By Art Gallagher
As reported in the Star Ledger and brilliantly analysed by our friends at InTheLobby, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman declared that NJ does not suffer from a culture of corruption and that characterising NJ that way is demoralizing.
That's why NJ elected Chris Christie governor. He demoralized us during his 7 years as U.S. Attorney. Yeah right.
After Christie's undefeated record of 130+ corruption convictions, declining to make public corruption a priority of the NJ U.S. Attorney's office would be like the Feds declining to enforce our immigration laws on the Mexican border.
Oh. Now I get it.
Fishman has a great resume for U.S. Attorney. Better than Christie's resume was when he got the job. Fishman went to Princeton and Harvard Law where he was Managing Editor of the Law Review. He was a clerk for the Third Circut Court of Appeals and worked in the NJ U.S. Attorney's office during the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations.
In 1994 Fishman become Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Jamie "The Wall" Gorelick of 9-11 Commission fame and Fannie Mae and BP fortune. He was promoted to Associate Deputy Attorney General in 95 where he served until 97 when Eric Holder became Deputy Attorney General.
Senator Frank Lautenberg wanted President Clinton to appoint Fishman U.S Attorney in 1999, but Senator Robert Torricelli wouldn't go along.
Instead he was a prominent defense attorney for 12 years. He represented Carla Katz and Encap Golf Holdings, both of whom were investigated by Christie's U.S Attorney's office. Maybe Fishman doesn't want to make public corruption a priority because he doesn't want to recuse himself from so many cases.
Upon President Obama's nomination of Fishman, Senator Robert Menendez said,
"New Jersey families deserve a U.S. Attorney who makes protecting them from economic crimes, the spreading gang activity, as well as gun and drug trafficking a priority of the office. I am confident that Paul Fishman will work with integrity and effectiveness to do just that."
At his press conference on Monday Fishman said his priorities would be public safety and terrorism.
Menendez is the former Democratic Chairman of Hudson County. Obama is a product of the Chicago Democratic machine.
Oh. Now I get it.
UPDATE: Check out Matt Rooney's thoughts on the matter at SaveJersey.