Monday, January 13, 2014

Relativity of Theories

There are a bunch of theories floating around as to why the people in the governor’s office in New Jersey decided to shut down most of the traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge last September, but so far none of them have been proven to be the reason why it happened or who was behind it.

Rachel Maddow speculated that it wasn’t the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee who was the target, but rather the state senator, also a Democrat, who represented the Fort Lee district and had provoked the raging ire of the governor over judicial appointments.  That idea got enough traction that it was cited on NPR on Friday.

On Saturday, Ms. Maddow’s colleague Steve Kornacki, host of the program “Up,” posited that the real reason for the punitive action was because of a massive redevelopment project under way in Fort Lee that was right next to the bridge and would have dedicated traffic lanes to and from the bridge.  Politics ensued, and the closure was a way of sending a message to the developers that hogging the lanes on the bridge was not a popular idea among some friends in the governor’s office.

At this stage, no one theory seems to be coming forth as to what really happened, and it sounds like nothing will until certain conditions — immunity from prosecution for testimony included — are met.

Whatever the reason, be it petty local politics or muscle-flexing among bureaucracies, who in the hell would ever think that that was a way to do business or that they could get away with it?  I know New Jersey suffers under the stereotype of Soprano-like methods in business and politics, but this sounds too far out even for Tony and the gang.