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Christie’s secret Koch brothers trip prompts records request

christiechris052411_optKochWatch.org calls for ethics review of governor's habit of slipping out of state

BY TOM HESTER SR.
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

KochWatch.org, a Washington-based website that tracks the actions of billionaire conservative Republican powerbrokers David and Charles Koch, has asked Gov. Chris Christie’s office for all records related to his secret trip to Vail, Colorado on June 26 to give the main address at a political gathering hosted by the brothers.

Christie left New Jersey for the Sunday appearance without telling the public or news media, something he has done at least three other times for political matters since taking office 20 months ago.

Kevin Zeese, a KochWatch attorney, told NewJerseyNewsroom.com of the records request Thursday. He said KochWatch.org also wants to see the state Attorney General‘s office and the Legislature conduct what he described as an ethics investigation into Christie’s habit of disappearing without only a handful of aides and the State Police knowing his whereabouts.

“Yesterday, we filed a records request with the governor's office for all documents related to his secret trip to the Koch brothers' retreat,” Zeese said. “And we asked that the request be expedited. Once we get that, we will know which direction to go as to an ethics complaint or criminal investigation.”

Zeese added, “We have also asked for the Legislature to conduct its own investigation and hold hearings. Clearly, Governor Christie did not want anyone to know about the trip or his keynote address. The question now is did that violate any laws or rules, did he use state resources for the trip, and was there any quid pro quo involved.”

Michael Drewniak, Christie’s press secretary, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter of the governor leaving the state without public notice or KochWatch.org’s request for the Vail trip records. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was acting governor while Christie was in Colorado. Her office referred questions about the secrecy of the trip to the governor’s office.

Asked if the state Ethics Commission would handle a complaint about a governor’s secrecy, Director Peter Tober said, “…I am not sure that the Conflicts Law has an applicable section which would require the governor to notify the public if he left the state. Other sections of law might impose such a requirement—or they might not—but those sections of the law are probably outside the jurisdiction of this commission. I note further that the constitutional delegation of powers to the newly created lieutenant governor may govern the answer to (the) question, but again that is outside the scope of the SEC’s jurisdiction.”

Christie’s trip was exposed by Mother Jones magazine.

The governor was part of the audience along with Republican governors Rick Perry of Texas, Rick Scott of Florida and Bob McDonnell of Virginia when Charles Koch described President Obama as “Saddam Hussein.”

“It appears highly unusual for the chief executive of New Jersey to secretly leave the state in order to appear at a clearly partisan event, and then to mislead his constituents by keeping it off his daily calendar,” Zeese said. “Governor Christie used the event to bash New Jersey legislators who bargained with him in good faith (on the public employees‘ benefits bill), and public employees who work hard every day to make sure that the New Jersey government is functioning."

David Koch introduced Christie as “my kind of guy” and disclosed that he had met privately with him for two hours at the Koch New York offices in January.

In May, Christie traveled to New York’s Hudson River Valley to meet with Roger Ailes, the head of Fox Broadcasting and Rush Limbaugh where a 2012 Republican presidential bid by the governor was a topic. When the American Civil Liberties Union and Gawker.com requested the Christie‘s office to provide the records related to the trip, his aides claimed executive privilege and denied the request.

The Koch and Ailes trips were not revealed to the public or news media.

When Christie repeatedly left New Jersey last autumn to campaign for Republican gubernatorial and congressional candidates in a string of states, the state Republican headquarters would announce he was leaving.



 
Comments (8)
8 Saturday, 24 September 2011 22:16
Tina67
This guy is way over weight, not a good role model for kids in New Jersey, he looks like the kind of guy that sits behind his custom made desk (to fit his over the pants stomache) and chews on fried chicken all day long. Does not look like he has worked a day in his life. Typical NEO conservative.
7 Tuesday, 20 September 2011 20:39
BDF
He is cleaning up the State as well as he can in a hornet's nest of libs , crooks and right out socialists. Maybe he went to find some of the jobs the Dems. chased out of New Jersey.
6 Wednesday, 14 September 2011 05:02
Bob Spiegel
The adage you get the government you vote for is certainly true. We have very intelligent people out there and we need to start voting in real leaders who care about people and the environment. Not those who master the sound bite and parrot what we want to hear because of our biased political beliefs.
5 Friday, 09 September 2011 19:31
Ernest Wright
A fat guy paid for by Texan's to run your state....(into the ground).

