Ex-ally alleges Christie knew of lane closure
A former Port Authority official alleged Friday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about lane closures on the George Washington Bridge “during the period when the lanes were closed” last September. In a letter to the Port Authority, made public by his lawyer, David Wildstein also contended that he had evidence to support his allegation.
The Christie’s administration immediately responded by denying any “prior knowledge” of the lane closures which spurred three days of severe traffic backups at one of the busiest bridges in the country. Emails uncovered in recent weeks suggest the lane closures were orchestrated as part of an alleged plot by members of Christie’s inner circle, possibly in an act of political retribution targeted at a Democratic mayor.
“Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer confirms what the governor has said all along – he had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein’s motivations were for closing them to begin with,” Christie’s administration said in a statement.
“As the governor said in a December 13th press conference, he only first learned lanes were closed when it was reported by the press and as he said in his January 9th press conference, had no indication that this was anything other than a traffic study until he read otherwise the morning of January 8th. The governor denies Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer’s other assertions.”
Christie spokesman Colin Reed released an additional statement late Friday: “Just to clear up any lingering confusion: Governor Christie has said each time he has been asked that he first learned about the closing of the lanes on the George Washington Bridge from press accounts after the instance was over.”
Wildstein’s letter to Darrell Buchbinder, the general counsel at the Port Authority, claimed that the decision to close the lanes was “the Christie administration’s order.”
“It has also come to light that a person within the Christie administration communicated the Christie administration’s order that certain lanes on the George Washington Bridge were to be closed, and evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference he gave immediately before Mr. Wildstein was scheduled to appear before the Transportation Committee.
Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the Governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter said.
The letter was first reported by the New York Times Friday.
Wildstein resigned from the Port Authority in December amid the ongoing “Bridgegate” controversy over the lane closures. Earlier this month, emails released as part of an investigation showed that Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Christie, directed Port Authority officials to close the bridge lanes three weeks before the traffic jams that ensued the week of Sept. 9. The emails suggested the plan was to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. whose town sits at the foot of the bridge.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly wrote in an email to Wildstein, a Christie-appointed official at the Port Authority, the bi-state agency responsible for the bridge. Wildstein replied: “Got it.”
The Christie administration is now enveloped in several state and federal inquiries surrounding the alleged bridge plot and questions about the state’s allocation of relief funds for communities hit by Hurricane Sandy. Two weeks ago, the mayor of Hoboken, N.J., said in an interview with msnbc that two officials in the Christie administration had threatened to withhold relief funds until she approved a redevelopment project favored by the governor.
On Friday, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey issued a subpoena to the city of Hoboken seeking documents related to the mayor’s allegations.
Separately, lawyers for Christie’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien asked that a subpoena issued by state legislators be withdrawn, arguing it violates his rights. On Jan. 17, a state legislative panel served 20 subpoenas to key members of Christie’s administration and re-election campaign as part of its ongoing investigation.
“The very real possibility that [Stepien’s] act of producing documents and things responsive to the subpoena might compel him to furnish a link in the chain of evidence that could be used to ensnare him in the ambiguous circumstances of a criminal prosecution and thus force him to become a witness against himself, in violation of his fundamental right against self-incrimination — is a more than compelling reason to withdraw that instrument,” his lawyers argued in a letter to lawyers representing the legislative committee investigating “Bridgegate.”
Stepien was a close adviser to Christie, but the governor cut ties after his alleged role in the lane closures surfaced. Christie has said he didn’t think Stepien was directly involved in any wrong-doing, but he said Stepien showed poor judgment overall. During his Jan. 9 news conference, Christie said he was “disturbed by the tone and behavior and attitude,” and the “callous indifference” in Stepien’s emails, which were made public as part of an official inquiry. Documents showed Stepien calling the Fort Lee mayor an “idiot” and suggested he may have been aware of the plan to close the lanes. Stepien would have likely played a big role in Christie’s potential presidential campaign, should the governor decide to run in 2016.
This was supposed to be a celebratory weekend for Christie and New Jersey, which is hosting Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. On Monday, Christie appeared at a Super Bowl kick-off concert. Christie held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss his efforts to prevent sex-trafficking around the time of the big game. On Thursday, the governor gave an interview to 94WIP sports radio in Philadelphia, on the condition that the subject did not stray away from sports. Earlier Friday, Christie tweeted: “Super Bowl weekend is here!”But by the end of the day, Wildstein, a high school friend of Christie’s, had made his accusations public and the U.S. Attorney’s office – which Christie once ran – had issued more subpoenas. The Democratic National Committee pounced.
