According to public records accessed by Politico, New Jersey’s Governor, Phil Murphy, is reported to have utilized funds from taxpayers for stadium events, including a Taylor Swift concert. The records reveal around $12,000 spent on food and beverages.
Murphy’s office has reportedly asked the Democratic Party of the state to reimburse these expenses. The account from which these funds were drawn is explicitly not for personal use or to add to Murphy’s annual salary of $175,000.
Murphy’s spokesperson mentioned that they had expected the expenses to be covered by state party officials as usual and moved to rectify the situation by paying the outstanding bills. Furthermore, in 2022, Murphy faced allegations of misappropriating $10 million designated for COVID-19 relief to provide stimulus checks to undocumented immigrants. State oversight entities heavily scrutinized this move.
Documents reveal that in August 2021, Governor Phil Murphy’s Monmouth County private estate incurred over $3,000 in catering staff costs. The reason for these expenditures at his luxurious Navesink River property, or the specifics of any official state business conducted there, remains unclear, despite a related $1,620 valet parking bill for an event on the same day. This pattern of utilizing catering services at Murphy’s residence was also observed four times in 2018.
Additionally, not all expenses were catering-related. In May 2018, the governor’s office spent $253 at the New Jersey State Museum Shop, purchasing two pairs of “NJ State Seal Gold Cufflinks” for $108 and five “Heirloom Pen Battle Sites” pens for $145. A 10% state employee discount was applied to the cufflinks, suggesting a measure of cost-saving for taxpayers in these transactions.
Murphy also faced criticism for vacationing in Costa Rica during a period when New Jersey had a significant COVID-19 infection rate. This was his third personal trip away from the state within five months, with previous travels to Italy and Orlando. These incidents unfold against the backdrop of prominent musician Taylor Swift encouraging voter registration before the presidential election.