Democrat: Christie should pay for his own town hall meetings

At recent town hall meetings, Gov. Christie has been dreaming out loud about what it would be like if Republicans regained control of the Legislature in elections this fall.

Now, one South Jersey Democrat, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, wants Christie to pay for his regular town hall meetings, arguing that they're thinly-veiled campaign events. Christie has used the meetings, which I wrote about here, to great political advantage -- speaking to hundreds of New Jerseyans in person and thousands more through the media.

Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty

“These are taxpayer-funded events organized and promoted by the taxpayer-funded governor’s office,” Moriarty said in a statement. “If the governor sticks to public policy, that’s fine, but if the governor wants to campaign he must dip into his own wallet. He should not be wasting taxpayer dollars on his own political rallies.”

Moriarty said he wants to know how much it costs taxpayers to stage the meetings.

"He's just never been to one," the gov said in response at a press conference today. "If he came to one, he'd love 'em. It's a ridiculous press release. I guess he had nothing to do today."

Moriarty's press release has now spawned several more press releases, including a press release war between Moriarty and his district colleague, Republican Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco. The headline on DiCicco's release read: MORIARTY SHOULD REIMBURSE TAXPAYERS THE MORE THAN $1 BILLION IN TAX INCREASES HE SUPPORTED.

Moriarty has since responded, saying DiCicco is "all talk and no action."