The Facts: The Mayor of Hoboken (Dawn Zimmer) and Governor Christie probably won’t be arm-in-arm anytime soon. This past weekend, the Mayor went on CNN, msnbc, and NBC to claim that the NJ Lt. Gov. threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief funds to her town unless she supported a redevelopment project Governor Christie endorsed. On top of the bridge scandal, this supports the narrative of political retribution and bullying by the Governor and his aides. These new allegations will no doubt be part of the ongoing investigations, but she has chosen to tell her story on certain networks (30 minutes of national coverage in two days) and not others, as Megyn Kelly from Fox News notes.
<iframe title=”MRC TV video player” width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.mrctv.org/embed/125087″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
The Spin: Liberals are more than happy with this new allegation, as it continues to suggest the Christie is unfit for President based on his style of political retribution and bullying. Conservatives are crying foul and suggesting this is just an example of a Mayor who is jumping on the bandwagon, and her story has many holes, including Tweets and statements of support for the Governor, as a NJ General Assembly member and Governor Christie supporter notes.
Chiou On This: This new allegation just seems to create more questions around the controversy. Apparently, the Mayor was upset that her town didn’t get as much money from the Sandy relief funds as she wanted — which was $100MM out of the ~$300MM allocated to the entire state for hazard mitigation. Did she really think she was going to get anything near that? Is this a case of simply more people coming forward now that others have, or another case of political retribution only this time by enemies of the Governor who want to beat him while he is down and diminish his Presidential ambitions? Why won’t she go on a conservative leaning network? Is she afraid of getting asked more direct questions? Until she goes on Fox News or other news outlets to balance the easy questioning she has received from msnbc and CNN, it’s hard to know exactly what happened and what her motivations might be otherwise. Do you think Mayor Zimmer should go on Fox News, tell her story, and get some tougher questions?