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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2011 10:33am PT  

"We know that this was not a family vacation to Disney World, but a political fundraiser designed to further the governor's national political aspirations," NJ state Sen. Loretta Weinberg said on Friday, in announcing her plan to introduce new legislation today requiring the Governor to alert state legislators when he's traveling out of state.

As mentioned on Friday, more new developments continue to follow in the wake of our Mother Jones exclusive on NJ Gov. Chris Christie's secret appearance (at least until we revealed it) and keynote speech at the billionaire Koch brother's ultra-confidential (at least until we ruined that too) political strategy and fund raising soiree near Vail, Colorado late last June.

"No man is an island, and the governor needs to recognize that he has a responsibility to the people of New Jersey to at least assure for the orderly transfer of power if he does decide to leave the state in search of right-wing campaign donations," Weinberg told New Jersey Newsroom's Tom Hester, Sr. "If an emergency situation had occurred while he was away, the members of the Legislature would have had to scramble to figure out who they're supposed to be working with in the front office."

As Hester reports, "Christie traveled with a state police escort to Vail to give the keynote address at a political fundraiser hosted by David and Charles Koch, oil billionaires and conservative Republican powerbrokers. It was at least the fourth time Christie left the state since taking office without notifying legislators, the public or the media."

The first the local media, or Christie's constituents, had heard about his pilgrimage to the Koch shindig in Vail, was more than two months afterward in our report, based on audio we'd obtained, as recorded by an insider source at the event.

Incredibly, when he was called on the carpet for the secret political trip halfway across the country on a friendly NJ Meet the Governor radio show last week, Christie attempted to downplay it all as little more than a family vacation, even likening it to running out to the deli to pick up a quick sandwich.

"Like this past Saturday," he told 101.5FM's host Eric Scott, "I left the state to go to a University of Delaware football game with my wife and my four children. Do you think the people of the state of New Jersey are dying to know that?"

"I also, ya know, went to the deli on Saturday, do I need to tell people that too?," Christie continued, insisting his hob-nob with the Kochs and several hundred of their closest corporate titan friends was little more than "personal time"...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/18/2011 11:11am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"One of the great questions of our time is whether the American people, through Congress, will control the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, or whether Wall Street will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and the lives of working families."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 9/16/11

Sanders' question is indeed one of the "great" ones for our time. But, as Yoda said, "there is another."

If there was ever a candidate perfectly suited to expose the lie that is to be found in the pseudo-populism of the mega-billionaire Koch brothers funded and controlled 'Tea Party' that helped Scott Brown (R-MA) secure a reported upset win in the 2010 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of the late Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA), it would be Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.

The brilliant, straight-talking Harvard Law Professor and special adviser appointed by President Barack Obama to oversee the development of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose interview with Michael Moore for Capitalism: A Love Story (see video below) established her to be the same thorn in the side of Wall Street's financial "products" that Ralph Nader was to GM when he exposed the Corvair in Unsafe at Any Speed, announced last week that she is a 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by a GOP Senator who has turned to Wall Street, in a big way, for financial support.

There is little question but that Warren's brilliance, eloquence, and sincerity will come into play during the ensuing campaign. But while Warren plants her flag in the fight for oversight, transparency, and accountability for our financial system, will she (and other candidates) come to understand the importance of oversight, transparency, and accountability for our electoral system before it's too late? Before yet another election --- like the one which brought Brown to the Senate in the first place --- is decided under a cloud of unverified results reported by easily-hacked, oft-failed, optical-scan voting systems such as those made by Diebold and programmed by a company with a criminal background in the great commonwealth of Massachusetts?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2011 4:32pm PT  

Reverberations from our exclusive stories last week at Mother Jones on the Secret Koch Tapes we'd obtained from the billionaire brothers' ultra-confidential political strategy and fund raising confab in June near Vail, CO, continue. Most of the fallout has come in the wake of Part 2 on the secret keynote speech given by NJ Gov. Chris Christie, as introduced by brother David who revealed that he'd had a secret meeting with Christie several months earlier in New York, before he went on to describe the tough-talking Republican governor (audio/transcript here) as "my kind of guy."

