Posted by Curt on 7 February, 2014 at 4:45 pm. 2 comments already!


Guy Benson:

The Mayor of Fort Lee, whose city was targeted with disruptive lane closures at the George Washington Bridge by since-fired Christie administration officials , is abruptly changing his story about endorsement politics:

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich has accused the Christie administration of an extensive campaign involving gifts to his borough from the Port Authority to solicit his endorsement of the governor’s reelection. When Sokolich did not comply but accepted the gifts which included shuttle buses, snow plowing, filled potholes and emergency radios, he says he now feels he was punished by paralyzing traffic jams in his borough during four days last September. Sokolich’s comments, in a two-hour interview in his office Thursday night in which he mirrored some of the statements that he gave to Bloomberg News, represent his harshest criticism yet of the Christie administration and the first time he has linked last September’s gridlock to his refusal to break from his Democratic party and endorse Christie, a Republican…Efforts to gain his endorsement began nearly two years ago and included a personal tour of the 9/11 Memorial plaza in lower Manhattan.

A-ha!  Christie’s motive for political retribution!  The governor has stated that he never personally sought Sokolich’s endorsement — and that, in fact, he barely knew the guy at all. “He was not somebody who was on my radar screen in any way,” Christie said of Sokolich.  Christie aides have acknowledged that members of the re-election campaign tested the endorsement waters with numerous number of mayors, including Sokolich, but that he was in no way a top priority.  In the tenth (!) paragraph of the new Bergen Record story, reporter Mike Kelly finally makes mention of a fairly relevant detail:

Sokolich’s comments are his most extensive since those traffic jams last September and, in a few cases, directly contradict his previous statements.

Kelly doesn’t elaborate (!!), so I guess that task falls on yours truly.  Here’s what Mayor Sokolich said, on the record, after ‘Bridgegate’ first broke — when the “this was payback over his refusal to endorse Christie” narrative was all over the media.  On CNN:

 “I don’t recall a specific request to endorse..but, you know, the events that led up to all of this I guess you can interpret to be somehow attracting me to endorse.

In the New York Times:

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