Confirmed: 7 People, One Kid’s Seat, 4-Door Car

Or at least that’s the story that Chris Christie has settled on to explain away his 2005 traffic stop.

Christie said that he had not identified himself as the U.S. attorney, but that a tow truck driver had recognized him. He was allowed to drive home to Mendham, about 44 miles away, because his four children were in the car, not because of his position, he said. [my emphasis]

But aside from apparently defying the laws of physics (not to mention laws pertaining to child restraints and seat belts), Christie’s story keeps getting muddier. There are the questions about whether Michele Brown was the one big-footing the US Attorney’s office with the traffic cops.

Christie also denied a report that Brown had gotten out of the car during the stop and flashed her badge.  

Add to that the fact that the police director who so helpfully explained, last week, that Christie was let go because his four kids were present has gotten all quiet.

For example, when I spoke to the prosecutor who handled the case for Lambertville he said he did not ever see the words “no deal” printed on the ticket. Well, it is clearly written there since the ticket was posted on politickernj. And normally cops write that when they have had an unpleasant encounter with a motorist.

I have also reached out the Lambertville Police Director. I was told he “wasn’t in” on Friday. And today I was told “he is no longer returning media calls.”

Maybe everyone else is beginning to recognize the rules of physics?

Well, the traffic stop is, in the grand scheme of things, pretty minor. But the Delayed Prosecution Agreements, whereby Christie funneled multi-million dollar contracts to one of the people the Bush Administration would like to keep wealthy and content, are not.

And on Christie’s DPAs too, his answers are not holding up. You’ll recall that Christie attended a rather contentious hearing on these issues in June, where he ultimately got up and walked out on Congress?  Well, now he’s trying to Cheney his way through Questions for the Record. As Congressman Steve Cohen writes in a letter asking for Christie to be more forthcoming regarding issues relating to the DPAs, 

So the manner in which you responded is particularly unsatisfactory. For all but two of the questions, you responded with a general assertion that the questions were answered in your oral and written testimony. At times you cited page numbers in the unofficial hearing transcript, which on further inspection appear not to contain anything responsive, and which in any event will be confusing to those who will have only the official published hearing record, of which your letter will be a part. Finally, even for the two questions for which you provided answers, the answers are incomplete.

Maybe what Christie should do is just cite everything back to his traffic tickets, which read "no deal" on them. That’s about what he’s saying, anyway.

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28 replies
  1. bmaz says:

    7 People, One Kid’s Seat, 4-Door Car

    I’ll take National Lampoon Vacation movies for $500 Alex! Can I get a Jeopardy count?

      • scribe says:

        I’d love to see the bill from the car wash for getting the dog crap off the car after that stunt.

        But, seriously, the tow truck driver recognized him?

        Puhleeze.

        The Joisey tow truck drivers I’ve had the dubious pleasure to encounter would only have known who the US attorney was if that had been the guy personally prosecuting him. In other words, they ain’t bright bulbs – they get hired to outrun the competing tow trucks to the scene of whatever and to strong-arm drivers to keep them from getting into the car (and thus preventing a tow).

        You don’t get a job as a tow truck driver by being intelligent. You get it from eating a lot of whatever mom cooks and being strong, not smart. A colleague once worked a case where the tow-truck driver, speeding somewhere and crossing the center line, was 24 and had spent most of his first 7 years of driver’s license eligibility in a suspended for too many careless driving/speeding/moving violation tickets. He could hardly read and write. No way he recognized the US Attorney.

        FWIW, until his ad blitz, no one who didn’t spend time around the US Attorney’s office would have known who Christie was. Period. He was a faceless name in the paper.

        In other words, it’s highly unlikely that the tow truck driver recognized him.

  2. maryo2 says:

    So he did not go to the game. We did not know last week if he continued on to the game or went home.

  3. maryo2 says:

    Does a prosecuter in NJ usually see the original copy of a ticket or would they view an electronic report of a ticket?

  4. maryo2 says:

    Why would Michele Brown get in the car with that many people? I can see a family packing in, but that other person should say “Oh, that’s okay. I’ll just follow you in my car.” These two families are not falling into what I call the normal category.

  5. SparklestheIguana says:

    Some people are allowed to drive home because their kids in the car. Others are Tased for no good reason as their 5 year old children sit in the car sobbing with fear….

