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Martin Doubling Down – Revolving Door Opens For Business Crony Appointment

Earth to Martin: The Chamber of Commerce is Not “Green”

[Update: I just read Obama’s Oval Office address (missed it last night) and feel compelled to preface this post with this Obama quote, which explains the failures of federal regulators:

Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves. At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.

When Ken Salazar became my Secretary of the Interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency. But it’s now clear that the problem there ran much deeper, and the pace of reform was just too slow. And so Secretary Salazar and I are bringing in new leadership at the agency — Michael Bromwich, who was a tough federal prosecutor and Inspector General. And his charge over the next few months is to build an organization that acts as the oil industry’s watchdog — not its partner.

Despite a scathing Asbury Park Press editorial opposing DEP Commissioner Bob Martin’s plan to change DEP’s mission in order to promote economic development, and strong warning signs from the Gulf BP oil blowout illustrating exactly what happens when government regulators get too friendly with polluters, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin just appointed a Chamber of Commerce Crony as a new Assistant Commissioner for Economic Development and “green” business.

Sorry Bob, calling a Chamber of Commerce appointment “green is so obviously cynical it becomes laughable.

And claiming that the focus of the appointment will be on renewable energy after slashing more than $400 million in Clean Energy Funds and trashing the DEP’s Global Warming Response Act Plan is way beyond the pale.

Just like his Boss, Martin ignores facts, makes rash moves, and dismisses criticism, damn the consequences.

The Asbury Park Press sure gets what’s wrong here

In a strongly worded April 16 editorial; Aiding economy not DEP’s job, the APP blasted DEP Commissioner Martin for his views on DEP’s role in economic development and his plans for creating a new Assistant Commissioner for economic development:

Now and then, some public official will say things that make the attentive listener go, Whoa! That doesn’t sound quite right. Does this guy understand his job?

The most recent example to come out of the Christie administration is found in the musings of Bob Martin, the new commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP’s job is to protect and preserve the environment, not to insert itself into questions of the economic issues involved. That’s for other state policymakers to address. It is much too early to form any judgments on how Martin will do on the job. But some of his statements thus far should give those who care about New Jersey’s environment real pause.

The problem is that Martin was not just engaged in “musings” – he’s now acted on those absurd remarks.

And in addition to previously working for the auto industry (a real “green” career path! as a lobbyist?) we note that the appointee hails from the Mercer County Chamber.

Back in my Sierra Club days, we were involved in a Mercer County campaign to defeat the $240 million proposed garbage incinerator. We ran into some pretty nasty players in Mercer County Republican Party and business circles, friends of the Prunetti Machine.

That Machine used the Mercer County Improvement Authority to issue bonds and serve as a money laundering operation, while the Yardville National Bank was the political piggy bank. Lots of the corrupt machine deals were masked as “economic development ” and provided cover as “green” recycling programs. Martin seems to know how to play this game too. It’s amazing that despite investigations by the FBI and federal bank regulators, only one crony went to jail after the incinerator was cancelled and millions of dollars simply walked away and went unaccounted for (case prosecuted by US Attorney Chris Christie!).

The former executive director of the Mercer County Improvement Authority pleaded guilty today to participating in a mail fraud scheme with Harry G. Parkin, the former chief of staff to the Mercer County Executive, and to conspiring with Alex Abdalla to bribe a Ewing Township official, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced.[…] According to the terms of the plea agreement, Lambert agreed to cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation of Mercer County public corruption.

So, that Mercer County affiliation is one fine pedigree!

The Revolving Door Swings Open at DEP, again.

(ps – and would Dave Pringle at NJEF care to comment? How’s that Christie endorsement looking now? – it sure looked bad, as I wrote BEFORE the election)

His eye is on the sparrow - Puppetmaster Jim Benton, head of NJ Petroleum Council, keeps an eye on DEP Commissioner Bob Martin during yesterday's testimony on Gulf BP oil blowout

His eye is on the sparrow – Puppetmaster Jim Benton, head of NJ Petroleum Council, keeps an eye on DEP Commissioner Bob Martin during yesterday’s testimony on Gulf BP oil blowout

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