The New Jersey Republican State Committee is seeking public documents related to the alleged political activities of senior administration officials, and filed several requests under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) today.
The GOP wants all communications between Gov. Jon Corzine's Deputy Chief of Staff, Mark Matzen, and other senior aides, concerning private sector job creation numbers for the last two months. An e-mail sent by Matzen to cabinet members asking them to come up with creative ways to spin the governor's record on job creation were obtained by several media organizations, including PolitickerNJ.com, yesterday.
"The Corzine Administration memo released yesterday now confirms that administration officials have been pressured to bolster the Governor's re-election efforts by not playing itstraight with their official duties," said Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), the Republican State Chairman. "The Governor is telling them to get 'creative' and 'stretch' the truth. We know the Governor can't create jobs, now it looks like he had his staff cook the books to create them out of thin air."
Rob Corrales, a spokesman for the governor's office, accused Republican legislators of using public funds to coordinate a political message with GOP gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie.
"The note asked cabinet members to communicate about what this administration is doing to help preserve and create jobs during the worst nation recession in decades," Corrales said. "While the Republican legislative offices spend all day, every day launching taxpayer funded political attacks tearing down our state and coordinated exactly with their candidate for Governor, we are communicating completely appropriately about the administration’s efforts to build up New Jersey."
Unemployment is now at 9.8%, according to a state Labor Department released today.
The OPRA requests seeks all communications concerning: Corzine's senior aides and cabinet members, including Matzen, relatedto private sector job creation numbers; all written communications from orto employees of the Governor's office regarding the Corzine's public events on October 13; and all communications between Matzen andCorzine Cabinet membersrelating to efforts to ‘be creative' with private section job creation numbers.
Webber says that New Jerseyans deserve to know if Corzine's government staff has coordinated messages with his re-election campaign.
"Governor Corzine must be fully transparent on this issue," said Webber.