Well, 2014 has its first juicy political scandal and it involves New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. As you may have heard, emails show that close aides of Governor Christie ordered some lanes closed on the George Washington bridge — the the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge – last September, effectively turning the bridge and the neighboring town of Fort Lee, NJ into a giant parking lot, in retaliation for the mayor of Fort Lee refusing to endorse Christie for re-election.
Reports the New York Times:
The mystery of who closed two lanes onto the George Washington Bridge — turning the borough of Fort Lee, N.J., into a parking lot for four days in September — exploded into a full-bore political scandal for Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday. Emails and texts revealed that a top aide had ordered the closings to punish the town’s mayor after he did not endorse the governor for re-election.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, emailed David Wildstein, a high school friend of the governor who worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the bridge.
Later text messages mocked concerns that school buses filled with students were stuck in gridlock: “They are the children of Buono voters,” Mr. Wildstein wrote, referring to Mr. Christie’s opponent Barbara Buono.
The emails are striking in their political maneuvering, showing Christie aides gleeful about some of the chaos that resulted. Emergency vehicles were delayed in responding to three people with heart problems and a missing toddler, and commuters were left fuming. One of the governor’s associates refers to the mayor of Fort Lee as “this little Serbian,” and Ms. Kelly exchanges messages about the plan while she is in line to pay her respects at a wake.
Oof. That’s gonna leave a mark.
So last night the Daily Show turned to chief New Jersey correspondent Jon Stewart for more on the scandal.
“Backing up bridge traffic doesn’t punish Fort Lee’s mayor,” Stewart quipped. “It punishes people trying to get the f*ck out of Fort Lee.”
He then went on to chide Christie for his “piss-poor, third-rate quality of corruption,” joking that “there is literally a severed horse’s head on the state flag” in Jersey. He did, however, applaud Christie for the “dickishness and sarcasm” he exuded in response to the story breaking. It’s all rather hilarious.
Here’s part one…
And here’s part two…