The AP is doing an unusually good job of digging up dirt on a candidate before a general election.
A week after the Republican front-runner in the New Jersey governor’s race said he’d reject all future campaign donations from lawyers to whom he gave no-bid contracts as U.S. attorney, he was scheduled to attend a $500-a-plate fundraiser hosted by a lawyer involved in one of the oversight deals.
Christopher Christie’s campaign hoped to raise $100,000 during the Tuesday night fundraiser co-hosted by John P. Inglesino, a lawyer with Stern & Kilcullen. The Roseland law firm’s principal, Herb Stern, was picked by Christie to settle Medicare fraud claims at the state’s medical and dental school, and Inglesino was Stern’s chief counsel for the monitoring work in a contract that earned the firm $3 million.
Let’s back up the train here. Just back it up. Just a sec. We need to map this one out.
Christie says he won’t take donations from lawyers to whom he gave no-bid contracts as U.S. attorney.
He then schedules a fundraiser by one such lawyer.
That fundraiser is $500-a-plate. And it was to raise… $100,000?
Look, if Christie was able to think far enough ahead to mete out the plate costs, and the eventual take, he might have also looked at the contract he gave to the firm hosting the dinner for him. And how do they address this problem? They don’t do a mea culpa. They instead just employ more Orwellian verve:
“Our campaign’s fundraising has been 100 percent legal, compliant and appropriate,” said [Mike] DuHaime. “As a matter of fact, we go above and beyond the law when it comes to our full disclosure and transparency of everybody who gives us even a dollar.”
Mike, I’m having a hard time seeing that “above and beyond” part. Just because you’re saying it doesn’t mean I’m buying it.
What’s the strategy here? Do something that looks shady, get caught, affirm that Your Dignity Is Too Great To Even Contemplate Scandal and then hope that it flies? At least when Clinton did it we had some pretty great television viewing for a while.
Update: A reader points out that that’s the same mind who convinced Rudy Guiliani that the primary began on Feb 5th in Florida and that ignoring all the early states was a good idea. How’re President Giuliani’s approval ratings doing, anyway?