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Schadenfrau
August 12th, 2004, 03:06 PM
NewsChannel 4: N.J. Governor McGreevey To Resign

POSTED: 2:42 pm EDT August 12, 2004
UPDATED: 3:03 pm EDT August 12, 2004

NEW YORK -- NewsChannel 4 has learned that New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey is planning on stepping down from office after more than 2 years of service.

McGreevey, a former prosecutor, came into office vowing to end corruption, but in recent months a number of his political aides and fundraisers have been accused of corruption ranging from alleged payoffs to hiring a prostitute.

McGreevey has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and has denied any wrongdoing in the past.

Should McGreevey indeed leave office, his successor under the state constitution would be Richard Codey, the current president of the state senate.

© 2004 by WNBC.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

TLOZ Link5
August 12th, 2004, 10:06 PM
And let's not forget that extramarital affair with another man. My gaydar did NOT see that coming.

Kris
August 13th, 2004, 06:36 AM
August 13, 2004

The Governor's Secret

Sooner or later, it was bound to happen: a major elected official's calling a press conference to tell constituents that he or she is gay. Yesterday, New Jersey's governor, James McGreevey, described his coming to grips with his sexual orientation with uncommon grace and dignity, offering an extraordinary glimpse into the private torment that can accompany a public life lived in the closet. "My truth is that I am a gay American,'' he said. If that had been the beginning and the end of the story, we would be celebrating Mr. McGreevey's candor, not assessing his resignation. But the story - like Mr. McGreevey's statement - was incomplete.

The governor's announcement was reportedly driven by the threat of a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former aide, Golan Cipel. Mr. McGreevey, who has two children from his two marriages and whose wife stood next to him during his press conference, acknowledged that he had committed adultery with another man. He did not say that the man in question had worked for his administration.

Gay or straight, that kind of relationship raises troubling questions, apart from the issue of whether it was consensual. Mr. Cipel was originally appointed as the governor's homeland security adviser, a job for which he had no discernable qualifications. If Mr. McGreevey put someone in that critical post because of a personal relationship, that would be an outrage, regardless of his sexual orientation.

The timing of the governor's coming out was apparently driven by the potential lawsuit, and the timing of his resignation - Nov. 15 - was driven by a desire to avoid an interim election. As it stands, the State Senate president, Richard Codey, another Democrat, will inherit the executive office until the end of 2005. While the mechanics of trying to hold gubernatorial primaries and an election this year would be daunting, Mr. McGreevey's strategy doesn't serve New Jersey residents well. The state will be led by an embattled governor mired in personal and legal problems for three months. Then, because of the peculiarities of New Jersey's Constitution, Mr. Codey will simultaneously lead the Senate and the executive branch - an enormous amount of power for someone whose voter mandate comes only from a State Senate district in Essex County.

Mr. McGreevey's governorship has, in a way, been similar to his dramatic performance yesterday. His goals were noble, and some of his accomplishments laudable - like the millionaire's tax he pushed through as a partial solution to the problem of the state's huge deficit, and his efforts to protect critically important watershed areas. But the story has always been marred by ethical questions swirling around his office.

The cast of characters is long, and the details unsavory. They include a trash hauler and fund-raiser charged in a scheme to extort money from a farmer, and another fund-raiser who is accused of using a prostitute to try to silence a witness in a federal investigation. The governor, tape-recorded without his knowledge in a private meeting, was linked to one scandal when he uttered the word "Machiavelli," which prosecutors claimed was a code word. He has maintained that the use of the word was a coincidence.

In the murky politics surrounding him, being gay may be the least complicated issue Mr. McGreevey could address - and that may explain why he did not delve into the other troubles in his speech.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
August 13th, 2004, 06:49 AM
Gay or straight, that kind of relationship raises troubling questions, apart from the issue of whether it was consensual. Mr. Cipel was originally appointed as the governor's homeland security adviser, a job for which he had no discernable qualifications. If Mr. McGreevey put someone in that critical post because of a personal relationship, that would be an outrage, regardless of his sexual orientation.

His resignation speech had nothing to do with the reason he resigned.

NYatKNIGHT
August 13th, 2004, 10:44 AM
What an astounding story!

That's two governors in the region to resign in the last month. First Rowland, now McGreevey.....Pataki, is there anything you want to tell us?

LuPeRcALiO
August 13th, 2004, 06:54 PM
I don't see how he can hang on for three months. Sad moral to a very sad tale: be careful where you park your pecker.

