Dem who called for Christie to quit steps down from panel
February 28th, 2014
10:48 AM ET
2 months ago

Dem who called for Christie to quit steps down from panel

Updated - 8:01 p. m. 2/28/2014

(CNN) – A member of the New Jersey legislative committee investigating the administration of Chris Christie stepped down from the panel on Friday after drawing Republican ire for calling on the governor to resign.

Democratic Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, who told Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto that she would step aside from the probe to focus on legislation and other causes, minced no words when it came to the political scandal over traffic jams in Fort Lee last year that is roiling Christie's administration.

"As we all learn more – particularly with the most recent public release of information surrounding the George Washington Bridge lane closings – about the bully environment and brazen callousness and disrespect this administration has shown toward the people of our state, I have become even more disgusted. In fact, I find it disturbing," she said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Republicans questioned the investigative committee's impartiality if one of its members had already concluded the governor should step down.

"Balance and fairness should be the goal of the committee," Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said.

"I just hope she realizes let's give everybody the benefit of the doubt," he told CNN. "That's what our system is based on."

Watson Coleman's call on Thursday for Christie to quit followed the release of new information this week raising more questions about whether top appointees orchestrated the lane closures last September to politically punish Fort Lee's mayor, a Democrat who did not endorse the Republican governor for reelection.

The newly unveiled batch of emails and text messages shows a "culture of abuse of power," Watson Coleman said on MSNBC. The "governor needs to think about resigning, and he needs to take all his friends with him because this is sickening."

The scandal has raised questions about Christie's forceful governing style and clouded potential prospects for a 2016 presidential bid.

Prieto said he would announce a replacement for Watson Coleman on the committee soon.

In the latest release of information, two figures at the center of the scandal joked about creating traffic jams outside the home of a local rabbi. It is not clear why the officials were upset with him. He's the chaplain for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Christie has not been implicated by any of the documents so far and has denied knowledge of the traffic mess until after it ended and only after it appeared in media reports.

He also denies knowing of any political scheme involving staffers or appointees at the Port Authority, which oversees bridge operations.

But Watson Coleman argued he should resign because "he is responsible for everybody that is in the middle of all of this mess."


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    @Vince
    If you are not a NJ resident and tax payer...your opinion on this matter is irrelevant and not welcome.
    ==============

    I agree , however if Chris Christie is maneuvering towards a 2016 presidential bid . Then his GWB and Hoboken sandy exploits places him on the table for national dissection .

    If you can't play in the minors , you shouldn't be playing in the Big League .

    Wait till they fry fish with the Bernie Madoff' connection .

    February 28, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. salty dog

    Calling Dr.McDaniels, so the emails are work of the Democrats? You guys really ought to hear it from over here, lmfao .

    February 28, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. susan

    Christie went against his own party's core values when he said Congress was responsible for re building after Sandy. Individual homeowners are responsible for providing they own homeowner's insurance. The man speaks with a forked tongue.

    February 28, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Vence

    You are fired!

    February 28, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. plain and simple

    Christie has gotten himself into a mess by either himself being petty or hiring a bunch of juveniles to be put into positions of authority. Then to compound his delema he becomes evasive after saying he wants to get to the bottom of this situation. Playing both sides of the fence usually results in getting a post up your....you get the point!!!!

    February 28, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. Tom

    If Christie were a Democrat I suspect Republicans would be demanding his resignation. It's called politics. Republicans want to impeach Obama just because they don't like him. Why isn't that an outrage?

    February 28, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    TONE wrote:

    Wow....these guys are unreal. The very masters of "we've fond no evidence for our accusations, which is proof there's a cover up" are now panwetting about people "coming to conclusions" prior to the end of an investigation? Un-freekin-believable

    You are so on point with this post lol un-freeking-believable lol
    ------------------------------–
    Interesting. That's all that Christie can do, too. Laugh it off. What you're failing to acknowledge is that there is plenty of evidence that a crime(s) has been committed. Malicisously shutting down insterstate commerce is a violation of federal law.

    The Who(s) have been partialy identified, and there all Christie staffers and top level appointees.
    What crime was committed has been answered, but more seem to be popping up.
    Where the crime was committed is under invetigation, along with the Why and the When.

    February 28, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    @Tom
    If Christie were a Democrat I suspect Republicans would be demanding his resignation. It's called politics. Republicans want to impeach Obama just because they don't like him. Why isn't that an outrage?
    -----------
    GOP on Christie: Let's be patient, follow the due process of law, not rush to judgement, not let the evil media judge him, calm down, wait for more facts.

    GOP on Obama: I read a thing on the internet. Impeach! Get the touches!

    February 28, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. rs

    Funny, the GOP worries about none of that in their little fact-free inquisition-style investigations...

    February 28, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. CryBabies

    Rudy... Spin it any way you want....lets break it down real simple and say just the people directly responsible for Obamacare. If you still don't understand, I will DRAW YOU A PICTURE. ITS HYPOTHETICAL!!!!!

    February 28, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. TONE

    @Rudy
    I know there is a lot of evidence I think you misunderstood my post i agreed with your post all the way, and i have been following this story everyday so i am not failing to acknowledge anything because there is enough evidence that a crime has been committed. I am not a low infomation voter.

    February 28, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. Smitty

    Obammy, Reid and Pelosi should resign for ineptness. How many times can you catch these people lying ???

    February 28, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. TONE

    @Rudy
    I did not make the statement it was sniffit i just agreed with his assesment.

    February 28, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    -Smitty

    Obammy, Reid and Pelosi should resign for ineptness. How many times can you catch these people lying ???
    **************
    Based on that, Roger Ailes should have fired his whole news staff, and Reince Preibus should have been pounding the streets of Milwaukee for his failures and his lies. Care to sign a petition demanding that?

    February 28, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. sammy750

    The nation knows that Republicans support the criminals, like Gov Scott of Florida who is a FELON. and then the state senator in Idaho who is a rapist. They move these guys around from different states, so the voters cannot see their past records. Republicans have no issue with Felon, murders, criminals running on their party

    February 28, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Peace

    Christie must step down. Those whom he terminated their jobs wanted to work like he does now. Nevertheless, it was a big mistake not to bring the bridgegate scandal right away when it happened last Sept. Christie couldn't had been re-ëlected.

    February 28, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    CryBabies

    Rudy... Spin it any way you want....lets break it down real simple and say just the people directly responsible for Obamacare. If you still don't understand, I will DRAW YOU A PICTURE. ITS HYPOTHETICAL!!!!!
    -----------------------------------
    You're calling the facts spin. Okay, one department, the Obamacare department, had a major hiccup. You're telling me that that's grounds to call for the President's resignation? Ooh, my bad. You're talking about hypotheticals, imaginary problems, Einstein thought experiments, woolgathering, daydreams, etc.

    February 28, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. salty dog

    Smitty, just because fox news said they're lying, don't make it so. The vast majority could keep their plans, because a statement didnf cover 100% of the people, its a lie? But George bush doesn't bother you, he affected more lives than you could imagine, your sense of justice is appalling, now that is a lie that mattered.

    February 28, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    TONE

    @Rudy
    I know there is a lot of evidence I think you misunderstood my post i agreed with your post all the way,
    ----------------------
    My bad. I think you're right. I read it wrong.

    February 28, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
1 2 3