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Is All the Christie Coverage Warranted? [POLL]

Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images
Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images

Doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by where the Governor is not being brought up attached to another alleged impropriety.

It’s “funny” in a way that this house of cards started to unravel right after the revelation of the GWB lane closures were being allegedly tied to political retribution against the Ft. Lee mayor.

The word “alleged” comes up a lot.

There’s the “alleged” quid pro quo that the mayor of Hoboken referenced tying her town receiving Sandy funds in exchange for an approval of a development that would favor a politically connected developer.
Another report references the use of Sandy funds to benefit towns not as adversely affected by the storm as others.

Also making headlines was the allegation that the Governor and former Port Authority board member David Wildstein flew over the GWB en route to a 9/11 event in a helicopter allegedly to survey the damage caused by the lane closures.

That one’s been debunked as there are no flight logs showing the Governor traveling with Wildstein in a helicopter, and the copter’s flight path not even close to the bridge.

Now, according to this,there’s a report stating that a Port Authority police officer who knew Chris Christie traveled with Wildstein to tour the damage caused by the lane closures.

MSNBC host Steve Kornacki reported on his show this morning that Thomas “Chip” Michaels met with David Wildstein, the Christie appointee who oversaw the controversial lane closures, on the first day of the traffic jams.

The day before the lane closures went into effect, Michaels emailed his supervisor, Deputy Police Inspector Darcy Licorish, the George Washington Bridge police commander at the time, asking, “Is there going to be a new traffic pattern installed for Monday the 9th?”

To which Licorish replied, “This is to [be] compled (sic) by the maintenance personnel.”

Michael responded, “Understood. Will this affect our normal rush hour operation?”

“Most likely. Concerns were made to no aval (sic) locally,” Licorish said.

Licorish had apparently expressed that concern in an email to Assistant Police Chief Norma Hardy, Chief of Department Louis Koumoutsos and three other assistant chiefs, the previous Friday, in which he said, “This measure could impact the volume of traffic from the local streets. I was informed that Mr. Wildstein is scheduled to visit the facility on the initiating date 9/9/13.”

Michaels grew up in Livingston, Christie’s and Wildstein’s hometown, and coached the governor’s son in little league hockey, according to MSNBC.

Michaels’ brother is Jeffrey Michaels, a top Republican lobbyist in New Jersey, according to MSNBC.
“There’s all sorts of possibilities here, including just coincidence,” Kornacki said.

But he said, what jumps out at him is the “potential proximity as a sort of a communications pathway to the governor. If you have somebody who’s an eyewitness to these closures and who’s driving Wildstein around and his brother is very, very close to the governor – there’s at least a potential pathway for information to be getting to Chris Christie.”

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) said on the program that what this speaks of is the growing number of people who had some knowledge of the lane closures “that have some tie to the governor’s office or the governor himself. It really increases the number of people that seem to have some knowledge and it certainly fuels the skepticism that many have had about the governor’s timeline and when he knew.”

Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, a Republican from Morris County who also appeared on “Up w/ Steve Kornacki,” said “anything is possible. The fact is all conspiracy theories look possible from the outset.”

“There’s a lot of grassy knoll in that discussion,” he said. “It’s entirely possibly that there were massive connections and massive discussions … it just seems at this juncture a little bit too attenuated to me to take it very seriously as a next step in a vast conspiracy.”

And I guess that’s the point of this piece.

It seems as though all the coverage of the Governor has been centered around his potential involvement with Bridge-gate – or the distribution of funds to aid towns affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Do you feel this is a case of the media “piling on” – or, since he is the governor, is all the attention warranted?

One would think that the media was on a crusade to assassinate the character of the governor.

Yet, when you’re the man who occupies the most powerful governor’s office in the country and has been the leading GOP Presidential contender up until recently – the bright lights of news cameras will expose you – warts and all.

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