Just came across this little item in the New Jersey Governor’s race.
It’s complicated, but the short version is that if you give someone a no-bid contract for work and then you run for a federal office, you can’t take campaign contributions from them. The same is true for state office.
But there’s no law that says you can’t take a STATE contribution from someone you gave a FEDERAL no bid contract to. And that’s exactly what Chris Christie, the GOP favorite to get the nod to take on Jon Corzine in the Fall has done. As U.S. Attorney, Christie gave the firm of Stern and Kilcullen a 7 million dollar no-bid contract. Now that Christie’s running for Governor, the partners and their wives contributed $23,800 to Christie’s campaign. Since New Jersey has 2-1 matching funds, it’s more like they gave him over $70,000.
While this is not illegal, it sure looks terrible, especially when you consider that Christie has based his entire campaign on ethics and cleaning up New Jersey. If Steve Lonegan is smart, he’ll take this story and try to turn Christie’s strength on ethics into a weakness. If that happens, Lonegan might just be able to change this GOP Primary from a coronation into a fist fight.