NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: A tough new story about Chris Christie's expense habits as U.S. Attorney.
Records shows that while acting as U.S. attorney, Christie often spent beyond federal guidelines on business travel, the AP reports. The travel records, obtained by Christie's Democratic opponent Gov. Jon Corzine through a Freedom of Information Act, show that "Christie occasionally billed taxpayers more than $400 a night for stays in luxury hotels and exceeded the government's hotel allowance on 14 of 16 business trips he took in 2008." Christie claims he only opted to stay in more expensive hotels when cheaper ones were not available, the AP writes.
Meanwhile a new Quinnipiac poll has the race a dead heat, Christie at 41%, Corzine at 40% and indie Chris Daggett at 14%. Today, we look at Daggett's support... A few interesting nuggets, he's getting 10% of Democrats, 7% of Republicans and 18% of independents, those breakdowns seem about right. He's OVER-performing in the Philly suburbs which could be an indication that those folks in the NYC suburbs haven't tuned in yet. Philly-Jersey folks are usually a tad more tuned into state politics than NYC-Jersey voters. BTW, among Daggett voters, Christie leads 40-33... so he's only pulling SLIGHTLY more from Christie than Corzine. Daggett's biggest obstacle: 73% don't know enough about him to offer up an opinion.
Now, here's a fascinating poll result that may tell us more about why Christie has stalled. Asked if Corzine is honest and trustworthy, 45% said yes, 48% said no. About what you might expect given his approval rating right now. But how about Christie? 42% believe he is honest and trustworthy... 40% believe he is NOT! The fact that his honest/trustworthy score isn't THAT much better than Corzine's shows the Corzine campaign is running a pretty effective disqualifying campaign against the Republican. And Daggett's score? 29% say yes, 8% say no, 63% don't know.
VIRGINIA: Both candidates in the Virginia governor's race chose to focus on the same topic while out on the campaign trail yesterday -- Republican nominee Bob McDonnell's image. McDonnell continues to portray himself as a "pro-business moderate" while Democratic challenger Creigh Deeds calls McDonnell out on being "an election-year convert who is too conservative for Virginia," the Washington Post writes. Deeds criticized McDonnell for side-stepping questions during Monday night's debate, particularly regarding global warming and about which party's presidents and governors have served Virginia better, the Post reports. McDonnell's response was "both." Deeds spokesman Jared Leopold said, "It always seems like he's [McDonnell is] not willing to admit where he really stands." McDonnell said yesterday that "he was disappointed in Deeds's 'divisive' campaign tactics," the Post writes.
NY-23: The Republican nominee in the NY-23 special election, Dede Scozzafava, "is running dangerously low on campaign cash," and "she's unable to compete financially with her two opponents," Politico reports. Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman is outspending her, as well as her Democratic opponent Bill Owens who is outspending her nearly 12-1 on television advertising. Politico writes, "Scozzafava has drawn fire from the right over her support for abortion rights and gay marriage," and her supporters argue that her lack of fundraising is due to the lack of support coming from the Washington GOP establishment.
NYC MAYOR: Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Comptroller Bill Thompson were in full on "attack mode" last night. " Thompson struck first, blasting Bloomberg for undoing term limits without approval from the voters," saying "Mike Bloomberg lied to the people of New York City." The mayor then "turned the tables as he defended spending millions to air ads slamming Thompson's record as president of the old Board of Education. Bloomberg said test scores are up and crime is down since he took control of the schools, rescuing them from the dark days of the 1990s when Thompson was in charge."
It's interesting that the Bloomberg-Thompson debate got interrupted by the lone issue that will keep Bloomberg from winning in a landslide: term limits.