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Former Governor Dick Codey stood with Governor Phil Murphy this afternoon at a governor’s press conference in Newark, praising him for opposing South Jersey Power Broker George Norcross III and investigating NJEDA tax incentive programs set up during the Chris Christie administration.
“I want to congratulate him for having the onions to stand up,” said Codey, grasping Murphy by the hand at the podium.
“I know what happens when you stand up to him,” he added.
Codey joined Murphy to extol the investigation and overhauling of the state Economic Development Authority (EDA), which during the era of Governor Chris Christie awarded tax incentives to South Jersey.
The state Attorney General is now probing a criminal referral into those incentives.
“We are at a point where everything seems to be going wrong,” said Codey, who reminded those at the press conference that he knows what happens when one opposes Norcross. Codey lost the senate presidency in 2009 when the South Jersey boss and his allies – including Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo – supplanted him with sitting Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3).
But although it is difficult, Murphy’s stand is meaningful – and fundamental for the state to run properly in the long run – and for the people.
“The ‘e’ should be for everybody,” said Codey, referring to the EDA.
Instead, prior to the stewardship of EDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan, the authority served the interests only of a narrow few, said the former governor (and sitting state senator).
“We need to pull back and find out what’s going on,” said Codey, who last week voted against renewing the tax incentive program.
Like Codey, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-27) and Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28) also voted against renewing the tax incentives.
Both lawmakers – along with Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-34) – sat in the crowd.