The Inside Edge has a scoop:
In August, Governor-elect Jon Corzine contributed $2,600 to Albio Sires’ campaign for Congress — a campaign that only takes place if Corzine appoints Bob Menendez to the United States Senate. Corzine gave Sires $500 on August 7th and then another $2,100 eleven days later.
Could mean nothing, but could be telling.
VOTE IN THE POLL: DOES THIS MEAN ANYTHING?
: Thinking on this, it seems sort of odd. If this contribution had been public prior to the election it would have set off all kinds of firestorms. The Republicans would have gone nuts, saying Corzine had made up his mind and refused to be honest with the public. Also, it would have played into their “Boss of Bosses” theme.
Southern NJ Democrats would have gone nuts that Corzine was hiding this from them just to keep their support, and maybe have stayed home/withheld support on election day. Progressives would have had the same sort of pique because Payne, Pallone and Holt were blown off.
It just made no sense for him to tip his hand that early. There was too much risk.
However, why else make the contribution unless to make the point that Menendez was his guy? That money would have been just as helpful to a Congressional run now as it was then. Sires isn’t spending any cash at this point for Congress. He didn’t need the money then as opposed to now unless it was a promise.
Making the contribution — unless there are others out there we don’t know about — was pretty risky. If he picks Menendez now, it will start a new round of weak press releases from GOP chair Tom Wilson.