Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

NJ pols grabbed Springsteen, U2 seats as public waited

Elected Democrats got seats "the public couldn't buy... at the same time the state was suing brokers over ticketing practices"

NJ pols grabbed Springsteen, U2 seats as public waited

"Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s office got U2 and Bruce Springsteen seats the public couldn’t buy last year, at the same time the state was suing brokers over ticketing practices, according to documents showing 22 elected officials received special treatment," reports Bloomberg's Adam Satariano here.

"Corzine’s office reserved 57 tickets for U2, Springsteen and the Jonas Brothers at Giants Stadium and IZOD Center from July to October 2009 through the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, agency records show. The documents, evidence in a state lawsuit against ticket Web sites, indicate more than 350 seats for 15 concerts were set aside for elected officials.

"Officials got a jump on some of the season’s hottest shows by obtaining seats through the state agency, which operates the two venues. At the same time, New Jersey was suing online brokers over marketing tactics including taking orders before tickets are on sale. Tapping the agency for tickets may violate ethics rules that bar officials from taking “unwarranted privileges,” the head of the state ethics commission said... 'I would like to see an investigation,'" said Paula Franzese, chairwoman of the state Ethics Commission...

"Corzine, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs & Co., never personally used the tickets and the orders were placed on behalf of people who contacted his office for help getting seats, said Josh Zeitz, a former policy adviser and Corzine’s current chief of staff at MF Global Holdings Inc..

"Elected officials had 150 tickets set aside by the agency for four Springsteen concerts from Sept. 30 to Oct. 9, including 19 for Corzine’s office... Tickets for New Jersey politicians came under scrutiny in 2008, when U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg ordered seats for campaign contributors... 
Fred Scalera, the deputy assembly speaker who drafted legislation to crack down on scalping, had 40 seats set aside for Springsteen, the Jonas Brothers, U2, AC/DC and Eric Clapton... Democrat Senator Paul Sarlo’s office reserved a total of 68 tickets, the most among elected officials... The office of Senator Richard Codey, the former acting governor and president of the New Jersey Senate, received a total of 60 tickets, second-most on the list."

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
Business Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected