Chris Christie Carrying Water For Rockefeller Group During Sandy

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Hoboken Mayor Charges That Christie Administration Held Sandy Relief Hostage
Jan. 18
By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

Hoboken - Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki this morning that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable threatened to deprive Hoboken of Sandy Relief funds if she did not secure a development approval for a project favored by Governor Chris Christie.

The Rockefeller Group project hasn’t been approved and Hoboken has only gotten a small fraction of the Sandy Relief it requested. Port Authority Chairman David Samson’s law firm, Wolf and Samson, represents the Rockefeller Group.

Zimmer requested $127 million in aide for Hoboken, 80% of which was underwater after the Superstorm hit in October of 2012. The city has received $142,000 for a back up generator and $200,000 in recovery grants.

On Karnack’s show, UP with Steve Kornacki, Zimmer said she should have come forth sooner.

Continue Reading…

And...

Hoboken Mayor Charges That Christie Administration Held Sandy Relief Hostage (with VIDEO)

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and DCA Commissioner Richard Constable fingered by Zimmer

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki this morning that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable threatened to deprive Hoboken of Sandy Relief funds if she did not secure a development approval for for a project favored by Governor Chris Christie.

The Rockefeller Group project hasn’t been approved and Hoboken has only gotten a small fraction of the Sandy Relief it requested. Port Authority Chairman David Samson’s law firm, Wolf and Samson, represents the Rockefeller Group.

Zimmer requested $127 million in aide for Hoboken, 80% of which was underwater after the Superstorm hit in October of 2012. The city has received $142,000 for a back up generator and $200,000 in recovery grants.

On Karnack’s show, UP with Steve Kornacki, Zimmer said she should have come forth sooner.

The governor’s office has denied the claims. Spokesperson Michael Drewniak issued the following statement to MSNBC:

“Mayor Zimmer has been effusive in her public praise of the Governor’s Office and the assistance we’ve provided in terms of economic development and Sandy aid,” Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak wrote in a statement. “What or who is driving her only now to say such outlandishly false things is anyone’s guess.”

A Hudson County Jury apparently did not believe Zimmer’s testimony last month when they awarded Hoboken’s former public safety director $440,000 in a discrimination suit . The jury held the City, not Zimmer, accountable for the discrimination.

Zimmer showed Korancki documents and her diaries to back up the explosive claims she made this morning. She said she would be willing to testify under oath.

Roger Casement's picture
Roger Casement
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Comments

When you talk about a REPUBLICAN candidate all you are doing is aiding the election of Clinton and misdirecting the discussion from PROGRESSIVE topics. I dont understand why any Progressive would spend 5 seconds on Christie. This story really has exposed organizations like MSNBC among others as well a individual media types who call themsleves "PROGRESSIVE" for what they are which is there being part of the corporate Dem machine.

TimS's picture
TimS
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote TimS:

When you talk about a REPUBLICAN candidate all you are doing is aiding the election of Clinton and misdirecting the discussion from PROGRESSIVE topics. I dont understand why any Progressive would spend 5 seconds on Christie. This story really has exposed organizations like MSNBC among others as well a individual media types who call themsleves "PROGRESSIVE" for what they are which is there being part of the corporate Dem machine.

Translation: you're a republican, and you don't want me to be so mean to republicans when they screw up.

:))

Roger Casement's picture
Roger Casement
Joined:
Nov. 22, 2011 11:07 am
Hoboken development at center of latest Christie allegations was rejected by city
Stephen Stirling
on January 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM, updated January 18, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer (right) speaks to acrowd during a rally held in support of gay marriage in New Jersey, held in Hoboken in 2011.

The multimillion-dollar redevelopment project at the center of the latest allegations against the Christie administration is amorphous and shrouded with uncertainty.

It consists of a portion of 19 blocks in the industrial north end of Hoboken, an area of run down former factories and empty lots – some of the last remaining underdeveloped space in what is known as the Mile Square City.

These properties, which thousands drive by each week without batting an eye, are now the focus of the latest in string of accusations of political retribution made against the Christie administration.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer told MSNBC host Steve Kornacki early today that she was pressured by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable and former DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa to support plans being pitched by the Rockefeller Group to redevelop a large swath of the area.

When she declined to do so, Zimmer said, the administration withheld crucial Hurricane Sandy recovery funding from the city, which was devastated by the storm.

