Feds Investigate Christie’s Sandy Ads

Focus is on New Jersey governor's use of hurricane-relief funds

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Already buffeted by a growing traffic scandal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is now reportedly facing new scrutiny for using relief funds to tout his response to Superstorm Sandy at the height of his re-election campaign.

Federal authorities are investigating whether Christie’s administration improperly spent the money intended for storm relief on tourism ads featuring him and his family while he was running for re-election last year, CNN reports. New Jersey Democratic Representative Frank Pallone, who first sought a probe last year, told CNN that federal auditors were looking at how the state spent $25 million in relief funds.

Christie’s office said there was nothing unusual about the ads or how they were paid for.

“The Stronger Than the Storm campaign was just one part of the first action plan approved by the Obama Administration and developed with the goal of effectively communicating that the Jersey Shore was open for business during the first summer after Sandy,” spokesman Colin Reed said in a statement. “Federal agency reviews are routine and standard operating procedure with all federally allocated resources to ensure that funds are distributed fairly. We’re confident that any review will show that the ads were a key part in helping New Jersey get back on its feet after being struck by the worst storm in state history.”

(MORE: Priebus, Rove Defend Chris Christie on Bridgegate)

The trouble comes as Christie is already facing the most serious crisis of his political career: a scandal in which it’s been revealed that aides and allies snarled traffic in a North Jersey town as political payback to its mayor. Federal authorities are already looking into that matter, and Christie apologized and fired a top aide last week as more details emerged.

A senior New Jersey Democrat in the state legislature said Monday that the body’s investigation into the traffic scandal was growing into a probe of how power was abused and that a new investigative committee with subpoena power had been formed, the Associated Press reports. “It is clearly an abuse of power,” assembly majority leader Lou Greenwald said. “The question is, Who abused their power and how high did it go?”

Christie’s response to the devastating superstorm was a key selling point ahead of his landslide victory last year, and any significant questions over how he spent relief money could further damage the Republican’s 2016 presidential hopes.

37 comments
RicardoRivera
RicardoRivera

Since Christie has been exposed here and if the paper trail ends up proving he actually knew of this instead of playing the fool part than he might need to be impeached. It won’t surprise me if no paper trail leads to him for the simple fact that these people are not fools they know how to cover the governors behind. It’s simple no governor or politician should ever abuse the powers given to them by his or her citizens. I laugh how the GOP and republican voters are connecting this to the president’s so called cover ups even though those issues have been proven to be what they were witch hunts! This is local politics and for them to use the Obama card is not only desperate but comical. I’m from a state where one of our ex governors was impeached and sent to jail for abusing his powers so if Christie did abuse his powers than he must meet the same fate and just because, he’s a presidential candidate doesn’t mean he avoids taking responsibility. Nationally people are finding out what many in the east coast already knew which is that Christie is not the character they been seeing recently.

garrywcrosby
garrywcrosby

Chris Cholesterol Butt Christie! Resign! Resign! Resign!

Or. Be. "Impeached"!!!!!!!!!!!!

garrywcrosby
garrywcrosby

Fat Boy, Bubble Butt Chris Christie. Resign or Be "Impeached"!

Pick one Bubble Butt Christie! Pick One!

Mr. Chris Fat-Boy Christie! This is the beginning of "Your End"! Fat Boy Blubber Butt!

SusanZJones
SusanZJones

Talk about taking a human being and ripping his heart out. If your going to investigate Governor Chris Christies for hurricane Sandy funding you better go after Governor Cuomo for using state tax payer monies for sending checks to those who were flooded out in Herkimer ,Madison and Oneida country. In all this mess it's FEMA fault. Its FEMA who sends out checks to home owners  ,road and bridges repairs from flooding should never come from the state tax payers.. What Governor Cuomo  did he got the money from hurricane sandy but most of the people never seen 1 penny so investigate both governor's and the federal   government. Let be fair and investigate both governor. Then again during all of this there was NO FEDERAL  budget because of sequestration. I like Chris Christie he did his best and he fire 3 state workers for not doing there jobs. The media are awful horrific people.

