Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie to Pay Own Way to Cowboys Game This Time

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie to Pay Own Way to Cowboys Game This Time

Article excerpt

Governor Christie is traveling to Green Bay, Wis., on Sunday to see the Dallas Cowboys take on the Packers -- but he's paying his own way.

Christie's office said the governor, who faced criticism and an ethics complaint this week after accepting tickets from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, will pay for his own travel and tickets. The move is a reversal from Christie's earlier stance that there was nothing wrong with him accepting tickets to sit alongside Jones at three recent games, including a private jet flight to last weekend's playoff game in Dallas for the entire Christie family.

Christie will watch the games from Jones' luxury box. The governor's office did not respond to questions about whether Christie would reimburse Jones for previous games he attended.

Jones has called Christie and the orange sweater the governor wore to the last five games the team won the Cowboys' "mojo" and has said he wants him at the playoff game.

"As a lifelong Cowboys fan, it's hard to pass up attending a playoff game when you've been dubbed the team's mojo," said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the governor. He said Christie would attend the game at Lambeau Field with his eldest son, Andrew.

"The governor will be paying for travel and tickets for himself, his sweater and his son to make sure we keep silliness out of the football season," Drewniak said.

Christie's office has maintained that the governor and members of his family were able to accept tickets -- and a private jet flight - - from Jones because the governor considers him a friend. The state's code of conduct for the governor allows for gifts from friends, which are paid for with personal funds.

Under the code, Christie can pose questions about the acceptance of gifts to a two-member advisory ethics panel appointed by the governor. That panel comprises Peter Verniero, a former state Supreme Court justice, and Thomas Calcagni, a former first assistant attorney general. …

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