On the heels of the revelations of Governor Christie’s secret trip and turn as keynote speaker at the Koch retreat, a new interest was stirred up in Governor Christie’s interesting timing when he withdrew New Jersey from the RGGI (something that we noted here back in early June), since “Coptergate” was all about Christie meeting with Koch-related individuals.
But this longstanding pattern of Christie giving out favors, no bid deals and apparently now policy issues to special interests who donate money or help his career in exchange for him giving them money goes back at least as far as him first getting the job as US Attorney – and should be used as a tale of caution as his decisions are made, policies are pushed or actions are taken – even more so since he is vice chairman of the RGA.
Let’s take a trip down a long and troubled memory lane:
- Back in late 2000/early 2001, Christie was deemed “not a candidate for US Attorney” before “coincidentally” being appointed US Attorney after he was directly responsible for raising hundreds of thousands (and his brother donates hundreds of thousands) for Bush.
- Lost in the above, as well as the role criminal-turned-informant Solomon Dwek, the man who Christie turned from bank fraudster to briber-of-elected-Democrats played, was the potential linkage between Dwek’s donation to Bush in 2000 and Chris Christie’s role as Bush Pioneer. (Palatucci and Christie held a fundraiser with Christie Whitman. Based on the date of her donation, it looks to be 4/24/00. That is the same day as Dwek’s donation – not necessarily meaning that he met Christie or Palatucci, but it does look like since the checks were on the same date to the same organization, that it was pretty likely to be from a fundraiser that Christie and Palatucci held – Dwek is on page 153, Whitman is on page 559 of the FEC report).
- Also recall that Christie gave his former boss John Ashcroft a no bid deal worth at least $30 million, despite Ashcroft having no experience for this work
- Or that Christie’s brother (the same brother who donated hundreds of thousands to Bush and the Republicans in 2000) was not indicted, despite being found by the SEC to have made 1,600 illegal trades, bilking investors out of almost $1.5 million and netting himself $1.5 million AND THEN the US Attorney from NY who didn’t prosecute his brother for securities fraud got a multi million no bid deal from Christie himself
- There was of course Chris Christie giving a multi-million no bid deal to buddies Herb Stern and John Inglesino and then Inglesino raising tens of thousands for his campaign.
And that is just to name a few bigger ones that we know about.
The timing of Christie’s meeting with Koch-related Republican donors and the RGGI pullout is highly suspect. The Kochs have their fingers in a great number of industries and interests – many of which have an impact on New Jersey. Given the Koch’s behavior and money, and Christie’s love for quid pro quo to further his ego and political ambitions, every action he takes should be viewed with this lens and skepticism.