grime and punishment
Mapping CHRIS christie’s Power Plays.
by mimi dwyer and alec macgillis
union city / 2 0 1 1
Christie publicly supports Democratic Mayor Brian Stack after he comes under fire for possible favors for his ex-wife. Later, Stack calls Christie the “greatest governor the state has ever had” and endorses him in 2013.
belleville / 2 0 1 3
After Democratic Mayor Raymond Kimble supports Christie, plans for a long-sought-after $18 million senior housing center get inked within weeks. $6 million comes from Christie’s federal Hurricane Sandy relief aid, even though Belleville suffered little damage from the storm.
harrison / 2 0 1 3
State aid from Trenton keeps local taxes low, even as they rise throughout the state. Democratic Mayor Raymond McDonough gets behind Christie in 2013. Christie’s brother also buys up properties near a Harrison path station just before the station gets a renovation grant—and flips them for a small profit.
NEWARK / 2 0 0 2
As U.S. attorney, Christie releases a letter declaring that Joe DiVincenzo, a Democratic candidate for Essex County executive, is not, as rumored, under federal investigation. “Joe D.” enthusiastically endorses Christie in 2013.
woodbridge / 2 0 1 3
Democratic Mayor John McCormac crosses the aisle to help out on Christie’s 2009 transition team. Later, a few weeks before Christie’s reelection, the governor breaks ground on what McCormac calls the city’s “biggest project ever”: an $845 million natural-gas plant funded in part by Trenton.
lakewood / 2 0 1 3
In March of 2013, Lakewood’s council of Orthodox Jewish leaders endorses Christie’s reelection. One month later, Christie grants Lakewood’s Orthodox rabbinical school, Beth Medrash Govoha, $10.6 million in renovation funds.
trenton / 2 0 0 1
Senator Bob Torricelli approves Christie’s nomination to U.S. attorney, despite widespread opposition. Later, as U.S. attorney, Christie demotes the prosecutor who launched an investigation into Torricelli’s campaign finances.
burlington city / 2 0 1 3
From September 2012 to May 2013, Burlington City receives nearly $500,000 in transportation and infrastructure grants from New Jersey and the federal government—making it the only city to get both kinds of aid. Democratic Mayor Jim Fazzone hands Christie a ringing endorsement.
camden / 2 0 1 0
Christie approves an ally of powerful South Jersey boss George Norcross to be chairman of the Delaware River Port Authority, who then signs off on a $6 million grant for Norcross’ medical center. Norcross doesn’t lift a finger for Christie’s 2013 opponent.
chesilhurst / 2 0 1 3
In 2010, the tiny Democratic town’s property taxes rise 38 percent as part of Christie’s deficit-reduction plan. Over the next three years, though, the governor grants hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax relief and state aid. Democratic Mayor Michael Blunt endorses Christie in 2013.
hammonton / 2 0 1 2
In 2009, as U.S. attorney, Christie opposes the appointment of New Jersey Laborers Union chief Ray Pocino to the board of the Port Authority. In 2012, though, Governor Christie reappoints him and promises to revive long-stalled union projects. Pocino endorses Christie in December.
fort lee / 2 0 1 3
Two lanes of the George Washington Bridge are mysteriously shut down, causing massive traffic jams in Fort Lee. Initially, the Christie administration claims the closings are for a study, but mounting evidence suggests the real motive was retaliation against the city’s Democratic mayor.
union city / 2 0 0 6
In the heat of Democrat Bob Menendez’s Senate campaign, someone leaks an investigation by Christie’s U.S. attorney’s office into Menendez’s rental building in Union City. The case never goes anywhere, but the bad press damages Menendez’s image.
hoboken / 2 0 1 3
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Dawn Zimmer comes under strong pressure to approve a development project represented by a Christie ally. Zimmer hesitates, and Hoboken winds up with less than 1 percent of the storm-recovery funds it requested.
jersey city / 2 0 1 3
When Steve Fulop, Jersey City mayor and rumored Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, makes clear he’s not going to endorse Christie, he suddenly finds several meetings with state officials in Trenton canceled.
monmouth / 2 0 1 1
After State Senator Sean Kean publicly criticizes Christie’s response to a 2010 blizzard, Christie ejects Kean from a press conference in his home district. A year later, Kean’s Senate seat is eliminated through redistricting.
trenton / 2 0 1 1
On a single day, Christie strips State Senator and former Acting Governor Richard Codey, a longtime rival, of his security detail, ousts his cousin from the Port Authority, and fires a close Codey ally from his job at the Division of Consumer Affairs.