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Nice work, if you can get it

Check this out. A New Jersey politician got a no-work job lobbying himself at a corrupt state school.

Welcome to the Garden State, folks. I guess it's no mystery why one of the richest and most highly taxed states in the union continually finds itself in such dire financial "crises." The real mystery is why New Jersey taxpayers sit back docilely and accept that the "solution" is for Trenton to dig even deeper into the taxpayers' pockets, throwing good money after bad without ever demanding any accountability for the money that's already been squandered. Then, come election time, they dutifully send the same bunch of clowns and miscreants right back to work.

New Jersey gets the government it deserves, I suppose, but now I'm stuck with it as well. So why did I move here again? Oh yeah, to escape the high tax burden of New York City. Joke's on me, huh?


Has there ever been a full week pass by in New jersey where some poltico isn't caught doing something? What a state we have.

Is it really that NJ politicians are more corrupt than politicians from other states or that they are that much more inept and get caught more often?

Not sure, but I think it probably has something to do with apathetic voters. The fact that much of the state operates under de facto single-party rule probably doesn't help much either.

I wish I had the reference handy, but I found a study that claimed that NJ was number 16 in corruption. I think Ohio was number 1 and New York was in the top ten. I found it with a google search, so you folks can find it for yourselves if you'd like. Anyway, according to that study at least, we aren't as bad as others. The fact that it gets caught and prosecuted it a good thing, I would say.

Okay, I just followed your link. The UMDNJ, eh? I had a feeling that was what it was about. Anything associated with that place is turning out to be a scandal. That situation leaves me disgusted with everyone who had anything to do with UMDNJ. I share your outrage on that one.

DBK, I actually remember that study. It was interesting, but I'm not sure I'd put much stock in it, for reasons that you and K both touched upon.

IIRC, it was largely based on the number of indictments handed down against public officials. That's an interesting survey, but it hardly serves as a reliable measure of corruption in and of itself.

Imagine a state with a nominal level of corruption, but which had plenty of oversight, good government watchdog agencies, and a judicial system that was aggressive in rooting out what corruption did exist. They could very easily rank as "more corrupt" than (say) Louisiana, where there's plenty of corruption, but few people have a vested interest in exposing it.

Not that it really matters much to me. Whether NJ ranks number 1 or number 20 is largely immaterial. Corruption is corruption.

There is no need for cynicism. It is ONLY THE DEMOCRATS who are dishonest. Republicans are true-blue all-American patriots who believe in God, Country, and Family. Democrats believe in Satan, Globalism, and Homosexuality.

If you would all just listen to JMK, then you would finally be happy and optimistic, like me.

I don't NJ would be quite as corrupt if it were not sandwiched in between NYC and Philadelphia. A large portion of northern New Jersey is a part of the NY Metro area. Many people come here from NYC and expect the government to do the same things for them that NYC did, not realizing that corrupt deals were often the only way government could deliver many of those things.

There is no need for cynicism. It is ONLY THE DEMOCRATS who are dishonest. Republicans are true-blue all-American patriots who believe in God, Country, and Family. Democrats believe in Satan, Globalism, and Homosexuality.

Well, in NJ at least you would be correct, for a change, Bailey.

The simlple truth is that a one party state or municipality, regardless of which party is entrenched, will corrupt itself.

What astounds me is that the voters in NJ keep returning crooks to office.

They are incredibly stupid and deserve everything they reap with their knee-jerk voting.

"There is no need for cynicism. It is ONLY THE DEMOCRATS who are dishonest. Republicans are true-blue all-American patriots who believe in God, Country, and Family. Democrats believe in Satan, Globalism, and Homosexuality.

"If you would all just listen to JMK, then you would finally be happy and optimistic, like me." (BH)

WoW! Even when you try to come around, you get the ideas all wrong.

No worries. I can fix that.

In point of fact, the vast majority of the long entrenched political corruption in the northeast is Democratic, as the Democrats are the Party of choice in that region.

