August 18, 2004

New Jersey’s Political Swamp.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:41 pm

Overhaul Needed.
In a Star Ledger op-ed piece, Bob Braun urges that New Jersey’s form of government needs a major overhaul. The author claims that this can only be accomplished by convening a state constitutional convention to change the state constitution to provide for statewide elections for the positions of state controller (who could act as a “fiscal cop”) and lieutenant governor (who would be elected by the people, not by senators, to take over as governor in the event that the governor can no longer serve because of resignation or otherwise).

Braun opines that, most critical of all, is a change in the state’s constitution that would require the election of the state attorney general. Braun states:

Ponder this: We have a governor who quits because, he implies strongly, he faces blackmail from a former aide because he is gay. The FBI is on the case.

But, whoa! Doesn’t New Jersey have a criminal justice system? The same system that tried to intimidate [Robert] Martin? [a republican state senator who, according to Braun was paid “an early-morning visit by State Police detectives for voting against a governor’s choice for attorney general”] And isn’t extortion — blackmail — a state as well as federal crime?

So why haven’t we heard of a state investigation into the political self-destruction of Gov. James E. McGreevey? A call to Peter Harvey’s office elicited only that our attorney general is not investigating anything about our governor.

What a shock!

Braun’s position with regard to the need for a state attorney general who is not beholden to the governor for his job is bolstered by a demonstrated lack of anything resembling vigorous law enforcement efforts against corrupt state-government officials.

Rather than immediately jumping on the bandwagon for a constitutional convention, I have to give Braun’s proposals a bit more thought. However, I have to say that it seems obvious to me that the current political system is broken.

It’s Their Business.
I was disappointed upon seeing the headline on today’s Star Ledger, which screamed, “The Day McGreevey Shocked his Wife.” The article details an interview with a friend of Mr. and Mrs. McGreevey, who states with apparent certainty, that it was not until a few days before the governor’s resignation announcement that Mrs. McGreevey learned of her husband’s sexual orientation.

While I find it a bit difficult to believe that Mrs. McGreevey knew nothing of the governor’s sexual preference until a few days ago, I do not believe that the story was at all newsworthy, much less deserving of the headline. Indeed, in my view, the interactions between Mr. and Mrs. McGreevey concerning this matter are no one’s business but theirs.

Rogue’s Gallery.
Here is an excellent rundown of some of the more notable convicted, indicted (or under investigation), and ethically challenged New Jersey political “success stories”.

And finally…
For complete roundup of today’s developments in the Jersey Swamp, check out The Bad Hair Blog and DynamoBuzz.


  1. Great post, and the title ties in with McGreevey’s wetlands stories, too

    Comment by Fausta — August 19, 2004 @ 11:03 am

  2. Re: The Rogues

    Hey – At least they’re consistent!

    Comment by Kalamity — August 19, 2004 @ 9:08 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress