Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 WEEKS TILL ELECTION

Over the past three or four days three blogs have created reader's interest. Councilor Storch's posting regarding his position on the "Shot Spotter" Ordinance; my own "Thoughts on Readers Comments", and Assemblyman Green's "9/29/2010 " posting.

The interrelationship of these three blogs lies not only in the subject matter but in the reader's comments. This is important in the one party political atmosphere that divides Plainfield. The misrepresenting of who belongs to whom is clearly indicated in the commentaries posted to "Thoughts--" Disregarding the spat between Rob and Anonymous you must at least read Professor Williams's clarification about which faction various Councilors belong. Also that in the General election there is just one line for any established political party. Therefor, those New, Old, Unopposed candidates winners of the Primary Election must share the same party line. It is only at the primary elections that declared groups and independents have separate lines..

There can be no argument regarding the fact that the Mayor is a party line dedicated Democrat. Nor can anyone refute that Councilors Storch, Mapp, and McWilliams belong to the "New Democrat faction; that is three out of seven, hardly a majority. Two other Councilors Burney and Carter had been associate with the New Democrats in the past. However in the last primary Burney had Jerry Green's support and Carter is the party line designee for Freeholder. Therefore there designation as :"New Democrats" is subject to doubt. Rivers ran as an independent , not a New Democrat" against the party line nominee. No one can doubt Reid's affiliation.

Despite Councilwoman Rivers unexplained change in her vote over the two Ordinances the Mayor had vetoed, the fact is that we must give each Councilor the credit for voting as individuals and not as political hacks. As things are, neither faction can command for issues of extreme importance the necessary "Super majority" to dominate.

Briefly Storch's posting emphasizes the decision process that must take place before committing the city to an expensive venture. Monday's meeting will be illuminating.

All this brings us to Assemblyman Green's posting which raises more questions than answers. We can ignore his on-going attack on Councilor Storch. There is no new substance.

I am happy that he his not supporting the current SpotShotter program and I hope unlike the secrecy in the Muhlenberg fiasco he will inform us through his blog the name of the other vendors of similar programs so that we the public can do our own independent investigation. It is nice to be able to speak with some knowledge not hearsay about an issue.

As a sort of community activist and reader of all local blogs, his revelation of a sponsored train trip to DC is a complete surprise to me. I can not remember it being on the agenda of any Council meeting in 2010 or even 2009. Did the Council decide in Executive Session to rent the train? If so then all 7 members of the Council could be guilty of an illegal act.

I can find no correlation between an error by a State Official costing the State $800 million and the Mayor authorizing the expenditure of $20,000.00 for a speaker. I believe the Charter require approval of such expenditure by the Council. Moreover none of the present Council members are Republicans.

Be cause space is short my final comment is to take exception to the Assemblyman's remarks "he would like to make it sound like the Regular Democrats are involved with the day-to-day operations of the City, but that is not true".

There are two indisputable facts; the New Democrats are on the Council which can only set policy by means of Resolutions or Ordinances. Administration which is in charge of the operation of the City is in the hands of the elected Mayor and her appointed Department heads. To my recollection Mayor Robinson-Briggs when she first took office referred to Assemblyman Green, the Chairman of the City Democratic Party, as her mentor. I believe that she is truly a Regular Democrat.

(various typos that had skipped my original late at night proofing have been corrected. Please point out any remaining errors. 9.33AM)
I would call attention to the editorial in today's rain soaked Courier. Local, State and National government should not be delegated to "party players".

10 comments:

  1. You may not know (you will not hear this from Storch or Prof Williams) but Storch had Green's line in 1999, and again in 2007. He has has only run once as a New Democrat. What does that make him?

    Also Mapp has the County's line when he ran as a Freeholder in 2004. Same as Carter in 2010. By that definition, what does that make Mapp?

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  2. Ms. Williams is not the only authority on who or is not a New Democrat. (I'm not saying you said she was) She is only one person, although her opinion is important because she says she was a founding member and no one has challenged her on that.

    See:

    http://bathrobeblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-democrats-for-plainfield.html

    More important, also read:

    http://ptoday.blogspot.com/2010/03/why-jerry-green-should-be-thankful-for.html

    Now, add Don Davis to the list since he ran with then Plainfield Democratic Chairman Al McWiliams line and blessing.

