Today’s roundup of NJ news & opinion
Following yesterday’s news that Democrats are said to want McGreevey out, The Trenton Times reports that it has to do with patronage, contracts, and mudslinging. Just another day in the neighborhood:
Almost immediately Democratic factions, at odds with McGreevey’s heir apparent, state Senate President Richard Codey, began an effort to pressure McGreevey into an earlier departure, setting the stage for a special election. Were McGreevey to leave office before Sept. 3, voters would decide who would serve out the last 14 months of his term in November. If McGreevey stays past Sept. 3, Codey would finish McGreevey’s term.
“This is all about patronage and contracts, from people who think Codey would be bad for business,” said one McGreevey loyalist. Codey has long been at odds with several Democratic county leaders, who also feel Corzine being on the ballot this fall would help their candidates in local and county elections.– — —
Those wanting McGreevey out have circulated rumors that the governor had carried on sexual relationships with other political appointees, including Curtis Bashaw, executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. McGreevey supporters responded to that chatter with gossip about the sex lives of several of the men pressuring the governor.
Bradshaw’s a longtime real estate developer — yet another one. The same article says that several Republicans would rather have McGreevey’s appointed successor deal with the “miserable budget and a civil war within Democratic ranks” and wait for next year’s election.
Some of my neighbors aren’t as patient, though, and claim the governor has damaged the state’s reputation, which is sort of a stretch, but never mind that. I feel their pain.
IF McGreevey were to get out before September 3, the Democrats’ top candidate appears to be Jim Corzine, who spent $63 million of his own pocket for his senatorial campaign, and the Republicans appear to have Douglas Forrester, who reportedly would be willing to spend upwards of $10 million on a campaign. Nice to see a plutocrat/plutocrat ballot. At least in theory it looks like some of the corruption might decrease.
Steve Kornacki sees a deal in the making:
Most insiders see a Corzine-Norcross-Lynch-Menendez alliance developing, with a deal being cut that would satisfy each party: With the other three doing the dirty work, Corzine would get the governorship this November while being able to say he had no role in forcing McGreevey out; Norcross and Lynch would avoid a lengthy Codey governorship; and Menendez would get a U.S. Senate seat, with an understanding that Norcross would not recruit a South Jersey Democrat to oppose him in the Democratic primary
The Trentonian says some Dems are worried a Federal investigation will expose even more damaging details (I have been speculating if there was some kind of McG-Feds deal myself). Jim believes that “the prospect of any republican beating Jon Corzine and the well-oiled Democrat machine in New Jersey is, at best a long shot. But one can always hope.” The Christian Science Monitor is optimistic for the prospect of change, but, as Roberto says, “My guess is no, unless there are some serious indictments soon”. Also via Roberto, a link to an article that wants to see the end of the “Political Wee Wifey”
I want to see an end to the wronged political wife as prop. In the most anguishing of circumstances, you see her, chin held high, looking without fury at her cheating husband, telling America by her very presence that if she can forgive him, surely voters can forgive him.
and “Better yet, [have her] show up at the press conference with a barracuda of a divorce lawyer.” Now, that would be refreshing.
But not so fast — McGreevey’s staying put and, claiming that Duty trumps personal issues (after having ignored his duty as husband, and as elected official), writes in USA Today
Our constitution in New Jersey establishes a process for allowing the public to select a new governor.
It prescribes a nominating period next spring and a general election in the fall of 2005 so that voters are exposed to a full and unfettered debate on the critical issues affecting their future and quality of life.
We should allow that process to work
while an article in the Star Ledger, Added to his burden are crises of material and spiritual nature, plays the world’s smallest violin,
But now as he prepares for life after Drumthwacket with no political capital and a modest bank account, he faces more practical but no less troubling concerns: the loss of his $150,000 per-year job, his home (the governor’s mansion) and even his transportation (the black sedans and sport utility vehicles in his motorcade and a state helicopter.)
as if the house, the limos, and the helicopter were McG’s personal property. As Roger L. Simon put it,
I couldn’t care less whether this guy’s gay, straight or a paramecium, he’s a world-class drip with a sense of entitlement up there with the Bourbons.
Not only are the house, limos, and helicopter paid by the beleaguered NJ taxpayer (whose bad haircut will continue to get worse) the Trenton Times (in a major understatement) says Harassment suit could cost a lot, because of taxpayers having to pay to defend the Governor (which would cost at least $1 million), but also being liable for any payment agreed to through a settlement or ordered by a jury. Let’s not forget that NJ has one of the more aggresive Bar Associations.
The Trentonian’s top story is that Gov. Jim McGreevey snubbed former FBI director Louis Freeh for the post of state anti-terrorism czar to appoint his alleged lover Golan Cipel. To add insult to injury, the article says “Freeh offered to assume the post free of charge, but McGreevey opted instead to put Cipel into the job with an $110,000 salary”. The venality of McGreevey’s actions are illustrated best by this example. As I pointed out Sunday, NJ has the 2d-largest number of victims of the September 11 attack, and was in the crosshairs of the anthrax attack, too. Not only were anthrax letters mailed from a mailbox a mile away from the Governor’s Mansion, anthrax was found in the downtown Princeton, Hamilton, and West Windsor post offices, which were closed for several weeks (the Hamilton one for year +).
Enough of this. Let’s make clear to the governor that we want change now. There’s only 17 days left. 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