Sunday, September 9, 2007


ON EARLY PRIMARY STATES: First off if you have yet to hear it, the daughter of Bill Kristol (Fox News Sunday and the Weekly Standard) is working for Fred Thompson - though according to Bill she has yet to be paid. I have great respect for William Kristol (and Fred Barnes, for that matter) but I wonder - just wonder - if the cold shoulder to Mitt by the Fox conservatives has something to do with blood being thicker than water. They call him a front runner - and then don't mention "why." Today Brit Hume said something that struck me as funny. He said, "I wonder why Romney hasn't caught on. . ." NOTE TO BRIT: LOOK AT THE FRICKIN' POLLS. Everywhere Romney campaigns - Save South Carolina. . . YET - people love him. Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Michigan and I'm watching him rise-up in the Great State of Florida. Seems the only individuals to "not catch on" are those of the Media. . . including Fox. ~ so sayeth the Mittiot.

PS. Those 11 indited public officials from New Jersey. . . ALL DEMOCRATS.

Lawmakers Accused in Bribery Sting Poised to Quit


Published: September 9, 2007

Under pressure by Gov. Jon S. Corzine and other Democratic leaders in New Jersey, two assemblymen, the highest ranking of 11 current or former public officials charged with taking bribes in a federal sting investigation, signaled yesterday that they would resign from the Legislature tomorrow.The assemblymen, Mims Hackett Jr., 65, of Essex County, and Alfred E. Steele, 53, of Passaic County, will step down four days after they and others were rounded up and accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes for promises to steer government contracts to undercover operatives posing as insurance brokers.

The two men made no formal announcements, but several state Democratic officials, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak, confirmed that their resignations would take place tomorrow and that both would be replaced by other Democratic candidates in the November elections. But another prominent official caught up in the corruption sting, Mayor Samuel Rivera of Passaic, told party officials that he had no intention of resigning.

On Friday, a day after being charged with accepting a $5,000 bribe, he distributed copies of an agenda for a City Council meeting on Tuesday. Governor Corzine welcomed word that the accused assemblymen would step down. “It’s a good step,” he told reporters at the Democratic State Committee’s annual conference, winding up yesterday in Atlantic City. “I think, based on my reading of the situation, that they should all resign.” The governor and a group of Democratic officials attending the conference — Senate President Richard J. Codey; Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr., and the (DEMOCRAT - I added that one DM) state party chairman, Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, among others — had issued a joint statement on Friday calling for the resignation of the public officials snared in the sting, but emphasizing that they had only been accused, not convicted.

Like many public servants in New Jersey, the two assemblymen also hold other public jobs, Mr. Hackett as the mayor of Orange and Mr. Steele as a Passaic County undersheriff. Mr. Steele resigned from that job on Thursday, but there was no word yesterday whether Mr. Hackett intended to step down as mayor. Neither man returned phone calls seeking comment.

The two assemblymen, Mayor Rivera and eight other current and former public officials and one associate of a former public official were arrested on Thursday by investigators for the United States attorney for New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie, after an 18-month operation in which the officials were videotaped and audiotaped accepting bribes from undercover agents and cooperating witnesses.

All 11 were released Thursday after brief court appearances and will enter pleas later, their lawyers said.The federal complaint in the case offered vivid details. In a meeting with an undercover agent on May 24, the complaint said, Mr. Hackett was asked if a $5,000 payment up front and $25,000 more when the City of Orange approved a contract for insurance business “worked” for him. “Oh yeah,” Mr. Hackett responded. And, it said, at the end of lunch at an Orange restaurant on Aug. 14, when an undercover agent handed him $5,000 in cash folded inside an insurance benefits packet, Mr. Hackett’s recorded reaction was “O.K.”

Mr. Steele, the complaint said, promised at a Newark restaurant meeting with an undercover agent on March 14 to provide his “personal touch” in interceding for insurance contracts. Later, in cars, restaurants and other places, Mr. Steele accepted bribes totaling $14,000 for arranging matters, the complaint said. “We gonna do that,” he promised. Word that resignations were imminent began emerging late Friday.

Mr. Hackett, chairman of the State Government Committee, which is responsible for rules, oversight and ethics legislation, left a voice mail message at the home of a Newark Star-Ledger reporter. “I resigned from the Assembly,” Mr. Hackett said, according to The Star-Ledger. He also said he would write a letter to Christopher J. Durkin, the Essex County clerk, asking him to remove his name from the Nov. 6 ballot. The election will cover all seats in the General Assembly and state Senate. Several Democratic officials confirmed that Mr. Hackett would submit paperwork to resign tomorrow.

The resignation of Mr. Steele, who lives in Paterson and is a minister at Seminary Baptist Church there, was confirmed by Julie Roginsky, a spokeswoman for the Passaic County Democratic Committee. “Assemblyman Steele has told chairman John Currie that he will be resigning on Monday,” she said.

The resignations will mark an abrupt fall from grace for both assemblymen. Mr. Steele, a graduateof Northeastern Bible College, had long been active in the community through his ministry, various charities, youth programs and family activities with his wife and three daughters. He entered politics in the early 1990s as a Paterson councilman, was elected to the Assembly in 1995 and has been deputy speaker since 2002.

Mr. Hackett, who entered politics after a career as a teacher in Union City, was elected mayor of Orange in 1996. In 2002 he won an Assembly seat, and has been criticized, even by Democratic colleagues, for using his office to hire his wife, sister-in-law and at least two of his six children.


Seems the "Culture of Corruption" has more to do with "government" and less to do with party. . . and the dems want "GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL MY HEALTH CARE." ~ so addeth the Mittiot.


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