Wednesday, August 18, 2004

New Jersey, a comedy

Why are top Democrats in New Jersey pressuring McGreery to leave office immediately? Story It appears more Democrats want him to go than Republicans. They include former state Sen. John Lynch, McGreevy's political mentor, party leaders in Hudson County and Middlesex Democrats, George Norcross (big money donor) and, surprisingly, organized labor leaders. (When the union thugs want you to go, you know there's a story.)

It's isn't because McGreevy is bisexual or immoral or because he is corrupt. Well, maybe that last might be a factor but only if he had been caught and made for a crime. Which brings up Monday's guilty plea from Kushner to witness tampering. Kushner, a big political backer of McGreevy (see Kushner) has a colorful history and an even more colorful mob-type-defending lawyer. McGreevy -- this is short version -- appointed Kushner to the New Jersey and New York Port Authority, which seemed o.k. to da boys. It was when he wanted Kushner to head the agency that more honest heads prevailed.

Meanwhile, Cipel who you might think would be in custody (or at least under orders not to leave town) for extortion, turns out, wasn't extorting money at all. It really was a lawsuit. He's not gay. He's in Israel. He's Jewish. That matters. (Who knew?)

McGreevey is back in the governor's mansion after a vacation at -- of all places - Fire Island (I read it at the Guardian in an article by Dan Savage but can't bring myself to go back and give them the traffic.) Now Fire Island is hardly the place for a family reconciliation, heterosexual family anyway, so I have no insights to what they were doing there and won't repeat Savage's suggestions. But all in all, it is strange.

Stranger yet is that half of New Jersey voters surveyed think McGreevey resigned because of corruption and 48 percent said he should resign. A stunning 42 percent said it wasn't necessary. Ten percent didn't know. So most people think he's a crook but think he's a good governor for New Jersey. They know best.

Official polling result included this.

The Governor’s ratings have declined from PublicMind’s July poll, though he retains a base of support among Democrats, the urban core, and younger voters. Thirty-two percent maintain a favorable impression of him, down from 41% in July. Fifty-three percent have an unfavorable impression, up from 47% last month. But a majority of Democrats (53%) say he deserves re-election as against only 36% of all voters.


UPDATE: The media is trolling for evidence that Cipel is gay. This story has an unnamed professor claiming an affair with the Israeli. "There have been at least three people coming forward, and this person seems the most credible." [Gays are lining up to fake affairs with Cipel?] Suggestion that he is staying in office to "round up pledges for his legal fees" easily scoffed at a NJ mayor. ""People will contribute to McGreevey's legal fees because they like him." (And the Democrats are definitely not holding back on the legal fees till he moves out.)

Governor still busy. "He then met with cabinet members and homeland security advisers at a Trenton hotel about security needed when the Republican convention opens in New York on Aug. 30." Oh Oh.

An AHHHHH moment. Why Dems want McGreevey to go now.

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