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Wed Feb 12, 2014, 08:40 AM

Bwaaaaaaaah it won't be long-Ex-Christie administration member lobbied for train station

http://www.northjersey.com/news/Ex_Christie_administration_member_lobbied_for_train_station_that_wouldve_boosted_project_cited_by_Hoboken_mayor.html
<snip>
A former Christie administration official lobbied NJ Transit to build a train station that would benefit a $1 billion office and residential complex being proposed for the Hoboken waterfront — the same complex the city’s mayor claimed she was pressured to fast-track or risk losing Sandy aid.

Records show that the lobbyist argued for the station within months of an agreement signed with NJ Transit to move forward on the rail project. That lobbying occurred in the spring of 2013 — the same time period that Mayor Dawn Zimmer said she was pressured by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

The lobbyist, Lori Grifa, works for Wolff & Samson, the law firm founded by former state Attorney General David Samson.
Samson is also a central figure in the crisis Governor Christie is confronting over the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Samson was appointed by Christie to be chairman of the Port Authority and met with Christie on the day The Record reported the now-infamous email, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
------------------------------
Read the PDF of the non-binding Memorandum of Understanding between NJ TRANSIT and Park Willow, LLC, about the potential Hudson Bergen Light Rail
http://dng.northjersey.com/media_server/tr/2014/02/hoboken/hobokenrockerfellernjtransit.pdf

Samson will be Christie's Delilah!!!

44 replies, 6908 views

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bwaaaaaaaah it won't be long-Ex-Christie administration member lobbied for train station (Original post)
malaise Feb 2014 OP
2pooped2pop Feb 2014 #1
malaise Feb 2014 #2
2pooped2pop Feb 2014 #29
mstinamotorcity2 Feb 2014 #3
malaise Feb 2014 #4
riqster Feb 2014 #6
Laxman Feb 2014 #7
riqster Feb 2014 #8
unionthug777 Feb 2014 #23
malaise Feb 2014 #11
Laxman Feb 2014 #5
malaise Feb 2014 #12
Cha Feb 2014 #35
FarCenter Feb 2014 #9
Tom Rinaldo Feb 2014 #10
rocktivity Feb 2014 #15
libdem4life Feb 2014 #25
FarCenter Feb 2014 #16
Tom Rinaldo Feb 2014 #18
FarCenter Feb 2014 #19
glowing Feb 2014 #26
rocktivity Feb 2014 #32
Laxman Feb 2014 #27
rocktivity Feb 2014 #31
malaise Feb 2014 #22
malaise Feb 2014 #13
Laxman Feb 2014 #14
FarCenter Feb 2014 #17
Laxman Feb 2014 #21
glowing Feb 2014 #28
malaise Feb 2014 #30
NJCher Feb 2014 #20
Cha Feb 2014 #36
JHB Feb 2014 #24
rocktivity Feb 2014 #33
okaawhatever Feb 2014 #38
JHB Feb 2014 #41
okaawhatever Feb 2014 #43
indepat Feb 2014 #34
malaise Feb 2014 #39
indepat Feb 2014 #44
Cha Feb 2014 #37
Jefferson23 Feb 2014 #40
mucifer Feb 2014 #42

Response to malaise (Original post)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 08:46 AM

1. wasn't there something about his brother buying property near the train

 

station too?

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 08:52 AM

2. That's another project - same sleaze though

http://www.northjersey.com/news/Governors_brother_invested_in_houses_near_new_PATH_station_in_Harrison.html
<snip>
Governor Christie’s brother, Todd Christie, and two business partners have bought and sold a handful of properties within walking distance of the PATH station in Harrison, slated for a $256 million renovation funded by the Port Authority and championed by the governor, records show.
Todd Christie
CHRIS PEDOTA / THE RECORD
Todd Christie

Todd Christie and his partners — one the owner of Ferreira Construction, a large firm that has done tens of millions of dollars of work for state agencies since Christie took office — created a company and began buying small residential lots in early 2011, about a year before the train station renovation was approved by the Port Authority.

