More Legislative Corruption

Remember this post? I lamented in July 2005 that New Jersey taxpayers were shunned yet again. Then Governor Codey found an extra $17 million dollars. Rather than returning it to the overtaxed property owners of this state, Codey doled out the money with the help of state senator Wayne Bryant.

I also called on then candidate Corzine to take a stand:

Mr. Corzine, why don’t you step to the microphone and tell the state you do not condone how the money was dispersed and as governor you would have returned the money to the property owners?

In addition to the creation of a no-show job at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, it looks like Bryant benefited from the extra cash that was spread around.

Camden was broke last year (when is it not?). Someone up in Trenton decided to bail the city out. The deficit was $36 million. The state sent $37 million to the city. All this was done after the budget process was completed. So, the state began AY 2006 in the hole. It is that extra $1 million that was added to the aid package that is raising concerns now. It appears that extra cash is being used as a slush fund. Some of that money has filtered to Bryant’s law firm.

According to the Courier Post:

The fund was created after state Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Lawnside, cast the deciding vote.

Bryant’s vote added an unexplained, extra $1 million to a $36 million emergency appropriation for Camden. Part of the extra million was later used to pay $56,000 in legal fees to Bryant’s own law firm, according to documents obtained by the Courier-Post.

While Governor Corzine has stated Bryant should step down as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the party he leads isn’t likely to do that. Political analyst David Rebovich points out that the vice chairman of that committee is embattled state senator Sharpe James. James has his own ethical baggage following him.

It would ruffle too many feathers for there to be real leadership here. If James is bypassed, then Rebovich believes there will be charges of racism as both of the state senators are black.

“What do you do if you bypass Sharpe James?” Rebovich asked. “You have a racial problem.”

What that has to do with it I haven’t quite figured out. It seems to me that it is best for the citizens of the state to have leadership that is not corrupt.

So, New Jersey is amid yet another corruption scandal and her citizens are being shunned (again) because the majority party doesn’t want to upset the apple cart. Precious . . .

Also blogged on this date . . .

One thought on “More Legislative Corruption”

  1. Bryant did step down and Sharpe James was bypassed. It’s pretty bad when the two top “leaders” are unfit to serve on the committee. If unfit for that, then why are they suitable to represent us at all?

    A subpoena was issued to Camden for four years of records concerning the aid that Bryant allegedly received kickbacks from. This is a wonderful way of instilling trust.

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