You're missing the entire point.
Why is the Governor's Chief of Staff telling someone at Port Authority it's time for traffic problems?
Dunno. Do we have the full context of the string of emails, or just selected tidbits that look bad? For all I know they had a whole conversation where he told her what the plan was for the lane closures, both of them knew it would result in traffic jams, and when she heard that the study was green-lit, she said "time for some traffic problems in Port Lee", cause that was what was going to happen. Doesn't mean that she ordered it or anything.
Shouldn't that be the other way around?
Again. Is she telling him to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee, or responding to previous conversations about the upcoming traffic study? We all know how easy it is to misconstrue email, doubly so when we're only reading selected parts of the conversation.
What the frig does the Governor of NJ's administration have to do with telling someone at an ostensibly independent department that that person, or department, is going to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee in approximately one week?
Um... Because according to some of the other documents I've been looking at, a town called Springfield requested the study, and the $60k cost was being paid for or approved by the Governor's office. So presumably, that's how some of the governor's staff would have been aware of it.
Why is the person at the Authority acknowledging it, instead of saying "I was afraid of that" or "What are you talking about?" or "Too bad"? Why did they use their unofficial Gmail accounts instead of their official State of NJ accounts if this was a routine thing everyone already knew about?
Cause they were having a conversation about something that was coming up? Who cares? Find me the email where they say "Let's create a traffic jam to punish the people of Port Lee", and you've got something. All I've seen is a lot of stuff that could be interpreted to imply some kind of deliberate punitive action, but could also just be casual conversation being misconstrued.
Why aren't we looking at the folks who actually did the shutdown? Or their bosses?
David Wildstein, the "Got it" guy, is their boss
, and apparently also told the road crew who set it up to blame the mayor of Hoboken.
No one else in any meeting over the months of planning and prep for this had any knowledge about traffic flow and effects of lane closures? He greenlit the thing, but let's go out on a limb and assume he's not actually a traffic flow expert. Let's also assume that someone requested the study (cause they did), and that they had some reason for doing so. Let's also assume that a whole set of people involved in the lane closures presumably had a much better understanding of traffic flow and handling then the "got it" guy.
He's a political guy. Not a traffic guy. Presumably someone (multiple someones) who actually are traffic guys were involved in this, and signed off on it, actually choose which lanes to shut down, etc.
Again, the political folks were not wearing orange vests and placing cones on the road. There's a ridiculous number of layers between them and those people. If you think that someone at his level could just say "hey. You guys with orange vests on. Go shut down this list of lanes tomorrow", you're incredibly naive. I'm not automatically discounting the possibility that a whole set of guys were involved in this, but my point is that if even a fraction of what's being tossed around as the assumed motivations and actions were true, you'd have hundreds of people "in on it". And not just political folks. You'd have to have the direct agreement of a bunch of hard hat guys working in/with whatever the freeway management agency is in NJ.
It's far far more likely that there was an actual legitimate traffic study that was proposed and approved, and the political folks (and presumably a whole bunch of other people) knew that it would cause traffic problems and they foolishly made jokes about it because the town that would be most impacted by said traffic problem happened to be run by a mayor of the other political party. Bad taste, sure. Conspiracy to cause a traffic jam? I just don't see it. If for no other reason than it seems like a particularly ineffective way of hurting someone else politically. No one's going to blame the mayor of Fort Lee for the traffic jams, right? So how exactly does this end out being political payback?
The biggest victims of this from a political perspective has been the governor's staff, right? So if we're going to create some kind of theory about political payback, isn't it more likely that someone took advantage of a traffic study that caused a big traffic jam to float the scandalous theory that it was done deliberately by the governor's office? Look hard enough at the emails of those involved and you can pretty much always find some statements that can be made to look "bad". And again, if you don't start with the assumption that this was done maliciously, there's nothing to indicate that. The cart is leading the horse here IMO.
Reminds me a lot of the whole Plame scandal, where it ultimately ended out to be complete BS, but if you raise a big enough stink and threaten people with the fear of "being involved", and investigate enough, you'll find someone who'll lie, not because he did anything wrong, but because he's afraid of the investigation. So far Bridget Kelly looks to be a lot like poor Scooter Libby. Let's not forget that she wasn't fired because she plotted to close the freeway to punish the people of Fort Lee, but because when the theories started floating around that this might have been political payback, she told the governor that she didn't know anything about it. She lied about knowing about the lane closures. Which is "bad", but still doesn't mean that the lane closures were anything other than a legitimate (if poorly executed) traffic study.