Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer made the media rounds this past weekend to allege wrongdoing by Governor Chris Christie’s administration when they threatened to hold up Hurricane Sandy relief funds until moving forward on a development proposal from the Rockefeller Group. She told CNN’s Candy Crowley that she hadn’t come forward before because she didn’t think anyone would believe her.
According to the New York Daily News, Mayor Zimmer did keep an extensive diary while she was meeting with Christie administration officials and documented what she was told by New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno (and others) about the Sandy funds and the Rockefeller project. She then turned the diary over to the U.S. Attorney. Gov. Christie’s spokespeople have been denying Mayor Zimmer’s allegations categorically, however she said on CNN she was willing to “testify under oath.”
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These allegations follow the scandal involving members of the Christie Administration closing a state road and causing traffic problems in Ft. Lee, New Jersey and the Governor’s statement that he was ignorant of the plan. There is still some doubt as to why this happened. Early reports suggested that it may have been retaliation against the mayor for not supporting Chris Christie’s reelection bid. Although, Rachel Maddow posited a theory on her show that it may have been retaliation for a standoff with the state Senate over New Jersey Supreme Court Nominations.
In light of Zimmer’s revelations perhaps the “why” of it doesn’t matter. All of these allegations are simply knocking down the façade of New Jersey politics. Chris Christie’s predecessor—Democrat Jon Corzine—also left office with stories of scandal and graft nipping at his heels. Chris Christie has been lauded as the new face of the Republican party—socially moderate with enough conservative bona fides to maybe win over the base—but now may simply be just another typical New Jersey politician.