Sunday, January 12, 2014

Money Money Money...

Josh Marshall links to a story hinting that the real issue in Bridgegate might be big money - a billion dollar development project. This makes a heck of a lot more sense than the rather threadbare revenge story. It also hints that this could spread maybe even to Cuomo.

A couple very interesting new threads on the Bridgegate story. As I've mentioned, as the scope of the Bridge closure effort and the attempt to cover it up grow, payback for a small town Mayor's Christie non-endorsement has seemed increasingly implausible as a motive. This morning Brian Murphy went on Steve Kornacki's show to discuss a major billion dollar development project which would have been gravely impacted (perhaps scuttled altogether) by any permanent move to create a traffic choke point in Fort Lee. (There's an important disclosure that both men have been very forthcoming about: both worked for Wildstein in former lives when Wildstein ran a NJ politics website called PolitickerNJ.com.) But before getting to that there's another aspect of this story which I think deserves attention.

We know that Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was on the phones with basically everyone as soon as the traffic started piling up last September 9th. But there's something about the nature of his correspondence with Port Authority Deputy Director Bill Baroni. He repeatedly goes out of his way to make clear he wants things handled quietly, without the press or politics getting pulled into the mix. In fact he appears to want the communication to be solely between them.

Interestinger and Interestinger. Who was squeezing whom? And for what? And why would the Mayor and the Govs of both NJ and NY want this kept quiet?

Brian Murphy has the story of what little we do and don't [a heck of a lot] know about the Bridgegate money angle.