Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Jersey Forced to Divert Billions Endangering Pension Fund.

Mary Williams Walsh, "New Jersey Diverts Billions Endangering Pension Fund," in The New York Times, April 4, 2007, at p. A1.
Ronald Smothers, "With Corzine's Signature, Taxpayers' Burden Lightens," in The New York Times, April 4, 2007, at p. B3.
David W. Chen & Jo Craven McGinty, "Senators' Pensions Draw Fire in Trenton," in The New York Times, April 4, 2007, at p. B5.
Richard G. Jones, "New Jersey Lawmaker Makes First Court Appearance on Fraud Charges," in The New York Times, April 4, 2007, at p. B5.
Winnie Hu, "$187 Million Public School, Under a Cloud in New Jersey," in The New York Times, April 8, 2007, at p. B27.

"In 2005, New Jersey put either $551 million, $56 million or nothing into its pension fund for teachers. All three figures appeared in various state documents -- though the state now says that the actual amount was zero."

That's probably because the $551 million that should have gone into the account, or which they "mistakenly" listed as in the account, was split up among a bunch of hoodlums through several intermediary entities created to "address social issues" -- like who's getting a new Mercedes Benz and an addition to the house at taxpayers' expense.

If you were to empty the prisons in New Jersey and put the politicians in jail, then let the inmates run the state, you'd probably get better and more honest government. The inmates would feel obligated to leave something for the people. The politicians in New Jersey are greedier -- they steal everything.

These shenanigans take place in a state where kids shoplifiting merchandise worth one hundred dollars, routinely, are sent to jail. Preferably, by a minority group member appointed to the "bench" and proud of it, who will lend him- or herself to the dirty work in order "to show we're tough on crime." Isn't it time to get tough on New Jersey politicians' crimes? I think so.

None of these public officials -- until recently -- have been arrested for, say, drawing five salaries and seeking inflated pensions from a pension fund that has been "played with" for years by the organized crime family that really runs the state and its feces-smeared courts, where moronic judges are obsessed with procedural niceties -- as politicians and/or criminals steal everything -- so that judges may depart the judicial bench in their undergarments, but wearing a lovely corsage and smiling for newspaper cameras. (See "Is New Jersey Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz unethical or only incompetent?") An "error" was inserted in this sentence since my last reading of this essay. I have now corrected it.

"The phantom contribution is just one indication that New Jersey has been diverting billions of dollars from its pension fund for state and local workers into other [alleged] 'government' purposes over the last fifteen years, using a variety of unorthodox transactions authorized by the Legislature and by governors from both political parties."

It's mostly the Democrats -- who are Democrats in name only! -- that you have to worry about in New Jersey. If you criticize them, they just change the subject: "How about Bush and the war in Iraq?" Then they go on stealing and trying to silence Internet critics or inconvenient journalists by hacking into their pages and deleting letters from written texts. New Jersey Democrats have cybercriminals on staff to discourage criticism on-line.

"The state has long acknowledged that it has been putting less money into the pension fund than it should. But an analysis of its records by The New York Times [sic.] shows that in many cases, New Jersey has overstated even what it has claimed to be contributing, sometimes by hundreds of millions of dollars."

"The discrepancies raise questions about how much money is really in the New Jersey pension fund, which industry statistics show to be the ninth largest in the nation's public sector, with reported assets of $79 billion."

How much of that money really is "available" is anybody's guess. $46 BILLION "short" in March, 2010.

"... examination of New Jersey's pension fund showed that officials have taken questionable steps again and again. The state recorded investment gains immediately when the markets were up, for instance, then delayed recording losses when the markets were down. It reported money to pay for health care costs as contributions to the health care fund, though that money would soon flow out of the fund. It claimed it had 'excess' assets that allowed it to divert required pension contributions to other uses, like providing financial assistance to poor school districts."

Financial assistance really went to the politicians. The best financial assistance New jersey politicians can give the people of the state is for them to emigrate to another country. Let's send them to Iraq, so they can help with the war effort and show their patriotism while still criticizing Bush.

"... At least 5 of the 12 retiring [N.J.] senators have held other government jobs at the same time as their legislative posts, which currently pay $49,000 a year -- potentially qualifying them for additional pension pay."