The Rockefeller Group began acquiring properties in the area several years ago, with an eye toward creating a sprawling commercial development complete with a 40-story office tower, according to those familiar with the company’s working concept.

Wasserman-Schultz speaks about allegations Christie administration withheld Sandy funds for Hoboken Star-Ledger political reporter Sal Rizzo talks one-on-one with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the democratic national committee chair, in Orlando, Florida about allegations the Christie administration withheld Sandy relief funds for Hoboken unless mayor Dawn Zimmer supported a development project.

Video by Mike Roy/The Star-Ledger

In 2010, 11 months after Zimmer took office, the Rockefeller Group said it was working closely with her and the city to make its vision a reality. At the time, Zimmer denied the city was negotiating with the Rockefeller Group because she was awaiting completion of a study to examine redeveloping the north end of the city, which included the properties owned by Rockefeller.

The study, commissioned by the Hoboken Planning Board which Zimmer controls, concluded that only three of the 19 blocks considered for rezoning should be developed — at least some which were owned by the Rockefeller Group.

After the study was released, the Rockefeller Group began demolishing buildings on the property. However, last April, the planning board decided to reject the study.

The study was funded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The law firm of David Samson, chairman of the Port Authority, represented the Rockefeller Group.

While this process was unfolding, the Christie administration was doling out Sandy recovery money. Zimmer had requested $100 million for her city but said she only received $342,000. The state disputes her figures.

In the interview yesterday, Zimmer alleged Guadagno and Constable said the city would begin receiving money in exchange for her support of the Rockefeller project.

The Christie administration has denied the accusations, with spokesman Michael Drewniak calling Zimmer’s statements "outlandish." Department of Community Affairs spokeswoman Lisa Ryan called the allegations "categorically false."

From the NY Daily News:

(NY DAILY NEWS) Rockefeller Group stalled in Hoboken, denies knowledge of arm-twisting Mayor Zimmer

The Manhattan-based business wanted to develop a 40-story office tower and other commercial properties at the northern end of Hoboken, N.J. When its plans stalled, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says she was twice approached by top-level Christie administration figures — an allegation the real estate company says it knows nothing about.
Comments (4)
By Larry Mcshane / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, January 19, 2014, 2:55 AM

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Jeff Bachner for New York Daily News

Part of the Rockefeller Group property at the corner of 16th St. and Park Ave. in Hoboken, N.J. The Manhattan-based real estate firm owned about three blocks of a 19-block parcel, and hit some bumps in its redevelopment plan.

The section of Hoboken targeted for development by the politically-connected Rockefeller Group is a bit off the beaten path.

And it’s hardly a typical location for the global real estate corporation, which launched in 1928 with construction of the Art Deco landmark Rockefeller Center.

RELATED: HOBOKEN RESIDENTS SOUND OFF ON CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION

The group has developed properties in Shanghai, Florida, California and other prime locations from coast to coast. By 2006, the company was working on 26 projects worth more than $2 billion in eight states.

But the Manhattan-based business couldn’t get any traction with its plan to develop a 40-story office tower and other commercial properties at the northern end of Hoboken.
The Rockefeller Group’s most obvious tie to Gov. Christie’s administration was its law firm, Wolff & Samson, which is home to partner David Samson, who was appointed chairman of the Port Authority by his friend Christie — and whose name has surfaced in the Bridgegate scandal.
Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger
The Rockefeller Group’s most obvious tie to Gov. Christie’s administration was its law firm, Wolff & Samson, which is home to partner David Samson, who was appointed chairman of the Port Authority by his friend Christie — and whose name has surfaced in the Bridgegate scandal.

RELATED: GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE A LIFELINE FOR ORGAN TRANSPLANTS

The Rockefeller Group owned about three blocks of a 19-block parcel, and hoped to launch its development independent of other local owners.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer first advised the company to slow down in 2010, when she refuted a company statement that they were negotiating with the city.

