Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James had his day(s) in court, and now the jury gets to decide the next chapter in his life. Here's what the jury doesn't have to decide upon: New Jersey is the single-most corrupt state in the union. Our elected officials are largely up for sale in Trenton and most of them are not worth a darn. There are exceptions, and those legislators could probably all meet in a small room somewhere if they wanted. I'm not going to pass a judgment that a jury is figuring out in the James case. I will say that I always considered Mayor James to be the standard-bearer for everything that is wrong with elected officials in the state of New Jersey. In the Garden State, holding office is mostly about elected officials, of both parties, making a buck for themselves and tryinig to look dignified to the folks back home while they do it.
Regardless of how the James case turns out, that will still be the way it is the day after the case, the week after the case and, the way things are going, a year or three years after the case. Years ago I interviewed former Assemblyman Steve Corodemus, R-Monmouth, who was one of the finest members of the Legislature this state was ever fortunate enough to have serve. He was very critical of Sen. and Mayor James. Mr. Corodemus believed there were conflicts because of James' role in the state and the city, and he was right, in my opinion.
As a matter of fact, former Assemblyman Corodemus was right about a lot of things, from small business to the environment to taxation. Too bad it is hard to keep the good ones and retain...well...the rest. Click on the headline to go to the latest and greatest by NJ.com about the Sharpe James saga.