Christie’s Taxpayer-Funded Mets Games

I’m going to have a bit more to say about the latest developments in the Chris Christie saga, but for now I wanted to point to the “shirt tail” of that NYT article, because I expect it, too, is going to blow up on Christie.

Mr. Christie’s in-state travel has also been questioned. He put in for more than $20,000 in mileage reimbursements during his seven-year tenure, including many trips that his public schedules indicate were made for personal or political reasons.

A die-hard Mets fan, Mr. Christie put in for $73 in mileage costs for a drive to Philadelphia on a night his schedule noted an away game against the Phillies.

Now $73 is small potatoes compared to the $700 limousine Christie took to an event at the County Prosecutors Association in Atlantic City. But Christie was–at least ostensibly–on business in Atlantic City. I very much look forward to his explanation of what kind of business he was conducting at that Mets game in Philadelphia.

Then there are the events that appear to be political. Christie narrowly avoided an investigation into whether he was laying the groundwork for his gubernatorial campaign while still US Attorney. On top of that, there were a few meetings with Karl Rove that showed up in the US Attorney document dump.

But if Christie–whose buddy Michele Brown was trying to time indictments for political reasons–was also charging taxpayers for his in-state political travel, it adds another piece of evidence that he was using the US Attorney’s office as a political playground.

Finally, here’s the bit that really fries my ass. New Jersey is not a big state. What kind of cheapskate do you have to be to charge taxpayers for your personal jaunt to a baseball game?

42 replies
  1. Loo Hoo. says:

    An entitled cheapskate.

    Christie is of partly British and partly Italian[4] descent. Notably, his aunt’s brother-in-law Tino Fiumara, is a convicted felon of the notorious Genovese crime family.[5] Christie reportedly recalls seeing Fiumara during his childhood, but did not learn of the man’s mob ties until 1977, when he was fifteen.[6]

    Christie has stated that his familial connection to Tino Fiumara never came up during his Federal Bureau of Investigation background check for his position as a U.S. Attorney; he told The New York Times in 2009 that he had assumed that investigators were aware of the connection.[5] During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Christie recused himself from his office’s investigation, indictment, and prosecution of Fiumara for aiding the flight of a fugitive.[5]

  2. Jim White says:

    Take me out to the ballgame,
    Take me out to the park,
    Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
    When will the Feds make me pay back?
    And it’s run, run, run in the guv’ners game.
    If I don’t win who’s to blame?
    Wheel found one, two, three crimes — I’m out
    Of the ol’ ball game.

  3. BoxTurtle says:

    And the fellow is STILL running for Gov? Guess the GOP can’t slid anybody new in.

    I see this as going to total meltdown before the end of the month.

    Boxturtle (I notice that the wingnuts aren’t going out of their way to defend him)

  4. Citizen92 says:

    Remember the fateful accident on a 1 way street in Elizabeth. Christie’s car has been described as both a “rented” as well as a “leased” BMW. Was the USDOJ leasing (or renting) a BMW for Chris?

    • Jim White says:

      Uhm. Wouldn’t the annual office outing cost more than $73? Do we have records of the office paying for a block of tickets and transportation for the others?

      • greenharper says:

        As a former fed, from the days when the whole U.S. DOJ Criminal Division hospitality budget was $600 per year, I would be shocked if the office picked up the ticket or travel tab for ANYONE on an office outing.

  5. brantl says:

    Do the rest/any of his staff show this as an expense? If not, he’s lying. And why does this schmuck get a yearly outing, on the department, to a baseball game? And if he does, why doesn’t he get to pay for his own gas?

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    From the NY Times article cited by EW, emphasis added:

    Ms. Brown declined to be interviewed for this article. In an e-mail message to The New York Times, she called the allegations “outrageous and inaccurate,” but declined to answer further questions. Through a spokesman, Mr. Christie stood by his earlier assertions that Ms. Brown had not assisted his campaign in any way.

    This sort of non-denial denial always piques my curiosity. The characterization “inaccurate” appears to apply to the entire NYT story. It could, in fact, apply to its punctuation or an immaterial date or fact and still not fall afoul of perjury rules. (Not relevant in a response to the Times, but an inescapable context for a federal prosecutor.) So what exactly, Ms. Brown, are the inaccuracies that bother you?

