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Thread: Trouble ahead for GOP New Jersey governor candidate Chris Christie?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Question Trouble ahead for GOP New Jersey governor candidate Chris Christie?

    Might Be Big Trouble for Christie

    Josh Marshall | September 4, 2009, 5:47PM

    As noted earlier, we sent Eric Kleefeld down to the Elizabeth, New Jersey police department headquarters to get the police report on gubernatorial Chris Christie's wrong-way collision with a motorcyclist back in 2002. And here's Eric's write-up on the report.

    But just a few moments ago, another big development surfaced -- an apparent lie about the accident Christie was caught in by New Jersey public television station NJN.

    One of the things that made us most curious about this was that Christie's negligence (he was driving the wrong direction on a one-way street) seemed so clear that we were wondering whether the accident didn't lead to a lawsuit.

    Earlier today, NJN asked Christie whether the accident had led to a lawsuit. And Christie said, point blank, no.

    But a few hours after getting Christie's flat denial, NJN found records of a 2004 suit, which appears to have been later settled out of court.

    We're going to keep on this and see what more we can find out. But this looks about as close as you can find to a straight up, caught red-handed lie by Christie.
    Might Be Big Trouble for Christie | Talking Points Memo

    More Details Emerge From Christie 2002 Car Accident

    Eric Kleefeld | September 4, 2009, 5:45PM

    I have now reviewed the police report from Republican former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie's car accident in 2002, when the then-U.S. Attorney and current nominee for Governor of New Jersey struck a motorcyclist while going the wrong direction on a one-way street in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

    As the Star-Ledger reported, the accident happened when Christie was on his way to attend the swearing-in of the Union County prosecutor in Elizabeth, when he hit motorcyclist Andrew Mendonca.

    From the police report:
    Veh #1 [Christie] states he was traveling west on Murray St. and was lost. He reached Chilton St. The light was red so he inched forward attempting to make a right on red but never saw the one-way traffic sign. He then stopped upon observing oncoming traffic, Veh #2 [Mendonca] also braked. The motorcycle fell on its side and slid into his vehicle. Veh #2 states he was traveling on Chilton St. when Veh #1 turned in front of him.
    Christie's vehicle was then towed away by the police, according to the report, while Mendonca's motorcycle was also taken away by a private tow truck.

    As the Star-Ledger reported, Mendonca was then taken to University Hospital in Newark -- a curious detail, as that hospital is several miles away from the street corner where the accident took place. Another hospital, Trinitas, was conveniently located just a few blocks away.

    The Associated Press contacted Mendonca, who declined to comment.

    The most peculiar thing here is that Christie was clearly at fault by turning the wrong way onto a one-way street, but was not ticketed. The Star-Ledger asked the local police director whether Christie's position as U.S. Attorney -- and he did identify himself to the police officer -- was a factor in his not being cited. The police director's answer: "I don't think I want to make that kind of deduction, but I think the facts speak for themselves."

    TPM sent multiple requests for comment to the Christie campaign about the incident, which have not been answered. Attempts to contact the police officer, Rafael Vasques, as well as Police Director James Cosgrove and victim Andre Mendonca were similarly unsuccessful.
    More Details Emerge From Christie 2002 Car Accident | TPMDC

    Christie Caught In Apparent Lie About 2002 Traffic Accident, Lawsuit

    Eric Kleefeld | September 4, 2009, 5:56PM

    Republican former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, currently a candidate for Governor of New Jersey, was just caught in an apparent lie about a 2002 car accident in which he struck a motorcyclist after turning the wrong way onto a one-way street.

    New Jersey public television's Zachary Fink reports:
    We asked Christie about the accident in Atlantic City Friday and he was very curt with his answers. NJN South Jersey Bureau Chief Kent St. John asked if there was a lawsuit. Christie said "no" then "nope."

    But actually there was. According to the Superior Court Record Center in Trenton, Mendonca filed suit in 2004. The complaint filed in Essex County was later dismissed, indicating (according to the Clerk) an out of court settlement.
    As we've reported, Christie was on the way to an official function in 2002 when he turned the wrong way onto the one-way street. He then hit the motorcyclist, who was taken to a hospital. Before the revelations of the lawsuit, the incident had gained attention because Christie was not ticketed for the incident despite turning onto the one-way street.

    Christie did identify himself as the U.S. attorney to the officer at the scene.
    Christie Caught In Apparent Lie About 2002 Traffic Accident, Lawsuit | TPMDC

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Hopefully, this will derail Christie. But it's N.J., so I won't get my hopes up. I think N.J. is winding up it's Democratic governor cycle (McGreevy & Corzine) and heading back to another Republican one.

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    Okay, the lying was stupid. People who lie about things that are so easily found in this day and age are just stupid.

    That said, I'm not really sure why him not receiving a ticket is making such a huge firestorm. Before you flip out, let me explain. I'm a lifelong NJ resident. I've been in a few accidents over the years (only one being my fault, years ago) and the cops around here normally don't write tickets for accidents *even when there is obvious fault* when they aren't witness to the violation. I myself was in a bad wreck 20 years ago (that I STILL suffer from) where the other party CLEARLY had run a stop sign. I was in the hospital for two weeks ... many cops on the scene, taken away unconscious by ambulance, other party was a nobody (me either) ... no ticket issued. My husband was involved in a rear end collision on the Garden State Parkway two months ago. Again, violation was clear, and in NJ, even though we are a "no fault" state, a rear end collision is 100% the offender's fault. My husband's vehicle had clear damage and witnesses ... both he and the other party were nobodies ... and not only did the cop refuse to give the other guy a ticket, my husband had to plead with the cop just to give him an accident report. I could go on and on with other similar stories.

    My mother was in an unfamiliar area years ago and went the wrong way down a one way street. She was pulled over (thankfully, after NOT causing an accident), explained she didn't know where she was, blah, blah, blah, and the cop let her go with a warning.

    The hospital thing ... I don't get why this is so "curious." It's not like the guy was in mortal danger. Several miles away is not a big deal (several could be THREE miles away). Maybe he asked to go to the other hospital. Maybe the closer one was closed off for trauma ... who knows?

    I'm not saying he didn't deserve a ticket. I'm just saying I don't see how this is such a HUGE story that's going to derail his pretty big lead over Corzine.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Yeah, the not being ticketed thing isn't unusual. I've had accidents where I didn't get ticketed, even when I was at fault.

    But since Christie is running for governor, hopefully his hitting somebody and being sued will cause some blowback. Then again, he's a corrupt bastard and that hasn't hurt his poll numbers

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    ^^^ Has there ever been one in NJ that WASN'T corrupt, on either side? I don't think in my lifetime. It is just AMAZING the shit that goes on in this state. I guess that's why we're considered the most corrupt state in the country.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Good point. Politics and corruption go hand-in-hand in N.J., regardless of party.

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