October 27th, 2009
03:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Corzine nearly exhausts self-funded campaign war chest

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/27/art.corzine.gi.jpg
caption="Corzine nearly exhausts self-funded campaign war chest."]
(CNN) - Despite pouring millions into his re-election bid from his personal fortune, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine finds himself entering the final stretch before Election Day with significantly less money in his campaign warchest than his publicly financed Republican opponent.

According to documents released Tuesday by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, the Democratic incumbent had only $412,410 in his general election campaign account as of October 20, despite having kicked in $22.6 million from personal funds. Corzine's chief opponent, Republican Chris Christie, had $2.9 million in available cash to spend on the final days of the campaign.

Unlike Corzine, both Christie and independent candidate Chris Daggett participated in the state's public matching funds program, designed in part to reduce a candidate's need to raise campaign funds. Christie received the maximum $7.3 million in public funds and raised an additional $4.4 million from contributors for a total of $11.7 million raised for the general election. Daggett raised a total of $1.3 million for the general election, almost $727,000 of which came from public funding.

Corzine's spending to date has more than doubled that of Christie and Daggett combined. The governor has spent $23.6 million since winning the Democratic nomination for a second term, while Christie has spent $8.8 million in the same period. Daggett has spent $1.2 million.

Although Corzine's campaign reported having less money in the bank than the Christie campaign by the end of the last filing period, the governor likely will not be strapped for cash as state law allows him to loan himself an unlimited amount from personal funds.

According to personal financial disclosures he has filed over the years, Corzine, a former CEO of the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs, has a personal net worth estimated in the hundreds of millions, which he has has dipped into in on several occasions to fund his bids for elected office.

This year, the governor loaned or contributed to his campaign a total of $28.2 million in personal funds for the primary and general election. He first won the governorship in 2005 after spending $42.4 million of his own money against another wealthy, self-financed candidate. In 2000, he won a U.S. Senate seat after spending a record $59 million in personal funds. In total, Corzine has spent at least $130 million from his own largesse over the course of nine years and three statewide campaigns.

The governor has received high-profile support from Democrats nationally, most notably from President Obama, who headlined a campaign rally for Corzine last week. Democrats hope to hold the governorships in New Jersey and Virginia this year before heading into a competitive midterm election season next year.

Recent polls have shown Corzine pulling even with Christie after trailing for much of the year. Daggett, the independent candidate, has gained support in polls largely at Christie's expense.

Filed under: Jon Corzine
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. single mom

    Corzine was a CEO for Goldman Sachs? That one piece of information makes so much understandable. I'm sure there have been senior executives at GS that aren't corrupt, but I haven't heard of any. They all seem part of an 'old-boy' network that transcends political parties – former GS executifves were heavily involved in the TARP passed under Bush and are major players in the Obama administration.

    October 27, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. David

    Money cant buy you love Corzine,mabe votes but not love.He should of just gave it all to ACORN and let them register a million mickey mouses, toss in some tombstone names with that and its yippie Im gov again.

    October 27, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. David in Oregon

    Whether they be Democrat or Republican it is quite obvious that neither Party is interested in us, the American citizen. Sure, they snipe at each other (while winking) to keep up the illusion that they oppose one another. But at the end of the day the both only care about maintaining the status quo which means catering to big business and the wealthy. Sadly, they use us voters as pawns in their nefarious dance; we're sheep who blindly follow one Party or the other, not realizing they both stand for the same thing (and it's not us).

    Those of us in the middle (the majority of voters) who have watched the antics over the health care reform "debate" are beginning to awaken and we're getting very tired of seeing big business and the wealthy being represented at our expense.

    My solution: vote out the incumbent Senator or Congressman, regardless of party affiliation, in 2010. Ideally, we would have more Independent candidates involved but, if not, just send the political parties a clear message by voting incumbent out. And then do it again in 2012 if the status quo remains.

    October 27, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. If you're rich enough....

    It appears that if you are rich enough you can buy yourself a position in government. Well done Corzine!

    October 27, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Jill, California

    If Corzine has a proven track record, then he should be reelected easily. I do wish him luck..

    October 27, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Tyrone

    Jon Corzine needs to find something else to spend his money on. The people of New Jersey need to get rid of all incumbants and start over. I know that this is tough to do especially when you might have to vote for someone in a party that has different beliefs.

    But then vote them out the next time! If we rotate enough people through, maybe we'll get people in office who get elected to serve others instead of themselves.

