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NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL FACES IMPEACHMENT MOVE – 9/11 Fund Scandal Update

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:07 am - August 19, 2005.
Filed under: War On Terror

As first reported here late Wednesday night, New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey is now facing the prospect of impeachment due to the growing scandal of political use of Homeland Security funds.

On Thursday, New Jersey Assemblyman Sean Kean began the impeachment process. The full details of this development are printed below from Assemblyman Kean’s press release.

For Release:
August 18, 2005

KEAN CALLS FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL
PETER HARVEY TO BE IMPEACHED
SAYS HARVEY IS NOT FIT TO CONTINUE IN HIS JOB

Assemblyman Sean Kean, in light of the current controversy surrounding the distribution of state homeland security grants, has directed the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) to prepare articles of impeachment against Attorney General Peter Harvey.

“I believe the time has come for Peter Harvey to be removed from his position as Attorney General,” said Kean, R-Monmouth. “The Attorney General has allowed political concerns to influence the distribution essential security funds and should be removed because of misconduct.”
Kean said the charges of impeachment are for malfeasance and the misappropriation of state funds allocated for the protection of New Jersey residents in a time of war.

“The Attorney General, as the highest ranking law enforcement official in the state, had the legal and ethical obligation to award these grant based solely on security needs, not politics,” added Kean. “Politics should have never been allowed to influence the grant distribution process.”

“Mr. Harvey played games with our security and is no longer fit to hold the office of Attorney General,” continued Kean. “His repeated ethical transgressions and illegal misuse of state funding is inexcusable. He must be held accountable for this gaffe.”
Kean also said Acting Governor Codey should take steps to rectify this glaring error.

“As a matter of integrity, Acting Governor Codey should take immediate action to ensure that never again will the grant process be tainted by the ugliness of politics,” Kean said. “I also believe that towns who were overlooked because of political considerations should be allowed to resubmit their applications. Perhaps this time, they will give every legitimate application equal consideration.”

The BadHairBlog is reporting on this as well with more details from the Newark Star-Ledger….. The Democrats’ 9/11 Slush Fund, continued

Stay tuned for more developments on this growing scandal….

UPDATE — Welcome Michelle Malkin, Instapundit & Polipundit readers!

-Bruce (GayPatriot) – gaypatriot2004@aol.com

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33 Comments

  1. So we can all see Bruce’s post for what it is, a few facts:

    1. No one – on either side of the political fence – in New Jersey can claim any halo when it comes to corruption. One side does it, falls out of power, clubs the other side with it, gets back in power. Cycle complete. Cycle repeat.

    2. A single NJ assemblyman (legislator) can issue a press release calling for the indictment of another politician and GP may consider that earth shattering, but it’s actually pretty meaningless because that assemblyman’s party doesn’t control beans at this point in NJ. For out-of-staters: imagine how far a call for impeachment of Bush would get in the GOP-controlled Congress.

    3. GP and one or two other blogs are humping this story this morning because they’re trying to obscure an embarrassing GOP corruption story coming out of Ohio. And for spongy and others here who would like to have you believe Ohio’s corruption is limited to a Governor apologizing over a few golfing freebies, think COINS. Rare coins.

    4. If GP et al were really concerned about disproportionate distribution of homeland security dollars, where have they been for the past 3 years as Federal HS dollars were distributed for political purposes? Just a few small examples. The really big examples are much better hidden from public view.

    Washington, D.C.: Dale Carnegie public speaking training for sanitation workers: $100,000 and computerized car towing service: $300,000

    Converse, Texas: A trailer to transport lawnmowers to lawnmower drag races: $3,000

    South Dakota: Paging system for the state agricultural fair: $29,995

    Montgomery County, Md.: Eight large-screen plasma televisions: $160,000

    Tiptonville, Tenn.: Purchases including a Gator all-terrain vehicle and two defibrillators, one for use at high school basketball games: $183,000

    Santa Clara County, Calif.: Four Segway scooters to transport bomb squad personnel: $18,000

    Mason County, Wash.: Biochemical decontamination units that have been sitting in a warehouse for more than a year with no one trained to use them: $63,000

    Prince Georges County, Md.: Digital camera system used for mug shots: $500,000

    Comment by Reader — August 19, 2005 @ 8:50 am - August 19, 2005

  2. […] Apparently the impeachment process is starting: On Thursday, New Jersey Assemblyman Sean Kean began the impeachment process. The full details of this development are printed below from Assemblyman Kean’s press release. […]

    Pingback by The Strata-Sphere » Blog Archive » Democrats Stealing Homeland Security Money? — August 19, 2005 @ 8:58 am - August 19, 2005

  3. Bruce,

    I appreciate you keeping up with this but I still think it will come to nothing. Apparently the reporter Peter Hepp is the only reporter to know anything about the “scandal” – I’ve found no other media reports about it except the ones that refer to his article – and his article in the first place is extraordinarily spotty on details to support his allegations. No mention of what he can prove or assumes to support his accusations.

    Sean Kean is doing a lot of grandstanding right now in hopes that public perception, rather than established facts, may carry him through this effort. You’d be better off leaving the investigative journalism to those actually investigating it and getting the full story before spouting off some partisan prompted promotions.

    Comment by GayCowboyBob — August 19, 2005 @ 9:10 am - August 19, 2005

  4. Nice try, Cowboy… but the NY area major TV channels are covering the story. I was in NJ this past weekend and it is all over every state newspaper.

    The scandal in Ohio pales in comparison. Taft did stupid things, but these things benefitted himself personally. And he didn’t fully disclose. Big whoop.

    What McGreevey and Codey did in NJ was put communities in their state at risk based on raw political patronage. Someone should go to jail.

    Comment by GayPatriot — August 19, 2005 @ 9:42 am - August 19, 2005

  5. Reader-

    Your point, if any, is as obscure as usual.

    What is it you are outraged about now? Unless you have other details, most of those purchases sound entirely plausible to me. A paging system could make a huge difference in public safety (especially crowd control in an emergency) at a spread-out venue like a state fair, to address just one item from your list. To take another — are the plasma TV’s in (a strongly democratic county in) MD being used for displays in an “emergency response center” of sorts, or are they in the living rooms of local officials? It makes a big difference. I’ve no idea why “sanitation workers” would need public speaking training, but I suppose if it’s the janitorial staff at a museum being trained to help direct crowds to the exits in a crisis, that might make sense.

    (For the record, I’m still waiting for a better accounting of what’s going on in NJ — the data sound damning, but it’s still the case that I’d expect places like Fort Lee and Newark and Hoboken to be getting more than many of the Republican bedroom communities. And so, I’d like to hear more.)

    Comment by Clint — August 19, 2005 @ 9:54 am - August 19, 2005

  6. Clint, that was funny! DHS needs you — in their press room.

    Clint, you seem to know a bit about NJ. Tell them here (the out-of-staters) where the Republican voters live in NJ (hint: it’s not anywhere near where terrorism threat is very high — save Picatinny Arsenal in heavily-GOP Morris County, and it’s well-protected at all times. Just try getting near it).

    Comment by Reader — August 19, 2005 @ 10:22 am - August 19, 2005

  7. That of course being the logic, Reader, that the greatest threat from terrorism is the erasure of thousands of Democratic voters.

    Personally, if I were going to make a terroristic statement, I wouldn’t blow up inner-city Newark; I’d look for a richer suburb or tourism location, aka Atlantic City. More monetary damage, more coverage. Liberal social policy and Democratic rule has already made most of the areas you mention look like they’ve been under terrorist attack already — why should they waste effort blowing up slums and dumps?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 19, 2005 @ 10:44 am - August 19, 2005

  8. Reader-

    I take it that means you don’t have any other details.

    Why am I not surprised?

    Comment by Clint — August 19, 2005 @ 11:02 am - August 19, 2005

  9. Reader, I already explained on another thread where the Dems and GOP voters are concentrated in NJ. And I’ve also pointed out that despite its high concentration of minority residents, Atlantic City is the largest community in Atlantic County, one of the state’s most heavily Republican counties. I’d think AC would be very, very high on any terrorists’ hit list, if not the highest of all.

    And do you really believe that the residents of NJ – or of any state – segregate themselves so cleanly and completely that no Republicans live “anywhere near where [the] terrorism threat is very high”? That’s just dumb. So heavily Democratic Newark is somehow a “high” threat community but it’s heavily GOP western suburbs, which are separated from the city by nothing more than invisible boundary lines, are not. Is that right? Gee, I sure hope that any airborne nuclear, chemical, or biological agents the terrorists might unleash over Newark will know which of its adjacent communities got no $$$ to protect themselves and not accidentally drift over the borders!

