Just when you thought things in the Christie saga couldn't get any seedier........
I don't often go to The Huffington Post but today I followed a link from a comment in NJ.com.
What I read just about boggles the brain, it's a lengthy article and needs reading in its entirety, the few paragraphs allowed don't do it justice.
Pop over the Koscloud to find out for yourselves...........
Apparently New Jersey has some of the strictest laws against companies influencing government with money but these laws don't apply to non-profits like the Drumthwacket Foundation, aimed at maintaining and restoring the Governors Mansion.
Seems to me that this gave some people the green light to get around these laws.
In a highly unusual move the husband and wife team of John (chairman of insurance giant Prudential) and Mary Kay Strangfield became chairman and vice chairman (woman) of the Foundation.
In November 2011, as the foundation's revenues skyrocketed, the Christie administration awarded Prudential a record-setting $250 million tax incentive to move its Newark headquarters a few blocks down the street, to a shiny new glass office tower.
From the start, there were questions about the deal. Typically, corporate tax breaks are granted on the basis of how many jobs a company will create using the money it's saving on taxes. At the time of the Prudential deal, New Jersey's tax incentive programs gave out an average of $167,000 per job. But Prudential received three times that, a whopping $527,000 per job, in a deal approved by the Christie-controlled New Jersey Economic Development Authority. When asked at the time why the award was so high, a spokesman for the governor said the tax break was about development more than it was about jobs.
They weren't the only ones by a long shot who got questionable breaks from the New Jersey administration...
New Jersey real estate developer Kurt Conti first appeared on the Drumthwacket donor rolls in February 2011 with a gift at the $50,000 level (Drumthwacket lists donors under broad categories based on how much they gave). Overnight, Conti was among the top donors to the foundation.There's more, much more in the article and anyone here interested in Christiegate will gain a more thorough picture of the shennanigans by reading it.
At the time, his construction company was bidding on two state contracts worth a combined $211 million. Conti won them both, the first on May 24, 2011, for $143 million, and the second less than two weeks later, for $68 million. But Conti's generosity was short-lived. In 2012, he did not donate at all to Drumthwacket.
I apologise for not being able to stay long in the comments, I have to go out to work in a few, but will be back soon. Just wanted to get this information out to all the Christiegate addicts amongst us.
8:07 AM PT: OK, I'm back after a very trying dogwalk, my own (the shame) little Patterdale Terrier chased a hearse being followed by a New Orleans street band and a very long procession of people. OY.
Thanks so much for the tips and recs.