The company built three homes on those lots in the first year and sold each of the improved properties — after the announcement of the station overhaul — for nearly triple the property’s original price. The company also demolished a home and sold the vacant lot to the school board in Harrison, where Todd Christie’s partners grew up and have worked in real estate for the past decade.
Builder's response

A statement from Tony Ferreira, a partner in a company with his brother Nelson Ferreira, a builder, and Todd Christie, the governor’s brother.

“My brother and I were born and raised in Harrison. As a licensed Realtor I have worked buying and selling real estate in the Harrison Market for over 20 years. In 2011, we asked our friend, Todd, to partner with us and form West Hudson Properties. Through this entity we continued what we had been doing for over 10 years, purchasing and developing small parcels in Harrison. Having done business in Harrison most of our lives we have been well aware for more than a decade, of plans not only to improve the PATH station but to grow and redevelop many areas of our hometown.”

West Hudson Properties LLC owns at least two other parcels in the gritty Hudson County town that has seen its fortunes — and potentially its property values — rise with the promise of a modern commuter station that links to Manhattan.
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Governors_brother_invested_in_houses_near_new_PATH_station_in_Harrison.html#sthash.CFMHJdEC.dpuf

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Response to malaise (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:45 AM

29. I can't wait for this to come to a head

 

I know we are getting a bit almost daily but I'm hooked and need another fix of scandal. lol

Oh, and thanks for the heart if that was you.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 08:55 AM

3. When this is over.

Christie won't sing the words to London Bridge

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Response to mstinamotorcity2 (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 08:57 AM

4. But he may sing this one

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Response to malaise (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 09:23 AM

6. Or this:

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Response to riqster (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 09:26 AM

7. Life Lessons...

from Hee-Haw. "If it wasn't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all"- that certainly seems to be Christie's life these days. But I prefer to think of it as chickens coming home to roost.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 09:37 AM

8. I'd say more like buzzards.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:03 AM

23. to roast??

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Response to riqster (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:08 AM

11. Getting up off the floor

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 09:22 AM

5. Remember That Lori Grifa...

was first appointed by Christie to be the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. A powerful cabinet position with a great deal of power and influence over development issues. After spending some time in the Christie administration, she returned to Wolff & Samson. Who knows what kind of mayhem was perpetrated during her term in public office? I'm getting very tired. This hole just gets deeper and deeper.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:09 AM

12. Yep

A bottomless pit

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Response to Laxman (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:38 AM

35. I bet you're getting tired, Laxman.. it's a neverending hole

of corruption and lies. Bet Lori Grifa didn't like seeing her name come up in connection with the Christie admin continuing clusterfk.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:02 AM

9. Is there anything illegal here?

 

When a developer does a project, there is always a negotiation over who pays for improvements in transportation, wastewater treatment, etc. In this case it appears that NJ Transit is getting the developer to foot the cost of some roads, bridges, etc around the station. This is pretty conventional.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:08 AM

10. With this detail, perhaps not. But...

It may be considered circumstantial evidence supporting Mayor Zimmer's allegations regarding extortion over Sandy aid. It points to Christie's office showing keen interest in pushing decisions that would favor the same development project that Sandy aid was alleged to be contingent on moving forward.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:18 AM

15. DING DING DING! Tom Rinaldo, you're our grand prize winner!

Last edited Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:19 AM - Edit history (5)

...It may be considered circumstantial evidence supporting Mayor Zimmer's allegations...

Don't look for evidence that puts a "smoking gun" directly into Christie's hands -- he's smarter than that. His problem is that there are now so many smoking guns pointing directly at him, he's either too corrupt or too incompetent to continue to have his claims of innocence taken seriously.

All in all, it's just another brick in the wall!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:22 AM

25. He so very cleverly put the "smoking gun" in other people's hands...so they could keep their jobs.

 

That's why he stacked the deck, um Port Authority, with his own people. But every crook slips up, and even Christie got too full of himself and could not stop it growing like so many Flopsie's Bunnies.

There is definitely more to unravel...after years of the above, as people feel safe to reveal, i.e. Christie completely defanged, it will come out.

