As Governor Chris Christie remains embattled in a scandal regarding whether or not he personally called for the Port Authority to cause unnecessary traffic problems on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, politicians across the state are beginning to question their past interactions with the Republican presidential hopeful.
In an interview with New York radio station WNYC 93.9 FM, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer entertains the idea that not endorsing Christie during his re-election campaign against Democratic State Senator Barbara Buono may have led to some of the massive flooding issues in Hoboken during Hurricane Sandy.
“He was quite disappointed, but I wouldn’t say that he was angry. He was disappointed and said he would keep asking,” Zimmer said, recalling a conversation with Christie about who she would be endorsing in the governor’s race.
“And I said, ‘We can keep the conversation going but I don’t expect to be changing my position.’ And I didn’t.”
Zimmer, a Democrat, ultimately opted not to endorse either candidate and it seems highly unlikely it would’ve made a difference if she did – Christie defeated Buono by a margin of 60.5 percent to just 38 percent.
On the radio show, Zimmer also noted that she applied for a Hazard Mitigation Grant, in hopes of preventing, or at least minimizing, flooding during Sandy. Overall, Zimmer asked for $100 million in grants from the state, but received a measly $300,000 at the end of the day.
“It’s a lot less and I was extremely disappointed,” Zimmer said. “And at the time I was angry because I felt like the focus was on the shore. With 20/20 hindsight, in the context we’re in right now, we can always look back and say, ‘Okay, was it retribution?’” Zimmer said. “I think probably all mayors are reflecting right now and thinking about it, but I really hope that that’s not the case.”
The latest development in Bridgegate came on Friday, when the state legislature released 908 pages of subpoenaed documents pertaining to how Port Authority officials dealt with the closing of the George Washington Bridge back in September.
In a press conference on Thursday, Christie publicly denied having any involvement with the bridge closure, though still apologized and fired his Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly.
Kelly had come under fire for emailing then-Port Authority director of interstate capital projects, David Wildstein, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”