He billed himself as a corruption fighter, questioned the ethics of those in power and promised to put an end to no-bid contracts for the politically connected. But when Christopher J. Christie was elected and his reform proposal was voted down, he gave up the fight and went on to approve hundreds of such contracts, including more than 50 for contributors to his campaigns.
That was 1994, and the election was to the Morris County Board of Freeholders. Fifteen years later, Mr. Christie, a Republican, has a seven-year stint as United States attorney under his belt, his eye on the New Jersey governor's mansion and the same knack for turning ethical issues into political weaponry.
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