Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Slush Funds: Why Christie Killed The ARC Tunnel

For one reason and one reason only, and it wasn't because his wife didn't like the escalators.  He killed the project so he could have $1.8 billion to slosh around on new highway projects.  And he was counting on the Port Authority to augment those fiunds:
Baroni and Wildstein, the latter of whom maintained a secret list of favored officials, conspired inside the PA to press for the toll hikes. Along with $1.8 billion in federal and PA funds used by Christie for pet projects after he canceled a plan to build a new Hudson River transit tunnel, the toll hikes and the PA’s more recent PA’s capital spending plan created a tidal wave of new cash for Christie to spend as saw fit. In an editorial on March 4, the Star-Ledger said in an editorial that all these funds created a “piggy bank” for Christie, and it quoted John Wisniewski, chairman of the committee investigating the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, who said, “It’s a slush fund.” According to the Star-Ledger’s news article, Baroni and Wildstein also organized a cabal inside the PA over the toll hikes:
The sources say the toll hike operation was run out of a conference room on the 15th floor of the Port Authority’s Manhattan headquarters on Park Avenue, and only those on Wildstein’s secret list had access to the room.
Men like Christie, Baroni, Wildstein and Samson should never be allowed near the levers of power.

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