Sheldon Silver in NY, Corzine and the Dem Party bosses in NJ are among the most vile offenders, even though Republicans like Pataki and Bruno are no bargain either.

Of course, Michigan's no bargain either, with a vicious anti-business claimate (a company can still owe taxes even when they lose money), Michigan is the ONLY State in the Union to have an individual income tax, a corporate tax and a sales tax, not to mention a Euro-styled VAT tax that has resulted in a 7.1% unemployment rate compared to the 4.7% national average.

Um, I think the unemployment rate is sort of tied to the fortunes of the auto industry. But what would I know, I just live here.

The state had a Republican Governor (Engler) for three terms, and he had a Republican congress. What did they do with this great opportunity?

They colluded with the insurance companies to rape Michigan drivers with compulsory overpriced insurance (can we say "Nanny State"), passed "tort reform" to cap lawsuits against malpractice at $250,000 to "lower insurance costs". If a doctor operates on you drunk in Michigan and kills you, you get no more than $250,000. Insurance went up, of course, and remains higher than states with no "tort reform" although Bush would like to see it implemented everywhere.

But it isn't like the Republicans did nothing good: they finally pushed through casinos for Detroit. The money we were supposed to see never really came through, but gambling related crime, bankruptcies, and suicides skyrocketed!

So JMK, why didn't Bush's friend, John Engler, get rid of all those bad Michigan taxes and bring booming business to Michigan?

Hmmm, he seems to have done what Bush is doing: enriched his friends.

Actually Engler was a great Governor compared to Jennifer Granholm.

Rich Lowry, Editor of your heor (Bill Buckley's National Review) put their situation quite well recently in his article titled The Sick Man of the Midwest;

"Michael LaFaive of the Mackinac Center calls Michigan “the France of North America.” Economically competitive states might have a personal income tax, or corporate income tax, or sales tax — Michigan has all three. It has long been the only state with a European-style, value-added tax — the Single Business Tax. A company can be in bankruptcy and still have a tax liability, making Michigan a bad state even to lose money in. In a 2002 filing for relief from the tax, General Motors explained that it would operate at a loss, but one of its projects would still create a $7 million-a-year tax liability.

Michigan recently repealed the Single Business Tax effective at the end of 2007, but has punted the decision about how to replace it. A relative moderate, Gov. Granholm has resisted general tax increases, but levied new fees, sin taxes and other “revenue enhancers.” The state still insists on trying to target tax incentives and other special breaks to favored businesses, in a doomed replay of 1970s-era industrial policy.

Meanwhile, unions make the state an inhospitable place to do business. A company can be bankrupt in Michigan and still face threats of a strike, as Northwest Airlines and the auto-parts maker Delphi have learned. Michigan’s unionization rate of 21.8 percent is much higher than the national average of 13.5 percent. This accounts for it having the second-highest unit-labor cost in the nation, according to the Mackinac Center. States with right-to-work laws, and consequently less unionization, experience more growth and create more jobs, at the expense of troglodytes like Michigan.

It used to be that unions could force unnaturally high wages and benefits on U.S. manufacturers, and the costs would be passed along to consumers. Those were the days prior to globalization when the U.S. auto industry had a lock on the domestic market and experienced little international competition. It was inevitable that Michigan would find the new competition disruptive, but not that it would react to it so poorly.

"The way to thrive in a globalized environment is to create a low-tax economy without the rigidities that come with heavy unionization and regulation. For those who disagree, Michigan beckons.

And no, "it's not just the auto industry," it's ALL of Michigan's private sector.

Michigan is as unfriendly toward business as are places like New York, Massachussetts, etc.

Englar had three terms, JMK. Stop Roving the issue. He had THREE TERMS and a Republican congress.

He didn't even repeal the Single Business Tax.

What was he doing for over a decade?

Michigan was a better palce under Engler, with a smaller tax bite than it has now.

BUT that's NOT the issue here, the issue is corruption and how the northeast, especially NY and NJ are rife with it, and mostly with Democratic corruption.

