One of the many consequences of Bridgegate becoming a national story has been a renewed focus from the media on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the government agency run by appointees from both states that’s intended to manage the region’s transportation infrastructure. Throughout its nearly 100 years of existence, the Authority has seen more than its fair share of controversy and alleged corruption – a pattern that the Christie administration is seemingly unable or unwilling to break.
Here’s the latest goings-on for Chris Christie:
- A group of former and current Port Authority officials told the Star-Ledger that Gov. Christie and New York Gov. Cuomo’s 2011 decision to raise rates for tolls and fares, which they did only after reducing the size of the Authority’s initial proposed increase, “was all bullshit.” The whole back-and-forth between these governors, the public and the Authority, these sources allege to the Star-Ledger, was designed to make the governors look better by raising rates more than initially proposed. “They set the governors up to look like heroes,” said one anonymous source. “It was all a farce.”
- The Associated Press reports on Christie’s attempt to wind back the clock to 2013, before Bridgegate was national news and before there were questions about the Christie administration’s using federal Superstorm Sandy funds to extort the mayor of Hoboken. ”He’s trying to go back to the old game plan, the game plan that established him as the national figure that he is,” New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, told the AP. “It doesn’t surprise me — it worked once.”
- Speaking of Sweeney, a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer finds that Christie’s former ally on the Senate’s other side is now distancing himself from the governor by resisting Christie’s demand that the state Legislature turn once again toward reforming its public worker fund. Sweeney is widely believed to at least be considering a run for governor, and being seen as a bipartisan friend of Christie isn’t quite the political asset it used to be.
- And in news pertaining to Christie’s actual job, governing, the Star-Ledger reports that Christie has declared a state of emergency for N.J. in response to what is expected to be yet another major blast of snow.