NJ Governor Chris Christie, anxious to put Choppergate to bed, announced he and his wife Mary Pat (aka the lady who helped kill ARC), had written a check to reimburse the state for using the state helicopter for personal and political reasons. Christie, who pointed out he's governor 24/7 and he's also a dad, claimed that he thought using the state chopper for non-state use was cool, since the State Police told him the helicopters are up in the air for training, but the whole thing became distracting so he decided to pay up, "I want to make sure the public understands that I’m doing this because of the duty I feel to them to have my attention and everybody’s attention focused 100 percent on the real problems of the state and not the political theater or media theater that people enjoy at times." Check out the press conference here:
Notice how he also used his predecessor, Jon Corzine, as an example: Corzine was badly injured (he broke a leg, twelve ribs, his collarbone, and breastbone, plus lost half of his blood) when the State Police SUV crashed while traveling over 90 MPH. Corzine was not wearing a seat belt... and then it turned out he was rushing to meet with Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team.
Christie is paying for two personal helicopter rides, while the NJ GOP will pay for the time he was flown to meet with Iowa business executives. The NY Times ran an editorial yesterday, titled, "Taking New Jersey For A Ride," blasting Chrisitie's helicopter use, "According to the State Police, Mr. Christie made more than 30 other helicopter trips since taking office in January 2010. Those should be reviewed as well. What makes the governor’s helicopter excursions especially galling is that he has spent the last year and a half demanding sacrifices from everybody else in his state."
The Star-Ledger and Wall Street Journal (and probably many other news organizations) have requested records of Christie's helicopter use, but they haven't received them yet—so let's focus on how Christie called a NJ Democrat who criticized his chopper use "a jerk"—"She should really be embarrassed at what a jerk she is."