The FBI bust of 44 people in New Jersey on corruption and money laundering charges made national news, as well it should have, given that corruption that is as rampant as is the case in New Jersey is relatively foreign to people from other states. Louisiana and New York may seek to claim the title, but in Jersey crooks are like cockroaches in a tenement house.
Not surprisingly, most of the politicians and government officials, including the recently-elected mayor of Hoboken, are creatures of Hudson County, a place of which I have said on many occasions has made corruption an art form. (I should note here that Bob Menendez, before he became our U.S. Senator, was the Boss of Hudson County. Just an observation.)
The money laundering cruds arrested were rabbis and their â€œcivilianâ€ counterparts in Brooklyn and Jersey. I havenâ€™t had time to dig into the details of the money laundering schemes, but I presume they were at least arguably sophisticated. By contrast, the politicians and officials displayed pure thuggery and boundless arrogance. I assume they were so brazen in their extortion because they felt certain of never getting caught. After all, they were risking everything in exchange for money that might only fund a weekend or two in Atlantic City.
And now, their lives have turned to shit. They were publicly hauled away in cuffs and theyâ€™ll learn the joy of dealing with a bail bondsmen who wonâ€™t be interested in the crudsâ€™ proclamations of innocence, but rather will only want to talk about taking a mortgage on their homes (or parentsâ€™ home) to secure their bail bonds.
The formerly fat, arrogant and happy politicians and Hudson County officials will learn how few friends they really have. Their new best friend will instantly become their criminal attorneys (Theyâ€™ll be your friend for $375 per hour), as they contemplate the possibility of spending time in a federal lockup. Some of these idiots are in their 50â€™s and 60â€™s. What the hell were they thinking?
Is it big news in Jersey? Well, maybe for a few days, but not for much more. You see, the FBI could arrest 44 crooked politicians and government officials per day and they would not exhaust the supply in my lifetime.
The cold, hard truth is that this kind of crap exists because the people of New Jersey elect cruds and tolerate their corruption. We get what we deserve.