Nobody likes getting caught
New Jersey governor and Republican rising star Chris Christie has expressed his outrage after private emails show his staff shut down traffic on the George Washington Bridge as an act of political revenge.
The bridge, leading from the northern New Jersey city of Fort Lee into New York City, was effectively shut down for nearly a week last September.
Lanes were closed and peak hour traffic was choked through a single toll booth, creating traffic chaos and deeply angering commuters.
An initial explanation for the mayhem was a traffic study gone wrong.
However, there were also allegations that it was an act of political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, who had refused to endorse Mr Christie’s re-election campaign.
Mr Christie denied it at the time, saying it was “not that big a deal”.
“Just because press runs around and writes about it both here and nationally, I know why that is and so do you,” Mr Christie said then.Posted 4 years ago
it gets worse
In another incendiary exchange of text messages, Wildstein and an unidentified associate joked about the impact the lane closures had on Fort Lee’s school kids. The disruption trapped school buses in traffic, causing them to arrive late on the first day of the school year, in addition to emergency vehicles being blocked.
“Is it wrong that I’m smiling,” the associate said, referring to complaints from Sokolich about the impact of the lane closures on school buses. “No,” replied Wildstein.
“I feel badly about the kids. I guess,” said the associate.
“They are the children of Buono voters,” Wildstein said, in an apparent jibe against Democratic families in Fort Lee. Barbara Buono was Christie’s Democratic challenger in the November election, which was held less than two months after that text conversation.
during the four days of the bridge lane closures paramedics were delayed in reaching people needing critical attention. In one instance, the Record reported, emergency responders were stuck in traffic as they tried to reach an unconscious woman aged 91 and had to meet the ambulance on its way to hospital instead of at the scene. The woman later died of cardiac arrest at the hospital.
In another, it took the ambulance up to nine minutes to reach a car crash where four passengers were injured. In normal circumstances the response time should have been less than four minutes.Posted 4 years ago
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