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Sun Jul 16, 2017, 09:10 PM

Christie Crime Digest Volume V: The Epilogue

Last edited Fri Aug 4, 2017, 10:03 AM - Edit history (26)

Welcome to the beginning of the end of the Chris Christie era.



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 have to 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 would be necessary. No such luck: it looks like Crew Christie are determined not to go gently into that good night, but 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



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

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

Chapter 355a: A closer look at Wildstein's plea for leniency -- and self-made banishment from respectability -- plus a link to the complete statement.

Chapter 356: The count is 0 and 2: Christie strikes out as sportscaster, takes in baseball game as fans cry foul (ball).

Chapter 357: It turns out that Christie is qualified to nominate himself as New Jersey senator should a replacement be needed for the indicted Bob Menenedez before Christie's term ends. Too bad he's long since disqualified himself for the job.

Chapter 358: Beach-Gate post mortem: Christie plays the kid card -- even they noticed that perhaps he'd abused his power. And don't miss the video tribute.

Chapter 358a: The New Jersey Dem-pire swings the Bridge-Gate shut.

Chapter 359: Why a six-month-old story about something that happened to Christie three years ago suddenly has news significance.

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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 Sun Jul 23, 2017, 10:39 PM - Edit history (2)

Reuters:
...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 Sat Jul 22, 2017, 02:33 PM - Edit history (4)

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 over 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...










Mine:







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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Response to rocktivity (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 23, 2017, 06:48 PM

5. Excerpts from Wildstein's Statement to the Judge

Last edited Mon Jul 24, 2017, 05:25 PM - Edit history (8)

Cue the DU official "Cry Me A River" String Quartet!



There should be no doubt that I deeply regret my actions at the George Washington Bridge...It served no sensible purpose other than a plan to punish one mayor...It was a callous decision...It was stupid, and it was wrong. I violated the law, and I profoundly regret it...

I have spent the past three and a half years trying to make amends...Before any cooperation agreement was in place, I met with Assistant United States Attorneys and the FBI...(although) admitting my guilt and accepting responsibility for my actions...does not lessen the seriousness of what I have done...

What he "did" was come up with idea and suggest it to Christie -- Wildstein's only "callous decision" was implementing Bridge(t)-Gate once he received Christie's approval (via Kelly). It isn't as though he's the one who gave the order to carry it out -- right?


I take full responsibility for what I did, and hope that someday, others will too...I admit to being a willing participant in a culture that was, upon reflection, disgusting...I was supervised by a group of former federal prosecutors and experienced public servants who encouraged a behavior that I deeply regret -- and fully understand was illegal...

NOW we're getting somewhere!


Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly were my friends, and my testimony at their trial was an agonizing moment in my life...Each of us put our faith and trust in a man who neither earned nor deserved it...

But each of them saw Governor Soprano as their shortcut to the big time. And maybe it wouldn't have been as agonizing if it had been clear which of them reported to who.


I willingly drank the Kool-Aid of a man I had known since I was fifteen...I thoughtlessly followed his hubris, and must now accept the consequences...I don’t expect everyone to forgive me...It will define the remainder of my life...

Which brings us to the bottom line: The remainder of Wildstein's life will be that of a 55-year-old fifteen-year-old whose entire being was consumed by playing cool kid wannabe Richie Cunningham to Christie's Fonzie. But just as Richie only got to subsist on inhaling the fumes of coolness -- of being OF Fonzie's "inner circle" but never IN it -- Wildstein never figured out that it would never be in Christie's best interests to give him a ticket out of Nerd-istan...and don't forget that Fonzie was eventually reduced to water ski jumping over a shark.

(link to entire statement)




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Response to rocktivity (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 24, 2017, 11:42 AM

6. Thanks

Bookmarked to read when I return

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 05:48 AM

7. It certainly has been an awesome effort by all DUers to contribute to the Christie Crime Digest.

At the time that it began Christie was in the spotlight as a favorite for the 2016 GOP nomination and now his star has faded. I guess that he might be in consideration for some appointment in the Trump administration, but it would require extreme humility for either man to offer or accept a position.

