The Campaign Spot

Sometimes This Stuff Just Happens

It just so happens that the Democrat-controlled U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law has nothing more pressing to do than hold a hearing on the deferred prosecution agreements of former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who just happens to be running for governor of New Jersey as a Republican, and who just happens to be leading troubled Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine by about 12 percentage points.

And when reviewing Christie’s agreements, Subcommittee Chair Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., just happened to characterize his agreements with companies under investigation as “[making] them an offer they couldn’t refuse.”

And while questioning a witness who’s running as a corruption-busting reformer, Cohen just happened to quote “The Godfather” in reference to his Italian-American witness’s decisions. Cohen emphasized that this just happened, he couldn’t possibly have known that Christie was Italian-American, obviously the witness before him could just as easily be African-American or Puerto Rican or Chinese or Scandanavian.

In unrelated news, Cohen just happens to be a jerk using his congressional subcommittee to try to save a sinking, unpopular incumbent Democratic governor with farfetched and specious claims of corruption punctuated by none-too-subtle ethnic stereotyping.

UPDATE: D. J. McGuire notices that Cohen steered a high-six-figure earmark to a firm that Christie investigated and charging with conspiring to violate the federal anti-kickback statute. (Er, make that Spotsylvania County supervisor candidate D. J. McGuire.)

Perhaps I was wrong. Cohen may be less interested in trying to save Corzine than in saving himself.

ANOTHER UPDATE:  Today, Chris Christie issued a statement following his appearance before the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law in Washington:

I am glad I had the opportunity to discuss in detail the good work the U.S. Attorney’s office was able to accomplish reforming corrupt industries, protecting taxpayer dollars and ultimately, saving jobs. Our work was again reaffirmed today when one of the leaders of President Obama’s Justice Department said that the Administration opposes the Pallone/Pascrell legislation and has no plans to change the process in place for deferred prosecution agreements.  Clearly, the Obama Administration understands these procedures help give U.S. Attorneys the tools they need to achieve real, meaningful reform and save tax dollars, not just play for political headlines.

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