Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New Jersey’s Own " Ado Annie" ?

If you’ve ever watched "Oklahoma" , you’ll probably remember the irrepressible " Ado Annie " – "a gal who cain’t say no".

It appears the Garden State may have its own "Ado Annie" – in the person of Carla Katz ,president of CWA Local 1034 : the union that represents roughly 8,000 state employees.

Local 1034 has just said "yes" to Jon Corzine’s bid to become the state’s next governor. The Executive Board – headed by Ms Katz – has endorsed Jon’s candidacy.

What spices up this otherwise-routine announcement is the fact Ms Katz and Mr. Corzine had a loving,romantic relationship ( according to Mr. Corzine) for several months ; and that Jon proved his affection by lending dear Carla $ 470,000 , so she could buy out her ex-husband’s interest in the family home. (Her $ 94,000 union salary just wasn’t cutting it.)

Both parties are obviously well over 21 and divorced from their respective spouses , so if Jon, who is worth over $200 Million ,chose to offer Carla a Tiparillo, or half a mil , what of it ?

Well, about the time Jon decided to trade in his US Senate seat for a try at being Governor, he and Carla decided to go their separate ways ; and Jon-gentleman that he is offered to forgive his loan to Carla …AND pay the gift tax on the deal.

At this point, Carla may well have asked herself : " Watcha gonna DO when he talks that way ? Spit in his eye ? "

New Jersey residents , who have become accustomed to all sorts of state government shenanigans , have ,nonetheless, begun asking if there might be just the teeniest hint of conflict of interest in a prospective governor – who has a long history of bestowing gifts at election time* -negotiating labor contracts with a union president who – like our Ado Annie –
"Cain’t say no" .

*In 1999-2000, Jon Corzine contributed over $ 100,000 to four groups.whose leaders or sponsors later endorsed him in the Democratic primary for US Senator.

His expenditures for that campaign – all personally financed – set a new record : $ 36 Million !


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