Did Kushner make the Trump-Christie marriage?

Chris Christie                                                                                                         David Wildstein

Chris Christie                                                                                                         David Wildstein

Well, let's examine the connections.  When Chris Christie and David Wildstein were kicking around Livingston High School, a young real estate entrepreneur eight years older than Christie was beginning to make a name for himself.  This was Charles Kushner, who was raising a family in the same town Christie was growing up in. 

Wildstein was elected to the Livingston town council and served from 1985 until 1988.  He was Livingston's mayor in 1987-88.  Wildstein launched his PoliticsNJ website in 2000, and operated it in conjunction with his political consulting business.  Wildstein ran an opposition research shop under the political tent of the late Bob Franks, playing a prominent role in Franks' 2001 gubernatorial primary against the eventual Republican nominee, Bret Schundler.

The 2001 election saw the rise of Jim McGreevey and Charles Kushner -- now a major fundraiser for the Democrat Party and for McGreevey in particular.  Both would fall from grace.  McGreevey lurched from scandal to scandal, while Kushner was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering.  Kushner's son, Jared, who had participated in his father's fundraising, was not part of the criminal proceedings.

When David Wildstein needed capital to launch PoliticsPA, PoliticsNH, and a host of other websites, he went to Jared Kushner.  Wildstein's venture proved to be a money pit, maintained at a loss by the Kushner family.  Wildstein ended up selling PoliticsPA to a group of Harrisburg lobbyists, while his other websites withered and fell away. 

By now Wildstein was clearly part of the "Christie project" -- that wait for the "coming man" -- that seemed to obsess so many in the NJGOP.  Wildstein's website would often scoop stories that had all to do with the U.S. Attorney's Office and with reshaping the political landscape -- like when statewide contender Jim Treffinger, the Republican County Executive of Essex County, was arrested and publicly displayed in manacles.

In 2009, Jared Kushner married Ivanka Trump, daughter of real estate mogul Donald Trump.  Two weeks later, Chris Christie was elected Governor.  Wildstein was given a fat patronage job in the new regime and Jared Kushner took over the website that Wildstein had used on Christie's behalf.  A new editor for the website, Darryl Isherwood, was chosen.  He has since joined the political consulting firm of Governor and Presidential candidate Christie's top strategist.  The new boss is Ken Kurson, a New Jersey GOP establishment political consultant who co-wrote Mayor Rudy Giuliani's book.

It appears possible that Donald Trumps' son-in-law would have the kind of contacts to begin a conversation.  But who knows?  Perhaps they'll tell us.