Public Is Entitled To Corzine E-Mails

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A judge has ruled that the public is entitled to read a series of e-mails exchanged between New Jersey governor Jon Corzine and a union leader he once dated. They have become a source of major controversy in the state and could possibly threaten his position as governor. The issue goes back to 2006 and 2007 when the guv was dating Carla Katz at the same time that the state of NJ was negotiating with the union she heads.

“The relationship created a clear potential for conflict,” Judge Innes wrote. “These types of communications would be the sort of communications the Supreme Court felt the public had the right of access to understand and evaluate the reasonableness of the public body’s actions.”

Judge Innes also wrote, “The public has a right to know whether the relationship between the governor and Ms. Katz had any improper influence on the governor’s paramount obligation to serve the interest of the citizens of New Jersey first.”

Under the order Corzine is required to release more that 700 messages within the next two weeks, though he is expected to appeal the decision and seek a stay during the appeal process. The lawsuit had been brought by Tom Wilson, the head of the New Jersey Republican party (such as it is).

The judge did protect 55 e-mails under Corzine’s executive privilege claim, saying that the governor does need some protections to allow him to get advice from others on issues of state government.

Not being a resident of the Garden State I have not been following the scandal as closely as locals might but it sure seems like something is rotten in Newark. To have a governor dating the head of a union while the state he leads is negotiating with her union is a bad idea at best, even if there is no misconduct.

I also find it interesting that outside of NJ, the scandal seems to have gotten minimal attention. Imagine if a Republican governor had been dating a business executive while the state was discussing a business deal with the company he ran ?

Hopefully the truth will come out and justice will prevail, but this is New Jersey Democratic Politics.

Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

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3 Comments

  1. I'd like to know if the person who bought the suit, Tom Wilson, the head of the New Jersey Republican Party, feels that Cheney should release papers on his meetings with energy executives to set environmental policy. What about the secret legal opinion the WH uses to justify the “enhanced interrogation techniques”? Those seem much more important than Corzine's actions (though I don't particularly care for Corzine). But yeah, Dem or Rep. it would be great to know the truth.

    As far as your statement about this scandal receiving minimal attention… I would guess that the GOP has better things to do (with the presidential election going on and the GOP having a hard time of it).

  2. No. I do not believe our government can function if every thing they do comes to light. I believe that gridlock will prevail. Politicians will be afraid to cast votes.

    Those most hotly angered over any hint of influence are the same ones who see Barak Obama as the great Uniter. YOU UNITE people by talking to them, working deals and having back room negotiations in order to get everyone to COMPROMISE their positions for the greater good.

    Whatever you deem the greater good is always subject for debate but I fear that Barak Obama is SO setting himself up for another Jimmy Carter run for the presidency because of his and Jimmy Carters overriding passion for openess in government which then forced all those Representatives and Senators to just sit around and DO NOTHING for 4 years allowing the country to literally tank.

    So while it sounds fabulous to have open and honesty amongst our politicians who are you really kidding when you think that the far left and the far right can get anything done with their so very far apart ideals without back room deals and brokered votes????

    Mabey Im Naive but I just don't believe that in America it is possible.

  3. Neocon, you're right to be concerned about Barack turning out to be another Jimmy Carter. The GOP will be directionless and it would be a fantastic time for the Dems and Reps. to work together. But the Dems will miss this opportunity unless Obama recognizes and successfully seizes this moment. The Dems (I'm referring to the “career” politicians in congress, mostly) will be ecstatic to have control of both the WH and congress that they will run amok. So Obama's challenge will be to reign in the Dems and “swing” them to his way of thinking- that is to truly work across the aisle.

    After Bush, there will be lots of things that need attention due to neglect or disinterest by Bush. So there's not an issue about Obama not acting.

    As far as foreign policy- Obama is not afraid of standing up for US security. After all he did suggest that the US should take out terrorist in Pakistan if the Pakistan govt. was unable to do so. That's pretty hardcore but a position I totally support, though I think there needs to be international discussion on that matter so countries just don't declare “X” to be a terrorist activity in a foe's country and then takes out that target. Like the Columbia/Ecuador/Venezuela spat a couple moths ago. From what I've seen Obama (in his approach) reminds me of many attorneys I know and work with. Obama looks at the facts and then makes decisions. He lets the dog wag the tail. Unlike Bush who knew what he wanted and basically finds justification for all his actions. Bush can justify trashing our sacred document- the constitution- by saying it's necessary to do so to protect our country…. Bush lets the tail wag the dog.

    I think Obama's open government is meant to show that he will not allow the energy companies to write environmental policy behind closed doors.

    I'm not sure the fringes will ever compromise, but I think where Obama needs to sart is to get the moderates from all sides working together first. I think if the middle 60% of Congress can work together, then things will get done. The 20% of the far left and the 20% of the far right might feel left out, but if we can get the middle to work together then we've accomplished a lot. That should be Obama's goal. Then once the middle starts working together, then perhaps some important issues that the fringe believe are important can be addressed. Though some people will never be happy.

    So I do see a danger of Obama becoming a Carter, and if he's unable to become the leader of the Dems. and offer direction, then he might very well be another Carter. But Obama comes with a set of skills and circumstances (inspirational, attorney, knowledge of constitutional law, the true desire of the American people to seek change and the GOP in disarray) that favor him and his agenda.

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