why you and your brethren care so much for an attack on an embassy while obama is in office that killed 4 but you don't care so much about the embassy attacks that resulted in 54 dead under W's watch. (That was sarcasm, I don't really wonder. I know why)

    Quote Originally Posted by W Bush
    I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive. 08/04/02
    List of attacks on diplomatic missions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Bob Cesca: 13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush's Watch Without a Peep from Fox News



    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    Obama and Sebelius knew nothing about any problems with the health care web site.
    Why would they? They are not computer programmers. If the people they hire are saying it's running smoothly how do they know any different?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    Why should Christie know about traffic jams?
    Indeed.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    "If Christie first learned about the closures as he claimed, then it exposes a serious problem with the flow of information through his administration about disasters, whether natural or man-made"

    What disaster?
    Partial answer from adelady

    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I'm pretty sure that he'd be getting information about ambulances being delayed and someone dying because of it. Even if his staff didn't tell him about how and why the lane closures were organised, he wouldn't have missed the news about the hours long traffic jams. For four whole days.
    For four days, two of the three toll booths from the streets of Fort Lee NJ onto the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan were closed down without notice to anyone, supposedly as a traffic study (now known to have been political retribution). This resulted in blocks and blocks of traffic jams on Fort Lee streets. Ambulances and other emergency service vehicles were delayed. A 91-year-old lady died despite a 911 call, and one EMT left her stuck vehicle and ran on foot to the location requesting medical assistance. (They should give her a medal.) Authorities were delayed in responding to the report of a lost child, who was eventually found. The first four days of the school year were seriously disrupted as teachers and school buses full of students were delayed by the traffic jams. It would be recklessness and abuse upon how many children?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Actually such delays are routine anywhere near large American cities...it gets covered on the radio traffic news but seldom goes any further unless there's a huge pile up with fatalities.
    This unconscionable tomfoolery went far beyond routine delays. Fort Lee officials declared it a threat to public safety. The Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye declared that it endangered public safety and violated the laws of New York, New Jersey and the United States. Abuse of authority is a serious crime, and it is alleged that it was committed against the populace for no other reason than to cause pain and suffering on perfectly innocent people — modern-day barbarism. I will refrain from invoking Godwin's law.

    Currently there are several ongoing investigations by
    • the Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
    • the United States Attorney’s office
    • the Port Authority Inspector General
    • a New Jersey General Assembly Special Investigative Committee
    • a New Jersey Senate Special Investigative Committee
    The United States Department of Transportation may also open an investigation.

    To date, several New Jersey residents have filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against Christie and several of his people, calling the lane closures “willful, wanton, arbitrary, and egregious official misconduct” that caused the plaintiffs to get stuck in traffic, be late for work and lose pay as well as one of them suffering a panic attack.

    Several livery car companies also filed a class-action lawsuit against Christie and several of his people, alleging that they lost money from excessive gas consumption and loss of fares due to “intentional, indifferent, conspiratorial, politically motivated, negligence and reckless and corrupt actions and misconduct that led to the closure of multiple lanes of traffic and toll booths to the George Washington Bridge”.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  11. #10  
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    one EMT left her stuck vehicle and ran on foot to the location requesting medical assistance. (They should give her a medal.)
    They'll probably fire her instead for leaving the ambulance unattended.

    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe
    To date, several New Jersey residents have filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against Christie and several of his people, calling the lane closures “willful, wanton, arbitrary, and egregious official misconduct” that caused the plaintiffs to get stuck in traffic, be late for work and lose pay as well as one of them suffering a panic attack.
    If this were normal people they probably would find a way to tack homicide on there too for the death of the old lady based on EMTs not being able to respond

    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe
    Several livery car companies also filed a class-action lawsuit against Christie and several of his people, alleging that they lost money from excessive gas consumption and loss of fares due to “intentional, indifferent, conspiratorial, politically motivated, negligence and reckless and corrupt actions and misconduct that led to the closure of multiple lanes of traffic and toll booths to the George Washington Bridge”.
    I'm sure he'll wiggle out of it some how. Would be nice if they could get some hard evidence on him though. But again, it wouldn't matter Fox has already started calling this a witch hunt. If they find anything on him Fox will just continue their whining even louder about how the outcome was already fixed...
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Obama and Holder knew nothing about Fast and Furious.
    A program started under Bush, but let's just pin this one on Obama too.
    That's a lie. It was a totally different program.
    I got to hand it to you, what your party lacks in smart they sure make up for in tenacity.

    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    On January 31, 2012, Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report titled, "Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona".
    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    [36] The report concluded that there was no evidence of involvement by high-ranking appointees at the Justice Department in "gunwalking." Rather, Operation Fast and Furious was just one of four such operations conducted over five years during the Bush and Obama administrations, and was only "the latest in a series of fatally flawed operations run by ATF agents in Phoenix and the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office."[99]
    ATF gunwalking scandal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    So glad the Democrats investigated themselves and found themselves blameless. And their defense was, they knew nothing. Just like Sergeant Shultz.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Obama and Hillary knew nothing about any security problems in Benghazi.
    Consistency, get some.