    The Times article may also be “outrageous”. That could be because its underlying facts are not accurate or because they are. Ms. Brown’s comment doesn’t tell us which.

    • emptywheel says:

      And in that presser, the Christie campaign also said they weren’t going through a ticktock on the article.

      Meaning they can’t refute every point, so they’re not going to refute any of them.

  7. dakine01 says:

    What is it about Rs and travel expenses? It’s not so much the chisel but the overall cheapness (said as someone who has traveled under the auspices of the US Gov’t and had it cost me money due to how I structured the Expense report.)

    • eCAHNomics says:

      When you start mining expense accounts, it can become addictive.

      On Wall St. there were very few T&E cheats that we found out about. Probably the biggies were covered up. But every once in awhile there was one. Our expense accounts were very generous: even when alone (i.e., without a client), but travelling, we could eat at fancy restaurants, with drinks, and stay in 4-star hotels. So I always wondered how egregious you had to be to violate the standards. And the one’s I learned about were people making a lot more than me. Addiction was my only hypothesis.

      My best expense story took place in St. Paul, MN. I arrived around 10pm, having had no dinner. All the restaurants were closed, so I helped myself to some truly awful junk food from the mini-bar. When I went to check out the following morning, those items were already on the bill. I wondered if I had slept so soundly that I hadn’t noticed someone come in to check during the night, or if they had come in while I was in the shower. Turned out, they had some electronic system to track subtractions from the mini-bar. Truly creepy.

      • dosido says:

        truly there are people who consider breathing a business activity.

        One of our friends expensed his kids’ birthday parties. It’s true, most of us knew him through business, but gee, that’s tacky.

  8. Palli says:

    Could we start using the term Welfare Politician?

    I worked in non-profits all my life and my job was my life and my lifestyle…there were very few deductions I could in good conscience use that were only “job related”; expense accounts were non-existence and petty cash petty.

    Most politicians as CEOs think otherwise.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Don Siegelman could give him a primer, though one hopes that the Canary Playbook has been deleted from the Obama DoJ’s bibliography owing to its status as a forged document.

  10. eCAHNomics says:

    The only time I ever went to a BB game was on my company’s dime, when there was also a nice box, free food & drinks. But then the excuse was to smooze with clients. I wonder whom Christie was smoozing with. :-)

  11. Beerfart Liberal says:

    I’m from NJ. It’s not big but the most dense state in the country. Very dense.

    Poor judgment on this guy’s part. The Mets blow.

    Go Jankees!!!!!!

  12. person1597 says:

    Christie denies the charges.

    New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg is calling for a federal investigation into allegations that Chris Christie, the Republican candidate for governor, used his office for political gain while he was U.S. attorney.

    The Rove giveth…

  13. dosido says:

    the ballgame does look like small potatoes…maybe he was schmoozing an office pal? reward for job well done? :P

  14. OldFatGuy says:


    Ex-police chief from accross the river has his bail revoked, taken into custody.

    Interesting story as to why it was revoked. Wasn’t this guy at one point nominated for something in Homeland Security, or am I confusing him with someone else?

    Goddamned entire Republican Party is a bunch or crazy, corrupt assholes. At least in the Democratic Party, it’s probably only 75% corrupt assholes. Hey, ya gotta look for the bright spots somewhere doncha?

    • OldFatGuy says:

      Wasn’t this guy at one point nominated for something in Homeland Security, or am I confusing him with someone else?

      Geez, if I woulda just read ALL of that link I would’ve discovered that yes, this was the asshole Bush nominated for DHS Secretary.

      Sometimes I amaze myself with my own stupidity.

      LOL, sounds like the Judge isn’t very impressed with this guy either.

      Robinson said Tuesday that Kerik seemed to believe that “the rulings of this court are an inconvenience to be forgotten or an obstacle to be circumvented. Mr. Kerik sees himself as a victim of circumstance … I think he needs to refocus.”

  15. orionATL says:

    these days,



    think of republican political candidates at every level,

    as corrupt,

    or corruption tolerating,

    or by corruption intimidated,

    white southern political candidates of the 1940’s.

    you will never be far from wrong.

    that was atwater’s and rove’s genius – to understand from observing southern politics under stress,

    that one could do nearly any corrupt thing imaginable so long as there was the proper verbal/emotional cover –

    race in the 40’s,

    national security in 2001-to the present.

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