Friday, April 13, 2007

Who "Hit" Governor Jon S. Corzine?

Access to msn is impossible at this time. I will keep trying during the course of the day. Hackers may be expected to alter this essay, but I will do my best to make corrections as needed.

Mary Williams Walsh, "Senators Push For Answers On Pensions In New Jersey," in The New York Times, April 12, 2007, at p. B1.
David Kocieniewski & David W. Chen, "Corzine Is Critically Injured in Car Crash on Parkway," in The New York Times, April 13, 2007, at p. B1.
David W. Chen & David Kociniewski, "Under Sedation, Corzine is Facing a Long Recovery," in The New York Times, April 14, 2007, at p. A1.
Andrew Jacobs, "In Charge Again, Codey Plans No Surprises," in The New York Times, April 14, 2007, at p. B1.
Serge F. Kovaleski & Richard G. Jones, "Police Seeking Red Truck That Left the Crash Scene," in The New York Times, April 14, 2007, at p. B3.
Lisa W. Foderado & Ken Belson, "In the Spotlight, The Politics of Buckling Up," in The New York Times, April 14, 2007, at p. B3.
Michael Cooper, "Corzine's Near-Deadly Crash Puts New Jersey Politics on an Uncertain Path," in The New York Times, April 15, 2007, at p. B1.
David W. Chen, "From Those Who Visit, a Glimpse of Corzine's private Life," in The New York Times, April 16, 2007, at p. B1.

A red pickup truck cut off a white vehicle, causing an accident resulting in severe injuries to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine. The driver of that red pickup truck has not been officially identified (as of this writing) and the vehicle has not been found, despite the presence of helicopters and state police in the CAMDEN area. The authorities in New Jersey are said to be "looking into the matter." I am sure they are doing their best. Someone -- perhaps even the guilty driver -- may very well "go down" for this incident, eventually.

It would be highly unusual for someone causing an accident like this not to be charged for "careless" and/or "reckless" driving -- also for leaving the scene of an accident -- even if that person alleges that he was "unaware" of the accident which resulted from his actions, especially when the Governor of New Jersey is seriously injured as a direct result of such a driver's actions. Exculpatory evidence might be produced by a careless driver at trial. Determination of guilt should be left to a judge, not to state police with more than probable grounds to issue several summonses.

The driver of this red pickup truck did something much worse than not wearing a seat belt -- and the state police's public failures are disturbing and suspicious, according to many observers of these events.

Strangely, the Governor was followed by a vehicle or vehicles, with state troopers. However, no one chased the "original" red pickup truck or radioed for assistance to one of the local speed traps ahead in order to intercept the vehicle. Apparently, nothing has been captured on tape by any of the local video cameras on the road, except for an alleged sighting of a vehicle roughly fitting the "target description" at an exit some time later.

The result of this mysterious event is to restore familiar New Jersey politician Richard J. Cody to the Governor's office pending Mr. Corzine's recovery. "I wear a seatbelt," said Mr. Cody, displaying uncharacteristic compassion for Mr. Corzine's sufferings and a curious lack of surprise.

There are many who speculate that all efforts to investigate New Jersey's pension fund crisis or any other political corruption in the state will now be placed on hold until Corzine's return. Speculation concerning the role, if any, played by political rivals of Corzine -- such as Speaker Roberts and his behind-the-scenes "friends" -- is unsupported by direct evidence at this time. Mr. Corzine is lucky to be alive, though not (perhaps) to be Governor of New Jersey. Will Corzine's enemies try again to "hit" him? I hope not.

Acting Governor Richard J. Cody was quoted in the Times, April 16, 2007 at p. B5, claiming that he would "defer questions about the crash until the completion of the state police investigation." But then, he "added that he had heard "rumors" that the two-car caravan might have been speeding, perhaps up to 90 miles per hour."

It is highly unusual for a member of Corzine's own party to "speculate" about "rumors" after stating that he would "await" the police investigation and even to provide an exact speed, casting aspersions on a man who is incapacitated and unable to respond to such allegations. After all, Governor Corzine was not the driver of the vehicle and state police in New Jersey are said to take safety seriously. The speed of the vehicle was not determined by Corzine.

"TRENTON, April 11 -- State senators from both political parties said at a hearing on Wednesday that they had been shocked to learn that they had voted again and again in recent years for measures that had left the state pension in great distress, and they faulted the state treasury for failing to explain to them the risks of what they were doing."

New Jersey senators admit that they voted for provisions without knowing what they involved or meant, financially or legally, presumably not having read or understood the proposals that they signed. However, they are blaming other officials for not having explained any of this complicated stuff to them. "What do you want from us? Geez."

"... 'I had no idea we were in the company of some of the same corporations that I have condemned for not funding their pensions,' said Shirley K. Turner, a Democrat from Mercer County, 'And now, it seems, we're in the same boat and sinking.' ..."

I think the better word is "sunk." I agree that New Jersey politicians had (and have) "no ideas." Maybe the following information provides a clue to the unfortunate events affecting Mr. Corzine:

"In response to The Times [sic.] article, Gov. Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey has said that the state will change certain accounting procedures. He has also asked the state attorney general to investigate, with outside actuarial help, whether tax requirements, securities laws or other rules have been violated."

The actuarial help has to come "from outside," otherwise the machine's accountants will make the numbers come out any way you like. Now get this little problem:

"The attorney general, Stuart Rabner, will have to walk a careful line in such an inquiry, however. [Mr. Rabner] is currently representing the state of New Jersey in lawsuits, filed by several employee groups, that accuse the state of failing to fund workers' pensions lawfully. In those cases he is arguing that the state has acted legally."

Now Mr. Rabner may have to argue that, as to the same matters, the state may have acted illegally in a different context, possibly subject to the same laws. The trick will be for Mr. Rabner to remember which lie he is telling (allegedly!) without "demurring." Isn't a conflict of interest and false or inconsistent pleadings "unethical"? Nah, what the hell? It's good old Stu. And it is New Jersey. Besides, the OAE is part of the attorney general's office, so Rabner can decide himself whether he is unethical. And Rabner probably regards himself as very ethical, even if no one else does.

So does Wayne Bryant -- who is rumored to be a candidate for the state's legal ethics committee or the New Jersey Supreme Court -- and is also said to be a possible recipient of a "humanitarian of the year" award from Trenton politicians hoping that he will not inform against them and that he will be convicted, quickly, so as to vanish from their lives along with his bad publicity.

"David Wald, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Mr. Rabner did not perceive any conflict between these roles."

Hey, wadda-ya-gonna-do? ... Ya gotta take care of dem guys, so they take care a you. Know what I mean? He-he-he ...



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