Category Archives: political corruption

Van Pelt Testifies:" I had a middleman make a bribe payment like to the Mayor of Long Branch"

I have not followed the trail of Daniel Van Pelt very closely but I know damaging testimony when I read it and what he testified to will have damaging effect on the Mayor of Long Branch Adam Schneider’s reelecion campaign that could potentially put the mayor behind bars and start a new investigation into allagations of further corruption in Long Branch .

I was forwarded court transcripts from the trail that deal with Van Pelt’s testimony as it concerns Mayor Schneider, in sworn testimony at his trail Van Pelt stated:

” I helped pay his credit card bills and there were times where I had a middleman make a bribe payment like to the Mayor of Long Branch or council people of Long Branch or sometimes I vould give out auction tickets.

The Yeshiva would hold a charity auction, every year and I would at times give public officials, like council people in Long Branch, primarily it was the council people in Long Branch and others, free auction tickets for their official assistance in expediting my land use applications, my use for my zoning.”

This doesn’t sound good for Scheinder, lets wait and see what happens.

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Filed under Daniel Van Pelt, Long Branch NJ, political corruption, Solomon Dwek

Harper’s Magazine: Manure for the Garden State

Harper’s Magazine’s Scott Horton wrote an excellent piece yesterday detailing how Chris Christie may have used his influence with friends/former employees left over at the US Attorneys Office to stage some political theather to effect the New Jersey race for governor by moving forward on a corruption crackdown that netted 44 politicians, officials and religious leaders in one day last month.

When you add this information together with possible Hatch act violantions and his loan of $46,000 to an employee in the US Attorney’s Office, Michele Brown, and his failures to disclose it on finanical statements and ELEC reports, a clear picture is starting to emerge that Chris Christie may not be the “White Knight” of political corruption busting that he wishes every to believe he is. His suit of armour as the say “Is tarneshed” :
On July 23, Acting U.S. Attorney in New Jersey Ralph Marra grabbed the nation’s attention by stepping before the cameras to announce the fruits of a long political corruption investigation managed by his office. Forty-four individuals had been indicted on charges that demonstrated the “pervasive nature of public corruption in this state,” he said. The haul included two state assemblymen, the mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus, and Ridgefield, and numerous lesser figures. “The politicians willingly put themselves up for sale,” Marra told the press. “For these defendants, corruption was a way of life. They existed in an ethics-free zone.” He praised the long work of the FBI and his team. But of course the media proceeded to credit the man who launched and oversaw the probe for most of its course, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

As it happens, Christie is the Republican candidate to replace Jon Corzine as governor of New Jersey. He’s running on an anti-corruption platform, and this news—which stole headlines for a solid week—helped to propel him to a solid lead over the incumbent in the polls.

Watching this unfold, it was hard not to notice how convenient it all was for the Christie campaign. The announcement reflected a substantial number of largely unrelated cases, but they had been aggregated and held for arrests all on the same day as a sort of batch-release. Whatever law-enforcement considerations justified this step, it clearly helped gain newspaper headlines. Moreover, the announcement came at the end of July, which is the last possible moment for indictments with political impact in an election year cycle. Department of Justice guidelines preclude a U.S. attorney from announcing politically-charged indictments in a campaign season, which, by general reckoning, would begin the following month.

So it all looked good for Chris Christie—his accusations of public corruption were dramatically validated in newspaper headlines, and he was presented as a sort of Thomas E. Dewey—a clean prosecutor in a position to right the situation. But now, suddenly the Associated Press reported that the

Justice Department was examining whether acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra made inappropriate public comments that boosted Republican Chris Christie’s political challenge to incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. Before running for office, Christie was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, and Marra was his top deputy. Marra made the comments last month while announcing the corruption case against dozens of suspects.

But the investigation may wind up reaching far beyond an error in judgment about specific words used at a press conference or the timing of the announcement of indictments. The Justice Department’s internal probe comes just as The New York Times reveals the existence of a significant, undisclosed financial relationship between Christie and Michele A. Brown, another prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office. In response to an appeal from Brown, whose husband had lost his job, Christie loaned her $46,000 and took a mortgage on her home as security. The matter raises interest because failure to report this dealing is potentially a crime—and indeed, in the group of 44 political figures whose indictment was announced on July 23, one—Bergen County Democrat Dennis Oury—was indicted specifically for filing financial statements that failed to disclose a holding in a company that received public funds.

Today, Christie sounds remarkably like Mr. Oury:

“When I make mistakes, I’m going to admit them,” he said, adding that he had already amended some of those filings and would finish the rest by Friday. “It was certainly nothing that I was trying to conceal or hide.”…

Read More >>>Here

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Filed under Chris Christie, ethical violations, Gov. Jon Corzine, Harper Magazine, Hatch Act, Michele Brown, New Jersey, political corruption, Ralph Marra, Scott Horton, U.S Attorney Office

Corzine Expects Hoboken Mayor to Resign By Tomorrow

According to WABC News – Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano is expected to resign as early as Friday, according to Governor Jon Corzine.

