Headline Of The Day
New Jersey Watchdog:
Chris Christie’s expense account tells a story of appetite and ambition, one that pits government waste versus the New Jersey governor’s waistline. Christie spent $360,000 from his state allowance during his five years in office. More than 80 percent of that money, or $300,000, was used to buy food, alcohol and desserts, according to a New Jersey Watchdog analysis of records released by the governor’s office.The state GOP has repaid the purchases made at the stadium, which averaged about $1500 per game. New Jersey Watchdog is suing Christie to provide itemization of nearly $1M spent on personal security since taking office.
In addition to his $175,000 a year salary, the governor receives $95,000 a year in expense advances, paid quarterly by the state. In the state budget, it is listed as “an allowance of funds not otherwise appropriated and used for official receptions on behalf of the state, the operation of an official residence, for other expenses.” Christie’s most notable spending spree occurred during the 2010 and 2011 NFL football seasons at MetLife Stadium, where the New York’s Giants and Jets play their home games. New Jersey’s governor traditionally enjoys free use of luxury boxes for games and other events at the government-owned venue, but food and beverages cost extra.
On 58 occasions, Christie used a debit card to pay a total of $82,594 to Delaware North Sportservice, which operates the concessions at MetLife. The governor’s office did not provide any receipts, business reasons or names of individuals entertained, but defended the expense. “The official nature and business purpose of the event remains the case regardless of whether the event is at the State House, Drumthwacket or a sporting venue,” said Christie’s press secretary Kevin Roberts in a prepared statement.