Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Soprano State

The Soprano State

New Jersey's Culture of Corruption

Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure

St. Martin's Press




The Soprano State details the you-couldn't-make-this-up true story of the corruption that has pervaded New Jersey politics, government, and business for the past thirty years. From Jimmy Hoffa purportedly being buried somewhere beneath the end zone in Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands, through allegations of a thoroughly corrupt medical and dental university, through Mafia influence at all levels, to a governor who suddenly declares himself a "gay American" and resigns, the Garden State might indeed be better named after the HBO mobsters.

Where else would:

- A state attorney general show up after police pulled over her boyfriend who was driving without a valid license?

- A state senator and mayor of Newark (the same guy) spend thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money on a junket to Rio days before leaving office?

- A politically connected developer hire a prostitute to tape sex acts with his own brother-in-law and then send the tape to his sister?

Only in the Soprano State.


Chapter 1

In New Jersey's super-corrupt atmosphere, nothing is sacred or beyond conversion to a patronage pit. Seemingly everything Jersey politicians do is designed to help themselves or their friends. Little is done because it is the right...


Praise for The Soprano State

“This book is a page-turner. You start out laughing and end up pounding the table for reform. May the book inspire those who care about New Jersey to imagine a better place.” —Tom Curley, CEO, The Associated Press

“New Jersey is arguably America's most corrupt state, and it is not an achievement to be proud of, as Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure starkly demonstrate. Only the people of the Garden State can stop the jokes--both the ones elected to office and the ones told about the crooked truth of political life there.” —Dr. Larry J. Sabato, author of A More Perfect Constitution and director of the Center for Politics, University of Virginia

“A pair of seasoned investigative reporters catalogue New Jersey's epic political dishonesty. Ingle and McClure ... nail the backroom intrigues in impressive scope and detail.” —Kirkus Reviews

“It's difficult for an educator to get the idea across to students (without being too preachy) that we all need to be aware of our moral compasses and make sure from time to time that we don't drift off course. The Soprano State performs this task admirably. It is shock treatment for students who have grown up in a world of moral relativism. Many of the cases in the book involve people who probably didn't intend to steal from the public trough, but were only gradually drawn into this culture of corruption. One can't get such a message across to students using a typical undergraduate Political Science textbook. I used the book last year as a voluntary assignment in my American Government class. Six students accepted the assignment. All said that the book opened their eyes to a world they never knew existed. I plan on making the book a mandatory supplementary text for my 300-level State and Local Politics class.” —Professor Bill Felix, Political Science, Rutgers University

“Ingle and McClure have been chasing the people, politics, and plundering for years in the best Ben Hecht Front Page style. Investigative journalism in New Jersey is not for the faint at heart, the lazy, or the impatient.” —from the Foreword by Dick Hughes

Reviews from Goodreads

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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