NJ Governor Pays For Chopper Flights

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has paid the state $2,100 as reimbursement for using a state police helicopter to fly to his son's baseball games. The flights occurred early last week and at first Christie said he considered dropping in on the games an appropriate use of the helicopter in his quest to "balance his role as governor and as a father," according to an Associated Press report. He's also going to ask the Republican Party to pay $1,200 for a hop from one of the games to a meeting with fundraisers from Iowa who tried unsuccessfully to get him to run for president.

Christie's initial position that his use of the helicopter was proper was backed up by State Police Superintendant Rick Fuentes, who said the flights didn't cost taxpayers anything because they were used as routine training flights to keep pilots' skills sharp. Christie relented under a storm of media coverage and criticism, saying the publicity storm was a distraction from other issues facing the state. He's used the police helicopter 33 times since taking office 16 months ago.