|This New York Post photo shows Bridgegate trial defendant Bridget Anne Kelly, right, and Governor Christie on Sept. 12, 2013, touring a fire scene in Seaside Heights.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
This email from Bridgegate defendant Bridget Anne Kelly, then Governor Christie's deputy chief of staff in Trenton, has long been considered the smoking gun in the September 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee.
Not so fast, says Columnist Mike Kelly, who devotes his entire column on Page 1 of The Record today to "the other side of the story," based on Bridget Anne Kelly's testimony in her own defense on Friday.
The day before her testimony, the veteran reporter's glowing profile of the defendant also appeared on A-1, declaring:
"[Bridget] Kelly's expected testimony could be one of the most pivotal moments in the bizarre case ...."
Well, I'm glad Mike Kelly isn't on the federal jury or he'd certainly vote for her acquittal.
Bridget Kelly's testimony didn't change the narrative, as the column reports; she is the fourth or fifth witness who said Christie knew about the lane closures as they were happening, despite his denials.
But both Bridget Kelly and the second defendant, former Port Authority Executive Director Bill Baroni, said they were duped by Christie crony David Wildstein at the Port Authority about the reasons for the lane closures.
Wildstein pleaded guilty and testified that about a month after he received Bridget Kelly's email, he put the plot in motion to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor for not endorsing the governor's reelection.
She claimed before the jury the email wasn't an "order."
Rest of paper
There isn't much of interest in the rest of the paper, including the silly Page 1 feature comparing the sleepy Dingman's Ferry Bridge over the Delaware River to the GWB (A-1).
On the Local front, Road Warrior John Cichowski's "Black Hole" column on Silk City's pockmarked West Railway Avenue is just more of the irrelevant Paterson news the editors are shoving down Bergen readers' throats to save money on newsprint (L-1).
Kelly, the columnist not the defendant, wrote another boring column for today's Opinion front (O-1).
Today's editorial on why The Record endorses candidates begins: "This has been a long election cycle" (O-2).
But Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin doesn't acknowledge the news media starts covering state and national contests years before Election Day, and are principally responsible for voter apathy.
As in the Nov. 8 presidential election, the vast majority of coverage is devoted to politics, not issues.
On O-3 today, Entertainment Editor Christina Joseph calls GOP nominee Donald J. Trump's "sweeping generalities about the black community ... an affront to all that my family and others like them embody."
Her column may be the first by a black staffer since The Record showed the door many years ago to the paper's only Hispanic and African-American columnists.
Also on O-3, a letter to the editor from Johnnie Najarian of River Edge says, "Television has given him [Trump] more than $3 billion worth of free advertising by broadcasting his rallies and his right-wing conspiracies."
Check out the shameless promotion of Lolli and Pops, a candy purveyor at Garden State Plaza in Paramus (Better Living front).
Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung reports the store excited her "voracious sweet tooth," sending thousands of diabetics who read the paper searching for their insulin.