In the Wink of a Young Girl’s Eye

The first two items of the Christie bill of particulars against Wildenstein:

  • As a 16 year-old kid, he sued over a local school board election.
  • He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.

This is not from the Onion, but it could be: “As a college freshman, he once was found palming a Ghostflame Siver card in a Magic: The Gathering tournament.”

In a few months, Christie’s going to be telling his story hunched over a warm beer in the Metuchen Legion Club.

159 replies
  1. 1
    Eric says:

    That tells me that Christie has gone all in with a low pair and knows he is gonna get called. That doesnt even rise to the level of meh.

  2. 2
    Joey Maloney says:

    Or over a Dixie cup of Pruno on the yard in Rahway.

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    Good title. I was going with either that or “Went into your locker and I smashed your glasses”.

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    Someone needs to ask Christie the following question:

    “If you knew this Wildenstein character was such a bad actor, then why did you hire him to head The Port Authority.”

    Keep digging, Chris.
    Others are.

  5. 5
    gene108 says:

    I’m just glad this has pretty much derailed Christie’s 2016 Presidential chances.

    What I wonder is if the digging is going to go deep enough to kill the careers of the “Christie-Dems”, who publicly endorsed Christie’s re-election bid, because as it stands now there’s a pretty good chance favors were traded for those endorsements.

    I’d love the NJ Democratic Party to purge itself of the “Christie-Dems”.

  6. 6
    WereBear says:

    You go with the cover story you got, not the one you wish you had.

  7. 7
    Eric says:

    @WereBear: why? The gop has been making up cover stories for years. :)

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    Good thing Christie would never associate with a creep like Wildstein.

    In other news, according to Nutsmax, Dershowitz accuses falling dominoes of divisiveness.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    I’m just surprised that the Christie camp didn’t use, the he wet the bed when he was seven excuse.

  10. 10
    Patrick says:

    This guy is a Governor and contemplating running for President of the United States. Yet, he goes after someone publicly for something they did or did not do 30 years ago in high school. The only thing Christie’s email tells me is that he is truly desperate to sink to this level.

  11. 11
    Suffern ACE says:

    So, a bunch if stuff when he was a teen and then 30 years pass without incident.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    How can a fifty-year-old man like Chris Christie bring up petty stuff from high school without making a fool of himself? If anyone out there still had a shred of respect left for his judgement, that’s surely gone now.

  13. 13
    The Dangerman says:

    He forgot “he got smoking behind the gym” and “jumped the turnstyles in the subway”.

    I’ll assume the Christie staff writers are mailing it in and spending most of their time sending out resumes these days.

  14. 14
    aimai says:

    @Amir Khalid: Tbogg is going to change his name to “The Outlaw Jersey Flail.”

  15. 15
    Tommy says:


    This is not from the Onion, but it could be: “As a college freshman, he once was found palming a Ghostflame Siver card in a Magic: The Gathering tournament.”

    Makes me think of the time my school called my parents and said they were worried I was in some kind of cult. Worshipping the devil. Their evidence, I was playing D&D. I wish I could have been in the room when my dad met with the school. I learned he said something like are you freaking crazy. It is a darn game. And a game that requires things like thought and reading to play. He went on to explain that I’d never read before, but I was reading now and they were in the process of buying me anything related to D&D I wanted.

    Cause well I was reading ….

  16. 16
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Well this does at least tend to counter the narrative that Christie is prone to petty, vindictive retribution and therefore likely behind the bridge closings. (eyeroll)

    I think Christie should lose his job for gross incompetence. He’s clearly hired Bozo the Clown as his public affairs director.

  17. 17
    Soonergrunt says:

    Christie WAS the only national Republican with any real chance of winning the general election in 2016. None of the others that have the stature to mount a credible campaign could have done it. They are all too aligned with the teabaggers, which is necessary in today’s Republican party to get the nomination, but they are toxic to anyone outside that 27%. Now of course, Christie is utterly loathed by the teabaggers, but everybody and his brother knew that he was the likely candidate anyway because even the Republicans know you have to win before you can govern.

  18. 18
    scav says:

    I rather enjoyed the “Bottom line – David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” part. Funny how hearing that explicitly said instantly brings up other individuals that it might be applied to. I’d call that a bad dancestep.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    I know we sometimes say that the GOP acts like they’ve never left high school, but I never expected to see such a literal example.

    Does Christie accuse Wildstein of passing notes in homeroom?

  20. 20
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Has he accused him of “Wildsteining” yet?

    Hoards of bureaucrats roaming the halls of power attacking elected officials at random….

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    This is good news for Mitt Romney.

  22. 22
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I think Christie should lose his job for gross incompetence. He’s clearly hired Bozo the Clown as his public affairs director.

    Bozo might be an improvement. He had the attention of millions and a loyal following. Divine intercession couldn’t save Chris^2’s hide now.

  23. 23
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Amir Khalid: The only thing a self-respecting reader of Christie’s little broadside of fail there can do is to sneer at Christie.
    There are a lot of people in national politics, and I suspect even more so in New Jersey politics that don’t like Chris Christie, but could at least respect him. That’s gone now, and that’s fatal for a politician.

  24. 24
    Poopyman says:

    In a few months, Christie’s going to be telling his story hunched over a warm beer in the Metuchen Legion Club.

    Still, I’m guessing he’ll have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of office. He doesn’t seem like the type who’ll resign – I think he’s deluded himself that he can ride this out. Maybe an indictment and a perp walk will change his mind.

  25. 25
    Tommy says:

    @Soonergrunt: I say it over and over again. My mom and dad are really actually moderate Republicans. You couldn’t pay them to watch Fox Noise or listen to Rush. I like to think they are pretty darn sane. They look at the tea party and are confused (not in a good way). No chance in hell they’d vote for somebody like Rand Paul. In fact mom is now voting for Democrats.

