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Chris Christie's helicopter ride

This morning, we wrote about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) dinner with Iowa Republican donors last night. But it was his ride to his son's baseball game -- before the dinner -- that's raising questions about his fiscal-conservative credentials.


Yesterday's Newark Star-Ledger:

Gov. Chris Christie arrived at his son's baseball game this afternoon aboard a State Police helicopter.

Right before the lineup cards were being exchanged on the field, a noise from above distracted the spectators as the 55-foot long helicopter buzzed over trees in left field, circled the outfield and landed in an adjacent football field. Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car with tinted windows that drove him about a 100 yards to the baseball field.

The Wall Street Journal adds:

Use of the state helicopter is a frequent target of political gadflies, an easy way to make the chief executive seem like big spenders hopelessly out of touch with their auto-bound constituents.

Former Gov. Jim McGreevey came under fire for using the state helicopter 277 times in his first year in office, but cut back later on. The state Democratic party and other groups reimbursed New Jersey for some of his 19 helicopter trips in 2004 at a rate of $1,830 per hour... A Christie official, speaking on background Tuesday evening, said that the governor is not required to reimburse the state for his trip to the baseball game.