    Anyhow, yes, this story is getting attention up in NJ…it has to. Anytime there’s a movement to impeach a state Attorney General, it’s news. I was talking to relatives yesterday and asked about it. Even in rural South Jersey it’s in the papers; it’s not on Page 1 (yet) but it’s in there. And it’s apparently been covered by some of the Philly news stations, too. And since NJ is essentially served almost exclusively by the NYC and Phila. media markets, people in NY, CT, PA, and DE get the benefit of hearing about it, as well.

    By the way, Assemblyman Sean Kean who called for impeachment procedings is the son of former Governor Tom Kean, and that’s bound to move it forward faster. Keep posting on this, GP. It’s getting around.

    Comment by glisteny — August 19, 2005 @ 11:07 am - August 19, 2005

  10. Whatever the facts of the LATEST New Jersey scandal, the stenchy reputation of the state can be smelled all the way to Texas and beyond. Reader, it’s not that other states don’t have some of the same problems, it’s that New Jersey seems to trump all the others tenfold.

    Haven’t ever ran into a New Jerseyite that ever wanted to go back.

    Comment by docdata — August 19, 2005 @ 11:07 am - August 19, 2005

  11. NDT-

    Loath as I am to argue the other side of this…. the “other side” on GP seems incapable of making even the obvious points in favor of their side… so here are a few thoughts…

    The reason Newark needs more money than, say, Franklin Lakes, isn’t that the inner city needs more protection than multi-million dollar estates — it’s that Newark Airport is a target, and Newark’s local firefighters and EMTs need training and equipment to assist airport personnel if, God forbid, something were to happen there.

    Similarly, most of the commuter trains for NYC from NJ run through the democratic city of Hoboken, and the GWB crosses near democratic Fort Lee. (I just noticed the acronym — GWB here refers to the George Washington Bridge… not to the Prez.)

    On the other hand (and there is another hand here) — I’d have thought that targets like reservoirs and power plants are more uniformly distributed, and that some of the money (I’d be surprised if it was just 10%) would be spread uniformly (by population) to all local hospitals, fire and police departments, to deal, for example, with an anthrax crop-dusting over the suburbs.

    If 80% of the money were going to Democratic districts, I’d be very cautious about assuming corruption. But 94% seems too high to be explained by these factors — and I’m cautiously expecting that there will turn out to be some substance to these accusations.

    From a more cynical political perspective, the fact that the Governor’s office and the Attorney General’s office have each been trying to blame the other for these numbers, rather than standing up and pointing at Newark Airport and the GWB, really tweaks my corruption detector.

    Of course, Reader will likely point out that I’m more skeptical of his anecdotal list of oddly-characterized expenditures than I am of well-sourced statistics — he’d be right about that, though not for the reasons he probably thinks.

    Comment by Clint — August 19, 2005 @ 11:22 am - August 19, 2005

  12. I totally agree with your analysis, Clint. There is a logical reason that certain areas that happen to be Democrat-controlled would get more; however, the problem is that they have gotten much, MUCH more, in a state where the governor has already had to resign over corruption scandals PLUS the fact that he hired his Israeli boy-toy as a “security consultant” with such funds. I also think the impeachment argument is valid, given that it is beyond belief that the Attorney General wasn’t aware of McGreevey’s misappropriations, or that Golan Cipel was in no way qualified to hold the “homeland security” post.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 19, 2005 @ 11:41 am - August 19, 2005

  13. Nice try, Cowboy… but the NY area major TV channels are covering the story. I was in NJ this past weekend and it is all over every state newspaper.

    OK, you keep us updated. If it comes to anything but a lot of finger pointing I’d be glad to be proven wrong.

    Comment by GayCowboyBob — August 19, 2005 @ 12:09 pm - August 19, 2005

  14. When did “Sean Kean” become “Tom Kean Jr.”?

    Comment by Reader — August 19, 2005 @ 12:24 pm - August 19, 2005

  15. They don’t build nuclear plants in inner cities or anywhere near them. Although bridges are only anchored in 2 places, the highways and train lines that connect to them run through a very wide range of communities and they’ll carry millions of more people than the bridge, itself, at any given time. Like I said before, the fallout from nuclear, biological, and chemical agents won’t respect political boundaries even if the actual target is the urban core. Newark Airport straddles two separate counties, Essex and Union, and therefore located only party in the City of Newark. (And God help the town in Union if it’s got a Republican mayor!)

    I could go on and on, but the bottom line there’s no good reason that 93% of homeland security funds went to Democrat controlled districts. None. I don’t care how creatively you parse a map of the state you’re not going to come up with any objective justification for this gross inequity that endangers the lives of citizens who don’t happen to be represented by the “right” party. So let’s cut out the nonsense and call it for what it is: blatant political hackery.

