Corzine Loss to Christie Signals Waning Influence of Goldman Club: Today's Outrage

The defeat of Jon Corzine by Chris Christie in the New Jersey governor race may be a sign that voters are sick of the political influence of the Goldman Sachs alumni club.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --Here's a radical thought: Maybe the defeat of Jon Corzine in the New Jersey governor race is a sign of the waning influence of the

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

alumni club.

Electing Chris Christie as the first Republican in more than a decade in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans says a lot about how upset the people of New Jersey are with how Corzine led the state.

Deficits and decades-high unemployment don't make you look very smart as a governor. But I can't help thinking that a growing anti-Goldman sentiment played a role.

After spending more than $20 million of his own cash on his re-election bid, Corzine learned that Goldman cash no longer has political currency in New Jersey.

A Goldman career was once a badge of honor that opened political doors for Corzine, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, to name a few.

These days, though, Goldman's shine is more than a bit tarnished by the perception of the bank as a greedy house of hypocrisy that seems to have benefited unfairly from its outsize political influence.

Goldman may be committing political suicide with its insistence on paying lavish bonuses to its staff, its remarkable profit despite the global financial meltdown and the appearance of political favoritism that some might think gave the bank an edge over its rivals.

Don't forget how easy it was for Goldman to suddenly convert itself into a bank holding company last year in order to collect a $10 billion cushion from the taxpayer-financed bailout fund and how quickly the bank was able to repay those funds when it wanted to dole out bonuses this year.

In addition, Goldman received a back-door bailout of more than $12 billion of taxpayer money funneled through

AIG

(AIG) - Get Report

in a bailout of the mega insurer orchestrated by Goldman club member Henry Paulson while he was still Treasury secretary in the Bush administration. Goldman got to keep that money.

So with all the negative publicity surrounding Goldman these days, it really shouldn't be such a surprise to see Goldman club members sent to the political sidelines.

--Written by Glenn Hall in New York.

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Glenn Hall is the New York-based Editor in Chief of

TheStreet.com

. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at

The Orange County Register

and as a news manager at

Bloomberg News

in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at

The Journal-Gazette

in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including

The Wall Street Journal

,

The New York Times

and

International Herald Tribune

. Hall received a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and a certificate in project and program management from Boston University.