Friday, July 24, 2009

Welcome to New Jersey! We make Blagos!


As some of you may have read, there were massive arrests in New Jersey yesterday. This time it was a bunch of politicians getting caught up in a money laundering operation involving rabbis in New York and Deal, New Jersey. Plus one human organ peddler. Hollywood could not make up weirder stuff if it tried.

When I looked at the list of who they nabbed this time, I saw two types of folks. The first type made me say, what took them so long to catch that crook and the other type made my jaw drop in surprise.

They arrested the one-month in office mayor of Hoboken; they arrested two of the mayoral candidates from Jersey City’s last election, they also arrested two other city mayors, plus a slew of underlings. Rumor has it, they will be taking in another crop today too!

Why so much corruption in NJ you ask? I see three reasons:

1. Massive Government. As stated by Governor Corzine (I wonder if he will be getting a knock on the door) in his press conference on the matter, New Jersey’s government is too large. With so many elected officials, it is all too easy to find a weak link to corrupt.

2. Cronyism. So many of the people arrested today have been kicking around for years. They live like leeches off government. So many of them hold city, county and state jobs at the same time and trade off positions from one administration to the next. They never seem to be out of office. It is so bad that some of them even have their children working the system in the same way.

3. Property taxes. Because property taxes are so damn high here in New Jersey, the temptation to bribe someone to catch a break is all to great. If you are a developer it actually makes sense to bribe someone for a tax abatement or rate discount and all it takes is the stroke of a pen from the right politician.

So until New Jersey gets smaller government with term limits and lower taxes, it will continue to churn out little Blagos by the bucketful.

4 comments:

Caeseria said...

This is the first place I've heard of corrupt politicians as a group being referred to as "Blagos". As a resident of IL (who for the record never voted for the scum, voted for his opponent both times) I think that's kinda cool. Not - sure - why. But, cool.
I guess it's the idea that his name will forever be associated with corruption.

madmath1 said...

The part of property taxes are right on. NJ has the highest in the country. So bad in fact, that for over 3/4 of the population, they pay more in property taxes than they do for their mortgages. Seems only fitting that some will bribe officers to get some relief.

I'll add a number 4 to the list: multiple seatings that lead to conflicts of interests. NJ is the only state that a politician can hold a seat in TWO branches (in fact, could all three. There's no restriction based on political seatings). The governor, which I agree about the knocking on the door, also serves in the state senate. So he can write, pass and veto and vote to override his own veto if he so chooses. This goes on the lower level. The head of county development can also be seated in the state assembly and so on.

In the end, this doesn't surprise me. What did surprise me was they only caught 44? I wonder if California, where I live is next? We're not NJ, but we're not far behind and we sure could use the enema that NJ is getting.

Clifton B said...

Caeseria:

Blago has pretty much become the poster child of government corruption this year, so I thought about the 44 arrested here in NJ as little versions of them. Blago a least had enough sense to ask for big money. The clowns here all got pinched for $10k or less. They are like Blago in training.

Clifton B said...

madmath1:

Re: Property taxes. This is the #1 issue in NJ. Every governor since I don't know when has said they would cut it, yet every year it keeps going up and up. My taxes are knocking on the door of $18k!

The key to fixing NJ corruption is to completely rewrite the tax code and Constitution. Right now it favors the politicians greatly.

The crazy thing is that the 44 are all from ONE informant. God knows how many more are out there.

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