So far, 2014 has been tough for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Last week he was making headlines for the “Bridgegate Scandal” – and now, he is being audited by the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for allegedly using $2 million in storm Sandy relief funds to pay for a re-election campaign ad.
The investigation into Christie surrounds a television commercial featuring Christie and his family. The successful ad was called “Stronger than the Storm” and aired last spring — we reported on the commercial back in August when it was revealed that Christie used Sandy relief money to fund it.
New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6th District) wrote a letter in August that said, “It is inappropriate for taxpayer-funded dollars that are critical to our state’s recovery from this natural disaster to fund commercials that could potentially benefit a political campaign.”
The letter continued, “While promoting tourism at the Jersey Shore in the wake of Hurricane Sandy is certainly a worthy endeavor, recent reports have led me to believe that the state has irresponsibly misappropriated funding allocated by Congress from the Sandy aid package and taken advantage of this waiver for political purposes.”
In response to his letter, Pallone was recently notified that HUD found “enough evidence to justify a full-scale audit of the state’s usage of the federal funds.”
In a statement, Pallone said, “Had Governor Christie chosen the less expensive firm, $2.2 million in federal disaster aid could have potentially been directed elsewhere, for example, to provide 44 Sandy-impacted homeowners $50,000 grants to raise their homes.”
Christie is likely to run for president in 2016. The new slew of scandals could potentially put a wrench in these plans. Many Christie supporters complain that the mainstream media have been giving these Christie “scandals” far more attention than the Obama scandals earlier this year.