Chris Christie isn’t just a (semisuccessful) lucky charm for the Dallas Cowboys. He’s also pretty excellent luck for whatever football stadium gets to be graced with his wallet.
According to a new report by New Jersey Watchdog, the governor spent $82,594 during the 2010 and 2011 NFL seasons at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets and Giants. That money, which originally came from the governor’s $95,000-a-year state allowance, appears on Christie’s official expense ledger as payments to Delaware North Companies Sportservice, which runs the concessions at the stadium. We assume that $82,594 amounts to roughly seven beers and one soda in NFL stadium prices.
But the state didn’t stay on the hook for football drinks and snacks for long: The New Jersey Republican State Committee paid the sum back to the state treasurer in 2012.
That sum is just a portion of the $300,000 from his state allowance New Jersey Watchdog found that the governor spent on food and alcohol through his first five years in office.
In a statement to New Jersey Watchdog, Christie’s office defended the expenses, saying that “the official nature and business purpose of the event remains the case regardless of whether the event is at the State House, Drumthwacket, or a sporting venue.”
While there’s nothing to suggest that the concessions spending was improper, especially since it was paid back to the state, it shows just how much Christie is willing to spend on football, or have spent on his behalf. Christie, who is accused of having a history of enjoying the perks of his office, accepted from team owner Jerry Jones a plane ride to Dallas and a luxury suite seat at the Cowboys’ January 4 home playoff game this year. CBS estimated that the full playoff experience could have been worth more than $100,000. Christie’s office at the time maintained that this was all above-board under New Jersey state law. Jones, for his part, said he wanted Christie there because he was part of the team’s “mojo” after being present for five Cowboys’ victories.
That mojo, though, ran out for the Cowboys, who eventually lost with Christie in attendance. But even without supernatural good luck, NFL stadiums would likely be served well by a potential Christie presidential candidacy lasting at least through the start of next season.
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