There is and always has been tension regarding the allocation of resources at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said Chris Christie in today’s press conference on the Fort Lee scandal.
THAT is the real issue here. This Bridgegate isn’t really about retribution for the failure of Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich to endorse Chris Christie’s candidacy.
From the reading of the emails “there was other stuff going on that” Christie says he “knew nothing about”. That was this email to Christie’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien:
The public and media jumped to the the wrong conclusion regarding retribution. It’s not campaign retribution, it’s internecine retribution within the Port Authority.
Now Christie will probably do his best to spin the story as “problem solved”, distance himself from the Port Authority and keep the attention on himself. Yes, himself. Why? Because if the press keeps digging, they will focus more on the hidden relationships between Christie’s inner circle and the Port Authority. They might wonder, for example, whether Joseph Patrick Kelly, the ex-husband of his former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly is in fact the grandson of Joseph Patrick Kelly, the last Collector of the Port of New York, a position that was once described as “the prize plum of Federal patronage not only in this State but perhaps in the country, outside of positions in the Cabinet”. And like dogs digging for bones – or whole skeletons – the press will dig harder into the deep, tangled genealogical roots of patronage and politics.
The title of this post – a reference to Watergate – says it all.