The hits just keep on coming for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, as he gets slammed by more charges by disgruntled mayors. The controversial governor, who has looked very much like a potential presidential candidate, may be seeing the wheels come off his career as new allegations surface.
Gov. Christie’s administration came out swinging Saturday. The administration’s strong push came amidst charges by another mayor in New Jersey. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer charged that officials in the governor’s office promised to refrain from payouts from relief funds unless she got on board with a renovation plan which is favored by the governor.
Appearing on MSNBC, Zimmer leveled accusations that staff in Christie’s administration put pressure on her to rubber stamp the project. A deal between developer, The Rockefeller Group, with connections to Christie’s administration, was revealed by Zimmer’s correspondence which she gave to MSNBC.
Calling MSNBC a biased network, which has been antagonistic to Christie and the current New Jersey administration, the Governor’s spokesman said the state government has been regularly assisting Hoboken in getting help after the hurricane. He went on to say that $70 million in national aid had already been provided. More would be coming, he promised, when President Obama approves funding the next round of relief payouts.
As Chris Christie get slammed again by mayoral charges, once apparently good relationships are starting to sour and get cloudy. Confusion surrounds the issue as the city mayor and state governor seemed to have had a positive relationship in the past. In August, the mayor tweeted a brief message that she was pleased with Governor Christie in the statehouse.
In an interview with CNN, Zimmer said she did not believe funds were currently being held in retaliation, but she was not happy with the funding the city has received.
MSNBC was told by Zimmer, during an appearance on the show, about a conversation she had with New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Guadagno joined Zimmer in Hoboken to highlight locally owned businesses rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.
Zimmer claimed Guadagno told her that it would be better if the release of relief funds was not dependent upon the redevelopment plan. Zimmer also claimed that Guadagno went on to say “… if you tell anyone I’ll deny it.”
Later Saturday, in a statement sent to CNN, Zimmer repeated herself, emphasizing that the lieutenant governor was clear about the fact that hurricane relief dollars would be dependent on Zimmer clearing the way for progress for the Rockefeller development.
The Rockefeller Group claims not to be aware of any information about the latest allegations, A spokesman for the redevelopment group said in a statement to CNN, “If it turns out to be true, it would be deplorable.”
The latest accusations arrive just as evidence grows which indicate Christie’s staff was mixed up with the plan to snarl traffic at the entrance of the George Washington Bridge. The traffic tie up may have been political payback against a different mayor who failed to show support for the New Jersey governor.
As word of the accusations continued to spread late Saturday night, the investigator of the George Washington Bridge scandal told CNN, “This certainly has attracted our attention.”
If Chris Christie continues to get slammed by new mayoral charges, the New Jersey governor may reconsider his desire to be involved in politics at the national level.
By Jerry Nelson