New Jersey Court: Hand Over E-Mails Detailing Facebook Donation

An Essex County judge today ordered Newark to turn over an itemized list of e-mails surrounding Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation to the city’s schools.

The order by Superior Court Judge Rachel Davidson is the latest chapter in an ongoing legal battle between the city and the ACLU of New Jersey, which is representing a community group trying to determine what conditions, if any, were attached to the grant, which was first announced in September 2010.

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In a 22-page motion filed in October, the city’s lawyers tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that because the Zuckerberg money is administered by Foundation for Newark’s Future, a non-profit group, the city does not maintain records.

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Gawker Sues for Records of Fox Chief’s Tutelage of New Jersey Guv

Gawker, the popular blog based in New York, is going to court to investigate the relationship between the Fox News chairman, Roger Ailes, and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

On Monday, the company and one of its reporters, John Cook, plan to file a civil suit against Mr. Christie’s office to try to obtain records of the communications between the two men. Mr. Cook, who regularly uses freedom of information and open public records acts to ferret out information for his Gawker articles, said the court action represents the first lawsuit filed by Gawker to obtain information.

The lawsuit has its origins in a New York magazine story in May which reported that Mr. Ailes had called Mr. Christie and “encouraged him to jump into the race” for president earlier this year. The report piqued the attention of people like Mr. Cook who believe that Mr. Ailes, a former Republican strategist who has run Fox News since its founding in 1996, still has a hand in politics. Mr. Christie has repeatedly ruled out running for president in the current election cycle.

In an interview with The Daily Beast weeks later, Mr. Ailes denied urging Mr. Christie to run, but acknowledged having dinner with him last summer.

By then, Mr. Cook had already sent a request to Mr. Christie’s office for any letters, logs of phone calls or records of meetings between Mr. Ailes and Mr. Christie. Mr. Cook asserted that that communications trail should be available under the state’s open public records act, but in mid-June, Mr. Christie’s office said that the records, if they exist, would be exempt upon “executive privilege and well-settled case law.”

Fair and Balanced: An FOI Story…

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OK, so when you click on this link — fair warning — you get a SCARY huge picture of Fox chieftan Roger Ailes, beside a HUGE photo of NJ Guv Christie. That’s a lot of man, there….

Well, if you can make it past the pics (and that is a real challenge…), you get to enjoy a fascinating little tale: turns out that not only is Ailes advising Christie, the guv has declared Ailes a matter of executive privilege. Seriously. This is just a beautiful, beautiful story. A Fox exec serving as an adviser to a sitting governor…

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