Democrat Power Broker From New Jersey Charged with Racketeering

( – Another Democrat from New Jersey is making the news after political broker George E. Norcross III was slapped with racketeering charges by the state’s attorney general.

Norcross, an insurance executive by trade, has long been one of the most influential Democrats in the Garden State, despite not holding office himself. Instead, Norcross has been behind many successful campaigns and careers of officials in the state, creating a political culture others call “boss-driven.”

“You’ve had this culture of a handful of people with disproportionate influence,” said Steven Fulop, who serves as the mayor of Jersey City. Fulop, while a Democrat himself, has often been at odds with Norcross.

“The public didn’t necessarily realize how all of this stuff [political culture in New Jersey] was monetized,” Fulop added.

Fulop is among a new generation of progressives in the state who aren’t a part of the old school / boy’s club-style of politicking among New Jersey Democrats, along with the state’s attorney general, Matt Platkin.

In his 111-page indictment against Norcross, Platkin accused the businessman of engaging in a corruption and influence peddling scheme – a “criminal enterprise,” according to the indictment – that lasted for 12 years.

Furthermore, Platkin’s indictment indicated, Norcross’ operation has brought about “great harm to individuals, businesses, nonprofits, the people of the state of New Jersey, and especially to the city of Camden.”

In the indictment, Platkin also claimed that Norcross used his considerable influence over political officials to procure prime waterfront properties in Camden, New Jersey. Not only that, Platkin claims that Norcross’ business was able to secure millions of dollars’-worth of tax credits, as well as lobby for the passage of state legislation that benefitted his business interests.

The indictment also names the entrepreneur’s brother, Philip Norcross; Dana Redd, Camden’s former mayor; Norcross’ personal lawyer, William M. Tambussi; and John O’Donnell.

Norcross was present – albeit uninvited – during the press conference announcing the indictment against him. He sat in the front row and refused to move when asked to. His lawyer was heard saying, “Is there someone who deserves to sit here more than the lead defendant in the case?” Norcross was also seemingly unfazed by the charges when accosted by reporters after the press conference, calling the New Jersey attorney general a “coward.”

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