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Trenton, NJ - New Documents: Chris Christie Allies Joked About Another Traffic Jam At Chabad Rabbis Home

Published on: February 27, 2014 12:25 PM
Last updated on: February 27, 2014 01:52 PM
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FILE - Governor Chris Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie look on while  Rabbi Mendy Carlebach lights the Menorah during the Hanukkah Holiday Reception at Drumthwacket in Princeton, N.J. on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)Trenton, NJ -  The latest documents released by a New Jersey legislative committee looking into a political payback scandal surrounding Gov. Chris Christie show two figures at the heart of the case making running jokes about the idea of creating traffic jams as a way to strike at enemies.

The documents do not provide any new evidence about how deep into the plot Christie or his top staffers were, though it does reinforce the idea that some of the people involved in the scheme were cavalier about what they were doing.

Three weeks before the massive tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge, the two Christie-connected officials exchanged text messages about a rabbi who had bothered them.

Bridget Kelly, then an aide to Christie, was apparently joking when she sent an Aug. 19 text saying: “We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?”

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David Wildstein, who was Christie’s No. 2 man at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, responded: “Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed.” He appeared to be joking, although the Port Authority does run the major New York City-area airports.

“Perfect,” Kelly wrote.

The exchange came six days after Kelly’s previously disclosed message to Wildstein — “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

The newly public exchange is part of a group of documents made public Thursday by a legislative committee looking into political retribution in Christie’s administration.

Christie has maintained that he was not involved in the closure or a cover-up and had no knowledge of the scheme before it happened.

Wildstein made the documents available to the committee. Like documents previously submitted to the committee by others, some passages of messages are blacked out.

In a statement, Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Sen. Loretta Weinberg, who are leading the investigative committee, said they reviewed the full documents and agreed it was appropriate to leave some sections secret because “the material was outside of the subject matter or date range requested.”

Unlike the documents released previously, there are notes indicating who sent and received more of the messages — something that clears up some of the minor mysteries of the scandal, which is also being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

For instance, it’s now clear that it was Kelly who texted, apparently jokingly, about feeling “badly about the kids” who were stuck in the traffic jams while on their way to school. And that it was Wildstein who responded that “they are the children of Buono voters,” referring to Barbara Buono, Christie’s Democratic challenger in last year’s gubernatorial election.

Also, it’s now clear that the previously unidentified person who texted Wildstein asking, “Who does he think he is, Capt. America?” was Bill Stepien, who was the Republican governor’s two-time campaign manager. The documents, however, do not clarify who Stepien was referring to.

Christie fired Kelly last month and cut ties with Stepien after the first batch of documents provided by Wildstein were made public. By then, Wildstein had already stepped down from his job at the Port Authority.

The rabbi referred to in the one exchange was not mentioned by name, though Wildstein began the conversation by texting Kelly a photo of a man who appears to be Mendy Carlebach posing with House Speaker John Boehner.

Carlebach told The Record newspaper and the New York Times on Thursday that he had never spoken with Wildstein and had only exchanged greetings with Kelly. Carlebach, a member of the state’s Homeland Security Interfaith Advisory Council and a chaplain at the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions, said he did not know why the two would have been upset with him.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 27, 2014 at 12:37 PM ShatzMatz Says:

Anyone have any idea what carlebach did to upset these people?

2

 Feb 27, 2014 at 01:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Christie, a favored Republican candidate to run for the White House in 2016

SAYS WHO?

3

 Feb 27, 2014 at 01:31 PM Sociologist Says:

Yes, he is Jewish.

4

 Feb 27, 2014 at 02:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
ShatzMatz Says:

Anyone have any idea what carlebach did to upset these people?

What did 6 million Jews including 1 million babies do to upset hitler? Now I'm not saying these two cronies are nazi murderers, however Jew hating is often without reason.

5

 Feb 27, 2014 at 01:34 PM Nobody Says:

In 2009 Obama joked about sending the IRS to audit his enemies. Then they did (ask the founder of True the Vote). Clearly he is just as guilty as Kelly and Wildstein.

6

 Feb 27, 2014 at 03:23 PM YITZCHOKLEVI Says:

Reply to #3  
Sociologist Says:

Yes, he is Jewish.

Are you talking about Christie, Wildstein, or Carlebach?

7

 Feb 28, 2014 at 05:05 AM No evidence against Christie Says:

In spite of this latest revelation involving Kelly and Wildstein, there has not been one piece of evidence produced which shows that Gov. Christie had any advance knowledge pertaining to the bridge closing scandal, nor was he actively involved in perpetrating, or in any other way conspiring to organize the traffic lane closures on the GW Bridge. While he had some very bad aides, whom he fired, it does not make him guilty.

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