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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
'Koch and a Smile' Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 9/8/2011 3:00pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: In our exclusive leaked audio, climate denial kingpin billionaire David Koch calls NJ's Chris Christie "my kind of guy" and reveals they met privately before the Governor pulled out of a major greenhouse gas initiative; Wednesday's GOP debate goes from science to fiction; Gov. Perry's TX is now the hottest state ever on record! PLUS: The planet is still not listening to Republicans ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Skeptical Science Wins Award for Demolishing Denier Myths; Google Details Electricity Usage of Its Data Centers; Bankrupt Solar Company Solyndra Raided by F.B.I.; Solar PV systems to double on Americans homes by 2016; BP removes tar balls in Alabama; Nobel Winners Call On Obama to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline; Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects; Policing Your Power-Hungry Appliances; Is Obama’s reluctance to mention climate change motivated by a false assumption about public opinion?... PLUS: Climate Change: An Issue This Critical Demands at Least 45 Seconds of Real, Concentrated Panic Each Week ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 9/8/2011 4:30am PT  

Well, it looks like Part 2 of my Secret Koch Tapes exclusive at Mother Jones yesterday has ignited a political firestorm. Several of them, actually, particularly in the state of New Jersey. Oops.

One of the firestorms has even led the Democratic Speaker of the NJ Assembly to call Gov. Chris Christie "disgraceful," charge that his comments about her were "outright lies," that he is "not fit to lead the state," and that she is "beginning to wonder if Gov. Christie is mentally deranged." All statements given to local media late today in response to our release of the tapes. Though some local Dems are still wondering if it may be the Speaker, rather than Christie, who is hiding the truth.

As I described in my BRAD BLOG piece linking to Part 2 at MoJo on Wednesday morning, the good citizens of the Garden State (and the whole of the mainstream media along with them) learned only yesterday that their Republican Governor had snuck out of state on June 26th, right after appearing on Meet the Press, jetted across the country to deliver the keynote address at the super-secret, ultra-exclusive gathering of rightwing corporate barons and billionaires --- otherwise known as the Koch Brothers 2011 Summer Seminar --- at a resort near Vail, Colorado, before he then flew back home to NJ that night, and went on to appear on three cable news shows, in studio in Manhattan, the next morning. Nobody ever knew he was gone --- at least until my story broke at MoJo yesterday morning.

Since then, local media and politicos have been combing through our report --- and Tuesday's Part 1 before it, as described later that night. They've apparently been digging through the full transcript of Christie's remarks, and David Koch's introduction to it, as transcribed from a secret audio recording of the goings on at the Koch fete, which we obtained from an insider source.

More on the Part 2 fallout, including new details, confirmations from officials, ignited firestorms and opened hornets' nests below. But first, I wanted to front page these nice comments from an NPR report by Frank James, which helps to put this entire flurry of Koch muckraking in perspective:

The reports are well worth taking time to read not just for the secret thrill you'll get from glimpsing something never intended for the public eye.
...
It's a look behind the curtain of how big money is raised in conservative circles that's a worthwhile addition to our sum of knowledge about how American politics is practiced in the early 21st Century.

Indeed. And with that, on to the summary of yesterday's noteworthy fallout and, at points, rather mucky, developments...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 9/7/2011 6:35am PT  

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.

Part 2 of my exclusive special report at Mother Jones...
Complete audio & transcripts of David Koch's introductory remarks and Gov. Chris Christie's keynote and Q&A...

Enjoy!

* * *

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...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
Irene Special Report: Damage & Response...
By Desi Doyen on 8/30/2011 12:50pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hurricane Irene Special Report: Assessing the damage, and the response; Catastrophic flooding in VT; Rightwing's nutty response to disaster (We're talking to you, Howard Kurtz, George Will, Eric Cantor & Ron Paul!); PLUS: Making the link with climate change - the corporate media won't do it, so we will ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Despite protests, Keystone oil sands pipeline moves one step closer to approval; NASA's Hansen: We Will Continue To Fight Tar Sands Pipeline; Climate scientist vindicated again; Koch Industries fighting against tougher national security rules on chemical plants; Calfornia's 'solar highways' faces regulatory speed bumps; Reversible OLED Solar building tiles light the night; Powering your car with old newspapers?; Wind Power Gains As Gear Improves; More oil drilling in Obama era than Bush era; Earthquake may have exceeded VA nuclear plant's safeguards; Source of Gulf oil sheen near BP oil well is unclear; After Recall, Egg Farms Rack Up Violations; UN warns new mutant strain of bird flu on the rise; Monsanto GMO corn losing bug resistance ... PLUS: Republicans Against Science ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/23/2011 1:48pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: BREAKING: East Coast Earthquake!; Inhofe's 'Hoax' - Hot and Hotter: more record-breaking heat around the world in a record-breaking year; Civil disobedience at the White House over dirty oil pipeline; PLUS: GOP cat fight erupts as Republican candidates spar over science ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fox News compounds inanity over inane 'aliens will kill us over climate change' study; Fukushima zone may be declared uninhabitable; Australia passes CO2 offset laws, carbon pricing next; Vietnam’s rice bowl threatened by rising seas; No ‘train wreck’ from EPA utility rules: report; EPA to review regulations for 'unjustified burdens'; Canadian gov't bypasses public's right to know about fracking; Is nat-gas fracking industry sucking PA's creeks dry?; Ford, Toyota team up on hybrid trucks; Hurricane Irene could boost insurance industry; ConocoPhillips finds 9 new leaks in huge China oil spill; Just Say No to Arctic drilling; Human excrement to blame for coral decline; Fall of Tripoli won't result in cheaper gas; Army Corps: Budget cuts will slow levee rebuilding; Environmental violations found at tribal schools ... PLUS: 'Hockey Stick' scientist vindicated again: Federal auditors find no evidence to support 'Climategate' accusations ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 6/30/2011 1:52pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama calls again for eliminating billions in oil subsidies; Coal mine owner Massey Energy kept two sets of books; U.S. Interstate Highway system proves federal infrastructure good for business; PLUS: Jellyfish attack a nuclear power plant --- no, really --- natural disasters and the Achilles heel of the U.S. nuclear industry ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 2010: Second warmest year on record; How rising temperatures change weather; CA delays nation's 1st cap-and-trade emissions auctions; AAAS decries intimidation, threats aimed at climate scientists; Undercover video links major retailers to barbaric handling of pigs; How the meat industry turned abuse into a business model; Dick Cheney's Big Fracking Mess; Google's plan for cleantech world dominance; More radioactive water leaks from Fukushima; "Our economic system must adapt to climate change"; A clean, green economy will arrive 'like a grenade in a glasshouse; How to make solar panels with paint; Environmentalists Speak Out Against Excessive Cheese Logging; Did ExxonMobil break its promise to stop funding climate deniers?; CA to delay its greenhouse gas emissions trading system; Sierra Club Can't Join U.S. Lawsuit Seeking BP Spill Damages ... PLUS: Republican governors AWOL during state emergencies to attend secret Billionaire Koch Brothers event ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Disturbing dearth of coverage following BRAD BLOG's exclusive report two days ago...
By Brad Friedman on 2/24/2011 3:42pm PT  

