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(Trenton)- At a December 19, 2012 holiday party hosted by Governor Chris Christie for legislators and members of the media, Christie told the crowd that the event was “the last of several holiday parties” hosted at Drumthwacket, the official Governor’s mansion. The Star-Ledger sought information about the guest lists of those holiday parties under New Jersey’s Open Public Record Act, and reported today that the request had been denied. Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, released the following statement:
“When Christie was a candidate for office, he promised the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government that he would be open and transparent as Governor. The decision to withhold the guest lists and other information pertaining to parties hosted at the official residence flies in the face of that promise. It also raises questions about the nature of the parties and who attended them:
If the White House can share guest lists for state dinners and other high profile events without risking President Obama’s security, couldn’t the Christie administration find a way to do the same for a few holiday parties without jeopardizing the governor’s safety?
Isn’t it more likely that releasing the guest list poses a political risk, rather than a security risk?
What is the Christie administration hiding by choosing not to release the guest lists of these holiday parties?
Who were the attendees?
How many of the attendees are employed or affiliated with organizations with state government contracts?
How many attendees are employed or affiliated with organizations currently seeking a state government contract?
How many attendees contributed to Christie’s 2009 or 2013 gubernatorial campaigns?
How many attendees contributed to Christie’s 2013 gubernatorial campaign after attending one of these holiday parties?
How many attendees are affiliated with the state or national GOP in an official capacity?
How many attendees were not from New Jersey?
How many attendees contributed to Mitt Romney, the RNC, the NRCC, the NRSC, or Republican Super PACs?
Did the NJGOP cover the full cost of the event, including any transportation or security costs?
Did any of the holiday parties require guests to purchase a ticket in order to attend?
In order to obtain answers to these questions posed, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee will file an OPRA request for documents related to the planning and execution of any holiday event hosted at Drumthwacket in 2012.”
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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