December 9, 2005


New Jersey's New Senator (NY Times, 12/09/05)

As a candidate, New Jersey's governor-elect, Jon Corzine, talked a lot about setting a higher standard for ethics in government. But off the stump, he has cozied up to the Democratic political bosses who are very much part of the problem. In his choice of someone to replace him in the Senate, Mr. Corzine had an opportunity to demonstrate which side of his campaign was real. The answer came yesterday, and it was disappointing. [...]

Most recently, Mr. Menendez has failed to answer questions about his relationship with Kay LiCausi, a young former aide of his. He has helped her get hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying contracts and political consulting work. Mr. Menendez says there is a line between his personal and public lives. But New Jersey voters have a right to wonder why that line seems to exist only to protect politicians from questioning, and never deters them from mixing their private relationships with their official duties.

The last elected governor, James McGreevey, had to resign over such a situation. And Mr. Corzine got involved with the head of a union representing state workers, then forgave her a loan of more than $400,000 when the relationship ended. Besides all this, there have been 75 corruption indictments in New Jersey over the last four years. The public has a right to yearn for a break from the past, and Mr. Menendez does not represent a clean slate.

The GOP should start running this now.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 9, 2005 8:55 AM

The Times is merely pointing this out now, so they can get it out of the way before next fall, when they endorse Mr. Menendez for a full six-year term (he'd have to reach the Bob Torecelli level of negative publicity to even have a chance of shaming the Times into endorsing Mr. Kean).

Posted by: John at December 9, 2005 9:07 AM

If I recall correctly, they endorsed Tom Kean in '85.

Posted by: oj at December 9, 2005 9:14 AM

Pre-Pinch Sulzberger era. They're more ideological and not nearly as smart in the editorial department as they were 20 years ago.

Posted by: John at December 9, 2005 9:17 AM

Pre-Pinch Sulzberger era. They're more ideological and not nearly as smart in the editorial department as they were 20 years ago.

Posted by: John at December 9, 2005 9:24 AM

Didn't they just endorse Bloomberg?

Posted by: oj at December 9, 2005 9:27 AM

Amazing. Not the corruption. This is, after all the New Jersey Democratic party, but the fact that the NYT criticized it.

As anyone who follows the paper closely knows, the Times has been, shall we say, uninterested, in stories of vote fraud by Democrats, even stories as close as New Jersey. Maybe they think it is OK to steal votes but not tax money.

Posted by: Jim Miller at December 9, 2005 9:42 AM

OJ - forget 1985. Who did the Times endorse last month? And whom did they endorse in 2002, Forrester or Lautenberg?

And when did they last endorse a Republican for Senate (in NY, NJ, or CT)? I don't know, but I'll bet it was before I was born (unless they decided to pick D'Amato over Holtzman).

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 9, 2005 10:45 AM


Posted by: oj at December 9, 2005 10:52 AM

Jim - OJ can't forget 1985...he worked for the losing candidate that year...

Posted by: Foos at December 9, 2005 11:03 AM

Corzine used to run Goldman Sachs. The Times will be cozy with him unless he falls into Edwin Edwards' trap (live boy or dead girl). And, perhaps even that won't be enough (after all, such a situation is 'just about sex').

Now, if Corzine were photographed with a bear carcass from the recent hunt in NJ, then the Times might turn on him.

Posted by: ratbert at December 9, 2005 11:28 AM

This is New Jersey.
Just follow the money.

Posted by: njboy at December 9, 2005 4:58 PM

Only one thing's forbidden now -- cigarette smoking. Dead girls, live boys, diverting funds from widows and orphans, are perfectly okay.

Posted by: erp at December 9, 2005 7:32 PM