Remember Jon Corzine the finacial wizard? The guy we elected in 2005 to miraculously solve New Jersey's fiscal woes?
If we've learned anything in the last four years, it is that there difference between a wizard's magic and miracles.
A miracle is an unexpected, unthinkable solution to an impossible problem. A divine intervention, believers would say.
Magic is slight of hand. It is based on deception. A magician draws his audience's attention away from certain actions in order to create an illusion that something else is happening.
Corzine the wizard is up to his old tricks. He's drawn our attention to weighty subjects like mammograms and traffic tickets while concealing the depths of the financial mess that he created and the waste he is continuing to perpetuate.
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco and Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, criticized Governor Corzine for refusing to regularly update revenue numbers despite repeated requests for openness and transparency. The governor has daily access to revenue collection figures. Senators Bucco and Oroho expressed outrage that Governor Corzine doesn’t share those numbers so that business owners, legislators and the voting public can track what’s happening during this economic crisis, as business people and residents can do in other states.
Do you think Corzine would be hiding the state's revenue numbers if they were good? If they were as expected or better than expected? Three weeks before election day, if the governor could announce good news that the state's revenue is rising, indicating that our economy is doing better than expected, don't you think he would do it? Of course he would. That he's keeping our revenue numbers secret, while scaring women with lies about Chris Christie is telling.
Despite the fact that revenues are obviously less than expected, Corzine will perform a very expensive trick this week. Corzine's Local Finance Board is meeting on Wednesday to give millions of dollars to Newark. Senator Joe Pennacchio is calling on Corzine to release a long overdue Special Municipal Aid Audit of that city following last year's special aid award of $45 million before giving the Brick City more money.
"The State Budget requires an audit of Newark and Governor Corzine has yet to release it to the public that paid for it," said Pennacchio. "It’s embarrassing. Governor Corzine will be throwing more money at this problem without finding out how the last $45 million was spent."
The Local Finance Board, a body which includes Governor Corzine's first campaign manager and a current senior campaign advisor is poised to award tens of millions of dollars to Newark on October 14, 2009. The money is being doled out without the Department of Community Affairs providing any public documentation explaining the amount of money that Newark is seeking or even how much is being recommended for award at Wednesday's meeting. Newark is being given this Special Municipal Aid despite past hiring irregularities that violated conditions on last year's special aid and despite Newark irresponsibly skipping pension payments while other towns and cities are doing the right thing in the face of aid reductions.
Abracadabra. Hocus-pocus. It is up to us to make Corzine disappear.