Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Corzine and Katz story just gets better

In the ongoing saga (see 1, 2) of Jon "Goofy" Corzine and his union boss hottie, Carla Katz, Eric Fettmann in the NY Post (registration required) provides some new details in SO MUCH FOR 'MR. CLEAN' :
In 2003, during the course of their relationship, Corzine loaned Katz $470,000 — about $100,000 more than she needed to buy her ex-husband's share of a 19th-century Hunterdon County farmhouse.
That's good news. Carla and her school teacher hubby only had an $800K country estate - I was getting suspicious there for a while.
Though he insists everything was above board, it later turned out that Corzine had made two other sizable personal loans to women — but the one to Katz was the only one he didn't report on his U.S. Senate disclosure forms. (The senator maintains those loans actually were business investments.)
Woohoo! You could say the loan to ole Carla was an investment too.
And it now turns out that the home Katz bought isn't her primary residence. She spends most of her time in a posh Hoboken waterfront apartment — and Corzine has apartment two floors up.

Maybe Corzine — a former Wall Street whiz with a net worth closing in on $260 million — is correct, and this is all a case of lavishing some significant bling on his honey.
Er, investment sounds better than "significant bling."
But it's still a problem, as The Record's Mike Kelly noted. Suppose Corzine were the CEO of a major company who'd secretly lavished a $500,000 gift on a woman with whom he'd been involved and who headed the union representing the company's workers — and the shareholders found out. Forget about conflict of interest — Corzine would be out of a job even faster than he was ousted as head of Goldman Sachs back in the '90s.
Wait - there's more financial hijinks!
Then there's his financial partnership (a bid to buy the Nets and keep the team in Jersey) with real-estate tycoon Charles Kushner. The soon-to-be-convicted Kushner was brought down in a tawdry scandal involving tax fraud and sex. Ironically, he'd been the key link between then-Gov. Jim McGreevey and his lover, Golan Cipel, whose hiring as a key state homeland security official ultimately led to the governor's resignation.
This much is certain: Corzine will have a tough time selling himself as the knight on horseback to clean up Jersey's squalid politics if he keeps insisting that such things are no one's business but his own.
Hit the article for more of Goofy's financial pratfalls, but the Goldman Sachs ouster reminded me of this New York magazine article:
Corzine was so humiliated that he couldn’t bear to go to the office, even though he was determined to stay on for several months to see the public offering through to its conclusion. So, according to someone who knows him well, he developed an unusual routine. He’d get up every morning, put on his suit, step into his waiting limo, and ride from his house in Summit, New Jersey, to downtown Manhattan. He’d have his driver park in front of Goldman’s offices at 85 Broad Street—and he’d work from the backseat of his car. He’d have secretaries bring whatever he needed down to him.
Wotta guy!