Strong allegations from Hoboken’s Mayor Dawn Zimmer (D), which aired on MSNBC Saturday morning, had New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) office slamming the network as overtly “partisan.”
Zimmer, in an interview with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, claims the Governor’s administration withheld millions of dollars in Hurricane Sandy relief money as “leverage” for a redevelopment plan.
After Hoboken was badly hit by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, Zimmer requested $127 million in aid but received less than $400,000, she said. Zimmer named Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Christie’s community affairs commissioner Richard Constable as the officials who pressured her – twice – to give her approval on the plan, and provided emails, public records, and her own personal accounts to support her claims.
“I was emotional about governor Christie,” Zimmer wrote in a diary entry dated May 17, 2013. “I thought he was honest. I thought he was moral. I thought he was something very different. This week I found out he’s cut from the same corrupt cloth that I have been fighting for the last four years.”
Gov. Christie chastised the network for airing the accusation in his expected “bully” manner, more than aware that an allegation such as this is likely to increase public scrutiny of him and his administration, right behind this month’s Bridge-gate scandal.
In a statement not long after the accusation, Christie spokesman Colin Reed said that the governor and Zimmer have had a good working relationship throughout both of their tenures. But the first part of his statement focused on MSNBC, and how openly hostile it has been in attacking Christie over the past two weeks.
Reed also mentioned the discriminating ad that was produced and aired this week by MSNBC’s host Lawrence O’Donnell, which attacks Christie over the scandal initiated by his administration involving lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September.
Here’s the full statement from Reed:
“MSNBC is a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their efforts attacking him, even taking the unprecedented step of producing and airing a nearly three-minute attack ad against him this week. Governor Christie and his entire administration have been helping Hoboken get the help they need after Sandy, with the city already having been approved for nearly $70 million dollars in federal aid and is targeted to get even more when the Obama Administration approves the next rounds of funding. The Governor and Mayor Zimmer have had a productive relationship, with Mayor Zimmer even recently saying she’s ‘very glad’ he’s been our Governor. It’s very clear partisan politics are at play here as Democratic mayors with a political axe to grind come out of the woodwork and try to get their faces on television.”
“Our journalism speaks for itself,” MSNBC spokesperson Lauren Skowronski told Business Insider in response to Christie’s office.
Image via YouTube