Corzine, answering a question about ethics reform at a Montclair event, said he expects Cammarano’s resignation within the next 24 hours.

A senior Corzine administration official said the understanding is Cammarano is resigning Friday morning.

The move comes amid intense pressure from Corzine, a Hoboken resident, to force Cammarano to step down. Corzine had publicly called for the resignation and privately instructed lawyers from his office to speak with Cammarano’s lawyers.

The news was a bombshell at Hoboken City Hall, apparently taking elected officials by complete surprise. Cammarano, who left the building for lunch within the past hour, did not drop any hints.

Hoboken City Council President Dawn Zimmer, who lost a runoff to Cammarano by 161 votes, would become acting mayor if he resigns.

Zimmer said she has heard nothing.

“There’s nothing official,” Zimmer said.

She said she spoke to Judy Tripodi, Hoboken’s state appointed fiscal control officer, who has also not been notified. Neither had Cammarrano’s communications director.

Zimmer would have to run in a special election in November to fill the remainder of Cammarano’s term.

The 32-year-old Cammarano is accused of accepting cash payments in $5,000 increments from a man he thought was a developer looking for a pay-to-play connection in Hoboken.

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Filed under Gov. Jon Corzine, Hoboken NJ, Mayor Peter Cammarano, political corruption, resignation

New Jersey… Hey, C’Mon That’s Not … Why Would You …Whoa!

When you need to laugh at the absurd, it’s Jon Stewart to the rescue. Jon defends New Jersey against media prejudice in light of last weeks corruption sting that netted 44 indiviuals throughout the Garden State. And while he’s at it, he has a kidney to sell you !
This clip is from Tuesday nights show, if it so weren’t true we wouldn’t laugh so hard at it.
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Hey, C’Mon That’s Not … Why Would You …Whoa!
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Joke of the Day

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Filed under cranberrys, Jon Stewart, New Jersey, political corruption, The Daily Show

Despite the corruption arrests, Corzine still doing OK

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to be a regular columnist /contributor to the NewJerseyNewsRoom.com, a news organization put together by former Star-Ledger staff members that had been layed-off by the newspaper over the past year.

A couple of members from the News Room have been following this blog and thought that I would be a good fit and lend a progressive voice to the website.
I was honored to think that real journalists thought enough of my writing and insight to include me in their endevours, so I couldn’t say no to the offer.
Below is the first of what I hope to be many opinion pieces posted by my new friends at News Room Jersey:
Despite the corruption arrests, Corzine still doing OK

When I first heard the news on the morning of July 23 about the FBI sting operation that netted 44 people throughout the state on corruption and other assorted charges, as part of the continuing 10-year-old investigation known as “Operation Bid Rig,” I have to admit I wasn’t very happy.

I thought, “here we go again.’’ Another black-eye for the state’s already tarnished and beleaguered image as the most corrupt in the country. I was shocked, angered and concerned all at the same time.

As a Democrat who is involved in the local politics, I immediately thought about how this would affect Governor Corzine and the rest of the democratic ticket down the line. This was not something that Jon Corzine or democrats, in general, needed to be dealing with 13 weeks before November’s election.

After working the overnight shift, keeping up on what seemed like an endless stream of new information and details about the sting operation, I started to think that there was no way, with recent polling numbers showing that the governor trailed his opponent by upwards of 15 points depending on the survey, could survive this latest round of bad news.
My despair only increased when, as the morning shift arrived, my fellow co-workers sought me out to express their displeasure with the scandal and said that it was further evidence as to why they would not be voting for Jon Corzine.

It didn’t matter to those guys that the investigation was started 10 years earlier during the Whitman administration or that the governor was not involved or named in the investigation. It was just further evidence to them that New Jersey’s political system was broken and just as corrupt as ever.

It didn’t matter to them that Jon Corzine is beyond reproach or that he can’t be bought off by special interest (the man is a multi-millionaire who doesn’t need to take money from other people) or that Corzine is one of the most politically ethical elected officials that the State of New Jersey has seen in over a decade. It didn’t matter that during Corzine’s time in office, he is responsible for ending the practice of duel office holding by elected officials or the fact that major Pay-to-Play legislation was passed early in his administration that ended that practice or that he put an end to no-bid contracts.

Read More >>> Here

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Filed under Gov. Jon Corzine, Monmouth County, New Jersey, New Jersey Newsroom, Operation Bid Rig, political corruption, the Star-Ledger