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Why Christie’s state chopper ride is a BFD

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Gov. Chris Christie, who’s developed a reputation for being the only adult in the room when the topic is public money, took a taxpayer-funded ride to his son’s baseball game today in an apparent attempt to arrive back at Drumthwacket in time to host a group of Iowa Republican kingmakers, the Star-Ledger reports.

Both events are private affairs, the first personal and the latter political. This is exactly the sort of thing you’d expect Christie, of all people, to scold other politicians about.

Instead a political radar that is nationally admired appears to have gone (temporarily?) out of whack. Why his inner circle allowed this and whether we now have solid evidence of a disturbing pattern will be the big questions of Wednesday.

Here’s spokesman Michael Drewniak’s explanation, issued to several media outlets: “It is a means of transportation that is occasionally used as the schedule demands. This has historically been the case in prior administrations as well, and we continue to be judicious in limiting its use.”

Fine. But recall my colleague Jeremy Rosen’s reporting on the governor’s habit of waiting months to reimburse the state for personal expenses. Also recall Christie was one of five U.S. attorneys criticized by the Department of Justice inspector general for “a pattern of abuse” on travel spending.

Individually, maybe not a big deal. Add it all up, though, and a pattern that neatly fits a narrative Christie critics have crowed about for months begins to emerge.

http://blogs.courierpostonline.com/roh/2011/05/31/why-christies-state-chopper-ride-is-a-bfd/

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Do you know what it cost us, the US taxpayers, if Obama drives into Washington to get some burgers for the family while the traffic is brought to a standstill and the cameras are rolling? Tens of thousands of dollars, every single time. Quite a lunch, isn't it?


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Do you know what it cost us, the US taxpayers, if Obama drives into Washington to get some burgers for the family while the traffic is brought to a standstill and the cameras are rolling? Tens of thousands of dollars, every single time. Quite a lunch, isn't it?

He doesn't eat burgers.


R.I.P Spooky 2004-2015

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Filed: Timeline
Editorial

In explaining his infamous helicopter trip this week, Gov. Chris Christie said that driving to his son's ballgame in Montvale became impractical after he decided to stick around for more of the Senate committee hearing for his state Supreme Court nominee, Anne Patterson.

In other words, work got in the way of being a good parent. Welcome to the real world.

Except Christie, as governor, had an option not available to most people — a ride on a State Police helicopter, courtesy of taxpayers. And he took it.

It was the wrong move, and we suspect Christie realizes that — hence his decision to reimburse the public for the trips. But the governor couldn't really admit the blunder, so he instead explained that he was only trying to eliminate a distraction unfairly generated by his critics and the media.

This, of course, was after we were told that the trips really didn't cost taxpayers anything at all because pilots need their flying time for training; Christie and his wife were just going along for the ride. Well, if that's the case, why not offer up some of those free trips to ordinary folks trying to be good parents?

Christie gets a few points for writing the checks, and we hope this is the end of his personal helicopter trips on the public dime. But he still gets a MISS for failing to acknowledge—at least publicly—that he made a mistake by exploiting taxpayers.

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