    When you start to lose rich, white folks in their 70s, well the Republican party needs to rethink things. I can’t believe for the life of me my parents are that unique. Gots to be a lot more of them out there.

  26. 26
    rk says:


    Or he pulled the pigtails of little girls in Kindergarten.

  27. 27
    Poopyman says:

    @JPL: Very true, actually. I can see Mitt’s smirk clear over here on the East Coast.

  28. 28
    dmsilev says:

    Oh, Lord.

    He was an anonymous blogger known as Wally Edge
    He had a strange habit of registering web addresses for other people’s names without telling them

    “He smells funny. He doesn’t always look both ways before crossing the road. He rips the tags off mattresses.”

  29. 29
    big ole hound says:

    So what does Wildenstein have on Christie that gained him the seat on the Port Authority? Must be juicy for this little twit to get that appointment. The Outlaw Jersey Whale is going down and a whole bunch of more will follow. The statehouse will have a whole new look next year.

  30. 30
    Tommy says:

    @big ole hound: I am an IL guy. We just went through the Rod Blagojevich thing. When a prosecutor starts to look into a politician, and I will say just about any politician at this level, it isn’t going to end well. I am not willing to say anything Christie did is right, but I have to think that “horse trading” happens 24/7. I do this for you, you do this for me. I would think standard operating procedure. But step over the line and get a lawyer involved, well that is game, set, match.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    Christie, I think, is the kind who would stay as governor, no matter how little credibility he had left, just to spite everyone who advised him to quit.

  32. 32
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Christie hoisted himself to power on the three legged stool of Patronage, Payback and Punishment. He’s now wobbling on two legs and it will be a hard fall. It’s difficult to see that many will miss him except for the GOPers who will have to scramble to fill the power vacuum at the top.
    Who knows, maybe Chris will do the obligatory mea culpa media tour and be rehabilitated. David Vitter managed it and I’d have thought that impossible. OTOH, there are moral lapses (Vitter) and then there are abuses of power (Christie). Maybe that will make a difference.

  33. 33
    aimai says:

    @dmsilev: Actually the Wally Edge accusations are also serious and not at all funny. He basically used that persona to politically punish and harrass his enemies.

  34. 34
    scav says:

    @aimai: The squatting on names thing is also political hardball related, isn’t it? They did suddenly go coy there, not wanting to raise those specters too explicitly for some reason.

  35. 35
    Amir Khalid says:

    For this month, at any rate.

  36. 36
    MattF says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I doubt that Christie has the mea culpa option. Not only is there no evidence that he ever felt (or currently feels) a shred of guilt about his behavior, payback and intimidation are clearly his standard MO. There’s one person to blame for Christie’s problems, and Christie is the only person who hasn’t been able to figure that out.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    So wait. I thought Chris Christie didn’t even know the nerd in high school? How does he now know so much about the nerd’s high school behavior?

  38. 38
    Tommy says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I have a lot of connections to Louisiana and Vitter is something that honestly still confuses me. I mean he is going to be that state’s next Governor. Heck I don’t even recall him doing a mea culpa media tour. He just gritted it out.

    Oh wait that doesn’t confuse me, Lousisana had Edwin Edwards :).

  39. 39
    Ferdzy says:

    Can’t see Christie resigning. I think of him and Rob Ford as seperated at birth, so I just ask myself, “WWRFD”?

    Yeah, not resigning.

  40. 40
    Tommy says:

    @Ferdzy: No way he will. Never! That will be how he tries to rehab his image within the GOP. He won’t back down to the media, the liberals, you name it. He will blame the media and us liberals, attack them, and say he won’t bow to them. Doing that is never a loser in the Republican party.

  41. 41
    gene108 says:

    Resigning is admitting grave wrongdoing.

    Clearly Christie’s whole story so far is he did nothing wrong, therefore resigning is out of the question.

  42. 42
    dmsilev says:

    @aimai: Sure, although it’s worth noting that he did some real political reporting mixed in with the partisan hits. It’s just that the way Christie’s email is phrasing things makes it look like Wildstein had a hobby sideline of photographing and writing about his meals or something trivial like that.

  43. 43
    dmsilev says:

    @Ferdzy: He’s not going to resign. If it turns out that there’s real hard evidence tying him either to the Fort Lee mess or to one of the other messes coming to light, he might be impeached or indicted (and then impeached), but he isn’t going to leave voluntarily.

    His ambitions of higher office, on the other hand, are dead.

  44. 44
    IowaOldLady says:

    Once again, I put on my Mom Hat and say, “We’re not talking about Davey down the street. We’re talking about you.”

  45. 45
    dr. bloor says:


    Tbogg is going to change his name to “The Outlaw Jersey Flail.”

    Seems an appropriate time to do so, since everyone knows whales can’t jump sharks.

  46. 46
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    In light of the short attention span of the American voter I’m not yet ready to cast Christie into the dustbin of history. This is the same American voter who returned a Republican majority to the House less than two years after G W Bush left office.

    Christie still thinks that he has a shot. There are lots of people in the GOP who fervently wish that he did. Absent a felony conviction there’s a non-zero chance that Christie will run in 2016.

  47. 47
    Ferdzy says:

    Oh, yeah. For sure. I just hope that as he rolls around and grabs at something to pull himself up again, that he pulls down a whole bunch of people around him.

    Am I talking about Christie or Rob Ford? Yeah.

    *sits back, munches popcorn, maybe blogs about munching popcorn*

  48. 48
    Anya says:

    I think the high school stuff is for the benefit of the MSM. I think this will appeal to them since they cover politics like it’s a high school drama between nerds and jocks. Of course they’re the cheerleaders so they go with the jocks all the time.