RELATED: HOBOKEN MAYOR DAWN ZIMMER: CHRISTIE LIEUTENANTS CONNECTED SANDY MONEY TO REDEVELOPMENT

According to Zimmer, she was then twice approached by top-level Christie administration figures after the Hoboken Planning Board voted against the Rockefeller Group development last May 8.
An aerial view of Rockefeller Group's Hoboken, N.J., property. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says she was twice approached by top-level Christie administration figures after the after the Hoboken Planning Board voted against the firm's development last May 8.
An aerial view of Rockefeller Group's Hoboken, N.J., property. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says she was twice approached by top-level Christie administration figures after the after the Hoboken Planning Board voted against the firm's development last May 8.

The board, in its decision, decided the entire area was “in need of rehabilitation.”

RELATED: GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE'S OFFICE SERVED WITH SUBPOENA IN BRIDGEGATE PROBE

Company officials released a Saturday statement denying any knowledge of the arm-twisting alleged by Zimmer.

“We have no knowledge of any information pertaining to this allegation,” the statement said. “If it turns out to be true it would be deplorable.”

RELATED: DEMOCRATS GEAR UP FOR CHRISTIE'S FLORIDA FUNDRAISING VISIT
Another tie to the New Jersey governor was Rockefeller lobbyist Lori Grifa, a former Christie aide who is now in the private sector.
Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger
Another tie to the New Jersey governor was Rockefeller lobbyist Lori Grifa, a former Christie aide who is now in the private sector.

The Rockefeller Group’s most obvious tie to Gov. Christie’s administration was its law firm, Wolff & Samson.

The powerhouse New Jersey firm is home to partner David Samson, a former state attorney general who was appointed chairman of the Port Authority by his friend Christie.

RELATED: 20 SUBPOENAS ISSUED IN RESPONSE TO 'BRIDGEGATE'

Samson’s name has also surfaced in the “Bridgegate” scandal, with emails suggesting he was aware of the decision to shut down lanes at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J.

The other tie was Rockefeller lobbyist Lori Grifa, a former Christie aide now in the private sector.

lmcshane@nydailynews.com
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Roger Casement's picture
Roger Casement
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Nov. 22, 2011 11:07 am

The Rockefeller Group's Acting President and Chief Executive Officer is a lifelong finance and corporate planning guy from Mitsubishi Corporation. Part of the 'tri-lateral' relationship? I guess it is, because according to Wikipedia, the Rockefeller Group is a wholly owned subsidiary Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd.

Atsushi Nakajima
Acting President and Chief Executive Officer
Rockefeller Group International, Inc. and
Rockefeller Group Development Corporation

nakajima_130wAtsushi Nakajima is Acting President and Chief Executive Officer, Rockefeller Group International, Inc. (RGI) a corporation with interests in real estate ownership, investment management and development, collectively operating as The Rockefeller Group.

In this capacity Mr. Nakajima oversees the activities of the company’s subsidiaries, which include Rockefeller Group Development Corporation, Rockefeller Group Investment Management Corporation, Rockefeller Group Technology Solutions Inc., and Rockefeller Group Business Centers. He is also President and Chief Executive Officer of Rockefeller Group Development Corporation.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Nakajima served as The Rockefeller Group’s Vice President, Chief Investment Officer with responsibility for the Treasury, Internal Audit, Business Planning, and Business Analysis departments.

Before joining The Rockefeller Group he served as the Deputy General Manager of the Corporate Planning Department for Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. (MEC), the parent company of The Rockefeller Group. His career with MEC began in 1986 in the Corporate Planning Department and in the years following he served in the Finance and Accounting Department and the Urban Development and Investment Management Department before returning to Corporate Planning in 2004.

Mr. Nakajima holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley as well as a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Tokyo. He holds a license of real estate brokerage in Japan and is a charter member of the Security Analyst Association of Japan.

For some context, the key link between the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission on the one hand, and ExxonMobil, Chevron, and JPMorgan Chase on the other hand, is David Rockefeller.

David Rockefeller is the grandson of the founder of monopolist Standard Oil Trust, which was broken up in 1911 by Theodore Roosevelt, which today is ExxonMobil (Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of New York), Chevron (Standard Oil of California) and probably Philips 66. David Rockefeller's father founded Chase National Bank, where David Rockefeller was CEO AND Chairman of the board of directors during the 1960s and 1970s. Chase National Bank, after taking over Aaron Burr's Manhattan Bank became Chase Manhattan Bank, and after taking over JP Morgan & Company became JPMorgan Chase, America's largest bank.