A full two days after The BRAD BLOG exclusively broke the story of allegations by Yvonne Smith Segars, the chief of the New Jersey Public Defender's office, charging Gov. Chris Christie with "bullying tactics" and violations of state law, as well as both the NJ and U.S. Constitutions, in trying to muscle her out of office and inappropriately attempting to take over hiring there, a NJ newspaper has finally covered the story as well. It is the only one to do so, so far, to our knowledge.

Here's NJ Star-Ledger columnist Bob Braun finally ringing in with smart coverage: "N.J. public defender says Christie is trying to force her to resign," in which he notes:

[T]he issue isn’t Segars. The issue isn’t jobs Christie can’t fill because Democrats won’t confirm his nominations. The issue is the independence and integrity of an office that stands between the power of the state and the powerlessness of the poor.

Other than Braun's report today, and our own from Tuesday, there appears to be virtually no coverage of this story anywhere else, even as it seems to be a very important one --- particularly given the seriousness of the charges leveled by Segars in the letter she sent to the Governor on Monday (linked in our original report); the fact that her attorney has gone on record calling the matter a "power grab," comparing Christie to a "king" who has "tampered with the independence of the judiciary and...the Public Defender" meriting impeachment by the state legislature; and especially as it involves allegations of strong-arming and potential law-breaking by a quickly-rising GOP superstar said to be a future Presidential contender.

But, then again, he's a Republican. So, there ya go. Nothing to see here? Knock, knock, New York Times! Anybody still covering actual news in your NJ Bureau next door?

* * *

UPDATE: It seems the Philadelphia Inquirer also picked up the story today in it's South Jersey News section (though it did not appear in our Google News search, for some reason). Unlike the Inquirer or the Star-Ledger, the online NJ politics outlet PolitickerNJ had the courtesy of crediting us for the scoop in their coverage yesterday by editor Darryl R. Isherwood.

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Blistering letter sent by veteran defender Yvonne Segars charges rising GOP star's 'bullying tactics', interference with her duties violates state law and both NJ and U.S. Constitutions...
By John Atlas on 2/22/2011 3:45pm PT  

Guest blogged by John Atlas

Will Chris Christie, New Jersey's tough Republican Governor and rising GOP star, be the next president of the United States? That prospect is much less likely if the accusations of Yvonne Smith Segars, the head of New Jersey's Office of the Public Defender, turn out to be accurate.

In a scathing letter [PDF] sent to the Governor on Monday, she charged Christie with having "violated New Jersey law as well as the State and Federal Constitutions," in his efforts to remove her from her post, and by interfering with the operation of her office. In the letter, Segars threatened to sue him for eroding the constitutional rights of indigent clients. She says he's actively undermining the work of the state's public defenders by "obstructing...management decisions and by impeding the filling of constitutionally mandated positions."

Segars accused Christie of "bullying tactics" in an effort to remove her from office. The tactics, according to NJ's chief Public Defender, included "veiled threats", "pressure to resign", "interference with [the] agency's operations" by thwarting approved promotions, and ordering her press officer to report to the Governor, instead of to her.

Segars adds that she "now fear[s] being physically removed from my office."

If the accusations are true, this and other unpopular actions could well serve to help unravel future political ambitions for Christie, who is regarded as a rising star among the "Tea Party" and right-wing base of the Republican party.

In a blistering email statement, Segars' attorney charged Christie is "tamper[ing] with the independence of the judiciary and now with the independence of the Public Defender" in what amounts to an "illegal and unconstitutional" "power grab" meriting impeachment by the state legislature...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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