Kris
August 14th, 2004, 01:25 AM
August 14, 2004

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

More Trouble on the Turnpike

By ERIC DEZENHALL

My fictional alter ego, a disgraced political operative, once suggested a motto for the Garden State: "New Jersey: you got a problem with that?" Maybe you have to be from Jersey (we leave out the "New") to appreciate the slogan. Jersey is all about confrontation; we dare you to see just how much we'll tolerate before things get ugly.

I watched the resignation and outing of Gov. James E. McGreevey of New Jersey with this motto in mind. I was riveted: as a novelist who has written about a New Jersey governor who tries to cover up a sexual secret; as a crisis management consultant whose day job is making bad news go away; and as a Jersey native with a working knowledge of the rules of local politics.

The novelist in me empathized with Mr. McGreevey's confession because, in literary terms, he executed the denouement of his "character arc" flawlessly. A writer agonizes to make even his villains human, so one would have to be heartless not to feel the genuine conflict in the soul of this earnest Catholic boy, the son of a Marine drill sergeant, who had devoted his life to public service.

As a crisis manager, however, I saw only a stone-cold exercise in damage control. Mr. McGreevey was a politician in deep stew who shrewdly cut his losses. As I watched his news conference, I thought to myself: somebody's got him dead to rights. In New Jersey, no less, where it's hard enough for a guy to be sensitive, never mind gay.

Better to step down under the aegis of postmodern bravery than launch the all-consuming - and futile - jihad of damage control. No, the governor's announcement wasn't just a discovery of the soul. This was a catharsis by a man who was going to get into the back of the proverbial cop car either sitting up proud or lying down bloody - but he was getting in. Damage control is all about selecting the best of only bad options.

What made the governor's resignation such a watershed was his flouting of a core principle of modern damage control. The objective of most people in Mr. McGreevey's position is to learn how to keep sinning and still be able to leave the arena with the prize (and public adoration). But Mr. McGreevey recognized that his redemption would require the loss of something precious. By resigning, he succeeded in defusing what would have been a death-by-a-thousand-cuts crisis. He failed, however, to keep his job.

Yet perhaps the most important variable sealing Mr. McGreevey's fate was the setting for his drama. While New Jersey leans Democratic, these are not the Democrats of the Upper West Side or Malibu. These Democrats are still loyal to the "Three I's" of Garden State politics - Ireland, Israel and Italy. These are the union boys, the tradesmen, the enlightened professionals who remember their parents cut stone in Newark and stirred great vats of soup at Campbell's in Camden.

With the Three I's, one can weather corruption charges, as Mr. McGreevey did until this week. In Jersey politics, rolling with the punches of graft has long been a shibboleth of manhood. Being gay, however, is not. It's one thing for a governor to sell a political appointment. It's another for him to have sex with the guy he appointed. Perhaps in another state - Vermont, maybe - a governor could have survived being gay, but not corrupt.

Pundits will celebrate the McGreevey confession as an example of good crisis management, which it may well be. But we should be on guard for the insipid cliché that everyone in crisis would be well served to just "fess up." The coarse reality is that most of those who do the right thing from a moral perspective in sex scandals lose their jobs (the Reverends Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich), while artful dodgers (President Bill Clinton, Representative Henry Hyde) shuck, jive, obfuscate, spin - and survive.

The brutal fact of damage control is that not all clients are created equal. It's a lot easier to defend a priapic president when the Dow is shattering records than it is to defend an indicted chief executive when unemployment is rising. In any drama, context is everything.

If, as it's often been said, politics is a contact sport in New Jersey, then James McGreevey has learned that some forms of contact are still off limits. While the media culture will probably applaud his courage under the Seinfeldian "not that there's anything wrong with that" umbrella of tolerance, the state's political culture will not.

Jersey is shaped like a boomerang. No matter what you throw out there, things always seem to come back to knock you off balance. The same state that has unsightly smokestacks also possesses one of the largest freshwater marshes in the Northeast. One has to see the contradictions to get Jersey right. Jersey's capable of being unforgiving, but it can also let things go once a story is played out.

My home state's first governor, Lord Cornbury, was said to have worn exotic dresses to work. Perhaps he entered the colonial statehouse in the early 1700's in full regalia and queried his fellow Jerseyans, "Dost thou have a problem with that?"

Eric Dezenhall, the author of the novel "Shakedown Beach," is president of Dezenhall Resources, a crisis management firm.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

BrooklynRider
August 15th, 2004, 09:19 AM
I don't see how he can hang on for three months. Sad moral to a very sad tale: be careful where you park your pecker.