  49. 49
    Tommy says:

    Melissa Harris-Perry is hitting it out of the park on the NFL right now. Look I love football. But lets be clear. The billionaires that own a team get anything and everything they want. First off they pay NO taxes on their earnings. The NFL is tax exempt. I wish I could get some of that for my small business.

    What stuns me is the stadiums. Which she is talking about.

    Here in St. Louis about 12 years ago we built a domed stadium downtown. Mostly tax payer dollars for an owner worth around $6B. The stadium was around $500M to build.

    Ownership is now saying in their contract it notes that their stadium has to be one of the top five in the league (how do you judge that) and they want like $375M in changes. Or they will, and this was the “big” news of the week, they will move to LA.

    My only hope is they are overplaying their hand. St. Louis is a baseball town. The Rams have not fielded a competitive team in years. Many folks I know let their season tickets lapse. Or I hope, cause what the NFL gets is just out of control.

    Good for MHP talking about this. Not talked about very often.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    “Bottom line – David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” the email concludes.

    This is such projection from Christie , it’s almost comical. Who’s the one who will do and say anything to save himself? It’s not just David Wildstein.

  51. 51
    Elmo says:


    Yeah, that was the first thing that struck me too. It isn’t as though high school shenanigans are matters of public record, at least not at this level of pettifoggery.

  52. 52
    Kristine says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    How can a fifty-year-old man like Chris Christie bring up petty stuff from high school without making a fool of himself?

    I’d like to know how he can remember it all.

    Man must know how to hold a grudge…which imo supports all the things he’s been accused of.

  53. 53
    maya says:

    Does all this mean Christie will not be providing Amerika a Taftkaesque presidency?

  54. 54
    JPL says:

    @Amir Khalid: Christie has a good research department. His binders are just filled with women.

  55. 55
    Punchy says:

    @MattF: I agree. A mea culpa would be admitting he made mistakes, and that’s political suicide in today’s GOP. He may save his governorship with such a move, but it would toast any GOP Prez aspirations.

  56. 56
    RSR says:

    I distinctly remember our social studies teacher accusing that guy I don’t know.

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Long time New Jersey political reporter, who’s working with Steve Kornacki and used to work for Wildstein, at TPM:

    I am trying to summon the requisite mood to seriously ponder the implications of the email that Governor Christie apparently sent to supporters/donors/ Politico/Beltway Republicans (as if there’s any… never mind). But I can’t. I just can’t.
    It is hard for me to believe that the governor of an American state could author such a piece of risible juvenilia, except it is even harder for me to believe a paid communications professional could have been behind this. The “argument” Christie (or possibly one very very close longtime advisor) is making here is that David Wildstein is a bad guy

    He also makes the same point Scott Raab made at Esquire, that DW was put at the Port Authority to be Christie’s in-house political operative.

  58. 58
    Tommy says:

    @Kristine: I am about the age of Christie. I moved back to the town I went to high school in, after almost 15 years away. I run into folks I went to high school with all the time. High school wasn’t a good time for me. I was overweight. I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t “cool.” Now I might be “cool.” I am fit. I might be popular, or I fit in.

    I don’t think I’ve ever held anything against those people. Often they beat me up and bullied me. I know a lot of things …..

    You know I got over that a long, long time ago. I mean we were basically kids. I don’t think the person that was 15 is the same person at 45. I wonder why Christie still can’t let go? For me this is very telling.

  59. 59
    JoyfulA says:

    the Metuchen Legion Post, where he’s a social member—

  60. 60
    RSR says:

    @Atrios 16h
    “For some reason I hired the worst person in the world for a lucrative patronage position I created” -Chris Christie

  61. 61
    Marc says:

    This is not from the Onion, but it could be: “As a college freshman, he once was found palming a Ghostflame Siver card in a Magic: The Gathering tournament.”

    Wait, where is that quote coming from? (It’s not in the TPM article or the Christie email.) Because I desperately want to read that.

  62. 62
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:


    I wonder why Christie still can’t let go? For me this is very telling.

    For a certain breed of politician – maybe all of them – the map to where the bodies are buried is their most valuable asset. Careful accounting of who you owe, who owes you and what you can get for a favor is necessary to make a big political career out of a small one.

  63. 63
    Napoleon says:


    First off they pay NO taxes on their earnings. The NFL is tax exempt.

    Did she actually say that, because if she did she is an idiot. The NFL is a sports league and there are certain exemptions that apply, the individual teams are not. The teams are taxed (to the extent anyone else is) on the income that comes in.

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Glad someone is covering the sports stadiums issue. It’s ridiculously expensive and the people who demand it pay nothing for it. I guess it’s good for the cities in some ways because they are multi-use stadiums and can be used for concerts and other big events, not just football or baseball. But the expense is ridiculous. And the movement toward ever-grander VIP sections at the expense of average family being able to afford to attend the event is appalling.

  65. 65
    Tommy says:

    @Napoleon: I said that. The teams are taxed. The league is not.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Violet says:

    @Marc: It’s something mistermix wrote. It’s in the post at the top.

  68. 68
    under_score says:

    @aimai: Christie absolutely, positively, knew all of this, yet created a job especially for Wally Edge. If Christie was willing to overlook odious behavior in the first place, he doesn’t get to call it out when things look bad. It is weak sauce, and I can’t believe anyone is falling for it. He must think we are pretty dumb. Or he’s desperate.

  69. 69
    Keith P says:

    I’m sure at some point (that being when a journalist asks, “are you seriously bringing up this guy being deceitful in high school??!?”), Christie will claim that he had no knowledge of anyone on his staff writing this email.

  70. 70
    gene108 says:


    I wonder why Christie still can’t let go? For me this is very telling.

    He’s a Fremen in his heart-of-hearts.

    Never forgive, never forget.

