Posts from August 12, 2004

Plugged

Plugged

: Bryan Keefer of Spinsanity and CampaignDesk, who emceed the West Side Y blog show I joined the other night, just appeared on the Daily Show to plug his new spin book (which I bought the other night) and just got a great endorsement from Jon Stewart.

“By the way, as he turns to leave, he says, to me, ‘I’m 12.’ ”

McGreevey’s unsecret

McGreevey’s unsecret

: Well, I didn’t know.

But apparently, everyone else in New Jersey media knew McGreevey’s secret. And if that’s so, it raises lots of questions. I’m not saying they should have outed him; I long for the day when a politician’s personal life is just that. But if he indeed hired his lover for a state job for which that reputed lover was in no way qualified… well, that’s a crime. Why didn’t we know? We want to know.

Robert Sterling says at MemeFirst:

Every single politically astute person in New Jersey has known about McGreevey’s homosexuality for a long time – at least since 2001. In fact, McGreevey’s elaborate efforts to stay in the closet were a source of periodic amusement to New Jerseyites, as when he shattered his femur in 2002 while in the company of his boyfriend, and then concocted an elaborate cover story that claimed the injury occurred while walking down the beach with his wife….

So why has McGreevey come out of the closet now? And so publicly? Simply put, he’s in deep doo-doo, and needs a way out. His administration has been wracked with scandal to a degree that well exceeds even the norms of New Jersey. There are at least two distinct rumors of lawsuits or complaints about to be filed, which seem sufficiently distinct to me that they may possibly concern two different men. One of the rumors definitely concerns an Israeli national named Golan Cipel, whom McGreevey appointed to a high paying state anti-terrorism post, before complaints of Cipel’s lack of qualifications caused the governor to withdraw the appointment. Were Cipel to admit a sexual relationship, McGreevey’s conduct on this matter may be indictable. By resigning – and simultaneously declaring himself a member of a persecuted minority – McGreevey may be able to dodge this and any number of other criminal investigations….

So this is a standard CYA move by McGreevey.

This is just a demo post. Ignore the man behind the curtain.

This is just a demo post. Ignore the man behind the curtain.

More McGreevey

More McGreevey

: I just spoke with a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer about McGreevey’s speech as a moment in television (more on that shortly) and he said that when McGreevey announced he was gay, there was applause in the newspaper newsroom.

: Continue reading the NJ.com breaking news blog on McGreevey. It has news and lots of vox pop.

: UPDATE: Drudge says:

McGreevey’s office had called the FBI on Thursday and complained that lover had requested $5 million to quash the suit, which assistants to the governor saw as extortion…

Whereabouts

Whereabouts

: I’m at a packed blog MeetUp at MediaTech in Flemington, NJ. Will be blogging McGreevey later…..

: Will Richardson is doing a great job now talking to more than 25 people about hyperlocal blogging. I think Flemington could become the epicenter of the movement.

McGreevey’s out….

McGreevey’s out….

: Amazingly, McGreevey is starting his press conference with a most personal announcement. Throughout his life, he said, he had grappled with his identity. He talked about getting married twice. Having doubts in school….

“Were there realities from which I was running?” he asked. “I do not believe that God tortures any person simply for its own sake…. In this, in the 47th year of my life, it is arguably to late to have this discussion. But it is here and it is now…. And so my truth is that I am a gay American. And I am blessed to live in the greatest nation… with the greatest tradition of civil liberties in the world.”

“Yet because of the pain and suffering and anguish I have caused to my beloved family…. This is an intensely personal decision and not one typically for the public domain and yet it cannot and should not pass… I am also here today because shamefully I engaged in a consensual affair with another man that violated my bonds of matrimony. It is wrong… It is inexcusable….”

Amazing!

“I am removing these threats by telling you directly about my sexuality,” he says, telling the press that if his sexual life had remained secret the state would have had problems.

“Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its impact on my family and my ability … as governor, I have decided to resign.”

He is resigning as of Nov. 15. That means there is no special election, a Democrat — the Senate president — will fill in.

That had to be the most public coming out ever.

: It was a remarkable speech: so painfully personal.

If this were just McGreevey coming out of the closet, that would be that.

