The Soprano State: New Jersey's Culture of Corruption

The Soprano State: New Jersey's Culture of Corruption

by Bob Ingle, Sandy McClure
4.4 22
Pub. Date:
St. Martin's Press
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The Soprano State: New Jersey's Culture of Corruption

It's Not a Joke

New Jersey leads the country in corruption

“Ingle and McClure have been chasing the people, politics,and plundering for years in the best Ben Hecht Front Page style. Investigative journalism in New Jersey is not for the faint at heart, the lazy, or the impatient.”

—from the Foreword by Dick Hughes

“We’re often asked by people elsewhere if New Jersey residents are aware of what the rest of the country thinks and why they don’t do something about it. The answer to the first question is: They know. The second is harder. Do they like being the national butt of jokes? Do they wait for the day when they can get their share of graft? Are they too busy working more than one job to afford the extraordinary cost of living? Have they given up?”

—from The Soprano State

“This book is a page-turner. You start out laughing and end up pounding the table for reform. May the book inspire those who care about New Jersey to imagine a better place.”

—Tom Curley, CEO, The Associated Press

“New Jersey is arguably America’s most corrupt state, and it is not an

achievement to be proud of, as Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure starkly

demonstrate. Only the people of the Garden State can stop the jokes—both the ones elected to office and the ones told about the crooked truth of

political life there.”

—Dr. Larry J. Sabato, author of A More Perfect Constitution and director of the Center for Politics, University of Virginia

This three-decade journey through the political and economic weeds of the Garden State, led by two of its finest journalists, will astound, outrage, and empower any American taxpayer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312368944
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 02/05/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.22(w) x 8.19(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Foreword xiii

