The Philadelphia Inquirer says New Jersey has the most powerful Governor position in the country, but you wouldn't know it by Governor Jon Corzine
In his inaugural address, Corzine vowed to fight corruption and rebuked lawmakers for neglecting their fiscal duties. But when Bryant and Sen. Sharpe James (D., Newark) cried foul, Corzine backed down the next day and essentially apologized for being too harsh.
Corzine's meekness was on full display in his mystifying vote of confidence for State Sen. Wayne Bryant (D., Camden). Bryant is reportedly under investigation by federal authorities for allegations concerning his former cushy, $38,200-a-year consulting job at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. While on the payroll for doing goodness-only-knows at the school, Bryant also secured millions in state funds for UMDNJ. He's chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
That porky arrangement was in perfect keeping with Bryant's view of state government. Over the years, he has enriched himself and several members of his family at the trough of taxpayer-funded jobs and contracts.
The federal probe has prompted Republican calls for Bryant to give up his powerful chairmanship. Corzine at first trod where he need not have, saying that forcing out Bryant was "premature," and that accusations are not proof of wrongdoing. Apparently that wasn't good enough for Bryant, because Corzine soon issued a follow-up statement expressing confidence in Bryant's "leadership," and "respect" for the senator.
It was an unseemly act of kissing up, especially after Bryant had declared the governor's proposed budget dead on arrival. "This is not the budget I will be voting on June 30," Bryant huffed.
Unusual behavior wouldn’t you say? Why the need to kiss up to politicians best known for taking advantage of taxpayers and so far, just one step ahead of the law? Do you suppose Sharpe James and Wayne Bryant have something on Corzine
? Let’s see, what could it be? Hmm, we did receive that email