The editorial board of Rutgers University's award-winning student newspaper, The Daily Targum, weighed in on the scandal still enveloping New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in this January 21 unsigned editorial.
We’re really glad that this whole Bridgegate fiasco came to light before our term as the Targum editorial board came to an end. With all the damn editorials we have written about Hurricane Sandy relief over the past year, all the pieces we’ve had to deal with hailing Gov. Chris Christie as some kind of hero, it’s pretty poetic that we’ve now come full circle with all the revelations that were made over winter break.
For those who spent the past month in total hibernation mode—and we don’t blame you—our très gentil governor has been accused of allegedly shutting down several lanes on the George Washington Bridge to get back at a North Jersey mayor for not supporting his re-election campaign.
Inciting traffic to exact revenge on political rivals? This is seriously so Jersey, it’s ridiculous. We would say it’s funny, except that emergency medical team responses were delayed. It was also back to school season, so students faced excruciating difficulty getting to their classes. According to the Daily News, the GWB is also “a lifeline for organ transplants at hospitals” and “traffic…could mean the difference between life and death in operations.”
Now, we hear that Christie withheld Sandy relief funds from a Democrat’s severely affected district unless she agreed to a new development plan he wanted to implement in her area. Many more similar narratives are now coming to light, showing Christie in that stereotypical “Boardwalk Empire” image that we all love, and now the federal government is launching an investigation into how exactly those emergency funds were used.
This is coming from an administration that constructed a good chunk of its re-election campaign on its incredible heroism in leading the state through one of the worst natural disasters in its history. Slick.
All we can say is we feel Christie’s presidential hopes are now officially down the drain. For a guy who portrayed himself as having everything under control, it’s absurd to think that something this corrupt would just slide under his nose. He has stated that it was a member of his administration who orchestrated the whole ordeal and that he had no idea it was going down, and—like the Jerseyans that we are—we call bullshit. That just seems like the perfect card to play for a person with grander political aspirations. We should know; we all watch “House of Cards.”
And, like “House of Cards,” this kind of political strong arming happens in American politics everyday, unfortunately. It’s just lucky for us—and unlucky for Christie—that this specific incident came to light. It’s necessary and very positive for political corruption to not only be exposed but also talked about across the country in the same way that Bridgegate is. It’s just sad that New Jersey yet again makes national headlines for the wrong reasons—but, hey, nothing our editorial board isn’t used to.
When these revelations were first coming to light, Christie had the signature gall to dismiss a question about the closures by sarcastically responding, “I worked the cones, actually. Unbeknownst to everybody I was actually the guy out there in overalls and a hat. You cannot be serious with that question.”
With the way the future is looking, that doesn’t seem like such a joke now.
Read Next: Anna-Lisa Castle on Cornell's sexual assualt policy.