"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"...