Are you going to take it?

Yeah, youse guys are too dumb to do anything about it.
4 Friday, 09 September 2011 11:30
Dahn Shaulis
Thanks to Mother Jones, The Nation, ALEC Exposed, Media Matters, and Democracy Now! for revealing the true nature of tyrants like Chris Christie. Clearly, Governor Christie works for the corporate oligarchs, multi-billionaires like the environmentally destructive Koch Brothers. Is it any surprise? We already know he gave $261,000,000 to a casino while cutting scholarships for colleges. And we already know this deadbeat refuses to compensate public service workers for work already done...
3 Friday, 09 September 2011 08:44
Political Truth
Talk about a made-up liberal story.

The Governor can go to political events without notifying the press. There is no requirement that the Governor let the press know where he is and what he is doing every minute of the day, even though the press would like such information.

The laws require disclosure about Christie's official acts as Governor. He doesn't give up his right to free assembly and privacy just because he was elected Governor.

Let's judge political officials on their records and their results in office, not by these made-up conspiracies.
2 Friday, 09 September 2011 07:19
Politicalpony
Here's another page from the ICLEI site. Go read their very own agenda, I think you'll be surprised at what you find. Here are a few titles

"UN refers to cities as key governmental stakeholders supporting global climate action"

"What we really need is a green economy, a functioning eco-system and the capacity to tackle climate change"

"20 years of a global-local network".
That's what this article is really about. But they can't tell you any of this. That can't be truthful or you would have nothing to do with it.
Find them here.
http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=11803

Here's a list of their partners, tell me why is it that we have these organizations in our towns?
http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=779

People need to become aware of their surroundings. It's not all what it seems. I challenge all nay sayers.

As if I haven't given you enough homework, try this little fun game.

Only 3 clicks of a mouse takes you from ICLEI's website to the United Nation's Agenda 21 documentation.

Click 1: from any web browser type in WWW.ICLEI.ORG

Click 2: On ICLEI's site, click on the tab labeled PROGRAMS

http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=global-themes

Click 3 : Scoll down and you will find Agenda 21,

http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id-global-themes
1 Friday, 09 September 2011 07:17
Politicalpony
To start off with, the problem with Jeff Tittel and the Sierra Club is that he's working the agenda for the United Nations. I'm an outdoors person, I love to camp, hike ski all of the outdoors things a person might like to do. I want a clean environment. That said, all of these or most of these environmental agencies be they state run and funded or None Governmental agencies for the most part are backed by the United Nations. These organizations are the buffer between the UN and the peoples law. Our state and Federal governments barely make a law, rule or regulation any more without the consent of the UN. Since when has the UN become the governing body of the United States? People need to do their home work on "Sustainable NJ", the "Sierra Club" and "ICLEI" and all of these other Do-Good for a clean environment groups. They've been infiltrated by a socialist agenda that among other things would like to take the "Property Rights" of the people away from everyone. They are not what they seem to be, they are not what they started out to be.

Just go to your local municipal website, look for and read the Town "Master Plan" take note of the wording and language used. Then while still on the municipal site look for the link " ICLEI" and follow it. Read some of that nonsense. While at the ICLEI website do some more looking around. You will find a link that actually say "Agenda 21". This is the so called infamous Conspiracy Theory. Well it's no conspiracy theory at all, it's a conspiracy fact. The Agenda 21 is about a 400 page document that's primarily a bunch of Happy Happy lets keep everything clean, boring read. But it's all about changing rezoning laws, stacking people into tighter areas, forcing ( yes I said forcing) everyone out of their automobiles and on to mass-transit. If you want to more about Agenda 21 just Google "Agenda 21 for dummies" it will save you from reading the boring gi...
From their website, they had to change the name because people starting questioning why do we need to be international?

The organization's name is 'ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability'. In 2003, ICLEI's Members voted to revise the organization's mission, charter and name to better reflect the current challenges local governments are facing. The 'International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives' became 'ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability' with a broader mandate to address sustainability issues.
http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=about

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