David Rockefeller bio
http://www.trilateral.org/go.cfm?do=Page.View&pid=21
Trilateral Commission Leadership
http://www.trilateral.org/go.cfm?do=Page.View&pid=32

As a specialist in setting up networks (something he started during his service in Military Intelligence during WWII, see his biography Memoirs), he founded the Bilderberg Group in 1954, and the Trilateral Commission in 1973.

He is also the Honorary Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations.
http://www.cfr.org/experts/world/david-rockefeller/b987

Roger Casement's picture
Roger Casement
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Nov. 22, 2011 11:07 am

I dont care about Christie or any Republican. A big fat ass of either party was never going to win anyway. I also dont think Air Force One will not get renamed Pantsuit One. All you seem to care about is the horse race which is what the media sucks you into caring about. The media does not care what a president does when they get elected. They just care about who is elected. It is just another reality TV show that you are buying. If you are a Dem, and you are as confused and misled as the rest of the flock has been by Obama, then why would you care about a candidate you I assume are not going to vote for? Lets assume for a second that I am a Republican. If I was out trying to resurrect the reputation of Christie so as to get him supporters why would I come to a Progressive website to look for potential Christie voters? It would be like going to a gay bar if I was looking for a woman to merry. This would be the last place I would go for potential Christie supporters. Look at my other posts and tell me a Republican would make those posts. A Republican would criticize Obama for not pursuing the public option or use DoD budget as an offset for unemployment benefits? A republican would call Clinton and Obama corporate Dems?

TimS's picture
TimS
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think in the networking overlap, Blackstone Group is also a player. GHW Bush was on the board of it after '92.

Rockefeller group is having more vacancies than tenants in one of it's 6th avenue properties.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer's letter to Governor Christie.

(SALON) Another Chris Christie outrage: Data shows stark racial gap in Sandy aid distribution
Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 1:30 PM UTC
by Josh Eidelson

"Neglect and callous indifference" for black and Latino Sandy victims, group charges

Amid growing questions about lane closures on the George Washington Bridge and Sandy aid to Hoboken, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is facing an additional charge about his administration’s disbursement of relief aid. State data, obtained from the Christie administration through a lawsuit by the Fair Share Housing Center, reveal a dramatic racial gap in who received preliminary approval for funds from Sandy relief programs.

According to the data, decried by groups including the New Jersey NAACP, the Latino Action Network and the New York Times editorial board, the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation Program rejected 35.1 percent of African-American applicants, 18.1 percent of Latino applicants, and only 13.6 percent of Caucasian applicants. The Resettlement Program rejected 38.1 percent of African-Americans, 20.4 percent of Latinos and 13.6 percent of Caucasians.

Speaking to Salon late last week, FSHC staff attorney Adam Gordon urged the federal government to expand its investigation to include the racially disparate aid distribution, accused the Christie administration of trying to change the topic by attacking his organization, and charged “neglect and callous indifference in the needs of Latino and African-American communities impacted by Sandy.” A condensed version of our conversation follows.

Your assessment of this data shows that African-Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to get rejected by the RREM program and by the Resettlement program. What explains that disparity?

We’re still trying to figure that out. And really, we’re talking to a lot of people who have been in that situation who are African-American and Latino and, you know, a lot of people feel like they’ve been rejected for no reason. You know, we’ve talked to people who live in mold-infested houses [with] serious damage, and got a rejection letter — and they can’t figure it out. So we’re still trying to figure it out.

But so far there’s really no explanation that we’ve been able to find that justifies it. And when we’ve talked to the actual people who are impacted, they seem like exactly the group of people who, based on the damage to their house, should qualify, and whom these funds are really meant for.

So, is racism in play here?

I think that we’re still trying to figure that out … There is more outreach and more help being given to people that are applying for these programs who are in predominately white areas. I mean, one of the big things in terms of the Latino community that we saw was that the website in Spanish for these programs had incorrect deadlines, incorrect information about how to get help — and also didn’t mention that, if you’re denied, you have the right to appeal. Which could be important if more Latinos are getting denied for these programs. And you would hope that the Spanish language version of this website would include information that you could appeal the denial. But only the English language version did …

I don’t know that we have evidence of intentional racism here, but I think that a neglect and callous indifference in the needs of Latino and African-American communities impacted by Sandy is certainly something that we’ve seen.

How much personal responsibility would you assign to Gov. Chris Christie for that?

