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New documents reveal Christie aides joking about NJ traffic jams

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The latest documents released by a New Jersey legislative committee looking into a political payback scandal surrounding Gov. Chris Christie show two figures at the heart of the case making running jokes about the idea of creating traffic jams as a way to strike at enemies.

The documents do not provide any new evidence about how deep into the plot Christie or his top staffers may have been, though it does reinforce the idea that some of the people involved were cavalier about what they were doing.

Three weeks before the massive tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge, the two Christie-connected officials exchanged text messages about a rabbi who had bothered them.

Bridget Kelly, then an aide to Christie, was apparently joking when she sent an Aug. 19 text saying: "We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?"

David Wildstein, who was Christie's No. 2 man at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, responded: "Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed." He appeared to be joking, although the Port Authority does run the major New York City-area airports.

"Perfect," Kelly wrote.

The exchange came six days after Kelly's previously disclosed message to Wildstein: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

The newly public exchange is part of a group of documents made public Thursday by a legislative committee looking into political retribution in Christie's administration.

Christie has maintained that he was not involved in the closure or a cover-up and had no knowledge of the scheme before it happened.

Wildstein made the documents available to the committee. Like documents previously submitted to the committee by others, some passages of messages are blacked out.

In a statement, Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Sen. Loretta Weinberg, who are leading the investigative committee, said they reviewed the full documents and agreed it was appropriate to leave some sections secret because "the material was outside of the subject matter or date range requested."

Unlike the documents released previously, there are notes indicating who sent and received more of the messages - something that clears up some of the minor mysteries of the scandal, which is also being investigated by the U.S. attorney's office.

For instance, it's now clear that it was Kelly who texted, apparently jokingly, about feeling "badly about the kids" who were stuck in the traffic jams while on their way to school. And that it was Wildstein who responded that "they are the children of Buono voters," referring to Barbara Buono, Christie's Democratic challenger in last year's gubernatorial election.

Also, it's now clear that the previously unidentified person who texted Wildstein asking, "Who does he think he is, Capt. America?" was Bill Stepien, who was the Republican governor's two-time campaign manager. The documents, however, do not clarify whom Stepien was referring to.

Christie fired Kelly last month and cut ties with Stepien after the first batch of documents provided by Wildstein were made public. By then, Wildstein had already stepped down from his job at the Port Authority.

The rabbi referred to in the one exchange was not mentioned by name, though Wildstein began the conversation by texting Kelly a photo of a man who appears to be Mendy Carlebach posing with House Speaker John Boehner.

Carlebach told The Record newspaper and the New York Times on Thursday that he had never spoken with Wildstein and had only exchanged greetings with Kelly. Carlebach, a member of the state's Homeland Security Interfaith Advisory Council and a chaplain at the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions, said he did not know why the two would have been upset with him.

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s February 27 2014 at 4:51 PM

After 911 the GW Bridge had armed guards for months. Its not too bright to
mess with the GW.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
sdavid0238 February 27 2014 at 5:35 PM

Bestel Comm said it all, I can't add anything further, you guys all make me sick, a traffic jam, really??? Get real, there are some real scandals out there and everyone just ignores them.
American lives, etc, etc, etc.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
Tom February 27 2014 at 10:49 PM

So trafic was slowed to a crawl. was it because of the direct actions of an overweight Govener or the random actions of lazy uncaring highway workers?" What difference at this point does it make?"

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
grozbeek Tom February 27 2014 at 10:53 PM

How do you this is so? He is accountable for his staff.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
drbee50 Tom February 27 2014 at 11:13 PM

Tom, "what difference does it make"? You have to be joking!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Blim Blam Blunk February 27 2014 at 8:55 PM

...All of those found guilty in Bridgegate should be marched to the bridge in burlap diapers and barbwire dunce caps...They should then be made to push one another off the bridge like the yellow gleet -******* punks that they are...The last one left should be put on a permanent leash and walked across the bridge by the Governor every Thanksgiving Morning...BBB...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Tom February 27 2014 at 8:55 PM

Hey Tony. Did you take care of that thing? You know. That thing! Call me back from a pay phone.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Merrilyn February 27 2014 at 5:50 PM


If he didn't know, he should have known. Our chief of police just resigned because three of his policemen were inappropropiate with citizens. He said the buck stops here. I am in charge. And promptly resigned. Christie........follow the lead - RESIGN.

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1 reply
stevestorm Merrilyn February 27 2014 at 5:53 PM

If that was the case, Biden would be potus because Obama would have to resign, but we all know his motto, pass the buck obama....

Flag Reply 0 rate up
garygbvepc February 27 2014 at 5:53 PM

They will spend millions on this . And its NOTHING!!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
marinolouisj February 27 2014 at 5:55 PM

they are all ******** Dems and Rep they all lie, cheat and steal

Flag Reply +1 rate up
tjzajack0250 February 27 2014 at 8:23 PM

If he was a dem. not a thing would be said. They would cover it up like the rest of the thing that
do. How about Mendaz?? I'm not a party person but this whole thing is just showing the public
how dirty politics is. Why not get after the ones that always have there hands out.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
frederi841 tjzajack0250 February 27 2014 at 8:28 PM

May be we need Monica back. I hear alot about Michelle complaining about the apres running all around with other women according to a secret service snitch but not word huh?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
jjemder February 27 2014 at 5:34 PM

We are being divided as a nation. If we do not realize this soon, it will be too late. Libs, Cons, we need to see what is really being perpetrated here. God help me, I'm probably on a watch list now...

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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