Christie says the party, not the taxpayers, foots the bill at NFL games

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Responding to a Watchdog.org report accusing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of billing the taxpayers for concessions at NFL games, Christie says that the money actually comes from the New Jersey Republican Party.

Christie said that although he is legally entitled to use taxpayer dollars when he meets with people in his box at NFL games, he decided to have the party pay the expenses.

“Now, as you know we have people in the box at the football game which is where it’s used predominantly . . . we have people from both parties from different interest groups across the state who come to the football games to sit and have private time with me in a conversation,” Christie said, in comments distributed by his press office. “And so I think it’s completely justifiable to use the discretionary funds, but quite frankly in today’s world where everything is kind of twisted and turned to look like it’s something wrong when it isn’t, I just said in 2012 to my folks – listen, let’s just have the state party pay for this. So to the extent there’s anybody there who is political, people can’t make the argument that we’re using taxpayer money for anything that even looks like politics. So that’s why the state party reimbursed for all the costs that happened in 2010–2011 and it’s been our policy every since 2012 to have the state party pay for any entertaining we do in the box, even if it’s non-political entertaining. I just think it was the right thing to do and that’s why we decided to do it.”

Christie is a frequent target of late-night comedians for jokes about his weight, and as a result the money spent on concessions at football games fit into a pre-written narrative about Christie. But in this case, Christie appears to have done nothing improper.

47 responses to “Christie says the party, not the taxpayers, foots the bill at NFL games

  1. It makes sense to charge the party & not us but why the hell does the Governor need his party to reimburse non-political entertaining ?
    (assuming he actually said that)

  2. AFTER people noticed, the party reimbursed the tax payers. The bill was originally footed by people that don’t have the pull to sit in the owners box–the tax payers–for the people who do have the pull…just not the cash apparently.

  3. You can’t expect this cow to pay for his own hotdogs at a game can you?? After all the budget for this is greater than the pothole repair budget….

  4. Fatso shouldn’t be allowed to watch a Giant game unless his Cowgirls are playing us. He better not be feeding JJ on my dime!

    Traitor and a loser

  5. Where’s the story? A politician entertained other politicians, members of interest groups, etc. using taxpayer money. All politicians do this. Name me one politician that does not entertain and I’ll laugh at how ignorant you are. The only thing remotely unique is that it happened at football games. What’s the difference between that and fancy dinners, expensive trips, and so on?

  6. Sitting and meeting with people who want favors from him? At a football game?

    Anyone who’s seen The Godfather knows that this is done in private at weddings, you know, it’s about the importance of family.

    My how times have changed.

  7. More probable than not that something untoward happened. He should turn his phone over to the NY Times or be banned from public life forever.

  8. Probably never any traffic jams between the concession area and his private suite.

  9. Like when he used a NJ State Trooper helicopter to get to his sons high school baseball game, and then said he reimbursed after the fact, or when he says he had nothing to do with the GWB fiasco. Christie is your typical full of crap politician. All politicians are in the game for their own personal gain. Simple as that…

  10. This doesn’t make any sense at all! I mean, if Christie was going to the games to talk about things with other higher ups, why wouldn’t he go to JETS games instead. Probably a lot easier chatting people up when there is dumpster fire on the field.

  11. Yea yea yea it’s all nonsense. Just like how you didn’t give all the sandy money to the proper people, just like instead of making Exxon pay 9 billion dollar (thats with a B) for polluting the pine barrens you only made them pay a few million because they support your party, just like jerry jones company wins a huge contract and all the sudden your in his box as his lucky charm, just like you had nothing to do with the bridge closing, just like everything else that’s starting to make it’s way to the surface of how you really are as a politician.

  12. Who is handling this guy’s image? Christie is so not ready-for-primetime presidential politics. Anything associating him with ANYTHING ‘food bill’ related is going play out with him as a punching bag for late night comedians and men/women on the street.

    And has there been any less effective a gastric-bypass surgery than Christie’s? Saw him the other day on television and he’s lost like five pounds. If I were the tax payers, I’d want a reimbursement for the botched procedure!

  13. It’s just a good thing that someone else paid for it. He probably doesn’t make enough money to affors such private entertainment on his own dime.

    I wonder how many other Governmental workers could enjoy such handouts?

  14. Why should anyone else pay for it at all? Politicians and business execs use slush funds and expense accounts to pay for stuff so they don’t pay with their own money. They write it off as some sort of legitimate expense when it rarely is. If he invites his buddy to the game or lunch or whatever, all he has to do is talk about one thing that deals with business or politics and no money comes out of his own pocket. The sad truth is many of these meetings happen just so somebody else can be billed. It’s a shame and it is a major reason why budgets are ridiculous and products cost more than they should. The very nature breeds corruption but everybody else does it and that makes it OK to the people looking for ways to hand somebody else the bill.

  15. “Christie appears to have done nothing improper.”

    I respectfully disagree. Spending over 82 thousand on food for 58 events comes out to a little over $1400 per spread.

    And Christie “appears” to have eaten most of it himself which, I must argue … is very improper. Just don’t be withing 50 yards of this pinata if he explodes.

