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September 23, 2014

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Feds probe NJ’s $25 million post-storm marketing campaign

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Mel Evans / AP

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gestures during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J.

TRENTON, N.J. — Federal officials are taking a closer look at how New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration spent $25 million to promote the Jersey shore after Superstorm Sandy. Democratic U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.'s office says the inspector general at the Department of Housing and Urban Development will audit the campaign, which featured commercials showing the Christie family. The inspector general conducted a basic review last year at Pallone's urging. Pallone says the office found enough evidence to justify a full audit. The administration chose a politically connected public relations company over another firm that had bid $2 million less. The winning bidder proposed using Christie in the ads, while the other did not. Christie spokesman Colin Reed says the federal government approved the campaign and that the administration expects a review will find it was effective.

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