The Mid-Atlantic Leadership Fund, a Washington-based organization with ties to Democrats, has purchased about $900,000 worth of New York and Philadelphia TV ads attacking GOP gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie. According to filings with the Internal Revenue Service, the political organization, which will not need to disclose their donors until July, is run by Sean Sinclair, a Democratic strategist who ran Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s 2004 re-election campaign. The ad ties a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint against Todd Christie, the candidate’s brother, to the award of a lucrative federal monitor contract to David Kelley, who as U.S. Attorney in New York declined to prosecute Todd Christie.
Reid served in the Senate with Gov. Jon Corzine.
Other names associated with the Mid-Atlantic Leadership Fund include: Amanda Flanary, a former Kentucky Democratic Party official; Mike Mikus, who worked for Mississippi Democrats in 2007, and Steve Bouchard, who ran Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in South Carolina.
There has been speculation for weeks that Democrats would seek to influence the Republican primary for Governor by spending some money to beat up on Christie, with the hope that he can boost Steve Lonegan's chances to win the GOP nomination. A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday shows Christie leading Corzine by seven points, although Corzine trails Lonegan by two points.
Seven years ago in California, Gov. Gray Davis was struggling to win the approval of voters as he sought re-election to a second term. The candidate he most feared, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, had a 30-point lead in the race for the Republican nomination over conservative (and native New Jerseyan) Bill Simon. Davis, facing minor candidates in the Democratic primary, spent $10 million on ads attacking Riordan. That helped Simon win a 49%-31% victory over Riordan in the GOP primary. Davis beat Simon in the general election, 47%-42%.