Is Chris Christie into political payback, and what about political rewards? Fulop, Zimmer, and more....
Jan 10, 2014 | 3252 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HUDSON COUNTY -- Does Gov. Chris Christie make important decisions based on whether the parties involved have endorsed him or not? And where's the line between political hardball and revenge? And does it matter?

These questions are being asked in the wake of the scandal in which the Port Authority temporarily closed traffic lanes near the George Washington Bridge in September, possibly -- some say -- because the mayor of nearby Fort Lee didn't endorse him.

Now, other mayors are pointing to examples of perhaps more subtle payback. Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City said that Christie's staff canceled slews of meetings after Fulop declined to endorse him. Friday, Mayor Dawn Zimmer also asked questions.

Zimmer asks

A story posted at WNYC's website on Friday included quotes from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer:

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says she had a face to face visit with Governor Christie in the spring, when he asked her to endorse him for re-election.

She told him she would be remaining neutral.

“He was quite disappointed, but I wouldn't say that he was angry. He was disappointed and said he would keep asking,” Zimmer said. "And I said, 'We can keep the conversation going but I don't expect to be changing my position.’ And I didn't.”

She had applied for a Hazard Mitigation Grant to protect Hoboken from flooding. During Sandy, 80 percent of the city was under water.

Zimmer says she asked the state for $100 million in grants. She got $300,000 — a fraction of 1 percent.

“It's a lot less and I was extremely disappointed,” Zimmer said. “And at the time I was angry because I felt like the focus was on the shore.”

Now, she says she can't help but wonder if her decision not to endorse Christie played a role.

"With 20/20 hindsight, in the context we're in right now, we can always look back and say, 'Okay, was it retribution?'” Zimmer said. “I think probably all mayors are reflecting right now and thinking about it, but I really hope that that's not the case.”

But some local Democrats did endorse Christie -- and have done well with receiving special state aid, and other perks, as reported in previous Reporter stories. See links to past coverage below.

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