New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading to Washington, D.C., to score what could be hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars waiting for him at the palatial home of one of the nation's leading lobbyists — BGR Group Chairman Ed Rogers.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will serve as the ceremonial host of the Christie fundraiser, which is slated to take place on Thursday, Feb. 28, according to an invitation obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.
Individuals must donate $3,800 to attend, the invitation states. Political action committees and corporations are also allowed to donate up to $3,800 for the governor's re-election efforts, although New Jersey law prohibits entities in certain regulated industries — such as casinos, financial institutions, insurance companies and utilities — from contributing.
Rogers in 2012 personally registered to lobby for numerous corporations and special interests, including Affiliated Computer Services, pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, defense contractor Raytheon, energy giant Southern Co., Xerox and the governments of Kurdistan, Kazakhstan and India.
Christie, a Republican who faces re-election in November, is among the nation's most visible politicians. A potential 2016 presidential candidate, he routinely made front-page news last year, whether as a prospective vice presidential candidate for Mitt Romney, keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention or the face of recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the Jersey shore.
As for Rogers' home, it's the height of opulence — reportedly more than 15,000 sq. ft. in size and containing 11 bathrooms. Fairfax County records indicate that the house and four-acre property are valued at more than $5 million.
In addition to political fundraisers, Rogers' home has also hosted its share of domestic distress and has been listed on the real estate market.
Rogers and his ex-wife, Edwina, herself a lobbyist who appeared on "The Real Housewives of D.C." and liked to gift-wrap presents in U.S. currency, waged a particularly nasty and very public divorce battle there in which both accused each other of affairs and desertion.