Will Hoboken be Christie’s ‘Waterloo?’ [POLL]
The words “Hoboken” and “development” seem to go hand in hand in the annals of political intrigue.
It was over “development” and the exchange of cash for favors to a “developer” that led to the ouster of “Mayor for a day” Peter Cammarano.
You may remember the name.
He was the mayor who used words to the effect that he would “ground to dust” anyone who stood in the way of whatever it was he and his cronies wanted to accomplish – which, at the time, was to make the job of granting permits for proposed developments a lot easier.
His meeting with one “developer” by the name of Solomon Dwek didn’t go as well as planned.
Dwek was wearing a wire, and the transaction was recorded for posterity – sending the mayor off to jail to do a stretch.
Brought down by the office of then U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.
Fast forward to today.
Cammarano’s successor, Dawn Zimmer, doesn’t have a wire, but a diary in which she states that officials from the Governor’s office leaned on her to green-light a project that means a lot to Christie – and her refusal to do so could mean the loss, or holdup, of much needed Sandy aid to the city.
In an appearance on CNN Sunday, Zimmer expanded on her allegations that members of the Christie administration told her in May to push through a Hoboken redevelopment project if the flood-prone city wanted help getting federal disaster aid.
“(Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno) said … essentially you’ve got to move forward with the Rockefeller project, this project is really important to the governor,” Zimmer told CNN. “And she said that she had been with him on Friday night and this was a direct message from the governor.”
Christie’s office dismissed Zimmer’s allegations about her conversation with Guadagno.
In her CNN interview, Zimmer defended herself against Republicans who questioned why she waited until Christie was facing a crisis to publicly accuse his administration of trying to strong-arm her over Sandy funding.
In the 16-minute interview on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley,” Zimmer said she initially thought she would hurt Hoboken’s chances for additional Sandy funding if she went public with her conversation with Guadagno or a similar conversation she had last year with Richard Constable, Christie’s current commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
“I was really concerned that if I came forward, (and) no one believed me, that we would really be cut out of the Sandy funding. But as I watched the coverage with Bridgegate, you do see parallels, and I just felt I had an obligation to come forward,” Zimmer said.
An obligation she felt some 7 months after the fact.
Which is curious to me in and of itself, but it does raise a more important point: she gains nothing by lying, especially to federal prosecutors with whom she’s met for at least 3 hours yesterday with diary in hand.
And even though she says she’ll submit to a lie detector test (inadmissible in court); you still wonder about the “what if!”
What if all she alleges is true – and what does this mean for the Governor?