According to just released figures, Governor Chris Christie’s overseas trip to Israel was also a learning experience for the state’s taxpayers.
The governor’s security expenses came to $39,871 for the taxpayers, according to an Associated Press report in the Asbury Park Press.
Parts of the trip were funded by private organizations, like Choose New Jersey, a non-profit organization that promotes state businesses. They donated an estimated $6,041 for each staffer who accompanied Christie to Israel. Travel costs for each staff member were estimated at $3,546, accommodations were $1,700 each, while meals were about $795 for each.
Staff members are required to disclose the estimates as gifts on ethics forms by state code, but the governor is not.
The Republican Jewish Coalition paid for flights and accommodations for Christie and his family. CBS Philly reported that Christie flew privately and stayed in the most famous hotel in Jerusalem, The King David.
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said, according to NorthJersey.com, “Our intention was to accomplish this trip at the most minimal possible expense, and definitely don’t make any apologies, nor do we feel the need to justify this in any way whatsoever. This was about as creative a way we could do it but totally properly at the same time.”
According to an Associated Press report in the Asbury Park Press, Christie’s office declined to release additional details about expenses, citing a legal decision from 2010 that allows the executive branch to keep records confidential for security reasons.