On a conference call with reporters just now, former U.S. Attorney and New Jersey Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie sought to open a new line of attack against Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine's ethics, hammering the incumbent as a Wall St. trader who has sold out the state -- and was then answered by a steady stream of reporters asking him about his own ethics.
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Christie attacked Corzine by tying him to the Enron scandal, citing Wall Street Journal articles from 2002. Corzine, as CEO of Goldman Sachs in the late 1990s, signed a letter to the Clinton administration opposing efforts to crack down on financial instruments known as Monthly Income Preferred Securities, which effectively helped Enron to disguise debt as equity.
Christie likened Corzine's nefarious Wall St. dealings to his conduct as governor -- for example, Christie said the incumbent recently sold out the state's interests in a last-minute deal with the Communications Workers of America union, in the run-up to holding a rally with Vice President Biden. "Because all of this is a pattern, it's a pattern of conduct by Jon Corzine that shows what he is," said Christie. "He's a trader, and traders are only worried about getting the trade in front of them done so they can get that benefit in their pocket."
The question and answer session, however, did not focus on Corzine's record on Wall St. Instead, reporters went after Christie with questions about the recently-revealed $46,000 mortgage loan he'd made to a subordinate in the U.S. Attorney's office, Michele Brown, which he'd failed to report on his financial disclosure forms or on his taxes.