Thursday, August 12, 2004


We told you so: The Galvin Opinion has commented before on McGreevey's crooked deals. This article, below, details the shameful administration of this Democratic governor.

New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey made a stunning admission that he is resigning due to legal difficulties arising out of a gay, extramarital relationship.

Governor McGreevey used 9/11 as an excuse to hire someone close to him, even though this man was not qualified to be in charge of the safety of millions of New Jersey residents. McGreevey hired Golan Cipel (left) to be his Homeland Security advisor and then "special counselor" for $110,000 a year. The New Jersey State Democratic Committee paid for Cipel's $1,100 registration fee with the Immigration and Naturalization Service

McGreevey announced that his resignation will take effect on November 15, 3 months from now. By resigning after the election, McGreevey (and Democratic party officials) ensure that a special election cannot take place this year, on November 2nd.

Democrats are aware that voters are angry at the amount of Democratic political scandals would make a Republican victory, this year, more likely. By banking on the assumption that the voters anger would dissipate over the next 12 months, Democrats are craftily boosting their chances to elect another Democrat, such as Sen. Jon Corzine, for governor in 2005.

Do not be distracted by the publicity, furor and attention paid to the sexual angle on this developing political story. McGreevey and his fellow Democrats have to account for many scandals that have arisen in the past and are sure to pop up in the near future.

1) The Galvin Opinion has already discussed the McGreevey-Machiavelli scandal. McGreevey was caught on a federal wiretap saying the code word "machiavelli" - this code word was a prearranged signal, to several parties of a conspiracy, that a corrupt deal was to take place.

2) The Galvin Opinion has already discussed the McGreevey fundraiser-call girl scandal. McGreevey top fundraiser Charles Kushner was indicted on charges of tampering with a witness for an investigation. The witness was Kushner's sister's husband, William Schulder. Kushner hired a call girl to have sex with Schulder and secretly videotape the encounter. Kushner then mailed the videotape to Schulder's home in order to intimidate him. Schulder and his wife (Kusner's sister) went to police with the videotape and allegations of witness tampering.

3) McGreevy hired 33 year old Golan Cipel, Israeli citizen, to direct New Jersey's Homeland Security operations. Cipel was assailed for not having the requisite experience to land the job and was deemed ineligible for the post by the federal government because his citizenship status prevented him from obtaining security clearance.
McGreevey has said he met Cipel on a trip to Israel in 2000 and decided to bring him to the United States. Cipel was first hired by the Democratic State Committee, which also paid his $1,100 registration fee with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Cipel landed a second job with developer Charles Kushner, a top McGreevey campaign contributor, after McGreevey recommended him, a Kushner spokesman said.

Lawmakers were angry that McGreevey's top security aide was not subjected to a background check required for all Cabinet members and major nominations. When members of the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded that Cipel testify before them, McGreevey reassigned him to a job as "counselor to the governor" with no specified duties.

A Gannett State Bureau report two weeks ago showed McGreevey relied on exaggerated anti-terrorism credentials to justify Cipel's hiring for the $110,000-a-year post, which included an office on the second floor of the Statehouse.

In addition: McGreevey used the tragedy of 9/11 to hire this man who was, obviously, not qualified for the crucial position.
Using the terrorism attacks of Sept. 11 to justify the hiring, the governor's chief lawyer wrote a letter to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service on McGreevey's inauguration day, telling the federal agency that New Jersey wanted Cipel to coordinate increased security with all branches of government and that Cipel had the necessary "substantial experience" in public security.

The letter was part of a petition by the state for a specialty work visa that had to show Cipel was qualified for what he was being hired to do. Israeli military expert and journalist Yossi Melman said the letter "more than exaggerates" Cipel's experience and capabilities in the Israeli Defense Force.

"The state of New Jersey's application (to the immigration service) in particular struck me as full of chutzpah," Melman said. "It is rather surprising that the governor went out of his way by using the pretext that his Israeli friend is a terrorist expert in order to accommodate him. I find it especially troubling to use the horrible events of 9/11 as a justification for the nomination of Golan Cipel to a highly important security position which he was not qualified for."

4. McGreevey helped Golan Cipel obtain a total of four different jobs. One of them was with a lobbying firm where one its partners was best man at McGreevey's wedding to his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey.
In today's job market, we should all be as marketable as Golan Cipel, the special friend of Gov. James E. McGreevey, who lands jobs as often as the seasons change... He became an issue when McGreevey hired him for a job for which he was ill-suited, and then moved him to an amorphous job, also at $110,000, at a time when the state was having trouble making ends meet. When pressure grew too great, he was hired once, and then once again, by firms with a vested interest in gaining the governor's favor. Some people have all the luck.

