New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie remains under fire on ethics even after paying his own way to Green Bay to watch his Dallas Cowboys fall to the Packers Sunday.
But despite the controversy swirling over his previous acceptance of travel and game tickets from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Christie's potential 2016 White House campaign continues to pick up critical support, according to USA Today
The Republican National Committee's top fundraiser, Ray Washburne, is expected to leave that position to join Christie's campaign team, The New York Observer reported
And Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, a top Republican donor, is organizing a dinner this month in New York to drum up support for Christie, according to The Wall Street Journal
But back home, a Democrat-leaning group released a video blasting Christie over a variety of issues ranging from the state's recent credit downgrades to the governor's trip to Texas, paid for by Jones, to watch the Cowboys, NJ.com reported
The announcement came just hours before Christie's State of the State address to the Legislature on Tuesday afternoon.
The ethics controversy stems from a lucrative contract awarded by the Port Authority, co-owned by the states of New York and New Jersey, to a hospitality company co-owned by Jones. The firm would manage the observation deck atop the new 1 World Trade Center tower scheduled to open this year.
Jones hosted Christie at the Jan. 4 playoff game at AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas, in which the Cowboys defeated the Detroit Lions. Jones reportedly paid for the governor's private jet to Texas and his luxury suite at the game.
Christie has defended the gift from the Cowboys' owner as permissible under New Jersey law.
Former Republican state Sen. William Schluter, who served on the New Jersey Ethics Commission until Christie decided not to reappoint him last year, said he does not believe that the governor could end the questions about impropriety by reimbursing Jones for the value of the gifts, the Asbury Park Press reported Monday.
"I think the damage was done and I think a reimbursement is unlikely because from the governor's standpoint it would have a negative effect by indicating something wrong was done,'' Schluter said.
A spokesman for the governor said Christie paying his own way to Green Bay was intended to put the issue to rest and "keep silliness out of the football season.''
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