Steve Kornacki has an amazing piece on his MSNBC show today:
Christie camp held Sandy relief money hostage, mayor allegesReaction is that this is a different and new piece with potential ramifications. Some of this is politics as usual, i.e., money+real estate=politics, same as in Fort Lee. But involving Sandy money, the thing that made Christie a national figure, is a big deal indeed. Also note that most stories about Christie weathering the storm mention "unless the other shoe drops". Note that nothing yet ties directly to Christie. OTOH, the bipartisan, "different politician" schtick is gone forever. And/but this feels like the other shoe.
Two senior members of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration warned a New Jersey mayor earlier this year that her town would be starved of hurricane relief money unless she approved a lucrative redevelopment plan favored by the governor, according to the mayor and emails and personal notes she shared with msnbc.
The mayor, Dawn Zimmer, hasn’t approved the project, but she did request $127 million in hurricane relief for her city of Hoboken – 80% of which was underwater after Sandy hit in October 2012. What she got was $142,000 to defray the cost of a single back-up generator plus an additional $200,000 in recovery grants.
In an exclusive interview, Zimmer broke her silence and named Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Richard Constable, Christie’s community affairs commissioner, as the two officials who delivered messages on behalf of a governor she had long supported.
“It’s not fair for the governor to hold Sandy funds hostage for the city of Hoboken” because he wants support for one private developer, she said Saturday on UP w/ Steve Kornacki.
Constable and Christie – through spokespersons – deny Zimmer’s claims.
Whether it's subpoenas (which will take a while) or reporting (both on the story, any new allegations or simply political reaction) —more to come, assuredly.