Archive for August, 2004

Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

Fan of Giuliani

I’ve been a fan of Rudolph Giuliani since back in the days when I commuted into NYC. Back when I started commuting the streets were filthy, the winos (yes, I’m not using the P-C word, I’m saying the winos) were doing dirty (defecating, urinating) and obscene (involving their private parts) things out in the open in the Wall Street/WTC area, and Times Square was a peep-show-infested hell hole, with prostitutes and drug dealers transacting business out in the open at all times of day. The subways were dirty, unkempt, smelled of vomit and urine, and were covered in graffiti. Real estate values were declining. If you want visuals, see the movies The French Connection (1971), Panic in Needle Park (1971), (both of which predate my commuting years), and Fort Apache, The Bronx (1981) (which was filmed during my commuting years), for starters.

A lot of people were not pleased about how RG cleaned up the city, and bemoaned that Times Square was losing its character. Which it did, if you consider pimping, prostitution, and drug dealing marks of “character”. But Giuliani did what was right, and the city became a much more pleasant place. Giuliani, who cut his teeth successfully prosecuting mobsters before he ran for mayor, wasn’t one to cower. New York flourished as a result.

On September 11, 2001, Giuliani again rose to the occasion, and not only led the city in the darkest hour, but attended funeral after funeral of the hundreds of firemen and policemen that died that day.

Last night Giuliani came out in full force, and (since I don’t watch Conventions) I missed his speech — was able to only catch bits in the TV morning news. Luckily, here’s the transcript.

I’m not the only blogger who hopes Giuliani runs for office again. And it might even be fun — a Hilary vs. Giuliani presidential race might make Alien vs. Predator look tame.

Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

McG’s new job?

Tigerhawk has the scoop!

Now, is this appointment due to McGreevey’s background in biotech?

Or his stellar background as an administrator?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

Corruption Junction today

As announced yesterday afternoon, Golan not suing: Gov’s resignation satisfies him. Cipel’s lawyer says he “has no desire to have the taxpayers of New Jersey pay for Mr. McGreevey’s reprehensible conduct,” certainly a nice sentiment. Interestingly, while the Daily News, the NY Times and NY Post have the story, the Star Ledger on line edition doesn’t, carrying instead a story on Hypertension blamed in cold-weather heart attacks as top news, but there’s no mention of hypertension incidence among NJ voters. Buzz Machine says ” It’ ain’t over until the skinny guy sings”, while Roberto wonders, is Golan Cipel To Fade Away??

The NY Times story states

At a breakfast meeting during the Republican National Convention in Manhattan, New Jersey delegates voted for a resolution calling for Mr. McGreevey to step down immediately and allow for a special election.

The Republican state chairman, Joseph Kyrillos Jr., said Mr. McGreevey still owed voters the chance to choose his successor in a special election. “This ‘he said, he said’ tale makes for interesting reading,” Mr. Kyrillos said, “but we’ve got a government to run.”

The Jersey Journal has more details. The Trentonian thinks that the McGreevey saga takes center stage at the Republican Convention, but it looks to me like the center stage was already pre-empted.

A Trenton Times editorial writes about the problems of replacing a governor. da Hiller notices that

In the last four years, the Garden State has had four – four – unelected governors!

Jim comments,

Meanwhile, the Governor remains in office, and there are no signs that he has any plans to leave before September 3rd, the date after which we lose our right to elect a governor to serve for the next fourteen months.

Contact the politicians and complain today. There’s only two days left before the deadline. (scroll down for post with info).

Monday, August 30th, 2004

In the “ah, the ironies of life” department:

Bill Clinton hammered Republicans from a Manhattan church pulpit yesterday as a group of right-wingers bearing “false witness” against the Democrats.

I guess they didn’t read Hitchens’s book.