Don't most politicians engage in some corrupt practices?

You betcha!

That's why term limits was/IS such a good idea.

Unbfortunately most pols aren't taking the hint. Ideally term limits would force these dopes back into the private sector, but most are smuggly and smarmily sneaking their way back into other political positions, either elected or appointed.

So, you admit that Engler, like all Republicans, lost all interest in "Conservatism" during his long, long tenure in office and chose, like Bush, to steal from taxpayers instead. Thank you.

Term limits only create a revolving door of politicians becoming lobbyists, which is what we already have in Washington. The Republican money-machine is fueled by Jack Abramoff criminal lobbyists. No reform is possible until Republicans are out of power.

As I noted, "Michigan was a better place under Engler."

He was an innovative Governor, like Tommy Thmpson whose wildly successful "Welfare Reforms" in Wisconsin were copied across the nation.

As soon as Engler left office and was replaced by Jennifer Granholm, that state slid back into its Democratic-based morass.

JMK, I am now convinced that you are mentally deranged.

You miseed your calling. You would have looked great in an SS uniform.

I'd look good in just about any uniform BH, but the fact of the matter is that both Engler (MI) and Thompson (WI) were both instrumental in the welfare reform that was instrumental in creating much of the prosperity of the mid to late 1990s and beyond.

"Engler defied the conventional wisdom in 1991 when he cut off tens of thousands of able-bodies welfare recipients from the public dole. Liberals predicted riots and rampant homelesness. Not only did Michigan avoid the aforementioned problems, but served as a laboratory of democracy for the welfare reform debate that was to shape the 1990's. Welfare reform seems so obvious, almost inevitable, today, but in 1991, welfare was thought untouchable. Engler was villified for his stand, but eventually won the debate because of the soundness of his ideas and the iron of his backbone."

The FACT about Engler's tenure is, "When Engler left office after 12 years in 2002, Michigan enjoyed an as-good-as-it-gets AAA bond rating. Unemployment was below the national average, something that hadn't happened before he took office and hasn't happened since.

"Granholm walked in the door to find a balanced budget, thanks to executive order cuts Engler made in the last three months of his term in response to a deteriorating economy.

She also was handed a state that was far healthier than Engler found when he arrived and immediately had to cover a $330 million budget shortfall.

"Under Engler's leadership, Michigan cut taxes for both businesses and individuals, and slashed the state payroll as well.

"Unlike the current governor, who promised to make education a priority, Engler never cut university appropriations. And he trimmed K-12 spending only in the last months of his term, and then only after a 10-year run in which funding for public schools increased at three times the rate of inflation."


Please wise up and honor true Conservatives like John Engler and Tommy Thompson. You're not sounding very Conservative lately, that's for sure.

The more you learn about John Engler, the more there is to like.

The more you learn about Granholm, the less there is to like.

Yes, and when I said EXACTLY THE SAME THING about Chimpboy taking over for Bush, you said EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.

According to your reasoning, Engler handed Granholm a ticking time bomb, and then there was the war, and excuse, excuse, excuse.

Why don't the Democrats get to use your excuses for Bush? Why do they only work one way?

The Michigan economy started going to shit BEFORE ENGLER LEFT OFFICE. Engler failed to diversify the economy. Engler failed to create a business friendly state. Engler was lucky enough to be governor when the AUTO INDUSTRY WAS BOOMING selling SUVs. That is all.

God, you are a world class hypocrite just like your daddy Lush Pimpjaw.

I meant Chimpboy taking over for Clinton, of course.

Granholm was NOT handed any "ticking time bomb."

Even she has never claimed anything like that...at least not seriously.

"When Engler left office after 12 years in 2002, Michigan enjoyed an as-good-as-it-gets AAA bond rating. Unemployment was below the national average, something that hadn't happened before he took office and hasn't happened since.

"Granholm walked in the door to find a balanced budget..." Granhom was handed a state in great economic condition.

