July 25, 2003

The Governor’s Mea Culpa. Today,

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:03 pm

The Governor’s Mea Culpa.

Today, Governor McGreevey, amid the controversy surrounding his recent acceptance of a six-day family trip to Puerto Rico – all paid for by the International Longshoremen’s Association (“ILA”) — characterized his acceptance of the trip as an “honest mistake.” He stated that he would reimburse the ILA from his “personal funds” for the cost of the trip, which was had been cut short due to governor’s having to attend the funeral of an unidentified staffer’s daughter.

The governor had accepted the invitation to be the keynote speaker at the ILA’s annual convention, this despite the ILA’s well-known history of having ties to organized crime. A bad situation became even worse when, during the opening session of the convention, the ILA president, John Bowers, announced that he expected the ILA to be named in a federal racketeering suit.

Assuming, as I think we must, that the governor was surprised by Bowers’ announcement, and further assuming that the governor was unaware of the ongoing investigation of the ILA by four state and federal law enforcement agencies, it is still difficult to understand how he could not have known that this year his own attorney general indicted seven alleged Genovese crime family members, including the president of a New Jersey ILA local, for allegedly shaking down dock workers.

The editorial in today’s Star Ledger stated:

Bad as this trip smells, the governor is unlikely to get into any legal trouble. The state’s ethics rules have creative escape hatches. The governor appointed all the members of the Executive Commission on Ethical Standards, the group that is investigating. And since Attorney General Peter Harvey recently accepted high-priced boxing tickets paid for by promoters and was forced to pay his own reimbursement, he is not likely to make much fuss over the governor’s transgressions.

Not only will the governor avoid any legal trouble, but he will also avoid suffering any serious political consequences stemming from this. As I have said before, the democrat voters in this state (the same folks who brought us Robert Torricelli and Frank Lautenberg) will give him a complete pass on this one.

Because I figure that I’m going to be stuck with Mr. McGreevey for quite some time, I offer him some unsolicited advice for the future:

1. Try to choose your friends a bit more wisely. Even the normally democrat-leaning Star Ledger noted your “bad taste in friends.”

2. Hire yourself a lawyer or political advisor who will provide you with honest advice, rather than giving you the answers you want to hear, which results in after-the-fact legal justifications that are, on their face, ridiculous.

3. Follow the example set by the overwhelming majority of state employees, who understand the ethics rules and, accordingly, will not accept a free lunch or even a free cup of coffee while on state business (I’ve seen this myself).

4. Pay for your own damned vacations.

5. Pray regularly that your democrat constituents continue to remain willfully blind.

Living in Jersey…It’s an adventure.

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