Chris Christie’s opponent not doing so well
posted at 1:09 pm on May 6, 2013 by Guy Benson
Democrat Barbara Buono is on the precipice of making state history. Where will she display the futility trophy?
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono’s campaign war chest is so skimpy she may not generate enough contributions to secure all of her public matching funds for the primary or general election. State election finance records show that if the senator from Middlesex County wants to get the maximum public matching funds before the June 4 primary, she would need to raise about $250,000 a week, or about eight times her current $30,000-a-week clip…Buono is on pace to become the first major party nominee in state history who fails to raise enough money in the primary to qualify for maximum public financing. She’s raised $738,000 thus far, earning an extra $1.02 million in public matching funds. She must bring in $1.9 million to qualify for the maximum $3.5 million in public financing for the primary. And she’ll need another $4.2 million to qualify for the maximum $8.2 million match for the general election.
In light over her fundraising crisis, Buono’s cronies in the state legislature have mobilized to try to salvage things:
Nothing demonstrates Buono’s dilemma more than a closed-door meeting in a Statehouse basement last week. Assembly Democrats were hashing out which of the dozens of bills would be put up for vote when two of the top surrogates for Buono asked the legislative staff to clear the room. The surrogates, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) and Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union), wanted no extra ears to hear their sensitive request: squash a popular bill that could further deepen Buono’s money woes as she challenges the popular Gov. Chris Christie, according to two sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about internal discussions. The bill would force certain political advocacy groups to disclose their donors. These nonprofit groups have emerged as major mouthpieces for Christie — and recently his opposition forces — by filling the airwaves with expensive commercials without having to tell the public who’s picking up the tab. As a state senator, Buono publicly supports the measure and once sponsored an identical bill. But that bill would cut off one avenue contributors have to help her without having their names being made public and possibly facing Christie’s wrath. One such group just spent more than $1 million for ads attacking the governor. The bill never made it to the Assembly floor.
Remember, though, Buono “supports” the bill that she made sure never saw the light of day. Democrats are all about disclosure — except when it complicates their electoral fortunes, or afflicts their buddies. Meanwhile, Christie is still enjoying eye-popping job approval ratings (as he has for some time) and has just announced a fundraising mega-haul:
The Christie campaign is out today announcing $6.166 million in total net contributions since the New Jersey governor declared for reelection. That figure comprises contributions from over 14,000 individuals, or roughly six times as many individual contributors as gave to the campaign during the 2009 primary season. Eighty-five percent of Christie donors are New Jersey residents, and 75 percent of them are small donors, giving $100 or less.
But hey, at least Buono’s got her head on straight regarding at least one important topic.