Christie “repeatedly said that he had no knowledge of the lane closures. Today’s revelations raise serious questions about whether that is true,” DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee “I know it’s Super Bowl weekend and Chris Christie doesn’t want to talk about anything but the game, but it looks like he’s going to need to change his plans,” Elleithee said.
Friday evening in Manhattan, Christie made a quick appearance at a birthday party for radio host Howard Stern and introduced musical guest Jon Bon Jovi at the event, according to TODAY.com reporter Anna Chan.
But Monmouth University pollster and political analyst Patrick Murray said Friday that Christie would likely have been more visible in the lead-up to the Super Bowl if he weren’t receiving so much negative attention. After all, the NFL has said the 2014 Super Bowl is estimated to bring $550 million to $600 million to the New York/New Jersey area. It was a big get for the Garden State to hold the first-ever outdoor, cold weather Super Bowl.
“He’s been much more low key than he almost certainly planned to be around the Super Bowl,” said Murray.
The Republican governor, who has made no secret of his presidential ambitions, has seen a 10-point drop in support since November, before his administration became embroiled in controversy over several different political schemes, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Friday. The poll added to a trove of surveys out this week showing that Christie, who once led possible GOP presidential contenders, is now slipping in favorability.
Below is the letter from Wildstein’s attorney:
Democrats fight back against GOP obstruction
Thanks to Harry Reid changing the filibuster rules, Republicans can no longer hold up President Obama’s nominees indefinitely. The Senate majority leader reiterated his determination on Thursday to move a number of nominations to floor votes before the break.
“With cooperation, the Senate could also consider a number of pending nominations today and Friday,” Reid said in a statement Thursday. “But without cooperation from our Republican colleagues, Senators should expect late night and weekend votes.”
On Monday, the Nevada Democrat filed cloture for the following 10 nominees, who include Janet Yellen for chair of the Federal Reserve and Brian Davis, whose nomination has been pending for almost two years. MSNBC
Photo Illustration by Meagan Choi; Connor: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu; Engler: Center for Effective Government/YouTube; Davis: Courtesy Nassau County Clerk; Gibson: Kris Connor/Getty Images; Koskinen: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite; Mayorkas: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite; Raskin: REUTERS/Brian Snyder; Sewall: Courtesy of CSPAN; Wright: Courtesy of Department of Defense; Yellen: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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Presidential Judicial Nominees – Confirmed
Finally, we begin to see the Senate doing their jobs; firming President Obama’s judicial nominees with the Republicans virtually powerless in this process. As of note, we saw in the recent confirmation process Republicans trying to run out the clock, in a revenge effort to continue as long as they could; venting on the floor of Congress in an exercise of total frustration. Will year 2014 be a better year moving forward for the President Obama and Democrats with the threat of Senate filibusters – gone? We hope so! Join the #DLU! conversations on Facebook!
>by Robert L. Gallimore | DLU! November 24, 2013
It is confirmed that the Republican’s plan for President Obama is to obstruct and after five years of unprecedented obstructionism, the Democrats finally strike back with the ‘Nuclear Option’ in the Senate. Finally is correct and finally is the operative word from the Democrats’ stand point!
Perhaps it is the Democrats reluctance to act, one person in particular Harry Reid who is partly to blame for allowing this obstructionism to fester this long, nevertheless it long past the time to get some work done. We have seen the Republican reaction to Harry Reid’s reluctant and long-delayed decision to invoke the so-called nuclear option; changing the Senate’s filibuster rules so that Obama’s judicial nominees can get the simple up-or-down votes they deserve. There has been 168 filibusters against all Presidential nominees with nearly half (82) were held against President Obama’s – picks. This again confirms unprecedented obstructionism by the right wing.
The Senate can now appoint, confirm 93 progressive judges into the 93 open seats in the lower court systems and more forward barring no more Obstructions.
We all know that the GOP obstructionism is ‘absolutely ridiculous’ with it starting from day one of the President’s (Inauguration), with his first steps onto the highest office of our nation. We all know where this ideology start from and who was involved in this obstruction plan – the secret meeting to take down Obama – exposed. See the videos below!
