We may not have money to build and repair our roads, but we found money to build up Chris Christie’s image. Bob Ingle has a piece up today that is worth a full read, but in essence says that Governor Downgrade started believing his own press releases and in essence now is tripping over the headlines his staff has created. The thing that caught my eye is how much it cost taxpayers for those press releases:
Those releases were manufactured by a communications operation that grew even as Christie boasted he had downsized government. Mark Lagerkvist of New Jersey Watchdog looked into it and reported the governor’s communications officers have increased by 50 percent in five years, costing taxpayers $5.43 million “to pay the team that helped turn him into a rising star on television, radio, YouTube, Facebook and other outlets.”
“The governor’s media team has expanded to include 16 full-time staffers and a payroll of roughly $1.36 million last year. Five of the employees collect six-figure incomes, led by communications director Maria Comella at $140,000 a year.” Previously, Comella was deputy communications director for Rudolph Giuliani’s presidential campaign.
A 50% increase? 16 people full time to brand the Governor? Come to think of it, maybe New Jersey residents should root for a Christie presidency just so they can at least realize some return on their taxpayer investment.