Weiner to Corzine: Butt Out at Ground Zero

The Politicker got its hands on a letter signed by the entire New York congressional delegation telling New Jersey governor Jon Corzine to keep his hands off Ground Zero.

Corzine, of course, has power at Ground Zero through the bistate Port Authority, which owns the site.

Here he is talking about the Freedom Tower:

“My first look at the plan financially isn’t encouraging to me. They need to be restructured in my view,” New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine told reporters.


But we’re also interested in whether this show of strength by the congressional delegation doesn’t have other effects–intended or unintended.

For instance, Gov. Pataki will need the support of Corzine and the Port to get other stuff–like the rail link from downtown to JFK–on track before he leaves office. As Matthew Schuerman noted in an article for us last May,

Every few weeks, a couple of well-connected New Yorkers-maybe Carl Weisbrod, a board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, maybe Governor George Pataki’s chief of staff, John Cahill-make a trip down to Washington, D.C., to lobby what at first looks like an obscure technical point: whether $2 billion in tax incentives can be converted into cash to fund a rail tunnel under the East River. By all external indications, the reception’s been cool, even as Mr. Pataki is counting on that money to help him announce projects-and project a feeling of progress-in lower Manhattan.

[...] Publicly, he’s optimistic about funding the project. But privately, he finds himself breaking a sweat trying to get the money from hostile fellow party members in Washington, and in the Port Authority’s powerful New Jersey contingent.

That was a different Jersey governor, of course; one who seldom showed any interest in the goings-on at Ground Zero …

- Tom McGeveran