The gay issue is the red herring, part II
In today’s NYTimes, a rather revealing front-page story with a misleading title: A Governor’s Downfall, in 20 Wrenching Days. Misleading, because — no matter what David Kocieniewski says — the downfall had a long time coming because of corruption and mismanagement.
Two days ago I was saying that “Gay American” will become an everyday label and possibly a rallying cry for activists. It’s a brilliant phrase. As the article reveals, it had to be; a lot of people saw to that:
Mr. McGreevey soon began preparing a speech to make to the public about his life and current circumstances. In doing so, he began conferring with directors at the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent gay advocacy group in Washington with which Mr. Fox was familiar. The most dramatic line the governor eventually uttered “I am a gay American” was developed by the group and was a poll-tested phrase used to reframe the debate about gay causes from one about sexual liberation to one about civil rights.
So far, it’s working: while focusing on the gay announcement, most of the article glosses over the scandals of the McGreevey administration,
Although Mr. McGreevey had been bruised by a succession of corruption investigations involving his fund-raisers, the governor himself had not been accused of any wrongdoing
There was Gov. James E. McGreevey on NJ 101.5. He was trying to talk his way out of the mess he had gotten into in his home county. It seems that one of his key fund-raisers had been indicted for being a bit too aggressive in seeking campaign contributions. The owner of the last farm in Piscataway had been persuaded to pony up $40,000 in cash and checks in return for getting a better buyout deal from the government.
According to the indictment, the go-between went between the farm owner and the governor last year in a meeting in a hallway in the East Brunswick Hilton. The farmer was allegedly told that any government official using the term “Machiavellian” was in on the deal. And sure enough, James E. McGreevey was secretly taped making a reference to Niccolo Machiavelli during the brief chat with farmer Mark Halper.
and some of us speculate as to whether the resignation involved a deal with Federal prosecutors.
But back to the NYTimes. The article doesn’t even acknowledge the fact by having named Cipel to security chief, McGreevey endangered the safety of his constituents; allow me to remind you that
1. NJ is the state with the second-highest number of victims (over 700) of the September 11 attack.
2. Anthrax letters were mailed from a mail box in Princeton, a mile or so away from the Governor’s mansion.
Or does McGreevey see the war as a trivial issue, just as the Times does?
Rather than mention the existing Federal investigation, the Kocieniewski article raises a possibility of a sting operation instead,
The governor’s inner circle, in fact, thought it was possible that Mr. Cipel and Mr. Lowy might be cooperating with federal investigators as part of some sting operation involving Mr. McGreevey.
The implications of choosing the departure date as November 15 — which ensures that Richard Codey, the democrat president of the state senate, will occupy the governor’s office until 2006, a time when Codey can run as an incumbent, or he can step aside for now-Senator John Corzine to run for governor, a variation of the Torricelli switch; the fact that McGreevey can still enact more ruinous laws, that the NJ taxpayer pays the tab for upcoming lawsuits, etc., while disenfranchising NJ voters — are ignored. Instead the article says,
Party leaders wanted Mr. McGreevey to wait until after Sept. 2 to leave office so that his successor, Senate President Richard J. Codey, would not have to face a special election this November. The governor said he would stay until Nov. 15 because he could not ask his wife and young daughter to leave the governor’s mansion their home on any shorter notice
McGreevey didn’t respect his wife enough to spare her the pain of a husband’s infidelity, reportedly told her about it in the presence of others
Then on Wednesday night, Mr. McGreevey took what aides described as “the most devastating” step in that process by walking up the stairs of Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion, and telling his wife that he had betrayed her with another man and was about to go public. His aides said they arranged for counselors and friends to be on hand,
rather than respecting her privacy and telling her when they were both alone, and now we are to believe he doesn’t want to leave simply because “he could not ask his wife and young daughter to leave the governor’s mansion their home on any shorter notice”? I suppose he expects us to go to the beauty parlor, too.
Readers wanting a glimpse at the reality of NJ politics have to turn to page 33, the Metro Section, and an article by Peter Applebome, In New Jersey, Power Remains an Aphrodisiac, which lists,
But there are reasons for scandal being the background music to New Jersey politics. First is the state’s notorious “pay to play” system, which is ingrained in its political culture.
Second is the entrenched power of the county bosses, with so much money and clout that anyone who runs for office first has to curry favor with them, and then is expected to return the favor with contracts and jobs.
Third is the governor’s ability to handpick state officeholders, so there’s no one to keep him accountable. The only way to understand the illogic of Mr. McGreevey making a young Israeli with a background in public relations one of his homeland security advisers and then a “special counsel” making the same $110,000 salary is that – sex or no sex – he can.
As Mark Steyn puts it,
That’s such an exquisitely contemporary formulation: ”my” truth. Once upon a time, there was only ”the” truth. Now everyone gets his own — or, as the governor put it, ”One has to look deeply into the mirror of one’s soul and decide one’s unique truth in the world.” For Jim McGreevey, his truth is that he’s a gay American; for others in the Garden State, the truth about McGreevey is that he’s a corrupt sexual harasser who put his lover on the state payroll in a critical homeland security post, and whose I-am-what-I-am confessional is a tactical feint that distracts the media sob sisters from the fact that, as his final service to the Democratic Party, he’s resigned in such a way as to deny the people an early vote on his successor.
We’ll see whose truth prevails in the fullness of time.
Let’s make clear to the governor that we want change now: Contact the politicians and insist that we are allowed to vote for a change:
New Jersey Democratic Party Contact page
Phone the Democratic Party: (609) 392-DEMS (3367)
Snail mail: McGreevey
The State House
P. O. Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
email contact page