I’m sorry to say: Nothing is actually new in New Jersey.
Frankly, I’ve been upset with the Star-Ledger. They have gotten very lazy. They’re reprinting stories from two years ago, three years, five years. I’ve seen the headlines before: "Hudson County politicians arrested on bribery charges." "Monmouth County Mayors Indicted."
Forty-four arrests have been made. Among them: five rabbis a’laundrin, three mayors a’briben, two men assemblyn’, and a raid o-on Joe Doria’s house.
Everyone has been cheering the federal prosecutors, but I think they have been lax in their jobs as well. They can catch a person selling kidneys. They can catch mayors taking bribes. But they can’t catch the person who designed the outside of Xanadu?
One of the saddest cases is Peter Cammarano, the very young looking mayor of Hoboken. He says it was all a simple mistake. He wasn’t taking a bribe; he was accepting a bar-mitzvah gift.
And the prosecutors have gotten the bribe-taking all wrong. The mayors in Hudson County weren’t offered ten thousand dollars in cash. They were offered two personal seating licenses at the new Giants Stadium.
Now the trafficking in body parts is certainly the strangest of all the charges. So he was charging $160,000 for a kidney? In fairness to him, his prices for corned beef were always competitive, and he’d meet any other discount for pastrami.
There has now been a lot of attention Syrian Jewish community in Deal, a wealthy enclave near the ocean. With all of these arrests, I know what you’re thinking: cheap shore homes are now available for the rest of the summer. The town Deal certainly got their name for a reason.
The man responsible for many of the arrests is 36-year-old Solomon Dwek. He tried his hand at bank fraud himself, but decided instead to work for the feds. But now, he’s an outcast in his community, no prospect for making a living, and facing a lifetime of ridicule and suspicion. On the brighter side, I think that we’ve finally found a match for Monica Lewinsky.
In the midst of all of this, Governor Corzine picked Loretta Weinberg to be his running mate. That is an interesting choice. I didn't even know that she was on a TV reality show.
Earlier on, Chris Christie picked Kim Guadagno to be his running mate. You see, Christie wanted someone from Monmouth County, and she was one of the only Republican officeholders there who hadn’t yet taken a bribe.
Chris Christie has set the bar high when it comes to being an elected official. You just don’t accept an envelope with cash. It’s that simple. Instead, you threaten to sue someone and have them send your friend a check. Or you don’t sue someone, and have them do your family a favor.
So, what else is new in New Jersey?