Friday, April 01, 2005

The New York Times > New York Region > A Power Broker Flexing Muscle, Caught on Tape

Small-time Democratic power broker George E. Norcross III, from New Jersey, was secretly recorded making the Democratic political sausage. The results, which aren't pretty, reveal a threatening, powermad politico that would use patronage and threats to keep local politicians in line. His tool of choice? Access to such Democratic luminaries as Jon Corzine, who presumably could act as a spigot for funds and jobs at the local level.

When I read this, I immediately thought of Max Cleland's toasting of Tom Dascle at Dascle's retirement party earlier this year. Sen. Cleland gave an amusing poem about "Big Tom," during which he told a story about how he was scared almost to death when he thought he had crossed the big one. I laughed pretty hard at that, considering what a wuss Tom Daschle is.

Another thought was of Bob Torricelli, the disgraced former governor of New Jersey, who resigned after allegations of corruption rose to the surface. In his "apology" to the people of New Jersey, the first person he apologized to was Bill Clinton, of all people. That was a little weird.

Maybe these tapes show what really goes on behind the scenes in the Democratic party.
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