Just saw this article shared on Facebook by some fellow NJ Democrats. According to a very comprehensive article by journalist Olivia Nuzzi, Governor Christie went easy on a human trafficker in order to go after the Democratic mayor (and his wife) of Union City, a town of roughly 66,000 people.
Forget Bridgegate, this is a story that will make your blood boil.
A major part of Chris Christie's initial campaign for Governor back in 2009 was his "tough on crime and corruption" record during his tenure as New Jersey's US Attorney (a position from which he was nominated by - you guessed it - George W. Bush). Christie had a record of winning all the time against corrupt politicians. However, since taking office as Governor, Democrats have argued (and rightly so) that Christie went exclusively after Democratic politicians, using his office not for equal justice but as political revenge against the opposing party.
Not only this, but Christie also went after low-hanging fruit; small town Mayors, State Assemblypersons, small staffers, etc. Not an ounce of effort was used to go after party bosses, which in light of Christie's re-election campaign, makes a whole lot of sense.
Enter the latest article highlighting Christie's own corruption and abhorrent behavior. A preemptive "Too Long; Didn't Read" - Governor Christie went easy on a human trafficker in order to take down a small time Democratic Mayor whose crimes were receiving "several thousands of dollars worth of gifts".
From The Daily Beast. The article is a little bit long, but it is worth an entire read:
Beginning in 2003, members of a smuggling ring in Honduras approached girls, some just 14 years of age, and talked them into illegally entering the United States with the promise of waitressing jobs.The above sets up the background of this story. Now comes the juicy part:
That’s when the girls learned the truth. They were never going to be waitresses.
The girls worked in one of several bars, Puerto de la Union in Guttenberg or Puerto de la Union II and El Paisano in Union City, owned by Luisa Medrano. They were on the job for 48 hours per week, making just $240 -- money that would have to go to pay off their smuggling debts, which ranged from $10,000 to $20,000. For that tiny salary, the girls were required to dance and drink with male patrons, and they were encouraged to prostitute themselves.
United States Attorney Chris Christie made a public statement. "This was inhumane and sadistic treatment of young women who were kept as virtual slaves," he said. "These are among the most vile crimes I've seen in my time as U.S. Attorney, and we'll bring the full weight of Federal prosecution against these Defendants."Bold my emphasis
In January 2009, Luisa Medrano pleaded guilty to a far lesser charges than the ones the state had initially levied against her. She was convicted of merely harboring illegal immigrants, not exploiting them.
For her crimes, Medrano was sentenced to a mere six months house arrest--during which time she was permitted to work in a restaurant she owned--and three years probation.
The rest of the article tells the reader exactly what happened. Medrano cozyed up with the Mayor of Union City's wife, and used that leverage in an attempt to gain favors with the city regarding liquor licenses. But according to the article, those favors never materialized. And all Medrano did was give a few thousand dollars extra than allowed to the Mayor's campaign. Seems like small potatoes.
Well, not when Chris Christie is on a crusade to destroy any and all small-time Democratic Mayors. Even if that means letting a well documented human trafficker off extremely easily.
"I think [Mayor] David Delle Donna would not have been the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office if he was not a Democratic mayor," Lamparello said. "You should and must go after politicians who are dirty...What you don't do is you don't give up a Luisa Medrano to get a David Delle Donna on these facts. That's the story here. It doesn't make sense."So to recap, the Mayor and his wife received jail sentences of just over three years - for receiving a few thousand dollars of unreported campaign contributions.
Lamparello continued: "Put on the scales of justice Luisa Medrano's indictment and the allegations against her, and David Delle Donna, and the allegations against him. There is no way you have Luisa Medrano as your witness against David Delle Donna. I mean, it should be the other way around!"
Meanwhile, a human trafficker got six months house arrest, plus three years probation.
There is no way that accepting only a few thousand dollars in unreported campaign contributions is anywhere close to the level of running a human trafficking ring that enslaved many young and vulnerable women. It's really not even in the same universe.
This story alone should disqualify Chris Christie from ever serving public office or working in the halls of justice. But with this corrupt, disgusting individual, there are enough stories to fill up the entire Internet.
Fuck Chris Christie and all that support and work for him. That is all.