Tag Archive: ELEC

NOPE. SCRATCH THAT. Manhattan United States Attorney now involved in investigating David Samson

UPDATE: Well that was fast. Not too many minutes after news broke that a NY United States Attorney issued a Samson-related subpoena, we get news that that’s now been called off.

According to a report published a few minutes ago at the Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors at the office of Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, have subpoenaed records from the Port Authority related to the business interests of its chairman, David Samson. WSJ:

According to people familiar with the matter, Manhattan federal prosecutors were specifically interested in any conflicts between Mr. Samson’s private business interests and his actions as chairman of the sprawling bi-state authority, which oversees Hudson River crossings into New York City, airports, the PATH rail system and the World Trade Center complex.

Samson is already under scrutiny of New Jersey federal prosecutors following the sudden closure by the Port Authority of local lanes at the GWB, and in connection with Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s claim that LG Kim Guadagno delivered a threat to her that Sandy funds would be withheld to hard-hit Hoboken unless she approved a real-estate development for a Wolff & Samson client. The firm, where Samson is the founding partner, had no immediate response. Samson’s attorney, Michael Chertoff, who was George W. Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security, would not comment on any investigation.  

NJGOP calls federal & state investigations of Christie administration “partisan witch hunts”

From a fundraising email just sent out by the New Jersey Republicans:

“The people of New Jersey deserve better than the partisan witch hunt they’re currently witnessing on television every night. Thank you for standing with Governor Christie as he begins his second term, while New Jersey builds on the progress we’ve made over the past four years.”

Right. They’re not specifically calling the investigations – now both state and federal – a partisan witch hunt. It’s just the TV coverage they say they object to in this email. A distinction without a difference, considering that some of the people they’re seeing interviewed who are involved in Christie’s scandals either as whistle-blower like Hoboken’s Dawn Zimmer (who the GOPs see as a partisan opportunist), or Joint Legislative SCI co-chairs John Wisniewski or Loretta Weinberg, who have the power to subpoena documents. They mean Democrats; Wiz & Weinberg are the probe’s co-chairs because we have a divided government, and because only a fool would trust this party to do due diligence and fact-finding on the governor who has ordered so many of their votes for three years. And all these people they see on teevee that so vex them have the power to bring down their empire, either by telling truth or uncovering the truth. Don’t forget that one of the people subpoenaed – and currently fighting it – is Bill Stepian. Who used to run the NJGOP, for a few hours before the GWB scandal was tracked to his email address (among others).

ELEC has decided the Christie campaign can raise funds for its mounting legal expenses. And the NJGOP didn’t waste much time. And they’re playing big: they’re asking for $25 a month.

But if you’ll pony up that much, they’ll send you an “American Flag New Jersey” pin. “This is the very same pin you see Governor Christie wearing during his public appearances.” NIFTY! That come with a decoder ring, too?

Full text of NJGOP’s email is below. “The lliberal media!” “Stand up to MSNBC!” and “Trenton Democrats” Their “relentless” attacks and witch hunt! And Christie? They paint him the stalwart just doing his job as all this comes down.

My favorite line? The cold open about Christie’s “historic victory” “earning the votes of more than 60% of New Jerseyans”. Uhhh, no. Not 60% of the state, but about 60% of the voters who showed up in the lowest-turnout Gov race in history.

But what’s few facts, when there’s Republicans to keep out of jail?Read it, below.


What’s Happening Today Tue. 02/11/2014

Yesterday The Select Committee Investigation Panel in a very business-like, rapid-fire fashion returned from a closed session and quickly voted on motions to take all necessary steps to enforce the subpoenas for documents which Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly have failed to produce. The four Republicans abstained, saying they did not have enough time to consider the matter. The eight Democrats voted Yes. Co-Chair Sen. Weinberg then gaveled the hearing closed.

The meeting stood adjourned with inquiring minds learning little that was new. Later it was announced that 18 subpoenas are being issued. Included is a subpoena for the logs of Christie’s use of the State Police helicopters. There have been unconfirmed reports he may have used a helicopter to view the traffic disruption during the Fort lee lane closures. It was at its worst in the mornings.

Chris Christie visits Chicago today. Will he be thinking about former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who is currently in prison, the needs of the Republican Governors Association or the serious problems back home? The Chicago Sun Times reports the four Republican gubernatorial candidates competing in Illinois have no plans to join Christie at the fundraising events. One event open to the press is at the Economic Club of Chicago. As with similar Christie trips to Florida and Texas, the Democratic National Committee is planning a press conference attempting to link Illinois Republicans to the New Jersey bridge scandal. How long can Christie continue this gig if the Republican candidates for governor whom he is supposed to help don’t want to meet him?

Meanwhile back in NJ today: a rally in Fort Lee, ELEC and an oversight committee meetings in Trenton, and a Sandy Block Grant public hearing at Richard Stockton College – below the fold.

ELEC comes after former senator Joe Coniglio for $140,000

“Candidates are not permitted to use campaign funds to defend themselves in a criminal matter.”

                                                    – Jeff Brindle, ELEC

The Election Law Enforcement Commission, represented by the state’s own Attorney General’s office, is coming after former state senator Joe Coniglio who has been free from federal prison since 2011. ELEC contends Coniglio illegally used $140,000 in campaign funds to pay lawyers for his defense. His former campaign treasurers are also named in ELEC’s suit. ELEC wants Conigio and his treasurers to re-establish a campaign fund, and return all the money they contend was illegally spent from it back into the fund.

Chris Christie was U.S. Attorney during that office’s investigation and indictment of Coniglio for corruption. He was accused of using his role on the Senate Budget Committee to channel millions to Hackensack University Medical Center, which employed him with a monthly consulting fee. Coniglio was convicted in 2009 but served only half his sentence after a federal appeals court threw out everything but but the extortion charge, citing a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision that part of the honest services mail fraud law he was convicted on was vague. Christie resigned before the trial began. But Coniglio’s lawyers sought recordings of an editorial board interview when Christie was running for governor in 2009, as Coniglio’s lawyers were trying to build a case for dismissal on the basis of selective prosecution.

Coniglio now lives in Barnegat. His former LD38 Senate seat is now held by Bob Gordon.