Kitman Returns · Wildstein vs. Christie

I apologize for being bereft of my duties as an ace investigative reporter letting two or three days go by without contributing to the gripping saga of the decline and fall of Chris Christie, a drama that is not only transfixing the nation but should make him a candidate for the next Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, as a balloon up there with all those other fictitious characters.

I have been guilty of lollygagging about, brooding on other of the Republic’s problems, while other All-Christie-All-the-Time channels of information, like MSNBC, the source of record, have been probing to find the final piece of evidence that will cause the biggest explosion over New Jersey since the Hindenburg went down.

I aim to mend the error of my ways.

Day 43 of Holding New Jersey Hostage

Did Gov. Christie order the New Jersey Transit cockup at the end of the Super Bowl Sunday night as part of a study about what would happen if too many people tried to get on too few trains at the same time? Did he know about it? Did he approve of it and was he surprised? Before or after he saw it on TV? If not then, when?

Did Republicans discover Dylan Farrow’s new name under which she is living in Florida? Did they contact her and ask her to plant a story that was first reported in 1992 by Rosanna Scotto on the Channel Five News in New York in order to take the heat off Gov. Christie media-wise?

The claim about Chris and the train wreck in the Meadows is totally false. I made it up.

I’m not so sure about the second hypothetical. I wouldn’t put it past the crafty brain trust, the Giuliani wing of the Republican establishment with the fantasy of a fat man in the White House willing to try anything to diminish the intense industrial-strength Watergate-type scrutiny on their Man Who….

There will be many true or even truer questions coming down the turnpike as the results of the 20 subpoenas that will soon be hitting us like the shards of a meteorite, shattered passing through the pollution zone over the state.

By the time the Feds finish their subpoena list I wouldn’t be surprised if the State of New Jersey itself will be subpoenaed.

The governor will be as a busy as a one-armed man in a three-dimensional massed chess game tournament, with all the denials, counter denials, controversies over the Fifth Amendment, parsed and fought over. It should be superior entertainment for all of us good government-freaks.

I have been totally fascinated so far by the fierce debate that broke out last week between David (Wildstein, the ex-Port Authority executive who threw himself from power at the start of the Fort Lee traffic study gone awry) vs. Goliath (His Rotundity, the Governor).

These two high school friends or acquaintances or faces in the year book, whatever they were — one a BMOC, the other a nerd whose social studies teacher branded him a potential threat to the nation, whose paths apparently didn’t cross until the Governor appointed the nebbish to the Port Authority gig — have been at loggerheads over who is telling the truth about who knew what and when in the GWB caper.

The governor’s position is that he was too busy ordering in food for lunch or dinner, or whatever, to pay attention to such a trifling matter as a four day four hour bridge tie-up. Wildstein says he has “existing evidence” the governor is telling less than the truth.

I first noticed Wildstein during his premiere performance before the legislative committee in Trenton in which he took the Fifth 28 times. I was surprised he didn’t exercise his Constitutional right when for the record they asked his name.

He regained his voice through his lawyered-up lawyer’s public letter in which his client seemed to indicate his old high school chum was mistaken.

Well, whom do we believe?

Personally, I think both of them are telling the truth, such as it is today.

There is a concept, first enunciated by Robert Armstrong, a British civil servant, Head of the Civil Service, 1981-7, referring to a letter during the famous “Spycatcher” trial, Supreme Court, New South Wales, November 1986:

“It contains a misleading suggestion, not a lie. It was being economical with the truth.”

So it’s possible both are being frugal in telling the truth or lying, depending on who you are rooting for.

Truth is a word under very serious stress these days in the graveyard of truth known as New Jersey politics.

Some times I feel like the Diogenes of Sinope who in full daylight wandered around downtown Athens with a lit lantern, claiming to be searching for an honest person. He wouldn’t find too many of them in Trenton these days.

What do we know, anyway? We are lied to all the time by politicians who convince themselves they are telling the truth or enough of it. There should be legal standards, requiring stating the amount of truth in statements, the way fruit juices state exactly how much real fruit (often 10% or less) is contained in all-pure drinks (in small type, of course).

Fortunately, people have their minds made up even before the start of this and all the other debates soon to come, using such devices as a man’s eyes are set too far or he is sweating.

While all this Bridgegate and Hobokengate is a lot of fun, and I’m getting a kick out of playing the game of pinning the tail on the elephant, as we all watch the air leak out of our Michelin Man. But I worry. There are so many greater crimes the governor has committed in his five years in office. I just hope our truth-seekers don’t start playing another game.

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Marvin Kitman
Feb. 5, 2014

Marvin Kitman is the author of “The Making of the Preƒident 1789.” “George Washington’s Expense Account” by Gen. George Washington and Marvin Kitman PFC (Ret.) was the best-selling expense account in publishing history.