Experts seem to agree that, whatever the consequences may turn out to be, Bridgegate is a huge distraction for Gov. Chris Christie's administration and the governor's agenda in the New Year.

 

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Ben Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, suggests the scandal will take "oxygen" away from Christie's plans for the state, which include tax cuts. Dworkin said the lane closures, and the resulting fallout, have grabbed the media's attention and will continue to do so.

That means Bridgegate will also command the public's attention for the foreseeable future.

At the same time, however, Dworkin rejects the notion that bipartisanship in Trenton is dead.

"I'm sure the governor is going to be able to work with Democrats in both the Assembly and the Senate for whatever he wants to do," Dworkin said.

Regardless of the immediate distraction of this situation, according to Dworkin, the office of governor in New Jersey remains one of the most powerful in the nation -- even if Christie's poll numbers drop.

So like it or not, legislative Democrats as well as Republicans must work with Christie in the future.