For immediate release:
As Chris Christie eyes a run for the White House in 2016, he’s en route to becoming the most prolific traveler in the history of New Jersey governors.
Yet the self-styled reform advocate is trying to avoid public disclosure on who pays for which trips – and what costs are borne by taxpayers.
A pair of lawsuits by a New Jersey Watchdog reporter against the governor’s office may shed new light on information those state secrets.
The latest legal action, filed last week in Mercer County Superior Court, seeks records of Christie’s travel expenses paid by state government. In a parallel suit, the reporter is asking for release of state records that show who else funds the governor’s sojourns.
Since January, Christie has refused to release records of his excursions paid by third parties – including political groups and others – disclosures required under state travel regulations.
The governor also denied access to state Travel Card statements for his trips on New Jersey’s tab. Once again, his staff rejected the request as being “unclear” – even though the rules clearly state “charges made to the Travel Card may be subject to review under the Open Public Records Act.”
In response to New Jersey Watchdog’s requests for records of all travels from 2012 to present, Christie released partial expense reports for only 13 trips – an average of one trip every two months. The names of all hotels were crossed out, and the lodging receipts were withheld. In several instances, the purpose of trips or means of transportation were not disclosed.
The documents indicate Christie plays fast and loose with guidelines that govern New Jersey officials.
The complete story is now online at http://watchdog.org/159280/christie-travel-expenses.