Star Ledger -
In the aftermath of Sen. Robert Menendez’s 14-count indictment on Wednesday, Democrats seem to be giving him a lot more breathing room than they provided Gov. Chris Christie after he became entangled in the scandal over the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge.
No one picked up up on that quicker than Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-Bergen), a member of the legislative committee investigating the lane closings.
“The hypocrisy is stunning,” Schepisi said Thursday. “Regardless of whether or not you ultimately believe that Sen. Menendez did or do not do anything wrong is almost beside the point. Because the very same people who have en masse stood up and said ‘Don’t rush to judgment’… are the very same people who, without any indictments, without any information other than a couple of salacious emails that got leaked to the press, were calling for the governor’s head on a platter.”
But in the past, Gov. Christie has said that public officials who have been indicted should resign.
“I don’t call on public officials to resign until and unless they are charged by a grand jury,” Christie said in August 2012. “If that happens, you will find that I will call for his resignation.”
But so far, no major New Jersey elected officials — Democrat or Republican ‐ have called on Menendez to resign.
But when it came to Christie — who wasn’t even close to being indicted — Democrats were less circumspect.
In February 2014, when the bridge scandal was broiling and some controversial text messages were released between Christie aides who had orchestrated lane closures in an apparent act of political retribution, Watson Coleman had strong words.
“And this really is what they’re all about, transactional deals, dismissiveness, remarks that are totally, totally unacceptable in a civilized society,” said Bonnie Watson Coleman, an assemblywoman at the time, said during an appearance on MSNBC. “And you know what? The governor needs to think about resigning, and he needs to take all his friends with him because this is sickening.”
Backlash from the remarks caused Watson Coleman to step down from the legislative committee that was investigating the bridge scandal. But her staffers said the comments have to be put in context.