Archive for scandal – Page 2

Amusing Scott Walker news items

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scott walker dumb look

So this happened: State appeals court rejects challenges to WI John Doe probe targeting conservatives.

And now, this happened, courtesy of Wisconsin Public Radio:

Gov. Scott Walker won't say whether the $86,000 his campaign recently paid attorneys was connected with the latest John Doe investigation. [...]

The previous John Doe investigation, which concluded last year, resulted in the arrest of several former Walker aides who worked for him before he was elected Governor.

That should go over well when he announces his 2016 presidential run. Or maybe, if we're lucky, he'll entertain the nation with his best Chris Christie/Sergeant Schultz impression: "I see nothing! know nothing!"

Then there was this amusing headline from htrnews.com: Walker says he senses no gay marriage 'movement.' What?

First, where does Scott Walker get off suggesting he has any sense? About anything? Oh, but I kid, that was just a play on words that popped into my noggin.

But that doesn't change the fact that he is as in-sense-itive (read: tone deaf) as the rest of his GOP buddies. Did it slip Walker's little pea brain that marriage equality is here to stay, and that he and his fellow GOPers are relics of some black and white TV, Wonder Bread, the-little-woman-baking-cookies-in-high-heels-and-an-apron, real men don't date other real men past? Relics with very little national voter appeal?

Psst! Scottie! Take a gander at this:

Polling shows increased support for legalizing gay marriage in Wisconsin and dozens of lawsuits have been filed across the country challenging similar laws.

walker world

Speaking of attorneys, should you ever need one, Barry Scheck is one of the best. He tops a list that we provide, found at the very bottom of the right sidebar.

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Chris #Christie use of Port Authority as ATM "taken to new heights." More like new depths.

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chris christie bridgegate port authority via MadImage via Mad

Need to catch up on all the Chris Christie, Bridgegate, Port Authority, email-your-crony, "Who, moi?" scandals? Here you go, courtesy of Steve "I'm on it!" Kornacki:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Kornacki's stories are chock full o' fun facts and each video contains top notch investigative reporting.

Speaking of reporting, the Los Angeles Times posted an article on this mess, one that approaches the scandals from a slightly different angle. Their headline: "Port Authority controversy runs deeper than Christie bridge scandal" and it reminds us that the agency is controlled by the governors of both New York and New Jersey, plus "it owns the World Trade Center, airports, bridges, tunnels and the seaport, the nation's third-largest... operates a train and spearheads its own development projects. All of that money and hiring power has been an irresistible temptation to politicians on both sides of the Hudson River, which divides the two states."

Governor "Heartbroken" sure seems to have-- allegedly-- succumbed to that "temptation" and--allegedly-- used the Port Authority to-- allegedly-- reward his buddies. Allegedly.

The troubled organization is the largest of its kind in the country, with a $7-billion budget, more than 7,000 employees, a dysfunctional management structure and a reputation as a secretive patronage haven. [...]

More than a year before the current controversy, former Executive Director Stephen Berger described the Port Authority as "a money tree, an ATM machine," during a breakfast event in New York. "It's been a place [governors] can go to do projects they can't get through their budgets," he said. [...]

Christie has stacked the Port Authority with dozens of loyalists, according to a list that surfaced in a recent lawsuit. [...]

Jameson Doig, a Dartmouth professor who wrote a book about the Port Authority called "Empire on the Hudson," said that other governors also had used the agency as a jobs bank — but that Christie had taken it to new heights.

More like new depths. Allegedly.

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Wildstein: Closing bridge lanes “the Christie administration’s order.” He knew.

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chris christie schultz i know nothing

Mr. Toast

The New York Times has a bombshell about the bridge lane closures and what Chris Christie knew and when he knew it. Hold your ears:

ka-powIn a letter released by his lawyer, the official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.

Go read. Now.

So it looks like Wildstein is looking to make a deal or he wouldn't be spilling the beans. Apparently, he claims that there is correspondence that can prove his assertions contesting "the accuracy of the statements the governor made."

Also, MSNBC's Michael Isikoff is reporting that Christie's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, is invoking his 5th Amendment rights, and he is refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents.

