If nothing else, the election of Chris Christie as governor would be a boon to public safety. He would be assigned a driver, keeping him away from behind the wheel of a car.
Christie, it was confirmed this week, has been involved in six automobile accidents, stretching back to 1985 and including one in July 2002 in which he turned the wrong way on a one-way street and struck a motorcyclist, sending him to the hospital.
Christie was never issued a traffic ticket, mentioning to the police on the scene that he was the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. He has received tickets on several other occasions, however. Since 1985, he has had 13 moving violations, including at least five for speeding, good for 25 points.
However, in the eyes of the Motor Vehicle Commission he remains a “driver in good standing.”
That’s debatable. What isn’t is that all of these blemishes give the public a growing sense that, while not exactly using his position as U.S. Attorney to gain special favor, he seems to fully understand that rank has its privileges and has no qualms about using it.
Christie has exhibited signs of sloppy and careless behavior not only on the highways but in his finances. He “forgot” to tell the IRS about his loan to a subordinate, Michele Brown, which ultimately led to her resigning from her job to keep the issue from damaging his election chances.
It’s also galling that the Christie campaign doesn’t take any of this seriously, tossing off each new revelation as if it existed in a vacuum, rather than continuing an increasingly worrisome pattern.
Christie campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella called the 2002 accident unfortunate and said the candidate “knows he can always be a better driver.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he’s learned any lessons. Not after the 1989 accident in Cranford, or the 1993 and 1996 accidents in Bloomfield, or the 2002 accident in Elizabeth or the 2007 accident in Netcong. Or after the fifth speeding ticket.
Asked by the Press to provide more details about the accidents, the Christie campaign said it did not plan to do so since all the information is “out there.” No it isn’t. Details have been provided only about the 2002 accident. And they were first reported by a newspaper.
We can only hope that if Christie becomes governor, this isn’t the kind of openness and transparency we can expect from his administration.