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Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Corzine – Kushner Partnership

The Jon Corzine and Charles Kushner partnership is in the news again, so we thought we’d provide a summary of our post from April 19 on the subject.

Corzine expressed interest in buying the New Jersey Nets basketball team and explained why he believed he was qualified for the job:
Millionaire Senator Jon Corzine says that he might be interested in buying the New Jersey Nets. When asked why, Corzine explained that after several years in the Senate, he feels qualified to manage a bunch of spoiled, overpaid prima donnas.
Jon Corzine hooks up with wealthy New Jersey businessman and major contributor to the Democrat Party, Charles Kushner to buy the Nets. The duo looked to the State of New Jersey for a bit of help with financing:

We start with last week's news that U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., and real estate developer Charles Kushner were considering making a bid to buy the New Jersey Nets. That sounded pretty good. The men, it seems, have the money to buy the Nets and keep the team in New Jersey. But now it surfaces that the senator and developer want the state to contribute $125 million to help them purchase the team.
The Corzine-Kushner partnership wanted New Jersey's taxpayers to kick in because investment in the Nets basketball team was risky and a potential money loser.

The Star-Ledger, the Asbury Park Press of Neptune and The Record of Bergen County all reported Monday that the partners sought the help because they are wary of the financial problems facing the team. The Nets, who played in the NBA finals the past two seasons, have not made money and are expected to operate at a loss this year because of a rising payroll.
The Corzine-Kushner partnership ultimately would have to go without help from the state and their final bid for the Nets was placed in January of 2004. Corzine’s former employer, Goldman Sachs was handling the sale.

In a dramatic attempt to keep the team in New Jersey, Kushner, the well-connected developer, and his partner, U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine, submitted an all-cash offer of $300 million just before 3 p.m. yesterday. It was spelled out in a one-paragraph fax sent to Stier and one of the bankers handling the sale, Joe Ravitch of Goldman Sachs.
The Corzine-Kushner bid came too late to be taken seriously and a Brooklyn investor won the right to buy the Nets:

Bruce C. Ratner, the New York real estate developer who wants to move the New Jersey Nets to an arena in downtown Brooklyn, reached a tentative agreement to acquire the team for $300 million, defeating a similar offer by Charles Kushner and Senator Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey, the Nets' ownership group confirmed tonight.
The next thing you know one half of the Corzine-Kushner partnership is pleading guilty to a slew of federal charges:

Real estate mogul Charles Kushner pleaded guilty in federal court to 18 charges, including retaliating against a federal witness and violating campaign finance laws. He also pleaded guilty to 16 counts of filing false tax returns through various real estate partnerships.
Charles Kushner is now serving a two-year prison sentence in Alabama and has paid some pretty stiff fines for his various criminal acts:

A federal judge sentenced multimillionaire developer and Democratic Party political donor Charles B. Kushner to two years in prison Friday, declaring Kushner's wealth, power and widespread charity don't trump criminal acts that included tax fraud, campaign-finance violations and witness retaliation.
Kushner was charged with hiring a hooker to have videotaped sex in a scheme to silence potential witnesses. The guy caught on tape was Kushner's brother-in-law and the tape was sent to Kushner's sister.

Kushner, who has given more than $5 million to Democratic campaign committees in New Jersey during the past decade, was ordered this month to pay at least $12.5 million in fines for violating federal banking laws. He also paid $508,900 in 2004 — the fourth largest fine of its kind — to federal regulators for campaign-finance violations.
Is Jon Corzine the man to clean up political corruption in New Jersey? If not the instigators of corruption, New Jersey Democrats have certainly managed to attract the worst elements in the state and Corzine seems to be the lodestone. Is there any reason for us to assume a Governor Corzine would lose his unrivaled attraction?


At 1:45 PM, Blogger DBK said...

Funniest comment I have seen in a long time. Absolutely trenchant parody of those who smear by association and without anything of substance to say. Thanks. You've given this Corzine supporter a good laugh.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger DBK said...

By the way, I know you wouldn't want to misrepresent the fact sabout Senator Corzine's relationship to Kusher and the Nets, so here's a bit from bergen.com (hardly a left-wing source):

George Zoffinger, the executive director of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, said Thursday that Corzine was not involved in the negotiations, although he was a potential Kushner partner. Zoffinger also said that Kushner unsuccessfully sought a $25 million state loan toward the end of the bidding. He added that the state was considering paying for stadium improvements as part of the deal, but would have recovered that money through an increased share of team revenue. In other words, when the Nets were threatening to leave the state, Senator Corzine was willing to put some money into a group that was looking to buy them. Hardly the most damning matter ever to arise, but it does say something about the Senator's political opponents that they have to reach so far for a smear. I'm a little embarassed that NJ's Republicans can't do better in their campaign than to start tossing mud right away. I hope they can get find their character soon and discuss the issues in an adult fashion rather than just sling mud from here until November. If that is the only way they can win, then do their supporters really want them?

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

So there is proof the Corzine-Kushner partnership sought state money for the Nets deal. Corzine has said that no state money was ever requested. What's your point Frogdong? They "only" wanted $25 million from the state?

When did stating facts become "tossing mud"?

At 10:12 PM, Blogger DBK said...

I'm sorry, but are you really going to play that silly game with me? Seriously? Because I can read and you can read and I'm not playing a silly game. You painted a picture of a "Corzine-Kusher Partnership". That's the headline from your posting. Turns out, it was hardly a partnership as you implied, and people can apply common sense and see for themselves what the facts were. Please, either treat me as a person who understands what he reads and deal with me as a reasonable person, and not as a talking point sounding board, or just state that you're a handwaver and I won't bug you again. "Kusher unsuccessfully sought a $25 million state loan". When you say "wanted $25 million from the state" it says something different from "sought a loan." The implication is that something shady is going on, that he's trying to get his hands on a huge parcel fo money in some under-handed way. Do you have a mortgage? Isn't that a loan? Is that a shady dealing, that mortgage you got? Are you implying that everyone who reads your blog and borrowed money for a car or a house is a crook? Then stop the sly, sneering innuendo crap and talk straight and sensible.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo GD,
Senaterd Corzine is as corrupt as they come. You know it, but your union is paying you to sit and type the responses they get from corzine and norcross to these postings. Oh by the way they couldn't prove OJ was guilty either but we know the truth!

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