Dem who called for Christie to quit steps down from panel
February 28th, 2014
10:48 AM ET
9 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. Gurgyl

    GOP, you cheat–you don't resign? Nonsense. Just go away. GOP is done, extinct as dinosaurs. This time they start blaming their Bushes, Reagan. Because they are running out blame boys.

    February 28, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. never to vote republican again

    Vote People! Vote the lying cheating GOP OUT this Nov!

    February 28, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Wake up People!

    These wouldn't happen to be the same republicans that were looking and hoping for something to impeach the POTUS over are they???

    February 28, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    so I guess all the calls for impeachment/resignation of the President is OK with these hypocrites??

    February 28, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Bill

    Christie will either be impeached and removed from office or charged by the Feds. End of story. It is over for Fat Boy.

    February 28, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The GOP is about to lose their Golden Boy... PRICELESS!

    February 28, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    Yet these same crybaby thugs are DEMANDING impeachment hearings for President Obama DESPITE the fact their numerous witch hunts regarding his so-called "scandals" have failed to turn up anything. Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP.

    February 28, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Truzinski

    Just another liberal that has no brains, Maybe someone should investigate her and see what skeletons she has in her closet. GOt to laugh as how these Democraps fear Christie. They are scared he is going to show them up for the clowns they are.

    February 28, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. CryBabies

    Under Watson Colemans theory, President Obama should resign because he is responsible for everybody in the middle of the Obamacare mess. Comments??

    February 28, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Harold Read

    Why hasn't Obama submit his resignation for blatant insurance fraud?

    "You can keep your policy. Period."

    February 28, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Republicans may not want to admit it but Gov Christie is damaged goods whether or not investigators find a smoking gun linking him directly to the lane closures. Calls for his resignation may be premature but it makes for good political theater.

    February 28, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. bobo

    EXACTLY! This is a Witch hunt! Nothing else!

    February 28, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. CryBabies

    Malory Archer...The only reason nothing has "turned up" is because of the stonewalling by the democrats. Uncooperation. Regardless, things will come out that won't put a good light on the administration....then we will discuss.

    February 28, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Silence DoGood

    Radical Right on Christie: Let the law take its course. We need to proceed with evidence and due process. Let's not rush into this and jump to conclusions. Give it more time He is being judged by the media.

    Radical Right on Obama and Ms.Clinton: I read this thing from some guy on the internet. My friends are all spun up. Glenn Beck was hinting at something. Impeach! Get the torches!

    February 28, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    But Watson Coleman argued he should resign because “he is responsible for everybody that is in the middle of all of this mess.”
    --------------------------------
    He is responsible, but Christie has chosen to take the path of the victim. He had claimed that when he learned that he had been "lied to", he said that he was "embarrassed" and "humiliated." He then claimed to have personally fired Ms. Kelly.

    February 28, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. jboh

    How about the Republican on the committee who is likely to be called as a witness due to his name in e-mails? No matter how hard the TEA/GOP attemps to spin this, he's toast.

    February 28, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. bill

    change the name to obama and ask the same question

    February 28, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Tampa Tim

    Issa wasted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on his republican witch hunts, and still got nothing. But compared to the $24 billion wasted on the republican shutdown of government, I guess this is no big deal.

    February 28, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -CryBabies

    Malory Archer...The only reason nothing has "turned up" is because of the stonewalling by the democrats. Uncooperation. Regardless, things will come out that won't put a good light on the administration....then we will discuss.
    ***********************
    Spoken as if that is a certainty, Has it occurred to you that maybe Issa has found all there is to find, and that his ongoing attempts to find criminal acts is an embarrassing, colossal waste of time and money, and he can't admit that publically since the Right has so much invested in finding something, anything to smear the President? Ever contempalted that possibility, or have you snapped at that narrative liike a trout going after a fly?

    February 28, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Tampa Tim

    When republicans are caught in wrong doing, they play the victim card and blame those who caught them.

    February 28, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    CryBabies

    Under Watson Colemans theory, President Obama should resign because he is responsible for everybody in the middle of the Obamacare mess. Comments??
    ----------------------------–
    Christie's entire staff, assistants, and major political appointments all seemed to have been involved in skullduggery of one form or another, including the Lt. Governor. It would be the equivalent of Obama's of all of the top staffers at the White House, the entire Cabinet, and every other appointtee he's made since taking office collectively being involved in a single scandal. Seeing how John Kerry, Eric Holder, Sonia Sotomayor, and dozens of others are not involved, I'll give your suggestion "nice try, but that's laughable."

    February 28, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Silence DoGood

    @CryBabies
    Malory Archer...The only reason nothing has "turned up" is because of the stonewalling by the democrats. Uncooperation. Regardless, things will come out that won't put a good light on the administration....then we will discuss.
    -----------
    Classic conspiracy theory at work.
    "things will come out" – don't actually tell us so you can be proven wrong – just keep it spooky and vague.

    February 28, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Really?

    WOW! CNN has to get their Christie fix in today huh? this seems to be the only station that has a "Christie" story or sighting on a daily basis. can't get more blatantly partisan can you. the rest of the country could care less on what happened on a stupid bridge folks.
    how about news that concerns the whole country like Obamacare hurting Americans, Benghazi or the IRS?

    February 28, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    the “governor needs to think about resigning, and he needs to take all his friends with him because this is sickening.”
    -------------------------------------------------
    Oh-oh, somebody jumped the Uzi.
    Look, it's ok for us local yokels to opine and even to convict in the public forum the good Gov., but I think that if you're part of an investigative committee you need to shut your trap until all the facts are in lest you're accused (ta daaa!) of not being impartial and thus jeopardize the entire investigation.
    But maybe I missed something....

    February 28, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Republicans are our nation's greatest embarrassment. But they are not bright enough to figure it out. The world is laughing at you dip sticks.

    February 28, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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