Governor "Heartbroken" has a lot of 'splainin' to do after that bogus press conference that so many Republicans fell for hook, line, and sinker.

Stay tuned for court battles galore.

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State appeals court rejects challenges to WI John Doe probe targeting conservatives

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walker christie WI john doe probeImage via Free Wisconsin blog

Remember the WI John Doe probe into former Scott Walker aides and associates? Meet WI John Doe Probe II.

Via Watchdog.org:

MADISON, Wis. — A state appeals court on Thursday rejected an effort to shut down a Democrat-launched secret investigation into conservative groups, ruling that the court-administered dragnet did not overstep its authority as targets of the probe have claimed.

In effect, the decision keeps alive a two-year John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative organizations amid allegations of illegal campaign coordination during Wisconsin’s recent partisan recall elections.

Eric O’Keefe is the director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which is one of at least 29 conservative groups targeted. O'Keefe himself is a target who previously threatened to sue prosecutors if they don’t drop the investigation, claiming they are “violating the constitutional rights of private citizens and must be held accountable.”

Feeling the heat, are you Eric?

Meanwhile, in other news, Gov. Walker raised $5.1 million in the second half of 2013. Walker’s campaign says most of the donations came from supporters who contributed $50 or less.

To fake-quote Jerry Seinfeld, "Who are these people?"

who are these people

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New emails, interviews: Hoboken mayor under pressure from Christie administration

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chris christie angrytick tick boom

Why, it seems like only yesterday that I posted Ruh roh! Chris Christie's brother bought property just before Christie pushed for big overhaul. Oh wait, it was yesterday.

And now it seems like only today that the New York Times is reporting about emails showing that Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor Dawn Zimmer was indeed being pressured by the Christie administration.

drip drip drip

You remember this story, right? Governor "Heartbroken's" allies were oh, so "offended" and started pointing fingers at Zimmer for daring to suggest that she'd been leaned on.

Zimmer alleged that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno told her that the very pricey Rockefeller real estate project was important to her boss and that Zimmer should “move forward” with it in order to get Hurricane Sandy clean-up funding. The mayor even jotted down contemporaneous notes about the conversation in her journal. Oh my bad, Zimmer's a woman: Her "diary."

She had a meeting scheduled with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to discuss protecting Hoboken from future natural disasters. However:

But according to newly obtained emails sent among the participants, the first topic of discussion on the agenda was “review of concepts for flood control measures at Rockefeller property,” a reference to a billion-dollar office complex proposed at the north end of town. The developer, the Rockefeller Group, which had long been trying to gain approval from local officials, sent two executives, two lobbyists and an engineer to the meeting. [...]

The Christie administration has denied ever linking the Rockefeller project to hurricane relief, an accusation that is now under federal investigation.

But whatever the outcome of the inquiries, the emails and interviews make clear that the development-wary mayor was coming under increasing and repeated pressure from politically connected lawyers working for Rockefeller Group and from the Christie administration.

What's that saying again? Oh yeah:

ruh roh smallerUPDATE via TPM:

A longtime adviser to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) conducted a 2012 poll on behalf of a development firm at the center of one of the scandals that has recently rocked the governor's administration, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

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Ruh roh! Chris Christie's brother bought property just before Christie pushed for big overhaul

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chris christie cartoon via FBVia Facebook

tweet Kornacki chris christie scandalLink

Welcome to Christie World, courtesy of Steve Kornacki and NorthJersey.com. Two words come to mind. Ruh and roh:

Governor Christie’s brother, Todd Christie, and two business partners have bought and sold a handful of properties within walking distance of the PATH station in Harrison, slated for a $256 million renovation funded by the Port Authority and championed by the governor, records show. [...]

The quarter-billion station renovation came into focus this week when The Record reported that Port Authority Chairman David Samson had private ties to the land around the Harrison station. As chairman of the bi-state agency, Samson voted to approve the Harrison station overhaul, months after a client of his law firm proposed converting a nearby warehouse into luxury apartments.