Earlier this week, a reporter from an East Coast daily sent us a generous email noting: "Remarkable stories last week. I have no idea where the hell you got that audio, but it stopped the news cycle cold in Trenton. Changed the conversation. That doesn't happen often."

The conversation in NJ's capitol, it seems, is still changing in light of the stories, with several additional new issues emerging over the last day or two. We'll cover one of them --- an interesting result of Christie's tough-talking, thought-it-would-stay-secret Colorado comment that "We need to take on the teachers' union once and for all" --- here (and the other, a bit later)...

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

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PLUS: Sam Seder interviews Brad on 'Ring of Fire'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2011 10:51pm PT  

"Whether he discussed it or not, he's doing their bidding," insists Jeff Tittel, the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "The Governor has a problem about completely telling the truth. If the Governor was Pinocchio, you'd be getting hit with his nose about now."

Those were among Tittel's remarks today during my interview with him this afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show here on KPFK in Los Angeles. (Full audio posted below.) Needless to say, he doesn't have much confidence in NJ Gov. Chris Christie's latest denials about his relationship with the billionaire oil magnate Koch brothers.

As we've reported over the past 24 hours, last night, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) scammed a local radio host concerning his meetings with the Rightwing billionaires. Earlier today, finally, local media forced a direct answer from him on whether he ever discussed the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with the Kochs. The co-owners of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the nation, which they inherited from their father, hate the RGGI cap-and-trade plan to curb pollutants, as created by 10 Northeastern states. Christie's unilateral withdraw from the agreement last May was a shocker, though one celebrated by the Kochs and their well-funded Climate Change Denial Machine who had long been lobbying against it.

Today, Christie denied the topic ever came up in either of two now-known private meetings with Kochs, both revealed by Part 2 of our exclusive report last week at Mother Jones on the secret speech Christie gave for the Kochs at their ultra-exclusive Summer Seminar near Vail, CO last June, and David Koch's introduction to it. (Audio we obtained and transcribed, from that speech, is posted right here.)

After we'd broken the story last week, Tittel, told AP the secret Koch Tapes provide "the smoking gun that shows [Christie's] been working with the Koch brothers from the beginning."

But now, even after Christie insists that discussion of RGGI "never came up" during discussions at either the Colorado appearance, or during his secret two-hour meeting with David Koch in New York City earlier this year, Tittle is not inclined to believe him. He explained his reasons why on today's KPFK show, where you'll also get to hear some of the audio from the Koch seminar (such as when Koch describes Christie as "my kind of guy"), and Christie's bamboozling of the NJ radio host who had asked him about the topic last night...

Download MP3 or listen online here [appx 28 min]...

* * *

Also, since I received a lot of nice compliments on it, the video of Sam Seder's interview with me --- also discussing the Koch tapes --- from this past weekend's Ring of Fire, is posted below...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2011 1:26pm PT  

After being allowed to bamboozle 101.5FM's Eric Host on last night's Meet the Governor radio program in New Jersey, by conflating one secret meeting with David and Charles Koch with another that occurred months earlier, Gov. Chris Christie is now denying he ever had any discussions about a key environmental initiative with the billionaire oil baron brothers in either of the secret meetings.

According to Timothy J. Carroll at PolitickerNJ today, the Governor was pressed once again at a press conference this morning to clear up an issue that has remained in contention since we posted our exclusive story at Mother Jones last week, revealing audio we'd obtained of Christie's secret keynote address --- and David Koch's introduction to it --- at a recent, invitation-only Koch brothers political strategy and fundraising seminar near Vail, Colorado...

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

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Equates political strategy session, fund raiser for billionaire oil magnates with trip to deli, family vacation...
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2011 8:05pm PT  

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) was asked about his secret meetings with the billionaire Koch Brothers this evening on a local New Jersey town hall radio show, and whether his private meeting had any affect on his surprise decision to unilaterally withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced "Reggie) last May.

