State Governments

Inside the Port Authority, the Corrupt Powerhouse Behind Christie's Bridgegate Scandal: Jim Epstein in The Daily Beast

|

I have a new piece up at The Daily Beast. Here's the opening:

The Port Authority's George Washington Bridge |||

"I feel violated," Leon Keylin of Fort Lee, New Jersey told USA Today, describing his reaction to the dirty details behind the Bridgegate traffic jam that choked his town for four days last September. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's office has taken most of the heat for screwing citizens by playing dirty politics, but there's another party responsible that has so far evaded most of the blame. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the government agency that directly caused the gridlock, is an enormously powerful bastion of patronage that violates all commuters every day of the year.

It would be easy to discount the George Washington Bridge scandal as a case of a few bad apples abusing their power. But it's actually just one example of how an organization that was supposed to rise above politics became a tool for politicians to act out their worst impulses. The episode is an indictment of the very concept of the Port Authority—and the Progressive-Era ethos that good public policy is all about entrusting smart people to run things.

Read the whole thing.

NEXT: Sen. Mike Lee to Give Tea Party Response to State of the Union Address

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “I feel violated,” Leon Keylin told USA Today

    “Violated” is reserved for womenfolk, you pansy.
    Suck it up.

  2. “It would be easy to discount the *IRS* scandal as a case of a few bad apples abusing their power. But it’s actually just one example of how an organization that was supposed to rise above politics became a tool for politicians to act out their worst impulses.”

    Seems this comment has wider applications.

    1. anything with regard to Chris Christie has wider applications.

  3. “Extra extra, read all about it! A government somewhere plunders and misappropiates!”

    I haven’t even read about this story but I already know enough about it.

    1. I am a bit surprised that the daily beast allowed this to be printed.

  4. The one and only comment (so far) on the daily beast:

    David1225 1 hour ago

    Christie’s demise? How on Earth does this website (and its editors) permit authors to say things that destroy their credibility? Does it count on its readers not to care whether the author is jumping the gun on an issue that has yet to materialize, and may not?

  5. But, if we don’t have a government authority, how are we going to build bridges?

    /snark

  6. One day the campaign will be over. And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it. Not a private entity, but an authority, a Port Authority, even in captivity.

  7. “But, if we don’t have a government authority, how are we going to build bridges?”
    excuse

  8. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the government agency that directly caused the gridlock, is an enormously powerful bastion of patronage that violates all commuters every day of the year.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.