Federal prosecutors this week dropped their embarrassing effort to create new law by executive branch fiat in order to prosecute a New Jersey mayoral candidate and his campaign manager. In a case closely covered by the Justice Integrity Project, authorities missed the deadline to appeal to the full U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals two previous rulings that federal bribery statutes are aimed at officials in office, not candidates.
With great fanfare in July 2009, federal prosecutors indicted Democratic Jersey City mayoral candidate Louis Manzo, his brother Ronald Manzo and several other candidates as part of an anti-corruption investigation launched by former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.
News coverage generated by the 46-defendant case helped propel the Republican Christie to New Jersey's governorship later that year, thereby enabling him to hire at least 10 former colleagues from the U.S. attorney's office for state jobs. See below for links to details on this and other recent news stories involving the justice system and related issues in politics and national security.
Newark Star-Ledger, U.S. attorney won't appeal dropped charges against ex-Assemblyman Lou Manzo, brother, MaryAnn Spoto, May 5, 2011. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman will not challenge a federal court ruling tossing out charges against some defendants in the state’s largest public corruption sting. The decision not to seek an appeal lets stand a ruling by U.S. District Judge Jose Linares and a finding by a three-member panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals that dismisses extortion charges against brothers Ron and Lou Manzo.
Oregon Salem-News, The so-called 'war on terror' has redefined the concept of a battlefield, Janet C. Phelan, May 2, 2011. With this assassination of Osama bin Laden under his belt, President Obama has fulfilled yet another of his campaign promises. It was during the Presidential debates when then Presidential-hopeful Obama solemnly declared: "We will track down Osama bin Laden and kill him." And it was at that precise moment that my decision was made--I would not be casting my vote for Barrack Obama.