With new revelations showing that Christie’s officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were told that their ad hoc “traffic study” on the George Washington Bridge was causing potential life-and-death problems the history of petty bullying tactics by the Christie Administration has come into focus. The conclusion seems to be that Bridgegate fits a pattern of behavior by Christie and subordinates in how they treat perceived enemies.
The four day jam on the George Washington Bridge due to an unscheduled traffic study is believed to have been done as retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie’s re-election.
In 2010, John F. McKeon, a New Jersey assemblyman, made what he thought was a mild comment on a radio program: Some of the public employees that Gov. Chris Christie was then vilifying had been some of the governor’s biggest supporters. He was surprised to receive a handwritten note from Mr. Christie, telling him that he had heard the comments, and that he didn’t like them…
But the gesture would come to seem genteel compared with the fate suffered by others in disagreements with Mr. Christie: a former governor who was stripped of police security at public events; a Rutgers professor who lost state financing for cherished programs; a state senator whose candidate for a judgeship suddenly stalled; another senator who was disinvited from an event with the governor in his own district.
Petty personal slaps, like causing a traffic jam in your town to teach you a lesson.
Even if Christie did not order the “traffic study” on the GW bridge that none of the New York officials knew about, might not the climate he created with these bullying tactics be to blame? Might not his subordinates at the Port Authority – Wildstein and Baroni – have thought that political retaliation via traffic jam would be appropriate after seeing their boss do these things?
Meanwhile the investigation continues as Wildstein and Baroni have submitted documents to the New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee in response to subpoenas, they may be asked to testify and will likely be asked if the idea to jam up the George Washington Bridge came from Governor Christie’s office.