Christie arrives for Vt. fundraiser closed to media - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Christie arrives for Vt. fundraiser closed to media

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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. -

New Jersey governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie is in Vermont tonight. But you won't hear from him unless you're ready to pay up.

The Republican Winter Gala at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction is set to start at 7 p.m. But the media won't be allowed in to hear the governor's remarks.

Tickets to the event cost party-goers between $50 and $10,000.

Christie will be the keynote speaker.

Vermont Republican Party President David Sunderland expects about 650 people to attend the event featuring Gov. Christie, raising about $300,000.

No cameras allowed, but guests will be allowed to post to social media sites like Twitter.

We couldn't find out exactly what's on the menu, but we're told it's primarily local foods.

Not everyone in the Republican Party is star-struck. Former Republican National Committeeman from Vermont Skip Vallee said, "What are these people thinking? They want a supposed new message from a New Jersey moderate and then put a big old muzzle on his face? Hardly an auspicious start for the Republican Governors Association or the revamped Vermont GOP."

Sunderland said, "We're obviously very pleased to have Governor Christie talk to Vermont Republicans tonight. This is a fundraiser and with someone of Governor Christie's profile, an event open to the press would attract not only throngs of Vermont media, but also national media. For space and logistics, we thought it best to keep the event private as has been the case at Governor Shumlin's fundraisers and fundraisers across the state."

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin - who is president of the Democratic Governors Association and generally quick to fire a political round said only "welcome to Vermont" when asked if he had any reaction to Christie's visit.

The state Democratic Party however sent out an attack email Wednesday afternoon blasting $10,000 a plate dinners and asking for email recipients to donate five to their cause.

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