The Governor failed to tell the truth in his response during tonight's appearance on the monthly Meet the Governor radio show on New Jersey's 101.5FM. Moreover, he purposely conflated two entirely separate events in order to mislead in his evasive response.

The question arose out of our story published last Wednesday in Mother Jones, featuring exclusive audio from inside the Koch brothers' ultra-confidential 2011 Summer Seminar near Vail, Colorado, where Christie delivered the keynote address to hundreds of corporate millionaires and billionaires on June 26th, after being introduced by oil tycoon and hard right political activist David Koch.

During his introduction to Christie --- whose presence at the secret political strategy and fund raising session had been kept a secret from his constituents until we broke our story last week --- Koch revealed that he had met with the Governor privately "five months ago."

"We met in my New York City office and spoke - just the two of us - for about two hours," said Koch, who, with his brother Charles, had taken extraordinary security measures to help ensure that nobody outside of the event would ever hear what had taken place inside of it.

The Kochs have spent millions funding the Global Warming Denial Industry and lobbying against RGGI, an agreement among 10 Northeastern states to create a cap-and-trade market to curb pollutants --- such as those emitted by many of Koch Industries' plants --- and to invest the profits into clean energy initiatives.

Tonight, Christie was asked directly about the private meetings, but managed to bamboozle the show's host Eric Scott --- and the voters of New Jersey along with him --- in his answer, charging that the issue has only come up because "reporters don't do their homework." It seems it may have been Scott who hadn't done his, as he allowed Christie to deflect the question from the private, one-on-one meeting Koch revealed he'd had with Christie, and instead claim that the June meeting in Colorado couldn't have affected his decision on RGGI, since it took place a month after his announcement about it.

"I don't know how a conversation I...had two months after I did something, could have an effect on what I did," said Christie, knowing exactly how he was scamming both Scott and his constituents who were listening tonight...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2011 2:20pm PT  

During the billionaire Koch brothers' secret Summer Seminar near Vail, Colorado, on June 26th, their secret superstar keynote speaker, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie, criticized President Barack Obama, charging that he "had failed the fundamental test of leadership, which I believe is to tell the people who hired you the truth, unvarnished truth."

Never mind that until our exposé at Mother Jones last week, based on a complete audio recording of his secret speech, Christie himself had failed to tell the truth to those who had hired him, by concealing the fact that he had flown half way across the country to address the Koch's gathering...just a few months after he had also secretly met with billionaire brother David Koch himself one-on-one, "for about two hours --- just the two of us," as Koch revealed during his introductory remarks, in the oil and chemical magnate's New York City office. That secret meeting took place just prior to a major announcement by Christie to unilaterally withdraw from a Northeast greenhouse gas initiative which Koch had been long advocating against.

So what are the local media obsessed with, given so many of the revelations that suddenly came to light in both our detailed report and its accompanying audio and transcript? Whether or not one of the state's top Democrats, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, should step down from her position!

Naturally. Heckuva job, New Jersey media! (And Democrats!)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2011 6:40pm PT  

Were you too busy last week to keep up with Part 1 and Part 2 of our blockbuster Mother Jones exclusives on the Koch Brothers' super secret (until now) Summer Seminar near Vail., Colorado, and the extraordinary audio we obtained and released, as recording inside of it?

If so, here's your chance to get caught up in one fell swoop!

I've been doing a lot of media interviews this week in support of the stories, all of them quite good. But the conversation with my friend, the great Peter B. Collins, is likely the most definitive, as we had a full, commercial-free hour, to discuss both parts of the story, play a bunch of clips from the "secret" speeches of Charles Koch, David Koch, NJ Gov. Chris Christie and Fox's Judge Andrew Napolitano, as well as discuss the background context and what it all means as we move forward into 2012.

Get caught up on all the key points of the "Secret Koch Tapes" stories by giving the PBC interview a listen over at his joint, or below...

Download MP3 or listen online here...

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


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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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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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 ...

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


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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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!

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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 ...

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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!

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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 ...

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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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