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Christie's conundrums

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
January 13, 2014 1:31:06 PM PST
Ah the smell of raw meat. It attracts vultures and other carnivores. It also attracts politicians. How else to explain the sudden virility of the New Jersey State Legislature - hardly a group known for flexing muscles, but now, flexing muscles in the wake of the Gov. Christie political investigations.

Did I say investigations, plural? Yup.

The first is the legislature's expanding probe into Christie's alleged "abuse of power" in the George Washington Bridge scandal. Did he know about his staff ordering the closing of several lanes on the bridge in Ft. Lee as retribution for that city's Mayor's refusal to endorse Christie for re-election? No evidence of that yet, but there are many who find it unlikely the Governor couldn't have known. (As for why retribution would be directed at the Mayor when the punishment is taken out on hundreds of thousands of commuters - well, that's beyond anyone's logic. But, hey, Jake, faghetaboutit - it's Jersey.)

The second investigation is a federal probe into those "Stronger Than The Storm" ads aimed at getting tourists back to the Jersey Shore after Superstorm Sandy. It's a lovely notion, "stronger than the storm," but of course Sandy was stronger than those who were victimized. The ad campaign seemed curious for so many other reasons as well, not the least of which was the use of Christie and his family in those ads, which just happened to air during a re-election year for the Governor.

Turns out there were two bids for those ads. They were roughly the same campaign except that one featured Christie and his family, and, oh yeah, cost more than $2 million more than the one that didn't. The more expensive one - featuring Christie during a re-election campaign - won out.

Is it piling on? Perhaps. But when it rains, it pours, in politics as in nature.

Meanwhile, Gov. Christie has been incommunicado for the past 4 days. But that's about to end. Tomorrow he has to come out to offer his State of the State Address. What will he say? How will he broach and approach the scandals that are now swirling? Jim Dolan takes a closer look, tonight at 11.

We're also on Long Island, where a high school is suddenly examining its rules after a senior girl is elected homecoming king. Does the fact that she's a lesbian have anything to do with the re-examination? Hmmmmm. Is this 2014 or 1914? I'm just sayin'.

And we're following the latest in the Alex Rodriguez suspension, as A-Rod tonight has filed a federal lawsuit against Major League Baseball and his own players' union, to try to overturn his season-long suspension.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg with his AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Diana Williams (in for Sade Baderinwa) and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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