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Retiree health care may overwhelm gov'ts

The bill is coming due for years of generous benefits bestowed upon the nation's public employees, and it's a stunner: hundreds of billions of dollars over the next three decades, threatening some local governments with bankruptcy and all but guaranteeing cuts in services like education and public safety.

This staggering burden is coming to light because of new accounting rules issued by the Government Accounting Standards Board. They require public agencies to disclose the future cost of health care and other benefits — such as dental, vision and life insurance — promised alongside traditional pensions to the nation's estimated 24.5 million active and retired state and local public employees.

All Trenton is shocked (Shocked!) at Bryant

Maybe Sen. Gerald Cardinale was joking this week when he demanded that Democrats convene the Legislature's ethics committee to investigate Sen. Wayne Bryant's no-show job.

That committee has not met once this year. It has no chairman. It has no schedule. It is a tired old watchdog that snores while burglars climb in the window.

A statewide ethics standard The Legislature must make sure stringent rules apply at every level of government

The screaming headlines of political corruption, using public office for private gain, and campaign mudslinging that plays the ethics card for political gain make plain yet again that ethics reform must remain the cornerstone of any hope for restoring the public trust.

Parties spar on Lynch money GOP demands Dems give cash to charity

HAMILTON -- Local GOP officials are demanding that county Democrats donate to charity thousands of dollars in campaign contributions they received from former state Sen. John Lynch, who pleaded guilty last week to corruption charges.

Menendez ought to get behind school choice

Where we stand: Kids in failing schools deserve a decent education. Lawmakers such as Sen. Robert Menendez should help parents in poor communities by working to create school vouchers.

It ought to be a wake up call to U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, that a prominent Latino activist in South Jersey says he won't go to the polls to vote for Menendez and the head of a statewide Latino organization also says it's too early to throw his support behind the senator.

A main reason for this lack of support is that Menendez has said flatly he opposes school choice plans that would let parents whose kids are trapped in miserable, unsafe and failing schools send them to better schools where they might have a chance.

WOOING HUDSON McGreevey's 'Confession' paints colorful pictures of Janiszewski, Byrne

Instead a wearing a wire taped to his body, Hudson County's disgraced former county executive, Robert Janiszewski, carried a tape recorder for federal agents in his Doberman pinscher's collar.

Janiszewski's best friend and bagman, the late Paul Byrne, spent his 50th birthday in the Dominican Republic, where his friends rented him an entire whorehouse.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Westlake to quit after guilty plea, Facing prison sentence for tax evasion,

DEVELOPER: Facing prison sentence for tax evasion, he's giving up tax board post, paying to retain health insurance.  On Friday, Westlake admitted that in 2000 he took $350,000 in payments from his company, Alma Ltd. in Tinton Falls, but did not declare the money on his federal taxes. He is expected to be sentenced Dec. 19 to 10 to 16 months in prison as part of a plea agreement.

Bribes, Payoffs, Politics: Governor to Bryant: Step aside

Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday called for Sen. Wayne Bryant to step down as head of the powerful Budget and Appropriations Committee, amid charges that the influential South Jersey legislator steered millions in funding to the state's scandal-ridden medical university after he was given a no-show job.

A deal that's sweet for Lynch, sour for the state

Braun: What we need is a trial, not a guilty plea, so we can see how how corrupt pols like John Lynch operate.

AG nominee clears Senate panel, vows corruption fight

"Public officials who betray the public trust should go to jail," said Rabner, who has been Gov. Jon S. Corzine's chief counsel since January and is the former head of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney's office in Newark.