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Rand Paul Slammed Christie For Sandy Ads In November

An inspector general is now looking into reports of impropriety.

Posted on January 13, 2014, at 12:36 p.m. ET

Sen. Rand Paul raised questions about the same Hurricane Sandy ad campaign now being investigated by the federal government, calling the advertisements a "black eye" at a November committee hearing looking into the government's response to the storm.

Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey, said Monday the Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general planned to audit the campaign to take a closer look at the how the $25 million spent promoting the Jersey Shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was used.

At the heart of the controversy are several of ads featuring Gov. Chris Christie and his family, all of which ran while Christie was in the heat of his reelection campaign. The Christie administration rewarded the $4.7 million contract to produce the ads to a public relations firm that proposed using Christie in the ads. Another firm that had bid $2 million less for the ads and did not propose using Christie in the campaign did not receive the contract, CNN reported.

Here's Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is a rival of Christie's and a possible presidential primary opponent knocking the governor for the ads.

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"Some of these ads, people running for office put their mug all over these ads while they're in the middle of a political campaign," Paul said. "In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office. I'm thinking there might be a conflict of interest there. That's a real problem. And that's why, when people are trying to do good and trying to use the taxpayers' money wisely, they're offended to see our money spent on political ads. That's just offensive."

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan declined to take a position on the issue of whether the appropriate for New Jersey to use the money on an ad campaign but said research shows such ads are effective in helping return money to the local economy in disaster-ravaged areas.

Paul and Christie previously tussled over Sandy aid from the federal government with Paul calling Christie the "king of bacon."

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Here's one of the ads featuring Christie and his family.

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