by Bill Cleary
KING GEORGE NUMBER 3-PolitickerNJ released their Power List 2011 and year in
review earlier this month. The-44-page document contains the names of the 100 most influential personalities in New Jersey politics. Coming in at Number 3 was South Jersey Democrat political boss George Norcross.
The list, first released in March 2000, is an Insiders List that includes policy makers, party leaders, fundraisers, lobbyists, labor unions, businesses, and associations with clout, with an impact on politics and government in the Garden State -- everyone but elected officials and judges.
In November elections, the state’s most powerful Democratic boss maintained control over his South Jersey legislative empire and picked up a seat in the assembly. Not only will his close ally, state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) remain in power for another two year term, but Norcross cut a deal with state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32) that increases South Jersey’s power in the Assembly, ushering in South Jersey Assemblyman Lou Greenwald as majority leader of the lower house. ~ from PolitickerNJ.com Power List 2011.
For those who don’t know Mr. Norcross, he started a small insurance company in the
1970‘s after dropping out of Rutger's University at Camden. In the 80‘s he was appointed by the mayor of Camden to the only government position he has ever held: chairman of the city's parking authority. By 1989, he had shown such skill at running campaigns and mobilizing unions that he rose to the chairmanship of Camden County's Democratic organization.
Mr. Norcross left the post in 1995. A year later, Commerce Bancorp bought Mr. Norcross's insurance company and brought him in to start up its insurance division, and both he and the bank began to take a far more prominent role in state affairs.
A multi-millionaire, the ‘King’ as some of his political adversaries call him, spends the winter in Palm Beach Island, Florida and the summers at his oceanfront home in Loveladies, on Long Beach Island.
In 2006 the ‘King’ plumped down $10.9 million to purchase the Downey Home on Everglades Island in Palm Beach Florida according to the Martha A. Gottfried Real Estate website.
Norcross and wife Sandra closed the deal April 24, 2006 on a one-story five-bedroom Bermuda-style house built in 1954 and revised by architect John Volk. It has 6,142 square feet of living area, with sweeping views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Amenities include a large covered cabana.
And when he isn’t picking a candidate to run in a South Jersey election or telling those “puppets” how to vote he hangs out with fellow tennis buffs Joy and Regis Philbin or spends sometime as a houseguest of "The Donald” at Mar-a-Lago.
Norcross, a director of Commerce Bancorp, said in an interview with the Palm Beach Daily News in 2006 that buying a house in Palm Beach was "a good excuse," given the bank's rapid expansion in the area. Commerce Bank recently opened six locations in Palm Beach County, including one on Bradley Place. In addition, Norcross said his division is "searching for insurance firms to buy in southern Florida."
source: Palm Beach Property
NORCROSS FRIEND IS BACK IN COURT-Tuesday, Jan, 31, convicted felon Wayne Bryant, will be appearing in the U.S. District Court in Trenton to defend himself against bribery charges filed in September 2010. According to the indictment, Bryant allegedly accepted $192,000 in bribes in return for supporting a redevelopment project in Camden and a failed plan for a billion dollar golf village known as EnCap at the New Jersey Meadowlands.
Parker McCay, a South Jersey law firm, collected $400,000 as bond counsel for the Encap project. The chief executive of the firm is Philip Norcross, brother of George Norcross and State Senator Donald Norcross. The same law firm that has served as bond council for the City of Gloucester City for several years.
The Parker McCay law firm has not been charged or "implicated" in any wrong doing.
Hearing the proceedings is Federal Judge Freda Wolfson.
Bryant, who is presently in prison, was convicted in 2008 of using his clout as budget chairman for a low-work job to boost his taxpayer-funded pension. He is scheduled to be released from prison on those charges in 2013.
Bryant served in the NJ State Senate from 1995 to 2008, where he represented the Democrat controlled 5th Legislative District. Before entering the Senate, Bryant served in New Jersey’s General Assembly from 1982 to 1995 and on the Camden County Board of Freeholders from 1980-1982.
Who Holds Bryant’s Senate Seat Today? On January 20, 2010, ‘King’ George moved his brother, Donald Norcross, a freshman Assemblyman into the Senate seat. Norcross, a Camden resident and co-chairman of Camden County's Democratic Committee, had just been elected to the NJ Assembly in November 2009.
Norcross, a South Jersey labor leader, was sworn in to the 5th District Senate seat formerly held by Dana Redd, who previously stepped down to become mayor of Camden.
South Jersey voters had no say. The 'King' had spoken.
In New Jersey pretty much nothing becomes law unless it benefits somebody financially. Hardly anything happens soley because it is the right thing to do. The public's welfare is often the last thing on the agenda. Unions and other special interest groups call the shots. Everybody else pays for it. ~The Soprano State