Friday, October 23, 2009

No Bidding Bergen: Ferriero Goes Down

This is long overdue. Papa Joe Ferriero has been convicted.

While I've written a couple dozen times about Papa Joe, and could only hope they throw the 40 year/$500,000 book at him to send a message; the Record Editorial about the conviction makes me less enthused than I thought I would be. Here's the important part:

However, it is too early to break out the champagne. New Jersey’s culture of corruption has not been dismantled. It has been slowed down, nothing more. The steady stream of public officials hauled before judges and juries has not been diminished by high-profile arrests.

In Bergen County, the Democratic Party has operated with barely a blip since Ferriero’s arrest. The same candidates are seeking office; the same county committee people control the process. Removing the king, while the rest of the kingdom remains firmly in place, is more show than substance. What happens next is what is important.

Democrats in Bergen have a choice to make, keep doing things the same corrupted way or follow the path of State Senator Loretta Weinberg and win based on principle. They only have to look at the BCRO to see how quickly things can fall apart following a corruption bust. Unfortunately, as the Record pointed out, they haven't even attempted to reform themselves.

The no-bid contracts associated with corruption cost all of us money. And although people barely list corruption as one of their concerns when voting, they're fooling themselves if they think high property taxes and high corruption are unrelated. When the public finally puts two and two together, if the BCDO hasn't changed their ways, they won't be able to win an election for dog catcher.

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