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Chris Christie’s Luxurious Trips Under Scrutiny

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is facing new scrutiny due to a report in the New York Times detailing how Christie and his family took lavish trips paid for by wealthy interests and taxpayers. Some of those wealthy interests who paid for Christie’s extravagant jaunts had business before him as governor of New Jersey and may have been trying to influence his official decisions.

It is not a new complaint against Christie who was previously found by the Department of Justice to have exceeded the government lodging rate in 15 of 23 of his submitted vouchers when US attorney. Christie’s extravagance became a minor issue in his ultimately successful 2009 campaign for governor.

The details of Christie’s questionable conduct as governor come at the pivotal time when he is preparing to launch his 2016 bid for president. Christie is already facing other criticisms for his conduct in office most notably the fiasco related to illegal closure of the George Washington Bridge known as Bridgegate. Outside of the scandals are the actual results of his economic and budget policies which are terrible and have led to New Jersey trailing the nation in the economic recovery and facing a record number of credit downgrades.

Not surprisingly, polls show Governor Christie in a weak position among the Republican field with numbers currently in the single digits in Iowa. It is hard to think that these new revelations will help him connect more with average Americans or “the folks,” in politicalspeak.

The private plane, on which Mr. Christie had his own bedroom, had been lent by Sheldon G. Adelson, the billionaire casino owner and supporter of Israel. At the time, he was opposing legislation then before the governor to legalize online gambling in New Jersey…. King Abdullah of Jordan picked up the tab for a Christie family weekend at the end of the trip. The governor and two staff members who accompanied him came back to New Jersey bubbling that they had celebrated with Bono, the lead singer of U2, at three parties, two at the king’s residence, the other a Champagne reception in the desert…

Last month, Mr. Christie prompted a state ethics inquiry after he flew to at least three games of the Dallas Cowboys, his team since boyhood, on the plane of the owner, Jerry Jones, whose company had received a contract with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey after the governor recommended it.

The story goes further into the trips as well as a shady fundraising outfit connected to Christie called Choose NJ run by a close personal friend of Christie’s named Michele Brown. Choose NJ has received funds from firms with business before the governor’s office who are prohibited by New Jersey campaign finance laws known as “pay to play” rules from giving to the governor directly. Choose NJ takes those funds and pays for Christie’s lush trips to places such as Israel, Canada, Mexico, and his current trip to England. If it seems like Choose NJ is an obvious way of evading campaign finance law, that’s because it is.

Though the Christie candidacy may have to overcome numerous and substantial charges of corruption he recently showed he was willing to play to the conservative base by claiming that children should not necessarily be vaccinated because “not all vaccines are created equal” and “not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.” Man of the people.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Chris Christie’s Luxurious Trips Under Scrutiny

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is facing new scrutiny due to a report in the New York Times detailing how Christie and his family took lavish trips paid for by wealthy interests and taxpayers. Some of those wealthy interests who paid for Christie’s extravagant jaunts had business before him as governor of New Jersey and may have been trying to influence his official decisions.

It is not a new complaint against Christie who was previously found by the Department of Justice to have exceeded the government lodging rate in 15 of 23 of his submitted vouchers when US attorney. Christie’s extravagance became a minor issue in his ultimately successful 2009 campaign for governor.

The details of Christie’s questionable conduct as governor come at the pivotal time when he is preparing to launch his 2016 bid for president. Christie is already facing other criticisms for his conduct in office most notably the fiasco related to illegal closure of the George Washington Bridge known as Bridgegate. Outside of the scandals are the actual results of his economic and budget policies which are terrible and have led to New Jersey trailing the nation in the economic recovery and facing a record number of credit downgrades.

Not surprisingly, polls show Governor Christie in a weak position among the Republican field with numbers currently in the single digits in Iowa.  It is hard to think that these new revelations will help him connect more with average Americans or “the folks,” in politicalspeak.

The private plane, on which Mr. Christie had his own bedroom, had been lent by Sheldon G. Adelson, the billionaire casino owner and supporter of Israel. At the time, he was opposing legislation then before the governor to legalize online gambling in New Jersey…. King Abdullah of Jordan picked up the tab for a Christie family weekend at the end of the trip. The governor and two staff members who accompanied him came back to New Jersey bubbling that they had celebrated with Bono, the lead singer of U2, at three parties, two at the king’s residence, the other a Champagne reception in the desert…

Last month, Mr. Christie prompted a state ethics inquiry after he flew to at least three games of the Dallas Cowboys, his team since boyhood, on the plane of the owner, Jerry Jones, whose company had received a contract with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey after the governor recommended it.

The story goes further into the trips as well as a shady fundraising outfit connected to Christie called Choose NJ run by a close personal friend of Christie’s named Michele Brown. Choose NJ has received funds from firms with business before the governor’s office who are prohibited by New Jersey campaign finance laws known as “pay to play” rules from giving to the governor directly. Choose NJ takes those funds and pays for Christie’s lush trips to places such as Israel, Canada, Mexico, and his current trip to England.  If it seems like Choose NJ is an obvious way of evading campaign finance law, that’s because it is.

Though the Christie candidacy may have to overcome numerous and substantial charges of corruption he recently showed he was willing to play to the conservative base by claiming that children should not necessarily be vaccinated because “not all vaccines are created equal” and “not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.” Man of the people.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.