Asm. Scott Rumana (R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris) is annoyed that the Office of Legislative Services won’t provide subpoenaed New York/New Jersey Port Authority documents until an unspecified time on Wednesday, Save Jerseyans, only hours before a hearing of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee on Thursday at noon:
“Allowing Republican committee members less than 24 hours to review more than 900 pages of information is a disservice to the bipartisan committee process. Chairman Wisniewski’s attempts to politicize the sharing of this information are offensive to the citizens of New Jersey. As chairman, he should be impartial and provide committee members, regardless of their political affiliation, a reasonable opportunity to view the documents he has had access to for weeks. Giving us a few hours to examine the documents certainly calls into question the fairness of the process.”
Asm. Rumana isn’t wrong. We know Wisniewski for the partisan hack that he undoubtedly is in the State Assembly. Let’s nevertheless be very clear about this: I like government investigations of government. There’s no harm in taking a look at the Fort Lee lane closure debacle which, at the very least, was handled very poorly.
But how about a little perspective, Save Jerseyans?
There’s a bridge down south where you don’t need to dig nearly as deep into the Delaware’s banks to find evidence of corruption, inefficiency and incompetence. Unfortunately for John and Jane Taxpayer, the Trenton GOP has left it alone for largely tactical reasons.
If you live outside of the Philly market, you probably haven’t even heard that back in December, and I’ll quote directly from Philly.com, Obama Administration federal prosecutors have served subpoenas “on several officials and employees of the Delaware River Port Authority, including at least three board members – Camden County Freeholder Jeffrey L. Nash, South Jersey labor leader Richard Sweeney, and Philadelphia lawyer William Sasso.”
That should be a HUGE story, right? You don’t need to live in Southwest Jersey to appreciate the peril for Democrats and many of their top lieutenants. Richard Sweeney is, after all, the brother of the Senate President, the front runner to replace Chris Christie as governor in 2017. It’s an objectively much bigger deal in terms of the public interest potential than an isolated incident up north (but-for a seemingly extenuated connection to a top presidential contender’s inner circle).
But no one seems to agree with my assessment. Not publicly.
Your dose of truth for the day: the ongoing legislative alliance between New Jersey Republicans and the moderate South Jersey branch of the Democrat Party is keeping this issue on the sidelines and out of the political discourse. It’s inconvenient.
By contrast, for as long as Chris Christie remains the GOP frontrunner, the comparatively minor goings-on at the G.W. Bridge will trump media coverage otherwise afforded to the Ben Franklin’s custodians since national Democrats and their allies have every incentive to push the goofy “Christie as bully” story line. That’s politics for you! I call it like I see it because that’s what you’ve come to expect from me.
Save Jersey is your only reprieve from it all, and this blogger will keep hoping the Trenton GOP eventually re-prioritizes and starts focusing on beating the bad guys again. The only certainty in life is that nothing lasts forever.