Ethics complaint filed over Gov. Christie's Cowboys game trip

Tuesday January 6th, 2015

An ethics complaint was filed over New Jersey governor Chris Christie's trip to Dallas to see the Cowboys play the Detroit Lions in the NFL playoffs on Sunday, according to

The complaint was filed by the American Democracy Legal Fund and accuses Christie of violating state laws and the governor’s code of conduct for attending the game at the expense of owner Jerry Jones. Christie's office dismissed the complaint as being motivated by politics.

Jerry Jones says Gov. Chris Christie is 'part of our mojo'

Brad Woodhouse filed the complaint to the state's Ethics Commission and questioned the friendship of Christie and Jones. The governor of New Jersey is allowed to receive gifts from "personal friends that are paid for with personal funds."

"To allow Governor Christie to receive gifts from Mr. Jones under the guise of classifying Mr. Jones as a 'personal friend' when Mr. Jones is a businessman who has benefited from Governor Christie’s work as a public official, would be to apply the code in a vacuum," Woodhouse said in his letter. 

Woodhouse is also president of American Bridge, a committee that has ties to Democrat Hilary Clinton and has conducted opposition research into potential Republican presidential candidates, according to

Christie's office dismissed the complaint in a statement:

"Is anyone surprised pro-Hilary PACs like American Bridge and partisan organizations like the DNC are using the governor's support of a football team for a political hit," said Maria Comella, the governor’s deputy chief of staff for communications.

• Chris Christie says Philadelphia fans are 'the worst in America'

Christie has attended Cowboys games before, including most recently in December. He has gone on sports radio shows to talk about the team and has defended his fandom on multiple occasions. 

He has said his love for the Cowboys dates to Roger Staubach's time under center for the team, according to the New York Post, despite much of his state rooting for NFC East rivals the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

Dallas beat the Lions 24-20 on Sunday, its first playoff win since 2009. 

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