Wednesday, March 28, 2007
McGreeveys in the news
- Former Governor James E. McGreevey and his top aides have been subpoenaed to testify in a whistle-blower lawsuit stemming from the 2002 parole of reputed mobster Angelo Prisco. The plaintiff, Kenneth Connolly, filed a whistle-blower suit against the state in July 2003 after he was transferred from his position with the parole board. He argues that he tried to stop Prisco's parole bu that Mario Paparozzi, who was the board's executive director, told him the parole had been ordered by the governor's office.
- Oprah Winfrey's production company confirmed yesterday that former New Jersey first lady Dina Matos McGreevey will take a turn on the famous on-stage couch at "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to promote her forthcoming memoir, "Silent Partner." A spokeswoman for the show declined to give a precise air date other than "later this spring."
Thursday, March 22, 2007
"She slipped officer, I swear"
According to reports:
Lange "struck his wife on the nose with his hand" while driving in the car, said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio, whose office is investigating the case. When police arrived at Lange's waterfront home, he was in the house and his wife Mayra, a teacher in the West New York school system, was in the car.
During Lange's arrest, a police sergeant was bitten on the hand by the family's dog - a maltese.
Mayra Lange was taken to Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen. Hospital officials didn't return calls about her condition; the prosecutor said he was still waiting for a medical report, but it was possible that her nose was fractured.
DeFazio said Lange was charged with aggravated assault because his wife suffered a "significant bodily injury."
Reached by phone yesterday, Lange refused to comment, but later released a statement saying he accidentally struck his wife during a heated argument in their car. He said he and his wife were surprised when the police came to his home yesterday morning.
He accidentally hit his wife during a heated argument? Uh huh.
McGreevey likes Richardson
Former Governor James E. McGreevey, in New Mexico to attend a Human Rights Alliance fundraiser, said that it is "too early in the process" to discuss his endorsement of a 2008 presidential candidate, but praised Governor Bill Richardson as a "progressive voice," according to an Associated Press interview.Honestly now, is anyone actually seeking an endorsement from McGreevey?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Questions for Hoboken
As the Hoboken City Council elections approach, we would like to conduct interviews with each of the candidates and post the answers to their questions here on The NJ Blog. However, rather than have us come up with the questions to ask the candidates, we think our readers should submit their questions to us and we'll compile the interview. If you have a question you would like asked, please email us at email@example.com. If there is a specific candidate(s) that the question is geared toward (i.e., Chris Campos, Fourth Ward, etc.) let us know that. If we get a good response, we'll try to contact the candidates and get answers.
Speaking of questions, we're still waiting to hear back from Chris Campos about the questions we asked him in this post. We'll make it slightly easier, make the question a little more general and open it up to all members of the Hoboken City Council to answer. Here goes:
What legitimate purpose is there for members of the Hobken City Council to carry badges?
We're looking for an answer because a lot of us are skeptical of the practice and see no reason for the badges -- besides getting out of tickets. We're reserving judgment, however, until we hear from you.
Again, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 20, 2007 Update: (or lack thereof)
It's been 5 days and not a peep from any member of the Hoboken City Council. We figure at least some of them have seen this post, given that reader JG copied us on an e-mail he sent to members of the City Council that contained a link here. So why no response? We can only guess it's because there is no good answer to our question.
In any event, JG provided the following e-mail addresses for members of the City Council, all of which he tells us are available on the Internet. Feel free to e-mail them with a link to this post. Maybe we'll get an answer.
Rubin Ramos: email@example.com,
Mike Russo: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Chris Campos: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Michael Cricco: MCricco@aol.com,
Nino Giacchi: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Theresa Castellano: email@example.com
Peter Cammarano: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
So Carla, what was your LSAT score?
Why was a review ordered? Well, it seems that Corzine has donated $630,000 to the school over the past 8 years. And he wrote Katz a letter of recommendation for admission to the law school.
We're happy to see that Corzine is supporting Seton Hall, but it does seem odd to us that Katz received a significant scholarship (about half of the $30,000 annual tuition) from the school while she was the Governor's girlfriend, while he was donating so much money to the University and while he was recommending her for admission.
So the question is, did Dean Patrick Hobbs do Carla (and the future Governor) a favor by greasing some scholarship wheels? We guess we'll find out when the review is complete.
In any event, whether the scholarship is proper or not, we're not quite sure what basis Corzine had to recommend her for admission to the law school. Such letters usually come from former professors, employers, etc. Not boyfriends.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
McGreevey Divorce: Getting Messy
Former Gov. James E. McGreevey has revised his divorce lawsuit against his estranged wife and is now seeking sole custody of the couple's 5-year-old daughter -- and child support.
The new documents make no mention of a "matrimonial settlement agreement" that McGreevey's original divorce filing said had resolved all issues of custody and support.
So why the change? Maybe this has something to do with it:
The former governor has said he and O'Donnell plan to enter into a civil union after the divorce is finalized.
Why does this matter? Well . . .