Well, the NJ Legislature has no plans of convening before Sept. 2nd. After that date, there can be no special election.

LuPeRcALiO
August 15th, 2004, 11:53 AM
He'll probably bleed until September 3, but it would take a tough hide to hang on after that, and if he had a tough hide he wouldn't have flamed out last Thursday -- he would have had Cipel, Lowy and Kushner arrested and charged with extortion.

ZippyTheChimp
August 15th, 2004, 02:35 PM
I don't think McGreevey caved in to anything. His "revelation" was a shrewed move to deflect attention from the issue.

Substitute Cipel with a woman, and we would not be talking about the governor's adulterous behavior. Four months after 09/11, the governor tries to place his unqualified, non-citizen lover as director of homeland security for all of New Jersey, and when that fails, places his lover in other high-paying jobs. That's the issue.

Stories about his sexuality had been circulating for some time. Whether or not this lawsuit was extortion, it would have led to an investigation (there may still be one), and McGreevey would be going down the same road as the Connecticut governor.

LuPeRcALiO
August 15th, 2004, 03:21 PM
Zip he caved like a bug hitting a windshield at 70 mph. Whether or not there was an affair (Cipel denies it), Cipel was blackmailing him, and if he'd just gone public with that and denied the rest he could have toughed it out.

As far as the homeland-security post, he'd already taken the heat for that appointment, and a plausible argument could now be made that Cipel oversold his qualifications.

LuPeRcALiO
August 16th, 2004, 02:32 PM
Lowy admits to extortion...

Lawyer Says He Had a Deal With McGreevey

Lawyer for Man Accusing N.J. Governor of Harassment Says McGreevey Backed Out on Deal to Pay

The Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. Aug. 16, 2004 — A lawyer for a man accusing Gov. James E. McGreevey of sexual harassment said Monday he had believed the governor would pay to stop his client from suing.

Instead, minutes later, the governor told the world he had had an extramarital affair with a man and planned to resign, Allen Lowy said.

The claim by Lowy who represents Golen Cipel, the former administration official identified by McGreevey aides as the governor's sexual partner came as a new poll showed voters nearly evenly split about when McGreevey should go.

The Democratic governor said he would leave Nov. 15, a date that has drawn criticism from Republicans and some Democrats because it would mean an acting governor would serve for more than a year. A quicker exit would allow for a special election.

A poll showed voters nearly evenly split about when McGreevey should go.

America's first openly gay governor returned to work Monday, four days after his startling press conference.

Lowy said a verbal deal to stop a suit by Cipel was struck Thursday, five minutes before the scheduled start of the news conference.

"We had a deal," Lowy said. "The next thing I know my secretary told me he's in the process of resigning. I was very surprised. I understood that they were satisfied and it was over."

McGreevey spokeswoman Kathy Ellis called Lowy's version of the minutes leading up to the announcement "absolutely incorrect."

Lowy said the deal would have involved payment of money to Cipel, but declined to say how much. Cipel is still considering filing a lawsuit, according to Lowy.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, McGreevey appointed Cipel to a newly created post of homeland security adviser without any background check or official announcement.

Amid questions about what Cipel did to earn his $110,000 salary, he was reassigned in March 2002 to a "special counsel" job and left the government a few months later.

Two sources close to McGreevey a high-ranking administration member and a senior political adviser have identified Cipel as the man involved in the governor's affair.

In an interview published Sunday by the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Cipel maintained that he is not gay and said McGreevey repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances.

"It doesn't bother me that it is said I am gay, but I really am not. I'm straight. On the other hand, to accuse me of being an extortionist? Someone here has lost his mind," Cipel was quoted as telling Yediot.

Spokespeople have said McGreevey's focus in coming weeks will be on initiatives he hopes to complete before leaving office this fall.

His days as a lame duck governor could prove difficult. Besides Cipel's threatened lawsuit, GOP leaders are pushing for his immediate removal, and many questions about his personal and professional relationships remain unanswered.

Even some top Democratic officials want McGreevey to leave office so that Sen. Jon Corzine can seek the governor's office in a special election that would be held in November.

"There's a big push on now to get McGreevey out sooner rather than later," a senior administration source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Under McGreevey's Nov. 15 date, state Senate President Richard J. Codey would be acting governor for more than a year, until McGreevey's term expires in January 2006.

The new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll found 41 percent of those surveyed said Nov. 15 is the right date for McGreevey to step down, while 48 percent said he should resign sooner. Another 10 percent said they did not know.

