Earlier this week New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) attended his third Dallas Cowboys game at the expense of football owner Jerry Jones, according to the governor’s spokesman, Kevin Roberts.
“Governor Christie attended the game last night as a guest of Jerry Jones, who provided both the ticket and transportation at no expense to New Jersey taxpayers,” Roberts said.
Flying Gov. Christie and his family via private plane to Dallas and the seats within the owners’ luxury box on the 50 yard line may have cost Jones’ tens of thousands of dollars, The Washington Post reports. For an average fan, the Cowboy’s are the most expensive NFL team to watch in person.
Christie’s office argued that, according to Executive Order 77 in the
Code of Conduct for the Governor, the acceptance of this gift is perfectly legal. The governor “may accept gifts, favours, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds,” Roberts said.
However, the Wall Street Journal pointed out that, while Jones may be a friend of the governor’s, he’s also doing business with the state.
Jones is a major investor in a company that secured a contract to operate an observatory at the new One World Trade Center. The lofty business deal with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, an agency administered by the two neighbouring states, is expected to produce approximately $US875 million in revenue over the next 15 years.
Randy Levine, board member and President of the New York Yankee’s, told the WSJ Jones was not involved in the observation deck contract. The full financial details of the project have not been publicly disclosed.
Gov. Christie has said he has been a fan of the Cowboys since childhood, and he remains unrepentant over his allegiance to a team not associated with his region.
Meanwhile his younger brother, Todd Christie, came to his defence on Facebook, writing: “To all of those non Cowboy fans who have their panties in a ringer because the Governor of NJ is a Cowboys fan — GET A LIFE !!! The Gov. has been a Cowboys fan for his entire life and ALL of you would sit with the owner of your favourite team in a heartbeat if given the chance.”
For his part, Jones has cited Christie as being a major part of the team’s success in the game. Speaking on Tuesday with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Jones said, “He’s part of our mojo. I want him there all the way.”
However, Christie credits his ‘mojo’ to the auburn-orange coloured sweater he claims to have worn to five Cowboys games — all of which, have ended in a Dallas victory.
“Here’s the thing, the first Cowboys game I went to this year, I wore the orange sweater. As it turns out, there are some people in my universe who believe that then becomes a good luck thing,” Christie said in an interview with CBS WFAN Sports radio.
Jones has also given Christie an endorsement for his bid in the 2016 presidential election. “I’ll tell you, if he’s got enough mojo to pull this thing out, he ought to be looked at as President of the United States.” A recent poll shows Christie’s popularity among his home-state voters has slipped, largely after the ‘Bridgegate’ investigation.
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