Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Behind the Ad: Did Chris Christie use Sandy funds for political gain?

By Richard K. Barry

Who: New Jersey.

Where: New Jersey.

What's going on: This is simple and interesting. Following Superstorm Sandy, one company bid $2.5 million to produce an upbeat ad promoting New Jersey as it recovered from the devastation.  They lost to a company that bid $4.7 million. According to Reuters, the losing bid may have failed because its proposed ad did not feature Gov. Christie:

Sigma Group's $2.5 million bid lost out to a $4.7 million bid by MWW of East Rutherford, New Jersey, for a campaign that featured Christie and his family proclaiming the state is "stronger than the storm."


While well-received at the time, the ad campaign has become a headache for Christie. Already enmeshed in a scandal over snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge, Christie is being audited by the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to determine if Sandy funds were misappropriated to put him in the spotlight during an election year, an agency spokesman said.

Not surprisingly, a Christie spokesman said that he was confident "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."

L'Etat, c'est moi, eh Chris?

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