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Why Governor Chris Christie Matters

January 20, 2014
Plain English Version

New Jersey governor Chris Christie

Fort Lee, NJ is located at the New Jersey entrance to the George Washington Bridge. New York City is at the other end. It is the busiest bridge in the world.

On September 9, 2013 commuters faced a huge traffic jam due to the closing of traffic lanes on the bridge. Traffic across the bridge was backed up for hours. The traffic jam lasted for four days. What was the reason? The NY and NJ Port Authority runs the bridge. They said the lane closings were for a traffic study.

The explanation did not work. On January 8, 2014 emails showed that the traffic jam was a deliberate effort to “punish” the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee. His crime – he did not endorse the Republican governor, Christ Christie, for reelection in 2013.

Sounds amazing. For months Governor Christie denied there was politics in the lane closings. Then emails showed politics was the reason for closing the lanes. The governor said this was the first he heard about it. He blamed his staff for lying to him. He fired two key staff.

Governor Christie is a Republican. He wants to run for president in the 2016 election.

In America political scandals usually come from sex, drugs or stealing money. Punishing a community for their political reasons is something new. The investigations are starting. Was the atmosphere in the governor’s office so mean-spirited that staff felt the governor would approve of the tie-ups?

Why did the governor not work harder to find out the truth when charges of politics were first raised?

Do these failures disqualify him from seeking the presidency? Chris Christies is a colorful person. The press enjoyed the idea of his potential candidacy because he was fun to write about.

This kind of media circus makes everyone happy. Except perhaps Governor Christie. Stay tuned for developments. The investigations are underway.

Source: The New York Times                                                                                              January 12, 2014

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