Slatest PM: Chris Christie's Ready to Talk About Bridgegate Again

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 28 2014 5:11 PM

Slatest PM: Chris Christie's Ready to Talk About Bridgegate Again

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie holds a news conference on March 28, 2014 at New Jersey State House in Trenton

Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Bridgegate Fallout: Newark Star-Ledger: "Gov. Chris Christie announced today that David Samson, whose chairmanship of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has come under fire in recent months, has resigned. Samson, a close ally of Christie and a former attorney general of New Jersey, is reportedly under investigation by the U.S. Attorney of New Jersey in the face of accusations that his law firm, Wolff & Samson, had enriched itself by lobbying for companies with business before the Port Authority. ... The stunning announcement came at the beginning of a Statehouse news conference, the first since a a two-hour session on Jan. 9 when Christie accepted responsibility for politically charged closing of access lanes at the George Washington Bridge and announced the dismissal of two close aides."

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Back in the Spotlight: New York Times: "Mr. Christie said that he had not held a news conference sooner because he did not have all the facts. 'I was not going to sit up here and play dodgeball on your questions,' he said. ... Once considered a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Christie for the last three months has charted a carefully chosen course as he tries to move beyond the scandal — even as two other investigations, one by state lawmakers and another by federal prosecutors, continue to unfold. ... On Thursday, Mr. Christie appeared to take the next step in his rehabilitation: presenting himself to a national audience by sitting for his first television interview since the scandal erupted. ... 'Listen, I haven’t made a decision about 2016. And I don’t intend to make a decision on 2016 till a year from now,' Mr. Christie told [ABC's Diane] Sawyer."

It's Friday (Hooray, Friday!), March 28th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Shifting Search: Reuters: "An air and sea search for a missing Malaysian passenger jet moved 685 miles north on Friday, after Australian authorities coordinating the operation in the remote Indian Ocean received new information from Malaysia that suggested the plane ran out of fuel earlier than thought. The dramatic shift in the search area, moving it further than the distance between London and Berlin, followed analysis of radar and satellite data that showed the missing plane had traveled faster than had been previously calculated, and so would have burned through its fuel load quicker. Australia said late on Friday that five aircraft had spotted 'multiple objects of various colors' in the new search area. 'Photographic imagery of the objects was captured and will be assessed overnight,' the Australian Maritime and Safety Authority (AMSA) said in a statement. 'The objects cannot be verified or discounted as being from MH370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships.'"

Watching Russia: Washington Post: "President Obama called on Russia on Friday to pull back tens of thousands of troops massed along its border with Ukraine, as U.S. officials said they have grown increasingly concerned that the size and makeup of the forces could portend a new Russian attempt to annex swaths of its neighbor. In recent days, Russia has deployed sustainment units in addition to combat forces to border areas and has taken steps to conceal some of the contingents, U.S. officials said. Speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence assessments, U.S. officials added that they have seen no evidence to corroborate Russia’s assurances that the soldiers along the border are there solely to conduct training exercises."

Mudslide Death Toll: Tribune News Wire: "Rescue officials said the death toll from a catastrophic mudslide in Washington state is soon expected to climb far higher, as some residents voiced anger that they were prevented from helping in the initial disaster response six days ago. At least 26 people were known to have perished when a rain-soaked hillside collapsed without warning on Saturday, unleashing a deluge of mud that flattened dozens of homes in a river valley near the rural town of Oso, in Snohomish County, some 55 miles northeast of Seattle. Authorities feared that some of the 90 people still missing might never be found in the square-mile heap of mud-caked debris and muck."

Young Skewing Democrat: USA Today: "Young adults have typically identified with the Democratic Party, but those ties have become stronger since 2006. The Gallup Poll finds that 54% of 18-to-29-year-olds on average since 2006 have aligned themselves with Democrats compared with 36% who identify with the Republican Party. From 1993-2003, the gap among young adults wasn’t as wide. Gallup’s analysis of its polls taken over the years finds that 47% of 18-to-29-year-olds, on average, identified with Democrats compared with 42% for Republicans. ... Gallup says the trend among young adults occurs as more senior citizens  become Republican. One major reason for the shift in party preference: The United States is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. At the same time, young adults who are non-Hispanic whites are  more likely to identify themselves as Democrats by an average of 3 percentage points."

Michigan Gay Marriage: Washington Post: "Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday intervened in another state legal battle over gay marriage, announcing that the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages recently performed in Michigan. Three-hundred same-sex couples married in Michigan over the weekend before a federal appeals court granted a stay to stop the weddings from being performed. Democrats in Michigan’s congressional delegation, led by Rep. Daniel Kildee, had called on Holder to recognize the marriages as legal under federal law."

That's all for today. See you back here on Monday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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