“Two assemblymen, three mayors, and several rabbis…”
It sounds like the set up to an old joke, but rather than walking into a bar, the perps mentioned above are behind bars today as part of a money laundering and political corruption investigation that swept up 44 suspects across New Jersey, Republicans and Democrats alike, and implicated many more.
Prosecutors said the investigation, reaching through layer upon layer of government, revealed a “pervasive” culture of corruption.
“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 investigation division. “Corruption is a cancer that is destroying the core values of this state.”
See, that’s why I laugh whenever I hear folks accusing Gov. Gregoire of being corrupt for (gasp) taking legal campaign contributions from tribes and unions, or comparing Mayor Nickels’ style to that of some East Coast political boss. Coming from Philadelphia, I know from corrupt political machines, and folks, this ain’t it.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy abusing our elected officials as much as the next guy, but as spineless, rudderless and ineffective as they can sometimes be, you gotta give them credit for at least being clean when it comes to the public till. Hell, we don’t even seem to get our fair share of sex scandals around here. Even when it comes to organized crime, the best Seattle can muster are two-bit hoodlums like the Colacurcios, whereas if this were Hoboken or Jersey City, rather than running strip clubs, Frank Jr. would be preparing to succeed his father as mayor.
I’m just sayin’….