Thursday, August 27, 2009

Newly Released Records Prove Jon Corzine Asleep at the Switch While Taxpayer Dollars Abused and Wasted

Christie Renews Call for the Creation of Independent State Auditor, Hails Proposed Legislation to Establish Independent Watchdog

PARSIPPANY, NJ - Today's news of wasted dollars across multiple government agencies is shocking in its scope, but not surprising considering the recent news of misused and abused taxpayer dollars in Corzine's Developmental Disabilities Department and the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority. The fact that this practice is commonplace throughout Corzine's Administration gets at the root of New Jersey's growing economic problems. While New Jerseyans continue to be overwhelmingly taxed, Governor Corzine's Administration is guilty of wasting and abusing the tax dollars of hard-working New Jerseyans. For four years now, Governor Corzine's inaction has encouraged the corruption as he continues to raise taxes to make up for disappearing dollars.

Despite making promises of controlling waste, Governor Corzine has caved to political pressure from his party and abandoned his lofty campaign promises. Efforts to establish an independent waste watchdog were stymied when Governor Corzine acquiesced to Democratic leadership in the legislature resulting in the creation of a State Comptroller, who is appointed by and answers to the Governor, rather than the people. Since 2005, three oversight bodies were created to oversee taxpayer funds, the School Construction Review Commission, the Financial Policy Review Board and the Medicaid Inspector General. However, these positions went unfilled for years after their creation with the Financial Policy Review Board only holding its first meeting a few months ago.

Earlier this month, the Christie-Guadagno campaign rolled out a bold ethics reform plan calling for the creation of an Independent State Auditor to act as a watchdog against government waste and ethics violations. Under the policies of his ethics plan, Chris Christie will end dual office holding, dual public employment and pay-to-play for everyone, as well as require strict disclosure of conflicts of interest in the legislature. Today, Chris Christie hailed proposed legislation by Assembly Republicans establishing an independent Auditor General. New Jersey's government is broken and our state needs a watchdog entirely independent of the governor's office and the legislature to curb the abuse that wastes millions in taxpayer funds.

Chris Christie said, "When it comes to rampant waste in our state's government, Jon Corzine looks the other way and fails to enforce accountability for taxpayers' dollars. And Corzine's inaction has actually encouraged the problem. Instead of requiring frugality and prudence, Governor Corzine has passed the buck to New Jersey's taxpayers by raising property taxes 17 percent and enacting 18 new taxes and fees costing New Jerseyans $8.9 billion.

"It is unacceptable that Jon Corzine has allowed fraudulent spending at government agencies to waste precious taxpayer dollars while raising taxes on New Jerseyans. The governor's first priority should be to guard against fraud, waste and abuse and to ensure government agencies are good stewards of New Jersey's funds. New Jersey cannot afford to shoulder the monetary burden passed down to them by the Governor due to his failure to rein in frivolous government spending I'll ask Governor Corzine a simple question - what will he do to end this rampant abuse?"

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