A rep for Chris Christie yesterday made it clear that the New Jersey governor has no qualms about the post-Hurricane Sandy tourism ads now in the spotlight, noting that the feds approved the campaign—which featured the Christie family in an election year and was made by a firm whose bid was $2.2 million greater than that of the other finalist. But the Asbury Park Press today reports that Christie's office isn't being so clear on how the "Stronger Than the Storm" campaign came to be. The Press reports that it months ago put in a public records request asking to see the score sheets of the Economic Development Authority committee members who approved MWW's $4.7 million bid.
It should have gotten those records in seven business days, but it says it didn't receive them until it told Christie's camp it was going to go to court. And when the sheets arrived, they came with the names of the six evaluators redacted, obscuring just whose votes sent the contract to MWW. The state wouldn't explain why it hid the names, and one of those names happens to be EDA CEO Michele Brown, who worked under Christie when he was a US attorney. The Press notes that a gulf of $2.2 million wasn't the only thing separating the firms: MWW has donated some $201,300 to New Jersey candidates and political committees in 234 instances since 1987; runner-up Sigma has not. But it's the traffic scandal that will likely get the most press today: CNN reports that Christie will discuss it in his State of the State address this afternoon, per a source.