Profane, boastful and sure of his power, one of New Jersey’s most formidable political bosses can be heard proclaiming his influence over everything that moves in New Jersey politics, from U.S. senators to lowly local officials, in a series of secret recordings released yesterday. The Newark Star-Ledger called the recordings “a rare unguarded dialogue on backroom politics Jersey-style.” On the tapes, Democratic power broker George Norcross III tells a councilman in South Jersey that he can call the shots from behind the scenes.
“I’m not going to tell you this to insult you, but in the end, the McGreeveys, the Corzines, they’re all going to be with me,” Norcross said on the tape. “Not that they like me, but because they have no choice.” Norcross bragged about his political connections to former Gov. James E. McGreevey and U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine at a Jan. 3, 2001, meeting secretly taped by a local councilman. The tape offered a glimpse into the bare-knuckle politicking that has almost become a cliché in New Jersey.