Christie’s Catastrophe: Two indicted in Bridgegate Scandal

Andrew Vester, Opinions Web Editor

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Two government officials close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were indicted on Friday, May 1, in connection to the closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September,  2013. It was an apparent act of political retaliation against a local mayor who refused to support the Christie reelection campaign.

 

Christie’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly and Deputy Director of the Port Authority Bill Baroni were charged with nine criminal counts, according to CNN.  David Wildstein, a  formal ally of Christie, pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy earlier in the day. Christie appointed Wildstein to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Students voiced their opinions in response to these indictments.

 

“I fully support the indictment of these officials,” Max Kaplan ’17 said. “ Clearly what they did was wrong, and the committee investigating the situation uncovered these wrongdoings.”

 

While there is no evidence directly linking Christie to the closures of the lanes, many believe the atmosphere of the Governor’s camp is responsible for the incident.

 

“I think Christie probably has a culture in his administration that would encourage behavior such as Bridgegate,” Trevor Penwell ’15 said. “But I don’t think he explicitly ordered it.”

 

Penwell added, “I do think he probably had rewarded similar behavior or at least encouraged it in the past, but I don’t think he ordered the lane closures.”

 

Christie is believed to be a potential candidate in the Republican nomination and the eventual 2016 Presidential election.  Many believe that this incident will hurt him in the polls if he does decide to run.

 

“It doesn’t look good to have something like this happen while you’re the governor,” Brooke Wrubel ’17 said.

 

While everyone seems to have a different take on the situation, most seem to agree on one thing.

 

“[This situation] only reinforces beliefs that he’s a bully,” Penwell said.  “Christie is struggling to manage the state of New Jersey, and he will sink in the GOP primary because of it.”

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