Bridgegate Trial: Wildstein and Baroni and ‘The One Constituent Rule’

Wildstein and his attorney appear in federal court on Friday.

Wildstein and his attorney appear in federal court on Friday.

NEWARK – Former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey employee David Wildstein took the stand this afternoon in the Bridgegate trial here in Newark, and elaborated on what he called the “one constituent rule.”

He said the “one constituent rule” was the way he and former Port Deputy Director Bill Baroni “approached every decision.”  The tule meant that Governor Chris Christie was the one they had to please. The pair had a conversation at the Port soon after they started the job in 2010 and Wildstein told Baroni, a former state senator, they  he didn’t have multiple constituents anymore.

“You just have one,” Wildsetin said he told Baroni.

A 2010 email conversation corroborated the rule was an understood term between the two men.

In that email, Wildstein called Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick “schmuck of the week” in the subject line of an email because of remarks Bramnick made about Newark Airport. When Baroni replied to the email–which was a link to an NJ.com article–Baroni questioned why Bramnick did not just call him before remarking about Newark. Wildstein responded: “Because he lacks the one constituent rule.”

Wildstein described Baroni as “one of the closest friends I ever had,” and said he was at the Port “because of Baroni.”

The pair undertook their jobs at the Port with former politics blogger Wildstein playing the role of “good cop,” to Baroni’s “bad cop.”