Gov. Chris Christie is cashing in donations from top Democratic fundraisers and other traditionally liberal donors across the country, even nabbing the support of a handful of rainmakers aligned with President Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Star-Ledger review of state and federal records shows.
The checks are flying into the Republican governor’s war chest from all sorts of unlikely places — the hedge fund run by liberal billionaire George Soros, for example, and the politically progressive halls of the University of California, Berkeley.
The nascent support from Democratic donors is an early sign of Christie’s fundraising prowess in a potential run for the White House in 2016, experts and Democratic donors said, and dovetails with recent polls showing him gaining popularity nationally among Democrats and independents.
Christie’s partnership with New Jersey Democratic leaders and his warm relationship with Obama after Hurricane Sandy could be enticing donors who don’t often give to GOP candidates, even if they are closer ideologically to Democrat Barbara Buono, Christie’s lesser-known challenger, political scientists and Democratic fundraisers say.
“While I do not agree with his stance on every issue, he is one of the best political leaders I have talked to in a long time,” said Ken Rosen, a UC-Berkeley professor who cut a $3,800 check to Christie after chatting with him at two events. “He is willing to take on tough issues such as pension reform, education reform, mental-health issues, even if his views are not politically correct.”
The Star-Ledger review found:
• Five executives at Soros Fund Management have chipped in a combined $19,000 to the governor’s re-election campaign, state records show. The donor roll includes Soros’ protégé and chief investment officer, Scott Bessent, who tends to fund liberal Democrats, and Sender Cohen, a partner at the hedge fund who more often favors Republicans.
•John Doerr, a top Democratic fundraiser and venture capitalist in California, sent Christie the maximum $3,800 donation for the Republican primary this year. So did his wife. Federal records show the couple has given more than $1.2 million to national Democrats since 1997.
•Tim Mullen, a Chicago investor who gave more than $100,000 to Emanuel’s campaign for mayor in 2011 and bundled from $200,000 to $500,000 for Obama in 2008, has also sent Christie a maximum donation, as has his wife Alice. Mullen was already a Christie donor in 2009, state records show.
What these wealthy donors seem to forget is that Chris Christie is horrible on basically every single policy point. The Political Carnival lists a few of them:
Chris Christie Vetoed Same-Sex Marriage
Chris Christie Is No Friend to Workers
Chris Christie Doesn’t Believe in Universal Pre-K
Chris Christie Misuses State Funds
Chris Christie Supports the Ryan Budget
Chris Christie Vetoed a Hike in the Minimum Wage
Chris Christie Vetoed Equal Pay Legislation
Chris Christie Targeted Poor Families in His Budget
Chris Christie Cut Funding to Family Planning Organizations
Chris Christie Is Proudly Anti-Choice
But there’s a lot of people who love both claiming bipartisanship and the Christie persona of a Republican daddy talking tough and being a rude jerk to people who question him. Christie is of course an extremely dangerous politician for Democrats. There’s a real chance he could be president if Republicans were smart. Of course, they are not and I really don’t see how Christie can survive a Republican primary, no matter what he does in this Senate vacancy problem. But if he did, watch out because too many Democrats love this guy for whatever reason.