Trenton, New Jersey – November 2, 2023
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is facing scrutiny for using a taxpayer-financed expense account to the tune of nearly $12,000 at MetLife Stadium, which notably included an expenditure of almost $1,000 on a Taylor Swift concert in 2018. The governor has requested that the Democratic State Committee reimburse the state for these expenditures.
The revelation of these expenses came to light through records indicating that Governor Murphy spent these funds on snacks and beverages at various events held in 2018 and 2019. This included the Taylor Swift concert, as well as attendance at sporting events and a music festival organized by a New York City radio station.
A spokesperson for Governor Murphy, Jennifer Sciortino, explained that the Democratic State Committee was initially expected to cover the costs associated with the stadium events. However, when this did not occur, the expenses were settled using the governor’s annual $95,000 expense account.
Sciortino stated, “Once it was clear that there were outstanding bills that had not been paid, the state stepped up to meet this responsibility.” She further noted that the committee had a different leadership team in place at the time, and the charges in question occurred during a period of staff transition for the state party. The governor’s office is now actively seeking reimbursement from the committee, in line with their established practice.
Regarding the staff transition, Phil Swibinski, the Democratic Party Spokesman, clarified that the committee’s current leadership team had no prior knowledge of the invoice that was reportedly paid for by the state. Swibinski emphasized that the state party routinely covers the cost of food and beverage services at non-governmental events hosted by the governor, including those held at MetLife Stadium. All such payments are disclosed to the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) as required by state law.
This situation has prompted the committee to review the matter further to address any potential discrepancies or issues surrounding the expenses incurred at MetLife Stadium.