5. One of McGreevey's best fundraisers, David D'Amiano, plead not guilty to the charge of extorting $40,000 in campaign contributions from a farmer who wanted the governor's help in a land deal. In one audiotape, D'Amiano told the farmer that when they met McGreevey, the governor would use the word "machiavelli" as an indication that he was aware of the deal.
"In any organization, in any human enterprise there are going to be some people making errors, regrettable errors, either personally or publicly," McGreevey said. "My responsibility is to keep focusing on the mission and to move forward."
Prosecutors say the recorded conversations with officials sometimes included code words, including "Machiavelli," to signal to the farmer that the officials were complicit in the scheme. McGreevey was recorded using that name in a meeting with Halper, but said it was simply a literary allusion to the author of a classic work on political intrigue.

6. Only one month ago, McGreevey's commerce secretary, William Watley, had to resign. Watley was suspected of diverting state money to his own businesses and to family members

7. McGreevey's former chief of staff Gary Taffet and his former chief counsel Paul Levinsohn ran a billboard business together. These two men have been under investigation.
And what a coincidence -- they wound up in the billboard business which they sold for $2.2 million just before McGreevey took office. Investigators want to know if Taffet and Levinsohn improperly used their influence as part of the McGreevey team to secure sites for billboards across the state.

8. Democrats were increasingly unhappy with the political fortunes of Jim McGreevey. The New Jersey governor was given the cold shoulder at the Democratic convention in Boston. John Kerry's nervous campaign was not thrilled with McGreevey's presence
A source in Sen. John Kerry's inner circle said the campaign has concerns about McGreevey. The Kerry campaign could have overlooked McGreevey's early endorsement of Howard Dean, the liberal former governor of Vermont, during the Democratic primary, if the pick had been ideological, the source said. McGreevey is considered a moderate Democrat. 'The reality was Jim McGreevey endorsed Howard Dean late when it appeared he had an 80 percent chance of being the nominee,' the Kerry campaign source said. 'He went out of his way to do something politically expedient. We know this is not a person we can trust.' Democrats who spoke about McGreevey's problems asked not to be identified because of pressure from the party to present a unified front.

New Jersey Democrats are manipulating political levers in order to satisfy their selfish partisan goals. McGreevey was willing to risk the lives of his New Jersey constituents by appointing the wrong man to direct the state's Department of Homeland Security. However, McGreevey is staying in office until November 15th. Angry and disgusted New Jersey voters are not able to make their voices heard at the ballot box this November. There is plenty of time to give the voters of New Jersey a voice and allow them to choose a new governor, especially in these dangerous times.

Full coverage of James McGreevey, corrupt governor of New Jersey
1. The Galvin Opinion: The Governor & the Prince: New Jersey Democrat McGreevey used "Machiavelli" as a code word for an extortion deal
2. The Galvin Opinion: Warning: Democratic Fundraisers are hazardous to your family, marriage and health
3. Home News Tribune: McGreevey adviser Golan Cipel resigns
&. Asbury Park Press: Ex-McGreevey aide's credentials exaggerated
4. Home News Tribune: Why can't the rest of us get jobs as easily as Golan Cipel?
5. Newark Star Ledger: D'Amiano pleads not guilty to extortion
6. NJ News 12: State Commerce Secretary William Watley resigns amid scandal
7. Home News Tribune: McGreevey administration heading for scandal record
8. Home News Tribune: Some Dems uneasy with McGreevey

Update: Many opinions on this matter... Backcountry Conservative has a good roundup. James Joyner, QandO and also here, SlantPoint, Wizbang, Hog on Ice, Captains Quarters says the NYTimes isn't blindly supporting McGreevey, Michele says News Jersey stinks, SISU says that some people are trying to change the subject, Left Coast Conservative, Prof. Bainbridge notes Daily Kos' hypocrisy, and John Cole tells social conservatives to stay quiet during this political fracas.

Update II: More McGreevey material... National Review's Jim Geraghty, LGF, Annika says MTV didn't mention that McGreevey is a Democrat, Karol is soliciting opinions from Opinion Journal, Lileks and you know who, OneFineJay calls McGreevey a gay basher, Steve Bragg and Jack Henneman.

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CNN.com - Fire destroys Black Eyed Peas' gear - Aug 12, 2004

John Kerry's nominating convention was punctuated with musical celebrities entertaining the delegates. Artists including Patti LaBelle, Wyclef Jean, John Mellencamp and the Black Eyed Peas were some of the performers. Perhaps the Black Eyed Peas should be learning the nuts and bolts of fire safety before lecturing Americans about their responsibility to vote? I don't know. But, the following story suggests that the Black Eyed Peas have a lot to learn.

"A fire broke out early Wednesday in a studio where the Black Eyed Peas were recording a new album, destroying about $500,000 in gear and instruments, authorities and band members said.
Band members lit candles during the recording session and forgot to blow them out, causing the 3 a.m. fire at Glenwood Place Studios, Capt. Ron Bell said.
Damage to the building, where the group was recording the album 'Monkey Business,' was estimated at $50,000. No one was injured.
The band, which performed at the Democratic National Convention, said it was devastated by the loss.
'Guitars, drums, drum kits, keyboards, microphones, classic instruments that we've collected with our worldly travels are now destroyed,' band member Will I. Am told KABC-TV."


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