Contributions to Chris Christie’s gubernatorial challenger aren’t exactly rolling in. To put it nicely, Barbara Buono is broke.
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.
And when it comes time for her to choose between principles and politics, principles lose every time.
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.
Hypocrisy, thy name is Barbara Buono. No wonder she’s trailing by 30+ points in the polls. And it’s pretty telling that the most powerful Democrat in North Jersey, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, “hasn’t decided” who he’s gonna endorse. Word is that he’s leaning toward backing Christie, which would effectively cut Babs off at the knees.
Babs says she doesn’t need a lot of money, she’s gonna run a “grass roots” campaign. Because yeah, she’s already lost in the weeds.