Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Bills $89,000 More in Travel Security Costs

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Bills $89,000 More in Travel Security Costs

Article excerpt

Taxpayers were billed nearly $89,000 for travel-related costs for Governor Christie's security detail for the second quarter of this year.

Christie's office released the latest data in response to an Open Public Records Act request. For the first six months of this year - before Christie formally entered the race for the GOP presidential nomination - travel-related security costs were $273,516.

The cost for the April-through-June quarter came in at nearly $96,000 less than the first three months of the year, a period that included the governor's trade mission to the United Kingdom, which cost about $35,000 in travel-related security costs.

Taxpayers have been billed $1.43 million in travel-related security costs since February 2010, Christie's first full month in office, records show. Last year, the costs grew significantly as Christie traveled the country campaigning for GOP gubernatorial candidates and raising money for the Republican Governors Association, which he headed.

Although Christie wasn't a declared presidential candidate in the first half of the year, he made multiple trips out of state as he considered a bid. He spent the most time - 14 days - at political events in New Hampshire, which hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. He also visited Iowa, South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. Not including trips to Manhattan, Christie spent 32 days out of state from April 1 to June 30, about the same amount of time he was outside the state in the first three months of the year.

The governor's out-of-state travel has increased since he declared his presidential bid on June 30, but it's unclear how much it is costing taxpayers. Christie's office bills the state police for travel-related expenses, BlackBerry costs and copier rental fees for his security detail in three-month increments. …

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