Monday, August 30th, 2004

Back to Corruption Junction

Unlike yesterday, when I was laughling about a particularly poor article in a local paper (laughling because a dozen or so links spoke louder than the article’s words), today I’m back to rounidng up the NJ scandal articles. But before we start, Jim has McGreevey at the bakery

Starting with the NYPost: JERSEY POLS PUSH FOR BACKUP GOV POSITION, and the Star Ledger says this is The moment for reform. John McLaughlin sees it as A chance for Codey, a loss for the bosses, while Roberto notices that Codey Has Work To Do since Cipel’s cousin still has his job. Bob Ingle believes McGreevey hangers-on will sink Codey’s ship. The Jersey Journal wants to First get the governor out of office

Assembly Speaker Albio Sires, D-West New York, is pushing legislation to create the post of lieutenant governor, who would be next in line should the governor be unable to serve.

It is all nothing more than an attempt by the state Democratic Party to make the public believe they are ahead of this scandalous issue. The real first order of business, as this newspaper has insisted, is to get McGreevey out of office now and not on a date of his choosing. McGreevey’s resignation is about as selfish as picking a completely unqualified individual, for purely personal reasons, to head up the state’s homeland security agency. It is too lengthy to even discuss his administration’s problems with a federal probe

Were it only one federal probe.

The Glouster Times finally noticed that when it comes to the state budget, the Governor takes hit on math, but we were talking about it here last week.

The Trenton Times also has a most interesting headline: Looks like Cipel lawsuit was a bluff

The most unfathomable aspect of L’affaire McGreevey is that Golan Cipel and Allen Lowy apparently bluffed the governor into resigning.

For almost three years, Gov. James E. McGreevey gave every indication they would have to pry his cold, dead hands off the governor’s desk. And then with lightning strike in an empty sky, McGreevey announced he was gay, had had an adulterous affair with a man and was resigning.

The bolt was sparked by Cipel, McGreevey’s erstwhile “special counsel for nothing” threatening a sexual harassment suit against the governor. McGreevey maintains the relationship was consensual and the lawsuit threat was blackmail. Cipel and his lawyer, Lowy, claim McGreevey attacked and intimidated Cipel.

Today is the apparent deadline for Cipel to file a claim and it appears no suit will be brought.

The article points out

When Richard Nixon resigned, he was gone the next day. As president, Nixon didn’t have much going on at the time – the Cold War, Vietnam, the oil crisis, soaring unemployment and a stalled economy – so a responsible transition was easy to facilitate.

McGreevey is busy appointing commissions, signing bills and flirting with campaign finance reform.

The Trenton Times this headline: N.J. GOP focus is on 2 races, the presidential and the gubernatorial. Not that the gubernatorial is going to take place this year unless the people of NJ persuade Gov. James E. McGreevey to leave office and allow a special election to be held to fill the remaining year of his term. As this article explains, Scandal-weary N.J. shrugs off controversies: “People have left the civic world,” said Heather Taylor, spokeswoman for Common Cause, a political reform group. “Citizens are not taking care of their own house”. It’s time to take care of our own house:

To prod Gov. McGreevey, and the Democrats, in the direction of this unfamiliar moral high ground, we urge the public to flood them with letters, telephone calls and e-mails demanding an early exit. Time is of the essence. A selection of addresses and numbers follows:

Gov. James E. McGreevey, P.O. Box 001, State House, Trenton NJ 08625-0001. Telephone, 609-292-6000. Fax, 609-292-3454.

Sen. Jon Corzine, U.S. Senate, 502 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510-3004. Telephone, 202-224-4744. Fax, 202-228-2197.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Senate, 324 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510-3003. Telephone, 202-224-3224. Fax, 202-228-4054.

Rep. Rush Holt, 1019 Longworth Building, Washington DC 20515. Telephone, 202-225-5801. Fax, 202-225-6025.

Sen. Shirley Turner, senturner@njleg.org, 1440 Pennington Rd., Trenton NJ 08618. Telephone 609-530-3277. Fax, 609-530-3292.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, asmgusciora@njleg.org, 226 W. State St., Trenton NJ 08608. Telephone 609-292-0500. Fax, 609-633-2179.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, aswwatsoncoleman@njleg.org, 226 W. State St., Trenton NJ 08608. Telephone, 609-292-0500. Fax, 609-633-2179.

Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, aswgreenstein@njleg.org, 7 Centre Dr., Suite 2, Monroe NJ 08831-1565. Telephone, 609-395-9911. Fax, 609-395-9032.

