By VICTOR E. SASSON
Two weeks of testimony in the Bridgegate trial have explored Governor Christie's feared Intergovernmental Affairs Unit.
Employees of the unit, known as IGA, "courted Democratic mayors and [other] officials for endorsements of Christie's reelection."
They also "kept detailed spreadsheets of what gifts officials received and what their likelihood was of backing" the GOP bully, The Record reports today (A-3).
For example, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was given two tours of the World Trade Center, but the Democrat was ranked as a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10.
"Sokolich never endorsed Christie ... and paid for it" with five mornings of gridlock at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013, Staff Writer Dustin Racioppi says.
But in the years since the lane closures, no one appears to have explained why Christie was so afraid of defeat at the polls in November 2013 that he endorsed creation of the dirty tricks unit in the governor's office.
Christie was facing Barbara Buono, then a Democratic state senator from Middlesex County.
Powerful Democratic leaders put her up as a sacrificial lamb, fearing a loss to the governor would put an end to their own political careers.
Voter apathy was so strong the governor won the election despite the lowest voter turnout ever in a New Jersey gubernatorial election.
In her concession speech on Nov. 5, 2013, Buono said New Jersey represented "one of the last vestiges of old boy machine politics."
"The Democratic political bosses" made a deal with Christie -- "despite him representing almost everything they're against ... to help themselves politically and financially."
Buono did not name the bosses, but she had been critical of South Jersey power broker George Norcross and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, who publicly backed Christie.