12 May 2015

Chris Christie Spent $82,000 of State Money on Snacks at NFL Games

Everybody knows Chris Christie loves football, but nobody knew just how much he loves to snack during games.
According to a New Jersey Watchdog analysis, the New Jersey governor spent $300,000 of his $360,000 state allowance over five years to buy food, alcohol and desserts, including $82,594 of taxpayer money on concessions at MetLife Stadium. 
Christie purchased food and drinks at MetLife with a debit card 58 times during the 2010 and 2011 NFL seasons, spending an average of nearly $1,500 each game. The New Jersey Republican State Committee later reimbursed the state treasury in 2012.
“The official nature and business purpose of the event remains the case regardless of whether the event is at the State House, Drumthwacket (the governor's official residence) or a sporting venue,” Christie’s press secretary Kevin Roberts said in a statement. 
Christie receives a $175,000 annual salary in addition to $95,000 in expense advances on a quarterly basis to be used 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.”
Apparently burgers and beers qualify as “other expenses.”
UPDATE: Christie, through his press office, said Monday the purchases were made for the purpose of entertaining visitors to the governor's box at the stadium.
“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. "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."

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