For New Jersey voters, what matters most about Christie’s RGA gig is how much time he spends out of state not doing his job, how his NJ decisions increasingly seem pitched to GOP donors elsewhere over serving the people of this state, and how he’s using RGA jaunts as an excuse not to stay here and answer mounting questions about his multiple scandals.
But for Gov. Christie himself, the RGA gig is everything. The homestate situation becomes more and more uncomfortable. Subpoenas flying. State and federal investigations. And maybe a couple of his operatives ready to drop a dime on him. Even the magic fleece isn’t working. The defining “achievement” his 2016 hopes were pinned on was his much-hyped handling of Hurricane Sandy. Now the Star-Ledger says he’s used Sandy money as a political slush fund and Fair Share Housing’s allegations he botched distribution of federal post-Sandy housing funds are sticking.
And that leaves RGA. Today, we get news that both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and AG Greg Abbott, the likely GOP nominee lining up against Wendy Davis’ surging race, will both skip Christie’s trip to the state (Burnt Orange Report’s got the goods).
Imagine Christie’s predicament. And jump to what some Republicans are starting to say about him now. Below the fold.
Christie had this deal all planned. Rise to lead the RGA, be the guy doling out millions in dough to Republicans who then owe you favors, start your 2016 national campaign for the White House without even looking like your doing it (and having your travel paid for).
But it looks like Christie’s home scandals may be creeping up. Investigative reporter Murray Waas talked to some people and got some pretty devastating quotes from troubled Republicans:
A senior staffer who works for another national fundraising committee told me: “This type of thing did not start with Christie and will not end when he is gone. People give to the RGA and the DGA [Democratic Governors Association] and other committees to gain access and an edge. It happens all the time. Nobody pays attention. The difference now is there is more scrutiny. Christie is under a microscope-and what goes unnoticed is going to instead be magnified, and become part of a narrative: Republicans-Republican governors do this.”
This is on top of similar rumblings picked up by Slate’s Dave Weigel, quoting former South Carolina GOP chair Katon Dawson:
“This all has the potential to affect the RGA and governor’s races if it grows any more legs, like it has with the Hoboken mayor. Mark Sanford is a guy who resigned and didn’t want any of his scandal embroiled around the RGA. Now, nobody’s called for that from Christie. But if we’ve got two, three more scandals, that’s the concern I’ve got.”
That quote’s a couple weeks old. Since then: another round of legislative subpoenas, Wildstein’s claim Christie knew during the lane closures, Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepian take the Fifth, and the Star-Ledger says if Wildstein’s telling the truth, Christie should resign.
Christie hasn’t had a good day in the public estimation for weeks. No wonder he wants to blow town on RGA’s dime. How much longer will he be allowed to?