Hurley Exclusive: Norcross and Levinson Meet in Atlantic City
Harry Hurley has learned and confirmed from multiple sources that the powerful Southern New Jersey Democratic Leader George Norcross and Republican Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson met together for one hour (12-1PM) yesterday, (Tuesday, December 1st), appropriately at "The White House."
No, not that "White House."
They actually met at The Famous White House Sub Shop in Atlantic City. This is iconic submarine sandwich shop where multiple United States Presidents, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., The Beatles, Joe DiMaggio, Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano and countless other high-ranking elected officials, dignitaries and other celebrities have met and dined over Atlantic City White House Sub sandwiches since 1946.
Simply put, George Norcross, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Cooper Hospital, leads the single largest, most unified and powerful group of New Jersey Legislators in the entire state.
Norcross may very well hand-pick the next Governor of New Jersey. That's power.
The political power that Norcross wields is palpable. Few in American history ever achieve it, nor are they capable of maintaining it as Norcross has.
Levinson's political power in Atlantic County is undeniably self-evident. So much so, that Democrats haven't even run an opponent against him in two of the past three, (4-year election cycles).
This, despite the fact that Levinson basically has undisputed control of a substantial 9 figure annual budget, jobs, professional contracts and one of the lowest indebtedness (Counties) versus the substantial available bonding capacities in America.
This is not the first time that these two political potentates of the opposite political party have met in wide-open public view.
It drives some in the political food chain crazy. Because, it leaves them scratching their heads in utter political paranoia.
Why do they meet? What could they possibly be meeting about? What does it mean? Who should be worried? Who stands to gain? Who stands to lose? The questions that the political insiders ponder are endless.
In my view, it's important and refreshing that they met. It's the way that politics used to be, and, still should and can be.
Both political parties should disagree with all of their might about their differing operating philosophies.
But, it's a real positive that people like Norcross and Levinson can actually sit down together, and, literally break bread in Atlantic City.
Rumor has it that it was Rando Bakery Italian Bread on the menu and not Atlantic County Freeholder Chairman Frank Formica's bread.
(Okay, you got me... That's just a light-hearted joke, but, everything else in this report is serious business).
By the way, where else in America does the leader of the County legislative branch (Formica) also make great Italian bread that literally ships all over the Country on a daily basis? You can't make this stuff up.
With the full scope of The state PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) legislation still in limbo; the potential negative economic impact to Atlantic County, South Jersey and the entire state remains a very significant issue.
This, coupled with additional casino jurisdictional competition coming in the next year to few years, makes this yet another critical tipping point for Atlantic City and the state.
Rather then be worried that Norcross and Levinson met together in open public ... the political elites on both sides of the aisle, and, all concerned people should be happy that they did in fact meet.
Levinson will appear live tomorrow morning, Thursday, December 3, 2015, from 7:35 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on "Hurley in the Morning" to address this, the PILOT status and more.