I’m not really thrilled with the governor of New Jersey. The idea that he had an affair (regardless of the sex of his partner) is not material to his job as governor, really. But the fact that he gave this person a position of power within the government is extremely troubling and worthy of resignation.
That said, today’s announcement of a lawsuit filed by his former (boyfriend? lover?) adviser is even more disgusting. I don’t believe him.
“While employed by one of the most powerful politicians in the country, New Jersey Governor McGreevey, I was the victim of repeated sexual advances by him,” Golan Cipel said in a statement. It was read to reporters by attorney Allen M. Lowy during a news conference in New York.
In the statement, Cipel went on to say “Such conduct, and Mr. McGreevey’s behavior caused me much emotional distress and turmoil. I often wonder why I did not have the strength to disentangle myself from such an opressive environment, and from such a manipulative person. But I’ve come to understand that I was a victim.”
Golan Cipel claims that the governor sexually harassed him. And yet, he was given patronage jobs at McGreevy contributor’s companies, then he accepted a high level, $110,000 state job without qualifications, where he remained until too many questions surfaced. He then became a “special adviser” until 2002. Check out this list of his various jobs, all arranged by the governor. Without these jobs, he’d be shipped back to his native Israel. Do a Google search on this guy to discover the voluminous news and opinion articles written on him. McGreevey spent a lot of time with Cipel, including, significantly, helping him get an apartment and accompanying him at a final walk-through, which is certainly not the behavior of a man who is harassing another — or that of a man being harassed. It sounds to me like a young man taking advantage of a relationship with an older man with power.
Sounds like the governor was the one being harassed, or at the very least, blackmailed into keeping this guy employed. Now, I think that Cipel needs some cash, and has decided that–since he can no longer be employed amid all the suspicion–this is his last available path to fame and fortune.
When will politicians ever learn to not get involved with such people?
Bill Palatucci, the New Jersey Republican state committee’s finance chairman, had harsh words for McGreevey at Friday’s news conference.
“He is the master of deception. He has deceived himself, he has deceived his family, and he has deceived all the voters of New Jersey. He tried to deceive all of us yesterday by trying to make the basis of his resignation … his sexual orientation,” he said. “This is … about his conduct in office.”
This is a pretty shocking quote. Of course, the Republicans will be the first ones to claim that gay people are not fit to serve in public office. If only they could judge people on their conduct in office rather than their conduct in the bedroom. It’s tough in this instance, because it was his conduct in the bedroom that led to his poor conduct in office; I just hope that there isn’t a backlash which leads to more hatred of gay people in this country.