Letter to the Editor

Critical mistakes in political malfeasance

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s news conference in Trenton. (REUTERS)

Regarding the Jan. 10 front-page article “Christie ousts two top advisers in scandal over lane closures”:

Even assuming that he had no knowledge of his staff’s actions, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) looks bad. The George Washington Bridge lane closures are old news. In September, as soon as the rumors surfaced about political retribution, Mr. Christie should have demanded that those involved own up, and he then should have fired them. That he waited until there was public evidence of wrongdoing to fire aide Bridget Anne Kelly proves, at a minimum, that he is reluctant to enforce the highest standards of ethical behavior among those who work for him.

If I were the governor, I would have locked the co-conspirators at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in a room and sweated the truth out of them, then taken that to the errant underlings and fired them on the spot. Instead, he believed his staff and delayed facing the music, probably hoping it would all blow over. That was his critical mistake.

Paul J. Deceglie, Fairfax

Okay, fine. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accepts responsibility for the bridge mess, but what does responsibility amount to if he does not resign? Nothing. When will U.S. politicians acknowledge that responsibility entails willingness to accept personal consequences? Even if Mr. Christie didn’t personally direct the retaliatory action, this episode speaks volumes about what sort of manager and leader he is. Would we want someone in the White House who has such a bad record of selecting and managing powerful subordinates?

James D. Fitzwilliam, Vienna

In case anyone needs reminding, many of us come from countries where it would be pure bliss to have political malfeasance on the level of creating traffic jams deemed newsworthy. Just think of the payback one nephew recently provided his uncle.

Per Kurowski, Rockville

 
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