June 09, 2005

How You're Paying For Their Campaign

Jim Gearheart, host of NJ 101.5 FM's morning show, read some of this letter to the editor I wrote to the Ledger on the air Wednesday, June 8:

Every household and business in Union County received a copy of the Union County Directions Newsletter last week. You receive two every year, one right before the primary and general elections.

This newsletter states that it's published by the "Union County Alliance," a nonprofit organization. What taxpayers don't realize is that they (the taxpayers) are paying for this $50,000 campaign piece which features Democrat freeholders, who are up for reelection, throughout its 24 pages of propaganda.

Not only are you paying for the printing and mailing of this piece, you are also paying the employees' salaries for the county's Office of Public Information to produce it.

The county produces dozens of tax payer funded mailings every year around election time. This one is unique in that it is disguised as coming from an outside organization.

Come late September you will also see a $200,000 commercial funded by your property taxes. The county kicks off the campaign season every year with these commercials. I asked what this year's theme would be at the last freeholder meeting, and as usual, the all Democrat freeholder board led by state Senator Raymond Lesniak's nephew who is the appointed county manager, George Devanney, wouldn't answer my questions. They are probably all hoping that the suspense will kill me.

Pay close attention to the messages you get from Union County government and the timing of when you get them. After all, you are paying for them. Don't expect the freeholders to show you the bill or even tell you that they are behind it, but be sure that their pictures and names will be prominently featured in the hopes that you'll remember them in the election booth. I hope you remember them too, here they are again: Democrat Freeholders, Rick Proctor, Angel Estrada and Nancy Ward.