Now, we look forward in watching the freak outs from the Right wing when the President nominates and fills the seats available in the lower courts! In agreement with Mainstream Media, that it has been fun and frustrating to watch the freak outs thus far from the RWNJ’s from temper tantrum to name-calling –again ridiculous. Rand Paul did what Rand Paul does best and threw a tantrum. Sean Hannity once supported filibuster reform. Now he is calling it “One of the most lawless power grabs” in U.S. history. The rules allow for it, but it is a power grab? Rush Limbaugh melted down, calling the democratic process “dictatorship,” and of course, Fox News went straight for the false equivalency cupboard. However, it is more than ridiculous! The right-wing should try to get over their Obama obsession like the Left-wing got over Bush’s failed policies, the Iraq War and the possible 911 involvement not yet confirmed. The American people want to see more cooperation from both sides and if you cannot work together than move aside and stop the obstructive behavior.
The Republican Congressional leaders are not doing their jobs and preventing the Democrats from doing what is necessary to move this country forward. If they call obstructionism serving their constituents and their constituents then they are liars. They are serving no one, and that includes them. We foresee a backlash to this “Mickey Mouse type BS” mentality that they are exhibiting in the upcoming elections. We hope that the backlash will be that the GOP goes down in all branches of government in the up-and-coming elections of 2014, 2016 etc. We cannot afford high drop-off in people not voting in these elections or we will be in a worse situation – plain and simple. So, it is up to us to stay informed, energized and vote these RWNJ’s out of office – stay frosty my friends [sic]!
The Last Word – Secret meeting to take down Obama exposed
Maddow -Republican Obstruction May Be Ending
Key Senate Democrats to watch
With the U.S. House of Representatives paralyzed by the GOP’s Tea Party caucus, the Senate could play a crucial role in finding ways to break the gridlock and taking the lead on key legislation for the rest of President Obama’s tenure in office. Not to mention that some of the potential 2016 presidential contenders who are generating the most buzz right now—from Elizabeth Warren to Ted Cruz—are denizens of the upper chamber. And as if that weren’t enough, the battle for control of the Senate figures to be the major storyline of next fall’s midterms, with most analysts predicting a down-to-the-wire race that could hinge on one or two contests.
That’s why it’s worth getting to know some of the key Senate players on both sides—as well as a few of the candidates who may soon be joining them. With a view to 2014 and beyond, here are some of the Democrat senators—plus one high-profile candidate—to keep an eye on.
You can view our accompanying list of Republicans here.
Key Senate Democrats to watchBy Olivia Kestin and Zachary RothWith the U.S. House of Representatives paralyzed by the GOP’s Tea Party caucus, the Senate could play a crucial role in finding ways to break the gridlock and taking the lead on key legislation for the rest of President Obama’s tenure in office. Not to mention that some of the potential 2016 presidential contenders who are generating the most buzz right now—from Elizabeth Warren to Ted Cruz—are denizens of the upper chamber. And as if that weren’t enough, the battle for control of the Senate figures to be the major storyline of next fall’s midterms, with most analysts predicting a down-to-the-wire race that could hinge on one or two contests.That’s why it’s worth getting to know some of the key Senate players on both sides—as well as a few of the candidates who may soon be joining them. With a view to 2014 and beyond, here are some of the Democrat senators—plus one high-profile candidate—to keep an eye on.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY): The number three Democrat in the Senate, Schumer figures to be a key player on any efforts to revive immigration and gun reform measures.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by J.Scott Applewhite/AP)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_elizabeth_warren2014.jpg]2100Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA): A potential presidential contender from the party’s progressive wing, look for Warren to continue her efforts to rein in the big banks and combat inequality.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_corybooker2014.jpg]1770Sen. Cory Booker (NJ
Sen.-elect Cory Booker (NJ): The Newark mayor’s media savvy figures to keep him in the spotlight once he enters the Senate, but his efforts to curry favor with Wall St. have annoyed some progressives.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_alisonlundergang2014.jpg]1580Alison Lundergan Grimes (KY –Sen candidate)
Alison Lundergan Grimes (KY – candidate): The 34-year-old Kentucky secretary of state is carrying some heavy expectations: She’s challenging GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who’s up for re-election next fall, and who Democrats would love to knock off.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Stephen Lance Dennee/AP)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_gillibrand2014.jpg]1530Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY): Gillibrand has been talked about as a 2016 contender, though she’s unlikely to run if Hillary Clinton does. Gay rights and stopping military sex assaults are among her signature issues.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_harryreid2014.jpg]1440Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV)