Christie is in great financial shape and he can always set up shop to become an attorney or lobbyist. It is still nice to have this information recorded for easy access if the need arises though.

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 04:32 PM

8. Christie swings and misses at sports talk show audition

Last edited Thu Jul 27, 2017, 12:09 AM - Edit history (3)

I don't begrudge any political leader a little time off to take in a sporting event -- if anything, it's one of their duties. But I was surprised to hear that Governor Soprano recently took in a New York Mets baseball game.

It surprised me because native New Jerseyites tend to be Yankee fans if only because they're right over the George Washington Bridge -- not to mention that the Yankees are currently playing so much better than the Mets. I was not surprised, however, to learn that he caught a foul ball at the game: "foul" balls are the only kind that are willing to be seen with him!



However, while I can certainly appreciate that Christie would like to have a job lined up after his governorship ends, I would like to ask on behalf of the 15% of New Jerseyites who still like him that he have the good graces to be discreet about his job hunting efforts:


CBS News: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been on the air for 4.5 hours of sports talk radio..as part of his audition to replace Mike Francesa at WFAN, the largest sports station in the New York metro area...

Christie complained to his co-host Evan Roberts...on air..."They gave us the 10th and 11th of July...These are the two worst sports days of the year...It's ridiculous. I think they're trying to say to us, 'If you guys can be good then, you can be good any time'...They screwed us here..."

Roughly an hour into the show, "John from Montclair" (a town that voted against the governor twice) phoned in to talk about the "horrible job" Christie had done while in office. Later on, "Mike from Montclair" dialed in and called Christie pejorative names and confronted Christie on the "beachgate" scandal in which Christie was caught lounging on the Fourth of July holiday weekend at a New Jersey public beach that was otherwise closed off to the rest of the state's taxpayers.

"I love getting calls from communists in Montclair," Christie quipped.


How perceptive of him to suspect that he was deliberately invited in on the days there would be the least to talk about. But as the saying goes, when life hands you lemons, you're supposed to make lemonade. With his constant potential of most of his sport talk conversations degrading to personal attacks, perhaps it's best that he investigate other employment opportunities...


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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Fri Jul 28, 2017, 03:38 PM

9. Senator Christie?

Last edited Fri Jul 28, 2017, 09:19 PM - Edit history (2)

The corruption trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez starts in September, and there's been some talk about what Christie will do if it comes down to having to replace him before his time before January:

RawStory (April 2015): Like...Dick Cheney, who revived his political career by selecting himself as the running mate for eventual President George W. Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) could...choos(e) himself to replace embattled Sen. Bob Menendez, should he step down. Menendez, a Democrat...(who) assumed his seat in the Senate in 2006...is currently facing one count of conspiracy, one count of violating the travel act, seven counts of bribery and three counts of honest services fraud...

Politico: Gov. Chris Christie's last days in office he may get to exercise enormous influence nationally: Choosing a successor to embattled U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez...if (he) is convicted and the Senate acts quickly to expel him, or if he cuts a plea deal and leaves office even earlier...

As the battle over replacing the Affordable Care Act has made abundantly clear(,) Republicans' slim two-vote majority in the Senate — and the fact some GOP incumbents up for reelection in 2018 reside in swing states — means every vote is crucial for passing parts of the Trump agenda...


Well, if it's technically and legally possible to nominate himself, why not?

NJ.com: Gov. Chris Christie...was Waterford crystal-clear...on...one thing...

"Believe me: When I say I am never running for public office in New Jersey again? I mean I am never running for public office in New Jersey again. The only job left for me to run for is United States Senate, and let me just say this: I would rather die than be in the United States Senate. Okay? I would be bored to death. Can you imagine me bangin' around that chamber with 99 other people? Asking for a motion on the amendment in the subcommittee? Forget it. It would be over, everybody. You'd watch me just walk out and walk right into the Potomac River and drown. That'd be it."


Not even temporarily enough to get President Trump back by voting against him?


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Response to rocktivity (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 28, 2017, 05:59 PM

10. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

WTF!!!

