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

    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?
    ------
    Well TRTP, you are obviously part of the massive government cover up as well. If we could just find the big cartoon key to the secret locker in Area 51 with all the evidence.

    February 28, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Vince

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

    February 28, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Reggie53

    When Eric Holder, Kathleen Serbelius, Susan Rice and others who have helped to destroy our country, then the democrats can make such a suggestion. Even Obama should resign but we all know he will never do that but at least we know he will gone in 2016. Hillary Clinton should have resigned as well after Benghazi and she hung around and under her watch 4 Americnas were killed. God help us Americans until that time because we will definitely need alot of help after he is gone. So many democrats have been found out not paying taxes and other problems and they have not resigned so why should Christie resign when nothing has been found that he did anything illegal. The democrats are afraid of Christie so they are running scared. Christie, you just stay your ground and do not let let those foolish democrats run you out!!!!!

    February 28, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @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.

    We "Democraps" are shaking in our boots over Christie. Can you say Madam President? BWAAAAAAHHHHH!

    February 28, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    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?
    ---

    well going over and looking at your source of news, there's a few Benghazi stories, a few ACA stories and one about that creationist loon Ham building his Noah's Ark recreation in Kentucky. Not a word about this story.....looks like Fake News is getting their daily ACA and Benghazi fix, yes?

    February 28, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -Silence DoGood

    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?
    --
    Well TRTP, you are obviously part of the massive government cover up as well. If we could just find the big cartoon key to the secret locker in Area 51 with all the evidence.
    ******************
    Does that include the key to decoding the secrets on the back of the Declaration of Independence as well? I hear the Illuminati and the Freemasons are involved as well.....

    February 28, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If you are not a NJ resident and tax payer...your opinion on this matter is irrelevant and not welcome.
    -------------------------------------------------
    You're being short-sighted.
    This isn't about New Jersey as much as it is about the man who would be President.
    It is Christie's character that is in question here, his method of governing, and his character, again.
    Should he run in 2016 and win we'd be stuck with him just like New Jersey appears to be now.
    So, yeah, we gotta know.

    February 28, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Reggie- What is your favorite Fox show? Isn't it a bit hypocritical to blame Hillary for 4 deaths when there is no proof of wrongdoing, yet you overlook the 3000 deaths on 9-11, the 13 embassy attacks that led to over 50 deaths, the unnecessary war, the deaths of 4500 soldiers, the 45 thousand wounded, and the 45000 who died each year because they did not have access to health care?

    February 28, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -Reggie53

    When Eric Holder, Kathleen Serbelius, Susan Rice and others who have helped to destroy our country, then the democrats can make such a suggestion. Even Obama should resign but we all know he will never do that but at least we know he will gone in 2016. Hillary Clinton should have resigned as well after Benghazi and she hung around and under her watch 4 Americnas were killed. God help us Americans until that time because we will definitely need alot of help after he is gone. So many democrats have been found out not paying taxes and other problems and they have not resigned so why should Christie resign when nothing has been found that he did anything illegal. The democrats are afraid of Christie so they are running scared. Christie, you just stay your ground and do not let let those foolish democrats run you out!!!!!
    *************************
    So, the best you can do is a weak attempt at establishing moral equivilence for justifying Christie staying? At best he is incompetant, at worst he is corrupt and weak. He lost a lawsuit against him 20 years ago for defamation of character, and you want him to be president? Is this what you think the GOP should stand for?

    February 28, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    Vince

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

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Not so my dear. "Bridgegate" also affected New Yorkers AND it interfered with interstate commerce – a FEDERAL OFFENSE!

    February 28, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Republicans ask how the investigation could be handled impartially if Democrats on the committee are already jumping to conclusions."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....*cough...gasp....deep breath*....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...REALLY????...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. 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.

    February 28, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. O'drama ya Mama

    So at least 10 Republicans have called for Obama to resign and Newt told Kerry to resign but GOD FORBID and Democrat calls for a Republican to resign.

    February 28, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    The Masters of the Witchunt are suddenly concerned that elephants might not actually be all that great at hiding in strawberry patches? Methinks their sudden concern for whether premature conclusions are being drawn without sufficient evidence has more to do with which strawberry patch we're talking about and who it belongs to than it does with any concern about general principles of fairness and accuracy in conducting investigations.

    February 28, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Pam

    Those who live in glass houses..............(need I say more?)

    February 28, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

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

    OK Vince... Here goes. I live in NJ and pay a fortune in taxes and I want Christie to resign.

    February 28, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Vince

    If you are not a NJ resident and tax payer...your opinion on this matter is irrelevant and not welcome.
    --------------------–
    Seeing how NJ's Governor's decision to cancel a high speed rail tunnel under the Hudson River, which had a negative impact on the economy of the entire tri-state area, people outside of NJ do have have a right to an opinion about Christie. His policies have been an economic burden to New Jersey and surrounding areas.

    February 28, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. salty dog

    Partisan witch hunt, poor Christie, we should have known he's the victim, maybe he should sue the lady who died on the bridge for dragging him into this, unbelievable.

    February 28, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. TONE

    @Sniffit

    "Republicans ask how the investigation could be handled impartially if Democrats on the committee are already jumping to conclusions."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....*cough...gasp....deep breath*....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...REALLY????...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. 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

    February 28, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    The whole Christie thing is entirely political, and we all know that to be the case.

    Dems want to knock out the person, who could possibly beat Hillary, by any means possible.

    February 28, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. TONE

    @Al-NY,NY

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

    For them being black is an impeachable offense these guys are soooooooooooooooo unreal. they claim that they are christians, but their heart is full of hatred. I love jesus christ, but i have no care for christians.

    February 28, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Methinks their sudden concern for whether premature conclusions are being drawn without sufficient evidence has more to do with which strawberry patch we're talking about and who it belongs to than it does with any concern about general principles of fairness and accuracy in conducting investigations
    -------------------------------------------------
    Even though I don't think that somebody who is part of this investigative body should've voiced her opinion on the case she is investigating, I will agree with your post in regards to all the fake and hypocritical outcry from the nut side of the aisle.

    February 28, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. USwatcher

    Just as a casual observer...is the investigation complete?

    February 28, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Wake up People!

    Yes he is Tone!! But that's nothing unusual for him!!

    February 28, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Rusty Krus

    If Governor Christie is feeling uncomfortable, he has Darrell Issa to thank. The Democrats watched him for a year trying to smear and destroy Hillary Clinton in an attempt to weaken her standing as a presidential contender. One might offer that Christie is getting the same treatment. Turnabout is fair play?

    February 28, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    The whole Christie thing is entirely political, and we all know that to be the case.

    Dems want to knock out the person, who could possibly beat Hillary, by any means possible.
    ******************
    Real amusing comment, especially coming from the man who declared Christie a RINO a few months ago, and who insists on purity tests for conservative candidates. Your desperation is showing.

    February 28, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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