Real estate is a hot-button issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, and it has emerged that one of the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination has a $10 million-per-month contract to buy up properties for a political operation called the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
The contract, according to The Associated Press, is with a real estate developer who says he’s doing it to help Christie run the state, not as a favor to the candidate.
The agreement comes a month after Christie’s re-election bid collapsed, after he had to make $3.6 million in payments to the New York state legislature to reimburse taxpayers for his lavish campaign activities.
It was the first time Christie had to repay his campaign money.
The deal also includes a payment of $1.25 million to the state treasurer to repay an additional $300,000 for the construction of a new arena for the New England Patriots.
Christie said at the time that the payment was to cover construction costs related to the arena.
Christie has been criticized for his spending, including the nearly $200 million in political contributions that were declared in New Jersey last year, and for his $3 million purchase of a waterfront mansion in Fort Lee, N.J., that became the focal point of an ethics investigation by the state.
The AP story said the contract includes a lease to buy two properties at Christie’s Meadowlands estate on Long Island for $10.2 million.
The Christie campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.