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Chris Christie. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor.

Christie headlining fundraiser for PAC tied to him

Just the Facts was created by Christie allies in 2019 to influence New Jersey elections

By David Wildstein, May 19 2021 9:48 am

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will headline a high dollar fundraiser to raise money for Just the Facts, an independent expenditure PAC formed by a group of his former allies in 2019.

The organization was built to allow Christie to influence New Jersey elections, but could be repurposed to pick up travel and other expenses incurred by the former governor as he mulls a second bid for the presidency in 2024.

The event is set for June 2 at The Bernards Inn in Bernardsville.  Tickets are $2,500 and $5,000.

A Monmouth University Poll released on Tuesday showed Christie with upside-down favorables of 26%-46% in New Jersey, with New Jerseyans by a 70%-17% margin saying he would not make a good President.

Just 16% of Republicans in his home state want Christie to seek the presidency, while 48% say they don’t want him and 36% said they don’t care what he does.

Just the Facts is headed by John Lutz, who had been named to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority by Christie.  Lutz was a high school classmate of former U.S. Senator Jeff Chiesa.

The PAC reported raising just $90 so far this year, $55,000 in 2020 — $50,000 came from the Operating Engineers Local 825 PAC and the remainder from Lutz – and $102,300 in 2019.

Christie and seven other potential presidential candidates attended a private event in Texas earlier to meet with top GOP donors in the state.

Unlike his exploration of a presidential bid in 2012 or his run in 2016, Christie no longer has the New Jersey Republican State Committee or the Republican Governors Associatioon to pick up the tab for his early campaign travels.

Until Christie finds a different vehicle to fund his national travel, he might have to personally pay for early campaign trips to meet with prospective donors.

A tax attorney and partner at McDermott, Will & Emery, Lutz served as chief counsel to Chiesa during his brief tenure in the United States Senate six years ago.  In 2015, he co-hosted a breakfast for bundlers raising money for Leadership Matters for America, a political action committee that supported Christie’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Lutz was among a group of four Republican Christie appointees to the EDA that Gov. Phil Murphy sought to oust in April amidst controversies involving more than $11 billion in tax credits awarded by the embattled agency.  He refused to resign but later left.

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