Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Et tu, Jennifer?

The Republicans called for a focus on ethics this year. They like the "Corrupt NJ" banner because they're not the party in charge, and they've been beating the drum to ferret out corruption. You have to hand it to them; it is a noble goal.

Before pointing fingers, however, the Republicans should remember to look to their own house first:

An Assembly Democrat has asked for a criminal investigation into the role a Republican assemblywoman and her former lobbying firm played in helping the state's lottery operator gain a new contract despite bidding nearly $32 million more than a competitor.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, sent a letter Sept. 29 to Gregory A. Paw, director of the state Division of Criminal Justice, asking for an investigation to determine whether Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth, and her former lobbying firm, the MWW Group, illegally helped GTech get a new five-year, $106.7 million contract when competitor Scientific Games bid $75 million.
In a quasi-court hearing before former Supreme Court Justice Daniel J. O'Hern Jr., lawyers for Scientific Games said that state officials skewed the bidding process to keep GTech and that there was a conflict of interest because the MWW Group held a public relations contract with the New Jersey Lottery while also lobbying for GTech.

A full probe will determine if there's something there, but it sure looks like there is. Certainly more than in other alleged scandals being pushed at this time of year.

1 comment:

DBK said...

Reed Gusciora rocks. He's practically my favorite Assemblymember and if they had NJ State Legislature trading cards, I would give up a Bob Smith and three Leonard Connors for one Gusciora.

Culture of Corruption. It is a problem on both sides in New Jersey, but you get beyond our borders and the Republicans are absolutely disturbing with the extent of their corruption.