Christie's official portrait to cost taxpayers $85K

Adjust Comment Print

Chris Christie has been out of office for more than three months, but the former New Jersey governor is still sticking it to the state's taxpayers.

Democrats Jon Corzine, Richard Codey, and Jim McGreevey spent a combined $74,500 for theirs.

Considering his approval ratings leading up to his departure didn't even make it out of their teens, perhaps the former governor is springing extra for a graffiti-proof sealant.

Christie reportedly commissioned a famous Australian artist who once painted singer Kylie Minogue and former National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern.

Next in line? The guy who almost dumped nachos on a Cubs fan, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

"I'm getting the oil portrait in the Statehouse", he said at the time.

Paul Newton, the Sydney-based artist who is an official portraitist for Parliament House, reportedly signed a contract in December to paint the portrait. The report said Christie "had earned a reputation for having a taste for luxury when others paid the bill".

Documents show Christie - who left office in January - has already put $37,500 toward the portrait and owes a remaining $47,500. The Statehouse, where portraits of former governors used to line the walls, is under multi-year renovations that he ordered.

"I try to squeeze all the juice out of the orange that I can", he told the New York Times in 2014.

That included a $475-a-night stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC - more than double the government rate of $233 per night.