  71. 71
    geg6 says:

    LOL! That Christie PR doc is the most hilarious thing I’ve ever read. He kicked puppies! He might have cheated on a social studies test! He pulled my sister’s hair! And, no surprise to anyone here, he was the world’s greatest scourge, a blogger!

    WTF? How old is Chris Christie? Ten? Twelve, at most?

  72. 72
    Yatsuno says:

    @Tommy: Let them go. They’re not going to get a better deal in LA and the last two attempts at pro football there failed spectacularly. No way will LA shell out for a new stadium and they already have a semi-pro team at U$C anyway. The city is better off showing them the door and waving politely.

  73. 73
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: It is out of control. In the last 15 years we’ve built a new baseball, football, and hockey stadium with mostly taxpayer dollars. Not sure there is another city that has done this much. The city of St. Louis actually put a tax in place for local business to build these stadiums. What I love is the business owners are saying they make MORE money on non-game days. Or when a convention isn’t at the Edwards Dome (where the Rams play). That they were sold a bill of good about economic development with these stadiums, but they are not seeing it.

  74. 74
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Keith P:
    And no doubt Christie will point out someone on his staff who did go to high school with Wildstein.

    (By the way, is it pronounced “wild steen” or wild stein”?)

  75. 75
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:


    I guess it’s good for the cities in some ways because they are multi-use stadiums and can be used for concerts and other big events, not just football or baseball.

    Actually, a number of studies by Real Economists have been around for, oh, forever now arguing that the economic stimulus that these projects are supposed to provide seldom, if ever, materializes. They are routinely cited by community groups and governmental officials opposed to such projects, and just as routinely ignored by the decision makers.

    I think NFL/major sports owners are, as a group, giant dicks, but at this point I have no sympathy for the municipalities who get taken to the cleaners by them.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It may be true that David Wildstein “will do and say anything to save David Wildstein.” But at this point the same can be said of Chris Christie.
    It was probably a good idea for the governor to hire that white-collar criminal defense lawyer from Manhattan.
    After all, we don’t know what was in the file boxes David Wildstein carried out of the Port Authority last year. He mentioned them in passing on Sept. 18, 2013 in an email to Bill Stepien.
    Why do we know that?
    Because it’s in the documents Wildstein provided to the legislature. Exhibit A. Page 642. An email sent at 5:30 a.m.

    How much do you love that they let him carry file boxes out?

  77. 77
    Tommy says:

    @Yatsuno: “Let them go” seems to be what everybody I know thinks. The big news this week was the owner bought like 500 acres of land in LA. Seen as a FU to Rams fans. The Rams play in the Edwards Jones Dome. I’ve been to a lot of sporting events and the place is pretty darn nice. They want as I said like $350M in upgrades. The place only cost like $500M to build less then two decades ago.

    The state of MO is dirt poor at this point (I live over the river in IL). Last year they were so poor they turned off every third streetlight in the city to save on power. I can’t see them giving in.

    But alas when the Cardinals said they’d move over the river to IL if they didn’t get a taxpayer stadium, and NOBODY thought they would, the state/city caved.

  78. 78
    PreservedKillick says:


    any GOP Prez aspirations

    Those are a pipe dream at this point. Imagine the debates:

    Mr Christie: “Yes, I believe the Kim Jong-un represents a real and credible nuclear threat to the United States.”
    Ms Clinton: “I agree, and he was also was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.”

  79. 79
    dmsilev says:

    @Tommy: A lot of cities have the same promises-not-met issue. I lived in Baltimore not too long after first the Orioles and then Ravens got new downtown stadiums (the football stadium being built to bring the Ravens to Baltimore). It was promised that these two things would revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. Ten or fifteen years later, hasn’t happened.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a case where a stadium has definitively paid back the umpteen hundred million dollars needed to build it. And yet, teams keep promising and politicians keep opening the money spigot. A big part of it is the blackmail associated with “pay us or we leave”; who wants to be the mayor or whatever who “let the team leave”? Of course, the blackmail only works because there’s some other sucker/city who is willing to shell out, otherwise the threats would be meaningless.

  80. 80
    Suffern ACE says:

    So, if Wulderstein is looking out for the governor if NJ’s interests, why didn’t anyone stop him? Isn’t the governor of New York supposed to have his own people to stop the port authority from becoming a tool for New Jersey?

  81. 81
    cathyx says:

    @Amir Khalid: Proper German pronunciation would make it Wild-stine. But he may pronounce it differently.

    Christie put him in this PA position because he wanted someone from his team in there to do his bidding. Now that the ship is going down, it’s every man for himself.

  82. 82
    Tommy says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor: We have in St. Louis what is called a “Convention Center” tax. A tax to pay for the Edwards Done (where the Rams play) which is our convention center. We now have a number of huge conventions. 100,000 + people. The local business owners are saying they make MORE money when there isn’t a convention in town.

    That they clog up the downtown and the convention goers don’t shop or go to their stores.

  83. 83
    geg6 says:


    Okay, I originally typed this and forgot to change the spelling of a forbidden word, so I’ll just copy and paste with the correction. And FYWP.

    Pittsburgh has built a bunch of new stadiums/arenas in the last few years. But I don’t think most people here have any regrets, no matter how hard fought some of them were. Heinz Field is a great place for football, PNC Park is one of, if not the most, beautiful ball parks in the world, and CONSOL Energy Center is a fantastic venue. All of them are used for other major events. But I think the city planned well for them, especially Heinz Field and PNC Park. They’re right next door to each other, with a cas1no and an outdoor amphitheater in between, creating a veritable entertainment complex on the city’s North Side, an area that is completely transformed from what it was (crime ridden, crumbling neighborhoods) just a decade ago. Today it’s thriving, with options for dining and entertainment galore. Uptown (which is often characterized as Pittsburgh’s Harlem), which is the neighborhood where CONSOL sits at the edge of, is starting to go through a similar revival.

