One of the central issues of the New Jersey Governor’s race is ethics. One question that arises from that is, “who is in charge, Jon Corzine or the Democratic Machine?” The case of Jamel Holley is a case in which the machine won.
Holley is an up-and-coming star of the New Jersey Democratic Party. See this profile of him in a “Under 40″ list. He was chief-of-staff to Neil Cohen, the previous Deputy Majority Leader in the Assembly. (Cohen eventually resigned due to allegations, and now indictments, of child porn) In 2004, he represented the New Jersey Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention Committee on Affirmative Action and Outreach. He was the Executive Director of the Roselle Democratic Committee, and is now the Roselle Council President.
He was also indicted by the Democratic Attorney General for tampering with absentee ballots, “completing portions of the ballots of at least 20 voters,” in a 2006 Democratic Primary for a Roselle City Council seat. Once those voters testified to his behavior, the ballots, which happened to be for Holley’s candidate.

Holley was ordered by a judge to pay a $125 fine and enter “pre-trial intervention”, at the end of which the case will be dismissed. (it is somewhat unlikely that, as the judge noted, Holley was “not familiar with the absentee voting system” or “not educated in this”. I mean, ED of the local party, representative to the convention, Council President, former Chief of Staff to the Deputy leader…) That sure sounds like an admission to the facts to me.

In any case, as soon as the indictment came down, Corzine’s office called for Holley’s resignation. But then, another one of Holley’s former bosses objected, after the judge acted. Assemblyman Cryan (who happens to be the Corzine-appointed State Democratic Party Chairman) wrote a letter attacking the Attorney General’s action.

Corzine’s response? He backtracks on the initial demand to have Holley resign:

At a Willingboro rally on Saturday, Corzine told that he had not seen Lesniak’s letter, nor did he remember his request for Holley to step down from office while fighting his case against the Attorney General’s Office.


Corzine’s AG is under the bus. His principal of elected officials under scrutiny? Under the bus.
Sounds like Machine 1, Corzine 0.

Or, as one paper put it, “Christie has often accused Corzine of being more lenient with prominent Democrats while throwing lesser figures under the bus”. Perhaps Corzine just didn’t understand what category Holley was in.