After raking a considerable amount of muck yesterday at Mother Jones with Part 1 of our exclusive on the secret Koch tapes which I obtained from an insider source, it's time to do it again today in Part 2.
In yesterday's report, we promised to reveal the identity of the Koch brothers' opening night keynote speaker at their super-confidential, ultra-exclusive, invitation-only 2011 Summer Seminar. We teased that the mystery man was a high-ranking GOP public official who, until our special report, had managed to keep his appearance at the billionaire brothers' soiree at the plush Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Resort in Bachelor Gulch, CO (near Vail), a complete secret from both his own constituents and his local media.
That GOP superstar, we reveal today, is none other than New Jersey's flamboyant Republican Governor Chris Christie who, on the morning of Sunday, June 26, appeared on NBC's Meet the Press, then jetted quietly out to Colorado, mingled with the billionaires, offered a rousing stem-winder of a keynote address over dessert, jetted back home, and then appeared live Monday morning, in-studio, on three different cable news shows (two on Fox and the other MSNBC's Morning Joe) in Manhattan.
He never breathed a word of where he'd been the day before. Nobody other than those inside the big dinner pavilion at Bachelor Gulch --- where, outside, "pink noise" was blasted into the mountains on huge loud speakers to deter eavesdroppers on the night Christie appeared --- would ever even know he had left the state. Until now.
At one point during his nearly hour-long remarks (including a lively Q&A), Christie criticized President Obama as having "failed the fundamental test of leadership, which I believe is to tell the people who hired you the truth." Ironically enough, however, Christie seems to have forgotten to have told the people who hired him the truth about where he spent the day and night on June 26th.
While GOP Presidential front-runner Gov. Rick Perry (TX) as well as Govs. Bob McDonnell (VA) and Rick Scott (FL) had been discovered to have attended this year, Christie's presence had not previously been reported publicly anywhere. That changes today, thanks to the secret audio recorded inside the Koch's 2011 Summer Seminar.
Part 2 in my exclusive series is now published at Mother Jones here.
Any reason in particular that Christie didn't want his constituents to know he was palling around with the Kochs and delivering a wildly entertaining stem-winder to the hundreds of gathered corporate titans? Dunno. While his office confirmed to us that the trip was not on his public calendar, they declined to respond to multiple attempts seeking comment on the Colorado trip. Maybe, as the Kochs did yesterday, they'll decide they want to respond after all, once the story gets out today.
As noteworthy, if not more so, billionaire brother David Koch is heard introducing the Governor and revealing, among other things, that he had met privately with Christie in Koch's New York City office a few months prior, "just the two of us - for about two hours," according to the audio tapes. Afterward, the oil-and-chemical magnate, said to be worth $22 billion (just like his brother, as they both inherited their father's fortune), determined that Christie was "a true political hero" and "my kind of guy."
David Koch's "kind of guy." Well, that's the sort of thing that could leave a mark. Especially when the entire thing is recorded for posterity on audio tape. Perhaps that's why Christie didn't want anybody to know he was hobnobbing with the Kochs...or what he had to say at their secret shindig, including (but hardly limited to):
- Details on wielding extraordinary unitary executive powers to declare a "fiscal emergency" upon taking office in order to impound billions in planned spending ("The good news for all of you and for me is that the governorship in New Jersey is the most powerful constitutional governorship in America.");
- Snookering and strong-arming Democrats in the state Legislature to cut pensions and benefits and collective bargaining rights from public workers ("You know, I cannot believe how stupid these people are");
- How the same tactics and strong-arm governance he's brought to New Jersey need to be applied to the country as a whole, and;
- How his next major plan for his Garden State constituents is to crush the power of public school teachers ("We need to take on the teachers' union once and for all.")
It's all in today's report.
UPDATE 9/8/11: Looks like Part 2 of my MoJo exclusive has ignited several political firestorms --- particularly in New Jersey. Oops. Full details now here...