Friday, July 07, 2006

Corzine Scores Third Round TKO!

According to my security sytem, my most frequent attacker is still and I have been subject to 13 intrusion attempts from 7-5-06 t0 7-7-06. I bet that's only coincidence.

Laura Masnerus, "After Losing Showdown, Speaker Has Task of Recovering His Own Standing," in The New York Times, July 7, 2006, at p. B5.
David W. Chen, "Trenton Chalks Up End of Budget Stalemate to a Poker-Faced Corzine," in The New York Times, July 7, 2006, at p. B5.

First The New York Times:

"Mr. Roberts made the wrong calculation and may now have a far more daunting task: trying to recover some of his political standing as Assembly speaker."

"Mr. Corzine who had just prevailed in his most difficult test since taking office in January, was magnanimous enough yesterday afternoon. In announcing the budget agreement that they had finally hammered out, he made sure to mention 'Speaker Robert's eloquence and strength of conviction' in their tense negotiations."

That's called "diplomacy."

"... In the end, Mr. Roberts had to concede, he could not persuade enough [fellow legislators] to join him in opposing the increase in the sales tax to 7% from 6% that Mr. Corzine had insisted on as a way to balance his $31 billion budget."

"So while Mr. Roberts ended up with a compromise that clearly addressed what he said [emphasis added] was his main concern, the state's onerous property tax problem, he was also left with a rupture with the governor's office and perhaps with his own caucus."

David W. Chen & Laura Masnerus, "Six Days That Shook New Jersey and Its Traditional Political Alliances," in The New York Times, July 9, 2006, at p. 22:

"At some point, [on Thursday,] Mr. Roberts got on the phone for perhaps 45 minutes with George E. Norcross III, the powerful Democratic leader from Camden County."

Shortly after this phone call, a "deal" was made, according to the Times.

And now for Dave Goldiner, "Let 'Em Roll! -- Casinos to Open as N.J. Pact Struck," in Daily News, July 7, 2006, at p. 4:

"Democrats in the Assembly accepted Corzine's proposal to hike the sales tax from 6% to 7% after he agreed to [consider earmarking] half the $1.1 billion in extra revenue for property tax relief this year."

"A somber Corzine said he was still upset about the economic damage wrought by the nearly week-long standoff."

Many residents of New Jersey -- the home of Tony Soprano -- feel exactly the same way. The significance of this budget resolution, described by Mr. Corzine as a "faltering first step," is not the revenue that will be obtained from the increased sales tax, but the symbolic importance of breaking the stranglehold that the much-feared "Camden" or "South Jersey" Democratic machine had, or still has (allegedly), on New Jersey government and power.

Alleged historical associations with organized crime on the part of many politicians and a history of corruption as well as illicit, behind-the-scenes operations in the legal system, have made the Garden State a byword for slimy politicians and tainted courtrooms, together with inept and dishonest government. It is that image and the reality of a system that allows bosses and power-brokers to "dip" into the public pie -- either with a semblance of legality or a casual and brazen illegality -- which must end.

Governor Corzine's stunning victory, which is a tribute to his character, should not be undermined by efforts of spinmeisters to minimize or deny his achievement at the behest of Jersey boys -- whose asses were publicly and deservedly "kicked" -- and who (like bacteria) have a tendency to grow in mold and reproduce. It is time to end the corruption in Trenton.



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