Rumors abound of Chris Christie’s Florida fundraising trip leaving donors underwhelmed for 2016, but at least one big money donor is sticking it out. Stanley Druckenmiller, the founder of Duquesne Capital Management, appeared at one of Christie’s fundraisers this weekend and sticks by him as a “once in a generation” leader.
Druckenmiller initially made the comment that he considered Christie an outstanding leader in the immediate aftermath of the Governor’s two-hour press conference earlier this month, stating that his actions during such a conference “reinforces my admiration for him.” The hedge fund manager, along with Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone, are considered Christie’s top money donors and closest allies in Wall Street and corporate America. Both are considered to have not been particularly swayed against Christie by the scandal, even as reports surfaced that former Florida Governor and perennial speculative candidate Jeb Bush might still be interested in having his name casually lobbed around by “elite New York financial circles.”
The proof that Druckenmiller and Langone are sticking around came this weekend, mere hours after an entirely new scandal unrelated to the George Washington Bridge surfaced: that Christie’s senior officials had threatened Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer with withholding Hurricane Sandy funding if she did not approve a real estate project backed by a Christie ally.
Langone hosted a private fundraiser Saturday night in his home for Florida Governor Rick Scott, at which Governor Christie, the head of the Republican Governors’ Association, was the main attraction. Langone, who has been profiled in the New York Times for his feverish support of Christie along with Druckenmiller, told the press that Christie indeed mentioned the bridge scandal and answered questions at the event about the incident. As the Dawn Zimmer scandal broke that day, no relevant reports seem to mention Christie addressing those more grievous allegations at the fundraiser. Druckenmiller did attend the event, however.
The New Jersey Legislature will resume investigations into the George Washington Bridge incident in mid-February, having sent out 20 subpoenas. Among those subpoenaed once again is former senior Christie aide David Wildstein. All email evidence points to the bridge closure being Wildstein’s idea after Christie’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly requested some “traffic problems in Fort Lee” from Wildstein. Wildstein was held in contempt when last subpoenaed for refusing to answer questions, but is offering to tell all in exchange for prosecutorial immunity.