  84. 84
    Violet says:

    Interesting insight into Christie’s parents:

    In 1980, Scott Parsons was a star pitcher on the baseball team at Livingston High School in suburban New Jersey. One day, the team’s best catcher — a senior named Chris Christie — came to his house, upset, to ask for advice.

    The problem was that Christie wasn’t the team’s best catcher any longer.

    A better player was transferring in from another school. Now, it looked as if Christie might spend his senior season on the bench.

    “The family was considering consulting attorneys, to see if this could be blocked,” Parsons remembered Christie telling him. “He told me that if that happened, there was a chance that the whole team would have to forfeit the spring season. And he asked me what my thoughts were.”

    Parsons told him: Don’t. “I looked at him and I said, ‘Chris, hey man, I want to play my senior season,’ ” Parsons said.

    In that instance, Christie passed up the chance to play legal hardball. Parsons didn’t hear about the lawyers again. The new kid played, Christie sat, and the Livingston Lancers won the state title.

  85. 85
    RSA says:


    I’d like to know how he can remember it all.

    Right. Either he knew all this when he hired Wildenstein but is now trying to say it’s big deal (which it obviously isn’t), or he had someone dig up the stuff just recently. Which is more pathetic?

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    “Bottom line – David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,”

    Christie obviously missed his calling as the projectionist at the Pine Barrens Mall multiplex.

  87. 87

    Did the memo end with “Neener neener so there”?

  88. 88
    Pogonip says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Yes, and he can pass all this off as the liberals being out to get him. It works.

  89. 89
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Violet: No, stadiums are mostly designed and built with one sport in mind. A football stadium needs different dimensions than a baseball stadium. Some people got the idea to use Yankee Stadium for hockey and actually but in the hockey field. Half of the seats had horrible site lines and couldn’t really see the action. Now a hockey field and a basketball court can use the same arena.

  90. 90
    gf120581 says:

    No matter what type of accusation Christie hruls against Wildstein, juvenile or not, he cannot escape this question:

    “If he’s such a bad guy, why did you hire him?”

    There’s is no getting out of that question. He’s nicely trapped and as a result he’s flailing about, lashing out blows like a drunk, trying desperately to land one and hitting nothing but air.

    And as said above thread, if Christie “wasn’t friends” with Wildstein and barely knew him in high school, how does he know all these things about him? Did he have spies tracking him even then because he had a premonition that this guy could destroy him some day?

  91. 91
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Yatsuno: LA is old news. London will be the new cudgel.

  92. 92
    Tommy says:

    @dmsilev: As a former DC resident I will say the Verizon Center right outside of China Town did work out well for the area. Only problem, Abe Pollen paid for it himself. Not a single taxpayer dollar.

    In St. Louis the team was supposed to spend like $250M in economic development around their new tax payer provided stadium. Called Cardinals Village. Shops and housing. In fact, when MLB offered us the All-Star game we pushed it off to another year cause the city wanted the Village done to showcase the city.

    It is many years since and nothing, well almost nothing has been done. I guess my hippie liberal mind can’t wrap itself around this was in the contract, yet it hasn’t been done. I mean I bleed Cardinals red but I do wonder why the city doesn’t just padlock the doors and say you can’t use this stadium, we fulfilled our part of the contract, you fulfill yours.

  93. 93
    Violet says:

    @PurpleGirl: My point was that stadiums can be used for other things, not just sports. And multi-sport stadiums definitely still exist. The basketball stadium in my area is also used for the hockey team’s games. And concerts. The football stadium is also used for big concerts and other very large events.

  94. 94
    Glocksman says:


    But was Christie telling the truth about his family considering consulting a lawyer?
    IMHO he was on his own trying to (clumsily) blackmail the team into keeping him as catcher and using the pitcher to carry the message to the coach.

    Then again, families have been known to do assholish things when it comes to sports.

  95. 95
    Violet says:

    @Glocksman: It’s hard to say. There’s more in the article about consulting the lawyer, but it’s coming from Todd Christie, his brother and apparently a real hardball player kind of guy. So I’d imagine anything coming from him is self-serving. It paints Chris as the good guy in the “consulting a lawyer” situation.

  96. 96
    Amir Khalid says:

    I don’t understand. On what grounds could a student possibly sue to keep a place on a school sports team’s starting lineup?

  97. 97
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: That is true. Where our NFL team plays is also our convention center. Where the Cardinals play is a host to a lot of concerts. Where our pro hockey team plays is also the home for SLU (St. Louis University) basketball and the NCAA final eight a few years ago.

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    There was an attempt back in the 60’s and 70’s to build “multi-use” stadiums…which could be used for many sports, so as to get the most utility out of them. The Kingdome in Seattle was one such stadium…it was used for baseball, football, basketball, concerts, giant truck rallies, all sorts of things. But they didn’t work out so well, because one sport or another suffered due to sight line issues or other factors. So, in the 90’s to the present day, the trend has been to build stadiums specifically with one sport in mind, and then other activities later.

  99. 99
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Amir Khalid: “(By the way, is it pronounced “wild steen” or wild stein”?)”
    Steve Kornacki on MSNBC, who personally knew and worked for Wildstein pronounces it the first way.

  100. 100
    Soonergrunt says:

    @geg6: Since you reposted successfully before I saw it, I deleted the one in the hold queue.

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This is America. You sue for just about everything. The ostensible justification could have been that the incoming player was not eligible due to residency requirements (that is, living in the attendance area of the local high school)….which would have forced a forfeiture of all games that the (now) ineligible player participated in. There have been many cases of “ringers” being brought in to buttress a team’s lineup and people (often rival teams) suing to prevent them from playing.

    There was a huge scandal in the little leagues a few years back with kids brought in who were older then the age range, using false birth certificates to play on teams they were too old to be playing on, for example. This was all handled in the courts.

  102. 102
    Tommy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That was how it was sold here in St. Louis. And I tend to agree you need a stadium for each sport. I just hate that taxpayers pay for them.

  103. 103
    Jersey Tomato says:

    I live in Metuchen. We don’t want him here.

  104. 104
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The negative ads for Christie will be the easiest thing in the world to put together, and you can bet the GOP primary process will be as vicious, vindictive, and petty as Christie is being right now.

    He is toast. Stick a harpoon in him, he’s done. He’s being towed, right now, to the factory ship to be rendered.

  105. 105
    Glocksman says:


    Perhaps they did talk to a lawyer and the lawyer said ‘you have no case and you’d be wasting your money’.

    Either way, the thinly disguised blackmail attempt fits in with CC’s later MO.

  106. 106
    scav says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It’s certainly projection and could very well also be true. I was thinking more of the don’t mention a elephant rule (or whatever that critter is. I may be caught by the image of the elephant in the room or White Elephants, O! the Elephanty!). Once mentioned, the idea is raised in people’s minds and can stick places you don’t want it to. I rather wondered if that is a reason they suddenly were playing the blushing coy maiden about the allusions to web-based political hard-ball — although I guess there they might have done it to avoid contaminating the “criminalizing politics!” card, or digging too deeply into just who all those non-bean-bag tactics actually benefitted at some point, I don’t know. It’s such a weird random little screed. Eau de idiot toddlers trying to be clever.

  107. 107
    Gindy51 says:

    @JPL: I was thinking the same thing. No wonder his wife bot has been showing up all the time.

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a case where a stadium has definitively paid back the umpteen hundred million dollars needed to build it

    I would guess that Lambeau Field has. Probably Soldier Field as well.

  109. 109
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Violet: A better player was transferring in from another school. Now, it looked as if Christie might spend his senior season on the bench.
    “The family was considering consulting attorneys, to see if this could be blocked,” Parsons remembered Christie telling him

    Holy crap. That doesn’t sound like the behavior of hard workin’ middle class folks, gettin’ out early in the morning when the factory whistle blows. I keep reading about a “family foundation” with some maybe shady dealings. I took a quick look at CC’s wiki page, no mention of family money, but he seems to have the entitlement of a Romney or a Walker Bush!

  110. 110
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: LOL. I mean who (1) cheats at little league and (2) who hires a lawyer to go after them?

    My brother is much younger then myself and his team was the best in the area. They always had to play a team in the playoffs that seemed to either have kids playing that were not the age they said or there is a tribe of Amazon sized men in Southern Illinois.

    I recall coming home from college and going to a game. It was taught as a learning experience for my brother. It might not be fair. But life isn’t fair. You play your best and at the end regardless of the outcome, shake the hand of the other person. It is in fact, just a game.

  111. 111
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    If a new stadium is likely to be a profitable venture for a business like a professional sports team, why do team owners expect their city to buy them one?

  112. 112
    Aimai says:

    @Kristine: but of course these things weren’t grudges–up until the falling out between them they were features, not demerits, in wildensteins biography. He and christie probably enjoyed these aspects of each other’s personality and history.

  113. 113
    Glocksman says:


    They always had to play a team in the playoffs that seemed to either have kids playing that were not the age they said or there is a tribe of Amazon sized men in Southern Illinois.

    Corn: It’s what’s for dinner®

    @Amir Khalid:

    Because without those massive public subsidies it wouldn’t be profitable.

    In other words: Socialism.

  114. 114
    Vec says:

    In a few months, Christie’s going to be telling his story hunched over a warm beer in the Metuchen Legion Club.

    Really?? Funny but doubtful considering Buono lives in Metuchen… There’s plenty of places for him to cry over a drink in Mendham without her being around to laugh at him.

  115. 115
    Joel says:

    @Napoleon: However, the league itself is still an enormously profitable entity with a $20m/year earning CEO.

  116. 116
    Marc says:

    @Violet: Yes, I read it. I just wanted it to be real…

  117. 117
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:


    When you start to lose rich, white folks in their 70s,

    My mom was once a County Republican committeewoman. They lost her in 2000.

  118. 118
    Josie says:

    @Tommy: LOL – Your description made me laugh and remember one year that my middle son played on a sort of little league all star football team that played a team from Monterrey, Mexico. We were somewhat dismayed when we saw them coming off of the bus and noticed that quite a few had the beginnings of mustaches. Needless to say, our boys did not win that game.

  119. 119
    Citizen_X says:


    So wait. I thought Chris Christie didn’t even know the nerd in high school? How does he now know so much about the nerd’s high school behavior?

    “Ohmygawwd, everybody knows about that, Violet. Seriously, like what is your damage?”

  120. 120
    dmsilev says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The original Soldier Field, or the renovation 10 or so years ago? The original, I could believe. The renovation cost an arm and a leg and hasn’t really attracted development in the area. Or brought large numbers of headline events that otherwise wouldn’t have come to Chicago.

  121. 121
    Schlemizel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I doubt very much that either of those places have actually paid for themselves, particularly after you add in interest on the loans and on-going expenses for infrastructure. Neither has generated much development nor created any long-term employment at any meaningful wages.

    The old dump here was sold as urban development that would upgrade a blighted end of downtown. It did create a couple of new bars and a souvenir store but thats it. The new baseball stadium was sold on the opposite end of town with the same pixie dust and pretty much the same results. They are upgrading the old dump to a new football palace but I didn’t hear much pretending it was going to spur growth in the area.

