Thursday, August 12, 2004

Can you spell c o r r u p t i o n ? The media can't

There's really no end to this story. It gets better by the day and all of it available at McGreevey Watch. The Governor of New Jersey even has a web site dedicated to him

In April 2003, New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey was ready to appoint Zulima Farber, a former state Public Advocate, to the N.J. Supreme Court. He had to drop that when there was an arrest warrant out for her for ignoring speeding tickets. A spokesman for McGreevey announced, "She's essentially a scofflaw who thumbed her nose at the court." Turns out, the Governor is too.

Farber was incensed.
Farber, in her first public comments since her nomination was scuttled, accused the McGreevey administration of taking cheap shots by delving so deeply into her driving record. She noted, and DMV records confirm, that since 1992, she's only received three moving violations.

McGreevey's aides stand accused of improper dealings. McGreevey had to suspend all billboard deals and the Feds are investigating. In June 2003 it went to the Grand Jury. McGreevey says aides kept him in the dark. Then there was the appointment of Roger Chugh as the First Assistant Secretary of State, at $84,000 a year. Problem is, there was no such position. Then there was the New Jersey Commerce Secretary who resigned "amid reports that he funneled state money to businesses he owned and to family members." Then there was the nominee for Police superintendent who had to step aside because of a criminal record. And this. This.

Then there were fundraising scandals.
A McGreevey fund-raiser, David D'Amiano, was indicted on federal charges July 6, of extorting $40,000 in political donations and bribes from a farmer negotiating with the state.

Charles Kushner, chairman of Kushner Companies and the top donor to McGreevey's 2001 campaign for governor, was charged with hiring a call girl to obstruct a federal investigation of him and his companies. Prosecutors allege Kushner paid the call girl $25,000 to videotape her having sex with a witness cooperating in a grand jury probe of his taxes and donations.

Krushner serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including New York University and four other colleges.
In February 2003, Kushner withdrew as McGreevey's nominee to head the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. At the time, Kushner was the target of lawsuits contending he improperly used business funds for personal and political purposes.

McGreevey is not implicated in the fundraising trial. The latest scandal, however, was his undoing.

In September 2003 New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey announced he was hiring Golan Cipel as his Jewish advisor at a political event organized by Cipel for the governor. Even though Cipel is working for a lobbying firm, representing people and companies that do business with the state and is a personal friend, he was hired as a liason during the campaign for election. In January 2002, he was brought onto the administration payroll on Jan. 15 as the Governor's Homeland Security adviser at a yearly salary of $110,000.

There was a small problem. Federal agencies said they would not share information with Cipel. Turns out Cipel was not an American citizen. He was Israeli, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in New York, among other things. (And a poet.) Under pressure, McGreevey transferred Cipel to an undefined job as a counselor at the same salary. When he had to resign abruptly, Cipel had two other hinky jobs tied to political campaign donors.

On Monday, NBC in New York reported that McGreevey was expecting a lawsuit by a former aide accusing him of sexual harassment. Today McGreevey resigned.
New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey announced his resignation Thursday afternoon, saying he had had an extramarital affair with another man that could leave the state government vulenerable to undue outside influences.

Not that the New York Times noticed any of this in this story from yesterday.

This is the Associated Press version from the Miami Herald titled, ""The truth is, I am a gay American" It's a gay story. No mention of any scandals. Nor the fact that the governor is married and the father of two who had been previously marrried.

CBS news referred to the resignation due to "an extramarital affair with another man", while Fox news called it an "adulterous affair"
McGreevy himself called it "adult consentual affair."
In a sidebar at CBSnews is this: McGreevy was executive director, NJ Parole Board, 1985-87.

New York Times "I engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man..."
NBCnews "Shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affairs with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony," the married father of two said at a news conference." Text of resignation. Video with adoring wife.

No mention of the threat of sexual harassment lawsuit by Cipel, or of McGreery's, ah, bad governing moments from ABC. He's proud, he's gay.

Oh, and the resignation? Won't be affective until November 15th. Guess why.

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