Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reversal of Misfortunes

Money is called ‘cash’. They also call it “dough”. Or moolah, coin, bucks, loot, scratch, bread, ducats, wampum and dead presidents.

While the Eskimos are known for having hundreds of words for ‘snow’, we in America have many words for ‘money’. As Danny DeVito's character, Mickey Bergman, in the David Mamet film “Heist” says: "Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money.”

They just don’t call it ‘returnable’. But that is what seems to be the new trend in NJ.

In what seems to be a stunning reversal of the usual ‘fortune’ in New Jersey politics, people all over New Jersey are returning money. That’s right ---they’re giving money back. Yup, "return to sender", stamped right on the envelope.

I guess the first time it was done this political season was when Senator Clinton returned about $850,000 received from a fundraiser who was wanted by the law. This year, Linda Stender returned $6000 received from Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who recently resigned from the State Assembly amidst allegations of child porn being on his office computer. And earlier, the GOP demanded that Ms. Stender return money she received from Congressman Charlie Rangel---when the NY Congressman was accused of improprieties regarding apartments he is renting in Harlem.

Now, not to be outdone, the Stanhope Board of Education wants its bucks back from their former superintendent [Nicholas Brown] --- $65,125 paid out to for unused sick and vacation days when he left for a new job.

What’s next? Oil companies with huge profits returning money to drivers?
Trenton giving money back to towns? Wouldn’t that be something.