But there’s more to this: The hiring of Cipel and the reputed involvement with him is an ethical scandal in and of itself.

There have been other campaign finance scandals dancing around the governor’s office.

And he was a rotten governor. I voted for him. I was wrong. He messed up the budget, robbing the “rich” to buy votes from the middle class. He messed up development issues, pissing off both sides. He made lots of hiring mistakes. He was a suburban mayor who did not have the experience to be governor.

So it’s more than McGreevey coming out of the closet.

Nonetheless, again, it was a most amazing moment in American politics.

: Here’s the full text of the McGreevey speech (I live-blogged the partial quotes above).

At a point in every person’s life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one’s soul and decide one’s unique truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is.

And so my truth is that I am a gay American. And I am blessed to live in the greatest nation with the tradition of civil liberties, the greatest tradition of civil liberties in the world, in a country which provides so much to its people.

Yet because of the pain and suffering and anguish that I have caused to my beloved family, my parents, my wife, my friends, I would almost rather have this moment pass. For this is an intensely personal decision, and not one typically for the public domain.

Yet, it cannot and should not pass. I am also here today because, shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony. It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable….

I realize the fact of this affair and my own sexuality if kept secret leaves me, and most importantly the governor’s office, vulnerable to rumors, false allegations and threats of disclosure. So I am removing these threats by telling you directly about my sexuality.

Let me be clear, I accept total and full responsibility for my actions. However, I’m required to do now, to do what is right to correct the consequences of my actions and to be truthful to my loved ones, to my friends and my family and also to myself.

It makes little difference that as governor I am gay. In fact, having the ability to truthfully set forth my identity might have enabled me to be more forthright in fulfilling and discharging my constitutional obligations.

Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its likely impact upon my family and my ability to govern, I have decided the right course of action is to resign. To facilitate a responsible transition, my resignation will be effective on November 15th of this year.

Audio here.

: Says NJ.com editor Dean Betz on the NJ.com newsblog:

The dirt is about to get very deep, and the governor’s apparent moment of courage will probably reveal itself to be tainted by cowardice – maybe a lot worse.

: Here, prominently displayed on the NJ Governor’s home page is the governor’s “code of conduct.”

The Governor shall not accept any personal gift, favor, service or other thing of value under circumstances from which the Governor knows or has reason to believe that such personal gift, favor, service or other thing of value is offered with the intent to unduly influence him in the performance of his public duties or under circumstances from which it might be reasonably inferred that such gift, service or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing the employee in the discharge of the employee

McGreevey out!?!

McGreevey out!?!

: NJ Gov Jim McGreevey is quitting today. More to come later. I will link you to everything on NJ.com.

: The NJ.com Statehouse Forum has the hints to what’s coming.

: The reason, you’ll learn soon, is incredible.

: Here’s the NJ.com breaking news blog; they’ll be on top of this huge story.

: NJ101.5 radio is saying that it’s not 100 percent he will step down. The TV stations are hedging like mad.

: Here’s the WABC report.

Let’s put it this way: It’s not a campaign finance scandal.

: It’s dripping out: Golan Cipel is reportedly going to file a sexual harrassment claim against McGreevey.

Cipel was, with great controversy, appointed as state anti-terrorism chief early in the administration.

: For reference only, here’s a link to McGreeveySucks.com.

: Let’s put it this way: You Soprano’s fans will remember the surprise about this guy on the Sopranos. A Jersey trend in the making.

: Says PoliticsNJ.com:

If McGreevey were to resign before September 15, New Jersey would have a special gubernatorial election on November 2, 2004. If he were to resign after that date, Codey would hold the office until the end of McGreevey’s term in January 2006.

: The NJ.com Statehouse Forum says that McGreevey’s mysterious broken leg is related. Rumors….

For the record, so far, all this is rumors and reports.

: The background on Cipel is that he was hired by McGreevey to be head of homeland security for the state — even though he had no experience in that (other than being an Israeli).

Overheard in my office: “This is worse than banging your intern.”

: The press conference is much delayed. Wonder whether they’re sedating McGreevey… or bribing his wife.

Morning reading

Morning reading

: I’ll say more on this later but I have to run to a meeting about brides (hey, it’s a job). But in the meantime, go read what Doc has to say.