Governor Chris Christie’s re-election campaign has been subpoenaed by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman for records of a series of meetings between Jersey City’s mayor and officials of the Christie administration.
In May of 2013, on the night he was elected mayor of Jersey City, Steve Fulop got a call of congratulations from Gov. Christie and a friendly offer of whatever help he could provide – from Gov to mayor. Texts and emails followed from Christie’s re-election campaign and his statehouse staff. Meetings were set up – all for the same day – with high-level commissioners.
Weeks later, when Fulop declined to endorse Christie over Barbara Buono, those meetings – all of them – were abruptly canceled, with phone calls coming directly from those commissioners, one after another and most within just a few minutes. Team Christie had left JC stranded – on Sandy recovery, Port Authority issues and funds, and transportation. Courted when Fulop was fresh meat, dropped like a hot potato when he was no longer useful for Christie’s political fortunes.
Compared to the ongoing probe of Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal, the federal investigation led by Fishman – who now holds the job Christie rose to fame doing – has been comparatively opaque, with entirely different and less public processes. But this development suggests the investigation has deepened beyond the sudden lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that snarled traffic for a full workweek, risking the safety of commuters on the busiest bridge in the world. Bridgegate involved high-level Christie operatives at Port Authority, his campaign and inner office, and all apparently for retribution against the Fort Lee mayor, who also declined to endorse the Governor.
Some of the Democratic mayors who did endorse Christie got very different treatment from Team Christie:
Harrison’s mayor saw $250 million from Port Authority roll in for a new transit station; Christie ally Brian Stack saw an increase in state aid even as bigger cities were cut off, plus a bonus $3 million in Port Authority money which is funny because the PA doesn’t operate in Stack’s Union City; Essex County Exec Joe DiVincenzo, who corralled other mayors plus black clergy to endorse Christie pulled in $7 million PA money for a park, state aid for a vocational school at $4 million plus Christie as fundraising chair for Joe D’s pet project, the Turtle Back Zoo.
WSJ has more.