From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Republican gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie yesterday pushed back on Gov. Jon Corzine's charge that a $46,000 loan Christie made to a former staffer "tarnishes [Christie's] credentials as an ethics reform candidate."
Calling Corzine's accusations "fake hysteria and fake outrage" on a conference call with reporters, Christie brought up Corzine's record during his tenure at Goldman Sachs, saying Corzine "lobbied then-President Bill Clinton for a loophole that enabled Enron to get tax breaks before the company's collapse."
Goldman did, in fact, sell financial products called monthly income preferred shares, or MIPS, to Enron in the 1990s, while Corzine was a partner at the investment firm. According to a 2005 Philadelphia Inquirer article, "the MIPS allowed Enron to create partnerships that could issue debt and raise money free of certain taxes."
But Corzine's press secretary at the time said that "Enron's secret partnerships and hidden losses were the problem," not the MIPS. Also, Goldman stopped doing business with Enron by 1994 before "the problematic Enron partnerships exploded in the late 1990s," the Inquirer wrote. Corzine did lobby President Clinton to keep the tax breaks for the MIPS, but after Enron took its business to another investment banker.
While this allegation first came to light during Corzine's successful 2005 bid for governor against Republican Doug Forrester, Christie said the issue hasn't "been fully vetted, and we need to see it in the context of his conduct as governor."
Corzine called the attack "a repeat and misframing of an issue we discussed over and over again in 2005," again calling attention to Christie's discussions he had with Bush White House advisor Karl Rove about running for governor.
*** UPDATE *** A conservative pollster shows Christie up just 3 points (39%-36%) among "definite voters" and Corzine actually up 2 among likely voters (37%-35%).
Deeds features Obama in radio ad
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds releases his third radio ad today, to be featured on African-American radio stations in Richmond, Roanoke and Hamptons Roads. The ad features excerpts from President Obama's speech in Tysons Corner, VA, where he said Deeds was "cut from the same cloth" as former Virginia Democratic Govs. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
*** CORRECTION *** A previous version of this post indicated this was Deeds' first radio ad. It's not; it is his third overall and second on predominantly African-American radio.