Three NJ groups sue Christie over campaign-trail expenses

 Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, talks with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad at the Iowa State Fair Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, talks with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad at the Iowa State Fair Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Advocacy groups are suing Gov. Chris Christie and his presidential campaign over using New Jersey taxpayer funds for security during his out-of-state political trips.

 

Phyllis Salowe-Kaye,  executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action, said taxpayers should not have to cover the campaign-trail expenses of the governor’s security detail.

“We’re no longer wanting to be Chris Christie’s personal ATM machine,” she said Monday. “The additional state expenses that are incurred by this long-shot presidential campaign need to be paid either by him, his campaign, or perhaps the state Republican Party.”

Citizen Action joined the New Jersey Working Families Alliance and BlueWaveNJ in filing the lawsuit that’s also seeking to have the governor’s pay docked for each day he spends campaigning out of the state.

“When we have such a critical financial state in New Jersey,” said Analilla Mejia, director of the Working Families Alliance. “Every dollar that gets expended on one thing on one endeavor such as Chris Christie’s political ambitions is a dollar that doesn’t go to fund public education or schools.”

Christie, whose polling numbers are near the back of the pack of Republicans seeking the presidential nomination, has focused his attention on early-voting New Hampshire. He traveled to Iowa for appearances Saturday at the State Fair.

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