Chris Christie’s Bridge
to Redemption fol-
lows the New Jersey
from his early days
as a federal prosecu-
tor to his pursuit of the presidency.
In this excerpt, author Matt Katz
takes us back to the day the public
learned that the governor’s closest
advisors allegedly masterminded
the George Washington Bridge
lane closures of September 2013
as political retribution against Fort
Lee mayor Mark Sokolich. Through
his own reporting and court documents, Katz reveals the shock waves
that rippled through Christie’s inner
circle as the news spread.
How the Christie Machine Came Undone
—Adapted from the new book, American Governor, by Matt Katz
At 8 AM on January 8, 2014, I went
to a coffee shop in Philadelphia.
I was working on an NPR story
about an escalating traffic-jam scandal
that I was scheduled to record in a
couple of hours at the nearby studios
for WHYY public radio. I ordered hot
coffee and shakshuka—poached eggs,
tomato sauce, chili peppers, and onions
all mushed around into deliciousness.
I still think about that meal. Because
I never ate a bite.
As I sat down in front of my laptop
a story flashed across my screen.
Shawn Boburg of the Record in Bergen
County had just dropped the scoop of
Governor Christie’s deputy chief of
staff told one of his top Port Authority
executives that it was “time for some
traffic problems in Fort Lee” several
weeks before controversial lane clo-
sures took place at the George Wash-
ington Bridge, according to sources.
About a week before, Boburg was
tipped off to the existence of an e-mail
reading “time for some traffic problems
in Fort Lee.” Boburg knew that it was
written by a woman from the governor’s office, but he didn’t know her
name. Was it Lieutenant Governor Kim
Guadagno? Was it communications
chief Maria Comella?
Then he asked his source: “Wouldn’t
it be weird if it was a person who had
the word ‘bridge’ in her name?”
The source laughed. Bingo. It was
Bridget Anne Kelly.