To use the words of the Trenton Times, New Jerseyans have seven 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.
However, a lawsuit contends that McGreevey need not physically leave office prior to September 3 for the special election provision to take effect: Emergency election hearing scheduled. A federal District Court judge in Trenton yesterday scheduled an emergency hearing to hear arguments concerning a special gubernatorial election, after Gov. Jim McGreevey announced he was resigning in November.
The hearing comes after the Sept. 3 deadline for a special election to be held this November, but the group who filed the case says the September deadline is not important in this case. . . .
“His resignation announcement on August 12, is sufficient to trigger the vacancy provision for purposes of a special election even though the Governor ..will continue to exercise his full powers through November 15, at which time his elected successor will take office,” the brief states.
Other state courts have reached the same conclusion
The article also points out that the New Jersey Supreme Court allowed Frank Lautenberg to be put on the 2002 ballot in place of scandal-tainted Sen. Bob Torricelli about a month before Election Day. Jim at Parkway Rest Stop however, points out that
It would appear that there are more than a couple ways to distinguish the Torricelli case from the present situation created by the governor’s resignation, not the least of which is that this case implicates the New Jersey State Constitution, rather than just state election laws and regulations, which were at issue in the Torricelli debacle.
NJ voters are not the only ones in limbo, as the NYTimes says, Legal Action in Limbo in McGreevey-Cipel Case. Not in limbo any longer, however, is the State Commerce Secretary position, which was vacant since the July 14 resignation of the prior Secretary amidst (you guess it!) allegations of fiscal improprieties.
In the Trenton Times, N.J. becomes wealthiest state, census data shows
The Garden State may be a contender for the dubious distinction of most politically corrupt state and the state most frequently the butt of jokes. But word came yesterday from the U.S. Census Bureau of a title that, although it comes with caveats, could be a source of pride: New Jersey is the wealthiest state.
According to numbers in a new survey, the median household income – meaning half of households made more and half made less – for 2001 through last year in New Jersey was $55,221.
“The key point would be, if New Jersey seceded from the U.S. and became a separate nation, we would be the wealthiest nation on Earth, just ahead of Luxembourg,” said James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Unlike Luxembourg, which is a tax haven with lower taxes than its neighbors, we are taxed through the nose and have the highest aggregate tax rates in the area. But fear not, Governor McGreevey Announces Appointments to Property Tax Convention Task Force, and Barista points out that Home costs lock Montclair manager out of market; Since his annual $120,000 salary isn’t enough, the township will give him an allowance
Cipel’s former job — with a salary that doubled the NJ median household income (and which got him two mortgages through gubernatorial intervention) — is in the spotlight: Cipel’s $110G job decried as `special counsel for nothing’
Shortly after taking office in 2002, McGreevey spent $190,000 to set up Cipel and two aides at the State House. . . .
As further evidence, they point to McGreevey’s choice of Kathryn Flicker, a former Mercer County prosecutor with little security experience, to run his Office of Counter-Terrorism.
“Some of the people responsible for counterterrorism didn’t have the right credentials, particularly in the wake of 9/11,” said a former administration official, adding that it made the governor “very vulnerable politically.”
During that period, health officials in the state embarked on an exhaustive effort to prepare doctors and hospitals to spot and manage a bioterrorism attack. New Jersey law enforcement officials were working with the FBI, aides said.
It made the governor “very vulnerable politically, but never mind how vulnerable to terrorism it made the state’s taxpayers. Jane writes about it.
McGreevey has shown grace under pressure, though. When Baseball employees fired for jokes about McGreevey, he insisted they get their jobs back: With Two Men Out, McGreevey Steps Up to the Plate and Saves the Day. Joe Territo says, “Only In America!”. Sadly, Anti-McGreevey rally falls short, which is hardly surprising, considering it took place in the middle of the week, and during peak vacation season, at that. John Shabe talked to the organizer, Derek Lucas.
As I quoted Wednesday,
What needs to happen now is a concerted effort by the leaders and elected officials of the Democratic Party to convince the governor that by clinging to his office past Sept. 3, and depriving the people of the opportunity to elect his successor, he is doing a profound disservice to the democratic process.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1440 Pennington Rd., Trenton NJ 08618. Telephone 609-530-3277. Fax, 609-530-3292.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, email@example.com, 226 W. State St., Trenton NJ 08608. Telephone 609-292-0500. Fax, 609-633-2179.
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 226 W. State St., Trenton NJ 08608. Telephone, 609-292-0500. Fax, 609-633-2179.
Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, email@example.com, 7 Centre Dr., Suite 2, Monroe NJ 08831-1565. Telephone, 609-395-9911. Fax, 609-395-9032.
Sen. Ellen Karcher, firstname.lastname@example.org, 400 W. Main St., Freehold NJ 07728. Telephone, 732-462-8883.
Assemblyman Robert Morgan, email@example.com, The Galleria, 2 Bridge Ave., Bldg. 2, 2nd Floor, Red Bank NJ 07701. Telephone, 732-741-5599. Fax, 732-741-0012.
Assemblyman Michael Panter, firstname.lastname@example.org, The Galleria, 2 Bridge Ave., Bldg. 2, 2nd Floor, Red Bank NJ 07701. Telephone, 732-741-5599. Fax, 732-741-0012.