  6. bmaz says:

    Does anybody know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

    It is Brett Favrey time baybee!! And he has already proved his worth with an 80 yard Adrian Peterson touchdown run on the first play!

  7. orionATL says:

    ew wrote:

    “Well, the traffic stop is, in the grand scheme of things, pretty minor. But the Delayed Prosecution Agreements, whereby Christie funneled multi-million dollar contracts to one of the people the Bush Administration would like to keep wealthy and content, are not.

    And on Christie’s DPAs too, his answers are not holding up. You’ll recall that Christie attended a rather contentious hearing on these issues in June, where he ultimately got up and walked out on Congress? Well, now he’s trying to Cheney his way through Questions for the Record. As Congressman Steve Cohen writes in a letter asking for Christie to be more forthcoming regarding issues relating to the DPAs,…”

    christie’s conduct while a u.s. attorney was always the real meat in this story,

    but the “how many fat men, baby’s and kids, and mistresses can fit into a car” story is the kind of story the american media and voters pay attention to.

    from what scribe has written previously, though, i would guess neither the “human interest” story

    nor christie’s questionable conduct while a serving as a bush u.s. attorney

    is likely to be mentioned in the n.j. press

    christie is, after all, a Republican gubber-natorial candidate.

  8. floundericiousMI says:

    My god, seven people in a compact car, it was the Christie midget-mobile! The clincher would be if it were a volkswagon!

  9. fatster says:

    Could someone please alert Jeff Kaye about this?

    Physicians’ Group Seeks Criminal Investigation of Torture Docs
    — By Michael Mechanic | Mon August 31, 2009 12:52 PM PST

    “Doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other health care professionals complicit in the US torture program should be subject to an independent investigation, and those found to have violated professional ethics or the law should be prosecuted and/or lose their license and professional society memberships. That sentiment, from the nonprofit Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), may well mark the first time a doctors’ group has demanded true accountability of its professional peers.”

    More.

    Aiding Torture: Health Professionals’ Ethics and Human Rights Violations Demonstrated in the May 2004 CIA Inspector General’s Report

    “This 6-page white paper, published August 31, 2009, after the new release of the May 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report, shows that the extent to which American doctors and psychologists violated human rights and betrayed the ethical standards of their professions by designing, implementing, and legitimizing a worldwide torture program is worse than previously known.”

    More.

  10. orionATL says:

    go here and read this article: http://www.nj.com/news/index.s…..e_a_3.html

    recognize the tactic?

    how about:

    “if you criticize the (iraq) war,

    you criticize the troops.”

    christie is hiding, or at least trying to hide, behind the skirts of the remaining u.s. attorneys,

    just as george bush hid behind “our soldiers”.

    question:

    will the corzine folks challenge this simplistic informational scam?

    or will they crawl away, as dems so often do?

    educating the public to republican political scams is SO difficult, don’t you know.

  11. Boston1775 says:

    I hope I’m not being too serious here, but I’ve been following the money on Christie for a while.

    Remember how Christie’s Assistant USA negotiated a settlement for the St Barnabas Hospital on which his brother Todd was on the Board of Directors?

    That hospital netted approximately $380,000,000. It bilked Medicare for $645plus million and was ordered by Christie’s Assistant – in his efforts to serve the public and NOT CLOSE THE HOSPITAL – to pay back $265 million.

    No jail time.
    And a cool profit of at least $380,000,000 for Chritie’s brother’s hospital.

    Well the same pattern happened with the hip and knee companies. In reading Christie’s document submitted in his Congressional hearing he says on page 6 of the pdf that in 2007 alone, 700,000 hip and knee replacements were done and over two thirds are billed to Medicare. He also says that the five companies he prosecuted controlled 95% of the market in hips and knees – a monopoly.

    In looking for information on what Medicare paid in 2007 I got to this page:

    http://www.statehealthfacts.or…..#038;cat=6

    And I notice that hips and knees are in the top five billable categories to Medicare not once, but twice.

    2/3 of 700,000 is 466,667 and seeing as he says over 2/3 are billed to Medicare, say 470,000 conservatively.

