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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Tell It Like It Is PAC

Political Leanings: Republican/Pro-Chris Christie

2022 total spending: N/A

Tell It Like It Is is a super PAC backing former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the Republican presidential primary.

Super PACs are independent expenditure-only political action committees that spend money on communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate. Such committees can receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor unions and other PACs, but they cannot coordinate their communications directly with campaigns or political parties.

On its website, Tell It Like It Is describes Christie as “Bold. Blunt. Unafraid.” The super PAC’s name is similar to Christie’s 2016 presidential campaign slogan, and the group also states that Christie “fights for what really matters” including reform on corruption, taxes, crime, child trafficking and the opioid crisis.

Brian Jones, an adviser to past presidential campaigns for Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney, runs the super PAC. It is co-chaired by Republican National Committeeman William J. Palatucci, a former Christie campaign aide who is also from New Jersey. 

Tell It Like It Is had raised $5.9 million, as of June 30, according to the Federal Election Commission. The largest contribution, $1 million, came from Blue Star Investments Inc., a growth equity firm based in Texas. The super PAC also received a $500,000 contribution from Defending Democracy Together, a conservative initiative that opposes former President Donald Trump.

As of Jan. 4, the super PAC has spent more than $1.9 million on broadcast and digital ads, according to AdImpact, which tracks political advertising. Many of the ads highlight the reasons the group believes Christie should be president. But some of the ads, over $1 million worth, according to AdImpact, have either attacked or drawn a contrast with Trump, who is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Since launching his campaign in June, Christie has been one of the only GOP primary candidates regularly speaking out against Trump.

In early October, Tell It Like It Is reportedly paid to send mailers to New Hampshire’s Democratic voters, encouraging them to switch their voter registration so they could vote for Christie in the state’s Jan. 23, 2024, GOP primary and “make sure” Trump “never sees the inside of the Oval Office again.”