Mayor Mad Over Christie Endorsement Accusations Involving 9/11 D - My9 New Jersey

Mayor Mad Over Christie Endorsement Accusations Involving 9/11 Debris

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Secaucus, N.J. (MY9NJ.COM) - The Mayor of Secaucus, New Jersey, Michael Gonnelli, says he's been pulled into a witch-hunt for dirt on Governor Chris Christie and he's not happy about it.

He says that MSNBC pundit Rachel Maddow went way too far on her show last week and offended him when she said the Port Authority gave him a piece of 9/11 debris to get his endorsement for Governor Christie in 2013.

“Another way that people got pieces of the actual steel from the wreckage of the World Trade Center from that terrorist attack was to be a New Jersey Mayor who the Christie administration was wooing for an endorsement,” Maddow claimed on her show.

Maddow's piece was building off a New York Times article that claimed Governor Christie had a list of the top 100 NJ Mayors that he was trying to get endorsements from, and that the top 20 mayors got a piece of 9/11 debris to display in their town. The article doesn't mention the source if the alleged list or if Mayor Gonnelli is even on it.

The mayor says no one in the Christie administration ever asked him to trade an endorsement for 9/11 debris and he has emails that show he had been trying to get a piece of the debris for his town memorial since 2011.

Gonnelli went on to say that he had to go through the same long process everyone else did in order to get a piece of the World Trade center.

"I'm just taken back by it all. It's very hard to separate fact from fiction, but I find it really strange. This incident with the steel really blew my mind,” he explained.

The memorial in Secaucus remembers three local residents who died in 9/11 as well as soldiers who lost their lives overseas. Gonnelli says it just doesn’t sit right with him that Maddow played off people's strong feelings about 9/11 to slam Governor Christie.

The New York Times, the Port Authority and the governor’s office have not returned a request for comment on the Maddow story or the alleged list of 100 Mayors. However, in a statement to Chasing New Jersey, Rachel Maddow’s spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski said:

“…Maddow never reported that any of the mayors were complicit in this artifact-for-endorsement strategy, and on Wednesday night reported that the mayors were wholly unaware of what was going on.”

Mayor Gonnelli says that’s not good enough for him, because it’s just not how Christie earned his endorsement. He feels that Maddow mentioning his name and using his photo when talking about this alleged political scam is a poor example at best.


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