Christie Living Large on Our Dime

To be honest, there’s something I’m even more interested about than the news that Chris Christie and Michele Brown were signing off on each other’s above-government rate travel.

Chris Christie occasionally billed taxpayers more than $400 a night for stays in luxury hotels and exceeded the government’s hotel allowance on 14 of 16 business trips he took in 2008.


On trips in 2007 and 2008, his top deputy, Michele Brown, also exceeded the guidelines after Christie approved her requests for rooms in the same five-star hotels where he was booked.

The vouchers show Christie and Brown stayed at the NineZero Hotel in Boston on Oct. 16, 2007 and each billed taxpayers $449 plus taxes and fees for their rooms, more than double the government allowance for a Boston hotel room at the time, according to a General Services Administration travel reimbursement table.


Records turned over so far show Christie exceeded the government lodging allowance on 23 of 30 business trips taken between 2004 and 2008. In some cases, his travel vouchers were approved first by Brown, then certified by a third person. Christie, who was Brown’s supervisor, signed off on her travel, either in advance or when she submitted vouchers, the records show. The vouchers were all certified by a third party.

It’s the timing of the long-awaited release of these records. As the AP reports, these documents came from Corzine’s campaign; they had asked for these records months and months ago. But Christie’s buddies, including Brown and acting USA Ralph Marra, were stalling on releasing the documents.

Well, surprise surprise, Christie’s replacement, Paul Fishman, finally got confirmed last week after some serious stalling in the Senate. And, voila! FOIA documents, suddenly released.

Sort of makes you wonder whether this is just the tip of the iceberg on embarrassing documents for Christie?

47 replies
  1. Loo Hoo. says:

    This could be



    Christie made a mortgage loan to Brown five days after they returned from Boston, on Oct. 22, 2007. He failed to report the loan on federal ethics forms and on his 2007 federal income tax returns, omissions he later described as a mistake. Brown has since resigned and joined a private law firm.

    • rosalind says:


      * michele “1 of 7 occupants of the christie clown car” brown spent five nights in London at $401 a pop in the company of boss Christie.

      * he approved her extra travel expenses.

      * she approved his.

      * a third party approved both.

      hmm, wonder if there’re any documents on ice with the name of this third wheel? and whether he/she has rec’d some Christie Family financial aid or early admission to a Christie administration?

      • dakine01 says:

        A lot of years have passed since I worked in an AF Accounting office but in those days, the “certification” by the third party was usually the appropriate Travel Accounting person and the “certification” was that there were receipts for all expenses claimed and that any exceptions to the rules were “approved”

        Just in case they try to blame the “third party” for not saving them from themselves.

        • Crosstimbers says:

          I think that’s right. In my exprience, the certifying official was an accounting technician in the accounting branch. They reviewed travel vouchers, as you say, strictly to ensure receipts and claims were in accordance with Federal Travel Regs. If they encountered obvious oversights,they would have probably referred to the person filing the voucher; e.g.,”If you are going to claim such and such, I need a receipt.” If they encountered something more questionable, they would have referred it to their superiors and perhaps, eventually, it would have elevated to an internal investigatory branch.

          I am really surprised that travel regs would have allowed any circumstance in which an immediate subordinate could approve the travel vouchers of a superior.

  2. GregB says:

    Ah yes, the Republicans are for the people! They hate big spending government types. Up until they become big government types then it is first class travel and office renovations and champagne and hookers for them and their closest friends.

    Christie is 400 pounds of shit in a $1,000.00 suit.


    • Jim White says:

      But it sounds like they both claimed the expense, so that would be double dipping, so to speak. Perhaps they had adjoining rooms with an inside door…

  3. freepatriot says:

    so let’s get the name of the “third party” and put the guy under the klieg lights

    wanna bet mr mystery guest sells christy and brown out real quick ???

    three parties cooperating to violate the law, there’s a name for that


    we got laws agin that kind of stuff

  4. eCAHNomics says:

    Voters who can’t afford a $400/night hotel room may not be pleased with Mr. Christie.

    Of course, Corzine probably never paid that low a price for any hotel room he stayed in.

  5. foothillsmike says:

    Fortunately Christie couldn’t award himself any bonuses or elaborately remodel his bathroom as GWB’s agency heads were able to do.

  6. eCAHNomics says:

    I’ve never understood why some people cheat on their expenses. The benefits are so small compared to the risk of ruining one’s career if caught. The calculation just doesn’t make sense. Christie could well lose his senate bid over this. Was it worth it Chris?

  7. BayStateLibrul says:

    From a traveler from Dallas (10/3/09).
    Upscale vibes….

    “I stayed at the Nine Zero for five nights on business and the location on Boston Common/Beacon Hill is perfect to walk everywhere. I got the room for $209 a night which is very low for this location and a Kimpton hotel so I was pleased! It’s a small hotel, yet has an upscale vibe. I found it to be very quiet in the rooms even though it’s on such a busy street. Valet is great but expensive at $38. Aveda products are a plus too! The staff was friendly and when I told them I forgot my toothbrush they brought me one, and some toothpaste for free. Lastly, the only thing I did not like was the bathtub in my room – it appeared to have never been cleaned and I’m not just saying a little, I mean alot, like hadn’t been scrubbed for awhile which seemed odd for such a nice place, so I reported it to the front desk. Other than that, everything was clean and I’d recommend staying here again.”

  8. ratfood says:

    Wow, you can get a room in a 5-star hotel for only $449? What a bargain!

    Seems like we could cut the cost of pols’ travel budgets significantly by having them schlep some FEMA trailers.

  9. Twain says:

    Mr. Christie looks like a heart attack waiting to happen. I wonder why he didn’t try to slim down a bit for this campaign – might have helped his profile. :)

  10. j.cro says:

    Geez – if you look at or the websites that represent two of New Jersey’s largest newspapers (Star Ledger & Asbury Park Press) there isn’t word one (that I can find) about this story.

    I don’t know why I’m surprised.

  11. maryo2 says:

    My two cents says that the driving the wrong way on a one way street and hitting a motorcyclist debacle was a drive to score coke. He had a few drinks at the big judge party and his brain said “You know what would be great?” So he headed for his coke dealer.

    Pure speculation, based on how few things fat rich depraved deserving elitist men drive after drinking for = sex, cocaine.

  12. orionATL says:

    j. cro @39

    your comment is the heart of this story.


    what has christie done?


    why has what christie has done not being reported?

    this is yet another incidence of “the dog that did not bark”* – in this case the dog (and i do mean “dog” in the derogatory slang sense) is the new jersey media.

    from this point on,

    the n.j. media ignoring the story should BE the story, not merely the machinations of the malefactor.

    as bob somerby at the daily howler has demonstrated over and over again,
    if the media fail to cover a strong story, there is a reason why they are deliberately “missing” that story


    their missing it must become the focus of the ensuing story.

    *a. conan doyle/”silver blaze”.

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