What sorts of things does New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spend his sizable, tax-payer subsidized "state allowance" on each year? Food, booze and desserts—and lots of them.
Why the hell is Christie given $95,000 per year on top of his $175,000 salary to buy piles of luxury comestibles? Aren't those things supposed to be covered by one's salary? Nah! New Jersey Watchdog reports that the governor spent $300,000—or 80 percent of his "allowance"—on food and drink over the past five years. This, on top of his readiness to allow his billionaire friends to foot the bill for his sybaritic foreign vacations. The hell does he even do with that salary?
His most impressive purchases were made in 2010 and 2011, sucking down food and booze at NFL games at MetLife Stadium. (He has his own box, but concessions are not included.) Christie did not bother to turn in any receipts detailing his exact expenses, but Watchdog did discover that he spent a total of $82,594 on 58 occasions. That is an average $1,424 per occasion. Let's let that hang there a second...
OK. But politics and hot dogs are expensive, Christie’s press secretary Kevin Roberts explained. “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," he said in a statement. The New Jersey Republican State Committee went ahead and undermined that gross justification by reimbursing the money spent on truffle-laced nachos, and Christie has abstained from using his expense account at sporting events since.
Otherwise, the bulk of the rest of the money has gone toward groceries—again, not something his annual salary could possibly be expected to cover. To his extraordinarily limited credit, his expenses did plummet following his 2012 Lap Band surgery. Chris Christie for President!
The spending records were released under the Open Public Records Act, though the group is suing the governor's office to force the release of a more specific breakdown of his Amex and EPU charges.
In order to ensure at least a modicum of accountability, a bill that would require the governor to make public his expenses has been introduced by Assemblymen Troy Singleton. “There is a growing sense of cynicism in politics today and it is imperative for those of us in public office to overcome that cynicism by ensuring a more transparent and accountable system,” he said. “Any governor who makes a responsible and appropriate use of this expense account should have no objection to complying with what’s required under this bill."
Something tells me Christie would have some objection.
Update, 2:10 p.m.
From my office: pic.twitter.com/Uy6Ev2vALh
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) May 11, 2015
— Wilfong Brillo (@Amazing_Kreskin) May 11, 2015