Monday, October 30, 2006

Bob Menendez Has Not Been Indicted Today!

I have just spent about twenty-five minutes struggling to get into my blogs; I am unable to change the image in my profile AGAIN; viruses and spyware, together with other obstructions, are a daily feature of my writing experience. I find this an encouraging sign that I am writing well and communicating effectively. This is the image that I would have used today to capture my mood.

Let us ask New Jersey's backroom "power-brokers": Is the use of political baseball bats against critics (only when their backs are turned, of course) acceptable in the Garden State?

Amy Fagan, "Senate Hopes to Hinge on Corruption Charges in N.J.," in The Washington Times, October 29, 2006 at
David Kocieniewski & Ray Rivera, "Waterfront Project Reflects 2 Images of a Senator," The New York Times, October 29, 2006, at p. A1.

"BAYONNE, N.J. -- Senator Robert Menendez is not directly involved in building the new waterfront development that will soon rise here in the Shadow of the Statue of Liberty. But his influence can be seen throughout it."

"The project which occupies the 437-acre site of the abandoned Military Ocean Terminal, is being built with the help of nearly $30 MILLION [emphasis really added -- AND HOW!] in federal funds that Mr. Menendez secured using his trademark policy expertise and aggressive politicking. His work provided the seed money for a plan to produce movie studios and shops, marinas and waterfront parks, and 6,600 homes."

"The project also produced considerable work for some of his chief political supporters [and contributors?] ."

Hey, you think all those political contributors might be grateful for the chance to make lots of money thanks to good old Bob? And if they are, do you think they'll send him a Christmas Card at least? Maybe when no one's looking? What do you think?

"The first major contract to develop the site went to a company that hired a Menendez friend and political confidant, Donald Scarinsci," -- known in Hudson County as "the Donald" -- "to lobby for it. That developer later took on Mr. Menendez's former campaign treasurer, Carl Goldberg, as partner. Bonds for a portion of the project were underwritten by Dennis Enright, a top campaign contributor, while Kay LiCausi, a former Menendez Congressional aide and major fundraiser, received lucrative work lobbying for the project."

That $30 MILLION in "seed" money came from the tax payers, just like the money received by the organization which paid $300,000 to Bob in rents over ten years, while they were receiving federal money.

Mr. Menendez says that he had nothing to do with the hiring of these people. It came as news to him that they are doing so well. How about that, Bob? Funny how things work out, huh?

"Republicans have portrayed Mr. Menendez as a modern-day political boss, presiding over an apparatus not of union stewards, ward heelers and precinct captains, but of lawyers, developers and lobbyists who fill his campaign coffers."

When Hudson County politicians speak to working men asking for votes, they should first say -- "turn your head and cough." This is because they usually have a firm grip, as it were, on men's income and peace of mind in this blue collar territory. As a result, Amy Fagan points out in The Washington Times,

"The same Democratic leaders who have long hoped to regain control of Congress by blasting a Republican 'culture of corruption' are in danger of losing their shot at the Senate because of accusations of corruption against Senator Robert Menendez."

Tom Kean sighed with some understandable frustration -- "People deserve to know if their senator is the only senator under federal criminal investigation." You think so, Tom?

Efforts to destroy this blog, or the writings and creative works of critics, will not alter the political realities of the nation's most foul-smelling political turf -- realities which are even now being transferred to the national level. Intimidating publishers of critics or discouraging creative efforts will not stop those committed to speaking truth to power. Take another look at the image I would have posted today. I will keep writing:

"... 57 percent of [New Jersey] voters feel the questions about Mr. Menendez are serious."

No matter what happens to me, this will not change.

"Michael Torpey said, 'The issue of corruption is clearly resonating with people."

My question to New Jersey voters is this: Look at your children and tell them about your state, also the United States of America and the U.S. Senate, then ask yourself whether Hudson County politics and what you know is the truth about power in that place is what you wish to see in the U.S. Senate and in your children's lives?

Vote your conscience. Fight for those children's future.

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