Chris Christie’s Aide Joked About Giving a Local Rabbi ‘Traffic Problems’

So say newly released messages around the George Washington Bridge scandal.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget address for fiscal year 2015 to the Legislature, February 25, 2014 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey.
National Journal
Matt Berman
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Matt Berman
Feb. 27, 2014, 6:41 a.m.

You’d think things couldn’t get much worse for Brid­get Anne Kelly, Chris Christie’s former deputy chief of staff. Kelly was the staffer who emailed former Port Au­thor­ity of­fi­cial Dav­id Wild­stein “Time for some traffic prob­lems in Fort Lee,” the em­blem­at­ic words of Gov. Christie’s Bridgeg­ate scan­dal.

But it ac­tu­ally gets worse.

In newly re­leased mes­sages, Kelly jokes to Wild­stein about giv­ing a loc­al rabbi traffic prob­lems of his own. The Aug. 19 con­ver­sa­tion began when Wild­stein sent Kelly a pic­ture of a Middle­sex County rabbi, Mendy Car­le­bach, with House Speak­er John Boehner.

Here’s how it went from there:

Kelly: I think this qual­i­fies as some sort of stalk­ing.

Kelly: You are too much.

Wild­stein: He is Jew­ish Cid Wilson [a loc­al Demo­crat­ic act­iv­ist and former polit­ic­al can­did­ate].

Kelly: You are really so funny.

Kelly: He is. No doubt.

Wild­stein: And he has of­fi­cially pissed me off.

Kelly: Clearly.

Kelly: We can­not cause traffic prob­lems in front of his house, can we?

Wild­stein: Flights to Tel Aviv all mys­ter­i­ously delayed.

Kelly: Per­fect.

No one’s really sure what the rabbi did to peeve Kelly and Wild­stein, least of all the rabbi him­self. “I don’t un­der­stand it…. None of it makes any sense,” Car­le­bach told The Re­cord of Ber­gen County. Car­le­bach says that he knew Kelly from the state House, but that they nev­er really had any kind of re­la­tion­ship. He also said he “nev­er en­gaged” with Wild­stein.

Wilson told The Re­cord that he has no idea what’s go­ing on here, say­ing that the ref­er­ence to him “seemed odd” and that he is “deeply ap­palled and of­fen­ded” by the re­marks.

Rabbi Car­le­bach ac­tu­ally does have at least some re­la­tion­ship with Christie. In April 2012, the rabbi ac­com­pan­ied him on a trip to Is­rael. “I feel that the trip was a ma­jor suc­cess for the gov­ernor and the del­eg­a­tion,” Car­le­bach said at the time. “All in all, as a rabbi and a lifelong res­id­ent of the state of New Jer­sey, I felt proud to be along­side our gov­ernor on his first for­eign trip, par­tic­u­larly when he vis­ited holy sites in Is­rael.”

The mes­sages don’t par­tic­u­larly worsen the scan­dal for the gov­ernor, but they serve as a re­mind­er that Bridgeg­ate isn’t just go­ing to go away.

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