Christie Jumps Into Hot Water Over Appearance At Cowboys Game

YouTube Screen shot
YouTube Screen shot

It was the climax of a great Lions-Cowboys game when, after the last minute win of the Cowboys, the camera showed the owner’s box as Jerry Jones was jumping up and down hugging folks. There was a familiar figure jumping up and down to get in on the hug with Jones. Like many people, however, I stopped and turned and asked “is that Chris Christie?” It turns out that there is only one Christie and he was in the box that night. How he got there is now raising ethical and legal questions.

First, to Christie’s credit, he has always admitted that he is a Cowboys fan as opposed to taking the predictable and popular route of choosing either the Jets or the Giants. Many in fact have pointed to his honestly as a distinction to Hillary Clinton who suddenly declared that she was a Yankees fan after deciding to run for office in New York. I like the fact that Christie keeps his teams separate from his politics. He is a Cowboys fan and if voters cannot deal with that then, to use the New Jersey vernacular, fuhgeddaboudit.

Now for the more serious question. Christie was flown to Texas, entertained and given unbelievable seats all at Jones’ expense. Christie insists that such gifts are permitted under New Jersey law because the state’s Code of Conduct says that governors “may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds.”

A fair point to be sure. However, Jones is not just any friend. The governor of New York, along with the governor of New Jersey, controls the Port Authority. Jones has a stake in Legends Hospitality, a company which has been given a license to run an observation deck atop One World Trade Center operated by the Port Authority. The company’s One World Trade Center deal is expected to produce $875 million in revenue over 15 years for the Port Authority.

Frankly, it is not clear how serious this issue will prove. Jones does not appear to have been involved in the negotiations with the Port Authority for the observation deck contract. However, his family is referenced as a “significant” investor benefiting from the deal.

In addition to the luxury air travel and accommodations, the tickets alone for the seats were worth thousands of dollars — if they were for sale. At a critical game like this one, all tickets were at a premium.

The state law in my view gives Christie the edge. It is clearly written to allow governors to accept gifts from friends and I expect that this trip would not be seen as a direct violation even if it is viewed as violating the spirit of the law.

The separate question is whether there will be political impact like Howard Dean’s famous yell. Will Christie’s jump have the same impact as Dean’s yell? At the time, David Letterman said “Here’s what happened: The people of Iowa realized they didn’t want a president with the personality of a hockey dad.” The question is whether voters in the Northeast will want a president with the personality of a . . . well . . . Cowboy dad.”

What do you think?

57 thoughts on “Christie Jumps Into Hot Water Over Appearance At Cowboys Game”

  1. Issac, Those Americans electing Bush twice! And then, electing Obama twice!

    Bush never snubbed a country’s elected leader. Bush quit playing golf while our military was fighting. Bush didn’t use the military for photo ops and they gave him rousing cheers (very quiet for Obama).

    After Johnson we got Nixon. After Carter we got Reagan. After Obama, anyone will be better.

    1. No, Inga is talking to herself I think. The reason why are the snide references to religion

    2. But it is a free country and if she thinks it’s funny, it must be to someone out there lol 😉 Like Paul C. Schulte

  2. The comments in the article were shameful. Jerry Jones can fly anyone he wants to his games, were others on the plane? As owner of a football team, people you invite get nice places to stay. As to the cost, I don’t think anyone can buy a seat in the owner’s box.

    How about it looked like a fun day? Probably a rare thing for this governor. Governors make lots of decisions, with a lot of information at their fingertips. So, if whatever decision made is positive for Jones it is because of Christie going to a football game?

    Does everything have to be about politics?

  3. The top tier lawyers trained by y’all in the Northeast normally craft, promulgate, interpret, and enshrine excellent laws for those in power. No different here.

  4. Paul – “Karen – I think this is just stretching it. And I am so upset with Obama that I could care about anyone one else.”

    I hear you. Every time I pay my outrageous health insurance premiums, or get told no one accepts my policy anyway, I am reminded at how angry I am with Obama and Liberals in general at this time. I never really got too upset about political affiliation until I got hit with thousands of dollars a year in increases, thanks to Liberals “helping” us. It makes me roll my eyes when people complain about that measly $25 payroll tax. Get real. Huge taxes and increased cost of living is what Liberalism means nowadays, because they want to take care of you, in a very expensive and inefficient way, from cradle to grave.

  5. Justice Holmes said ” Howard Dean is a DEMOCRAT, a real one. As a result, the media had to destroy him. Did I mention CC is a Republican. They get away with…….insert your own list here.”Christie looks like a perverted Santa Claus that always needs to be in on some group hug to feel like he belongs to the “brotherhood” as he isn’t signifigant enough to destroy”

    1. happypappies – some people come from families of huggers, some don’t. I think Christie does.

      1. Karen S. I hear you
        Paul C. Schulte. Yes – he is all sugar on top squeeze me pleeze me crispy creamy. Sorry, after how rude he was last January regarding those lane closing on Bridgegate when he blamed Bridget Kelly for closing the lanes and basically burned her as a witch I just don’t buy his huggy bear stuff 😉

  6. The proof should be the number of progressive voters who boycott the next Cowboy game. I’ll be watching the attendance at that game for the empty seats.

  7. I always hope that I am able to contribute in a ways that are unique and hopefully my perspective as an attorney in NJ itself might prove useful to analyze what’s going on in NJ. Attending a Dallas Cowboys game is not a problem. Accepting the private plane ride? That’s what makes the gesture over the top. With respect to Legends Hospitality which is a NY Yankees/Dallas Cowboys joint venture with an HQ in Bloomfield, NJ and which won the PA contract for concessions at 1WTC (I suppose we can expect stadium pricing there), either Jones’ friendship with Christie mattered….or it didn’t, but you know what’s funny? NJ ethics rules governing attorneys applies a strict conflict of interest standard. The MERE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY is enough.

    You don’t even need an actual conflict. It just needs to LOOK like one. I don’t know what Christie is thinking.

    And I’m a conservative, but this guy….he’s no President……

    And as an aside, he simply looked like a jerk off with respect to the hug.

  8. Justice Holmes had the right idea. Sadly some of you missed the point.

    As JH said, Dean was a real democrat – read: progressive. The media does its best to destroy them, just as it does its best to destroy the harder portions of the GOP. The media toes the middle of the road line and not much else.

  9. And Steve, I hate to break it to ya, but you don’t get to say what gets blogged about on someone else’s blog. You complain like a child who doesn’t like the flavor of his cake and is insulted that mommy didn’t know what he wanted.

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