Sen. Ellen Karcher, senkarcher@njleg.org, 400 W. Main St., Freehold NJ 07728. Telephone, 732-462-8883.

Assemblyman Robert Morgan, asmmorgan@njleg.org, The Galleria, 2 Bridge Ave., Bldg. 2, 2nd Floor, Red Bank NJ 07701. Telephone, 732-741-5599. Fax, 732-741-0012.

Assemblyman Michael Panter, asmpanter@njleg.org, The Galleria, 2 Bridge Ave., Bldg. 2, 2nd Floor, Red Bank NJ 07701. Telephone, 732-741-5599. Fax, 732-741-0012.

Sunday, August 29th, 2004

Cliches vs. reality

An op-ed article in Friday’s Packet on How to identify Real Republicans lists all the cliches. While pretending that McGreevey has contrived a security threat, it asserts that the real security threat are the Republicans.

The article states: Republicans are white, a “conservatively dressed man with a younger woman [who's] in a Stepford-like trance, awed by his every utterance, [and who] is most likely his mistress“; “Identifying Real Republican women is simple. If you spot a female, of any age, who looks and dresses like Lynne Cheney”; but there are also those who wear the flag (because of course anyone wearing the flag must be a Republican). “If the Republican follows you, proceed to the nearest homeless shelter or AIDS clinic, as they’re not known to enter those places.” The article also asks “Where’s the best place to avoid Real Republicans? The theater is an ideal sanctuary, as Republicans do not support thespians.”

I couldn’t stop laughing, that’s how good the article was.

Such jokes might be why people like Roger L Simon have a “Fear of Republicans”: that Republicans are really and truly square. Fear not, Roger.

Adam Bellow, on the other hand, explains My Escape From The Zabar’s Left: How a pedigreed upper west side liberal came out as a conservative warrior

This exposure to liberal opprobrium and moralism confirmed for me the rightness of my judgment. If I hadn’t started out as a committed conservative, my years on the barricades defending the books I had published—and observing up close the dishonest tactics used by their liberal adversaries to marginalize and discredit them—moved me the rest of the way.

Finally, the liberal elite in New York woke up to the fact that there were conservatives in their midst. After the success of The Bell Curve, I was widely interviewed in the press, written up in The New Yorker, and even appeared with a group of other young conservatives on the cover of the Times Magazine. The story (written by James Atlas in a curious tone of anthropological detachment) instantly became a legend among New York conservatives, mainly for its weirdly lit inside portraits that made us look like alien invaders.

The Times story, of course, reflected the cognitive dissonance involved for liberals in the very idea of a young conservative. How could there be such a thing? Young people were supposed to be passionate leftists. Only in middle age were they expected to become more sober and moderate. The only possible explanations were psychological—we were rebelling against our parents—or pecuniary—we were unprincipled careerists selling out to the Republican ascendancy. No suggestion was ever made that we might actually be passionate about conservative ideas, or that our liberal teachers, through their dogmatism and stridency, had called their own views into question.

Readers might say that I’m being unfair in pitting a Packet article against a Bellow article. To which I reply, life is unfair. Even Christopher Buckley makes it into the NYTimes, that’s how unfair life is.

Sunday, August 29th, 2004

Cause and effect?

Annoying parking fines fatten borough’s coffers

Princeton Borough and Palisades Park in Bergen County are the only two New Jersey municipalities that have fewer than 30,000 residents and wrote more than 30,000 parking tickets.

“It’s a cash cow” in Princeton Borough, said Princeton retailer Jorge Armenteros. “You definitely get the feeling that it’s an important form of revenue.”

while at the same time Merchants seek new ways to keep ‘Main Street’ thriving.

Sunday, August 29th, 2004

Five days: New Jerseyans have five days to persuade Gov. James E. McGreevey to leave office and allow a special election to be held to fill the remaining year of his term. Unless that happens by Sept. 3, an unelected politician will serve both as acting governor and Senate president until January 2006.

A friend sent the scorching op-ed article “Gay” Gov. Jim McGreevey Gives New Jerseyans the Shaft by Nicholas Stix of Mens News Daily. Stix goes into details of, in addition to the Kushner and Cipel scandals, the scandals involving

  • William Watley
  • David D’Amiano
  • Joseph Santiago
  • Billboardgate
  • Rajesh “Roger” Chugh

The article also has questions involving the indifference of the State Attorney General’s office.

