Democrats in New Jersey are accusing Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) of using traffic patterns to punish political opponents. According to state Democrats, Christie appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ordered access lanes from Fort Lee onto the George Washington Bridge closed. Those Democrats claim that Christie was punishing Democrat Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee for opposing Christie’s re-election. Both Port Authority officials have resigned, and Christie has said he didn’t know about the entire situation.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin said, “It highlights the worst about his bombast and his condescension.” Other Democrats have termed the incident “Bridge-gate.” Both the Democratic National Committee and the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC Correct the Record have attacked Christie over the road closures as well.
“Do I think Governor Christie called the Port Authority and said, ‘Close lanes!’? No,” said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. “But do I think he’s helped to create an atmosphere where his political operatives think they’re free to use the biggest bridge in the world for punitive action against somebody? I have to believe that it has to do with politics because there is no other rational explanation for it.”
The Port Authority officials who resigned were both intimate Christie allies and made, respectively, $290,000 per year and $150,000 per year.
Christie joked about the situation on December 2: “I was in overalls and a hat….I was the guy working the cones.”