ilikechips
ilikechips

ABC, CBS and NBC gave 29 times more coverage in just 24 hours than they did in the last 6 months covering Obama using the IRS to target conservative groups.  Enough said, what a joke. The media don't even attempt to appear to be unbiased anymore, they just don't care how ridiculous they look.  New polls show it had a very minimal impact on his approval and popularity as much as the media would have liked it to be.  We will see more of this as we approach the elections. Scandals for Christie..oh! oh! big bad bully Christie and we will see circling of the wagons around hillary as the NY Times tried to do in their silly debunked Benghazi story where they claimed Al Qeada had nothing to do with it and it was still mostly a video that outraged people. No wonder why the NY Times is in the dumps now. " what difference does it make". Ask ambassador Stevens family the answer to that one.

reallife
reallife

cough... benghazi... cough... cough


cough... fast and furious... cough... cough


cough... irs... cough... cough


cough... obamacare... cough... cough...



mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

When you spend 2 Million dollars more than the next highest bid of federal relief funds, simply because you want to turn the ads into your personal campaign platform you deserve what you get.



The Christie administration awarded a $4.7 million contract to a firm that planned to star the governor and his family in ads promoting the rebuilding effort at the Shore. "We're stronger than the storm," Christie said in the ads.

The second highest bidder offered $2.5 million for similar work, but did not plan to feature Christie in its ads.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/nj/20140114_Feds_are_examining_Christie_s_use_of_storm_ad_dollars.html#r0UT8ZiT0bPZJopG.99

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

If Christie thought giving gifts to his BFF with the teddy bears, flowers and the lovey dovey look on his eyes can make Obama soften on him, he got another disappointment coming. Not even waddling and following Obama around will soften Obama`s heart. The man is in love with himself. The GOP should avoid Christie like a plague. The man is useless to his party anyhow.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

Like it or not, Pandora's box is open, and Christie will just have to live with the consequences.


When your choice of subordinates (assuming, probably naively, that he knew nothing about any misdeeds with the GWB or elsewhere) runs towards people who believe that the kinds of things they did were OK, it calls your judgement into question.  


Christie can't present himself as a victim (which is a common trait, by the way, of bullies when challenged).  The best he can do is to be open and honest (two traits in short supply among politicians) and ride out the storm.  His future ambitions may or may not survive these episodes.


But, whatever the upshot of these episodes, Christie really has nobody to blame but himself.

doriangrey_grey
doriangrey_grey

I can't stand Chris Christie, I believe he is nothing less than a Liberal Democrat pretending to be a Republican moderate. But that said, let us not be deceived, this is 100 percent about removing him as an obstacle in Hillary Clintons path to POTUS.100 percent pure Clinton politics of personal destruction here, nothing less and nothing more.


<a href="http://thewildernessofmirrors.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/karl-rove-still-a-establishment-idiot/">Karl Rove: Still a Establishment idiot.</a>

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

Not likely to find anything but I know media hopes they do. They are making fools of themselves with this run-on reporting. What next - Christie kept someone's pen after signing an autograph?

aztecian
aztecian

he needs to got to prison.  jeez, what an incredible screw up and crook, piece of sH*!.

formeat
formeat

It's as if he's TRYING to fail.

jmcelroy888
jmcelroy888

My Mother never told me:

1. Nice guys finish last

2. Don't get Caught

3. You gotta be corrupt to be a politician


PhillyCannabis
PhillyCannabis

I thought this guy was some fat loser. He soured me on how he treats the medical cannabis in New Jersey dragging his feet the entire way. He obviously has no compassion for the sick. But now this? He is just a scumbag.

jmac
jmac

@SusanZJones Looking into this to see if his ad violated Federal law might no be unusual.   I doubt it will come to anything.


