September 15, 2006

Liars and Rogues and Crooks … Oh, My!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:52 pm

Holy crap! Another Jersey politician is guilty of corruption and income tax evasion. I’m shocked … SHOCKED!

The Crook of the Day is, former democrat State Senator, State Senate President, and infamous power broker, Joseph Lynch. On the eve of being indicted in federal court, Lynch pleaded guilty to fraud and income tax evasion. It seems that, while a State Senator, he, along with a co-defendant, sought and accepted payments of between $120,000 and $200,000 to their “consulting firms” from a contractor seeking state permission to buy and mine parkland in the state. The plea agreement requires that he spend between 33 and 41 months in prison.

What makes this case a bit different from our daily helpings of corruption convictions in Jersey is that Lynch is a big fish and one of the two or three top political bosses in the state. I have no doubt that he knows plenty about other players, and I would not be surprised if the government extracted a promise of cooperation from him in exchange for the plea.

As such, I agree with Jersey Blogger Roberto, of DynamoBuzz, when he stated yesterday, before the plea was officially taken, “A Lot of NJ Democrats are Going to Have Trouble Going to Sleep Tonight.”. Given the breadth and depth of corruption in Jersey, I suspect that Lynch’s plea may well keep a few republicans and a number of contractors awake as well.

Rogue’s Gallery
The Star Ledger published a Rogue’s Gallery of some of the crooked politicians and contractors who have been convicted of corruption-related charges.

Interestingly, the list is far from exhaustive. For example, it omits some of our more notable crooked politicians such as U.S. Senator Harrison “Pete” Williams, who was nailed in the Abscam investigation taking bribes from Federal agents posing as crooked contractors. He spent three years in a federal prison and enjoys the dubious distinction of having been the first U.S. Senator sentenced to jail in 80 years.

The list also failed to include former Atlantic City Mayor Michael Matthews, who in the eighties was convicted in federal court of extortion and ended up spending five years of a fifteen-year sentence in the slammer. Apparently, the current City Council President of Atlantic City, Craig Callaway, didn’t learn anything from Matthews’ conviction, because last week he pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges resigned his office.

Because the list only included convicted politicians, it made no mention of the infamous U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli who managed to avoid being indicted, but who had to drop out of the U.S. Senatorial race because even Jersey’s gullible voters weren’t buying his claims of innocence. Oh, and the list also does not include former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who surrounded himself with crooks and who put his supremely unqualified boyfriend in charge of the State’s Homeland Security (and who has now done an interview with Oprah!).

Finally, the list makes no mention of the ongoing state and federal investigations of Sharpe James, former Mayor of Newark, and his curious use of taxpayer funds. Nor does it mention the federal investigation of Bob Menendez, New Jersey’s current U.S. Senator (appointed by Governor Corzine) and his highly suspect real estate arrangement as the landlord to a non-profit organization at the same time he was a congressman helping the non-profit organization obtain federal money, which, in part, went to pay the Menendez’s rent.

The list shows: (1) how stupid politicians can be (they don’t learn from the convictions of others), and (2) how even more stupid the voters of New Jersey are for regularly voting creeps like these into office.

Quite simply, New Jersey’s state, county and local governments are rotten to the core. It’s time to remove the rot.


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