Tag Archive: Rachel Maddow

Watch: Lesniak on Maddow

Sen. Ray Lesniak interviewed last night by Rachel Maddow on the Christie administration’s baffling and sketchy decision to settle a nearly $9 billion legal action against Exxon Mobil that the state had been working on for a decade for just $250 million – about 3¢ on the dollar. What can be done, and where that money would go.

Brief ad. Video about 9 min. Lesniak set-up begins at about 2:38

How does Gov. Christie sleep at night?

New York Times is reporting that the distribution policies for the 9/11 steel given out in New Jersey was changed at the Port Authority last week. It will no longer be handled by Gov. Christie’s political appointees but by the agency’s professional staff, which handles the steel for the 49 other states and the rest of the world. Promoted by Rosi.

As governor, Chris Christie has done a lot of truly awful things to the people of New Jersey in the past 5 years, but even more egregious than promulgating the myth of ‘failing schools’, demonizing teachers and other public employees, leaving Sandy victims sinking without a life boat, calling a Navy Seal an ‘idiot’ telling the press to ‘take a bat out’ on a 78-year old grandmother (who just happens to be the Senate Majority leader), turning his back on the poor, minorities, the middle and working classes, seniors, the LGBT community, commuters, and the homeless, surrounding himself (there are still no dots connecting him) with irresponsible, vindictive, selfish and, dare I say anti-semitic, staff who would put millions of George Washington Bridge commuters at risk for juvenile, political sport, is the report out of the New York Times and picked up by Rachel Maddow Tuesday that he actually gave away pieces of the World Trade Center as political carrots to the top 20 mayors on his  ‘must-get’ endorsements list.

Governor Christie cares so much about winning that he’s willing to trade off pieces of hallowed ground-a burial site-for political favors. It’s like FDR giving away pieces of The USS Arizona.

ICYMI: Maddow on how Christie “gets to the bottom” of the bridge scandal

In his 2-hour January 9th me-me-mea culpa press conference, Christie said he was having “personal, one-on-one discussions with remaining members of [his] staff,” a process to get to the bottom of what really happened on the GWB. Suddenly serious, and overtalking (mostly about his “sad, sad betrayed” self), Christie promised a thorough “internal review.”

So, now we see what that means. A $650/hour lawyer whose actions suggest more a crouching, self-protecting posture for the governor. An internal review that isn’t actually one, that instead is now sniffing around key players in both the GWB & Hoboken scandals where state and federal probes are already ongoing. From a guy who didn’t even ask his Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly what the hell as she was ushered out the door, fired by email after he “found out” what she’d ordered Wildstein to do.

Govvy needs a defense fund. Meanwhile, Maddow does a superb job explaining what Christie’s “internal review” really amounts to:

Bridgegate – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Bridgegate saga has a lot of characters. Some we have known for while, and some who we are just meeting for the first time. Here’s a partial cast.

The Good

Transportation Committee Chair John Wisniewski. His measured, calm response provides a nice counterpoint to the governor’s obfuscation, word parsing, and bombast. If Senator Sweeney and Mayor Fulop batter each other sufficiently in the next three years, Wisniewski could rise as the logical Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2017.

Local Media: Rachel Maddow covered this well last night. In this day of cutbacks and downsizing of traditional print journalism, reporters like Shawn Boberg of the Bergen Record rise to the top with their relentless pursuit of the truth. Maybe the Fourth Estate isn’t dead after all.

Mark Sokolich. The Mayor of Fort Lee put his constituents ahead of politics and stood up to the bully-in-chief.

The Bad

David Wildstein. By placing his loyalty with the Christie machine instead of the people he’s paid to serve, by using private e-mail for his insensitive rants, and by his role in the bridge closing, Wildstein is the head villain of Bridgegate.

New Jersey Republican legislators. For giving Chris Christie a pass with only pro forma statements decrying the abuse of power.

Bridget Kelly. She had a promising career in politics, but got involved with the wrong crowd. Whether she is the perpetrator or just the scapegoat, she joins people like Golan Cipel as footnotes in the history of the downfall of political stars.

The Ugly

Chris Christie for perpetuating the stereotype of New Jersey as a bunch of boorish ethically-challenged egotists. Whether he gave the order to close the lanes or not, his half-hearted apology doesn’t cut it and his management style shows that he’s not fit to be an effective chief executive.

Brian Stack. Because, well…  he’s Brian Stack, the Chief Christiecrat.

Investigation of GWB lane closures may extend to U.S. Congress

Pulling this back up top for a while, since I posted it at nearly 3am and people might not have seen it. In addition to the new possibility that Congress may get involved, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation may enter this investigation. Below, video recap: Sen. Weinberg on @Maddow – Rosi

On Rachel Maddow tonight last night, Sen. Loretta Weinberg said she will ask the U.S. Congress – which passed the legislation that created the Port Authority itself – to investigate whether the sudden GWB lane closures were politically-motivated. Port Authority was already under the microscope of the federal General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress. In August the GAO submitted a report to the U.S. Senate with a  stinging criticism of PA’s 2011 process in jacking up tolls, recommending both better transparency and more oversight of its workings.

Ironically, that report was released to the public on September 13, the same day PA ED Patrick Foye learned of the lane closures and ordered the Christie appointees to reopen them immediately (see NJ.com’s timeline). Failures of transparency, and inadequate oversight. Add that it’s also a highly politicized agency. It isn’t hard to see how it might have been possible for political hacks answerable to a governor or his consiglieri might assume they could get away with ordering career professionals around, telling them they had to reverse years of safety procedure and eff up Fort Lee for the better part of a week. And keep their traps shut about it, or risk their jobs. Not hard to see how big-salaried dirty tricksters with more political loyalty than brains might have every reason to think they’d get away with it. Be insulated. Be rewarded. Run roughshod over the sober and responsible people who also work at the Authority.

Weinberg will introduce a resolution Thursday that asks Congress to investigate the Port Authority. My own thinking all along is that this should be in the province of investigations on any and every level that is productive – legislative, journalistic, and legal if warranted. And if there’s nothing politically rotten here that goes higher than it already has, and the only guys playing shenanigans with the 300,000 people who use that bridge every day are the disgraced David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, well then the governor should have no reason to oppose congressional inquiry.

Short ad. Then Maddow.