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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Christie Faces Scandal on Traffic Jam Aides Ordered - NYTimes.com

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.

RELATED COVERAGE

David WildsteinClues but No Full Account of Order That Turned a New Jersey Town Into a Parking LotDEC. 9, 2013
The Manhattan side of the George Washington Bridge. Gov. Chris Christie said “a mistake got made” when his appointees closed bridge access lanes.Christie Views Lane Closings on George Washington Bridge as OverblownDEC. 13, 2013
The emails are striking in their political maneuvering, showing Christie aides gleeful about the chaos that resulted, including emergency vehicles delayed in responding to three people with heart problems and a missing toddler, as well as commuters 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.


Christie Faces Scandal on Traffic Jam Aides Ordered - NYTimes.com

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