NJ Politics Exposed

Aquarian Weekly 9/15/04 REALITY CHECK

NOTES FROM THE CESSPOOL Part IIIJimmy Mac & The Ol’ End Around

Howell Champ“Before all else, be armed.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Things are far more messed up in the New Jersey political arena than even I suspected. Two weeks into this full-scale Reality Check News & Information Desk investigation and many on staff refuse to return calls or make appointments. One gritty veteran of “research” describes the entire Trenton power elite as “spooky”. No one at the governor’s office even bothers to mention his name anymore. It’s Jimmy Mac or Captain Lame Duck. The lock-down of info is complete, and with only days from an alleged hand-off of power in the governor’s office, no one is talking on or off the record.

“Here’s the thing,” one staffer said in passing, “McGreevey isn’t really quitting.”

This seemed a perplexing turn of events, until I began peeling the onion on some of the key names that dragged the governor to the “bail out” altar in the first place.

McGreevey confidant, and leading N.J. Democratic fundraiser, Charles Kushner, accused of allegedly hiring a prostitute to blackmail a witness in his highly publicized federal tax and campaign finance fraud case had, according to one very deep and morally bankrupt source, “disappeared for two weeks on an Ecstasy binge.”

Word out of Trenton is the drug abuse rumors were started by Bush stooge and once Republican National Committee Finance Chairman, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. Under pressure to release “certain incriminating documents” last week, Kushner reluctantly granted an interview to the NJ Herald and proceeded to let fly a heinous string of expletives that rendered the piece unfit for publication. There was serious talk of actually printing it by citing journalistic precedent from the San Francisco Chronicle.

It was two days after the massive earthquake of 1906, wherein the paper of record quoted Mayor Eugene Schmitz’s infamous Shoot To Kill proclamation that ended with the published post, “The Federal Troops, the members of the Regular Police Force and all Special Police Officers have been authorized by me to KILL any and all persons found engaging in Looting or in the Commission of Any Other Crime.”

Cooler heads at the Herald prevailed on this occasion, and the Kushner interview was scrapped. As for Schmitz and the Chronicle, opponents accused the mayor of having brain bubbles resulting from a monstrous bout of syphilis. The Chronicle sold more papers that day than any time since; no harm, no foul. But rising circulation and journalistic ethics aside, Schmitz never admitted to ordering the citizenry murdered without something to gain, much less admitting to being gay, whether it was to exit a sinking ship or to avoid lawsuits.

Which gets us back to Governor Jimmy Mac, who at press time still refused to change his date of resignation and throw an Emergency Election over to the Republicans, least of all a political pit bull by the name of Bret Shundler, who more than once in his gubernatorial campaign two years ago referred to the governor as “a conniving little shit heel”.

Fellow Democrat, Senator Jon Corzine, who according to his accountants does officially have more money than God, has actively pursued the gig. A spokesman for the senator told the Newark Star Ledger “a rail is far to good a conveyance in which to run the governor out on.”

One thing seems certain at press time; McGreevey will not fold his doomed tenure until the 11/15 deadline.

But I’ve been told more than once that Corzine is a loose canon and has very little pull in Trenton. Most NJ Dems think he’s a closet Republican and would rather turn the mess over to NJ Senate President Richard Codey and let him take the blame for whatever inevitable fallout occurs.

Since I have no connections, nor do I seek any, in NJ government, a serious drawback when trying to get a “real” background check on Codey, I hear mostly gibberish and fear. Once again, no one goes on the record and those who do fail to identify a single merit to this man’s ascension to the state’s highest office save his relatively clean criminal record. Many who know the ones who know describe Codey as “confused, but not crooked, and that’s a start.”

One thing seems certain at press time; McGreevey will not fold his doomed tenure until the 11/15 deadline.

The governor got another reprieve on 8/31 when alleged lover, and the man for whom he is ostensibly “stepping down” to avoid blackmail entanglements, Golan Cipel, dropped chargers of sexual harassment and has been holed up in his hometown in Israel telling the Jerusalem Post daily that he is not gay and the suit was “never about money”. Then someone from the Asbury Park Press e-mailed me a dubious picture of Cipel dancing atop a bar in the gay district of Haifa waving fistfuls of hundred dollar bills over his head. So, who knows?

Still, most of us at The Desk were distracted by a story coming over the wires on Labor Day that a cockfighting arena was raided by police near my old stomping grounds in Howell. The illegal ranch boasting steroid-jacked roosters run by a 67-year-old Jersey City escaped mental patient named Raphael Liranzo, who had been repeatedly fined for “animal cruelty” for the past 22 years after his first arrest for cockfighting in ’82 when he tried to get his “exhibition” on the sports book in Atlantic City.

Liranzo went to prison and the governor still might. But as of press time the Attorney General’s Office has hinted at the possibility that the case against his drawing out the resignation to avoid a special election is moot due to the fact that no vacancy exists in the governor’s office. McGreevey, it turns out, never submitted a formal written letter of resignation.

“This guy isn’t going anywhere,” my hearty researcher reiterated when I pressed him further. “Legally he holds the right to rescind his resignation when all the villains are put to rest.”

McGreevey’s Press Secretary Micah Rasmussen disagrees, finally going on the record on 9/8 by stating simply, “The governor made a thoughtful and careful decision and he is standing by it.”

There was little reason to believe him, or anything else oozing from the governor’s office. So we decided to lay low, place “thoughtful and careful” cockfight bets, and wait for the arrests to become official.

Part I

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