September 6, 2007

Sadly, Jersey Lives up to its Reputation.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:06 pm

As I suspect many of you already know, today the F.B.I. arrested 11 state and local politicians (and one non-politician who was the bagman for a politician) for various charges, all centering on bribery in exchange for granting government contracts.

The twelve were arrested as a result of an F.B.I. undercover operation, which began in June 2006 when it appeared that things were really rotten in the Pleasantville School District, which is east of Atlantic City and is one of the poorest districts in the state. Indeed, it was so rotten that in July a state monitor was assigned to keep an eye on its finances.

Posing as insurance brokers, undercover agents, with the help of cooperating witnesses one of whom had been in the roofing business, offered cash bribes in exchange for steering municipal contracts in their direction. The Jersey pols eagerly scarfed up the cash, which was often delivered in parked cars. Wanting their fellow politico-cruds to take advantage of the ready cash, the South Jersey crooks pointed federal agents north.

That resulted in the snaring of Samuel Rivera, the Mayor of Passaic, who is also a former cop and professional wrestler (I kid you not). In addition, Mims Hackett Jr., the mayor of Orange and Assemblyman Alfred Steele, who is the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, a Baptist Minister and the undersheriff of Passaic County were also arrested, as was Keith Reid, the chief of staff to Newark City Council President Mildred Crump, and Marcellus Jackson, a councilman from Passaic.

Rivera allegedly said, when offered the cash in exchange for contracts with the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, “We can get you that, easy, easy.”

Marcellus Jackson, the Passaic Councilman, allegedly was grateful and optimistic as he took the cash from undercover agents, when he reportedly said, “I appreciate it, baby. … Good things is gonna happen.”

Perhaps the “Dumb as a Bag of Rocks” award goes to former Pleasantville Board of Education member Maurice “Pete” Callaway, who is the brother of former Atlantic City Councilman Craig Callaway. “Pete” allegedly took the bribes all the while knowing that his brother Craig is currently in prison for taking bribes from an undercover FBI agent.

As it happens, all but one of those arrested is a democrat. Now, before we republicans get all self righteous, remember that most politicians in Jersey are democrats, which means that, simply playing the odds will net more crooked democrats than republicans.

I do not give the state’s republican politicians a pass on this. They are part of the rotten system that has allowed this national embarrassment to continue. When was the last time you heard of a republican turning in a fellow politician for being on the take? Let me answer that for you — never.

Still, the Sheeple in New Jersey continue to elect these rogues and thieves. It boggles the mind.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Here is a simple rule for the next election:

If a candidate for any state, county or municipal office is currently in office, vote him or her out, regardless of party affiliation. Our only hope is a goddamned clean sweep.

Of course, it is more likely that I will stick a feather in my ass and fly to Pittsburgh than it is that New Jersey voters will wake the hell up.

Note: Links relating to the foregoing are here, here and here.


  1. They have to take bribes. They have to pay their property taxes somehow. ;P

    Just disgraceful. I had a similar thought about the Republicans.

    Oh, enjoy your “flight.” HA!

    Comment by RT — September 6, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

  2. I’d comment… but really I have nothing to say. Politicians and their greed leave me speechless. *sigh*

    Comment by Teresa — September 6, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

  3. Christie ought to charge the entirety of New Jersey state, county, and local governments under RICO.

    Comment by Ken Adams — September 7, 2007 @ 8:26 am

  4. Jimbo……
    we had a situation like this here in Erie way back in the 1950`s…got the Mayor, several councilman , the democratic chairman, half of the police command, some legal eagles & 2/3 of the Italian community in a gambling racket crackdown.
    We had a severe shortage of Building contractors & news stand operators for years until the next generation grew up…….Incompetant dis-honest BS artist politicians … shortages whatsoever ,hardley even missed a bag payment.

    Comment by dudley1 — September 7, 2007 @ 8:34 am

  5. You do have some crooked sons of bitches up there. Of course, we nicely counterbalance the situation with Texas Governor Rick Perry, Republican.

    Comment by dick — September 7, 2007 @ 10:51 am

  6. Heh. Rivera’s story is even more interesting than simply being a former wrestler and cop. He was convicted of falsifying evidence and attempting to coverup a fatal shooting involving his partner in Puerto Rico. He tried to make it look like self defense.

    That should have been a signal to Passaic voters that he wasn’t right for the job – but instead they voted him in. A state panel found that the fraud conviction was insufficient to bar him from the job.

    I hold the Passaic voters responsible for that mess. They knew – or had reason to know – that Rivera was a bad seed, and ignored the evidence.

    Oh, and Rivera was a member of Hillary’s campaign committee in NJ.

    Comment by lawhawk — September 7, 2007 @ 11:17 am

  7. What the hell is WRONG with people? Pleasantville. *snort*

    Comment by dogette — September 7, 2007 @ 11:50 am

  8. I bet they don’t have that kind of low lifes in Brooklyn

    Comment by james old guy — September 7, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

  9. James:

    Once again you prove that you are geography ignorant. The next city east of AC is Paris. Stick with the law!

    Comment by JosephZ — September 7, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

  10. Nope, no low lives in Brooklyn, james old guy. Not a one.

    From what I hear, though, being a “…former wrestler and cop…convicted of falsifying evidence and attempting to coverup a fatal shooting [and being found guilty of] fraud conviction…” [as lawhawk said] is a pre-requisite for holding political office in Jersey.

    Don’t think I didn’t pick up on that you were trying to bait the Jooette. She ain’t called “Wiseass” for nothing, you know.


    Comment by Wiseass Jooette — September 7, 2007 @ 5:38 pm

  11. Come to McIntosh county, home of the whorehouse, clip joints and a bunch of crooks in office. We had a sheriff many years ago that owned the whole county, when highway 17 was a main road to Florida, years before I-95 and I-75. He owned a truck stop, they sold no gas, no oil and no tires, they sold pussy and beer. He would pick young girls that was hitching rides and put their asses in jail, next he would ask, you want to be here a year or you can come and work for me and get out in three months? You guessed it, they sold pussy and was out in three months. All of out red lights were fixed, they, the cops, would sit at the corner of the red lights and make the light change from green to red, another 100.00 ticket for the snow birds. The governor of Georgia had to take over the lights, with help from the FBI and the GBI. He is dead now, but he has several relatives still running the county.

    Comment by Catfish — September 8, 2007 @ 7:51 am

  12. One does enjoy watching yankee’s spat.

    Comment by james old guy — September 8, 2007 @ 7:53 am

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