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Jan 032013

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(TRENTON, N.J.) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who blasted members of his own party Wednesday for abandoning a $60 billion relief bill for superstorm Sandy victims, had a fruitful fundraising period, raising more than $2.1 million since he announced his re-election effort Nov. 26.

The campaign pulled in the cash in 36 days and without a single fundraising event. Mike Duhaime, the spokesman for the campaign, wouldn’t comment on specific breakdowns of the haul, but said it was “a lot of different people, both small donors and large all over the country,” including “all 21 counties in New Jersey.”

“The vast, vast majority came from within New Jersey, but there were [donors] from around the country,” Duhaime said. “We feel great about it, but it was pretty much organic. Some came from the Web, some from word of mouth.”

Duhaime added that the campaign sent out a small amount of direct mail to donors who gave to Christie during his 2009 campaign. It’s notable that the funds came in during the holiday season and when the state is still reeling from Sandy, which slammed into New Jersey Oct. 29.

The specific breakdown of the funds will be revealed when the next Federal Election Commission reports are filed Jan. 15.

By way of comparison, Christie’s entire 2009 campaign spent $12 million, although it’s important to note that he now enjoys the power of incumbency and a political machine in place since 2009.

This campaign has not only had no fundraisers but has only had one specific campaign event. Christie received the endorsement of the Laborers International Union of North America last month. The 20,000-member group backed Democrat Jon Corzine in the 2009 campaign.

Unlike other states, New Jersey does not keep an open account for the governor’s campaign, Duhaime says, so as soon as Christie officially “filled out the paperwork and announced ‘I’m going to run,’ dozens of people wanted to help.”

As for Christie’s bashing Wednesday of House Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for pulling a vote on Sandy funding at the last minute, Duhaime says money is “coming in every day at this point,” but there’s no breakdown since the governor described the House’s adjourning without voting on the relief package as “disappointing and disgusting.”

Christie, 50, who is considered a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said there was “only one group to blame, the Republican Party and Speaker Boehner.”

Spokesman Duhaime said, “Good governing is good politics and yesterday you saw a display of what a great governor is. If that makes more people want him to stay governor that is a very good thing, but that’s just him doing his job.”

During the 2008 campaign, Christie was a fundraising machine for both GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, traveling across the country to try to haul in cash for their effort. It’s something another Northeastern Republican, Rep. Peter King of New York, mentioned Wednesday in his own disgust about the lack of a vote on the bill.

“I’m just saying, these people have no problem finding New York – these Republicans – when they’re trying to raise money,” King said on CNN.  “They raise millions of dollars in New York City and New Jersey, they send Gov. Christie around the country raising millions of dollars for them.

“I’m saying, anyone from New York and New Jersey who contributes one penny to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee should have their head examined. I would not give one penny to these people based on what they did to us last night.”

Only one Democrat has announced a challenge to Christie: State Sen. Barbara Buono, who has been in state government for 20 years. There had been speculation that Newark Mayor Cory Booker would jump into the race, but he announced a run for U.S. Senate instead.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Nov 162012

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) — News that Twinkies maker Hostess would liquidate over a labor dispute took charge of the Internet Friday. The nuclear-resistant treats might not be helping America’s collective waist line, but they’re a nostalgic treat for some.

But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wanted nothing to do with a question thrown to him at a press conference about the potential Twinkies demise. “It’s bad enough that you got me to say Twinkie behind this podium,” he joked.

“You know, I’m on Saturday Night Live enough,” he said. But he clearly enjoyed being able to joke about Twinkies. His office posted video of his answer on the Youtube and it was tweeted from his official Twitter account.

Watch the entire response here:

Christie sensed a setup in the question. Twinkies are notoriously unhealthy. His weight has been the subject of much discussion since he took office. He told Jake Tapper this year on losing weight, “If it were easy, I’d already have it fixed.” Watch that interview HERE.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Oct 102012

Office of the Governor, Florida(TAMPA, Fla.) — An honest mistake led to a racy recording after Florida Gov. Rick Scott misread the toll-free number for his state’s Health Department during a cabinet meeting Tuesday, rattling off the digits for a phone-sex hotline instead.

Scott was giving an update on the fungal meningitis outbreak spreading to Florida this week when he mixed up the last four digits of the phone number that the state has set up for constituents to call with information about the deadly outbreak. State officials confirmed this week that the outbreak had spread to Florida after a 70-year-old man was killed by steroid medication contaminated by the fungus.

“You can call the Department of Health’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline set up for this,” Scott said Tuesday before citing an 866 number that, according to Tampa radio station WUSF, connects to an adult-entertainment recording.

“Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary,” a recorded female voice says on the phone-sex hotline.

The governor’s spokeswoman, Jackie Schutz, said Scott “inadvertently gave the wrong number,” but corrected himself and cited the correct hotline number later in the cabinet meeting.

The number for the Florida Health Department’s meningitis hotline is (866) 523-7339.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sep 062012

ABC News(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue says the American people don’t blame President Obama for last summer’s struggle to pass a deficit reduction package.

Speaking to Rick Klein, Amy Walter and Yahoo!’s Olivier Knox at the Democratic National Convention Thursday, the Democratic governor said it was the partisan politics of other elected officials across the country, unwilling to reach across the aisle, that prevented Obama from doing more during his first four years in office.

“You can’t get to the solutions that is [sic] demanded by America without having people who are willing to compromise,” Perdue said. “That’s what makes politics work. That is not the president’s fault.”

Perdue, who said in January she would not run for re-election as governor of the Tar Heel State, blamed Tea Party politicians for Congress’ struggle with the debt ceiling negotiations.

She had high hopes for North Carolina, saying Obama could carry the state.

“I believe this president will be able to take it to the people once he’s re-elected he can go out there state by state, and say, ‘Shame on you all for not working for the benefit of America,’” Perdue said. “And I believe Americans are looking for the kind of leaders who are hopeful.”


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Apr 202012

Office of the Governor(WASHINGTON) — Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina posed for Vogue’s latest issue in what could be read as a profile-boosting bid as Mitt Romney chooses a running mate. Or maybe the Tea Party favorite simply couldn’t resist the treatment that had famously been given to political women before her, including Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

As a supporter of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Haley has campaigned for Romney and is seen by the establishment GOP as a surrogate who can whip conservative voters who might have been skeptical of the front-runner during the primary.

That role and the fact she’s a woman have led to speculation that Romney might want her on the ticket with him.

“People ask the question, ‘If you’re offered VP, would you take it?’” Haley told the magazine. “No, I won’t take it. I’m not going to leave the people that just gave me this chance.”

Despite her answer, the political class in Haley’s state seems to think she has bigger ambitions. Vogue reports that a South Carolina legislator who grew angry in a meeting with Haley asked her whether she would still be in her job long enough to see her agenda enacted, implying that she had her eyes on the vice presidency.

Haley, according to the magazine, told the lawmaker “that she is in South Carolina to stay.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio