Ok. Let me start by saying, you know I love New Jersey.
I repeat: I LOVE NEW JERSEY.
Of course, this sentiment is not universally shared. My home state has a (largely undeserved) negative reputation across our nation, generally surrounding the notion of being smelly.
Fine. Funny, even.
Each day when I wake up, before my sock-covered feet even hit the floor, I check my work email. Sure, I also check it before I go to bed, but you just never know what happens overnight! And I hate to come into the office and be hit with any surprises. Today when I awoke, a breaking news bulletin from WNBC made it crystal clear that The Jerz would take one on the chin...
The email was entitled, “Dirty Jersey.” Hmmm, I thought. That can’t be good.
Actually, it was quite bad. Did we REALLY need to architect a government-sanctioned scheme that involved -- among other gems -- laundering money from the sale of black market KIDNEYS through a charity run by rabbis? (Incidentally, if you were in the market for this organ, a cool $160,000 was the asking price.)
I mean, come ON!
Hoboken Mayor? Arrested! Secaucus Mayor? You too! Jersey City Deputy Mayor? Cuffed and stuffed!
Unreal. Sure, there were also some arrests in Brooklyn as part of this undercover sting operation, which involved over 300 federal agents. But it’s a small detail lost in the almost giddy news coverage.
The NY Daily News sums it up, delivering the boom, boom, pow. First, they quoted an FBI official, "New Jersey's corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the nation." Then, just incase you missed the point, the US Attorney's office chimed in, "The arrests underscore 'more than ever the pervasive nature of public corruption in this state.'" Finally, they rubbed editorial salt in the wound for good measure, “The takedown is stunning in its breadth, even by New Jersey standards.”
EVEN by New Jersey standards. Awesome.