Author Topic: Emails link top Christie aide to GWB lane-closing controversy  (Read 16877 times)

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Bridgegate verdict: Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly guilty on all counts
By Ted Sherman and Matt Arco | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on November 04, 2016 at 11:30 AM, updated November 04, 2016 at 11:38 AM

NEWARK — Two former Christie administration insiders charged in a bizarre scheme of political retaliation against a mayor who refused to endorse the governor for re-election were found guilty Friday on all counts in the long-running Bridgegate saga.

In a seven-week trial that saw their own words used against them, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly were convicted of helping orchestrate massive traffic tie-ups at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. The plot was hatched to send a pointed message to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, after he stepped back from his earlier public support of Gov. Chris Christie.

The jury passed a note to judge Friday morning, indicating it had reached a verdict. The decision came one day after U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton denied a defense motion to re-instruct the jury.

Attorneys started to filter back into the federal courthouse around 11 a.m. The jury began reading its findings just before 11:30 a.m. and delivered their guilty decision in rapid fire. Baroni and Kelly were charged on nine counts, and faced five of them together. The other four charges were split evenly, two each for the defendants.

The criminal case, built around a rarely used provision of a fraud statute that makes it a crime to "misapply" property of federal aid recipients, charged that Baroni and Kelly intentionally misapplied the property or money of the Port Authority.

The jury of seven women and five men heard from 35 witnesses, including both defendants who took the stand on their behalf. But the most damaging evidence might have been the now-infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email sent by Kelly less than a month before several local access toll lanes at the world's busiest bridge were inexplicably closed for nearly a week in September 2013, leading to paralyzing gridlock on local streets. Read more

Offline stephen

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"I just stepped back and watched the jerk fall flat on his face," is what :fulop: didn't say.

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The other mayor who faced retribution from Team Christie
« Reply #37 on: 05-05-2015, 03:40pm »
From MaddowBlog:

The other mayor who faced retribution from Team Christie
05/04/15 08:00 AM
By Steve Benen

Many of the key details surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) bridge scandal came into sharper focus on Friday. As part of a plea agreement, David Wildstein, a former member of Christie’s team, explained that he and two other top aides to the governor conspired to deliberately cripple a New Jersey for several days as part of a retribution scheme – the local mayor didn’t endorse Christie’s re-election, so the governor’s aides punished the community.
 
The top members of the governor’s administration picked the time to inflict the most severe damage – the first day of school – then coordinated a cover-up of their alleged crimes. Two prominent former members of Christie’s team are now facing a nine-count criminal indictment, with an apparent trial on the way.
 
But the Jersey Journal flagged an interesting detail that was also revealed, though largely overlooked, on Friday

    Buried in the 30-page federal indictment of two key figures in the Bridgegate scandal is additional confirmation that Gov. Christie Christie’s office had it in for Mayor Steve Fulop.
     
    There was a “coordinated and deliberate refusal by the conspirators to communicate with, meet or respond” to Fulop after he became mayor in July 2013, according to the nine-count indictment of Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s ex-chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, formerly Christie’s top appointee at the Port Authority.


I can appreciate the fact that it’s tough to keep track of all of the various scandals surrounding the Republican governor’s office, but these new details about the governor’s office punishing the mayor of Jersey City reinforce an alarming pattern of abuse from Team Christie. Read more

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Christie ally David Wildstein pleads guilty, says Bridgegate closures were retribution
By Thomas Zambito | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on May 01, 2015 at 11:41 AM, updated May 01, 2015 at 2:23 PM

NEWARK — Former Port Authority executive David Wildstein pleaded guilty Friday to his role in the politically motivated closure of local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

Wildstein, 53, admitted in federal court to conspiring with former Port Authority Deputy Executive Director William Baroni and Gov. Chris Christie's former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly to "punish" Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie's re-election bid.

Appearing before Judge Susan D. Wigenton, Wildstein pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misapply property of the Port Authority and conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Fort Lee residents in the September 2013 lane closings.

He was released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond in return for his cooperation with the government and faces 21 to 27 months in federal prison. Read more

--

Bridgegate: Bill Baroni, Bridget Kelly indicted on 9 counts
By Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on May 01, 2015 at 12:44 PM, updated May 01, 2015 at 3:06 PM

NEWARK — Two key figures in the Bridgegate scandal — Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly — were each indicted on nine counts of conspiracy, fraud and related charges, according to court documents unsealed Friday.

Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff of Gov. Chris Christie, allegedly conspired to close the local access lanes of the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

The most serious charges in the indictment carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Read more

--

Christie allies deliberately refused to meet with Fulop, indictment says
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on May 01, 2015 at 2:58 PM, updated May 01, 2015 at 3:16 PM

JERSEY CITY – Buried in the 30-page federal indictment of two key figures in the Bridgegate scandal is additional confirmation that Gov. Christie Christie's office had it in for Mayor Steve Fulop.

There was a "coordinated and deliberate refusal by the conspirators to communicate with, meet or respond" to Fulop after he became mayor in July 2013, according to the nine-count indictment of Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's ex-chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, formerly Christie's top appointee at the Port Authority.

Fulop's spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment. An email seeking comment from Christie's spokesman was not returned.

The indictment, unsealed today, stems from the federal probe into the politically-motivated lane shutdowns on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. Read more

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New Subpoena Seeks Evidence Christie Administration Retaliated Against Mayor
By Ted Mann

Federal prosecutors issued a new subpoena to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey this week seeking possible evidence of claims New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration retaliated against the Democratic mayor of Jersey City.

The subpoena seeks records from a broad range of former authority officials regarding their interactions with Jersey City, according to a person familiar with the matter, including two Christie allies who resigned from the authority amid the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has said that the Christie administration punished him when he failed to endorse the governor’s reelection in 2013.

Within an hour of his decision not to provide Mr. Christie a coveted endorsement from across the political aisle, Mr. Fulop has said, meetings his administration had scheduled with state commissioners were abruptly canceled.

Documents uncovered during investigations of the bridge scandal contain indications that Mr. Fulop was considered an enemy of the administration.

They include a message Mr. Wildstein sent ordering “radio silence” in response to requests from the mayor of Fort Lee seeking relief from a week of heavy traffic triggered by the lane closures. “His name comes right after mayor Fulop,” Mr. Wildstein wrote.

A person familiar with the latest subpoena to the Port Authority said it was a broad request covering correspondence among aides and allies of Mr. Christie, including Messrs. Wildstein and Baroni, that touched on any efforts to penalize Mr. Fulop or Jersey City over his failure to endorse Mr. Christie. Read more

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Fulop quoted in Ryan Lizza's big New Yorker bridge gate piece: CROSSING CHRISTIE: What the bridge scandal says about the Governor’s political style, and his future.

Quote
Jersey City’s new Democratic mayor, Steven Fulop, who is thirty-seven and a former marine, quickly learned what could happen to Democrats who didn’t coöperate. After Fulop was elected, in May, 2013, Christie showered him with attention. Top Christie officials were scheduled to meet individually with Fulop on July 18th. “They were going to roll out the red carpet,” Fulop told me. He considered endorsing Christie, but decided not to, partly because he realized that, if he ran for governor in 2017, the endorsement could be used against him in a Democratic primary. Bill Baroni, Wildstein’s boss, and Christie’s top appointee at the Port Authority, called and cancelled his meeting with Fulop. Baroni gave no explanation and made no offer to reschedule it. Michele Brown and three other Christie officials made similar calls within twenty-four hours. “Yes, it’s political retribution,” Fulop told me. “And it’s amateur and immature. But if I saw any indication that they were penalizing the city on something, that would’ve been a different animal.” He added, “It’s a dick move, but it is what it is.”

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"Time for some air traffic problems over Jersey City."



Runway work at Newark Liberty Int'l Airport will add to air traffic above some communities
By Richard Khavkine/The Star-Ledger
on March 28, 2014 at 6:51 PM, updated March 28, 2014 at 7:51 PM

NEWARK — A key portion of Newark Liberty International Airport is getting a makeover.

For two months starting Tuesday, contractors will overhaul one of the airport’s major north-south runways.

Because the work will force the closing of Runway 4L-22R, an east-west runway will see more landings and take-offs and resulting flight patterns will bring more planes over Jersey City, Bayonne and Staten Island, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a release.

The agency, however, said airlines flying into and out of Newark Liberty have agreed to reduce scheduled flights by 15 percent, which will somewhat reduce the impact on those communities.


“We regret the inconvenience to residents who typically see a lower volume of planes over their homes, but this work is essential to the safety of fliers and the efficiency of aircraft operations at Newark Liberty International Airport,” Thomas Bosco, the Port Authority’s aviation director, said in the release. “The high-speed taxiways enable aircraft landing at the airport to exit the runway faster, allowing more efficient use of the airfield to help reduce delays and congestion.”

The $97.3 million project, which will also add high-speed taxiways and electrical overhauls, will create more than 500 jobs and about $152 million in economic activity, the Port Authority said.

According to the Authority, the agency’s noise-complaint-hotline system, at (800) 225-1071, has been made easier for people to lodge specific complaints.

