Sunday, February 02, 2014

The new Christie minstrels are singing a sad song

As you probably know by now, Christie has fired back:
“Bottom line — David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” the email from the governor’s office says, referring to the former appointee who reignited the controversy.
Christie goes on to make much of the fact that Wildstein's lawyer said that "evidence exists" implicating Christie. That wording differs from the oft-heard assertion that Wildstein personally possesses said evidence. Some consider that distinction very important, while others will probably mutter something about hair-splitting.
Then, it gets personal. “In David Wildstein’s past, people and newspaper accounts have described him as ‘tumultuous’ and someone who ‘made moves that were not productive,’” the email continues. “David Wildstein has been publicly asking for immunity since the beginning, been held in contempt by the New Jersey legislature for refusing to testify, failed to provide this so-called ‘evidence’ when he was first subpoenaed by the NJ Legislature and is looking for the Port Authority to pay his legal bills.”

The email dips far back into Wildstein’s past to buttress its portrayal of him, even alleging that “He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.”
Yeah, but Wildstein was Christie's friend. CC may now want to pretend otherwise, but the effort is pointless. Everyone knows that Christie is the man who put Wildstein in a position of authority -- with a six-figure salary.

If Wildstein is a sleaze, what does that fact say about the man who gave him power?

I cannot come up with a reasonable scenario in which Wildstein would concoct that claim of Christie's complicity. Even if we posit that Wildstein is an extremely venal individual (and I have no problem doing just that), how could a concoction of this sort help him escape the law?

The Boston Herald says that Christie's presidential ambitions are dead in the water.

CNN is asking whether Christie will continue to be governor.

The Star Ledger ( chronicles Christie's evolving stories concerning the key question of when he learned about the bridge closures.
But a review of the governor’s public statements on the controversy shows he has never said precisely when he first heard about the closures, giving slightly different explanations on three separate occasions and at one point describing his knowledge as "an evolving thing."
Yet another scandal? A week ago, the Star-Ledger directed our attention to a scandal story unfamiliar to most people living outside of New Jersey. Bascially, a New Jersey prosecutor named Bennett Barlyn says he was punished because he tried to bring a case against a sheriff who was a Christie crony:
Barlyn says that after he secured an indictment in 2010 against Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout, a Republican with political ties to Christie, he was fired and the case hastily killed by Christie’s appointed attorney general at the time, Paula Dow. The real story isn’t the mundane crimes that were alleged: hiring without proper background checks, making employees sign loyalty oaths, threatening critics and producing fake police badges for a prominent Christie donor. It’s the possible abuse of power by the administration’s head prosecutor.

Barlyn is now trying to compel the state Attorney General’s Office to release the grand jury transcripts to prove his case had legs.

He’s not the only one who says so: Four grand jurors and other dismissed prosecutors have come forward to agree. A judge even ordered the release of the transcripts — yet still, the state is refusing to comply. It has filed a torrent of briefs in an effort to suppress the grand jury record, and will continue this fight at a hearing Tuesday.

Christie’s appointed attorney general is also seeking a gag order on Barlyn and his lawyer, in the event these transcripts must be handed over. Which makes you wonder: What is the administration trying so hard to hide? And just as important, why aren’t other people looking?
Also see here.
Hair-splitting? Some people who like to throw that term about should be reminded that making intellectual distinctions is very often a major element in making progress.

Sometimes - just sometimes - that makes them think.
"I cannot come up with a reasonable scenario in which Wildstein would concoct that claim of Christie's complicity"

It seems pretty obvious that the claim is to pressure Christie into asking the Port Authority to pay his legal fees. Why is that not a plausible scenario?
Anon: That's a reason to make such a claim if the claim is TRUE. But if the claim is a concoction, how could such a ploy work?
I agree, Joseph. If Wildstein has nothing, then he and his lawyer are playing with fire. But there are plenty of 'other' tidbits emerging on Christie's presumed success in New Jersey. None of them pretty. Strong-arming and shakedowns may go on all the time in the Garden State but a public viewing is deadly to any pols ambitions, particularly the size of Chris Christies' aspirations, White House dreaming.

That's done. He's now struggling to maintain his place as Governor and/or the head of the RGA. If you look at the stats on NJ [ has been keeping track] on what Christie has actually accomplished [or not], it's clear that he's been overrated all along.

Force of personality will only get you so far before you take the fall from grace. Christie is on his way. And all that wasted bro-love from the press! Boo-hoo.

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