    I do wonder though, Why you and your brethren care so much for an attack on an embassy while obama is in office that killed 4 but you don't care so much about the embassy attacks that resulted in 54 dead under W's watch. (That was sarcasm, I don't really wonder. I know why)

    Quote Originally Posted by W Bush
    I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive. 08/04/02
    List of attacks on diplomatic missions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Bob Cesca: 13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush's Watch Without a Peep from Fox News
    Yep, and Hillary still knew nothing about anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    Obama and Sebelius knew nothing about any problems with the health care web site.
    Why would they? They are not computer programmers. If the people they hire are saying it's running smoothly how do they know any different?
    Uh, because they were responsible for it? You obviously know nothing about what a leader or a manager is supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    Why should Christie know about traffic jams?
    Indeed.
    Indeed.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Obama and Holder knew nothing about Fast and Furious.
    A program started under Bush, but let's just pin this one on Obama too.
    That's a lie. It was a totally different program.
    No, Hannity, it isn't. It was the same program called different things depending on where the arms were going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    So glad the Democrats investigated themselves and found themselves blameless.
    Just because republicans are partisan hacks doesn't mean every one is. In case you couldn't fully grasp what that committee ruled. They ruled that both BUSH and OBAMA were blameless. I know your party like to make it all about one person but you have to actually read what is written


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    And their defense was, they knew nothing. Just like Sergeant Shultz.
    Are you talking about W and 9/11?



    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Obama and Hillary knew nothing about any security problems in Benghazi.
    Consistency, get some.

    I do wonder though, Why you and your brethren care so much for an attack on an embassy while obama is in office that killed 4 but you don't care so much about the embassy attacks that resulted in 54 dead under W's watch. (That was sarcasm, I don't really wonder. I know why)

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    Yep, and Hillary still knew nothing about anything.
    Doesn't answer my question does it?
    And
    This comment actually makes it sound even worse for W. You're suggesting W did know and let 54 people die any way. As it has been said "stunning rebuttal" Why aren't the apes over at Fox beating their chests and flinging feces about these 54 people? Oh, we know why cause they have a product to sell, and you're first in line to buy it. USA!! USA!! USA!! USA!!
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  14. #13  
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    [QUOTE=jrmonroe;521772]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I will refrain from invoking Godwin's law.
    And you loose complete credibility for commentary in this thread in one fell swoop comparing heavy handed political antics that at worst resulted in a bit worse traffic in a city already routinely accustomed to really really bad traffic to anything resembling real disaster-- You commentary is mostly emotion, bereft of reasoning and completely out of proportion to the actual events.
    --

    The United States Department of Transportation may also open an investigation.

    Indeed they might, but it would be highly questionable given they've let the two states handle the infracture between them for nearly a century. It's quite possible that the Port Authority will be gone after this incident.

    To date, several New Jersey residents have filed a class-action lawsuit
    Good luck with that. I doubt there's any precedents for mishaps from bad traffic especially if there was ANY valid reason for the interruptions--and it doesn't need to be much at all....a test...a study...maintenance of any sort.

    Also my impression that the FBI investigation is mostly about diversion of federal moneys for disaster relief for political reasons--that would be big.

    --
    "I'm sure he'll wiggle out of it some how. "

    That sounds objective
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; February 3rd, 2014 at 03:50 AM.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Also my impression that the FBI investigation is mostly about diversion of federal moneys for disaster relief for political reasons--that would be big.
    This is my understanding as well. Boy, just like at dinner time Chris has a ton on his plate all at once.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf
    --
    "I'm sure he'll wiggle out of it some how. "


    That sounds objective
    wasn't meant to be. Christie is someone who has shown himself to be a jerk to his constituents time and time again. He apparently has no problem with throwing close friends/associates under the bus so he may prosper.
    the BBC is now running a story that evidence exists that shows that Christie knew all about the lane closure. (granted it's the lawyer from one of his fired workers but I think it's the same guy who said he would spill everything if they gave him immunity.)
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  16. #15  
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    It was not the normal course of government administration, and so, the bad actors are not shielded by the law.

    It was knowingly and willfully inflicting pain and suffering on perfectly innocent people perpetrated under the color of law. Legally, this is very serious.

    It was especially a disaster for families with small children. Suffering children were actually mentioned in the emails of the accused, and they basically laughed at it and continued to maintain the lane closure.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  17. #16  
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    It is amazing what Captain Licorish and his crew can do with a few traffic cones. The political fallout from this incident was surely unforeseen. I watch with interest as the political pundits slaver.
    .
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