And just why is Cuomo so quiet, except for a few cheers for Christie every now and then? He knew nothing? I don't think so. Inquiring minds, and all.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:19 AM

16. This project had been in planning for years.

 

It was most likely well wired with the Hudson County organization. It stalled when Zimmer and an anti-development faction took over Hoboken. It is still not clear whether Christie and the Republicans cared that much about it. More likely Christie was helping out his Democrat friends in Hudson County.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:25 AM

18. Forgive me if I have the exact numbers wrong...

But didn't the Hoboken planning board or whatever the relevant body is named vote to approve development on all 17 blocks that were under consideration for development, rather than just the 3 or 4 blocks which Christie appointed Port Authority Chair Samson's clients were pushing for? This was after a Port Authority paid for study claimed only those exact 3 or 4 blocks were worthy to be developed at that time. That would argue that Zimmer's administration did not outright oppose development, just development meant to benefit one entity only.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:39 AM

19. I'm not sure what the difference between "redevelopment" and "rehabilitation" is.

 

May 8, 2013: Zimmer writes to Christie again, pleading with him to get more state aid for Hoboken’s flooding problem. That night, the Planning Board votes against designating the Rockefeller Group’s properties an “area in need of redevelopment,” and instead designates those properties and surrounding lots as an “area in need of rehabilitation.”

...

Dec. 4, 2013: The Hoboken City Council approves the Planning Board’s May 2013 recommendation to designate a swath of the northern end, including the Rockefeller Group properties, as an “area in need of rehabilitation.”


http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2014/01/timeline_of_hoboken_redevelopm.html

But there is probably a major distinction.

On edit:
"Rehabilitation" means an undertaking, by means of extensive repair,
reconstruction or renovation of existing structures, with or without the introduction of
new construction or the enlargement of existing structures, in any area that has been
determined to be in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment, to eliminate substandard
structural or housing conditions and arrest the deterioration of that area.

"Rehabilitation area" or "area in need of rehabilitation" means any area
determined to be in need of rehabilitation pursuant to section 14 of P.L. 1992, c.79
(C.40A:12A-14).


http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/au_docs/40a_12a_1.pdf

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:28 AM

26. Steve Kornaki explained this one AM when he was covering this scoop.

 

The difference in "rehabilitation area" and "redevelopment area" is the amount of tax breaks you can claim when doing the renovations of the areas in question. She found it rather suspect that only the 3 or 4 blocks that were owned by The Rockefeller group was labelled for "redevelopment", while the other pieces were only found to be designated for rehabilitation... Also, that those pieces were being pushed by Sampson's Law firm group, while also coming from the Port Authority. It would make the Rockefeller land pieces much more valuable because of the special tax breaks that are approved by the study. It was one of the very things that took down the former Democratic Mayor previous to her becoming elected. AND it just so happened the Mayor was taken down by the sting operation Chris Christie wrangled throughout the state over a fake development scheme. So, the fact that she was getting pressure to approve the real estate deal, or not receive Sandy money is something that would make one think twice about what exactly was going on. AND that the entire 16/ 17 blocks that were part of the study had a different designation than just the blocks owned by just one group.

AND again, it wasn't that she wasn't for the project to happen. Development of land into more valuable real estate would mean more tax revenue for the city (thru property, sales, etc taxes); it was the pressure that she was getting from the Christie Admin that made her wary and upset because she was happy when he busted up the corruption around NJ, and she ran a campaign on ending corruption. AND initially, she had told them back when they first asked about the possibility of redeveloping this area, that she didn't have the money to do the study (which is about a 2- 3yr study in itself); so they got the study done with Port Authority money. She was a more than a bit surprised to see that only one group in particular was designated in a certain manner. It would clearly make one owner(s) more money than another. So, it felt like just another real estate scam. Since the revealing of this info, the Rockefeller Group has fired the Samson firm. They don't want any taint of this scandal on their name since they own quite a bit of real estate that they want to make money off of.

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Response to glowing (Reply #26)


Response to FarCenter (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:28 AM

27. Different Rules...

with respect to transfer of property, use of eminent domain, ability to make grants or loans, amalgamation of multiple properties and other provisions.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 02:36 PM

31. "This project...stalled when...an anti-development faction took over..."

Last edited Wed Aug 1, 2018, 10:30 PM - Edit history (9)

Yes, I remember it well: the city of Hoboken refused to allow a tattoo parlor to open, citing "sanitation issues." But after arming themselves with info from the health department about what standards they'd have to meet, plus the argument that doctors and dentists were being allowed to operate in Hoboken despite their potential "sanitation issues," they filed suit and got their permit.

But why was the tattoo parlor given such a hard time? It soon became apparent: the city had just begun to gentrify, and an establishment that attracted biker and rock star types would certainly not fit in with the decor of their yuppie hell-to-be. But this story has a happy ending: the parlor celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2018!




rocktivity

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:57 AM

22. 100% correct

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:10 AM

13. You may be missing the connections to the 'extortion'

and pressure on the Hoboken mayor to approve the project or not get Sandy money.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:15 AM

14. The Key Word Is Negotiation...

which implies an "arms length" relationship between the parties. When the developer's attorney is on more than one side of the transaction, its decision making and pubic investment for the benefit of the developer, not the public. There is a huge difference. This was not a situation where the developer is covering some of the infrastructure costs associated with the development. This is infrastructure being created to permit the development. When Wolff & Samson is involved, its not "fair dealing".

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Response to Laxman (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:24 AM

17. Read the MOU - it is between the developer and NJ Transit

 

Samson works for PANYNJ. That is not related to NJ Transit. What is the connection that you are alleging?

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:57 AM

21. You're Right...

the Port Authority wasn't involved, but Wolff & Samson was. They influence (some would say infest) every nook and cranny of the Christie Administration. And I concur, this was a "done deal" before Mayor Zimmer came along. All of the insider ground work to get this pushed through had been done. They had already pushed all of the right buttons. Hence the illegal pressure of making Sandy Aid contingent on support for this development by Hoboken.

Samson influenced NJ Transit, he influenced the Christie administration and when he tried it on Zimmer-well it hasn't quite worked out the way he planned it.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:37 AM

28. The Port Authority was involved. The grant to do the study on the blocks of land for redevelopment

 

came from the Port Authority.

And after the study was completed only the blocks owned by the rockefeller group (represented by Wolff & Samson), was designated as redevelopment (ie bigger tax breaks), than the rest of the blocks (designated as a rehabilitation area), thus making The Rockefeller Group's land more valuable than the other blocks.

Also, when they were pressuring her to agree to the study, the firm was CC Samson who was now in the Port Authority (and the person who was representing the firm was someone who was from the Christie campaign or staff?) After that, she was threatened by a couple of people, one being the Lt Gov (who was in charge of redevelopment deals from the Christie Admin), that they could help with the Sandy Money if she would approve of the other deal.

And this is the same stuff that gave Christie notoriety in the first place when he was the Attny General and set up that big, fake development deal that took down so many Mayors (including the previous Mayor of Hoboken who did 2 yrs in jail). So, color her surprised when the same shit was going down on her head.

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Response to glowing (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 12:09 PM

30. Bingo

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 10:39 AM

20. It shows that project was a "given"

in their heads.

Mayor Zimmer was just a wrinkle in the scheme.

This would be tantamount to putting in the foundation on a house on a lot that isn't approved for building in our world. In their world, just add a billion or so.


Cher

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Response to NJCher (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:40 AM

36. THIS^^^^^^^^

Thanks Cher

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 11:21 AM

24. For reference, a view of the general area in question...

...the junction of Clinton St. and the light rail is near the center.

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Response to JHB (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 03:55 PM

33. And for reference, here is the link Dave Kornacki's explanation of Hoboken-Gate

along his interview with Mayor Zimmer:

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/mayor-christie-camp-held-sandy-money-hostage

P.S. The David Samson who was Christie's point man at the Port Authority owns the Wolff and Samson law firm!!!


rocktivity

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Response to JHB (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 03:49 AM

38. I still think the cancelling of the ARC tunnel fits into all of this somehow. Wildstein and Baroni

were put in charge of the Executive committee, or whatever it was called, to investigate the potential cost overruns. Both the overruns and NJ's share of the responsibility were lied about. Christie turns around a project that's taken over a decade to develop after a study that takes thirty days? When the Transportation director meets with Christie he won't listen to or consider anything other than flat cancellation. All of this his first year in office? And six months after he said he supported it? Sorry, it doesn't pass the smell test. I think killing the ARC project was necessary for some other projects to go through.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:54 PM

41. Cancelling the ARC was showboating to the Tea Party...

...both to its Jersey contingent and getting the ones across the nation to think happy thoughts about him. If his allies didn't have contracts or other direct financial stake in the project, for him personally it would be a low-cost method of boosting his profile. Also, if it had gone through and a rasie in the gas tax was needed, he could count on the Teabaggers holding a grudge, but it was done far enough ahead of the 2012 and 2013 elections that nobody else would, and probably move onto other things. With the Wildstein/Baroni committee manufacturing a justification full of omissions, exagerations and with a cherry(-picked data) on top, it suited his agenda.

This Hoboken HBLR stop, and the Harrison PATH upgrade, seem like more run-of-the-mill wheeling and dealing over the way infrastructure improvements and real estate development interact. I take both the HBLR and PATH through the areas in question about twice a month. So here's my non-expert opinion:

The area in Hoboken appears to be an underused industrial zone in an area that has become a Gold Coast for residential and business development: nice views, relatively easy access to Manhattan, but without the Manhattan prices. That particular area, though, is a mile and a half from the Hoboken Terminal where people can catch the PATH train or NY Waterways ferries into Manhattan. NYW also has ferry stops at Lincoln Harbor (about a half mile away, with its own HBLR stop) and at Port Imperial (a mile an a half, also with an HBLR stop). So only the Lincoln Harbor NYW stop is within easy walking distance, and the ferries are more expensive and offer less frequent service than the PATH. Any residential development in that area by anyone would want that new LR stop. That doesn't mean they didn't try to arm-twist the mayor who has other priorities than their particular development project, but it's not a "bridge to nowhere" situation. It would improve access to and from an area that mostly has traffic going around it rather than through it.

Similarly, the area in Harrison near the PATH station appears to be a similar underused industrial area, filled with warehouses that no longer have much filling them. It's also right across the Passaic River from downtown Newark (the Harrison station is a half mile from the terminal at Newark Penn Station), and has a new 25,000-seat sports and entertainment arena, less than 10 minutes walk from the PATH station, that opened in 2010 (and had been under construction since 2006). Revitalization project in Newark, the new arena traffic (it hosts NYC's pro soccer team), and easy access to lower and midtown Manhattan all argue in favor of upgrading the Harrison station. Again, it's not a "bridge to nowhere" sort of thing, there are plenty of non-Christie reasons for it to go through. That doesn't mean that Christie-connected people weren't in there using all the leverage they have to get the best goodies for their projects.

Basically, I think that what's involved with the two rail stops are different -- and more mundane -- beasts than the ARC cancellation, the Sandy aid redirection, and using the GWB toll lanes to deliberately gridlock Fort Lee.

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Response to JHB (Reply #41)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 01:15 PM

43. Thank you for taking the time to spell that out for me. it makes a difference being able to

visualize what's happening with each project. I wonder if Christie even voiced his motive for killing the ARC tunnel to Baroni or Wildstein? If he told them he wanted it cancelled so he could divert the money to roads without having to raise the gasoline tax it would prove interesting in court. If nothing else, maybe future voters will know to look twice when something this big gets cancelled abruptly.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Wed Feb 12, 2014, 07:05 PM

34. What a comparative choir-boy the now-convicted former mayor of New Orleans, Nagin, seems

in comparison to the RW poster-child-like choir-boy governor of NJ.

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Response to indepat (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 05:54 AM

39. Never forget Nagin was a ReTHUG who switched to win an election

He was still a crook. It took years to throw him away as well.
Christory is coming.

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Response to malaise (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 03:10 PM

44. Yeah to that coming

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:42 AM

37. Yeah, gotta have train if you're going to have a Billion$$$$$ Rockefella

Project! Ya think!

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 08:17 AM

40. lol, ya have to love the photo shop attached to: Chris Christie's Entire Career Reeks



Has there ever been a political reversal of fortune as rapid and as absolute as the one just experienced by Chris Christie? At warp speed, the governor of New Jersey has gone from the most popular politician in the country to the most embattled; from the Republicans’ brightest hope for 2016 to a man with an FBI target on his back. One minute, he was releasing jokey vanity videos starring Alec Baldwin and assorted celebrity pals; the next, he was being ridiculed by his lifelong idol, Bruce Springsteen. Mere weeks ago, Christie was a straight-talking, corruption-busting everyman. Now, he is a liar, a bully, a buffoon.

What is remarkable about this meltdown is that it isn’t the result of some deep secret that has been exposed to the world, revealing a previously unimagined side to the candidate. Many of the scandals and mini-scandals and scandals-within-scandals that the national media is salivating over have been in full view for years. Even the now-infamous Bridgegate was percolating for months before it exploded into the first major story of the next presidential race.

Case in point: Last year, just before Thanksgiving, I traveled to Trenton to see Bill Baroni, Christie’s top staff appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, get grilled by state legislators about the closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September. It was clear that something fishy was going on. Baroni gave a command performance, defending the closures as part of a traffic study, but more than that, as a matter of justice. Discussing whether Fort Lee deserved three dedicated lanes during rush hour, Baroni demanded, “Is this fair?” His voice actually cracked with emotion. “And if it is not fair, how do you not study it?” But there were only a handful of reporters in the room to witness his melodramatics, and it was six weeks before the national media caught on to the story. Outside New Jersey, at least, it seemed inconceivable that Christie, good-government evangelist, scourge of Soprano State shenanigans, could preside over a piece of payback so outrageous and so petty.

Now, of course, we know that there was no traffic study and that the lanes were deliberately shut to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, who had declined to endorse Christie for reelection. (“Is it wrong that I’m smiling,” crowed a Christie aide in a text message, even as congestion got so dire that ambulance workers were forced to respond to an emergency on foot.) We also know that this act of retribution wasn’t an isolated incident: The mayor of Hoboken, to name just one example, has claimed that Christie’s office pressured her to approve a big development project represented by a Christie crony—or risk losing recovery aid for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

And yet, even post-Bridgegate, the prevailing interpretations of Christie fundamentally miss the mark. He has been so singularly successful at constructing his own mythology—as a reformer, a crusader, a bipartisan problem-solver—that people have never really seen him clearly. Over the past three months, I talked to more than 50 people who have crossed paths with Christie throughout his career—legislators, officials, Democrats, Republicans, lawyers, longtime New Jersey politicos. (Christie himself didn’t respond to a detailed request for comment.) The problem with Christie isn’t merely that he is a bully. It’s that his political career is built on a rotten foundation. Christie owes his rise to some of the most toxic forces in his state—powerful bosses who ensure that his vow to clean up New Jersey will never come to pass. He has allowed them to escape scrutiny, rewarded them for their support, and punished their enemies. All along, even as it looked like Christie was attacking the machine, he was really just mastering it.

in full: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116601/chris-christies-rise-and-fall

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:58 PM

42. Unfortunately, this stuff happens a lot and politicians don't go to jail for it:

House Speaker Dennis Hastert denied Thursday that he pushed for federal funding for a proposed highway in northeastern Illinois so he and his wife could reap about $1.8 million from land deals near their home in Kendall County.

The Sunlight Foundation, a newly created group whose declared aim is to inform the public about what members of Congress do, has accused Hastert of not divulging connections between the $207 million earmark he won for a highway, the Prairie Parkway, and an investment he and his wife made in nearby land.


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/speaker-hasterts-land-deal-questioned/

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