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New Jersey residents come to grips with their governor's shocking resignation

By John Curran, Associated Press, 8/13/2004

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) New Jerseyans were left slack-jawed.

First, Gov. James E. McGreevey said he was gay. Then he said he'd violated his marriage vows by having an affair with a man. Finally, he said he'd step down, 2 1/2 years into his first term.

''Oh, my God!'' gasped Rachel Winokur, a salon employee, who watched the announcement at the Tinder Box, a tobacco shop in Evesham Township.

Former Gov. Brendan Byrne called it ''tragic.'' Some said McGreevey should have agreed to serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in 2005. The governor said the resignation would be effective Nov. 15.

Others said McGreevey's private life was irrelevant.

''His sexual orientation doesn't matter to me. I feel he's done a good job, holding the line on taxes,'' said Donald Bowman, 52, of Kearny, a school district worker in Newark.

''To each his own,'' said Vera Allen, 44, of Newark. ''As long as he's doing his job, it shouldn't make a difference.''

''As long as his wife could deal with it, it shouldn't matter,'' she said. ''Tell me how many people out there had an affair. The president had one,'' she said, alluding to former President Clinton.

But some felt betrayed.

''I saw a woman on the news say `Why can't he be a gay governor?' It's because he's not honest. If you can lie to the most intimate people in your life, who would you not lie to?''

Gay people were hit especially hard by the announcement.

''I am in tears,'' said Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, a gay rights group, who said McGreevey had played a ''heroic'' role in getting New Jersey to adopt domestic partnership legislation.

''We all know how difficult it is to come out as openly gay, whether to family or other loved ones. No one could imagine what it's like to come out to 300 million this is totally unprecedented.''

Alice Whitman Leeds, a spokeswoman for Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbian and Gays, said McGreevey's courage should be admired.

''Coming out always takes an incredible amount of bravery, as the parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays, we applaud and appreciate his stand,'' Leeds said.

From Boston.com

More from NJ.com | Star Ledger INJersey.com Courier Post Online

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Apprently he tried to pay off the guy he was having the sexual relationship with US$5 million to keep it all under raps. Gee, I wish I had 5 mill. every time I wanted something to "go away" let alone 5 million smackaroonies in itself.

Personally I dislike these high-powered careerists with squllions of cash to splash immensely.


From the NY Times

McGreevey Describes 'Intensely Personal Decision' in Speech


Published: August 12, 2004

With his wife at his side, Gov. James E. McGreevey announced today that he is gay and would resign out of concern over the impact on the New Jersey governor's office of his disclosure of a sexual relationship with a man.

My truth is, I am a gay American,'' Mr. McGreevey said in a short speech that was televised live from Trenton.

I engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man,'' he said, adding that it was wrong, it was foolish, it was inexcusable'' and that it violated the bonds of his marriage.

Mr. McGreevey said he was making the intensely personal announcement that he is gay known for the first time in a public statement because he feared that keeping silent would open up the governor's office to rumors, accusations and threats. ``So I am removing these threats by telling you directly about my sexuality,'' he said.

I have decided the right course of action is to resign,'' he said, adding that his resignation would be effective on Nov. 15.

When Mr. McGreevey, whose four-year term expires in January 2006, steps down this November, the law calls for the president of the State Senate, Richard J. Codey, to fill in as governor. Mr. McGreevey, however, did more than just hand off the office he held for two and a half years. He put together an exit strategy that will allow Mr. Codey to serve as governor until 2006, and run as an incumbent in November 2005, should he choose to do so. Had Mr. McGreevey stepped down immediately, Mr. Codey would have been able to serve only until a special election could be held in November.

But one Republican with his eye on the governor's office, John Murphy, indicated that at least some Republicans might balk with going along with that scenario.

What we're hoping as Republicans is that cooler heads will prevail and that we'll let the people choose who the next governor is going to be,'' Mr. Murphy said in an interview on WCBS-TV New York. ``That it won't be some back-room deal where a handful of people decide who's going to carry the torch for the next 14 months. We've got some very tough problems here.

I'm hoping that again that there's going to be a race in November for the governor, along with the president, and that it will be based on the issues, both nationally and locally.''

In his announcement today, Mr. McGreevey expressed pride and gratitude in discussing his two marriages and children - a daughter from his first marriage and a daughter with his current wife, Dina.

Nonetheless, he said that for most of his life he had grappled'' with his sexual identity and had worked hard to make sure that he was accepted as a part of a traditional family.''

I forced what I thought was an acceptable reality unto myself,'' he said.

He added that at this point in his life, at age 47, it was time for him to ``look deeply into the mirror.'' And he acknowledged that he had caused pain, suffering and anguish to his family. I would almost rather have this moment pass,'' he said.

