The arrest yesterday of 44 people - the majority of them Democratic lawmakers - may very well be the big torpedo that will sink the re-election hopes of incumbent Jon Corzine (D) in New Jersey. The governor responded with fire and fury after the arrests of his henchment yesterday:
"The scale of corruption we're seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous and cannot be tolerated."
And...that was it. Oh, and he asked for - and recieved - the resignation of New Jersey Community Affairs Commissioner Joseph Doria, who is under investigation but was not charged. Well, there's always a soldier willing to fall on his sword for his disgraced furher, but this sacrifice will likely be meaningless.
Corzine is already 10 points behind Republican opponent - and former AG - Chris Christie, who made his name and fame by prosecuting corruption in New Jersey. While Corzine's ads flail away at Christie's ethics, the fact remains it is Christie that launched the probe that took down some of the nation's most corrupt officials, and it is Corzine who has sat back and done nothing as his cronies turned crooks have looted the state and abused the public trust.
To say the party is a bit demoralized today is putting it lightly:
Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who has worked with New Jersey politicians, said dryly, "It's not the best day Jon Corzine ever had."
Politcal analyst Bob Ingle hints at dissension within the party ranks:
No sooner had the photos appeared of the lines of handcuffed people being paraded into the Newark courthouse did rumors spread that some in the Democratic Party apparatus think Corzine should throw in the towel for the sake of the party...
...For those in the party who didn’t like him in the first place, the sweep is an excuse to call for him to move on. For Corzine, the only good news is it is a long time to November.
Is this in fact the end of Corzine's ruinous run as governor of New Jersey? One can only pray that the state's hardcore Democrats can put common sense above ideology...