“Pay to play” laws restrict presidential candidates from taking money from investment firms which do business in the home state of a particular candidate. This is a problem for Christie as a number of large banks are based in New Jersey, right across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
When I was a young stock broker I worked for one of these banks based in New Jersey and I can remember looking out over the river early in the morning with the Empire State Building towering in the distance, and watching helicopter after helicopter fly from New Jersey to Wall Street. It was like watching bees fly from a hive to a sunflower field.
The people in these helicopters represent immense power and potentially big time political contributions for Christie. But all that money might be off limits. Oh no.
What’s more, many New York City bundlers with ties to Wall Street are less convinced than Christie’s team that he can serve out his term and run for president simultaneously. In interviews, many of them said bluntly said they expect he will have to leave at some point in 2015 – even if he gets creative about when he formally declares. (Assuming, of course, he runs as expected.)
“I think he has to resign,” said one bundler, who asked not to be identified discussing Christie’s future. “Investment firms aren’t going to want to risk giving him money [and losing New Jersey state business].”
Another bundler agreed, saying, “When there’s a gray area, general counsels are telling [companies not to let their employees] give money.”