Tags: | travel expenses | Dallas Cowboys | Jerry Jones

Questions Emerge About Public Costs of Christie's Travel

Image: Questions Emerge About Public Costs of Christie's Travel
(Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 11:58 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's all-expense paid junket to see the Dallas Cowboys' playoff victory has raised questions about who is footing the bill for other out-of-state trips, NJ.com reported.

In addition to his trip Sunday with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Christie attended five games this season, including three at the invitation of Jones. For the most recent trip, Jones flew Christie, his wife, and four children to Dallas, but the governor's office won't say who paid for the governor's travel to see a Cowboys game in Maryland the previous week, according to the newspaper.

The administration also declined to give details about who paid for other games that the governor attended.

"The largest unanswered question of Christie's travel is the cost to the New Jersey taxpayers," NJ.com said.

Christie spent all or part of 137 days out of New Jersey last year, mainly for activities related to his duties as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. State police troopers are responsible for his full-time security, so out-of-state trips create additional costs associated with travel, lodging, and meals.

The Christie administration has refused to disclose the details of those costs, according to NJ.com.

"You don't give out any information that would give the enemy insights into how the protection unit does their job," State Police Capt. Stephen Jones said in 2012, according to NJ.com. He reiterated that view again recently, saying disclosing security costs "opens a window into examining how we protect the governor and that's not something we want to do," NJ.com reported.

Meanwhile, the governor has taken three foreign trips since being elected. A New Jersey economic development group, Choose New Jersey, has funded those trips, the newspaper said, but the taxpayers foot the bill for the additional security costs.

The Christie administration disclosed that his four-day trip to Israel in 2012 cost the taxpayers $40,000 for security services. Officials said they will release the costs of the other two trips, to Mexico and to Canada, when the figures become available, NJ.com reported.

Christie has on occasion also made trips outside of the state without disclosing his whereabouts prior to departure, NJ.com noted. In one case, he traveled to Maryland for a Washington Redskins football game but his official schedule said he was in New Jersey.  In another case, Christie was spotted in Washington, D.C., another trip that was not on his schedule.

A New Jersey watchdog group sued Christie in July for the release of his travel records to track the expense to the taxpayer of his out-of-state trips. Christie has refused to release records of his excursions paid by third parties — including political groups and others.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's all-expense paid junket to see the Dallas Cowboys' playoff victory has raised questions about who is footing the bill for other out-of-state trips, NJ.com reported.
travel expenses, Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones
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2015-58-08
Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 11:58 AM
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