“The Most Outrageous Nomination Battle of Them All”

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That’s what The Auditor calls the internal shenanigans behind one of Corzine’s last political appointments, which also sheds some light on the likelihood of Bret Schundler’s confirmation as Education Commissioner.

Seems that Gov. Corzine’s final furious flurry of political appointments included Vince Giordano of Jersey City to the Civil Rights Commission. Giordano, who must be a multi-tasking kind of guy, is also Executive Director of the NJEA – which ran a multi-million dollar campaign to keep Corzine in office. From The Auditor:

Christie and company convinced Sen. Brian Stack (D-Hudson) to block Giordano’s nomination. An enraged Corzine then threatened to block $11 million in special aid for Union City, where Stack is mayor. Stack held firm as Christie vowed he’d restore any aid cut by Corzine.

Then Corzine told the Senate he would instead nominate former NJEA president Joyce Powell. Christie, at home in Mendham, phoned incoming Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and implored him to block Powell as a sign of good faith. Standing in the Judiciary Committee hearing room in Trenton, Sweeney, who has long battled with NJEA, agreed.

An edu-wrinkle: Sen. Stack is one of the three Hudson County legislators who can potentially block Bret Schundler’s nomination as Education Commissioner (see here). If this reporting is accurate, there’s not much for Schundler to worry about. Giordano got approved, Corzine got to give one last gift to NJEA, and the Republicans got a spot on the Civil Rights Commisssion.

It’s all sleezy enough. But what’s with Corzine’s last-minute pay-off attempts to NJEA head honchos, first Giordano and then Joyce Powell, currently on the Executive Committee of NEA? Clearing the books? Promises to keep? Setting up I.O.U.’s for some future run at public office?

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