From the Wall Street Journal blog, earlier today…
Facebook CEO to Host Christie Fundraiser(continued below the fold)
By Heather Haddon
Wall Street Journal
January 24, 2013, 11:00 AM
… [Mark Zuckerberg] The California tech mogul—who has been measured in his public embrace of politicians as his company plays an emerging role in politics—will host a fundraiser next month as part of Christie’s first out-of-state campaign trip...
(continued from above)
...Zuckerberg first met Christie in 2010 after making a $100 million donation to Newark’s public schools, and the two have maintained regular contact since. As their friendship evolved, the 28-year-old billionaire expressed an interest in helping Christie as he embarked on a run for a second term, and both camps agreed on the February event.And (this just appeared at the NYT's website, as I was getting ready to post this a few moments ago), tomorrow's NY Times is more to-the-point...
“Mark and (his wife) Priscilla have worked closely with Governor Christie on education reform in the Newark school system,” said Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg. “They admire his leadership on education reform and other issues and look forward to continuing their important work together on behalf of Newark’s school children.”
Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan will hold the evening fundraiser on Feb. 13 at their home in Palo Alto, Calif. The event is believed to be the first time the billionaire has hosted a campaign event at his home, and the guests will draw from the couple’s circle of friends and colleagues….
Facebook Chief to Hold Fund-Raiser for Christie
By KATE ZERNIKE
New York Times
January 25, 2013 Page A23
...The fund-raiser is another reminder of the hurdles Democrats face in attempting to defeat Mr. Christie, who faces re-election in November and is often mentioned as a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Mr. Christie has increasingly tried to position himself as a kind of crossbreed politician, apart from the partisan politics that plague Washington, and able to appeal to a constituency beyond the Republican Party regulars. He took leaders of his own party to task this month when they failed to call a vote on a relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy. His popularity has soared since the storm, even among Democrats — and apparently among at least some tech donors in Silicon Valley, where political contributions tend to flow toward more liberal causes.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Zuckerberg, who is the company’s chief executive, said he and his wife admired the governor’s work on education policy — Mr. Christie has pushed for vouchers, championed a new state law weakening tenure in public schools, and signed a contract with the teachers union in the state-run Newark schools that will allow performance bonuses. He also signed a law requiring teachers, among other public employees, to pay more toward their pension and benefits...
(Bold type is diarist's emphasis.)
The WSJ blog article continues on to speculate about Zuckerberg’s close-to-the-vest political leanings, noting that his “…electoral registration lists him as having no party preference.”
The WSJ story also tells us that, “…Zuckerberg has shown enthusiasm for President Barack Obama, attending a dinner with him and other tech executives in 2011.” Additionally, the report includes the facts that Facebook hosted streamed town halls for both Obama and Christie at its company headquarters in 2011.
A couple of points, for the record…
According to Fact-Check.org (not to mention the sentiments of the three New Jersey public school teachers in my family), Chris Christie is not a BFF of public school teachers. Not by a longshot. (And, these realities are further elaborated upon in tomorrow's NY Times.)
Also, despite all the hype regarding Christie’s current popularity in the Garden State, the laws of political gravity are just as much in play in New Jersey as they are everywhere else on the planet (okay, maybe not when it comes to our nation’s defense budget and the salaries of Wall Street CEOs). The greater truth is that the public and the MSM have very short memories.