A waist is a terrible thing to mind

Chris Christie’s weight problem is not a legimate public issue; his corruption is.

Jon Corzine shouldn’t be making fun of Chris Christie’s waistline; he should be hammering Christie on his corruption.  Telling a company “I won’t prosecute you if you’ll give a million bucks to my alma mater” is solicitation of a bribe in my book.  Too bad Corzine’s people think that personal insults work where serious charges won’t.  I’m not saying they’re wrong, but it’s still a shame.  And even though they’re right, it’s still the wrong thing to do.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

3 thoughts on “A waist is a terrible thing to mind”

  1. In other Chris Christie corruption:

    He put a motorcyclist in the hospital when he illegally turned into a one-way-street going the wrong way – and he then used his status as a USA to get out of a ticket.

    He was caught driving without registration or insurance, and similarly used his USA status to get off; incredibly, he was even allowed to drive his car home from the stop, instead of it being impounded or merely having to get a cab home, abandoning his car until he could return to it with registration and insurance.

    He loaned a younger female subordinate some $46,000 in the form of a 10-year home mortgage at 5% interest (who does this? Isn't that why we have banks, and countersigners? And this was in 2007, before the credit crunch). He then did not report the interest income or pay taxes on it. He also engineered a promotion, and an increase in pay, for this woman while she continued work under him in the US attorney's office and to owe him money and to pay him interest.

  2. Um, the ad in question "takes aim at Christie for using his authority as a U.S. Attorney to avoid problems related to his driving record," per your link. It does use the phrase "throw his weight around" (which he did), and it does have an unflattering shot of Christie getting out of his SUV; but at worst, the ad both hammers Christie on his corruption *and* calls attention to his weight. Nor is this ad the only hammering the Corzine campaign has done on Christie's corruption, although it does seem to be the only instance of the campaign publicly "making fun of" his weight (at least that I'm aware of).

    I think this is a minor misstep that's drawing far more huffing and puffing than it warrants.

  3. The record as it's been publicly disclosed is that BMS offered to endow a chair in business ethics at Seton Hall; there's no suggestion that Christie requested it. So the accurate way to describe what happened, on Mark's view, is that Mary Jo White, prominent Democrat and former US Attorney for SDNY,one of the prime innovators in the world of DOJ deferred prosecution agreements and counsel to BMS, offered to pay a bribe, and Christie agreed. Let's try Mark's theory out with a prosecution of White first.

    Meanwhile, so many of Corzine's friends are under indictment that it's hard to count them. Actual corruption–the kind that causes people to lose faith in their government–doesn't seem to bother Mark.

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