NJ taxpayers will therefore be less than pleased to read that Pension of $54,000/yr awaits McGreevey in 2017: Governor’s retirement pay comes from 19 years of public service, particularly in view of

He could still add to his retirement pay if he takes any other job that is covered by the state retirement system, such as a post at a state college, in a government authority, as a town attorney or as a member of a municipal council

No word on the amount he’ll get as allowance for “to pay for the cost of putting his gubernatorial papers in order and otherwise closing up shop”, for which DiFrancesco was allotted $81,000 in state funds.

Roberto’s post Generalisimo Jim McGreevey is Still Governor, Part 3 points to the ultimate in collegiate cluelessness, a Howard U op-ed article Holding Politicians to Human Being Status: Our View: Political officer’s sex lives should be private unless it hinders job performance. Obviously the kid that wrote the article hasn’t been doing her/his homework, or she/he would know the gay issue is the red herring

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

Jackman the rat

Following his successful run in The Boy From Oz, Mr. J will play Roddy the posh rat in Flushed Away.

This public service announcement has been brought to you, all visitors to this site, who have had it up to “here” with NJ corruption posts, by me. Please continue to visit often.

Saturday, August 28th, 2004

Saturday at Corruption Junction

Paul Mulshine takes a walk down Trenton’s memory lane and concludes

I can’t help but note that the drunks and lotharios of that era ran the state just as well without an income tax as the current drab crowd does while raising taxes every year.

Jim looks at Golan Cipel — a day at the office. You know things have been rough that this headline is news Friendly reception for McG at bill signing. Mark Steyn says Kerry has made a big mistake in campaigning on his Vietnam war record, and compares Kerry to McGreevey,

The Kerry campaign’s bumbling ineptness this last month is a bit of a stunner to those of us who followed Bill Clinton for eight years. The Democrats may not know how to run a school district or a highway department, but they’re supposed to be able to run scandals.

Consider, by way of comparison, James E. McGreevey, Democratic Governor of New Jersey. A couple of weeks ago, Governor McGreevey turned up for a 4 p.m. press conference with his wife loyally standing by his side and declared, ‘My truth is that I am a gay American.’

The following day it emerged that other folks’ truth is that McGreevey’s a corrupt sexual predator who got the hots for an Israeli poet, put him on the payroll as the state’s $110,000-per-annum homeland security adviser, a position for which he had no obvious qualification, and allegedly forcibly performed oral sex on him as well as other acts, one of which may or may not have been responsible for the Governor mysteriously breaking a leg on the beach this summer.

I thought McGreevey’s moment-of-truth press conference performance was completely revolting, even before it emerged that ‘I am a gay American’ was a phrase ‘developed’ by the Governor in consultation with a gay rights group that tested it in focus groups.

At one level, this is utterly contemptible. But at another it’s magnificently professional. The New Jersey Dems have arranged things to deny the people an early chance to vote on McGreevey’s replacement and, by the time they do get their say, the hack machine pol who’ll be taking over from him will be running as an established incumbent.

John McLaughlin says that as long as the governor keeps his pledge to stick around, John Kerry ought to be able to carry New Jersey easily. Corzine’s off to Sudan this weekend — maybe. Update: Meanwhile, the GOP turns up heat on McGreevey to leave, while a website wants him to stay.

In the “is this news?” department, the Star Ledger says

Republican politicians vying for their party’s nomination next year are using the convention as a profile-boosting opportunity, hitting pre- and postconvention parties, making contacts with potential campaign contributors and showering New Jersey delegates with favors large and small

One only hope the favors are not too large.

John, however, writes about the new NJ jokes, while Barista — in a not-totally-unrelated post — plugs Weird New Jersey. Kathleen offers support.

Six days: “New Jerseyans have six days to persuade Gov. James E. McGreevey to leave office and allow a special election to be held to fill the remaining year of his term. Unless that happens by Sept. 3, an unelected politician will serve both as acting governor and Senate president until January 2006″