John Eory, a partner at the law firm Stark & Stark in Lawrenceville and an instructor in divorce law, said that if McGreevey continues to push for full custody, the judge likely will ask for detailed parenting plans from both parties.
"If he's claiming he's better fit to be entrusted with the residential care of his child, I'm presuming he's prepared to go to the mat to do that," Eory said. He said McGreevey might argue that he can provide a "stable nuclear two-parent household ... (and) offer benefits to the child that she can't get in a single-parent home."
We know its tawdry to say, but we're dying to know the details!
Friday, March 09, 2007
Belmar goes keg tracking
Beer kegs sold in the borough would be tagged and their whereabouts tracked under a new borough ordinance expected to be introduced at Wednesday's Borough Council meeting.
The ordinance, which is intended to curb the use of such kegs at underage drinking parties, also would make it illegal for anyone in Belmar to possess a non-tagged keg, said Police Chief Jack Hill.
Under the measure, Hill said, liquor store owners would be required to keep a ledger of all customers who rent kegs.
The names in the ledger would be linked to a serial number affixed to a keg. In the event a keg was recovered at an underage drinking party, authorities would be able to trace it to its source and thus the individual legally responsible for it, Hill said.
What is it, the equivalent of 100 cases of beer fit in a keg?
NJ to Drunks: Have a seat, we'll be with you in a bit
These simple everyday items aren't the only things that could be thrown off course. It seems that the new fancy version of the "Breathalyzer" machine used by 17 of New Jersey's 21 counties, called the Alcotest 7110, won't update itself until April 1, 2007 -- the date Daylight Savings would have started had it not been changed for this year.
So what's the solution to the problem? Make suspected drunk drivers wait an hour so the clock on the Alcotest will match the time of arrest.
Is the hour wait a good thing or a bad thing? Well, some say the additional time will allow some people to sober up just enough to get them off. Others think some people will absorb more alcohol and go from barely sober to over-the-line drunk.
Sounds like we need a software patch.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Congratulations to New Jersey's most recent millionaire.
Campos to Court: Not guilty!
The fallout from Campos's arrest has now hit the New York City police officer that pulled him over. According to the New York Daily News, Police Officer Joseph Liotta, who was recorded allegedly asking a Hoboken police sergeant if he should release Campos or have him spend the night as "a guest of the City," has been transferred to administrative duty and had his gun and badge taken while an Internal Affairs investigation proceeds.
We think its safe to say that no member of the NYPD will make a "courtesy call" on behalf of a New Jersey politician again.
Monday, March 05, 2007
What does Carla know that we don't?
Gov. Jon Corzine has acknowledged for the first time that, while a candidate for governor in 2005, he gave state workers union leader Carla Katz, his former girlfriend, substantial gifts beyond what he previously disclosed.
The gifts were made to avoid "ongoing financial connections" after their serious, two-year relationship ended in the summer of 2004, Corzine told The Star-Ledger.
Corzine previously said that he forgave a $470,000 mortgage on Katz's home in Hunterdon County, but he had not spoken publicly of other gifts. In an interview Friday he refused to provide the amounts or any other details, but indicated they were more than tokens.
"If you were -- I'm hypothesizing; I'm not stating anything -- if you were going to pay a tuition bill or something over a period of time ... you pre-funded it," Corzine said. "I could have done that."
Asked if he paid for Katz's children to attend the private school where they are enrolled, Corzine demurred. "I'm not saying that at all," he said. "I'm saying you could have." The school in Pennsylvania lists its day-student tuition at $22,000 a year.
Another bad idea brought to you by Jon Corzine
Here's how it would work: The state would estimate how much money in tolls would be collected along the turnpike and parkway for the next 15 years.
It would then borrow that amount all at once.
It would pay back the money annually with interest, much like a credit card, student or mortgage loan.
The money would help build schools, improve state colleges, preserve open space, and enhance health care, but Humphreys said tolls would have to increase to help pay interest and guarantee that the loan could be repaid if toll traffic did not meet expectations.
This is a stupid idea.
First, why can't the State just live within its means? Seriously. The State's budget is a certain amount. Its taxes and other revenues are a certain amount. If the two amounts don't meet, then either raise taxes (obviously we're against this option) or cut expenses (yippee!). Don't borrow against, lease or sell the State's assets for a quick fix today only to leave a revenue problem for the future.
Second, where will the money come from to maintain the Turnpike and/or Parkway? If the State has a loan it needs to pay back with the toll money it collects, it can't use that money to maintain the highways.
Third, what do we do in the future once this one-time revenue source has dried up? $1.2 billion (what some estimate the State can borrow under this scheme) doesn't last quite as long as it used to, especially when you shave 20% off the top to pay for New Jersey's corruption.
It's time the State -- and those who run it -- become fiscally responsible. Cut expenditures, don't borrow and just make our problems that much worse.
A question for Chris Campos
And our question for the City of Hoboken: Why do members of the City Council carry badges?
3/6/07 Update: The Jersey Journal has an article today about Campos's arrest and the now infamous phone call to the Hoboken Police Department. We're still waiting for answers to our questions.