New Corzine ad: If

Starting today, the Corzine campaign has a new 30-second ad going up on broadcast tv. Called If, the ad spotlights the questionable ethical behavior which has contributed to Chris Christie’s rising unfavorables, as more information about him reaches more voters. The ad focuses on his eyebrow-raising history of committing serious driving offenses and getting off without a ticket or penalty, failing to disclose a sizeable loan or even pay taxes on the interest. The kind of thing you or I would get nailed on in a New Jersey minute.

There’s been some grumbling that attention to Christie’s driving record is a distraction. But I think it’s key. I lived through Richard Nixon. I’m not down for politicians in an executive capacity deciding they’re above the law. So on substance, I like this ad. I also appreciate that it’s sourced and referenced – which I hope you’ll take a look at – it’s all after the jump.

Real Clear Politics picked up on the only quibble I have with the ad: playing the weight card on Christie. I think the coy reference in the script – “throwing his weight around” – cheapens the impact and brings it down to a more schoolyard, too-personal, ridicule of the style Ann Coulter made famous and I can do without. We get it. He’s a fat, fat man. Move on to why the fat man would make a lousy governor. There’s plenty to work with.

Documentation and sourcing for this ad – well worth reading – is after the jump.

Script

Documentation

         

If you drove the wrong way down a one-way street, causing an accident and putting the victim in a trauma center…would you get away without a ticket? Chris Christie did.

         

In 2002, Christie was not given a traffic ticket after he drove the wrong way down a one-way street and injured a motorcyclist.  According to the Star-Ledger, “Adding to Chris Christie’s campaign trail headaches over his driving record, officials in Elizabeth confirmed tonight the Republican gubernatorial candidate was in a traffic accident that injured a motorcyclist in the city in 2002.  Christie, then the U.S. attorney, was on his way to the swearing-in of the Union County prosecutor and was not issued a ticket for the July 26, 2002 incident, Police Director James Cosgrove said.  Christie was driving a rented BMW sedan and apparently had lost his way when he attempted to turn right onto a street that was one-way in the other direction, according to the police report. A motorcyclist, Andre Mendonca of Elizabeth, was riding towards Christie, and both men saw one another and put on the brakes, police said. Christie’s vehicle came to a stop, and the motorcycle then ‘fell on its side and slid into his vehicle,’ according to the police report. Mendonca was taken by ambulance to University Hospital in Newark, Cosgrove said…’He did identify himself as U.S. attorney,’ Cosgrove said.”[Star-Ledger, 9/4/09]

Mendonca was sent to University Hospital in Newark which has a trauma center rather than the closer Trinitas. NJN reported: “Mendonca was injured and taken by ambulance to the hospital. Not nearby Trinitas, but UMDNJ in Newark which has a trauma center.” [NJN, 9/4/09]

       

       

         

If you were caught speeding in an unregistered car- would you get away without points?

Chris Christie did. In both cases, Christie threw his weight around as US Attorney and got off easy.

         

While US Attorney, Christie was allowed to drive away after being stopped for speeding and driving an unregistered car.   The Asbury Park Press reported in August 2009 that: “Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, when he was the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey in 2005, was ticketed in Lambertville for speeding and driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle. Christie was allowed to drive away from the traffic stop. His campaign acknowledged Aug. 26 that Christie’s job as U.S. Attorney came up at the stop as Christie handed over his license and identification to the police officer.” [Asbury Park Press, 8/26/09]

Police Director said Christie got loud and ‘identified himself” as U.S. Attorney. Millennium Radio reported in August 2009 that “Lambertville police director Bruce Coccuzza “admits Christie got little loud about the possibility of being towed, but quickly calmed down. Comella says Christie does not recall who brought it up, but acknowledges the fact that Christie was U.S. Attorney did come up. Coccuzza says, ‘He indentified himself.'” Coccuzza also said that Christie “produced federal I.D. credentials.” [NJ 101.5 FM Radio, 8/27/09]

Tickets indicated that Christie had been “uncooperative.” Millennium Radio reported in August 2009 that “All three tickets had “No Deal” written on them. Law enforcement officials tell Millennium Radio News that typically means the person being issued the summons was uncooperative. Christie still pleaded guilty to reduced charges and paid a $250 fine. The unregistered vehicle ticket was dismissed. Coccuzza says Christie produced a registration card, but even Comella admits the car was not registered at the time of the stop. ”  [NJ 101.5 FM Radio, 8/27/09]

       

         

If you didn’t pay your taxes, ignored ethics laws- would you get away with it?

Chris Christie. One set of rules for himself. Another for everyone else.

       

         

Chris Christie failed to disclose loan as required under federal and state ethics rules.  Chris Christie, “in 2007, while he was New Jersey’s ranking federal prosecutor” “lent one of his top aides $46,000. But he failed to report the loan as required under federal and state ethics rules.” “Mr. Christie did not list the loan on his June 21, 2008, personal financial disclosure form as a member of the federal executive branch, which requires the detailing of any assets (like loans or receivables) worth more than $1,000, and any sources of income of more than $200 a year. Ms. Comella confirmed that Mr. Christie’s final disclosure as a prosecutor also omitted the loan. Nor did he include the loan on his candidate’s disclosure with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission in April 2009. One of its catchall categories of unearned income requires the detailing of ‘other income (including interest)’ of more than $100 when the total in that category exceeds $1,000. Mr. Christie listed Pfizer and three government bonds as the sources of such income, but made no mention of the loan to Ms. Brown.”  [New York Times, 8/17/09]

Chris Christie did not pay taxes on the interest he received from the loan repayment.  The Associated Press reported, “The loan to Brown poses other potential conflicts. Besides being her boss and promoting her before and after making the loan in 2007, Christie failed to disclose the financial arrangement on four federal and state ethics forms, and failed to pay taxes on the interest income.” [Associated Press, 8/19/09]

       

Comments (10)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    Yeah, the the “throw his weight around” is all people will remember from the ad after the media gets through dissecting it.  I don’t know how the campaign let it through.  It detracts from the ad.  They should remove it.

    Reply
  2. ivalentine

    Well sourced and substantive, though I agree the veiled cheap shot at his weight was unnecessary.

    Reply
  3. princetonblue

    I think the ad is good for helping the Democratic base return to the fold.  But I think it doesn’t help, and only hurts, with independents.  For independents, it’s the economy and taxes that are the issue.  The continued focus on Christie’s driving record suggests that Corzine just doesn’t understand what the really important issues are.  This is a point that Christie has been making himself recently.

    Reply
  4. HistoryInAction

    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it/

    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

    Reply
  5. Hopeful

    As the Lance/Dance ads… notice how well they worked?  Corzine should stay away from anything that seems to be about weight.

    Reply
  6. FogerRox

    Nice guy in front of the cameras, then runs over someone on a bicycle?

    Reply
  7. Nick Lento

    ….just how unqualified Christie is to be governor.

    There is no need to “attack” Christie so much as to simply turn the bright lights on.

    Sure, there’s a few warts on Corzine; but they pale to insignificance in comparison to the pustulent mass of toxic sludge that is Cristie’s consistent record.

    If, God forbid, Christie wins; he will make common cause with the worst kind of pay to play corporate corruption and our state will be turned into an abject sewer for all but the rich and well connected.  (and he’ll be “enabled” by political machine’s from both sides of the aisle).

    Reply

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