    All Corzine managed to do was raise our taxes and engage in questionable negotiations with his ex-girlfriend's union. The man isn't bright enough to buckle his seatbelt in the car! Surely we can find someone a little smarter than a 5th grader!

    Please go out and vote! Make your voice heard!

    October 27, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Doug, New Jersey

    "New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission"

    Ha ha, yeah, real big difference between these guys and ACORN.

    Bunch of corrupt libs extorting money and fixing elections, then again that is pretty much what the Democrat party has come to stand for.

    It is any wonder why the mafia and mafia wanna-bees are such loyal Democrats?

    October 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Bluebonnet

    If all these corrupt politicians would spend this massive amount of money toward the good of all mankind, this country would be in much better shape all the way around. Sad how much money is spent on campaigning and lobbying. We should all start protesting right now and we would have less taxes, more insurance, more everything, because the politicians are making sure that we DON'T. Just think about it. All that and no to mention Obama firing up Air Force One to travel to how many states a week?? to campaign for another loser democRAT!!

    October 27, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. inofritzn

    SO much money... makes my head spin. We wonder why they get corrupt or land in the back pocket of some special interest group.

    October 27, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. speedy1969

    Great, another broke democrat looking to feed at the trough.

    October 27, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. gt

    well maybe he wont run any fat adds now,,, corzines is lucky christie did not run any bald joke ads or ugly rich guy adds ....

    October 27, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. phoenix86

    Four more days until ACORN funding is reinstated. Hang on Johnnie, help is on the way.....

    October 27, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Hugo

    Doesn't it make any common American citizen wonder why on earth these megalamaniacs would spend their own money to gain an elected seat that has such a minimal paycheck? 22.6 million dollars of his own cash, I wonder what the take is on the back side as Govenor, must make this look like chump change.

    PS: The Federal and State Government are the worst creators of hazardous waste sites on American soil, just as they are the largest consumers of energy. Don't believe it, take a look at where all the Superfund sites are, military bases, how much fuel does AF1 burn an hour, how much does Fancy Nancy burn a week in jet fuel?! Do as I say, Not as I do!

    October 27, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. stormnnorman1

    The Democrats are always complaining about the rich Republicans. While in their mist is are many millionaires.
    It always boils down to money in these bids for elections. It is the power brokers, which are destroying this Country, from the inside. Greedy liars claiming to be responsible, when in fact they have no such desire.
    They lie to the people using their money and people believing the lies and then asking why, they must endure another term by the ones, they were first complaining about.
    It would be nice to see Daggett an honest citizen, win to see how he would use the office to help his people out of this mess.
    Go Daggett!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 27, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. BestProfitCompany = WAR

    As a democrat, I dont trust this guy. He is pulling a Hilary where they don't manage their money correctly and go into debt because they spend more then they have on campaigns. That to me is a bad sign. If they can't manage their money then how are they gonna manage the government. To this day, Hilary is still paying her debt! On top of that, Corzine used to work for Goldman Sachs... enough said there. That is why, as a democrat, I dont support Corzine. Vote Independent on this race because Corzine can't be trusted and rethuglicans are even more out of control!

    October 27, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. JerseyMike

    talk about trying to BUY an election. If a republican did this the liberals would be screaming from the rooftops.


    October 27, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. S Callahan

    Gulp ....I thought he was flowing ahead? hmmmmm...

    October 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Terri

    Lord, that's a lot of your own money to spend just to hold an office. I think these politicians get addicted to the fame and power of office and are will to do anything to get and stay in office.

    October 27, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. southerncousin

    Don't worry, the mafia and the SEIU (same thing actually) have plenty of money and will push this jerk over the top. He will be doing the perp walk in two years. New Jersey politics are so corrupted by unions.

    October 27, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I have mixed feelings about someone able to kick in that much from their own personal wealth. It limits those that can run to only wealthy. It also means that they are beholden to few people if any at all. I would like there to be a smaller need to raise that kind of money for a political campaign.

    October 27, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Marie in California

    Looks like maybe Corzine's wealth won't buy his way into the governor's office this time. Which is as it should be.

    Personally, I think ALL candidates should go with public financing and, maybe, individual donations. They should not be able to use their own massive wealth to further their political aspirations.

    But then......I'e always been an idealist......

    October 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Obama WORST president EVER

    NJ residents only have themselves to blame if they vote this moron back in.

    October 27, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |