Bridge scandal not hurting Chris Christie’s fundraising efforts

CBS

Updated at 1:05 p.m.

The problems stemming from the George Washington Bridge scandal don’t appear to be hurting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s ability to bring in money for the Republican Governors Association. On Tuesday morning, the group that Christie currently chairs announced it brought in $6 million in January, more than twice as much than has ever been raised during the same month in its history.

Christie is currently on a fundraising trip around the country. He has visited Florida and Texas – where he raised $1.5 million last week, according to RGA communications director Gail Gitcho – and has stops planned in Illinois Tuesday. The trip could be an awkward one, though, as several Republican gubernatorial candidates have said they have no plans to come to the events.

Still the RGA seems in good spirits because of the uptick in fundraising. Last week, Christie announced the group had raised $50 million in 2013 and had $50 million cash on hand, which was twice as much as they raised in the comparable 2010 year and eclipses the Democratic Governors Association’s haul, the group said.

Back on the home front, Christie continues to be embroiled in the aftermath of the scandal, as several of his top gubernatorial and campaign aides are alleged to have orchestrated the closure of several lanes on the George Washington Bridge as an act of political retaliation against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that the state legislative committee investigation the bridge scandal will issue 18 new subpoenas in their investigation that range from the governor’s office to Christie’s inner circle and officials at the Port Authority of New York. 

New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) is set to decide today whether Christie’s reelection campaign can use leftover campaign funds and even raise more money to answer the subpoenas being sought by investigators. The campaign account has nearly $126,000 left from the November 2013 election, but cannot legally spend more than $12,905 because of the maximum spending limits imposed by the state, according to the Star-Ledger.

Mark Sheridan, Christie’s campaign attorney, said it would be a “perverse result” if ELEC rules against the campaign because they would be forced to choose between violating campaign-finance law and answering a subpoena.


  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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