Friday, March 7, 2014

Time for David Samson to Go -

The Port Authority's Bayonne Bridge links New Jersey and Staten Island.
It will be replaced by one 65 feet higher to accommodate the new super-sized deep draft
container ships when the Panama Canal is widened
The story behind Bridgegate still lacks a motive.  But the modus operandi of the administration of Chris Christie has been laid bare.  It is a deal-making operation in which decisions on the use of public funds are determined in significant part by how well they serve the interests of clients and allies of the administration.

That, of course, is interest group politics, but a detailed analysis in this week's Times shows that former New Jersey Attorney General David Samson has used his power as chairman of the bi-state Port Authority to benefit his law firm's clients and his patron Chris Christie's supporters. The Executive Director of the Port Authority Patrick Foye has said that former Attorney General Samson does not have the "moral authority" to lead the agency.  Foye presumably has in mind things like the $1.3 billion contract the PANYNJ awarded to a client of Samson's law firm.  It will replace the 83 year old Bayonne Bridge - a virtual replica of the iconic Sydney Harbor bridge and permit super-container ships to pass underneath.  This week a coalition of labor unions (which did not include the building trades) filed an ethics complaint against Samson.  Today the Times called for his removal by Christie.

The Chris Christie slo-mo implosion is important to New Jersey citizens but of little consequence nationally as the pressure for Bush III or another such Republican Governor grows more urgent, and inevitably leaves Christie on the side of the road, clinging to hope for an after-life as a talking head on Fox News. - GWC
Time for David Samson to Go -
by the Editorial Board

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey fired two associates involved in creating a four-day traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, apologized for the mess and agreed to cooperate with various related investigations.
But if he expects to be seen as genuinely remorseful, he will have to undertake something much more fundamental: a major housecleaning at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This should begin with the firing of the authority’s chairman, David Samson, a Christie appointee who appears to have used the job to advance his professional interests, his law firm, his clients and the governor’s own political ambitions.
Apart from being the governor’s longtime friend, Mr. Samson is a former New Jersey attorney general and member of a high-powered, political law firm, Wolff & Samson. The Port Authority is a huge bistate agency run jointly by Mr. Christie and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York.

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