Well, this is what Chris Christie has made the centerpiece of his term as governor … And I think that when you make things the priority of your administration, and more importantly, when you use that to build your national image … I do think the buck stops there. And I just think that there’s a lot of things that have been really problematic about this recovery, and if Gov. Christie has said that this is his top priority, I think we need to hold him accountable for this stuff.

Among the responses to your research, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Affairs put out a statement saying that your group made “an outrageously false implication that exposes a complete lack of credibility and integrity by Fair Share Housing Center.” She also –

I mean, look, these are their numbers. Which, by the way, we had to sue to get, because they didn’t want to give them to us … They are the numbers that we got through Freedom of Information requests, that we had to litigate for four months to get.

I mean, they’ve never denied that African-Americans are being rejected at two-and-a-half times the rate of whites. I think that an appropriate response to that is “let’s figure out what’s going wrong.” They’ve never said that …

They’ve tried to shift the attention away. If they were genuinely interested in trying to help these communities, they would say, “let’s get to the bottom of this.” That’s all we’re asking.

The same spokesperson said that there are “objective criteria being used that doesn’t take race into consideration whatsoever”…

There was a really good story last week in the Wall Street Journal about how, essentially, New Jersey has made up these sort of additional criteria — that neither New York City nor New York state thinks are important — that ends up having an impact on largely African-American and Latino communities. So, you know, these are criteria that they devised. They are not criteria that are required by any federal law, and they don’t even, necessarily, reflect … the amount of actual damage or needs …

There is a requirement that is a higher hurdle in African-American and Latino communities. So, essentially, they’re saying it’s all according to the criteria. But they made up the criteria. They’re doing it in different ways from other places that are getting federal money, and they are doing it in a way that injects other things in the process besides just who has the most damage.

Gov. Christie called you “a hack group that I’m just not going to waste my breath on.” Does that surprise you?

I mean, I think it’s an attempt to change the focus from responding to the problems. We could care less what the governor calls us [if] he actually gets the rebuilding right, and I think that that’s an attempt to change the conversation from whether people are actually getting the help they need, to name calling. And we prefer they focus on whether people are actually getting the help they need to get back in their homes.

Beyond Gov. Christie and New Jersey is there a larger lesson here about how disaster relief takes place?

Yeah … Sen. Menendez, who was a leader in getting this money … recently said that he thinks an important lesson is that there needs to be more oversight from the federal government of these funds. And I think that’s right.

And I think that we’re seeing the same thing — in fact, even some of the same contractors that were hired in Katrina are making the same mistakes that were made in Katrina. I think that at this point, we have enough — between Katrina and Hurricane Sandy — to show really that the idea of just giving this money over with little oversight has real risks in it. And it often does not actually result in the people who’ve been impacted the most getting the money …

Another $1.4 billion in money is coming to New Jersey in the next couple of months, and we think it’s time that HUD, which is the agency that is overseeing it, take the approach of making sure the money is distributed fairly.

What is the risk?

I think there’s real risks in just, you know, turning this money over — billions of dollars — without having clear oversight and ways to make sure that this money is going to the people who are most impacted. We’re seeing some signs from HUD that they’re looking — because there have been more calls for oversight — at that in the most recent rules that they are coming up with. I think there just needs to be some basic performance standards to make sure that this money is being distributed in a fair way.

Because this is the money that of course Gov. Christie went to Congress, and trashed his own party, to his credit, to get, and that was needed. But I think that there was an inherent compact that most people thought was there: that if that money was approved, it would be distributed in an objective, apolitical way, based on need. That everybody, of every background, of every racial and ethnic group, of every community would have a fair shot at it. And I think the federal government needs to make sure that’s happened. Because these are federal resources.

Do you see a relationship between this package and the advertisements Christie went with?

Some of the editorial boards of New Jersey in the last few days have called for that investigation to not just look at the advertisements, but also more general ways to look at the distribution of aid, and we would agree with that. I think that there may very well be issues with the advertisements, but that’s $25 million out of $1.8 billion [in aid] … And so we agree with those editorials and other people calling for the federal [investigation] looking at this money to go beyond just the “Stronger Than the Strom” ads, to how the rest of the aid had been distributed.

Josh Eidelson

More Josh Eidelson.

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Roger Casement
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