Protector to Pariah: NJ Gov. Falls From Grace
Christopher J. Christie has had quite a tumultuous run as the governor of New Jersey. In a cop-to-robber, hero-turned-villain tragedy, the citizens of the Garden State watched as a series of blunders and scandals during Christie’s two terms shifted this man from being the political apple of America’s eye to a ridiculed pariah.
Christie began his climb to the top as a politician who wanted to set things right. His first political position was on the Board of Chosen Freeholders for Morris County after being elected in 1994. Seven years later, President George W. Bush personally appointed Christie as US Attorney for the District of New Jersey to much approval from the Republican Party.
One of his biggest priorities was taking down public corruption. The current governor of the Garden State saw a massive success in removing the corruption in the state’s government. Christie claims that Abscam, a sting operation in which an undercover agent bribed state officials such as the mayor of Camden, the senior senator and others, was the moment he realized the severity of “the problem of corruption in New Jersey.”
His seven-year campaign against the shadier players in the political game led to over 130 convictions and guilty pleas for government officials. One senator was found guilty for taking a job that required very little effort at a medical school in return for state grants, while another admitted to receiving a $25,000 as a “success fee” from a mining company after he aided them in obtaining permits. The mayor of Newark at the time also was accused and found guilty of reducing city property fees for a woman he once dated.
New Jersey’s White Knight started losing favor when he began to direct his favor towards officials that managed to escape Christie’s scythe. Despite allegations of slimy activities towards George Norcross, Joseph DiVincenzo and others, Christie was not only there to defend them, but record show he also donated copious amounts of money for their personal agendas. Christie shot down any questioning, reportedly removing one skeptical former Navy SEAL from a town-hall meeting and warning, “Your rear end is going to be thrown in jail, idiot!”
The list of shady associates in Christie’s graces swelled, leading to a massively funded campaign for his second term as governor. In rubbing shoulders with big-pocketed Democrats to look popular for both sides, Christie managed to gain the governor’s seat for a second time at the expense of Republicans winning any more seats in the state Senate.
The final nail in Christie’s political coffin was Bridgegate, the scandal that rocked the state. The governor has been accused of clogging traffic for hours after closing down the George Washington Bridge Sept. 11, 2013 in an act of childish revenge after Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich refused to endorse Christie’s re-election. Christie has denied involvement in the so-called “traffic study,” but but the pile of evidence pointing to his direct hand in the matter is growing bigger as the days go by.
Despite an effort to get into presidential candidate Donald Trump’s cabinet, Christie now faces possible impeachment if he does not choose to step down — a move that will most likely euthanize his political career and serve as a bookend to the heroic and promise rise and crooked fall of the man who became one of the corrupt he promised to destroy.