    Your point about Ms. Carter and Mr. Burney not being New Democrats because they had Jerry Green's support is misplaced. Cory Storch ran with Mr. Green's support IN HIS LAST PRIMARY, in 2007. Adrian Mapp ran on the Democratic County Chairwoman's line in his last primary as Freeholder in 2004. When Mr. McWilliams was chairman of the local party he took over 20,000 in contributions from that organization. Ms. Williams sought the line this year before Mr. Green as Plainfield Democratic Chairman gave it to Mr. Burney. One would assume she would have accepted his support if offered.

    Ms. Carter ran with New Democrat support for Freeholder in June of this year, which is why I believe she got the highest vote totals of any county candidates in Plainfield.

    Now, what is not disputable is that members or associates of their club have controlled the City Council in

    2004: Van Blake, Carer, Storch, Mapp

    2005: Van Blake, Carter, Storch, Burney, Davis, Hollis, Blanco

    2006: Van Blake, Carter, Storch, Burney, Davis, Blanco

    2007: Van Blake, Carter, Storch, Burney, Davis

    2008: Carter, Storch, Burney, Davis

    2009: Carter, Storch, Burney, Mapp, McWilliams

    2010: Carter, Storch, Burney, Mapp, McWilliams

    Now look at the links I copied. Look at the pictures. Read the posts.

    Their leadership has failed. You can't just take credit for your political club for bringing folks to elected office when things go well, without taking blame for those same folks when things go wrong.

    What I see is a faction of three on the Council that vote with their political club first no matter the issue or what is best for Plainfield. They put the New Democrat club and their friends ahead of the City.

    Then I see four others: Carter, Burney, Reid, and Rivers.

    They vote their OWN way and do what is best for the citizens in their opinion given each separate issue. Sometimes they vote with the Administration, sometimes with the New Democrats depending on what THEY think is right in a given situation. They should be applauded, not excommunicated and maligned for not following New Democrat orthodoxy.

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  3. Doc, there's a difference between a "mentor" and someone who tells you what to do, step by step. Some bloggers and commenters would have us believe the Assemblyman is the unseen hand behind the mayor's decisions but in my time watching the scene I have realized that just isn't the case.

    As for who is a "new democrat" and who isn't, despite Ms. Williams' disclaimers, Rashid Burney and Linda Carter were originally elected to the council as "new democrats," and in fact Ms. Williams has publicly bragged about running their campaigns. Both of them however have learned that if you are to get anything done, it is important to work with all the democrats after primaries are over and the candidates selected. Ray Blanco understood that, and hopefully Ms. McWilliams has learned the same lesson. Mr. Storch & Mr. Mapp obviously would rather attack than cooperate, and I suspect Ms. Williams will do likewise.

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  4. Dear Anonymous,

    In this state a "mentor" generally tells politicans what to do, or there is the implied pressure. As a behavioral therapist I look at what some is doing now and has done recently, not 10 years ago, to predict future behavior. For many local politicians we can reasonably predict what their future behavior will be.

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  5. "Anonymous" at 9:34, 9:48, and 9:51 are obviously the same individual (who also posted on your earlier blog), so I will speak of all posts as one. I find the diction fascinating. I also find the compulsion (3 posts in the space of a couple of hours) to keep posting inaccuracies a bit obsessive.

    First, I have never "bragged" about running Rashid Burney's campaign--I never ran any of his campaigns--I served as GOTV operations for the New Dems when he ran in 2005, and I campaigned with him and on his behalf--we walked together at least twice--maybe three times. I also did not "brag" about running Linda's campaign--I am very proud of the fact that I served as Linda's campaign manager during her first run for office--I still think that was the most difficult campaign I have ever worked on--we worked very hard, day and night, and she was successful. That was because of the support of her family, her friends, and her campaign team, but it was mostly due to the support she received from the voters of the first and fourth wards.