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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Sat Jul 29, 2017, 05:26 PM

11. It has come my attention that I've contributed to the deliquency of Christie's kids

Last edited Wed Sep 20, 2017, 11:55 AM - Edit history (4)



NJ.com: ...Appearing on his monthly call-in radio program "Ask the Governor" on NJ 101.5 FM, Christie said the blowback hurt his kids more than anything else that's happened in his time as governor.

"They were more hurt by this latest episode than they've been hurt by anything else that has happened in the eight years and they don't understand people's unfairness and, quite frankly, their ignorance."

...After NJ Advance Media published pictures of Christie and his family alone on 10 miles of Island Beach State Park shore, the internet erupted with photo-shopped pictures of the governor and his folding chair in a variety of ever more improbable scenarios...

Well, seeing as how I was a full-fledged contributor to that unfairness both as meme maker and a promoter of the story at DU and elsewhere, I will step forward and take accountability. And I do have a reasonable explanation: Since I couldn't afford to spend Independence Day weekend on a even a state beach, I didn't have anything BETTER to do!




Philly.com: ...Christie took his family and a group of his children’s friends to the governor’s beach house at Island Beach State Park...even though the park had been closed as part of the government shutdown that resulted from the Legislature’s failure to adopt a budget by July 1...Christie has said the trip had been planned for months.

NJ.com: ...Christie disclosed he has avoided looking at the memes of the infamous beach snaps and said his kids haven't discussed them with him..."They came to me and said, 'It's our fault, we should have just told you that we would have just told all of our friends to go away.' And I said to them, no, this was my decision. You're not the adult. I am."

Only one Christie's four children will still be a minor as of this year. Maybe the real reason why they were so upset is that even THEY saw how "unfair" and "ignorant" it was for them be on a beach that was allegedly unsafe because there were no state workers available. Or maybe they were perceptive enough to realize how bad it would make them look, and were willing to cancel or postpone -- wich would have been the "fair" and "adult" thing to do. Are Christie's children finally beginning to see their father for who he really is?


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Response to rocktivity (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 30, 2017, 09:04 PM

12. Christie Crime Digest BeachGate Film Festival




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Response to rocktivity (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 31, 2017, 10:17 PM

13. UPDATE: The BeachGate has been locked shut.

NY Daily News: The New Jersey...Legislature voted 63-2 with two abstentions to prevent Christie — or any future New Jersey governor — from using the Island Beach State Park beach mansion during a government shutdown, officials said.





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Response to rocktivity (Original post)

Thu Aug 3, 2017, 11:44 PM

14. A sign that the press no longer has Christie's back(side)*?

Last edited Fri Aug 11, 2017, 02:41 PM - Edit history (4)

*A metaphor, not a weight joke.

Asbury Park Press (8/3/2017): (A)ccording to...Black Keys...drummer...Patrick Carney...Jon Bon Jovi used (him) to avoid Gov. Chris Christie at a party...The revelation came during Carney’s High Standards Music Corner segment for Vice News Tonight in December (2016).

“I’ve met Bon Jovi once, and it was actually at Howard Stern’s birthday party,” Carney said. “Chris Christie was in the room, and Jon Bon Jovi came over and started talking to me, like really intensely. I was like, ‘Wow, why does Jon Bon Jovi want to talk to me?’ Then I realized it was just because he didn’t want to talk to Chris Christie.”

Christie and Bon Jovi did attend Stern’s birthday party in (January) 2014 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City...as details of the Bridgegate scandal were unfolding...The two did talk at the Stern party — on stage. Christie, who’s famously a fan of Bruce Springsteen, introduced Bon Jovi to the Ballroom crowd...

A Bon Jovi rep had no comment on the supposed incident. A rep for Christie said the story is false to the New York Post...

The subject of Bon Jovi came up...as...Carney...was reviewing the(ir)...song This House is Not for Sale...

The party took place in 2014, and Carney's Vice show took place seven months ago -- so at the risk of overstating the obvious, why do the Asbury Park Press and New York Post consider this news in August 2017? Has Christie been so successful at intimidating the press that they're only beginning to feel it's safer to print negative stuff about him? If so, that means there ought to be a lot more to come!


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