Chris Christie’s Political Football

Chris Christie this week told New Jersey that “It’s a happy circumstance” that the Committee on Our Children’s Future, a newly formed 501(c)(4) political organization, bought $1.5 million in pricey TV ad time in New York and Philly to promote him.

I have nothing to do with the group. If they are out there helping me, I say thank you very much.

I think that, perhaps, Governor Christie doth protest too much.

In the heat of intense pressure on the leaked Koch Brothers speech earlier this month, did Christie let something slip that shows his connection to the group?

Let’s take a closer look at who is behind the Committee on Our Children’s Future. The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that “Christie’s pals from the University of Delaware are running the organization. Bob Teeven, who sits with the governor for Delaware Blue Hens football games, is the treasurer, and Lynn Grone, who served with Christie in the University of Delaware’s student government, is the secretary.”

Red flag #1 there. Christie’s college friends – who he is still in close touch with and goes to football games with are running this organization. They have somehow have also roped in the spokesman for McCain’s presidential campaign, Brian Jones, who no doubt has the Rolling Stones’ guitarist rolling in his grave, and big money ex-Bear Stearns bond trader Kevin Feeley. And he has no connection to it at all? Really?

But let’s keep going. Football games rang a bell for me. I couldn’t figure out what it was and looked and looked… and found it, in an interview with 101.5’s “Ask the Governor” show earlier this month, right after the Koch Brothers story broke (h/t to BradBlog for catching it):

On the show tonight, Christie then proceeded to equate disclosure about his secret trip to Vail for the political and fund raising speech for the Koch crowd to a two-hour family trip to the University of Delaware football game he’d taken over the weekend.

‘Going to a University of Delaware football game is different than going to a conference where there are potentially influential individuals who could affect policy,’ 101.5FM’s Scott challenged.

‘You don’t think there weren’t influential people who could affect policy at the University of Delaware football game?,’ Christie responded. ‘You know the Vice President of the United States went to University of Delaware, so he’s fairly influential.’

Christie could have picked any personal event to make this (admittedly, off the wall) analogy that his going to Colorado to speak to the Koch Brothers was just like a family weekend trip. I think most of us can tell the difference between attending a secret political convention and spending the weekend with your kids. I mean, maybe at this point he considers the Koch Brothers as family, but that’s even more scary.

But back to the main point – he didn’t pick any family trip. He focused, in a moment at which he was under a lot of heat – imagine 101.5 actually joining the so-called liberal media in challenging the Governor, live on radio, after a week in which he’d faced question after question, snapped at reporters, etc. – on going to a University of Delaware football game. And said that there were “influential people who could affect policy at the University of Delaware football game.”

Could it be that one of those influential people was his college friend who he goes to football games with, who ran an outside group just about to launch a $1.5 million TV ad buy supporting his policies? Sounds pretty influential.

Chris Christie relishes his ability to deal in the shadows, making important deals in conversations that can never be proven to exist or examined (unless someone records them and leaks them – see Koch Brothers convention). He then uses his bully persona to deny any impropriety, and attempts to put the burden on his detractors to prove the existence of these connections, continuing to deny them however implausible that may be (e.g. claiming that deciding to pull out of RGGI had nothing to do with his Koch Brothers meetings>).

So it’s no surprise that the $1.5 million ad buy by his college buddies is all, in the Governor’s words, just a “happy circumstance.”

There’s a Delaware game against Old Dominion on Sunday. Wonder if the Governor – and his friends from the Committee for Our Children’s Future – will be having some “influential conversations” in the bleachers?

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