    New Jersey charged Medicare the 45th highest costs to Medicare

    Using 2006 (didn’t locate 2007 numbers but they’re most likely higher)

    45. New Jersey $11,658 $13,726 Costs of hip and knee replacements

    Thus 95% of 470,000 times $11,658 = $5,205,297,000 25th percentile
    and 95% of 470,000 times $13,726 = $6,128,659,000 75th percentile

    In Christie’s testimony, he says that he negotiated that the hospitals would pay back $311,000,000.

    So you see the huge disparity in numbers and I’m sure they have voluminous reasons for this figure.

    However, there is another hip and knee figure in the Medicare payments. The fifth most common procedure for which Medicare pays is for repairs of previous hip and knee replacements. These figures are even bigger.

    45. New Jersey $14,630 (25th) $17,717 (75th)

    Question: If repairing hip and knee replacements is the fifth highest occurring elective??? surgery cost AND getting the original hip or knee replacement is the Number One elective surgery cost to Medicare, what percentage of hips and knees are being repaired/replaced?

    Let’s say 20% conservatively. It may be much more seeing as it made the top five. (I would love to know this figure.)

    Thus 20% of 470,000 patients equals 94,000 in for repair/replacement.

    So, 95% of 94,000 times 14,630 equals $1,306,459,000 (25th percentile)
    95% of 94,000 times 17,717 equals $1,582,128,100 (75th percentile)

    Now these figures are conservative.
    They do not include outliers which are cases which cost Medicare far, far more than the cases that fall into these percentiles.

    In the hospital that Todd Christie sat on the Board of Directors, prosecutors charged that they had far more outliers than the averages of other hospitals.

    All these billions charged to Medicare.
    Christie had the four crooked hip and knee companies which had a 95% monopoly on the State of New Jersey pay back

    $311,000,000 does not come close to between
    $6,511,756,000 and $7,710,787,100.

    While I know that these figures don’t represent the hospital services costs, they include the costs of surgery. These surgeons helped create the monopoly. And they bilked Medicare as well.

    Not only that, but a large enough percentage of hip and knee replacement patients must/elect??? to get repairs or further replacements. Are the flaws built into the products?

    Yet Chris Christie is satisfied with $311,000,000, again, no jail time, no loss of business and the public pays again.

    And I tried to be conservative – no outliers included.

  12. Boston1775 says:

    And then, his reasoning about the low costs paid back to Medicare is that the companies will have to pay a HIGH cost for oversight.

    So instead of paying back the people from whom they robbed the money – our money – he sets up to pay John Ashcroft’s company between $28,000,000 and $56,000,000 for oversight.

    This is FRAUD.
    This is THEFT from the people of the United States.

    First, pay back what was stolen.
    Then, go to jail.
    Finally, if your business is left standing, pay for government auditors who are sworn to uphold the laws of the United States.

  13. Boston1775 says:

    Jeez, I just realized I screwed the numbers up.

    I should have used the figures for the US. The top figures.
    Not the New Jersey figures.

    These New Jersey companies had a monopoly on the entire United States.
    So while the numbers will be different the concept is the same.

    Also, I found these figures at the bottom of this site:
    http://www.statehealthfacts.or…..#038;cat=6

    Notes:

    Each payment is the sum of Medicare payments for the DRG including DRG, Teaching, Disproportionate Share, Capital, and Outlier payments for all cases. Also included in Medicare Payments are co-payments and deductibles paid by patients.

    The range of payments between the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile excludes the lowest 25 percent of payments and the highest 25 percent of payments. It is the range of payments for the most typical cases treated in the geographic area for the DRG. It excludes unusually low payments for cases such as those where a patient is transferred to another facility before receiving a full course of treatment. It also excludes unusually high payments for cases that are more complex and costly to treat than is typical for most cases in the DRG.

    Replacement of hip, knee, or ankle or reattachment of thigh, foot or ankle (DRG 544) consists of the following procedures: replacement of total knee joint, replacement of total hip joint, replacement of knee joint, replacement of ankle, foot attachment, lower leg/ankle reattachment or thigh reattachment. In 2006, there were 442,933 cases reported. The national average payment for hip or knee replacements was $11,916 and the national average charge was $38,447.

    *snip*

    Repair of previous hip, or knee replacement (DRG 545) consists of the following procedures: revision of hip replacement or revision of knee replacement. In 2006, there were 40,516 cases reported. The national average payment for repair of previous hip or knee replacements was $15,552 and the national average charge was $49.830.

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