    BTW – the other big selling point for the baseball Xanadu was that it would provide the owners money to be competitive. It has certainly provided them with money but the team has 3 straight years of 100 loss seasons since it opened & it still gets a payroll tax check from the league every year. Stadia are a losing proposition but the mouth-breathers love them

  122. 122
    dmsilev says:

    @Amir Khalid: Because they can. Why pay for something, even if you could afford it, if you can blackmail someone else into picking up the tab.

  123. 123
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    @cathyx: The German pronunciation (spelled out in English) would be “villt-shtyne.”

  124. 124
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    These are the playthings of the 1%. They never pay for their toys. The little people do. That’s how it works in the USA.

  125. 125
    GregB says:

    Breaking news:

    Christie levels new accusations against Wildstein alleging that Wildstein had cooties through most of his high school years.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:


    There has apparently been a plan in place for an NFL stadium in Los Angeles County for at least five years, but the city and county are unwilling to pay the NFL a bounty to move a team here and they’ll have to come up with private financing because LA County won’t finance it and the City of Industry doesn’t have nearly enough money to pay for it, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

    You can build a sports complex with private financing — that’s how the Staples Center was built and it’s been wildly successful. But the NFL wants their blood money from any city where there’s a football team, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing falls through yet again.

  127. 127
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Because they are cheap and greedy and if they pay for it themselves, they make less profit.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: Neither Lambeau nor Soldier Field are new. Lambeau, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is over fifty years old. Soldier Field in Chicago is even older but has only been used by the Bears since 1970. Both have been upgraded and renovated over the years. Lambeau is actually owned by the City of Green Bay and is a year ’round tourist draw.

    Also too, the Packers are owned by shareholders – the majority of whom are rabid fans who own a single share – rather than an individual owner. Green Bay is a city of about 100,000, the smallest city in the US to have a team. The fact that Lambeau probably generates profits is because it is sui generis would tend to support the proposition that building massive stadia for billionaires using public dollars is a bad idea.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:


    Professional football would still be wildly profitable without those subsidies. But it wouldn’t be insanely profitable.

  130. 130
    Schlemizel says:


    “Christy asks investigators for more time: coming up with a believable lie harder than he expected”
    sub lede:
    “Why is my old bullshit not working” asks perplexed thug.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dmsilev: I just put Soldier Field in there to avoid sounding too Packer fan-ish.

  132. 132
    Schlemizel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    About that public ownership
    What board does the stock trade on? What is its ticker name?
    Do they pay dividends? If so how much & what is the earning/share?
    How has the share price changed in the last 52 weeks?

    I see a lot of people putting money in & would like to know what the ROI is

  133. 133
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This WaPo story on the 2016 GOP process is hilarious, particularly given the photo they chose to illustrate their point…

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s not that kind of free market public ownership, it’s a communist-style collective.

  135. 135
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    And insanely profitable is the only acceptable level of profitable in an MBA tainted economic environment.

  136. 136
    MikeJ says:


    A mea culpa would be admitting he made mistakes, and that’s political suicide in today’s GOP.

    I predict a “they-a culpa”. “These people I relied on let me down. In their exuberance to serve the people of New Jersey they may not have crossed every t and dotted every i. If the way they cut through bureaucratic red tape offended anybody, I’m sorry. Now I’d like to put this behind us and get back to the job of making New Jersey the greatest state in America.”

  137. 137
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Socialism for the 1%. Dog-eat-dog, law of the jungle capitalism for everyone else.

    This is why we need tumbrels ASAP.

  138. 138
    Tommy says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: My mom couldn’t take it after 2008. She runs elections in her district. Maybe 70% Republican. I saw that Organize for America or the DNC was working on getting the students at the local community college to vote.

    Now my mom knows I am a liberal, but I shot straight with her. I tell her facts only.

    I told her that she might notice there are going to be some “election monitors” there to try to stop the students from voting. She was like that could never happen. That won’t happen.

    Well it happened. She was dumbfounded that anybody would try to restrict the ability of somebody to vote. I am like mom this is your party. This is what they do. It is sad. You might want to think about my party.

    I’d been politely harping on her for a long time ….. and that was when she saw the “light.”

  139. 139
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    That’s basically his 2 hour press conference in a nutshell. All these hand-picked flunkies betrayed me! I had no idea they were doing this…I was out of the loop!

    The stupid motherfucker is frantically digging his own grave.

  140. 140
    PurpleGirl says:

    The Met’s built their new stadium without government (or much of it) and the owners (The Wilpons) have had to do some fancy financing this year to stabilize the team. The Yankees wanted a new stadium and a number of people wanted it in Manhattan. It took a lot of opposition to shoot down that idea. The Yankees got the City to pay most of the bill and got basement rental rates (actually in development funding). The Super Bowl people are saying the game being here will bring the area $600 Million in economic activity but they haven’t provided the analysis that gave them that figure. I remember the claims of development after Yankee Stadium was renovated, a lot the area development didn’t happen.

    In summation, I don’t agree with the claims of sports clubs and the welfare given them to build stadiums.

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Schlemizel: Non-profit corporation. Not publicly traded. But you knew that. The ROI on share ownership is voting rights – a voice, however tiny, in the direction of the team. You may not think is is worth it, but quite a few people do.

  142. 142
    Schlemizel says:


    The kind where working schmucks give money to a billion dollar operation in return for a warm feeling?

  143. 143
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    The ROI isn’t monetary, it’s simply Packer feel good feelings.

    This of course drives MBAs batty. If you can’t monetize something, it can’t be real. The only values worth grasping for are monetary in nature. Every other possible reason for doing something is not worth pursuing.

    Mammon rules all.

  144. 144
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Schlemizel: The kind where, when people cheer for “their” team, it is their their team in an actual legal sense.

    And aren’t those good feelings the point of being a sports fan anyway?

  145. 145
    Schlemizel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    And what happens if the people who run the team decide that the they could do better in LA? You think any of those shares are worth the paper they are written on? Why would an outfit run as part of a non-profit organization that sends the organization a check for $2billion a year need assistance from the public as charity?

