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Who loves the Boss?

by David Dening

Native son Bruce Springsteen is revered in New Jersey coming up from the watering holes of Asbury Park and writing many an iconic song weaved into the fabric of life for many of its residents over decades. To ask who loves Bruce on the political side of the fence in NJ equally creates a long list of fans including the current Governor. Who else loves Bruce?

A lot more New Jersey politicians apparently. But it’s not all about the love of music and unfortunately, from an ethics standpoint, some of these pols aren’t willing to wait in line like regular fans of The Boss, instead they’ve used a state agency to access tickets. A Businessweek article yesterday exposes tickets given last year to top New Jersey officials before they were sold to the public. Ironically this occurred while New Jersey was suing ticket brokers over sales practices.

The top ticket recipients takers all have Hoboken ties.

The number one ticket taker is state Senator Paul Sarlo who received 66 tickets. Sarlo should be well known to Hobokenites now for his attempts to pass a bill that would allow New Jersey Transit to build a monstrosity,  a building up to eighty stories high over the rail yard without Hoboken’s approval blotting out sunshine over the whole southern end of town and obliterating the towns’s character in the process.

In second place for most Bruce loving pol is former state senate president Richard Codey with 60 tickets. Codey made a visit to Hoboken last summer to endorse Peter Cammarano in the mayoral runoff. He also gave $5500 to Cammarano’s Mayoral campaign.

Finally, Hoboken resident, former governor, Jon Corzine rounds out the top three. He received 57 tickets. He also has eclectic tastes; among the tickets were three to a Jonas Brothers concert.

The chairwoman of the state Ethics Commission is calling for an investigation and Governor Christie has ordered a review of the policy.  The winds of change blowing through New Jersey have begun.  Godspeed.

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