Archive for the ‘Mayor Healy’ Category

OK, so Here’s the thing…

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has not been charged with any crime. Nor was he arrested. However, Healy has confirmed that his name is in the complaint against three defendants arrested in that broad corruption sweep two weeks ago.

Jack Shaw, who has since died ( perhaps by his own hand ) and Leona Beldini were arrested for soliciting cash payments for Healy’s Mayoral re-election bid this past Spring. So, while Healy never took the money himself, federal authorities claim middlemen did it for him.

I asked Governor Corzine whether the public trust has been eroded enough so that Healy should resign. His answer was “no” since Healy has not been charged. Corzine has called on others who have been charged to step down.

But by that logic one might ask this: On the day of the arrests the home and offices of DCA Commissioner Joe Doria were raided. Doria was not charged, but Corzine forced him to quit anyway. Double standard? Guv says no. And in fairness, Doria is part of his cabinet, Mayor Healy is not.

But, it might fuel the flames for those who say the Governor is trying to have it both ways. Healy is considered a key piece of the Hudson machine that could deliver votes for Corzine in November. Democarts need a big plurality in Hudson to win statewide.

And of course we reported that story here last week…

Did Corruption Arrests Disrupt The Machine In Hudson?

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Here is the piece from NJN News. Thanks to my Producer who alloted me five minutes and thirty seconds to tell the story ( an eternity in broadcast news ).

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Considering Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano is allegedly heard on tape bragging to the cooperating witness that he has ‘the Italians, Hispanics and seniors locked up…and could  get indicted and still receive 85 -95% of the vote’…it’s probably a question worth asking.

Obviously, the leaders are key to getting out the vote in November and Cammarano may be a bit distracted even if all the allegations turn out to be false.

But it’s not just him. Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has confirmed that he met with the government’s cooperating witness more than once, and has also admitted he is unnamed official #4 in one of the complaints. Healy is also a key person to getting out the Democratic vote in November.

But here is the thing…it’s not just the household names. Jack Shaw ( who’s body was found after an apparent suicide ) and Joe Cardwell are also facing charges.

Cardwell is a key operative in Jersey City’s Ward F, the largely African American ward in Jersey City. Cardwell along with Bobby Jackson ( also deceased ) have helped deliver huge voter turnout in Ward F  in several elections. They were catapulted onto the politocal map when they first did so for Jersey City Mayor Glenn Cunningham ( also now deceased ) in 2001.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, some of these unsung heroes may also be distracted when it comes time to rally the troops for Governor Corzine in November.

Since he is trailing his Republican opponent Chris Christie by double digits in some polls, that could spell trouble. Democrats need big pluralities in Democratic strongholds like Hudson and Essex Counties. If for some reason that doesn’t happen – meaning people don’t get driven to the polls or people the voters trust don’t urge them to show up and vote, it will keep turnout low and could swing the race to the Republican.

phew. that is a mouthful.

Some Democrats have questioned the timing of the sweep and who specifically was targeted. After all, at least some of the work in this investigation took place when Christie was the U.S. Attorney. But even Corzine took the high road on that one saying that if they 9 the people accused ) took money; that is illegal. And Christie says no one was specifically targeted because that would be entrapment. He says those who took the bribes needed to previously express a willingness to do so before being approached.

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Wow. Where do I even begin?

44 arrests including two sitting Assemblymen, a couple of Mayors, a Council President and others.

A lot of this information has already been reported, so I will try and focus on some things that have not, or at least not widely.

It’s been pieced together at this point that Jersey City Mayor Jerry Healy is likely “Incumbent Official #4.” Leona Beldini, Deputy Mayor of Jersey City ( also arrested yesterday ) allegedly shook down bribes for Healy’s re-election bid earlier this year.

Beldini is named in the complaint as “Treasurer” of a campaign. She only served as Treasurer for Healy.

Two members of the Corzine administration have now been touched by this. Joe Doria, The Commissioner of Department of Community Affairs had his home and office raided by FBI agents. He subequently resigned.

And a Spokeswoman for Transportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts confirms that he is the unnamed official in the complaint against ( sitting Assemblyman ) L. Harvey Smith. Smith allegedly bragged about putting in a call to a high ranking DOT official to obtain a permit. Dilts and Smith did speak recently, but Dilts supposedly told him that he could not expedite the permit, and it would have to go through the process like every other apllication.

I say “supposedly” because I didn’t hear the call (obviously ).

I had joked earlier that it’s a testament to New Jersey’s diversity that Jews, Blacks, Italians, Latinos republicans and democrats could all be implicated together in the same corruption scandal, but it’s really not a laughing matter.

I should also point out that none of these individuals are guilty until proven so in a court of law. Or they  decide to plead guilty and snitch on each other.

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There’s a hole in the budget…

dear gov-na, dear govna…

I don’t mean to belittle the problem by reducing it to a children’s song, but it does seem like we’ve heard this tune before, doesn’t it?

In fact, with a mandate to keep to the budget balanced, Corzine has been forced to cut spending midyear now by more than $4 billion.

How will he do it this time around? cut into surplus, cut departments and defer pension and school aid payments until the next fscal year.

Republicans immediately seized on this as failing to solve the problem, arguing that he is kicking the can so that hard decisions will need to be made next year. Perhaps not coincidentily, those tough decisions would need to be made without the backdrop of what could be a tough re-election for Corzine.

Unperecented economic recession? Sure. The Governor even poked fun at himself the other day for always saying “economic tsunami.” There is truth in that,  obviously. The whole situation is a mess, much of which was beyond his making.

But as Republican critics also point out, when he argues that all options are on the table, apparently that doesn’t include special municipal aid to cities such as Jersey City and Newark.

Speaking of which, a big win for Jerramiah Healy in JC gives him allotta clout heading into this election. Corzine is gonna need Healy to deliver him Dem votes bigtime in November. Healy’s stock has definitely gone up, not only for winning the election without a runoff, avoiding a challenge from Sandra Cunningham ( who may well have beaten him ), but Healy also got on that Obama train pretty early.

Anyway, I don’t mean to go off on a  tangent here, but don’t expect the Governor to be cutting back aid to cities anytime soon. And look for Healy to get something else before the November election. To quote the former President, Healy’s “got some capital now…and he intends to use it.”

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