    Now I happen to admire that the Packers stay in Green Bay and appreciate that they appear to hold some allegiance to the city of their birth. (I also happen to have a cousin who played for them back in the dark ages). But this idea that this shame “public ownership” makes them better is tedious.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:


    You mean like every other ticket sale, ever? How is buying a movie ticket not giving money to a billion dollar operation? A concert ticket?

    The advantage for Packers fans is that they don’t have to deal with the annual hostage-taking of If you don’t give us more tax breaks, we’ll move the team somewhere else!

  147. 147
    kc says:

    So Wildstein has a long history of sneaky, deceitful, and aggressive behavior.

    No wonder Christie wanted him on his team!

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:


    And what happens if the people who run the team decide that the they could do better in LA?

    That’s the whole point, though — there aren’t “people who run the team.” There’s a Board of Directors, all but one of whom is unpaid. And the team’s charter requires that any profits from the sale of the team would have to go to a charity foundation.

    There’s a reason the NFL set up rules to make sure no other team would be allowed to set themselves up as essentially ownerless again.

  149. 149
    gene108 says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    LA is old news. London will be the new cudgel.

    The NFL can not be content with what it has. It has to find ways to make even more money, thus a game in London every season.

    I think the new breed of NFL owners are greedy ass-hats, who look at MLB and drool over the fact there is no revenue sharing in MLB. They’d love to blow up the NFL revenue sharing that allows teams like Green Bay to exist.

    Also, the owners do not want a commissioner to tell them what to do anymore, like Pete Rozelle did.

  150. 150
    danielx says:


    Horse trading does occur 24/7, one way or another. Rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies is what politics is all about. But the punishment is generally confined to political opponents. Punishing a substantial number of constituents, a goodly number of whom probably voted for you, because you didn’t get an endorsement from their mayor? I’d think that would be kind of over the line anywhere, even places famed as centers of…questionable political practices. Christie is only lucky there wasn’t a major fire or some other serious catastrophe where emergency vehicles were prevented from moving and people died as a result. Forget resignation – people would be fighting over whether they could hang him from a lamppost on their block or somebody else’s.

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    Who knows, maybe Chris will do the obligatory mea culpa media tour and be rehabilitated. David Vitter managed it and I’d have thought that impossible. OTOH, there are moral lapses (Vitter) and then there are abuses of power (Christie). Maybe that will make a difference.

    It would seem…out of character for Chris Christie to do the mea culpa thing about anything whatsoever; he does seem Nixonian that way. The major difference between Nixon’s personality and Christie’s is that Nixon was meaner and had a lot more people willing to walk the plank for him (see Liddy, G. Gordon; Haldeman, H.R.; Ehrlichman, John, etc…), whereas Christie’s butt boys and girls clearly can’t cut deals fast enough. However…be it noted that an abuse of power is a moral lapse, by definition. Good ol’ Diaper Dave Vitter was and is seriously bent, but it’s not like people in Louisiana aren’t a forgiving lot about, um, fetishes personality quirks. He wasn’t injuring any of his constituents by amusing himself in a whorehouse and again, his constituents are a tolerant and broad-minded lot – they elected Edwin Edwards (one of my favorite sinners) twice, for chrissakes.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    And what happens if the people who run the team decide that the they could do better in LA?

    No one can own, and thus vote, more than 200 shares. There is no way that a move gets approved. If the board were to sell the team, the team would be shut down and any profits given to charity. If you want to argue that this would be litigated to hell and back, you are probably right. This is, however, a completely different matter.

    You may find it tedious, but the Packers are a publicly owned nonprofit corporation.

  152. 152
    Glocksman says:


    If they did, within a couple of years the level of competition would sink to where only the largest teams would have a realistic chance and smaller market teams would become the NFL’s equivalent of the Washington Generals.

    At that point, I’d quit watching.

  153. 153
    Rosalita says:

    Not that it’s at all relevant to the bridge scandal, but did Wildstein actually sue the school board as a kid? Looks to me like whoever penned that memo conflated two statements in the Bergen Record article cited repeatedly:

    “At 16, he unsuccessfully sued to get on the ballot for the county Republican Committee. A year later, while he was still in high school, Wildstein ran for the local school board, even though he was not old enough by law to occupy the seat . He generated 37 votes — and a minor controversy.”

    So–he sued to get on the county ballot. A year later he ran for school board. Two separate events.

    Every accusation in this laughable memo is pulled (usually out of context, like “tumultuous”) from the article.

  154. 154
    Ruckus says:

    Mom had a similar discussion when I was 10 or 11, with the city library when I wanted an adult library card, which would allow me to check out any books, not just those from the children’s section. I was standing there. First time I’d seen anyone talk to “authority” with conviction and power.

  155. 155
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I worked in a professional sports field with a minimum age limit for the participants. We had cases where the parents provided fake birth certificates for their kids so they could participate. We handled them in house with the aid of our lawyer and public records. But yes, people will do many things for kids to participate in a sport.

  156. 156
    Ruckus says:

    Also, didn’t the Rams used to be located in LA? And why did they leave? Well I’ll be darned, it was a money thing. Them not getting enough.

  157. 157
    Kristine says:

    @Tommy: Grade school/junior high was my high school in that respect–I was the smart fat girl. I still recall a few things, but over the years I also learned about the home lives of some of those kids. How they ended up. No point in holding grudges. None.

  158. 158
    Kristine says:

    @Aimai: By grudges, I meant his (alleged) payback to the mayors for their lack of support. Though I do agree that he was fine with Wildenstein being a punk, and being *his* punk. Until he wasn’t.

  159. 159
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    The Rams are travelers. Started in Cleveland, moved to LA, moved again to St. Louis.

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