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV): The Senate leader could play a pivotal role in coming showdowns over the budget and the debt ceiling–and progressives are pressing him to take another run at fixing the Senate gridlock, after a half-measure earlier this year.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_joemanchin2014.jpg]1250Sen. Joe Manchin (WV)
Sen. Joe Manchin (WV): Perhaps the Senate’s most conservative Democrat, the former governor went out on a limb by taking a leading role on gun control legislation—but he doesn’t sound eager to keep pushing the issue.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_markpryor2014.jpg]1170Sen. Mark Pryor (AR)
Sen. Mark Pryor (AR): Pryor, a top Republican target in next year’s midterms, will be eager to play up his conservative credentials and distance himself from President Obama—which could cause headaches for Harry Reid.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Danny Johnston/AP)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_michaelbennet2014.jpg]1050Sen. Michael Bennet (CO)
Sen. Michael Bennet (CO): As chair of his party’s Senate campaign committee, it’s Bennet’s job to maintain Democrats’ slim majority next fall. Most analysts give Dems about even odds of holding on.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/demstowatch/thumbs/thumbs_patleahy2014.jpg]1010Sen. Pat Leahy (VT)
Sen. Pat Leahy (VT): The veteran liberal chairs the Judiciary committee, which means he’ll play a key role in the push to strengthen the Voting Rights Act in response to the Supreme Court ruling last summer.Photo Illustration by Jennifer Leartanasan for MSNBC (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA)
Democratic Liberal Umbrella – Landing Zone
WELCOME to the # DLU landing zone for News, Articles and so much more for Liberal minded people! We Spotlight, Highlight and especially Expose those on the Right for a more informed American; remembering that there’s a bitter and a sweet taste in this war of words! Please join in this fight, this Political Battle, this War of Words and Beliefs; become one beneath the Democratic Liberal Umbrella !
The DLU is a virtual, political grassroots organization for mainstream Liberal Democrats, spreading the word about moving forward. If you’re of like minded, political in nature and you have something to say? …If you are interested in getting your word out; email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
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The DLU spotlight’s various people, memes, articles and groups like: Americans Against the Tea Party , Ohio Democrats – Election 2012 , SHUT OFF Fox News – Now! among other Progressive groups because our goals are similar and the Political War is the same – battling Right-wing extremism; combating their lies, ideology and misleading information about Liberals, Democrats and the POTUS to the general public – plain and simple!Gbismarc! Visit the DLU on Facebook ! Do you feel the energy, the vibe? We feel it!We’re moved forward into CY 2014 and the Struggle Continues…, we’re facing another critical fiscal cliff’s battle with the Extreme Right-wing of the Republican Party in modern American history and we are asking you to support the DLU for a Better America, support the Democratic Party and the President of the United State [POTUS] in his quest to move this country forward; especially if the Republicans insist on their quest to do anything [sic] to help in this quest for a Better America.
We are asking for your ongoing support to replenish our resources for important election years to come. We are asking for your comments to help guide us in the direction that we need to go and we are asking for your likes for moral support.
You have arrived at the DLU Landing Zone for a reason and you have an idea! What are they? Have they been fulfilled? We hope that your visit here is a pleasant one and you go away with meaningful information as you explore What We Stand For as Democrats! In addition, we hope that you return many more times as we go forward; bring about the necessary changes that this country is screaming for! Our question to you: ARE YOU IN? Let’s turn this Country and Congress – Blue!
I like the fact that, when I wake-up in the morning and the sky is Blue; it’s then that I know that everything is alright in my world! In thinking along those same lines, how would you feel if you wake up to a Red sky? What would be your first thought, that there is some severely wrong with this picture, that possible your world is coming to an end, that everything is not right with your world; with your country and your life as you know it! Well, my friends the picture is clear and I love it when the sky is blue and a Democrat is in control my world! Same concept, think about it! Gbismarc!
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Let’s keep this momentum alive! As Clint would say [Make my day!], please make our day! Support President Obama and the Democratic Party! Make your contributions – Today!
[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/special-message13/thumbs/thumbs_1907584_587035578056167_1364683719_n.jpg]00The Republican Dictionary
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[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/special-message13/thumbs/thumbs_1896831_10203026620046091_1849034423_n.jpg]00Vote Democratic
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[img src=http://ogahome.com/DLU/wp-content/flagallery/special-message13/thumbs/thumbs_1545056_566565613436497_1717069049_n.jpg]006 Million
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