September 18, 2006

Is There No End to this Crap?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:27 pm

Apparently not, at least if you’re talking about corrupt New Jersey politicians.

Today’s thieving bastard is democrat State Senator Wayne Bryant, who is the chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee (i.e. the Money Committee). It seems that according to a Federal Monitor’s report, which will be formally issued tomorrow**, in 2003 Senator Bryant leaned on the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (“UMDNJ”) to have himself hired as a “Program Support Coordinator” (a position that did not exist prior to his hiring) for $35,000 per year. Link.

You might ask, what does a Program Support Coordinator for UMDNJ do?

In Senator Bryant’s case, the Program Support Coordinator didn’t do much of anything. The Star Ledger reported that:

No reports, memorandums, e-mail communication, correspondence or evidence of any work by the senator could be found or produced by the administration at the medical school in Stratford. No UMDNJ administrator could recall supervising what the senator was doing or what he was supposed to be doing.

Surely someone must have seen Senator Bryant around the University acting in his capacity as the Program Support Coordinator. Well, it turns out that some folks did see him around:

Most people interviewed by [the Federal Monitor’s] office said Bryant spent only three hours a week on campus, from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays — and, even then, inconsistently.

OK, so the Senator was there for three hours per week — sometime. Maybe he really broke his ass for those three hours. Then again, maybe not:

While Bryant was in his university office, the only thing anyone observed him doing was reading newspapers.

It should be noted that from 2003, when Senator Bryant (remember, he’s Chairman of the Money Committee) was hired, to 2004 (during which time Bryant read the newspapers three hours per week, if he bothered to show at all), state funding of UMDNJ’s School of Osteopathic Medicine near Camden (Bryant is from Camden) went from $2.7 million to $5.83 million, an increase of 115%.

The Federal Monitor’s report concludes:

Our conclusion is that UMDNJ created a no-work job for Senator Bryant so that he could use his political power in the state Senate to benefit his employer — UMDNJ’s School of Osteopathic Medicine. In short, Senator Bryant was paid $35,000 per year by UMDNJ to lobby himself in his capacity as a state senator.

Notably, this is not the first time that State Senator Bryant has stuck it to the taxpayers. The Star Ledger notes:

The state’s Economic Development Authority recently approved $360,000 in rent subsidies for a Pennsylvania bank where Bryant served as a member of the board of trustees; Bryant’s law firm has done work for two bistate agencies; and Bryant has sponsored bills to help a Camden network of health clinics run by his younger brother, Mark. At one point, Bryant held four government jobs.

The arrogance of this man is positively stupefying. That said, his brazen corruption is perhaps understandable, given that he always has been able to rely on New Jersey’s voters’ not paying attention to his shameful antics, and, as for the voters in his district, he is solid as a rock, as long as he continues to keep the taxpayers’ money flowing into their pockets.

It is notable that this latest revelation has even resulted in Governor Corzine’s inability to pass the “Red Face Test,” for the Governor has “suggested” that Bryant step down from his post as Head of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, even while the federal investigations are pending.

Christ, haven’t we had enough?


** Earlier this year, UMDNJ agreed with the United States Attorney’s Office to having its activities monitored by the former United States District Court Judge Herbert Stern.

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