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Scandals and Investigations Overshadow Christie Inaugural

“Just as shore towns are not being asked for development in exchange for protecting them from future storms, the solution to Hoboken’s flooding challenges cannot be dependent on future development,” Zimmer said in the letter, which was written 15 days before the Hoboken Planning Board rejected the Rockefeller Group project and 20 days before she says Guadagno threatened to withhold Sandy aid.

Guadagno read a statement to the press in Union Beach Monday in which she denied the threat, and said Zimmer had “mischaracterized” their discussion about Hoboken development issues that day.

A spokesperson for Christie yesterday dismissed the importance of Zimmer's April 23 letter, saying, “With the latest shift in her ever-changing story, Mayor Zimmer continues to undermine her credibility, adding evolving and unsubstantiated claims with each media interview.”

Zimmer first made her allegations last Friday, the same day that the Wisniewski committee subpoenas began flooding into the governor’s office. The two events came on the eve of Christie’s two-day fundraising trip to Florida as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a trip that was limited to private fundraisers after Gov. Rick Scott decided to cancel a planned public event where Christie would have been besieged by the national press corps.

Ken Cuccinelli, the losing GOP candidate for governor in Virginia last year, said on CNN’s “Crossfire” yesterday that Christie should step down as RGA chairman. “I think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races it makes sense for him to step aside in that role,” Cuccinelli said. “He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman. And that doesn't mean any of the charges political or otherwise or substantive or not, it doesn't matter, perception is reality.”

Yesterday’s Quinnipiac Poll showed that perceptions of Christie are changing nationally. Christie now trails Clinton 46 percent to 38 percent, down from polls in both November and December that showed Christie with a slight lead.

"New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie's 2016 presidential drive is stuck in traffic, sideswiped by Bridgegate, the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in releasing the poll results yesterday.

Sarah Gonzales, a reporter for WNYC, a partner of New Jersey Spotlight, contributed to this report.

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