It's really too bad that Fort Erie does not have investigative reporters like those in the Bergen County, NJ local press. If it had not been for the work of a couple of dogged reporters and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, the scandal now known as "Bridgegate" might never have been exposed. Governor Chris Christie, despite his denials, seems to be at the centre of what many term Retribution Politics. This is something that many in Fort Erie are familiar with, having been on the receiving end of such a policy.
I am one. I was sued, with taxpayer money, because of comments published in my blog. Normally, a politician or public figure ignores such opinions expressed in a blog, but not EDTC general manager Jim Thibert. No, he has to punish anyone who defies him e.g. Ann Marie Noyes, whom he called "delusional" in front of a packed house at council. He also made a point to not invite her to the opening day of the Fort Erie Race Track that year. Petty stuff that accomplished nothing. Chris Christie has long enjoyed a reputation for engaging in Retribution Politics and this time, it appears that he, or at least his minions, have gone way too far by closing two lanes of traffic from Fort Lee, New Jersey to the world's busiest bridge, the George Washington Bridge. Latest speculation is that it may bring about the impeachment of Christie. It's a matter of "what did he know and when did he know it?"
The little community newspaper in Bergen County, the home of Fort Lee covered the story and found some interesting connections between the closure and a top official in the Port Authority - a high school friend and Christie appointee. Then came the damning e-mails from Christie's chief of staff and the PA official. Looks like it was planned around August 12, just after Christie had a melt down about New Jersey Supreme Court nominations. He basically threatened the Democrats in New Jersey.
There are many more stories in New Jersey (and sadly in Fort Erie) of Retribution Politics. Many have no idea the lengths that others have gone to destroy reputations, businesses and financial security. And the cover-up of these activities is kept up through intimidation and fear tactics. Confidential bank records have been breached; lies spread around town to besmirch the reputations of those in opposition to the status quo and even potentially harmful damage to vehicles of those who are working for a better community have taken place.
Perhaps on Monday, when four councillors appear in court to answer to a trumped up charge by a former disgruntled (and now out of work town councillor) the truth will pour out. This case will be watched by many. Hopefully, someone has the guts to write the truth about it. But they shouldn't stop there. They need to dig way deep into the finances (follow the money) and the associations. Lots of questions can be asked. Most will have to be answered through deep digging. Those who practice Retribution Politics insulate themselves behind a firewall. I think Christie thought he had a good firewall, but all it takes is one insider willing to talk and everything will come down.
My blog received information provided by an insider in the local town government. Can't say who because I did not know. That person was protected by a firewall. In the suit against me - and Google, Thibert's lawyers sought to find out who was the person known as "The Bitch." They never found out but he was very anxious to find that out because he knew that the person was an insider. I still hear from that insider but I no longer publish those comments. My "Deep Throat" is a true hero.
I do not possess the stamina to pursue this much further. I get a visceral reaction to evil. And there is a lot of evil in this town. Hopefully, the good will prevail but it is up to everyone to investigate for themselves to find the truth.
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