Samson also faces questions about his role in addressing the George Washington Bridge lane closures that gridlocked Fort Lee in September. And his firm, Wolff & Samson, is connected to another development proposal in Hoboken that the mayor has said the Christie administration pressured her into backing.

Per the article, Chris Christie's younger sib has profited nicely from real estate deals, and what deals they were! One of his partners managed to haul in "tens of millions of dollars" in work from state agencies since Governor "I Know Nothing" took office in 2010. Together, they "began buying small residential lots in early 2011, about a year before the train station renovation was approved by the Port Authority."

chris christie schultz i know nothing

Again, Todd Christie and his buddies bought up the properties before the multi-million rehab was publicly approved. NJ.com adds:

Todd Christie and his partners then renovated and flipped the lots for almost triple their purchase price after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey gave its OK to the project, the report said.

Here is the perfect coda, a recent "La Cucaracha" strip snarking about Governor "Heartbroken." A major advantage of having a Twitter pal like the wonderful Lalo Alcaraz (@LaloAlcaraz) is that he generously shares his work with us:

CucharachaChrisChristiew608h227Link

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Partisanship

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partisanshipVia

Partisanship is alive and well these days. Did I say "these days"? I meant to say "these years." Did I say "these years"? I meant to say "these decades." But ever since President Obama was sworn in-- literally-- the bitter divide has gotten bitterer and dividier. By the way, commentators, it's not "Congress" that's the problem, it's the GOP.

Lately on the Tee Vee Machine, Republican talking heads have been reveling in the president's sagging poll numbers, and have demanded-- demanded!-- that he stop blaming George Bush for the nation's problems. That's been part of their prebuttal for tomorrow's State of the Union address, because that's what they do. How typically unoriginal, flawed, and redundant.

Actually, BushCo is to blame for much of the country's woes, because we are still trying to recover from the Bush Recession. The one Bush's policies brought on. The one that lost us hundreds of thousands of jobs every month. The one that President Obama is pulling us out of.

And one of the main reasons we aren't recovering quickly enough is because the GOP doesn't want us to. They have obstructed just about anything that has even a faint whiff of Eau d'Obama. That way, when the economy remains weak, when immigration reform stalls, when income inequality persists, when the number of massacres at the point of a gun increases, when more children starve, when more Americans are denied the assistance they need to sign up for health care, they can point fingers at the person who they themselves obstructed. And many Americans are buying into their b.s.

Good plan, guys. Or should I say, white guys?

So what's President Obama's response? To soften the language he's going to use in the SOTU, per reports. Yes indeed, according to MSNBC, he will replace them fightin' words "income inequality" with them weaker words "equal opportunity for all," which, by the way, they say, is Republican language. Instead of coming out punching, the president will soften his approach. Because this is an election year. Heavy sigh.

How's that reaching out and trying to compromise with Republicans workin' for ya, Mr. President? The same way all that GOP "outreach" is working for them? Heavier sigh.

Meanwhile, on the Chris Christie front, if those on the right side of the aisle who sit on the big new joint investigative committee decide that they're underrepresented (there are 8 Democrats and 4 Republicans, which is proportional to their numbers in both state chambers), they may pull a fast one. They may very well swivel from their so-far "let's work together to get to the bottom of all this scandalous Christie mess" to gumming up the works and claiming that it's all one big partisan witch hunt by Dems who don't like big bad GOP Governor "Heartbroken." To hell with digging for truth, justice, and the American Way and finally challenging corruption in a state known for corruption.

All of this paints the usual "politicians are more interested in their own careers and their pursuit of special interest money and influence" than they are in protecting the people who voted for them, who provided them with their damned jobs. Finding out who decided (and why) to put lives in danger by closing off access to the busiest bridge in the world is less of a priority than playing politics. Uncovering the truth about whether Chris Christie denied Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer Sandy relief funds doesn't matter as much as playing the blame game.

So there you have it. Instead of coming together to find solutions to truly pressing issues, we the frustrated spectators pay tax money admission to watch two parties needlessly butt heads and self-destruct, crushing all of us in their idiotic wake.

Partisanship: America's Scripted Reality Show.

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