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.
Here’s just a sample of what Christie is pulling in:
• 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.
This ought to pose an interesting dilemma for the old, doddering, decrepit Republican establishment. Because choosing to align themselves with a Soros-backed, Obama-hugging, anti-Second Amendment, pro-illegal immigration, pro-Islamist “moderate” like Christie might be a bridge too far, even for these neo-Statist, cowardly, ruling elites.