"Engler failed to create a business friendly state." (BH)

"Under Engler's leadership, Michigan cut taxes for both businesses and individuals, and slashed the state payroll as well."

Innovative welfare reform, slashed corporate and payroll taxes and a triple-A bond rating...you don't get any more "business friendly" than that!

Bush was handed a surplus, good relations in the world, and a thriving economy.

Engler failed to even get rid of the single business tax. He attracted no new business ot Michigan, and continued to depend exclusively on the auto industry -- leading to the disasterous repeat of the "Roger and Me" 80's bust.

The auto industry crash was not something Granholm could control. She has brought in far more business than Engler ever did, and started many initiative to diversity the Michigan economy. Engler did nothing but pass legislation to help the insurance industry rape everyone and protect drunk doctors to say insurance companies money.

The Chimp took the Clinton Surplus and spent insanely, gutting the nations wealth in handouts to his friends and lying about "Iraqi oil" paying for the war that American taxpayers have paid $300 billion for instead.

Anybody can play your silly game, JMK. Stop trying to have it both ways.

Engler's tenure was anumitigated success.

"When Engler left office after 12 years in 2002, Michigan enjoyed an as-good-as-it-gets AAA bond rating. Unemployment was below the national average, something that hadn't happened before he took office and hasn't happened since.

"Granholm walked in the door to find a balanced budget..."

Under Engler's tenure Michigan unemployment was BELOW the national average - "something that hadn't happened before he took office and hasn't happened since."

Bush was handed the "Tech Bubble Bust recession."

It is and always has been my contention (though admittedly unproven) that the "Tech Bubble" of the late nineties was a scam like the S&L scandal of the 80s and the BCCI scandal of the 70's.

The implosion of the NASDAQ (the Tech Sector) under Clinton (from March 2000 to July 2001 the NASDAQ fell from over 5000 to under 1200) eventually brought down the Dow.

The Enron, Tyco, Arthur Anderson scandals that had run rampant under Clinton were cleaned up at considerable expense (Sarb-Ox has cost businesses billions of dollars that would have, no doubt, created many morre jobs) thosse scandals shook investor confidence in business and deepened the recession.

The attacks of 9/11/01 (the result of us ignoring a relentless war being waged against us from 1993 to 2001) further deepened that recession.

The Bush administration's across the board tax cuts got America out of that recession much faster than anticipated and have halved the war deficit that grew post-9/11.

Engler's welfrare reforms gave Granholm a very real largesse that she squandered. She's increased social spending - always a negative thing that ALL Conservatives assail as "reckless" and "irresponsible."

Bush was handed a burgeoning recession - ALL of the NASDAQ's fall (yes, even that part that continued falling after Bush took office) is on Clinton, because the momentum was created by the Clinton era SEC scandals that created a "Tech Bubble" that never should've existed in the first place.

The Bush era tax cuts HAVE WORKED!

Bush hass been poor on reining in social spending increases and poor on the border issue (THANK GOD for the GOP House, though), but on the economy and the WoT, I have to acknowledge that Bush has been good...very good.

[b]"Bush walked in the door to find a budgetsurplus..."[/b]

You're making some slight progress.

You've wisely given up on the Engler angle...that's good, because the facts line up in favor of Engler and decidedly against Granholm.

Bush inherited the "Tech Bubble Bust" recession that began in the Spring of 2000.

The Bush administration did exactly the right thing concerning that Tech Bubble Bust - it "rode it out" and let it find its floor.

It was a bubble that never should've existed anyway.

Thanks to the Gingrich Congress (yes, Clinton, to his credit signed on to most of the "Contract With America") the Bush administration did inherit a budget surplus, sadly soon wiped out by the necessary expenses of a war, ignored from 1993 to 2001.

The Bush administration rightfully beffed up domestic security (funding lots of Police and Firefighter training), signed onto the Patriot Act (passed overwhelmingly by Congress) and expanded the NSA program that tracks international calls, while waging a military war on two fronts in the Mideast.

