NJ: State of Corruption
Having a really rich guy buy himself a Senate seat doesn’t necessarily preclude corruption: Via DynamoBuzz, State of Corruption: Yet another Garden State Democratic scandal
If elected governor Corzine would oversee salary negotiations for 9,000 state workers, would help facilitate state pension benefits and could influence the level of accountability demanded from New Jersey’s child-welfare workers. Corzine’s critics question whether he could be an honest negotiator after maintaining a romantic relationship with the state’s largest union boss and giving her half a million dollars. To those critics, the assertion that his relationship with Katz has supposedly ended is irrelevant.
. . .
Corzine has also come into question for maintaining lucrative financial dealings since he entered the Senate. When Corzine took office, he promised to put his Goldman Sachs holdings into a blind trust. However, it has been reported that Corzine has been an active participant in the so-called “blind trust,” continuing to make changes to his economic portfolio when his personal involvement was to have been liquidated. As the Republican National Committee’s Danny Diaz tells NRO, “Corzine is a guy a lot of Democrats tried to look to as their golden boy. But there are still questions about his $470,000 gift to ex-girlfriend Carla Katz, his financial connections to the largest union in the state and his hedge-fund investment.”
Corzine’s hedge-fund investment is with Carl Icahn, head of Ichan Partners LP, a state casino operator. Despite repeated requests, Corzine is refusing to answer questions about who his financial partners are in the deal. What is known is that Corzine has $7 million invested with Ichan but has promised to dissolve his interests if elected governor. Which brings up the question: Will any of Corzine’s conflicts of interest have a negative impact on his gubernatorial campaign?
The article quotes state GOP chair Tom Wilson as saying, “This is Jim McGreevey all over again.” Let’s hope Wilson’s wrong. McGreevey’s resignation speech, which last year I called a red herring, was a pretext for the real reasons McGreevey had to resign. As Roberto points out,
The true genius of “I am a gay American” was it allowed the media, particularly the out of state media, to spin the story as “Governor resigns after admitting gay affair” when in reality he was possibly the most corrupt U.S. governor of the past 20 years, maybe only topped by Louisiana governor Eddie Edwards.
Golan Cipel, Billboard-gate, Roger Chugh, Charles Kushner, Joseph Santiago, David D’Amiano, Machiavelli, Taffet and Levinsohn, Regena Thomas. Add in three years of out of control spending, billions in new taxes and billions in borrowing, which was later ruled unconstitutional. He had so many scandals that we’re still discovering them, like with the recently discovered homeland security grant program.
About those homeland security grants, which were distributed by municipality, Governor’s office steered terror aid. Records contradict official claims over how Democratic towns got lion’s share of grants
Among hundreds of pages of other documents obtained by The Star-Ledger was a memo from a top administrator in the Attorney General’s Office who describes the program as “Christmas Tree funding” — a term long used in Trenton to describe grants given along party lines to loyal and politically connected lawmakers for use on pet projects in home districts.
But back to Corzine’s loan to Carla Katz, who’s president of New Jersey’s largest state workers union, Local 1034 of the Communications Workers of America: The Star Ledger found out that The house on 10 acres in Hunterdon County that Katz purchased with Corzine’s help won a state exemption in April from building restrictions in the Highlands preservation zone. As Enlighten NJ points out, Corzine has refused to answer whether he has other financial arrangements with Katz. While he had stated that $108,150 portion of the $470,000 loan he made to his former girlfriend went to repair the dwelling, the Asbury Park Press found out that Katz didn’t seek any permits to improve home.
All the same, Corzine insists that The public can trust me.
To use a phrase from The Simpsons, “Like the cleaning of a house, it never ends”. If only it were a house cleaning.
(technorati tags: Politics, Jon Corzine, New Jersey)