A few weeks ago, in the midst of the moronic and childish New York state senate standoff, I wrote on my friend Jeff Pearlman’s blog that after all those shenanigans, I almost wished I was from New Jersey.
Delightfully, New Jersey has fired back with some sleaze of its own.
I almost don’t know where to start on this whole New Jersey politician/rabbi/corruption story; it’s almost too easy to make fun of.
If you’re not aware of what happened, 44 people were arrested in New Jersey Thursday on corruption charges, involving money-laundering, bribery, and kidney-selling (yes, kidney-selling).
This baby has it all: dirty politicians, including some, like the mayor of Hoboken, who ran on “anti-corruption” platforms. Sleazy rabbis funneling money to Israel and elsewhere, and of course, body-part selling.
Now, disappointingly for writers like me, the rabbis themselves were not directly involved in the kidney-selling part, though a Jewish guy, Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, was.
The jokes are endless with an orthodox Jew being involved: Was he unable to touch dairy after handling the kidney? Did he have to make sure no ham or pork products had been ingested by the person whose kidney he was taking?
And most excitingly, was the kidney stolen on the Sabbath? Because, you know, I’m pretty sure it says somewhere in the Torah that along with electricity and traveling in a car, organ-harvesting is also forbidden on that holy day.
This scandal is so beautiful; even longtime New Jersey scandal-watchers are saying this is bad, “even for New Jersey.” My favorite parts so far have been the sheer brazenness of the Rabbis (I always love it when religious leaders who always preach about morality have their hand in the cookie jar), and the quote from the mayor of Hoboken, Peter J. Cammarano, to the FBI informant during one of the deals, just before he was elected:
“Right now, the Italians, the Hispanics, the seniors, are locked down. I could be, uh, indicted, and I’m still going to win 85 to 95 percent of those populations.”
Well Pete, that sounded like a hypothetical then, but now, you can get that chance! Lets’ s see what it takes to get rid of him.
See, there’s a reason these stereotypes exist about New Jersey, and Louisiana, and Illinois politicians. It’s BECAUSE THEY”RE TRUE!
New Jersey has always had an inferiority complex about New York, and rightfully so. New York has better everything than New Jersey, except, apparently, corrupt officials.
So congratulations, New Jersey. You’ve once again made me proud to be a New Yorker.
And believe me, the next time I stop at the Vince Lombardi rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, I’ll think twice before ordering the kidney bean salad.