Jon Corzine Unfit To Be Governor Of New Jersey
As much as we have read and written about Jon Corzine, this New York Metro article should convince everyone that Corzine is not the man New Jersey should elect as governor. Corzine's bizarre behavior in his final days at Goldman Sachs after being fired, but needing to stay on the payroll to get the big payoff, should be enough to turn off even the most loyal Democrat.
Corzine was so humiliated that he couldn't bear to go to the office, even though he was determined to stay on for several months to see the public offering through to its conclusion. So, according to someone who knows him well, he developed an unusual routine. He'd get up every morning, put on his suit, step into his waiting limo, and ride from his house in Summit, New Jersey, to downtown Manhattan. He'd have his driver park in front of Goldman’s offices at 85 Broad Street—and he'd work from the backseat of his car. He'd have secretaries bring whatever he needed down to him.Nor were we surprised to learn Corzine is willing to make up stories to place himself in a better light.
Contrary to the tale that has been told over and over about Torricelli and several others' cooking up the idea of a Corzine candidacy and then pursuing him, it was Corzine who pursued them.For those who don't believe Corzine bought his senate seat in 2000, clearly Democrat insiders know better and found Corzine to be as clueless then as he is today.
His early public appearances before larger groups were so cringe-inducing that Democratic Party leaders were ready to pull the plug on his candidacy. "There were several meetings," one insider says, "where everyone pretty much agreed it wasn't going to work. He really didn't have a clue." Corzine was saved only by his money and his willingness to promiscuously spend it to get elected.When describing Corzine's character, we had him nailed. Corzine is a self-centered and vain man willing to break his promises and use people to further his own interests.
"There's a whole group of us who believe that when Jon developed his relationship with Torricelli, he began to live some sort of lifestyle that resulted in the breakup of his marriage," says someone close to Corzine and his ex-wife.Least you think Corzine dumped his wife for a new found true love – consider this:
Corzine had a two-year affair with a woman named Carla Katz. What makes this relationship of public interest is that Katz, a cagey political operator, is president of the Communications Workers of America Local 1034, a union that represents nearly half of all New Jersey state employees.
Two weeks ago, the union endorsed Corzine for governor. No surprise there. But in a somewhat bizarre public display given their romantic history, Katz introduced Corzine at the rally in a very personal kind of way, telling an anecdote about the first time they met.In terms of Corzine being the man to clean up corruption in New Jersey, the article cites the same chilling behavior we've been writing about for months.
Though their relationship has been over for a while, the fact remains that one of the most important issues the next governor will have to deal with is getting the salaries and benefits of state workers under control. "No matter who the next governor is," one insider says, "he has no hope of success if he can’t fix the state’s financial problems."
This is the Corzine who behaves, at times, as if the price of his second career were some sort of Faustian pact with the Devil. This is the Corzine who was schooled in politics by the unsavory Torricelli, and despite the uniformly cheerful denials—the Corzine camp is totally on-message about this—Corzine maintains a close relationship with him. This is the Corzine who was ready to go into business with soon-to-be-convicted felon Charles Kushner when they attempted to buy the Nets. ("I was simply trying to keep the team in New Jersey," Corzine says, "and I won't apologize for that.")The next time you hear Jon Corzine explain why he wants to be governor of New Jersey, you'll know the real reason through his own words:
And this is also the same Corzine who stood by quietly while people around then-Governor Jim McGreevey plundered the State of New Jersey—something Corzine admitted after the fact that he should have been more vocal about. This behavior alone would be enough for one to comfortably conclude that Corzine is immersed up to his folksy whiskers in the ugly swamp of New Jersey’s Sopranos-like political system. But there's more.
New Jersey remains perhaps the country's last medieval bastion of machine politics. There are, any of the experts will tell you, six local Democratic bosses, the warlords whose support is imperative for any successful political candidacy (the Republicans have their own group). Because of their extraordinary influence, money flows freely into their organizations. And no one has been a more fulsome contributor than Corzine. He has given nearly $1 million to a campaign committee run by George Norcross, the Democratic warlord in South Jersey. And, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Corzine has given approximately $10 million more to other party organizations around the state since 2000.
But perhaps the easiest way to appreciate just how much of a crafty politician Corzine, the anti-politician, has become is to look at the case involving his mother. In a story first reported by the Bergen Record, Corzine’s 89-year-old mother, a retired teacher who lives in Illinois, donated $37,000 to the Bergen County Democratic Organization, which is run by a warlord named Joseph Ferriero.
It is the classic risk-reward calculation of a bond trader. He has assessed the situation and decided to cut his losses to take a potentially more attractive market position.On fixing New Jersey’s problems, even his closest supporters don't think Corzine can put aside his personal ambitions for the good of the state:
"I’m 58 now," he says, “and I'm the last person on every committee I sit on. I'd have to stay in Washington until I' 80 to be a committee chairman."
But there is another issue as well: Corzine's ambition. Given the depth of the state's difficulties, the winner in November could end up in a kind of Catch-22. If he is successful in making the kinds of structural changes necessary to fix some of the most serious problems, he may have to alienate so many people in the process that he ends up being an unpopular, albeit successful one-term governor.Even Jon Corzine's children are skeptical of all his talk about helping the least amongst us. Every dime Corzine spends is to further his ambitions and to build up his own self-importance:
That fact doesn't mesh very well with where Corzine wants to go. The people closest to him say he has talked openly about wanting to run for the White House.
Corzine says that one of his children still argues that, rather than spending $70 million on a campaign, he could just give that money to charity. But for that kind of investment, a trader like Corzine needs a bigger return.Oh, there's more, much more. Read the whole article. We'll be posting more later.
Update: See our post - Corzine, Carla Katz And An Odd House Transaction Near D.C.