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Governor Chris Christie supported by Pharmaceutical Industry

2015-02-05

A note about New Jersey governor Chris Christie: as followers of the news know, he has run the government of New Jersey like his own personal corporation, using the machinery of government to punish or reward his enemies and friends to a frighteningly vindictive extent.  The incident known as “BridgeGate” in which one of his highest personal assistants was caught ordering a partial closing of an essential bridge from New Jersey into New York that caused an enormous traffic jam, simply to politically punish a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse him, is just one example of his pettiness and disrespect for his constituents.

Now comes a federal Justice Department look at his responsibility in the quashing of indictments against Sheriff Trout of Hunterdon County in western New Jersey.  The sheriff and undersheriff were subjects of a grand jury investigation that returned 43 indictments for abuse of office, but the indictments were quashed by the Christie administration.  The story was aired in a long article in the New York Times in 2013, prompted by a whistleblower who was fired for his pains.  The federal Justice Department has only recently begun to investigate this situation.

The reason I bring this up here is that a top pharmaceutical company executive, Robert Hariri of Celgene, has been mentioned (but not indicted) in this case.  It seems that Mr. Hariri is a big supporter of Governor Christie, and he was given “fake law enforcement identification” by the sheriff above after doing a favor for the undersheriff.

This tidbit was mentioned in an International Business Times article about the federal investigation, and I quote:

The county prosecutors’ case against Trout and her underlings also involved embarrassing allegations about a particularly prominent figure — Robert Hariri, a high-level executive at the pharmaceutical giant Celgene, which is headquartered in New Jersey. Though Hariri was not charged, county prosecutors alleged he had obtained fake law enforcement identification from the sheriff’s office after he flew Russo on his private jet to a conference in Washington.

Hariri was a major contributor to Christie’s campaign as well a[s a] member of the governor’s transition team.  Celgene employs Christie’s former chief of staff, Richard Bagger, and the firm has made $160,000 worth of donations to the Republican Governors Association — which until recently was chaired by Christie. Celgene occupies a seat on the board of Choose New Jersey, which has funded Christie’s international travel.

Thus, we see that the pharmaceutical industry is a strong supporter of one of the most corrupt governors in the United States, who had been mentioned as a potential candidate for the Republican nomination to run for President of the US.  Unfortunately for Mr. Christie, “Bridgegate” has scotched his plans in this regard and revealed to potential Democratic supporters (whom he has courted) that he is no better than the average Republican candidate.

The IBT article can be found here: http://www.ibtimes.com/chris-christie-administration-target-new-federal-criminal-probe-1806644

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