Monday, Dec 22, 2014
Editorials

Political retribution shows all the wrong traits of leaders

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The controversy brewing in New Jersey involving Gov. Chris Christie and members of his administration are hundreds of miles away from us, but the idea of political retribution is alive and well throughout our country. It's sickening when it happens and we hope this situation serves to put anyone in a position of power on notice - government or private enterprise - that professionals should never do such a thing.

Last September, lane closings on the George Washington Bridge caused painful traffic snarls, with motorists stuck for hours trying to get to work, school and home. Documents show that the supposed traffic study was done - at least in part - to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for governor when he last ran.

So far no documents confirm Christie knew anything about it, but it's obvious that some of his highest-level people knew exactly what was going on and supported it. He's fired a couple of them and apologized for the actions of his administration.

It's fair to ask how the governor knew nothing about something this big. It caused a huge stir at the time and it would seem like he would have asked someone about what was going on. Perhaps more information will surface regarding this.

What this shows, though, is that political retribution is alive and well. It could be said that such shenanigans have been around forever, but we would hope that the people we elect to higher office and their chosen assistants would be professional and restrain themselves from such petty actions.

In Christie's case, he was cruising to a landslide victory in his race to be governor anyway, so it's surprising anyone would care what the mayor of a nearby city, a member of the opposing party, thinks.

Anyone - public or private - in a position of power should never abuse those powers. It shows pettiness, meanness and several other traits we don't want in our leaders.

Christie may run for president in the next election, and he's a great candidate, but being tarnished with these allegations won't help him. We hope he knew nothing about this fiasco, but even if he didn't, he should have a better handle on the people he hires to operate his government. Clearly they failed him, and the public.

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