ELIZABETH—Union County Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, who was appointed by Gov. Jon Corzine as chairman of the Democratic State Committee, says he has no intention of returning some $39,000 in campaign contributions from co-workers and family of R. Allen Stanford.
Stanford is a Texas billionaire accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of running an $8 billion investment scam.
When President Obama’s campaign fund has donated its $4,600 contribution from Stanford to a Chicago charity, the political news website InTheLobby.net asked if Cryan would dispose of the dirty money.
Corzine announced last week that he was donating $3,000 in campaign contributions from financier Bernard Madoff, who is accused in one of the biggest financial frauds in history, considered to include losses of up to $50 billion.
The accused Ponzi-scheme thief contributed $2,000 to Corzine’s U.S. Senate campaign in 1999 and $1,000 to his gubernatorial bid in 2005.
That prompted Bergen Record columnist Charles Stile, who referred to Stanford as a mini-Madoff in a column last weekend, to describe Cryan’s decision to keep the corrupt con-artist’s cash.
According to Stile, Cryan kept Stanford’s money, which was given to the Democratic State Committee while Cryan was vice chair.
“McGreevey made Cryan. I do not even want to think about Joe’s secrets, but integrity is something we know he does not have,” said Union County political strategist James J. Devine. “Joe Cryan does not know there is anything wrong with being corrupt, so he is clearly going to try and keep the money.”
“The fact that Joe Cryan got contributions from a thieving billionaire and kept the money speaks volumes about the character, or lack thereof, that he displays,” said Devine. “Cryan is one of those double-dipping politicians who see nothing wrong with trading favors and jobs for cash, selling out the public interest for personal profit and betraying anyone or anything for a buck.”