According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, a senior staffer for Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) sent an email to a Port Authority official that seems to direct the official to jack up traffic in an area run by a Christie political opponent.
In September, two of three local access lanes from Fort Lee were closed on the George Washington Bridge, stymying commuters from the city. The mayor of Fort Lee had refused to endorse Christie’s re-election effort. For two months, the Port Authority was silent on why the lanes were closed.
Two agency officials supported by Christie, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, resigned during a probe of the issue, after testifying that the lanes were closed for a traffic study. Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), testified that he didn’t know of any traffic study.
Now, that question about the origins of the lane closures appears to have been answered, at least in part – and in a way that will have significant negative ramifications for Christie’s presidential run. The August emails published by the Journal show Christie’s deputy chief of staff for legislative and intergovernmental affairs, Bridget Anne Kelly, telling Wildstein, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Wildstein’s response: “Got it.”
Another text message exchange after the lanes were closed shows Wildstein telling an undisclosed person that it was not wrong to smile over the traffic closures. The undisclosed person also wrote, “I feel badly about the kids, I guess.” Wildstein wrote, “They are the children of Buono voters,” referring to Christie opponent and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono.
Christie’s office remains silent, but Christie has said that no one in his administration was involved in the lane closures.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.