January, 2014

Christie Knew About Lane Closures

David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official “who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening, and that he had the evidence to prove it,” the New York Times reports.

Wildstein described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.

Newark Star Ledger editorial board: “Forget about the White House in 2016. The question now is whether Gov. Chris Christie can survive as governor.”

Fox News is ‘Most Trusted’ and ‘Least Trusted’

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds 35% of Americans say they trust Fox News more than any other TV news channel, followed by 14% for PBS, 11% for ABC, 10% for CNN, 9% for CBS, 6% each for Comedy Central and MSNBC, and 3% for NBC.

Meanwhile, Fox News also leads the ‘least trusted’ list with 33% followed by 19% for MSNBC, 14% for Comedy Central, 11% for CNN, 5% for ABC, 4% for CBS, and 2% each for NBC and PBS.

Florida Newscast Calls GOP the ‘Reprehensive Party’

“The Florida GOP demanded Friday that a Miami NBC affiliate issue an on-air apology after the station referred to the party as ‘the Reprehensive Party of Florida’ in a broadcast,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.

“The error surfaced when WTVJ aired a segment that featured a Republican Party web ad bashing Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist in an ad that accuses him of politically running away from Florida when the economy went south.”

Quote of the Day

“Maybe when we finally have a First Gentleman, and maybe we should be that way about the First Gentleman also and really critique the way they look all the time, their choice of tie or their hairstyle or whatever. Or maybe their weight.”

— Laura Bush, in an interview on C-SPAN, decrying the focus on the First Lady’s appearance.

House GOP Deeply Divided on Immigration Reform

House Republicans meeting privately at their retreat “were split on whether the leadership should forge ahead with immigration legislation this year,” The Hill reports.

“Some conservative lawmakers, like immigration reform foe Rep. Steve King (R-IA), said the party should do nothing. Others… offered full support for the leadership principles and a green light for moving on to legislation. But a large contingent of members stood up to urge caution and voiced concerns not so much with the substance of the principles as with the timing of pushing immigration reform in an election year and under a Democratic president they don’t trust to enforce the law.”

Deal Apologizes for Epic Traffic Jam

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) “called for a top-to-bottom review of the government’s response to the epic traffic jam in the aftermath of Tuesday’s snowfall and he and the state’s top emergency staffer apologized for failing to adequately prepare for the storm,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Said Deal: “I am not satisfied with the response. But I am not going to look for a scapegoat. I am the governor, and the buck stops with me.”

Inside the Landrieu Family Business

New York Times: “Both Senator and Mayor Landrieu face re-election this year in campaigns that are complicated by the currents of race and history that run through this state, but also by national factors, chief among which is President Obama.”

“The confluence of the campaigns has created an existential moment for a Democratic dynasty that has become the reigning political family in a state that has been home to the Longs, the Morials and the Boggses. There has been an infusion of money from the conservative Koch brothers, complaints of White House interference and accusations that national Republicans with an eye on winning control of the Senate are meddling in the mayor’s race to tarnish the Landrieu name among the family’s crucial power base of black voters.”

Outside Money Pours Into Florida Special Election

More than $4 million in outside money has flooded Florida’s special congressional election, the AP reports.

“The flurry of spending illustrates the outsized role outside groups are expected to play in the midterm elections. Disclosure of the new spending comes a day before federal candidates have to report how much money they raised and spent on their own last year in the run-up to November’s elections. That’s when voters will determine the balance of power in the House and Senate. Thirty-six governors’ offices also are up for grabs.”

Super Bowl Rescues Christie

New York Times: “The sports marketing extravaganza known as Super Bowl XLVIII, to be played in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday, seemed to arrive at the worst possible moment for Governor Christie, as he reeled from an embarrassing investigation into lane closings at the George Washington Bridge and political intimidation.”

“But in unexpected ways, it has marked the re-emergence, however halting, of the man who has been buried behind a curtain of grimaces and apologies: the familiar wisecracking, boastful and emotive governor.”

The Jeb Bush Factor

The Fix: “There are a great many unanswered questions about the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. But at this point, none are as big as this one: Will Jeb Bush run?”

“There are two simple reasons why. 1) No other top tier Republican has the potential to alter the landscape of the primary as broadly as the former Florida governor. 2) No other top tier Republican has broadcast as much genuine uncertainty about his plans.”