Prologue xvii

Introduction 1

1 Deep in the Pits They Strike Gold 9

2 Lots of Power, Less Common Sense 19

3 Like Days of Yore Minus the Shining Knights 73

4 All Aboard die Gravy Train 107

5 ?See No Evil? Law Enforcement and Court Jesters 129

6 The Run for the Roses Starts in die Boondocks 165

7 Speaking Authoritatively: No Oversight 191

8 The Gospel According to the Mob 221

9 On the Boardwalk: Sand, Sea, Sun, and Scandal 253

10 The Soviet Socialist Republic of Jersey 273

Epilogue 291

Notes 295

Index 311

Reading Group Guide 327

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Soprano State 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great reading experience that opens your eyes to how deep corruption is in New Jersey.
CharlieCNJ More than 1 year ago
The book was an easy read, even though the content made my stomach uneasy. If you live in the Great State of New Jersey this book should be required reading. After you read it, if you ever vote for another incumbent, you will get what you deserve. Great Book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
To this reader, 'The Soprano State' was a mighty fine read. Bravo to the two author's for their free flowing prose. The only drawback in this book I found was the lack of elaboration on the Public Employment Relations Commission, which I believe is also part of the body politic. Otherwise, it's certainly a book for our times. Seems to me that there will never be a paragon in either major party on the east coast. If I were privileged though to add one last sentence to this book, it would read: 'Let us even pray that our leaders would see the truth and light.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A much needed calling-out of the corrupt political system in New Jersey. Thorough research.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone should read this book before going to the polls. This book was about New Jersey, but I have no doubt that shady politics go on in all 50.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Reads easy and smooth like good fiction. 5 stars plus one. I must say though that only God himself really knows the depth of the modern day corruption that seems to permeate this most heavily populated State. The authors did a swell job expounding on the alleged conditions in New Jersey. I've known people from this State and at least some of the subject matter in this book corroborates their stories. I myself have visited NJ before and I found that it had many desirable attributes, like the Jersey Shore for instance. Conversely, I don't have any doubts why anyone would want to move out of this beautiful State due to the preposterous school taxes and the high cost of housing. Could it be that the developers pay off politicians to skirt environmental and building moratorium laws? I surely don't believe everything in the printed form but this book, along with others, points to the 'signs of the times' so to speak. This book was worth the price and the time expended to digest the information given. Where the population is multiplied, so is the corruption it seems. The most interesting and prominent feature here was the public sector accounts which point to the lack of accountability. Is this book a clarion call for better checks and balances? Read for yourself and make your own assessment. By and large, the funniest part was chapter 8: ' The Gospel According to the Mob.' In closing, I must say that truly there is nothing hidden that will not be made manifest eventually!
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿The Soprano State¿ should be required reading for every budding journalist. It shows just how far the egotists we keep electing and entrusting with government cofers will go to advance themselves. It¿s a delightful read even if politicians aren¿t that bad in your state ... you think. The two authors have done a masterful job in capturing the laughter and larceny that abounds in the state house and its environs. Send another book our way. Barbara Knowles News Editor Newton Citizen Covington, Ga.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great Book however--there is SO MUCH MORE TO SAY...SOMEONE should LOOK at the Family Court and those corrupt liar/lawyers who collude with those men who wear those long dark Robes...decisions are made on the golf course or in some small back room-,out of the way restaurant, race track--or, tennis anyone? The lives of children and women are destroyed--all it takes is MONEY$$$$...those with it-WIN--those with Influence-WIN..there is alot of influence peddling, finessing of the court personnel,etc....corruption,pay to play and cronyism is alive and well in those halls of Injustice.... and folks,....there is no one minding the store! The RICO statutes should be invoked.....the liar/lawyers who know the Judges also collude and they make up the law as they go is truly Kafkaesque!!! Any thoughts people?
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is something-to be said for: SURVIVAL. To his credit: current Governor Jon Corzine survived terrible auto injuries from his SUV, and is still GOVERNING. In stark contrast: the swift-sorrow-to Neighbor Mr. Spitzer of New York State. Governor Spitzer was forced-to resign this week. With NJ being'The Garden State,' the motto on license plates: it has a lengthy history as The Turnpike State,from-and-to, two, BIG states. Corruption goes-back, you know, to times and places PRIOR-TO current scandals. Can the current authors HELP BRING-BACK JOBS TO NEW JERSEY?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Far and away, the best nonfiction I've read in years! I couldn't put it down...reads like fiction. I live in California and feared it might only be of interest to those who live in New Jersey. Boy, was I wrong. Ingle and McClure are remarkable reporters who'll keep you spellbound. Perhaps 'The Soprano State' wouldn't be as halarious if you resided in New Jersey but it is that and fascinating.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm in the middle of reading The Soprano State, and the travesty of justice to the ordinary taxpayers of NJ is appalling and almost more than I can take in. I'm wondering if there are any honest politicians in NJ or beyond, or do those two words not go together. We have a bloated, bloated, bloated government who exist for themselves, not the people. What do we do about this? Just allow this miscarriage of justice to go merrily along at our great and overwhelming expense?
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Soprano State by Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure will either inspire New Jersey residents to clean up our government or head for the exits while the tolls are still affordable. Leaving would be easier. Ingle and McClure chronicle corruption at all levels of New Jersey's government from the Byrne administration through the present day fiascos of the Corzine administration. If Governor Corzine really believes, as he has said, that our fiscal crisis can't be solved by weeding out waste, fraud and abuse, he needs to read this book. With both familiar accounts and never before published material, The Soprano State, would be funny if it were not about us. Monmouth County is featured prominently, as is most of the state. It is amazing that Ingle and McClure were able to squeeze so much sleaze into 300 pages. This book is a must read for all who live in and love New Jersey. It goes on sale Tuesday. Thank you to Bob Ingle for the advance copy. Even though you ruined my weekend, this work is critically important to all who make our homes and operate our businesses in New Jersey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ingle and McClure have done a comprehensive search of news articles (many wrtittent by the colleagues in NJ's Gannett State House bureau) cataloged and presented them in a way that reminds us of the corruption in New jersey. They do a good job of noting the explosion of ethical lapses under New Jersey's acting governors and the wackiness of Governors McGreevy and Corzine (both of whom, from the accounts in this book, have serious problems with letting their affairs of the heart get in the way of the affairs of state). This book would be a lot more interesting if it were not so self-referential and if it broke new ground.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book isn't out yet and I haven't read it, but premise for it makes it 5 stars instantly. New Jersey is the worst state in the USA. I don't even consider it a state anymore. In my mind, the USA only has 49 states, because NJ is a socialist republic. Every person that has ever paid a dime in taxes needs to read this book, so that their state doesn't end up like that joke that New Jersey has become.