2013 Campaign

Christie Campaign Gets a Federal Subpoena

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have subpoenaed Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election campaign for “documents relating to government meetings that were allegedly canceled with Jersey City’s mayor after he declined to endorse the governor,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The subpoenas, sent by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, are another sign that the yearlong probe into former allies of Mr. Christie has broadened beyond matters directly related to the George Washington Bridge lane closures… Investigators were probing the office’s operations and how staffers separated official business from campaign work, according to a person familiar with the probe.”

Ex-Aide Contradicts Christie on Efforts to Woo Mayor

A former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) described an aggressive effort “to cultivate Fort Lee’s mayor for at least a year and a half before lanes were closed at the George Washington Bridge in an act of political retribution,” the New York Times reports.

“The description of the efforts to woo the mayor seemed to run contrary to the governor’s statement after the lane closings exploded into a scandal in January that Mayor Mark Sokolich had never been on his ‘radar screen.'”

Paper Regrets Christie Endorsement

The Newark Star Ledger walks back its endorsement of Gov. Chris Christie (R) in last year’s gubernatorial election.

“Yes, we knew Christie was a bully. But we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.”

Why Christie Cared So Much About Fort Lee

New York Times: “His campaign called them ‘the Top 100,’ the swing towns that Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey wanted to win as he prepared for a re-election campaign. Capturing these towns, sometimes referred to as mini-Ohios or mini-Floridas, would validate the governor’s argument that he would be the most broadly appealing Republican choice for president in 2016.”

“Staff members in the governor’s office created tabbed and color-coded dossiers on the mayors of each town — who their friends and enemies were, the policies and projects that were dear to them — that were bound in notebooks for the governor to review in his S.U.V. between events.”

Christie Canceled Meetings After Mayor Didn’t Endorse

New documents released to the Wall Street Journal “indicate that meetings arranged between top commissioners to Gov. Chris Christie and Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop were abruptly canceled without reason last year–providing evidence of Mr. Fulop’s claim that he was cut off after he decided not to endorse the governor.”

“The documents don’t indicate why the meetings were scrapped, but Mr. Fulop has said that he was punished for declining to endorse the governor. Mr. Christie attended the Democrat’s inauguration in Jersey City in July, and Mr. Fulop’s advisers had considered endorsing Mr. Christie, but ultimately didn’t.”

Jeff Zeleny: “It’s another buckle-your-seatbelt kind of week for Gov. Chris Christie. The around-the-clock analysis of his political future shows little sign of easing”

Christie Pressed Hard for Endorsements

Wall Street Journal: “Interviews with mayors and other New Jersey Democratic officials show that Mr. Christie’s allies in conversations that swung from friendly to persistent fostered a perception of better access to the governor’s office and state commissions for those who cooperated, while a few who stayed neutral or endorsed Mr. Christie’s opponent said they felt locked out. Others suffered no harm.”

“One question is whether carrot-and-stick political tactics by Christie aides played a role in a traffic scandal allegedly engineered as a political punishment for a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse the governor.”

Fewer Recalls in 2013

Joshua Spivak notes a steep drop off in elected officials who were recalled by voters this year.

“In 2011, we had 151. In 2012, we had 168, with 509 attempts. In 2013, we have 107, with 478 attempts. Of those 107 recalls, 73 were ousted; 51 officials lost a race, and another 22 resigned — a 68% removal rate. As in the past, these number probably understate the amount of recalls that took place.”

Obenshain Will Concede in Virginia

Virginia attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain (R) will concede the race to Mark Herring (D) this afternoon, the certified winner of the Nov. 5 election, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports.

“As Herring’s lead in the statewide tally had steadily widened since the recount began Monday, it became increasingly clear that Obenshain would not be able to swing the race in his favor.”

Byrne Easily Wins in Alabama

Bradley Byrne (R) coasted to victory in Alabama’s 1st congressional district special election on Tuesday night, easily defeating Burton LeFlore (D) in the final congressional special election of 2013, Roll Call reports.

Mobile Press-Register:
“Returning from the nadir of his political career after a stinging loss
in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, Bradley Byrne on Tuesday
won a landslide victory over Democrat Burton LeFlore in a special
election for Congress.”