Hug It Out, Someone Else Can Pay


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie likes to bill himself as a fiscal conservative who knows how to get things done when it comes to balancing state budgets and making the hard decisions necessary to assure his state is running at peak efficiency. And that’s what makes his actions in Dallas yesterday so confounding.

In case you don’t watch professional football, you may have missed the shot of the aforementioned Governor Christie giving an awkward “bro hug” to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Hey, the top official of New Jersey likes football. No sin there. But it does raise an interesting question of who exactly is paying for his trips to Dallas and other places across the country to see teams that don’t even represent his state play. Christie has been known to enjoy the finer things in life and has even had to reimburse the State of New Jersey for expenses he originally filed on his travel report. 

Keep in mind this is the same Chris Christie who has, in his five years as governor, cut funds for education in New Jersey, reduced payments to the state pension fund, and seen the credit rating for his state downgraded on three separate occasions. It seems the governor has no problem letting the taxpayers of his state pay for his lavish expenses when he decides to take a weekend off, just as long as they don’t complain when he slashes funding for investments in the long-term future of the Garden State. Does the word “hypocrisy” have no meaning to this man?

We don’t yet know exactly how much Governor Christie’s trip to Dallas cost the people of New Jersey. It will be months before that information is disclosed. But it’s safe to assume the expense will be considerable. A quick Google search of airline ticket prices will show that a one-way ticket from New Jersey to Dallas is at least $250. Does anyone think the governor flew coach? Also, a security detail had to accompany Christie, as it does when he goes anywhere. Who pays their salaries and expenses?

Though Christie has not yet announced if he will seek the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, it is widely assumed he will run at some point. Before he does, perhaps it would behoove him to get his own state’s financial house in order and take a long look at his inflated expense reports. And also, the “bro hugs” need to stop. They’re just not very Presidential.

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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