    What the heck was on the menu? .. and don’t tell me it was hot dogs and soda, because if it was … that’s pretty impressive power eating.

    And that’s why these “liberal” and “conservative” tags are so silly. Christie may call himself a conservative – but when it comes to his pie hole, the Good Lord never created a more liberal liberal ..

  16. This is all a part of the government and big business folks. I guarantee he had heads of companies, executives, etc , with him each game to talk business and drink and eat. He flips the bill as a sign of good will. Standard procedure, story about nothing

  17. I wonder how long it takes to learn that Politicians
    Double talk Language?
    It was funny when “The Old Man” from Pawn Stars
    looked at something that Chumley bought, and said,
    “That’s faker than a Politician’s Smile”.
    Truer words have never been spoken….
    If you believe 1/10th what they say and 1/2 what you see.. you’ll be getting close to the truth.

  18. I’m assuming donations to political parties in the U.S. are tax deductible (in Canada you get tax credits that reduce your tax owed). If so, then taxpayers are still fitting part of the bill.

    When you pay for it, out of pocket, with no offsetting claim, only then can you claim no taxpayer paid for it.

  19. So according to Christie those responsible for paying for his entertainment are as follows:

    1. NJ Republican Party.
    2. NJ Taxpayers
    3. Anyone so kind as to fly me out to Dallas (I’m available Jerry!)
    4. Everyone else
    5 Himself.

  20. I wonder if in a hundred years from now people will still be saying the same things about politicians or will we eventually fix this wretched and broken system? It really has gone to hell with every focus on reelection and none on what’s actually best for this country. Both parties are pathetic.

  21. Mr. Christie just doesn’t get it. It’s not that the Republican Party “paid” his way for special treatment by Jerra at Cowboy games, it’s that the Port Authority that he helps oversee awarded a huge contract to Jerra’s firm, and accepting gifts from Jerra translates to red flags.. It’s not that he didn’t technically know there was a politically motivated closure of the GWB, it’s that he’s the one who appointed his own cronies to key positions that didn’t seem to have an issue doing something so sleazy. I just don’t see him getting the GOP nomination any time soon.

  22. NJ’s senior senator is under indictment for all kinds of ugly stuff. And he’s a democrat. It’s New Jersey. No one is clean.

  23. 300,000 from the GOP would be better used to help the hungry and homeless, but yeah, that’s not going to happen.

  24. 300,000 from the GOP would be better used to help the hungry and homeless, but yeah, that’s not going to happen.
    ____________________________________
    Or maybe buy the poor thousands of iphones. Oh wait, this administration already does that. What else can we waste taxpayer money on? I’m sure there are dozens of IRS agents currently looking into that right now.

  25. What’s the problem? The state party is funded by donations not taxes. If they want to use the money that way who gives a damn. All I see are ppl whining and cracking jokes about his weight. Oh man that’s very mature.

  26. Does it matter who was paying the bill? Why do politicians and businessmen need to spend money to entertain potential clients or interest groups? Could the money not be spent on better things like health benefits or better pay for your employees?

  27. “Christie appears to have done nothing improper.”

    The standard here is the appearance of impropriety. And he certainly doesn’t meet that. Also, considering his track record, I wouldn’t take him at his word about anything he says. You need to find 3 or 4 different sources to check his story. The GW Bridge situation is his real legacy. Using a luxury box to talk business and quid-pro-quo deals isn’t really a shocker from this guy.

    Christie is a typical lying right-wing nutter. Actually, I just added that sentence because someone else called him a liberal. Party and ideology don’t come into play here. He’s a dirty politician. It’s up to the citizens of NJ to decide if that’s ok with them.

  28. The better questioned as a New Jersey resident is why the hell we even have a box for games!!!!! My taxes aren’t high enough that I have to pay for.this fat sob to hob Nov with the rich and famous. No wonder the state always runs a deficit.

  29. rightwingguy, you ask what’s the problem? For a governor, accepting bribes is a crime. Jerry Jones owns a Port Authority contractor recently awarded a large contract. The travel expenses might have been paid (so Christie says) by the state GOP, but the owner box suite, food, entertainment was provided Jones. If you’re running for President, appearing to accept bribes is not a smart way to get elected President. as far as Bridgegate, he’s invested a lotta energy claiming he knew nothing, yet he personally appointed friends to key positions who did horrible things for his political benefit. Makes one wonder as president what kinda sleaze he’d appoint to cabinet positions. That’s the problem. At this point, he should probably abandon his quest for the GOP nomination (and free Cowboy season tix) and be grateful he has his current job.

  30. So remember this come 2016, what’s more of a wasted vote…a third party vote or a vote for one of the same two political parties that has been screwing us for a hundred years now? Not voting shows complacency and apathy. Voting for the lesser of two evils ensures that evil still reigns. You know who is favor of perpetuating the notion that a third party vote is a wasted vote? The first two parties

  31. we have people from both parties from different interest groups across the state who come to the football games to sit and have private time with me in a conversation,” Christie said

    REALLY????

    So why should taxpayers foot the bill for a government building/office that SHOULD be used for meetings where people want to have a “private conversation” on affairs of the state?

    sometimes I hate the way laws are written…

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