Nearly half those surveyed 48 percent thought McGreevey should resign, while 42 percent said it was not necessary, and 10 percent said they did not know, the poll showed.

Voters were even closer on the question of whether a special election should be held this fall: 46 percent favored a special election, 44 percent wanted an acting governor for over a year, and 10 percent said they did not know.

With a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points, none of the results to those three questions had a clear majority.

Much of the poll broke down along party lines, with independents tending to line up with Republicans, said Peter J. Woolley, executive director of the poll and a professor of comparative politics at Fairleigh Dickinson.

"That's unusual in New Jersey politics. And it's certainly unusual this year, where independent have been breaking toward the Democratic ticket," Woolley said.

The PublicMind poll of 500 registered voters was conducted Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

http://a.abcnews.com/images/autowirestory/AP/NY11208160319.jpeg
New Jersey Gov. James. E. McGreevey speaks at a news conference at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. , Thursday, Aug. 12, 2004, where he announced he will resign Nov. 15. McGreevey also admitted that he is a homosexual and had a consenual affair with another man. McGreevey, America's first openly gay governor plans to return to work this week, but he faces a political landscape upended by his admission that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a man and would resign.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

ZippyTheChimp
August 17th, 2004, 07:02 AM
The act of extortion and the crime of extortion are at two distinct levels.

The threat of a lawsuit and the and the arrangement of payment to make the lawsuit go away are not criminal. It may be sleazy, but it happens all the time.

If criminal extortion was being committed, you would think the chief executive of a state would have the resources to handle it effectively. Assuming that the force behind the extortion was only the revelation of McGreevey's extramarital affair (and that's all it was), why didn't he just admit it, not resign, and let the public decide. At the worst, he would have been right where he is now.

McGreevey is a shrewd politician. I don't buy that he panicked and acted impulsively. I think it was a calculated move to suppress any further revelations that would have come out in a courtroom.

LuPeRcALiO
August 18th, 2004, 01:16 AM
Zippy I wish it were so, but I think what we're seeing here is the operation of the pleasure principle and that's about it.

ManhattanKnight
June 21st, 2006, 07:10 PM
McGreevey, Partner Set To Close On $1.5M, 8-Bedroom Home


POSTED: 4:16 pm EDT June 21, 2006
UPDATED: 6:33 pm EDT June 21, 2006

TRENTON, N.J. -- Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, nation's first openly gay governor, and his partner are about to become homeowners.
The couple is scheduled to close next week on a $1.5 million colonial in the Union County city of Plainfield, several people close to the couple told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The people who spoke to the AP did so on the condition of anonymity because the transaction has yet to close.
The home, built in 1914, has eight-bedrooms, four bathrooms, five fireplaces, and gardens by famed landscape architect Frederick Olmsted, who designed New York's Central Park.
The nation's first openly gay governor and his investment-adviser partner had been shopping for a home in Plainfield for months. They tried to buy a different home in the gay-friendly central New Jersey city but that deal fell through.
McGreevey, 48, stunned the nation by revealing himself as "a gay American" in August 2004. He announced his homosexuality and his intent to resign in the same nationally televised speech.
The former governor has a wife from whom he is separated and a former wife. He has a daughter with each.
His youngest daughter, Jacqueline, 4, lives in nearby Springfield with her mother, Dina Matos McGreevey. People close to the former governor say he sees the child often and that living close by is important to McGreevey and his partner, Mark O'Donnell, 42.
Neither McGreevey nor O'Donnell were available for comment Wednesday.
The couple plans to move from O'Donnell's Manhattan apartment, where they had been living. That property is on the market. When McGreevey moved out of the governor's mansion in Princeton nearly two years ago, he took up residence in a new luxury apartment in Rahway, which he rented.
The couple's new home, in a historic area of the Plainfield, was originally built for a founder of the New York Stock Exchange. It sits on 1.7 acres and is one of a handful of homes in the area insulated with clay tiles designed by Thomas Edison, people close to the couple said.
After leaving office in November 2004, more than a year before his term was up, McGreevey began work on a memoir with writer David France. The book, titled "The Confession," is due in stores Sept. 19. A national book tour, including an interview on the Oprah Winfrey show, will coincide with the release of the book.
The former governor has also said he would return to the New Jersey Statehouse this summer for the hanging of his official gubernatorial portrait.

© 2006 by The Associated Press (http://www.wnbc.com/news/2455821/detail.html).