While the Supreme Court says New Jersey has every right to pull out of the bi-state Waterfront Commission, that move would still be an open invitation to corruption.
The justices merely ruled that Jersey never gave up its right to withdraw.
But doing so is just a gift to the International Longshoremen’s Association, which has pushed for decades to kill the docks watchdog.
For 70 years, the commission has had regulatory authority over the ports in Newark, Elizabeth, Bayonne, Staten Island, and Brooklyn — keeping the mob at bay and ensuring fair hiring.
Yet first Republican Gov. Chris Christie and then-Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy sided with the ILA.
Now, NJ Advance Media’s Ted Sherman has unearthed decade-old draft Waterfront Commission reports buried under Christie that depict ports plagued by organized crime, drug use, racism, sexism, and no-show jobs, including nearly 20 people paid more than $450,000 a year.
And the ILA’s spent millions in Jersey lobbying for its “freedom,” including at least $455,000 to three dark money political organizations run by Sean Caddle, who last we checked was awaiting sentencing for hiring men to murder a former associate.
The Genovese, Bonanno, and Gambino organized crime families allegedly continue to influence the ILA and port businesses.
After the SCOTUS ruling, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James vowed to “continue to do everything in our power to combat corruption and crime, protect the health of our economy, and ensure the safety of New Yorkers.”
At the least, Hochul and Murphy now must reach some agreement on how to maintain ongoing investigations, enforcement actions, and so on.
Maybe that’s enough leverage to muscle Murphy into not selling out the ports to the mob.
This article was originally posted here