We are grateful for David Wildstein's commitment and dedication to the important work of the Port Authority and thank him for his service to the people of New Jersey and the region.
Michael Drewniak, spokesperson for Governor Chris Christie, addressing the resignation of Christie appointee, David Wildstein following the George Washington Bridge lane closures in Ft. Lee.
What a difference a month or so makes. Drewniak said those glowing words in December. That would be before Wildstein's lawyer told the media, "evidence exists," the governor knew about the lane closings which fouled the flow of vehicles onto the George Washington Bridge.
Oops. According to Christie's marathon mea culpa a couple of weeks ago he didn't have any idea the lanes were closed. He was, according to himself, merrily campaigning away at the time and had far more important things to think about than some traffic jam in Ft. Lee.
Saturday the Christie people issued a statement saying, among other things, "David Wildstein will say anything to save David Wildstein." Well, yeah--that is why people like Wildstein are called, rats leaving the ship. It doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth though. Hell, even John Dean got religion as the Nixon administration crumbled before our eyes.
The whole GWB affair called into question the governor's character and political tactics. Was he some sort of street bully who basically put out a hit on Ft. Lee, because the mayor there wouldn't support him? Or, was the whole affair caused by a few over zealous staffers going rogue without his knowledge?
If Christie's people wanted to dis-spell the vindictive bully image they didn't exactly help themselves Saturday. The list of Wildstein's sins coming from the Governor's office was as long as it was bizarre. 1. As a 16 year old he sued over a school board election. 2. He was publicly accused of deceptive behavior by his high school social studies teacher. 3. He had a controversial tenure as mayor of Livingston, NJ. 4. He wrote a blog using the pseudonym, Willie Edge. 5. He had a strange habit of registering web addresses for other people's names without telling them.
Okay, granted, number 5 is a tad creepy. However, when you start talking about some guy's teen years and what one of his high school teachers thought of him, you've entered into a realm of vindictiveness so cruel and petty in nature it makes it easier for some of us to think Christie did know about the lane closures. Given the tone of the accusations, the next press release might tell us that as a five year old, David Wildstein once urinated behind a tree in a park.
The accusations also call into question the governor's hiring practices. Hey, if Wildstein was such a rotten apple from the day he was born, why did Chris Christie appoint him in the first place? And--why was there praise for him after he quit? Did the governor know of all these terrible offenses before he gave this modern day Moriarty a job, or was there an epic failure on the part of the Human Resources Department? Indeed, what in God's name were we thinking when we hired this clown?
NBC speculates the Christie staff might have gone a little off deep end with the accusations in order to show other potential canaries what they could expect if they sing along with, Dave. It might work with some of them too, but at same time such heavy handedness leads us straight back to the perception the governor might be better suited to running the Corleone Family than the state of New Jersey.
Yes, it would seem, just as the ancient beasts at the La Brea tar pits found, the more you struggle the quicker the goo sucks you under.
Is Christie done? Not yet, but he is definitely a man in need of oxygen and an IV drip.
Wildstein's attorney did not offer up what the "evidence" is, but now it is just a matter of time before it becomes public knowledge. We'll have to wait to see if it is fatal, or not.
sic vita est