Vast N.J. Corruption Ring Alleged

Two mayors, two state assemblymen, five rabbis and dozens of others from New Jersey (sounds like the opening of a joke) have been swept up by the Feds and stand accused of participating in a corruption ring with roots in Brooklyn, Israel, and Switzerland. The details of the vast scandal are only beginning to be sorted out, but involve the familiar "pay to play" scheme in which people seeking government permits handed over cash to obtain under-the-table approval. A U.S. attorney said in a press conference Thursday that the people involved "existed in an ethics-free zone," and "that average citizens 'don't have a chance' against the culture of influence-peddling." The Feds investigation is the product of a "two-year corruption and international money-laundering investigation."