Tuesday, November 09, 2010

It Begins: Christie 'Overspent' on Expenses as U.S. Attorney; Feds Also Want Rail Money Back From NJ

Considering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may well be the most popular Republican in the nation, it also means he has a giant bullseye on his back. Considered a threat in either 2012 or 2016, it's time he got his, and they're already coming at him with both barrels. First we see a report from a so-called "independent" online site claiming that while U.S. Attorney Christie spent more than allowed on expenses 61 percent of the time while on trips.
When he was the state's top federal lawman, Gov. Chris Christie spent more money than allowed by regulations more often than any other U.S. attorney in the country during 2007 and 2008, according to a report issued today.

Neither Christie nor the four other U.S. attorneys criticized was named. But MainJustice.com, an independent online news site that chronicles the goings on at the U.S. Justice Department, reported that Christie is apparently "U.S. Attorney C."

The report by the department's Inspector General's office said U.S. Attorney C "was the U.S. attorney who most often exceeded the government rate without adequate justification. The U.S. Attorney provided insufficient, inaccurate, or no justification for 14 of 23 trips (61 percent) that exceeded the government rate."
While this "independent" site has this link from Monday, it reads like little more than a rehash of a similar report they put out during Christie's campaign against Jon Corzine in 2009.

Meanwhile, Christie's been under attack ever since he put a halt to New Jersey's participation in the Hudson River tunnel rail project. Well, it's already payback time.
NJ Transit owes the federal government $271 million for the Hudson River rail tunnel that Gov. Chris Christie scrapped last month.

The Federal Transit Administration sent the agency the bill on Monday, saying interest and penalty charges will be added.

The Record newspaper reported the FTA also said it would launch a "complete audit" of the Access to the Region's Core project to determine how much federal funds still have not been spent.
Interesting how a government that spends trillions with little oversight is all of a sudden looking to recoup funds from the state. I have no doubt Christie and the state will fully reimburse the appropriated money, but it's curious how quickly the people who can't account for hundreds of billions in stimulus money are so concerned about what's more or less chump change compared to what they routinely spend.

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