A recent, internal investigation of the Fort Lee Lane Closure Scandal by the office of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie predictably absolved the
Kingpin Governor of blame.
Many cartoonists chose to focus on how little a declaration of his innocence coming from his own people really does to deflect the criticism or blame, often using his ample, Botero-like physique as a symbol for the obviousness of his guilt–I found Clay Bennett’s especially amusing.
I myself considered this type of approach, sketching numerous gags involving fun-house mirrors, or photo op boards, or exaggerated man-girdles, but none of them were quite working, and I thought their intended statement might be too flash-in-the-pan and shallow, so I decided to focus more on how the Christie Administration is trying to protect the big boss by making convenient scapegoats of his co-conspirators and underlings, even though the unethical or illegal actions in which they engaged were clearly done for Christie’s benefit, if not in his name or under his immediate, personal direction.
I had some difficulty selecting whom to depict in the cartoon along with the Governor. The two seen above are David Wildstein, Christie’s senior representative at the New Jersey Port Authority during the scandal, and Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s deputy chief of staff who wrote the infamous “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email to Wildstein. Other relevant individuals I did not draw include the Port Authority’s Deputy Executive Director, Bill Baroni; Christie’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien; and David Samson, whose job as Chairman of the Port Authority became the scandal’s most recent casualty on March 28, 2014.