The runway is scheduled to reopen June 1. Fewer landings and takeoffs than usual will take place for about two weeks to allow contractors to finish punch-list items, the authority said. It will also close for an additional 10-day period starting Sept. 20.

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Local reactions to report's findings mixed
« Reply #32 on: 03-28-2014, 12:34pm »
Local reactions to report's findings mixed
By Mike D'Onofrio/The Jersey Journal
on March 28, 2014 at 3:01 AM, updated March 28, 2014 at 3:11 AM

HOBOKEN — People in Hoboken and on social media were skeptical of the investigation that practically cleared Gov. Chris Christie of all wrong doing in the “Bridgegate” scandal and found Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegations that the governor’s office withheld Hurricane Sandy relief funds “unbelievable.”

The report on the governor’s office’s internal investigation released yesterday said that Christie had no knowledge of the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge. It also said Zimmer’s allegations that the governor’s administration withheld Hurricane Sandy recovery aid unless she approved a development project on the waterfront were “demonstrably false.”

Hoboken resident Robert Rivera, 48, said the report was bogus, adding that he has lost all respect for Christie.

“Did (Christie) have command and control over his personnel and what they were doing? The obvious answer is, ‘no,’” said Rivera. “He doesn’t have any control over his people. So, if he can’t control his people, he can’t control nothing. He’s a waste of time.”

Amy, a Hoboken resident who declined to give her last name, said she still supports the governor.

“I saw what he did in the past with (Hurricane) Sandy,” she said, adding that her support for the two-term governor has been shaken.

On Twitter, @JustJoshBlue tweeted, “My internal investigation concludes their internal investigation was ‘demonstrably laughable.’”

“This internal investigation was a sham. Chris Christie is a small petty man,” tweeted @tigerpatches61.

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Fulop, Christie reconnect over Pulaski Skyway closing
« Reply #31 on: 03-24-2014, 09:43am »
GRAPEVINE: Fulop, Christie reconnect over Pulaski Skyway closing
March 23, 2014 at 3:00 AM

The dust-up between Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and the Christie administration didn't last long. In fact, the two sides have been cordial and productive together since Fulop publicly called out the governor for canceling meetings in what appeared to be political payback.

And you'll never guess the reason why: traffic studies.

The April 12 closing of one side of the Pulaski Skyway — which will be a nightmare for commuters and the Jersey City streets they will clog — was enough to restart the dialogue.

"Both sides have a lot to gain and a lot to lose," a source told Grapevine. "This has the potential to be an epic nightmare that is nobody's fault."

The two have been talking regularly for weeks. In the coming days, they will host two town hall–type meetings with residents to talk about what to expect during the two years this will impact the traffic in the area.

The source figured there were two reasons for the repair in relations just a few weeks after Fulop accused Gov. Chris Christie of presenting a "gross misrepresentation of the facts."

"This is going to be so big that to not talk would be a failure of government of epic proportions," the source said.

The other?

Let's just say it was the result of fighting fire with fire.

"I think the governor's office realized they are dealing with a straight-talking mayor who is going to call it like it is," the source said. "They haven't had any other problems since then. Things have been fine."

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Group to ask Port Authority official Samson to step down
« Reply #29 on: 03-18-2014, 10:21am »
Group to ask Port Authority official Samson to step down
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
on March 18, 2014 at 3:00 AM, updated March 18, 2014 at 3:07 AM

A liberal group plans to call for Port Authority Chair David Samson’s resignation tomorrow outside the bi-state agency’s monthly meeting in Jersey City.

New Jersey Working Families Alliance, which two weeks ago filed a formal ethics complaint against Samson, plans to meet outside 2 Montgomery St. at noon, prior to the 1:30 public portion of the meeting. The Port Authority generally holds its monthly meetings in New York City, but occasionally holds one in its Downtown Jersey City offices, just outside the Exchange Place PATH station.

Samson, an ally of Gov. Chris Christie, has been implicated in a number of scandals, with critics saying his Port Authority role overlapped with the interests of his law firm.

Jersey City residents are furious at the P.A. for its decision to close the Exchange Place to World Trade Center PATH route for most weekends this year.

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Police Union Implicated in Bridgegate Owed Hundreds of Jobs to Christie
Governor boasted of saving jobs at Freedom Tower and airports for Port Authority police, who told stalled motorists on GWB to call Fort Lee mayor
Mark J. Magyar | February 18, 2014

Gov. Chris Christie won the loyalty of the Port Authority police union whose actions are under investigation in Bridgegate by guaranteeing that its rank-and-file would be in charge of security at the new Freedom Tower and by pushing a Port Authority police expansion that added hundreds of union jobs and dues-paying members.

