Chris Christie’s very bad weekend

A roundup of the latest news in the ongoing meltdown of the Republican governor's career

Topics: Chris Christie, Dawn Zimmer, hoboken, New Jersey, Bridgegate, Steve Kornacki, Rockefeller Group, Kim Guadagno, Colin Reed, Carl Lewis, Up with Steve Kornacki, GOP, Republican Party, ,

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has had a tumultuous 2014 so far, and the holiday weekend was no different.

While Team Christie had no doubt hoped that Martin Luther King Jr. Day would slow the news cycle down to a crawl and spare the embattled presidential aspirant from further embarrassment and scrutiny, New Jersey Democrats and the political media kept digging, unearthing more even more potential scandals and even more bad news.

Here’s what you should know:

  • On Saturday, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer appeared on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki” and alleged that Christie’s lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, told her that Hoboken would not receive adequate Superstorm Sandy relief funds unless Zimmer approved a development plan that, Zimmer says, favored the Rockefeller Group at the expense of others. ”The word is that you are against it and you need to move forward or we are not going to be able to help you,” Guadagno said, referring to the development plan, according to Zimmer. Further, Zimmer claimed that Christie’s community affairs commissioner, Richard Constable, told her that money would “start flowing to [you]” once she approved the deal. Zimmer recorded these interactions in her diary, and offered to take a lie detector test.
  • Team Christie first responded to Zimmer’s bombshell accusation by attacking MSNBC as “a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their [sic] efforts attacking him.” Christie Spokesman Colin Reed went on to say that Zimmer was one of many “Democratic mayors with a political axe to grind” who had “come out of the woodwork” in order to “get their faces on television.”
  • On Sunday, Zimmer repeated her charges on ABC’s “This Week,” saying that Guadagno told her “[t]his project is really important to the governor” and that hers was “a direct message from the governor.” Zimmer said she didn’t speak up sooner because she felt that no one would believer her story. Later that day, Zimmer met with the U.S. Attorney’s office, providing officials there with her diary and other relevant documents.
  • On Monday, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno released a statement calling Zimmer’s revelations “not only false but … illogical” and said they failed to “withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined.” She went on to call Zimmer’s claims “completely false” and said she was a victim of Superstorm Sandy herself and thus found Zimmer’s allegation “particularly offensive.”
  • Also on Monday, Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis told the media that Gov. Christie’s administration canceled an earlier plan to make Lewis the state’s first physical fitness ambassador as payback for Lewis’ decision to run against a Christie ally for New Jersey state Senate.
  • On Monday again, Yahoo News published an interview it had conducted with Christie on the previous Friday, before Zimmer’s allegations became major news, in which the governor described the level of scrutiny he was suddenly receiving from the media as “awful” but vowed he wouldn’t change his personality, saying “This is it. I like who I am.”
  • Last but not least, a Pew Center-USA TODAY poll found that among those who have heard about Christie’s bridgegate scandal, 58 percent are “skeptical” about Christie’s claim that he knew absolutely nothing. The poll also found that, compared to last year, Christie’s unfavorable rating had doubled, now reaching 34 percent.
Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...