Christie ‘Bridgegate’ Scandal Gets Weirder
How is it that a NY-NJ Port Authority official and childhood friend of New Jersey governor Chris Christie who just resigned came to own a list of Web domains of the governor’s foes?
David Wildstein, the childhood friend of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) who recently resigned a government position in the midst of scandal, reportedly purchased multiple web domains earlier this year that bore the names of Christie’s foes.
Wildstein left a position with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey earlier this month amid a growing scandal over lane closures he ordered in September on the George Washington Bridge. The closures led to days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J., and critics have alleged that the closure was ordered in retaliation for the mayor of Fort Lee declining to endorse Christie’s reelection.
A report Saturday by the Bergen Record newspaper said Wildstein purchased the domains buonosilva.org, and millysilva.com in July. Those sites could have been used by Christie’s Democratic rival in the gubernatorial election, Barbara Buono, and her running mate, Milly Silva.
Wildstein also reportedly purchased patfoye.com, which bears the name of Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye, who criticized the lane closures in September.
Mike DuHaime, a close aide to Christie, told the newspaper the governor had no knowledge of Wildstein’s web activity. Christie has also denied having any involvement in the traffic jam.
…the mystery man of Jersey politics, operating in secrecy for years as an anonymous political pundit before nabbing a sweetheart $150,020-a-year patronage position with no job description at the Port Authority, courtesy of a high school friend who now is the governor of New Jersey. … Wildstein was hired in May 2010 as director of interstate capital projects — a position that had no job description. With his appointment, it was revealed that Wildstein’s previous job had been as the man behind the curtain at PolitickerNJ — the New Jersey political blog he founded a decade earlier. Hiding his true identity behind the pen name Wally Edge — a former New Jersey governor whose support led to the creation of the Port Authority in 1921 by an act of both state legislatures and Congress — Wildstein published bite-size news breaks involving campaign strategies, horse trading and power plays, along with opinions and rumors. …
In its campaign to transform itself into a model of government transparency, the Port Authority turned over a stack of résumés and job descriptions for employees hired at a salary of $100,000 or more during Gov. Chris Christie’s first two years in office.
The documents, including a list of the 50 employees’ names and their hiring dates, were handed to a reporter six months after a Nov. 2 Freedom of Information request, during the agency’s April 26 board meeting. And for most hires, the agency provided both a résumé and the position’s corresponding job description and requirements.
But not in David Wildstein’s case, making it impossible to gauge whether his experience or qualifications met the requirements of the job.
A spokesman for Christie defended Wildstein’s hiring, as well as his lack of an official job description, asserting in a statement that “he is there in that job because he is well-suited to the task of playing a role in reforming the Port Authority in accordance with the governor’s goals.”
A political patronage appointee with no resumé and no job description who bought up the domain names of his boss’s boss’s rivals. Hmmm… these are the kind of things that can kill a presidential campaign in the womb.
Dave "Doctor" Gonzo is a renegade record producer, writer, reformed corporate shill, and still-registered lobbyist for non-one-percenter performing artists and musicians. He lives in a heavily fortified compound in one of Manhattan's less trendy neighborhoods.