The most loathsome task anyone has in government in New Jersey is washing Governor Chris Christie's underwear. It's unending work, the poor bastards who do it say. "Sisyphus had it easy." Once a week, twice in warm weather, a pile of parachute-sized tightie-whities are brought to the launderers who have to make the drawers clean once again. The job was always arduous, what with the semen stains and ice cream spots. That was early on, when things were good for the governor, all adulation, hand jobs, and Friendly's. These days, though, Christ, the skid marks. And these shit streaks are deep, like into the cotton fibers themselves. Oh, the launderers scrub and scrub, with brushes and bleach, and they can get the skid marks to fade. But if you walk behind the State House, where the washbasins are, and you look at the underwear billowing in the breeze on the line, you can see that those tell-tale signs of filth remain. Anyone who washes clothes for a living will tell you: sometimes, the shit just sticks.
The Rude Pundit wonders if the people around Chris Christie think about how easy their lives would have been had their fearless leader never put out signs that he was interested in running for president, if, perhaps, the first time it was mentioned, he smacked it down, declared, "Never," and demurred on being the globular face of the Republican Party. They have to wonder how smoothly their rich people scams would have gone.
You have to think that Port Authority Chairman David Samson must be wishing that had been the case. Then, undeterred by the glowing lights of national media, he could have gone about his business of turning the Port Authority into an ATM for his law firm. He could have gotten away with, say, voting to give NJ Transit a $1 lease on property it had previously paid over $900,000 a year for after NJT paid Wolff and Samson $1.5 million for advice on profiting from parking lots. Samson also wouldn't be facing a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney in a federal investigation for "documents related to Samson's involvement in agency votes that benefited clients" of Wolff and Samson. That would include $2.8 billion in contracts to two companies represented by his law firm. Goddamn, how no one would have bothered questioning anything.
The concentric firewalls around Chris Christie keep getting breached. We are now at the innermost one, Bill Stepien, Christie's campaign manager. Emails demonstrate that he had real-time knowledge of the George Washington Bridge closure, including pleading messages from the mayor of Fort Lee. They also show that Stepien was kept informed about the media's interest in the bridge closure and that he approved of the cover story of the traffic study. We are as close to Christie as we can be without feeling his huffing breath.
Meanwhile, Christie is being confronted constantly now about the use and distribution of Sandy recovery funds. What do you like here? There's the orgy of influence-peddling and favor-granting that led to $25 million of it to be used for tourism ads featuring Chris Christie. There's the delay in getting aid to people who still don't have houses, as well as denials of money to people who have a genuine need (while there was still no problem in, you know, getting a $25 million commercial shoot and ad buy done). There's the still-unanswered questions about why the Christie administration fired HGI, the firm that had the contract to take care of distribution of housing funds. And let's not even get into Hoboken.
Or the truly disturbing story of Christie as U.S. Attorney going easy on a sex slave ringleader in order to get minor league dirt on Democratic mayors.
The stains are there, and they're stinking up the joint. At his last two town halls, protesters interrupted Christie to demand Samson resign and to demand answers on Sandy funds. In an attempt to get control back, a state trooper is now using the old intimidation technique of taking photos of hecklers.
The thing is that once you see the stains, you can't unsee them. You can't pretend they're not there. You can't look at Chris Christie and not think, "That son of a bitch has shit smeared on him. He needs to take his shit pants and go the fuck away."