Multiple pensions for politicians as the system faces a financial crisis. Makes sense, right?

"The most prominent is Sen. Wayne R. Bryant, a Camden County Democrat, who on Tuesday appeared for the first time in Federal District Court ... to face corruption charges. One of the charges is that he stockpiled government jobs requiring little or no work over the past three years to increase his pension to about $81,000 from $28,000."

This is in addition to his other pensions. Ethics? Mr. Bryant was beloved for years by the OAE. Is the OAE incompetent or corrupt? Most lawyers say "a little of both."

"Holding multiple government jobs is hardly uncommon in New Jersey, with its patchwork of municipal and county governments, school districts and regional authorities. And the total fiscal impact of those multiple pensions is miniscule [not to those receiving them or the citizens paying for them!] compared with the system's multibillion-dollar shortfall [SHORTFALL INDEED -- it's more like a BIG FALL!] which stems from a dearth of state contributions coupled with some questionable financial practices over the past decade."

O.K., kids. Can you say "CORRUPTION"? Yes, good. You can be a New Jersey Legislator or state Supreme Court Justice!

"... making his first public appearance since being indicted last week, Mr. Bryant said little during a 15-minute hearing before United States Magistrate Judge John J. Hughes to formalize the beginning of the federal case."

"Even as Mr. Bryant was leaving the courtroom a group of longtime friends and colleagues announced that they were planning a public show of support."

Poor people, especially African-Americans, are most hurt by the blatant criminality of many New Jersey public officials. Elected officials "representing their interests" -- between stealing sprees -- should not be fighting these efforts to reform the system. They should be helping to clean things up.

$187 MILLION and they can't finish building a high school in New Brunswick. After spending that much money, they have nothing to show for it in New Brunswick. For close to that amount of money, Trump can build a casino and hotel in Atlantic City. That's because $181 million in tax money is probably stolen, only the remaining $7 million goes towards building the school. Take that $181 million and pay it out to New Jersey teachers as a bonus. Then purchase an old building and refurbish it with the remaining $7 million. You'll have happy teachers, a new high school, and money left over.

For years, none of this questionable activity created an interest in Mr. Bryant on the part of New Jersey's tainted OAE, although Mr. Bryant is an attorney. So is Senator Bob, whose fate is still in the hands of a Grand Jury that must be hearing a lot of stuff since it is taking months and months of "factual presentation" and they have yet to reach a decision. Ethics? You're joking, right? New Jersey doesn't have any ethics. The legal culture of the state is a sewer. When you flush America's legal toilet, the refuse flows into New Jersey's legislature and courts. ("Law and Ethics in the Soprano State" and "New Jersey is the Home of the Living Dead.")

If you really want to ask some tough questions, how about these: Why is the lightning falling on Mr. Bryant? Why was he selected (or set up) to take the hit, while others in New Jersey politics who are probably WORSE than him are sitting this one out from behind the scenes -- probably after having secretly informed against Mr. Bryant to divert attention from their own thievery. "Freudian slip, Richard?"

Who are the other big bosses in Camden County again?

I wonder what other prominent politicians in New Jersey have "borrowed" through intermediaries, say family members working for non-profit entities receiving millions in public money and paying hundreds of thousands in "consulting fees" to political spouses for "tips" on where to put the coffee machine. Senator Bob, are you getting nervous? Inserting a spelling "error" in these essays is not much of a response, boys. Try inserting another "error."

Talk of property tax cuts is a joke under these circumstances. The money to cover-up these shenanigans will have to come from somewhere. Guess who's going to pay for these little "peccadillos" and "skullduggery"? That's right, YOU. Can anybody spell the word: "CHUMPS"? That's right, boys and girls, New Jersey's taxpayers are "chumps" -- according to the Jersey Boys, who should know. Do not remain silent about this disgusting criminality among elected officials, judges and "justices" in New Jersey. Hey, how about another inserted "error," Mr. Rabner? ("Stuart Rabner and Conduct Unbecoming to the Judiciary in New Jersey.")

"Welcome to the Garden State!"

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