Now the police union and its leaders are under investigation by both the Legislature and the Port Authority for enforcing the George Washington Bridge lane closures, telling disgruntled motorists to call Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich to make sure he knew the lane closures were aimed at him, and backing up the Christie administration’s cover story that the closures were part of a legitimate traffic study.


The police union’s enthusiastic role in the Bridgegate lane closures -- which were ordered by Christie Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly in apparent political retaliation against Sokolich for not endorsing Christie for reelection -- came nearly eight months after the Republican governor won the endorsement of the Port Authority Patromen's Benevolent Association President Paul Nunziato and his then-1,300 member union.

The Port Authority union’s loyalty to Christie is easy to understand, said Martin Robins, director emeritus of Rutgers University’s Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center: “The union had a very focused interest in this: jobs and dues. And that’s what Christie gave them.”

The Port Authority police force, most of whom are represented by Nunziato’s union, increased in size from 1,500 when Christie took office to 1,700 when Nunziato’s union endorsed him last January and will go up to 2,000 by the end of this year.

Nunziato publicly praised Port Authority Chairman David Samson, Christie’s highest-ranking appointee at the bistate agency, for providing critical support for the police department expansion at a promotions ceremony in Jersey City on October 8, just a month after the Bridgegate lane closures.

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Side note:  GOV Pufferfish really sounds the ass when he corrects himself and refers to Samson as 'General.'  Samson was an Atty General, not a flag officer. These kids prolly wear dress-up outfits in private!

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I believe you mean "Christie simply hates North Jersey."


If you consider the ARC Tunnel fiasco, the NJ Transit train floodapocalypse, and GWB Bridgegate, one could think that Christie simply hates commuters.
"I can't help it, I'm a greedy slob. It's my hobby." -- D.D.

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Monday newscasts focus on Christie v. Jersey City mayor
« Reply #25 on: 01-14-2014, 02:46pm »
Monday newscasts focus on Christie v. Jersey City mayor
By The Jersey Journal
on January 14, 2014 at 11:44 AM, updated January 14, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Cable and network news last night leaned heavily on the story of Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop's feud with Gov. Chris Christie, with the left-leaning MSNBC's prime-time lineup lavishing attention on the latest development in the George Washington Bridge lane closures controversy.

Rachel Maddow focused on the Fulop flap in her main segment last night, with Maddow calling the Jersey City mayor a "rising star of a Democratic mayor." After a brief, celebratory bio of Fulop, Maddow spent 17 minutes discussing the meetings Fulop claims the Christie administration canceled with him last July after he said he wouldn't endorse the governor's reelection bid.

On The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, the Wall Street Journal's Heather Haddon spoke to O'Donnell about how aggressively Christie's allies courted Fulop before Fulop said he wouldn't endorse Christie, after which there was, to quote a certain email, "radio silence."

NBC, meanwhile, ran a clip of Christie speaking at Fulop's July 1 inauguration above its story on the canceled meetings. In the clip, Christie congratulates Fulop's wife and children -- the new mayor is single and childless -- for surviving his successful mayoral bid.

CBS News also aired a segment on yesterday's development.

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If you consider the ARC Tunnel fiasco, the NJ Transit train floodapocalypse, and GWB Bridgegate, one could think that Christie simply hates commuters.

Sanctimonious bleater.

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Is "repairing" the obsolete and decrepit structure that it the Pulaski Skyway rather than replacing it, and only keeping it open in one direction during the repaiars also retaliation for failing to endorse Christie?

Well he did take all that leftover ARC tunnel money (that Washington wanted back) and use it to build roads in South Jersey while the Pulaski crumbles.  I guess South Jersey is in dire need and the traffic must be terrible, it obviously had nothing to do with rewarding the people who vote for him.
"god hates you. you will all go to yuppie hell. in yuppie hell there is no starbucks or hole foods or sushi bar. in yuppie hell you will work 16 hours a day in a bodega. in yuppie hell your car will not start when the sweeper is coming down the street. in yuppie hell your doorman will terrorize you and have sex with your wife or husband...when you are at work....in the bodega. in yuppie hell you will go to the laundromat and lose your last quarter in a broken washing machine. in yuppie hell you will buy all your food and clothing at the 99 cent store. in yuppie hell there are no cell phones, you will use a pay phone. a filthy pay phone".      -   Cat_Man Dude

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Is "repairing" the obsolete and decrepit structure that it the Pulaski Skyway rather than replacing it, and only keeping it open in one direction during the repaiars also retaliation for failing to endorse Christie?

