Hot dogs, hot fudge sundaes, and Heineken for everyone! Apparently, that was New Jersey Governor and presidential hopeful Chris Christie’s motto for a couple years, as Watchdog.org has learned. They peeked into some financial records and revealed this bit of news: The politician evidently spent about $300,000 on food and booze.
The politician receives a plum salary of $175,000 as governor, plus $95,000 a year in expense advances to a “discretionary account” — which the state covers — and is supposed to “pay for costs … associated official reception and hosting and related incidental expenses,” USA Today reported.
According to the financial records, Chris can throw one heck of a shindig.
Christie spent $300,000 of his total $360,000 allowance on food, alcohol, and desserts, Time added. This includes 53 grocery trips to Wegmans at a cost of $76,373, 51 visits to ShopRite supermarkets at $11,971, and another $6,536 in ShopRite’s liquor stores.
During the 2010 and 2011 NFL football seasons, he whittled away a further $82,594 at the stadium that hosts the Giants and Jets — MetLife Stadium. Christie insisted these expenses be repaid to the state by the Republican Committee, because he didn’t want taxpayers to think their money was paying for political activity, the New York Times reported.
“I just felt like it was the right thing to do,” he said.
Where all this chow and booze went is a mystery, but Chris’ people insist it was for receptions and political functions that hosted dignitaries and legislators – and these can take place anywhere, even football games. It also went to fill up the pantries at his mansion.
When the Times reported on this news, it made sure to point out that Christie’s grocery bills were less expensive the year after he had surgery to lose weight. In fact, he has recently returned more excess allowance than he used to: In 2010, he gave back just under $3,000, and last year, more than $30,000, Time added.
Chris’ camp won’t detail what the governor actually bought and the purpose of his allowance is rather vague (“funds not otherwise appropriated and used for official receptions on behalf of the state, the operation of an official residence, for other expenses,” according to USA Today).
In more unsurprising news, he’s not required to provide receipts, either. A fresh law in the works may require him to, however.
Out of fun — or perhaps to stoke more anger about the revealing news into his supermarket habits — the Washington Post listed all the things he could’ve spent the money on. This includes the salary of the average Jersey working stiff, three years tuition at Rutgers; 1,270 of anger management therapy, and almost 2,000 tickets to a Giants pre-season game.
[Photo Courtesy Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images]