11 May 2015

$82,000 on Snacks? What the F%$# Are You Eating?

Somehow or other, Chris Christie managed to spend $82,000.00 of state money on snacks at football games:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent more than $80,000 of taxpayer money on snacks at NFL games between 2010 and 2011, according to a report from New Jersey Watchdog. Christie used his government debit card 58 times at MetLife Stadium, and his office “did not provide any receipts, business reasons or names of individuals entertained, but defended the expense.”

Christie’s office has defended his use of the expense account, but were clearly embarrassed by the revelation that the governor was expensing quite a few beers while watching the Giants and Jets play because it reimbursed the costs associated with the games.

My first response was shock, of course. Christie averaged $1,500 in concessions at each game and didn’t bother keeping receipts to explain the expenses. But my second response was total envy. Spending $82,000 on snacks is an actual dream of mine. I mean, not the exact amount but the idea of spending the cost of a down payment on a home on queso and hot dogs has always been very appealing to me.
That $82,000.00 is only what he spent at the Meadowlands Stadium for football games, if you read the full report, the total spending on comestibles by Jabba the Governor is actually a bit more than $360,000.00, but that can include things like (for example) state dinners, and other public events.

Spending $1500.00 at a football game though is clearly excessive.

It should be noted that Christie has a long history of being profligate with taxpayer money in order to enhance his own comfort.  When he was US Attorney for New Jersey, he was cited for similar behavior:
When he was a top federal prosecutor, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey routinely billed taxpayers for hotel stays whose cost exceeded government guidelines, according to a report the Justice Department released on Monday.

The report, by the department’s inspector general, examined travel expenses for all 208 people who served as a United States attorney from 2007 to 2009. It spoke of five who “exhibited a noteworthy pattern of exceeding the government rate and whose travel documentation provided insufficient, inaccurate or no justification for the higher lodging rates.”

While the report did not identify any prosecutors by name, the travel patterns of an official called “U.S. Attorney C” — the one “who most often exceeded the government rate without adequate justification” in terms of percentage of travel — match records about Mr. Christie that were released in the 2009 campaign for governor by his Democratic opponent, the incumbent, Jon S. Corzine.

As governor, Mr. Christie, who was the United States attorney for New Jersey from 2002 to 2008, has pushed to cut government spending and waste, making him a rising star in the Republican Party.


The report also noted the reimbursements Mr. Christie received for airport transportation costs. Rather than taking a taxi for the four-mile trip between his hotel and the Boston airport, he took a car service costing $236. A similar arrangement for a London trip cost $562.
I really hope that someone in oppo research is paying attention to this stuff, because it's not going to play well in either Iowa or New Hampshire.


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