Throughout my life, I have grappled with my own identity, who I am,'' he said in his statement, which was infused with reflective self-questioning and suggested that from an early age he had suspected he was gay, a realization that conflicted with the world he knew around him.

As a young child, I often felt ambivalent about myself; in fact, confused,'' he said. By virtue of my traditions and my community, I worked hard to ensure that I was accepted as part of the traditional family of America.

Yet from my early days in school until the present day, I acknowledged some feelings, a certain sense that separated me from others,'' he said.

But because of my resolve, and also thinking that I was doing the right thing, I forced what I thought was an acceptable reality onto myself, a reality which is layered and layered with all the, quote, `good' things and all the, quote,`right' things of typical adolescent and adult behavior.

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trying to pay off the guy $5 million to keep his mouth shut! Pfffft

Depends which news report you read. Some reports have it that this guy was trying to extort the Governor for as much as $50million (where he thought McGreevey would acquire $50million to quietly give him? I don't know). It looks like there will be an investigation into this alleged extortion.

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Truth sets governor free; whole truth is trickier


Courier-Post Columnist | Sunday, August 15, 2004

Seems to me anyone who's ever had a secret ought to be able to sympathize with Gov. James E. McGreevey.

Obviously, most of us are lucky enough to be spared the spectacle of spilling our secret in front of the national/international media.

Needless to say most of us don't get to be a governor, either.

But who among us hasn't been forced to tell someone something we'd kept on the QT?

And who among us has not had to live with the consequences of keeping such a secret?

Or the consequences of its revelation?

Of course McGreevey is a political animal, and yes, his decision, particularly with regard to the timing of his resignation, is colored by politics.

But let's face it; anyone who gets elected governor of this or any other state makes decisions with politics in mind.

Would we prefer our governor to be clueless regarding the political implications of something/anything?

I don't think so.

Which is, ironically, one reason I don't buy the idea that McGreevey outed himself for political reasons. I just don't think someone makes that sort of wrenching personal declaration in public because of potential poll numbers or other such nonsense.

What with the two wives, the two kids, and the "definition of is" legacy of Bill Clinton - whose lapse was arguably far more egregious than that of our governor, but who hung on to his job nevertheless - McGreevey easily could have obfuscated and equivocated.

He could have called himself bisexual. He could have described himself as having strayed. He could have been simultaneously forthright and obscure - in the great tradition of nondenial denials.

But McGreevey, to his credit, came clean. At least about his private life. Which is something I doubt even the purest and holiest of my readers would want to do in front of their families, much less in front of the rapacious maw of the media.

I was moved by the governor's candor.

I give him credit.

He has my respect.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy aside, it's a human rights milestone when an American governor says "I am a gay American." (Bravo!).

What I don't care for is the context.

The fact McGreevey made this admirably frank declaration in the third year of a failed term - and especially, amid allegations of serious ethical and political lapses - detracted from the power of the moment, to say the least.

Meanwhile, reports indicate the governor may well have put his paramour on the payroll.

This is unacceptable.


Regardless of the genders of those involved.

And if gay people (quite rightly, in my opinion) want all the benefits and privileges of full citizenship (our American birthright), the requirements of citizenship ought to equally apply. Including requirements about obeying laws and adhering to oaths of office.

About doing the right thing.

Without question, the heart has its reasons.

But the head ought to rule.

In a more perfect world - one where gay people of talent and ambition were not forced to pretend in order to succeed - McGreevey might not have done what he did.

But he did lie.

He did pretend.

He betrayed the trust of people who loved and/or believed in him.

Watching the governor on TV Thursday, I was exhilarated at the sight of a man being set free, at last, by the truth.

And saddened by the prospect that for McGreevey, the facts may prove to be far less liberating.

From Courier Post

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:( Makes you think.  :angry: What kind of governor would bribe a man $5 million to be quiet about the affair just to cover up the fact that he really is a hag?!

Derogatory language about anyone's race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or any other personal attribute is not tolerated here.

Consider yourself warned Urbanrailfan. You are a valuable member, I would not like to see that change.

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"McGreevey's case underscores how American men are losing their masculinity" - a situation he blamed on "the women's movement.... Women have become so nasty" that they are driving men away."

That is so ridiculous. Women have always been forced to deal with the mistakes of men... as mothers are blamed all the ills experienced by their children, young women who are raped get blamed for "asking for it" because of dressing too provocatively...

Moreover, what the Gov. of New Jersey did was bail himself out of a failing administration --- he is not any different from any other politician - when it comes down to saving political face. But I do admire him for finally settling the truth within himself. That is a strong first step for his soul -- despite what the media and public will say about him.

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^ That just smacks of misogyny ie the hatred of women.

Good term! I just saw that today while I was reading A World Lit Only by Fire about the Renaissance! Love it. And by the way, I really feel bad for his family. They should not be treated that way and should not put up with it.

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