Buono: Christie's Office a 'Paramilitary Organization'

Image: Buono: Christie's Office a 'Paramilitary Organization'

Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 11:50 PM

By Greg Richter

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Chris Christie's Democratic opponent for governor in 2012 says Christie's office is essentially a "paramilitary organization" where "people don't go to the bathroom without asking his permission."

New Jersey state Sen. Barbara Buono, appearing Wednesday on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" she suspected the traffic tie-ups on the George Washington Bridge could be traced to Christie's office in September.

Texts messages  from Christie staffers were released on Wednesday that show they purposely had traffic lanes for several days in August blocked to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, for not endorsing Republican Christie in the election.

Buono, who lost handily to Christie, called the texts, which laughed at the plight of schoolchildren running late for school, as "horrifying" and an abuse of public trust.

Christie has denied any knowledge of closings, but critics say he created an atmosphere that encouraged such vindictive acts.

O'Donnell called the actions "stunningly stupid" and predicted that a 91-year-old woman who died during the traffic snarls  will become "the Willie Horton of Chris Christie's presidential campaign."

O'Donnell noted that it is not known whether the woman, whose ambulance was caught in the traffic jam, would have died anyway, but that in political commercials it certainly would be played that way.

Buono said she has called on the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the matter because there is sufficient evidence to look into possible criminal acts.

"People need to know what this governor knew and when he knew it," she said.

A New York Times story in December  outlined several incidents where Christie has been accused of taking revenge on people who don't support him as he believes they should.

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