See the media list Gov. Christie fought hard to keep secret
The governor has a list of names — and it's one he didn't want you to see.
Tuesday, New Jersey Watchdog released a copy of Gov. Chris Christie's directory of media contacts, obtained by the site under a court order. It's a list Christie fought hard to keep private, even though, according to the site, "it contained no real secrets, confidential information or anything likely to endanger anyone."
It's mostly what you'd expect from a New Jersey governor with a national presence. There are contacts for national news agencies such as the Associated Press, CBS and Bloomberg. Web-based publications like Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post show up. All of New Jersey's major newspapers are represented. There are a number of contacts for specific Fox News programs and for several radio shows.
As the site recounts, no one yet knows how much money Christie's team spent in legal action to keep the list private. But it says that the state Attorney General's office filed more than 100 pges of legal arguments, including four briefs, four certifications and unsuccessful motions for reconsideration and stay pending appeal.
New Jersey was also ordered to pay for New Jersey Watchdog’s legal fees, though that amount hasn't yet been determined, the site says.
It's also not clear the list is complete.
When the Christie administration provided the list late last month, there were 1,229 names on it. But in a certification by Matt Katz of WNYC and NJPR, Katz said a copy he was allowed to review last year (but not copy) had about twice as many names. The list obtained by New Jersey Watchdog is missing several categories of contacts, and several specific contacts Katz had noted — including those for the Daily Show, Drudge Report, Upworthy and American Writing, Katz said in the certification. Several emails for public officials were also missing, he said.
Watchdog first requested the list in January, and the request was denied as "unclear." After a lawsuit in Mercer County, Judge Mary C. Jacobson ordered the governor's office to release the list. Christie's team unsuccessfully asked for reconsideration, saying the list would give Watchdog an unfair competitive advantage over other media outlets.
"Judge Jacobson agreed it is subject to public disclosure because it was compiled by the 16 employees on the governor's communications staff as they were earning their combined $1.4 million state salaries," the Star-Ledger said in an editorial in August. "That means, for better or worse, the list belongs to all of us."