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NJ governor calls scale of corruption 'outrageous' as 3 mayors among those arrested in sweep

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WillParkinson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 08:01 AM
Original message
NJ governor calls scale of corruption 'outrageous' as 3 mayors among those arrested in sweep
Edited on Fri Jul-24-09 08:04 AM by WillBowden
Source: The Associated Press

NJ governor calls scale of corruption 'outrageous' as 3 mayors among those arrested in sweep

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Officials are decrying political corruption in New Jersey after more than 40 people, among them rabbis and elected officeholders, were arrested in an investigation in which some were accused of laundering tens of millions of dollars and of black-market trafficking of kidneys and fake Gucci handbags.

The 44 arrests Thursday were a remarkable number even for New Jersey, where more than 130 public officials have pleaded guilty or have been convicted of corruption since 2001.

"New Jersey's corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the nation," said Ed Kahrer, who heads the FBI's white-collar and public corruption division. "Corruption is a cancer that is destroying the core values of this state."

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NJ_CORRUPTION...
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. What does NJ need to do to reduce govt corruption?
Do they have any laws that requires the government to be open about their business?
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. NJ has a Sunshine law
called the Open Public Meetings Act; it's been around for decades. The problem is not what happens at public meetings. It's what elected public officials do when they're not in meetings. There is a culture of corruption in NJ that goes way back. The people at the top select and groom would-be elected officials to make sure they will play along. Local and state law enforcement agencies look the other way. There are judges at every level who look the other way. It's deeply entrenched, and I don't know whether it's even possible to clean it out.

I was a newspaper reporter in New Jersey for 18 years, and once when I was investigating a corrupt mayor, the mayor called the publisher and demanded that I be yanked off the beat. I was quickly reassigned to another town, and this sleazebag mayor called the mayor of my new beat town and warned her that she was "getting a barracuda." This happened at a crummy little daily paper that no longer exists. I moved away from NJ 19 years ago.

Arizona has some pretty sleazy politics too, and don't forget Chicago and NYC.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Any idea what happened to that corrupt mayor?
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. I think we've caught very few corrupt politicians in NJ
The corruption is endemic there (e.g., last four mayors of Newark have gone to prison after their mayoral terms.)

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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. In NJ it is outrageous -- that only 3 mayors would be caught up among so many charged.
All those other mayors have obviously gotten very lazy. ;-)
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-27-09 01:43 AM
Response to Original message
6. Don't Stop In NJ
these FBI and prosecutors need to move on to Wall Street and DC, they could make 44 arrests look like chicken feed.
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-27-09 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
7. 5 Rabbi's
There was also 5 Rabbi's in the 44. Apparently laundering money through charitable "giving" and taking a 10 percent cut.
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Juche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-27-09 02:03 AM
Response to Original message
8. Watch the documentary 'street fight'
Edited on Mon Jul-27-09 02:04 AM by Juche
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457496 /

I just saw this a day ago and had no idea how bad the corruption in Newark was. It is a documentary about an incumbent mayor (who is now in prison) up against a challenger Cory Booker in the 2002 election.

It talks about how the incumbent mayor would use the police force and various code violations to harass and intimidate supporters of Booker, and things you'd never expect in America. They talk about how businesses that put up Booker signs in their windows would have the police stop by the next day and ticket them for stupid stuff. One scene had Booker walking through a housing project and trying to talk to residents to get them to vote, and the police showed up and kicked him out. One scence had the police tearing down the Booker signs from street lamps, despite a judge telling them not to.

Totally fucked up, I couldn't figure out why the NJ attorney general or a federal investigator didn't intervene.
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