Chris Christie update: New Bridgegate emails released

Also: A new bombshell report alleges guv handed state pensions to Wall Street friends and donors

Published March 18, 2014 1:01PM (EDT)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie      (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Monday was a bad day for New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie. Not only were more Bridgegate-related emails from former members of his inner circle released, but a major new report from Lee Fang at the Nation as well, showing that despite criticizing his predecessor for letting Wall Street hedge fund titans run New Jersey's pension funds, Christie doubled down on the practice while in office, letting some of his biggest political funders take the public funds' controls.

Here's what you need to know:

  • A new collection of Bridgegate-related emails from former members of Christie's staff, made public on Monday by a legal filing, shows that former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien was well aware of the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge as they were happening but did nothing to stop them. Stepien still insists he did nothing wrong, and Christie hasn't revised his longtime claim that he never knew anything about the Bridgegate payback scheme until the story went public. You can look through the emails here.
  • In the Nation, reporter Lee Fang has an in-depth look at Christie's decisions over New Jersey's pension funds, whose reform the governor has taken great credit for and has frequently bragged about. Before winning the governorship, when campaigning against his predecessor, Jon Corzine, Christie made a point of criticizing Corzine's decision to let some Wall Streeters manage New Jersey's public employee funds; but according to Fang, not only did Christie do the same thing once he became governor, but in fact intensified the practice. One of the biggest winners from Christie's management of state pensions was Paul Singer, the hedge fund titan who has also been a frequent donor to Christie and Christie-related causes.
  • Returning to Bill Stepien for a moment, a new Politico report shows that you shouldn't spend much of your time worrying about the man who was once called Christie's Karl Rove. While Stepien is still facing legal troubles, he has nevertheless landed a gig with a GOP phone-banking and data firm. In other words, the American Dream remains alive and well.

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

MORE FROM Elias Isquith