NBC News: “That’s because of federal pay-to-play rules put into place by the Securities and Exchange Commission that effectively bar many state officials from receiving substantial political contributions from financial advisers interested in the often-lucrative business of state contracts – particularly the management of huge state pension funds.
“The possible 2016 candidate likely to be most dramatically affected by them: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a sitting governor with deep Wall Street ties in a state where the governor is subject not only to the SEC rules but to a plethora of state and local level restrictions as well.
“The SEC rules can be fuzzy and even experts say it’s not always entirely clear which donations trigger a violation. Determining which officials are covered by the rules requires a deep reading of state law. And while donations to outside groups — like the leadership PAC Christie is reportedly launching – could be kosher, lawyers warn that the nuances of the rules remain the subject of much debate.”