Xanadu is an ethical quagmire, sort of like the state of NJ

MyCentralJersey.com reports this today:

From the Meadowlands comes word the Xanadu site has turned up oozing drums of material, leaking fuel tanks and all manner of other ugly stuff you wouldn’t want to subject your family to, although pollution will remain a concern after the giant shopping and entertainment center opens.

Sen. Kip Bateman, R-Somerset, is not happy. “I am not surprised that the troubled Xanadu entertainment complex is back in the news. It is deeply troubling that the severity of the environmental contamination at the site was not previously reported.”

Everyone from Jeff Tittle of the Sierra Club to Republican leaders are upset that the extent of the industrial contamination has been kept fromthe public. But this is not new. The entire Xanadu project reeks from the very beginning.

Bateman wants the Senate Environment Committee, of which he is a member, to hold hearings. “Hearings to clear the air are appropriate, especially since senior state government officials, reportedly, held significant interests in corporations involved in the project at some point, if not currently.”

Which senior state government officials in particular? Anyone we have heard of?

n August, published reports said Gov. Corzine’s former chief of economic development, Gary Rose, helped direct a $1.5 million bailout of Xanadu while he owned stock in a firm that could have lost more than $1 billion if Xanadu failed. It quoted state records that showed Rose held stock and mutual funds in Goldman Sachs while working as Corzine’s development official.

That’s bad news! Corzine’s chief of economic development using taxpayer money in a scheme to protect his personal investment? But at least Corzine was not involved!

Goldman, where Rose and Corzine once worked, loaned Xanadu developer Mills Corp. more than $1 billion. Rose arranged for new investors to save the project. The new investors include Dune Real Estate, which state records showed Rose had an interest in. The governor said when he selected Rose for the job he didn’t know he had a financial stake in Xanadu.

Oh, the firm was Corzine’s former Goldman Sachs! Now that does smell, just a little.

Corzine himself signed a bill that could help Dune CEO Daniel Neidich, a friend and former business partner, develop an aquarium at Xanadu. He said he sought advice from an ethics panel before signing the bill and was cleared.

So Corzine is involved. Up to his neck, and with taxpayer money! But he will not spend $19 million to ensure against election fraud with a retrofit of our vulnerable voting machines.

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