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Another Mayor Faced Reprisal Over Christie, Files Suggest
« Reply #21 on: 01-13-2014, 12:33pm »
:fulop: in The New York Times



Another Mayor Faced Reprisal Over Christie, Files Suggest
By KATE ZERNIKEJAN. 13, 2014

In another indication of the hardball Gov. Chris Christie played to win support from Democratic officials, documents released Monday show that the governor’s administration aggressively courted the mayor of Jersey City, then abruptly cut ties after he informed them that he would not endorse the governor for his re-election.

According to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the courtship began with a call from the governor the evening of May 14, after the mayor, Steven Fulop, won election. The next morning, Mr. Christie’s campaign manager for his re-election, Bill Stepien, texted Mr. Fulop to say that the Christie administration would do as much as Mr. Fulop wanted to get help from the administration.

Working with Bridget Anne Kelly – an aide to Mr. Christie who was fired last week after documents showing she gave the signal to shut down lanes on the George Washington Bridge as an act of political retribution – Mr. Fulop then set up a day’s worth of meetings on July 23.

Ms. Kelly and a Fulop aide referred to it as a “mayor’s day,” with scheduled appointments with commissioners or heads of six different administration agencies, including transportation, economic development, the state treasurer and the commissioner of community affairs — the government official who handles state aid to municipalities, among other matters. Meetings were also set up with the director of Hurricane Sandy recovery and Bill Baroni, the governor’s top appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Emails indicate that the Christie administration planned to send staff from the governor’s office as well.

...

After Mr. Fulop told Christie aides on July 18 that he would not endorse the governor, the commissioners began calling to cancel. Almost all cancellations came within an hour, and the remaining ones followed close on their heels. That the commissioners called the mayor’s office personally shows an unusually close level of involvement for high-ranking government officials.

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Meet the Other Mayor Accusing Chris Christie of Retaliation
« Reply #20 on: 01-12-2014, 02:56pm »
:fulop: in Mother Jones


Meet the Other Mayor Accusing Chris Christie of Retaliation
—By Matt Connolly
| Fri Jan. 10, 2014 11:08 AM GMT

His city might not have been flooded with traffic as an act of political retribution, but Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop still considers himself Gov. Chris Christie's number one enemy.

Like Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, Fulop wouldn't endorse Christie in last year's gubernatorial race. (Though Fulop is a Democrat, Christie spoke at his inauguration in July.) Fulop alleged in a statement Thursday that he received swift punishment from the governor's office after informing the Christie camp in September that he would not be endorsing the Republican incumbent. Fulop claimed that Christie officials canceled meetings and rejected his requests to discuss city issues immediately following the news.

"Cancelations include an entire day of meetings with state commissioners scheduled to be in Jersey City that was abruptly canceled, with each of the commissioners individually canceling within an hour of the time I communicated my intention to not endorse," Fulop said.

The Jersey City mayor is referenced in the bridge closure emails released on Wednesday. After being told that Sokolich was asking questions about the George Washington Bridge lane closures, recently resigned Port Authority official David Wildstein replied, "Radio silence. His name comes right after mayor Fulop." Fulop told the Jersey Journal that after seeing that exchange he believes he's "Enemy Number 1."

Shortly after Christie won re-election, Fulop announced plans to sue the Port Authority for $400 million. He claims the agency, which is run by New Jersey and New York, has not been paying enough taxes on the 32 properties it owns in Jersey City.

When Christie was asked about the Jersey City controversy during his long press conference on Thursday, he said he didn't know if Fulop's meetings were canceled for purposes of payback, and he promised to look into the matter. "What Mayor Fulop knows is, when we agree with him from a policy perspective we'll work with him," Christie said. "When we disagree with him, we'll express those disagreements. And sometimes that'll mean friction."

He added: "Have I at times been angry with Mayor Fulop and disagreed with him? You bet I have."

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Offline CeeDub

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The more I read about this  the more believeable it becomes, that this was Ms. Kelly flexing her own mini-bully muscles in Bergen County. It's possible that the kept the Gov out of the loop. But he engendered the environment that allowed this hare-brained scheme to hatch. And now he reaps that which he did sow.

Offline Bobblehead

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I was thinking all the "signal problems" that seemed to affect Jersey City only were the retaliation. But, as you so accurately surmise, no one noticed.
Sanctimonious bleater.

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So why didn't Christie retaliate against Fulop's non-endorsement by shutting down the Marin Blvd. local-access lane to the Holland Tunnel? Or maybe he did and no-one noticed?
I heard he was going to shut down Port Jersey Boulevard once, but found it already backed up.
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So why didn't Christie retaliate against Fulop's non-endorsement by shutting down the Marin Blvd. local-access lane to the Holland Tunnel? Or maybe he did and no-one noticed?

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