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Sen. Corzine's Union Boss Lover Gets Paid

In spite of the publicized troubles of Republican lawmakers Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX) and Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, don't think for a moment that there's not Congressional Democrats with their own ethics issues. Yesterday it was Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-LA) getting swept up in a corruption probe, and today it's Sen. John Corzine's (D-NJ) magnanimous payoff of a loan he made to a union boss he was doing the "bumping uglies" with.

TRENTON, Aug. 3 (New York Times) - Senator Jon S. Corzine provided a $470,000 mortgage to the president of a union that represents thousands of New Jersey state employees in late 2002, then forgave the debt two years later.

The union president, Carla Katz, was Mr. Corzine's girlfriend at the time. The senator said on Wednesday that an investment company he owns gave her the mortgage, then canceled it in December 2004, several months after they had stopped dating.

The loan was not illegal, and Mr. Corzine said he took care of the required gift tax on the money he ended up giving to Ms. Katz.

But if Mr. Corzine succeeds in his race for New Jersey governor this fall against the Republican candidate, Douglas R. Forrester, he could find himself negotiating opposite Ms. Katz, whose union, Local 1034 of the Communications Workers of America, represents 9,000 state workers and is one of a handful of labor groups that will seek billions of dollars from the state for wage increases and a bailout of the state's troubled health care and pension funds.

...Land records at the Hunterdon County clerk's office show that on Dec. 18, 2002, Ms. Katz was granted a $470,000 mortgage from JSC Investments L.L.C., a company owned solely by Mr. Corzine. A deed filed in the clerk's office indicates that Ms. Katz used $361,000 of the loan to buy her husband's share of their home in Bloomsbury, N.J. Ms. Katz and her husband, Larry McKim, later divorced.

If you throw in the gift taxes Corzine paid on the deal he's probably out over $600,000 on this deal, while Katz has what is probably a million dollar house (free and clear) and over $100,000 in pocket change from the deal. Nice work if you can get it - except for the part about bumping Corzine's uglies. This looks like a better match for Corine - god know she's due a little payback...

The reason both Democrats and Republicans are all talk, no action on ethics complaints is that most of them have closets full of skeletons sitting happily undisturbed. As I pointed out in May, the minority party in Congress actually leads the way on accepting those infamous, lobbyist paid, Congressional junkets - so they're not exactly in a prime position to push Republicans on the issue in an official capacity. They're doing much better attacking on Republican's one at a time on the talk show circuit...


Fun With Numbers - Congressional Junket Edition - [Wizbang]
There's Always A Way - [WaPo]
Ethics groups' ire about Republicans becomes frustration with Democrats - [Raw Story]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Sen. Corzine's Union Boss Lover Gets Paid:

» Urban Republican linked with Corzine Just Like the Rest

» Conservative Outpost linked with Corzine "buying" a little union help

Comments (8)

So, what is missing from th... (Below threshold)

So, what is missing from the NYT story?

The senator's party affiliation!

(Though it does suggest it obliquely by slipping into the fourth paragraph that he would be running "against the Republican candidate".)

I guess I'm missing somethi... (Below threshold)

I guess I'm missing something here, and I readily agree that a Democrat can commit ethics violations just as much as a Republican. But it appears that Corzine was in a relationship with this woman, during which he gave her money (the guy's a millionaire) that he properly paid tax on. Now, a few years later, if he becomes Governor, he may find himself negotiating against the woman. Is the idea that he gave her the gift as an elaborate scheme, looking down the road when he might be Governor? I know you guys are eager to find corruption among Democrats, but I don't see it here, unless there's more to the story than is being reported.

Note: The loan was not illegal, and Mr. Corzine said he took care of the required gift tax on the money he ended up giving to Ms. Katz.

This doesn't look like he found a loophole or something. It looks like he gave a generous gift to a woman he was romantically involved with.

Chris - I was only... (Below threshold)

Chris -

I was only commenting on one aspect of the coverage.

Some potential COIs include:

- how her union may have been urged to act in his elections,

- what leverage she might have had in legislation for union items, and

- if his financial actions might potentially be construed as reward for non-personal reasons.

However, I do not necessarily believe there was any fire beneath the above smoke. Still, public employees and elected officials are oft held to quite a(n artificially) high standard. In fact, many such (and I am one) are judged on whether or not our actions create "an appearance of a potential COI." Some might well feel that a US Senator linked with a union president whose union is active in politics within his jurisdiction crosses that line.

<a href="http://www.bridalg... (Below threshold)


is this really worth 470k? Must be nice to have all that disposable income just laying around. That said, at least he has better taste than Clinton.

Did you notice AP got the R... (Below threshold)

Did you notice AP got the R-Texas and the R-Calif in the first paragraph of their stories, but it was paragraph 5 before we got the D-New Orleans on William Jefferson. (Not D-La. either. Why?)

He'd have to pay me more th... (Below threshold)

He'd have to pay me more than that to "bump his ugly". ARRGH!

If he is elected to the gov... (Below threshold)

If he is elected to the governorship of New Jersey, they will be on opposite sides of the bargaining table. Cute.

On the Imus in the morning ... (Below threshold)
Jim Feely:

On the Imus in the morning show this morning, Corzine showed a little more class by insulting the President's nominee to the Supreme Court when asked by Imus what he thought of Ms. Mier. He said, " I guess if running the texas lottery qualifies her as a candidate......." This moron will sit in judgement?
Hopefully we can find out more as to why Ms katz was paid off, and why a U.S. Senator was romancing a married woman (Katz)at the time he "helped" her? Could it be that Ms Katz had a lot of dirt on the wonderchild from Goldman Sachs, the breeding grounds for sleeze in business and politics?






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