NYT – Christie Admin. All About the Politics

The entire article is interesting and I expect will be dissected on the TV tonight post-SOTU.

Staff members in the governor’s office created tabbed and color-coded dossiers on the mayors of each town — who their friends and enemies were, the policies and projects that were dear to them…

Long after most of the State House had been shuttered for the night, Mr. Christie’s aides worked on spreadsheets, documenting calls and meetings with key players in the towns — one Republican called it “political Moneyball” — as the governor tried to win endorsements and friends.

Officially known as “intergovernmental affairs,” the operation was a key element of the permanent campaign that allowed Mr. Christie to win twice in a largely Democratic state. It was led by Bill Stepien, his two-time campaign manager and deputy chief of staff, and then by Bridget Anne Kelly, who succeeded him in his role in the governor’s office.

The question before prosecutors today is how far would the Christie people go to reward friends and punish perceived enemies? I think it will become clear that it is mostly about this kind of pay to play abuse of power, whether it’s about endorsements or property development. If they used Sandy funds as a cudgel, just like they apparently closed traffic lanes and DMV offices to punish “enemies”, they weren’t just effecting the pols they had a beef with, they were hurting citizens directly. This may not be unprecedented in politics, but it’s unforgivable when discovered, and it’s extremely understandable by the public as an abuse.

This is the paragraph that stood out to me:

Mr. Christie himself tended to the smallest of details. He personally oversaw appointments to the State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, legislative leaders said, and when he wanted to discuss something with lawmakers, he texted them himself. (He told one top legislator that he had learned from his experience as United States attorney not to email; texts were harder to trace.)

So Christie had his sausage fingers in so many pies that he “personally oversaw appointments to the State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners” but did not know about Fort Lee until December? Yeah, not working. The irony of the text v. e-mail debate is delicious.  

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