People don’t know about the Port Authority. It’s too bad, because they are one of the mystical white elephants of the American political landscape, an ancient and ornery organization that reaches out to re-orient global politics every ten years or so. And you thought they just ran the bus from Manhattan to Hoboken! Oh, no, my friend, so much more.
What I know is New Jersey legend and supposition, and I’ll point out that it is not particularly well supported by wikipedia.
Now, as we benighted souls understand it, the Port Authority grew out of the organization that was in charge of immigration in NYC. They were in charge of the ports, they were in charge of who came in the ports. They were in charge of who stayed, who went back, who went to quarantine, who went to jail. This was long before any sort of national policy. So when those wave of immigrants came to America, they pretty much came to NYC, and the people in charge of the ports decided.
This is where the story gets weird.
The legend has it that the ports of New York City were controlled by the Mafia. Now, this is a pretty well-known legend; perhaps you might have seen a movie or two. Perhaps one might say that it actually happened.
NYC mafia of the early 20th century came in two flavors: Italian and Jewish. Italian mafia controlled construction and sanitation. Jewish mafia took over the ports. They took over the Port Authority. And for a while there they controlled immigration to America.
This may have something to do with the fact that New York City had more Jewish people than anywhere else in the world. This may have something to do with the fact that every single region of the world has sent large population centers to America except for the Middle East. There’s no large concentration of people from Middle East anywhere in the USA, except where? Dearborn, Michigan? And that’s recent. The 1920s or so, there was apparently nobody coming through.
Or at least that is the legend. It’s difficult to look this stuff up without running into some pretty dire websites. I’m assuming that we agree that the Jewish Mafia was a real, historical entity that existed and did things.
I’m cautiously asserting that the Mossad, which predates the nation of Israel, which in fact is primarily responsible for their being an Israel at all, comes from the Jewish Mafia of NYC in the early 1900s.
So the Port Authority is literally the older brother of an entire nation. But they don’t run immigration any more, or much of anything. They just own things. They own the Lincoln Tunnel. They own the George Washington Bridge. They make something like $18 million a day off the GWB. It costs them about $1 million in maintenance a year, and of course they gotta pay the toll collectors. But everything else is pure profit. All they do is take money from the people who want to come to the biggest city in America. It’s a good gig.
And this is who Chris Christie was gonna mess with? He’s gonna cut into their revenue, for what? To piss off the mayor of a town in Jersey? Most people had never even heard of Fort Lee until they got trapped there in an all-day traffic jam. So to control this dinky little mayor, Christie…
….who by the way scuttled the new Jersey/NYC tunnel that they had been planning for years, so he was not exactly beloved by the PA…
…so to crush a local politician under his thumb, Chris Christie is gonna cut into their revenue? No sir.
Christie does not know who he’s messing with. As I write this he is not in jail yet. By the time you read this he may very well be.