What Christie's Financial Disclosure Statement Doesn't Disclose
Gov. Chris Christie this week filed his mandatory financial disclosure statement, which was notable for what it did not disclose:
- The cost of Dallas Cowboys tickets, and flights to games, gifted by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Christie didn't mention these gifts despite the law that requires itemization of non-cash gifts worth more than $200. That's because the Christie Administration received a favorable opinion on the matter from acting Attorney General John Hoffman, a Christie appointee who has yet to be formally nominated or confirmed by the Democratic state Senate. When it was revealed that Jones was funding Christie's trips to games earlier this year, it drew controversy because Jones has a lucrative contract at the Port Authority, which is run in part by Christie. But Hoffman's six-page legal opinion says such a gift disclosure is unecessary because, he says, gifts only have to be listed if they are explicitly given in exchange for services. Such a specification is not mentioned on the actual financial disclosure form.
- The value of his personal investments in a blind trust. Christie moved his investments in stocks and bonds into a blind trust after he was elected governor, but he has not disclosed how much that trust is worth. There is a space for the governor to indicate the value range of the trust, but instead he marked down "N/A." According to the law, if Christie knows that value, he is required by law to release it. In previous years' filings he has not released the value.
- First Lady Mary Pat Christie's income. The financial disclosure forms only require that a range of income is listed. Under Mary Pat Christie, the "G" designation was marked down for her work at Angelo, Gordon & Co. "G" is for "greater than $500,000," but there is no designation for a higher salary, so she could have earned far more than that.
Matt Katz, New Jersey Public Radio/WNYC
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