    Reader, you’re right. I had confused the 2 Keans currently in the state legislature and stand corrected.

    Comment by glisteny — August 19, 2005 @ 1:46 pm - August 19, 2005

  16. Are you sure Picatinniny Arsenal is in Morris County?

    And all of this excuse making about terror targets in Democratic areas is just blather. You only need one example to blast that one right out of the water and that’s Atlantic City. AC got dick because they couldn’t rustle up any Democrats to hand a check to. As circumstantial evidence goes, that’s pretty good evidence.

    Comment by spongeworthy — August 19, 2005 @ 1:51 pm - August 19, 2005

  17. SW-

    Yes, it is. I haven’t been following all of the local coverage, however. (I no longer live in NJ.) Have there been any concrete statements about how much Atlantic City got, or is this just speculation based on the same 94% figure? Because it’s not inconceivable that much of the Republican 6% went to one or two districts….

    Comment by Clint — August 19, 2005 @ 2:32 pm - August 19, 2005

  18. Michelle Malkin’s got the poop on the details in her archieves: http://www.michellemalkin.com. Folks here should bookmark her site ‘cuz she’s excellent…and damn hot, too. I’d do her if I were straight.

    Comment by glisteny — August 19, 2005 @ 3:17 pm - August 19, 2005

  19. Glisteny-

    Good site, but she just references back to here, and to the same Newark Star Ledger articles we’ve already read. (Also, looks like I should correct all the numbers above, it’s 93% not 94%…) I’d still like to see a couple of paragraphs on where the money went –showing clearly that the discrepancy isn’t just a too-narrow focus on a couple of big targets in a few Dem. districts. I’d even settle for an example of a Dem. district far from any obvious target which got significantly more funding than it’s GOP neighbor.

    One representative, from a minority party, proposing the atty. general’s impeachment makes for good political theater, and perhaps gives the story more legs in the press, but it doesn’t help us see more clearly what has happened.

    Comment by Clint — August 19, 2005 @ 11:07 pm - August 19, 2005

  20. No problem Glisteny, a lot of people mix up the two different Kean boys. BTW, you’ve got a new personality, don’t you? Better Half also noticed it. Big improvement — no more “Tiffany” from me (unless you backslide, ).

    Comment by Reader — August 20, 2005 @ 7:33 am - August 20, 2005

  21. Chief Patsy: What happened to that GRIN after “backslide”???

    Comment by Reader — August 20, 2005 @ 7:34 am - August 20, 2005

  22. D’oh.

    Was that link to the new Star-Ledger article via badhairblog always there?

    The Atlantic County vs. Camden Country data is exactly what I was looking for.

    I’m on board now — If they really hurry, someone might get impeached in the two months they have left in office….

    Comment by Clint — August 20, 2005 @ 2:51 pm - August 20, 2005

  23. Jeopardy music continues…

    Comment by gaycowboybob — August 20, 2005 @ 11:19 pm - August 20, 2005

  24. And continues…

    Comment by Reader — August 21, 2005 @ 8:59 am - August 21, 2005

  25. ??

    Was there an unanswered question that one of you asked?

    Comment by Clint — August 21, 2005 @ 10:02 am - August 21, 2005

  26. Reader: Yeah, well I’m making an effort not to be so abrasive in my posts. Don’t get too comfortable with it, though. It’s still in the experimental stage.

    Comment by bloaner — August 21, 2005 @ 12:14 pm - August 21, 2005

  27. Clint, not unanswered questions. As I’ve said all along, I think this New Jersey “scandal” will come to naught. I’ve been waiting for even one shred of media reporting not from the New Jersey Star Ledger or that refers back to it. Hypocritical Michelle Malkin was all up in arms and so then were the boys here. There’s never been a full explanation of how the newspaper came by its conclusions and the impeachment resolution is being proposed by the slimmest shreds of evidence. It’s absolutely nothing like the coingate/Republican scandal in Ohio and so my Jeopardy music refers back to waiting for something more than allegations and finger pointing to occur.

    Which it has not.

    Which it won’t.

    Comment by gaycowboybob — August 21, 2005 @ 4:50 pm - August 21, 2005

  28. By the way, nothing seems to have come of this. Any updates?

    Comment by gaycowboybob — August 25, 2005 @ 9:51 pm - August 25, 2005

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