As Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has made a name for himself as a politician who loves sports and food. Of course, countless Americans also love sports and food, so what makes Christie so special? Maybe it’s because politics don’t mix well at all with sports and food, mostly because money’s almost always involved.
Christie is the chief executive of the state that owns MetLife Stadium, home to both the Giants and Jets, and as such has a free luxury suite there for him whenever he wants. But food and drink are not included in that sweetheart deal, so Christie had to go out of pocket to keep with his indulgent lifestyle… oh, did I say out of pocket? I meant that he charged it all to his expense account (paid for by the taxpayers), to the tune of more than $82,000 over two seasons in 2010 and 2011, according to Watchdog.org:
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.
Christie’s office claims that all of his expenditures at MetLife Stadium were “official” in nature and for “business purposes.” I guess that makes sense because why else would a Cowboys fan drop so much dough at Giants and Jets games?
All that money was refunded to the state by the Republican State Committee, presumably to mitigate a potential scandal. So, this is supposedly a case of “all’s well that ends well,” but one thing keeps bugging me: I really wish Christie had submitted his receipts so we could figure out just what and how much he was eating and drinking at the games. I think, as the public, we have a right to know.
(Via For The Win)