The current economy is as good as any, over the past wuarter century - low inflation (2.8% last quarter and sure to fall further with the falling gas prices), low unemployment (4.6%), low interest rates (mortgage rates are under 6.5%), increasing earnings for workers, very high GDP growth and a rocking Dow (second highest close EVER, yesterday).

All that, PLUS the war deficit has been halved over the past few years with the tax cuts assailed by misguided Liberals.

The hope among the GOP is that the Dems insist on "running against G W Bush" in 2008. Since Bush won't be in that race, trying to attack, say, a Giuliani as a "Bush clone," will only come off as "extremely negative."

I'm hoping the Dems don't go that route!

I'd like to see a competitive race, with a pro-business (read pro-jobs), low tax, terror-fighting Democrat against the Republican candidate, whomever that is.

If the Dems run on "social issues" (more spending), higher taxes, while taking the "Michael Moore-view on terrorism - "There is no terorist threat, they'll be trounced.

Why yes, we have seen how "going negative" fails every time, you know, the way swift-boating a veteran didn't work when your guy is an AWOL chickhawk piece of shit whose daddy kept him out of harms way. But Bush couldn't even manage to show up or pass a physical -- too busy coking it up and driving drunk.

Rove has won election after election destroying people with lies. I pray the Democrats have learned.

Yes, Rove's a political genius...not an evil genius, as some Libs seem to think, just a genius.

He knows how to appeal to Americans...and he knows demographics are in his favor.

Conservatives are having more children than Liberals. Some of this is because Married people tend to have more children than un-Married couples do.

Nancy Pelosi (a Catholic, Married, mother of five) represents the 8th District in CA (the one with the fewest children per household in America. Those districts with the most Married people are solid Republican districts.

Democrats control only one of the 50 districts with the highest marriage rates.

Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., represents the most-married Democratic district (32nd overall).

According to Arthur C. Brooks (Syracuse University Profesor of Public Affairs), "Alarmingly for the Democrats, the gap is widening at a bit more than half a percentage point per year...A state that was split 50-50 between left and right in 2004 will tilt right by 2012, 54% to 46%. By 2020, it will be certifiably right-wing, 59% to 41%. A state that is currently 55-45 in favor of liberals (like California) will be 54-46 in favor of conservatives by 2020--and all for no other reason than babies."


The "Swift Boat" Campaign wasn't some manufactured Bush-prop, it was a spontaneous grssroots political movement, centered around former Vietnam Vets who disdained Kerry's post-Vietnam stance (throwing other Vets under the bus) and took issue with his own claims surrounding his service.

Rathergate (the forged docs that supposedly "proved" G W Bush was AWOL) was an example of how inept negativity can come back and bite you - Rather got hit, CBS got slimed, Mary Mapes forgettable career was ended and Kerry's campaign took a hit close to the election.

I hope the Dems have learned too!

It's all about values and morality - borders, language and culture...somehow I doubt they have.

It's funny how Rather's fundamentally true story was ruined by a forged source document while Rove's cynically created Swift Boat pack of lies could not be thwarted by reams of real official documents and eyewitness accounts verifying everything Kerry did.

The Clinton "projected surplus" was the biggest financial lie ever perpetrated on the US citizenry. It was based upon 5 underlying assumptions about the US economy for the years 2001-2010. None of these 5 factors ( inflation rate, tax revenue as a % of GDP, growth rate in the money supply, interest rates and the % of the budget for military spending) had ever performed at the "projected" levels for even half of the projected time, and some of them had never done so. The one year of "balanced budget" in 1999 cane as a result of stealing 75 Billion from the SS trust fund to cover general fund spending ( as it has every year since 1982ish), so even that was illusory.

yet democratic apologists who know little and have even less ability to understand, just to throw names at people pine for the "good ol days" and spew garbage about what they know not, especially the Engler tangent of this thread...

hoo boy...I weep for the future...

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