But you have your information wrong on the closing of the bridge lanes.   Two of Christie's appointees had to quit the Port Authority because they closed two lanes for four days and lied about a study as the reason.     Christie laid low.   Then he had to fire two people in high positions  from his office who were in on the closing - but only when it came out in emails from his office.    If you live in New Jersey and you couldn't get across that bridge in a timely manner for four days, you should wonder why Christie made jokes about it and possible tried to stop anyone from further investigating it.  


It's one thing to give favors or take favors away in politics - it's another to leave open only one lane over the busiest bridge in the nation for four days because  of political payback.  It's laughable you say they weren't doing their job - apparently, they WERE doing their job - at least the job they thought they were suppose to do.  

jmac
jmac

@ilikechips The MSM didn't cover this story for four months!   The ONLY reason they are covering it now is because Christie had to confess that it came from his office  -  after two of his Port Authority guys resigned (they barely covered it then!).


If you want them to cover IRS - you have to come up with something.  You have to have something.   As to Benghazi, it's mainly your Fox news 'witness' that killed that story.  The NY Times report was the icing on the cake.  

jmac
jmac

@doriangrey_grey Poor Rove.   Yesterday he was crying about Benghazi and the IRS not being covered enough as Christie was in the spot light.   Now he's decided to go for what will really rev up the base - Hillary. 


The funny thing is the people most happy he's in trouble - the Tea Party Rove helped create, plus Rand Paul.   No one's happier than Rand Paul.  Jon Stewart knows what was seen from space after this story hit.     

jsfox
jsfox

@doriangrey_grey  That's right Clinton told Christies aids and appointees to close the the lanes on the GWB. [eye roll]  Loosen your tin foil hat it cutting off the circulation to your brain.


"I believe he is nothing less than a Liberal Democrat pretending to be a Republican."


 It also seems to effecting your critical thinking skills.

jsfox
jsfox

@lordofthefly  Psst it now turns out Christie was informed of the closing and knew about them just about the same time they were happening.


"New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) provided a letter to TPM on Monday showing that she attempted to alert Gov. Chris Christie (R) about lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September, just six days after the lanes reopened.


The letter gets to the heart of one of the major unanswered questions in a scandal that has erupted from the closures: what did Christie know and when did he know it?"

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/weinberg-letter-christie-bridge


So who is it that is looking foolish?

jmac
jmac

@lordofthefly This is Christie's own making.   He could have stopped this short in the beginning (if he knew nothing about the bridge lanes closing).   Instead he made jokes.   This has been on the local news for months.   Now that he's had two resignations from the Port Authority and two firings from top people in his office, the national press has to report it.    You would have a legitimate complaint if they had been on it like Maddow for the past three months.   They haven't.   And good for them.    

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@aztecian 

There has been no proof of his involvement on anything, He can't even be indicted - much less convicted. It's as if police came into your home and said someone saw you smoking a joint, threatened you, then sent the information to media and to your immediate neighbors. Now your name is in The System and reputation is f''d for something you didn't do. That is what has happened here. If you believe media, you probably are naive enough to get caught with a joint.

TallusRip
TallusRip

@aztecianHim and every member of the GOP that practiced sedition in their efforts to shut the government down.

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@formeat 


Other than around his waistline, where's the beef?

No one has proven anything. They don't even really have a smoking gun.

SamuelClemens
SamuelClemens

@jmcelroy888 There is no crime, but getting caught. As a former prosecutor, Christie of all people should have known that.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@jmac@lordoftheflyThe sooner they quartered him and scattered his parts to the four corners of the globe the better off this country will be. Just like Braveheart.

aztecian
aztecian

@lordoftheflyoh he did it and you know it.  quit trying to protect the obstructionist.  he is guilty period.

aztecian
aztecian

@TallusRip@aztecianexactly, time to take it back.  the gop should be held accountable and sent to prison.  this is outrageous.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@jsfox@ReneDemonteverdeI do have a clue all right. People who accuses others with lack of critical thinking skills are the ones with having none at all. In fact many are not even capable of thinking for themselves but rely on talking points. Of course I do not  mean you. You are exceptional.