Mitch Perry Report 1.9.14 - "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee"

Remember when Lyndon Johnson supposedly said after Walter Cronkite criticized the U.S. effort in Vietnam that if he had lost Cronkite, he had lost the country?

I wonder what Chris Christie was thinking this morning as he watched a couple of his biggest cheerleaders in the national press, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, lambaste him (which still acknowledging that "he's a friend") for the story that broke yesterday in New Jersey. The story is that emails and texts revealed that a top aide had ordered the closings of three lanes on the George Washington Bridge last September in New Jersey to punish the town’s mayor after he did not endorse the Christie in his re-election bid.

The New Jersey governor has scheduled an 11 a.m. news conference to handle the avalanche of criticism coming his way, particularly after he mocked the idea that he or his aides had anything to do with the closings last month, while at the same time belittling the importance of the story. (Think again, governor. The L.A. Times reports
that the lane closures on the bridge delayed emergency responders during four calls. In one of those calls, traffic delayed paramedics trying to get to an unconscious 91-year-old woman who later died at the hospital.)

We'll refrain from speculating about the implications of what this means for Christie's future until after his press conference, which should be a doozy to watch, if for no other reason than to see the usually in-your-face pol have to eat some humble pie, at the minimum.

Our own Republican governor, Rick Scott, is about as far away as possible to Christie in terms of his demeanor, which is why it was a bit surprising to hear him call out Congresswoman Kathy Castor late yesterday at a press conference in East Tampa after we read back her comments regarding the state's extremely troubled unemployment website.

Castor made those remarks in an earlier conference call with fellow Florida Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Joe Garcia. The three were calling out D.C. Republicans for not agreeing to extend unemployment benefits. At the same time Democrats in Tallahassee were calling for a raise in the state's minimum wage.

On Monday we reported that a group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative may sue HART if they opt not to run all of their provocative ads on Hillsborough County buses. Yesterday we reported that the group's leader, Pamela Geller, says in fact she'll do exactly that unless the transit agency runs all of those controversial banners, which blast the Council on American Islamic Relations.

And it appears as though for the second time in his campaign for the GOP nomination in the CD13 race, David Jolly has been falsely accused of lobbying for a cause that would cause him grief in next week's election. First it was charged that he had lobbied for Obamacare, a charge that he refuted. Now he's saying any allegation that he lobbied for offshore drilling is totally false.

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