Campaign finance regulations are more loophole than law, chapter 22:
New Jersey sensibly has a law banning contributions to New Jersey politicians from recipients of large contracts from New Jersey government. The contractors, also sensibly, would like to show their appreciation.
Problem? No problem. As the New York Times reports this a.m.:
Instead, the donors wrote checks for as much as $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association, an organization Mr. Christie helps lead that has collected $1.65 million from New Jersey donors during the first six months of the year.
The association has, in turn, poured $1.7 million into Mr. Christie’s re-election effort, with television advertisements attacking State Senator Barbara Buono, his Democratic opponent in the election this year.
Mr. Christie’s close relationship with the association provides a playbook for how carefully choreographed independent spending campaigns can undermine the rules meant to curtail the political influence of government contractors; New Jersey’s pay-to-play law strictly limits the participation of state contractors in political giving.
According to an analysis by The New York Times, a third of the $1.65 million the association raised in New Jersey came from people and businesses who had significant contracts with the state, or from utilities, which are prohibited from making any contributions to candidates for governor.
Problem? Problem solved.