New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been damaged by numerous allegations involving political paybacks regarding lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that disrupted traffic for days.
That scandal was bad, but at least Christie has claimed no personal involvement. He cannot say the same thing now. Dawn Zimmer, mayor of Hoboken, alleges Christie camp held Sandy relief money hostage.
Two senior members of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration warned a New Jersey mayor earlier this year that her town would be starved of hurricane relief money unless she approved a lucrative redevelopment plan favored by the governor, according to the mayor and emails and personal notes she shared with msnbc.
The mayor, Dawn Zimmer, hasn’t approved the project, but she did request $127 million in hurricane relief for her city of Hoboken – 80% of which was underwater after Sandy hit in October 2012. What she got was $142,000 to defray the cost of a single back-up generator plus an additional $200,000 in recovery grants.
In an exclusive interview, Zimmer broke her silence and named Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Richard Constable, Christie’s community affairs commissioner, as the two officials who delivered messages on behalf of a governor she had long supported.
“The bottom line is, it’s not fair for the governor to hold Sandy funds hostage for the City of Hoboken because he wants me to give back to one private developer,” she said Saturday on UP w/ Steve Kornacki. “… I know it’s very complicated for the public to really understand all of this, but I have a legal obligation to follow the law, to bring balanced development to Hoboken.”
“I’d be more than willing to testify under oath and – and answer any questions and provide any documents, take a lie detector test,” Zimmer said, referring to the Christie administration’s denials. “And, you know, my question back to them is, ‘Would all of you? Would all of you be willing do that same thing, to testify under oath, to take a lie detector test?’”
Zimmer’s interview comes on the heels of a scandal in which other members of Christie’s inner circle conspired to create huge traffic swells, possibly in an act of political retribution, on another New Jersey town on the outskirts of Manhattan.
It’s possible to believe Christie had no knowledge of lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. Still, the person responsible was a part of his administration, and with considerable delay Christie finally offered an apology.
In this case, if the charges by Zimmer are true, Christie himself is personally involved. There is no other reasonable way to look at it.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock