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Sun Jul 16, 2017, 09:10 PM

Christie Crime Digest Volume V: The Epilogue

Last edited Wed Jul 19, 2017, 11:14 AM - Edit history (5)

Welcome to the beginning of the end.

As the sun sets on Chris Christie's public life and personal credibility, I was more than happy to accept the keys to the Christie Crime Digest from DU-er Laxman. But I must confess that between there being just six months left to the Governor Soprano Crime Family regime and the shutting of the Bridge(t)-Gate, I honestly didn't think that another volume was going to be necessary. No such luck: it looks like Crew Christie are determined not to go gently into that final good night with a closing volley of their trademark political tone-deafness and social vulgarianism. So here we are...and here are the links to:

My first order of business will be to tie up the loose ends on Bridge(t)-Gate:

Chapters 352, 353: Cue the guy with with the Dragnet hammer - Baroni, Kelly and Wildstein sentenced

354. HorizonGate-ShutdownGate-BeachGate: What Chris Christie Did On His Summer Vacation

355. Meet one of David Wildstein's character references who wrote the judge who decided his fate.

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Reply Christie Crime Digest Volume V: The Epilogue (Original post)
rocktivity Sunday OP
rocktivity Sunday #1
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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 09:12 PM

1. Kelly and Baroni Sentenced

NJ.com: Bridget Anne Kelly, 44, a former top aide to the governor whose "time for some traffic problems" email became a focal point of the federal investigation, was given 18 months.

Bill Baroni, 45, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, received a 24 month sentence earlier in the day in a separate proceeding in the same courtroom before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark...

Both Baroni and Kelly testified that they believed there actually was a traffic study. But the most damaging evidence against them might have been the now-infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email sent by Kelly to Wildstein 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. Prosecutors said the email represented a directive to implement the plan.

During his testimony, Baroni also was confronted over his failure to respond to a series of emails, texts and increasingly frantic phone calls from Sokolich, as the mayor tried to find someone in charge at the Port Authority to explain why the toll lanes had been shut down, blocking emergency vehicles, leaving school buses stranded and forcing thousands to be late for work...

Both were also sentenced to 500 hours community service. They will remain free on bail while they appeal their convictions.

Appeal their convictions? If their convictions ever had any appeal, they never would have broken the law!


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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 09:16 PM

2. Wildstein: Three Years Probation

Last edited Thu Jul 20, 2017, 11:21 AM - Edit history (1)

...David Wildstein, 55, a former executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey...a high school classmate of Christie's...(and) (t)he mastermind of the Bridgegate lane closure scandal...avoided a prison sentence...

"Were it not for Mr. Wildstein's cooperation, it is unlikely that we are even here today," Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Cortes told U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in federal court in Newark, New Jersey.

(He) provided the key evidence that led to the conviction of two Christie allies...The judge sentenced Wildstein to three years of probation, noting that he was the only figure in the scandal to accept responsibility for his actions...

Well, it's just like I said way back when -- "Ask yourself how lucky you feel about getting acquitted -- punk!"


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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 09:24 PM

3. How I Spent My Summer Vacation, by Chris "Quadriplegic Duck" Christie

Last edited Tue Jul 18, 2017, 03:40 PM - Edit history (3)

Due to a bout with homelessness (for which I once again thank DU for helping me get out of), I didn't have much of a Christmas. And though I haven't forgotten that I have been bequeathed the stewardship of the Christie Crime Digest, nothing truly noteworthy has happened in Christie-stan since the sentencing of Kelly and Baroni. However, that changed drastically during the Independence Day weekend when Christie shut down the government -- which allowed me to feel like I had awakened on Christmas morning to find a roomful of presents!

The Back Story (Thanks, DU-er No_hypocrisy): Both Assembly and Senate were and are ready to pass the Budget. However, the Governor has INSISTED that the Legislature ALSO AND SIMULTANEOUSLY pass a measure...(that) would raid a surplus garnered by NJ Horizon Blue Shield and Blue Cross...allowing the Governor to apply that entity's money...to the NJ deficit, caused by the Governor not demanding higher income residents pay higher taxes...

Christie knows that the measure by itself would not pass...Not only that, the Governor would "allow" an extra $350 million for schools, legal aid for the poor, and other programs to be included in the Budget if the Legislature agreed to vote...Unfortunately, that split democrats (who are in the majority in both houses)...(I)t's on the Governor, not the Legislature.

The ninety-three cents on the dollar Exxon settlement that Christie left on the table would sure come in handy right now -- wouldn't they have been a smarter company to raid?

The Guardian: Even for a US state governor with six months left in office and an approval rating of just 15%, it was an unusually bold move.

First, you order a government shutdown that closes all state parks and beaches on the eve of the 4 July holiday weekend. Then you...spend a good chunk of Sunday soaking up the rays with your family on a pristine stretch of sand that – thanks to your order – you have entirely to yourselves. Asked about reports that his family was staying at the state residence at Island Beach state park while it was closed to the public, Christie...(said) “I didn’t get any sun.”

Told of the existence of aerial pictures of the governor sitting on the beach with...family members, his spokesman, Brian Murray, conceded Christie was “on the beach briefly.” But Murray insisted: “He did not get any sun. He was wearing a baseball cap.”

NJ.com: Howard and Betty Height are not the governor, but they have a house on Island Beach State Park. So do five other families.

But while Gov. Chris Christie and his family tanned, the other families burned -- with anger. The other Island Beach residents were ordered out of the homes Friday night under the threat of arrest. They packed up and drove off, right past the governor's summer retreat, its lights ablaze with activity...

CNN: "That's just the way it goes," Christie said Saturday in response to a reporter's questions during a news conference. "Run for governor and you can have a residence."

Meanwhile, christie got special "Greetings from Asbury Park"...

Rawstory: (At a) 2011 press conference...during Hurricane Irene...(Christie) told people "sitting on the beach at Asbury Park” to “get the hell off the beach”...On Monday (7/3/17)...(a) crowd of beachgoers in Asbury Park...cheered...after a plane flew over the beach pulling a banner with... “Tell Chris Christie: get the hell off Island Beach State Park...”

...and a meme was born...


NJ.com: Gov. Chris Christie announced he is ending the three-day state government shutdown...State-run recreation sites will reopen on the Fourth of July...

He'd offered to blunt his veto pen in exchange for two bills the Legislature also delivered: one pledging the state lottery as an asset to the public pension fund and another giving the state more control over the state's largest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. That proposal deeply divided Democratic lawmakers...Christie blamed the state Assembly leader for the budget impasse...

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, who had refused to allow a vote to be put the lower chamber...and the state Senate health committee chairman tasked with tinkering with the bill emerged from a flurry of private meetings with state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Horizon CEO Bob Marino...Within hours they had a new bill and a deal...which Christie promptly signed after making what he called "minor changes" to budget language...

...(T)he full restoration of government operations (on 7/5/17) will return about 30,000 furloughed state employees to work...

Did I call Christie a lame duck? Make that a quadriplegic duck! But seriously, folks, with six months left to his stewardship, we can only hope that's he'll allow us to "close the books" on the Christie Crime Digest gracefully. As for life after politics, I'm pretty sure that Exxon, if not Horizon, wouldn't hesitate to hire him!


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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 01:05 PM

4. Bridge(t)-Gater Turned Florida Man Turned Probationer Turned Twitterer

Last edited Tue Jul 18, 2017, 04:43 PM - Edit history (5)

No wonder Wildstein got a get out of jail card:

N.Y. Daily News: Former Yankee pitcher Fritz Peterson wrote a letter of support for the Bridgegate maestro...The 75-year-old retired hurler is writing a book with David Wildstein, according to a letter to (the) U.S. District judge...
Peterson grabbed headlines during spring training in 1973 when he announced that he was exchanging wives and kids with fellow Yankee pitcher Mike Kekich.

With friends like him, who needs character references?

But you'll be pleased to know Wildstien isn't letting any grass grow under his feet. He's rejoined the ranks of the respectable by updating his Twitter feed with a copy of his statement to the court and pic of him meeting Tom Kaine as a 7th grader. Someone asked him what Christie knew and when he knew it, but that tweet has since disappeared -- as did this one...

From zero character to 140 characters...well, you gotta start somewhere...


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