Hoboken Mayor Zimmer has a lot of (differing) stories to tell

The accusations being hurled against Chris Christie have been flying fast and furious lately, (as Allahpundit has reminded us of at length) and a lot of them have been coming from MSNBC. The latest is really a doozy, too.

Two senior members of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration warned a New Jersey mayor earlier this year that her town would be starved of hurricane relief money unless she approved a lucrative redevelopment plan favored by the governor, according to the mayor and emails and personal notes she shared with msnbc. The mayor, Dawn Zimmer, hasn’t approved the project, but she did request $127 million in hurricane relief for her city of Hoboken – 80% of which was underwater after Sandy hit in October 2012. What she got was $142,000 to defray the cost of a single back-up generator plus an additional $200,000 in recovery grants.

Wow! That’s a pretty serious charge. If true, it’s clearly a combination of conspiracy and extortion which should, at a minimum, be a gross violation of ethics if not flatly illegal. In either case, it’s clearly corruption. But as our own Guy Benson reports at Townhall, this is a slightly different story than Mayor Zimmer was previously peddling.

Hmmm. A New Jersey reporter notes that Zimmer peddled a similar story, but with different details, to him eight days ago:

So last week, Christie was withholding Sandy funding in retaliation for her lack of endorsement. Now she says it was all about a development deal. That’s a suspicious evolution.

Suspicious barely covers it. If the conversation in question took place that long ago, how was it that the incident wasn’t immediately reported to the state Attorney General? Or possibly even the FBI. Either way, she must have really been angry with the Christie administration and ready to do battle with them. But wait… the story thickens. Here are a few things she had to say back in August of last year.

These really don’t sound like the comments of a person who was in the middle of a shakedown at the hands of the Governor’s office. Even if we’re to believe that Zimmer was simply engaging in, “New Jersey politics as usual” or feared additional retribution if she went public with her allegations, that’s no reason to go out and heap praise on the guy. She could have simply kept her mouth shut, biding her time until after the issues at hand were resolved. And even that doesn’t make much sense, because by failing to report the alleged extortion she was tacitly engaging in it herself. (Or at least giving the appearance of it.)

There are clearly more questions to be asked – particularly of Hoboken’s Mayor – before we get to the bottom of this mess.