    Again, how councilors vote is up to them--at the council meetings I attend and/or view on television, I have never seen a "New Democrat" issue voted on--unless you mean items such as the council wanting the state to appoint a CFO, the council wanting to exercise its fiduciary responsibility regarding the city's budget, getting to the bottom of the financial dealings that brought WBLS to town for a community "meeting" at a cost of $25,000, other issues related to the governance of the city, and so forth. "Anonymous" has also offered no details on what particular item/s the New Democrats voted on that didn't put the best interests of the city first. He/she instead resorts to dates and lists of councilors' political terms--if you look at the voting records of each of the councilors over the years, you will see that the votes were given in many configurations--his/her simplistic analysis, "lumping" together all the councilors without clarifying or itemizing does them all a disservice.

    As far as me suggesting to Chairman Green that he give me the line: I was 100% sure that Jerry was not going to give me the line, since he has viewed me as a thorn in his side at various times over the years. Everytime I saw him, from Oct. 2009 until March 2010, I would, in a jocular manner, request the line. Everyone knew that I was asking facetiously except, apparently, "Anonymous" at 9:34, 9:48, and 9:51. I told Jerry recently that if he HAD given me the line, we both would have been able to save ourselves the expense of a primary election, since I felt confident that I would prevail. In light of what happened, I am sure that he would agree with me. And that is NOT bragging, as I am sure my opponents each thought they would win as well, as they stated at various times throughout the campaign to voters who knew all of us.

    Also, the New Democrats's stated "orthodoxy" (to use the word of "Anonymous" at 9:34, 9:48 and 9:51) is to promote ethical leadership, good government, and community activism. I would hope that ALL councilors would share that orthodoxy.

    As far as the speculation as to how I may serve if elected: You have no idea what kind of a councilor I will be, but thank you for envisioning a successful outcome for the city of Plainfield if I am elected in November!

    All best,

    Rebecca

    P.S. Doc, I will be posting my comments on my own blog starting next week.

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  6. The issue is not who is a New or regular Democrat. The issue is who vote in lock step and who is a rubberstamp.

    Rubberstamps come at both ends of the isle (might surprise Rob and Bob) but that is the fact.

    New Dems have thier rubber stamps, just as Jerry has his rubber stamp.

    So far we these past two years the folloing is a fact:

    McWilliams, Storch and Mapp vote in lock step. These Councilpersons have been rubberstamps to the New Dems.

    Reid has been a rubber stamp to Jerry.

    Carter, Burney and now Rivers have been indipendent votes that neither side can gurantee.

    Next year, Williams will become the 4th rubberstamp of the New Dems and the New Dems will have 4 rubberstamps on the Council.

    Question is will they blame Jerry for that?

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  7. Does a "behavioral therapist" act as a "mentor"? Does he/she tell clients what to do? Many of our best Plainfield teachers mentor students but do not give them directions.

    And Ms. Williams, you are mistaken. I posted only one comment.

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  8. I believe you are in error Professa, all the councilors represent the people in their districts! What is terribly wrong with this country and has been for quite awhile, is that the represntatives we put into office, vote as they feel . . . not as their constituents would like then to vote!!!! No one is truly able to lead unless allowed to by the people they are leading!
    No wonder some people I talk with feel that voting is useless, their voices are never heard! There are quite a few educated people in this world who ARE ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, BUT DO NOT HAVE THE COMMON SENSE THAT GOD GAVE A ROCK!

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  9. Doc, you make me wonder.

    When Jerry has anything to say, you scramble to cast doubts over what he say. You do not admit what you know is correct.

    Yet when Dan goes about his nasty ways...nope...nothing out of Doc on that.

    Maybe I am wrong and you do read every politician, and those in the political sphere blog with reserve?

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  10. 8:55 PM. There is a difference. Dan's Plainfield Today is a political column often expressing his bias. However he does publish facts 99.9% of the time. H e has no offical status in government.

    Jerry is Our State Assemblyman and his writings should reflect governmental policy pro or con.Unfortunately he makes statements that have the power of his office behind them. If they may be erroneous you and I have the right to challenge. He can respond.and I would expect him to do so.

    The reference to a train trip which I and others asked for more info since it is character assasination and this is the first reference to a train trip. Should Jerry be referring to the Chamber of Commerce sponsored trip that has nothing to do with the local politics If any office holder was on that train his words carry weight.

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