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Re: Fulop Bridgegate- Testimony Countdown
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IS FULOP'S GUBERNATORIAL DECISION TIED TO TESTIMONY IN BRIDGEGATE TRIAL?

While it is not known whether the two events are directly connected, the timing had people questioning the announcement at the trial Wednesday, where Fulop, among other things, was called "a snake" in documents.

Fulop became a key thread in testimony Tuesday for his involvement with members of Gov. Chris Christie's inner circle who had been wooing him and other Democrats to endorse the governor for re-election in a run-up to a presidential bid.

Those Christie insiders, according to testimony Tuesday, closed the door on Fulop, canceled a series of planned meetings and refused to take his calls after they learned he would not endorse Christie for a second term in the 2013.

"Continue to ice him," ordered Bill Stepien, the governor's campaign manager, in an email introduced in court Tuesday in the continuing federal trial of two former confidantes of Christie charged with conspiring to create massive traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich over his own decision not to endorse the governor.

Charged in the case are Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, and Bridget Anne Kelly, a former top aide to Christie.

David Wildstein, a political appointee to the Port Authority and the government's key witness in the case who had pled guilty to charges in connection with the lane closures, returned to the stand Tuesday. He outlined the broad effort that had been put in play to obtain endorsements from Democrat elected officials such as Fulop and Sokolich, and said Stepien had a "special interest" in Fulop and Jersey City.

Bridgegate: 6 surprising revelations

There had long been a belief within the campaign that Fulop, one of the highest profile Democrats in the state, might support Christie, Weildstein testified.

A year earlier, while still a councilman, Fulop had been negotiating on behalf of Foreign Auto Processing Systems (FAPS), a Port Authority tenant, and a favorable deal was ultimately struck. Wildstein said the contract was approved at the behest of Stepien, who then was still head of the governor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

"The direction was given because Mayor Fulop was viewed as somebody who might be possibly endorsing Governor Christie's campaign for re-election," Wildstein testified on Monday.

In October 2012, he sent an email to Stepien: "We have a deal with FAPS. Fulop owes you big time."

"I hope it's voidable, pending what happens next year." Stepien replied, according to an email entered into evidence. Wildstein said he took that to mean whether the deal could be broken if Fulop did not endorse.

"I didn't think that Mayor Fulop would endorse Governor Christie. I didn't believe Steve Fulop, whether he was a former city councilman or the Mayor of Jersey City, was actually going to pull the trigger and sign on for an endorsement. But given the potential upside of having a major player in the state's second largest city possibly being with Gov. Christie, it was worth taking the chance."

He said he responded by saying that they had "built a few emergency exits into deal and can screw him in less than an hour."

A few weeks later, though, he said Fulop told him he was looking forward to endorsing Christie. He said he told Stepien about his meeting with the Jersey City official and the fact he was open about his intent to endorse.

"Good to hear," Stepien responded by email. "I give him less of a chance than most of our other targets. Quite the snake. We'll see. You can't say we haven't tried."

In testimony on Tuesday, Wildstein said a year later, once Fulop had decided not to endorse, the mayor had fallen out of favor.

After Fulop was sworn in as mayor in July 2013, a "mayor's day" was planned to allow him to meet personally with members of various state government agencies. Wildstein said Fulop asked that the Port Authority be represented.

The meeting never happened.

Wildstein said Kelly told him every state agency called Fulop's office individually to cancel their participation.

"She said it was to send a message to Mayor Fulop. The message was political," he testified. "The mayor hadn't endorsed Gov. Christie and he was not going to get any assistance from the state."

He said Kelly told him the governor had ordered the cancellation.

When Fulop repeatedly called Baroni's office in a follow-up, in an effort to talk to him about Port Authority issues related to Jersey City, Wildstein said Kelly told him the calls were not to be returned.

"Mayor Fulop was being frozen out. It was another form of radio silence," he said, as a consequence of his decision not to endorse Christie.

Fulop continued to try reaching Fulop, but Wildstein said he was ignored. When the messages were forwarded to Stepien, he too replied "radio silence," according to Wildstein.

"I understood there was to be no response," he testified.

And when yet another email was received from Fulop, underlying the importance of a discussion of Port Authority matters, there was no breaking of that radio silence.

"He's getting a little snippy. Good," he said Stepien ordered. "Continue to disregard."

Ted Sherman may be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com.

Posted on: 2016/9/28 17:09
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Re: Fulop Bridgegate- Testimony Countdown
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From today's JJ article:
"Mowers said he and Christie campaign staffer Pete Sheridan sat down with the Downtown councilwoman (Osbourne) in August 2013 on the recommendation of Fulop and the mayor's political advisers.

"They believed she was going to endorse Gov. Christie's re-election campaign," Mowers testified. "And they thought Mayor Fulop wanted to be helpful towards the governor's campaign, or seem helpful while also not endorsing himself."

Mowers said Tom Bertoli, a Fulop political operative, met with Christie re-election campaign manager Bill Stepien and "had been recommending people we would work with within Jersey City."




http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... i.html#incart_river_index

Posted on: 2016/9/26 19:43
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Re: Fulop Bridgegate- Testimony Countdown
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Interesting tidbit from the article posted by Kencares:

"These inspection have and will be ongoing in many areas of the city,? Fulop said in a statement. ?There is no reason why truck traffic should not be complying with all applicable laws as the safety for residents on Jersey City roads is paramount."

Anyone know of any other inspections since?

Posted on: 2016/9/26 18:24
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Re: Fulop Bridgegate- Testimony Countdown
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They're going to try to sink him for his own version of Bridgegate:

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... d_to_traffic_backups.html

Jersey politics at its finest.

Posted on: 2016/9/23 18:21
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Fulop Bridgegate- Testimony Countdown
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So my question--- What do you think is going to happen? Can we expect revelations about our current administration?

"Fulop is not charged in the case, but emails that surfaced before the trial suggest that the governor?s office tried to procure his endorsement by doing favors for a private firm he represented. Though Fulop did not endorse Christie in the end, even entertaining the offer would be a crime."

Source: http://observer.com/2016/09/murphy-ga ... as-n-j-prepares-for-2017/

Plus Witness List for Bridgegate: Muhammed Akil, John Thieroff, Tom Bertoli, Jeremy Farrael

Source: https://www.documentcloud.org/document ... dgegate-Witness-List.html
http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... nt_fulop_allies_amon.html

Posted on: 2016/9/23 18:01
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