Chris Christie Scandal:
During Christie’s campaign for governor, in order to secure as many Democratic defections for endorsements as possible, Christie and his campaign team might have stretched things a bit too far in the hotly contested and coveted Bergen County campaign. Surprisingly, the Mayor of the obscure town of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, would draw the wrath of the political gods when he failed to capitulate and endorse Christie’s re-election bid. Fort Lee sits at the west end of the George Washington Bridge and is impacted by the ebbs and flows of traffic traversing the bridge. Here’s where the BridgeGate Chris Christie Scandal began.
David Wildstein, Christie supporter and high school classmate of the Governor, a former political blogger and onetime Republican mayor of Livingston, New Jersey, was a Port Authority official appointed at the behest of Governor Christie. Wildstein got the grand idea to close the Fort Lee local access traffic lanes leading onto the George Washington Bridge for four days in September 2013. The lane closures happened to coincide with the opening of Fort Lee’s school year and just weeks after Mayor Sokolich declined to support Christie in the upcoming November election. Traffic jams abounded in the town, tying up everything from emergency response vehicles to school buses during rush hours.
The Port Authority’s Executive Director, Patrick Foye, was kept in the dark about the Chris Christie Scandal lane shutdown. According to the Huffington Post, “other Port Authority officials said Wildstein directed them not to tell Foye about the bridge closures.” When Foye finally did find out, he blew his stack, declaring that, “procedures were violated and residents’ safety was put at risk.” He further termed the lane closings as “dangerous” and “illegal.”
Read more about the Chris Christie Scandal here.