Gov. Christie doesn’t think you need to know if he takes his wife to a birthday dinner in New York. Or if he takes his kids to his alma mater, the University of Delaware, for a football game.
Or if he goes to Philadelphia’s Ritz-Carlton, as he did last week, for a Republican Governors Association gathering.
But State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D., Bergen) wants to know. She is introducing a bill Monday that would mandate the governor alert legislative leaders any time the governor leaves the state.
The bill comes on the heels of the release of a secret recording, posted on the web site of Mother Jones magazine, in which Christie is heard speaking at a June conference in Colorado run by the Koch brothers, who are conservative tea party financiers.
The recording, in which Christie tells a story about a deal he cut with Democratic Speaker Sheila Oliver, led Oliver to question whether Christie was “mentally deranged.” She said the story was bogus.
But the trip also drew questions about the extent of Christie’s political travel. He did not list the trip on his public schedule for the day, and liberals wondered whether his alliance with the Koch brothers were influencing his policies. The Kochs push the idea that climate change is a fraud, for example.
Christie stumped for Republican candidates around the country last fall, and as his name continues to be floated as a potential presidential candidate the demand for his time only increases. His new gig as vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association also calls for out-of-state travel.
In the next ten days alone Christie is expected to be in Delaware, Missouri and California for speeches.
Christie vehemently defended his out-of-state travel at press conferences last week, saying he tells the next in line of succession, Lt. Gov. Guadagno, when he’s leaving the state.
He said he is entitled to a “zone of privacy,” and the public doesn’t care if he goes to Delaware for three hours on a Saturday night, as he did last weekend.
“I go lots of places without telling you,” he told reporters. “I went to the deli, too, do I have to tell you that?”
Christie also said that reporters might show up on his out-of-state vacations. “And when I have my family with me and we’re purely on vacation, in all due respect, you guys aren’t invited,” he said.
“If I'm taking my wife out to dinner in New York do I have to call you guys and tell you?”
Check out the story on this in tomorrow's Inquirer and on Philly.com.