November 10, 2005

The banana republic of Union County

The numbers in Union County freeholder races don't change much from year to year. The Democrats win by the same margins. The only thing that causes a fluctuation in freeholder race numbers is the top of the ticket; presidential and gubernatorial elections bring out more voters who more than likely will vote straight down their party line.

The Democrats don't win because of "their services"; they surely don't win because of their charming personalities, or good looks for that matter. They win because all nine freeholder seats are at-large and Union County is overwhelmingly Democratic. The Republican freeholder candidates win the race in most of the towns but the large population of just a few cities outdoes the efforts of the rest of the county.

Using 2003 numbers:

Towns in which Republican freeholder candidates won the election were:
Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Fanwood, Garwood, Kenilworth, Mountainside, New Providence, Roselle Park, Scotch Plains, Springfield, Summit and Westfield.

A breakdown of registered voters of the above towns by party affiliation is: 54 percent unaffiliated & independent; 22 percent Democrat; 24 percent Republican. With a combined total of 106,306 registered voters.

Towns in which Democrat freeholder candidates won the election were:
Elizabeth, Hillside, Linden, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle, Union and Winfield.

A breakdown of registered voters of the above towns by party affiliation is: 49 percent unaffiliated & independent; 41 percent Democrat and a paltry 10 percent are Republican. With a combined total of 142,600 registered voters.

It's not just the numbers that are stacked against the chance of ever having a watchdog on the nine-member freeholder board. There's the pay-to-play money and misappropriation of tax dollars for freeholder campaigns. There's also the county employees being used to work on campaigns. These campaign abuses are what make Union County a banana republic.

This year it was politics as usual around the county with the Democrat machine getting out the vote in the urban areas. They rent white passenger vans and stick Column ‘B’ posters in the window and drive people directly to the polls. They probably give them lunch or a light snack on the way.

In many places like School Nos. 1 and 3 in Elizabeth there were election board workers who steadfastly marched voters into the booths and told them to vote the Democrat line. In spite of a large Republican poll challenger presence. The workers were written up and we'll soon find out if it was worth all the bother. Nothing less than these workers being bared from working the polls ever again would be an acceptable outcome. Including Freeholder Dan Sullivan's beastly mother-in-law who relentlessly harassed the poll challenger assigned to her booth. Sullivan family gatherings must be a delight with that cast of characters.

There were the usual literature hand outs outside of the polls. Most likely if you approach a polling place in one of the urban areas you will be approached by some greasy looking goon trying to hand you a card with the local Democrat candidates' names on it. The goon will say something to the effect of "Don't vote for George Bush - Vote the Democrat B Line".

George W. Bush has been a favorite campaign tool for the Democrats these past two years. Apparently New Jerseans aren't taught in school that there are several layers of government with the federal government having all but nothing to do with freeholders or local municipal governments.

In Union County, the dead people apparantly have suffrage.

Its been reported that 325 dead people voted in Union County last year. At this writing there is no count on how many rose from the grave to cast their votes this year. People being marched into voting booths and told how to vote might as well be considered dead voters.

This year’s election has convinced me that people aren't reading newspapers much. However, the apathetic media always takes its toll on Union County elections. The Star-Ledger's county coverage has been awesome as of just recently, but Worrall's has slipped way down with its endorsement of powerbroker/Linden Mayor John Greggorio's appointment of Nancy Ward for freeholder.

The highlight of the debate this year was Nancy Ward responding to the question, "What is a freeholder’s salary?", she replied in that little blonde way of hers, "I don't know, I have direct deposit." This little cutie replaced John Wohlrab after his arrest for domestic violence, almost a year ago to the date, and has supposedly been making decisions about the $390 million county budget ever since.

Worrall endorsed Daniel Sullivan last year. I don't know what criteria they use for endorsements but if they are going to continue to endorse these empty-heads (Ward), who have utter contempt for the public (Sullivan), who are the powerbrokers' puppets - I'd like to see Worrall ask and then publish the response to the question "Which powerbroker anointed you and what will you be expected to do for them in return?"

County employees, including the million-dollar taxpayer-funded public information department, were seen out and about on Election Day as well as on the campaign trail. I counted at least ten county employees at the Cranford freeholder debate where they behaved like the low-class baboons that they are.

The room was packed with spectators and several reporters, yet this didn't cause the county employee/campaign workers to act like they deserve their blotted taxpayer funded salaries. For my entertainment, they placed a stooge right behind me to make comments and cough throughout the debate. I easily ignored him, after all I have teenagers and can block out juvenile girlish banter. Afterwards he was seen running to his car and locking the door behind him.

I considered it an honor when the Public Information Department took souvenir photos posing behind me. Next debate I'm going to wear my F.B.I. hat for their photo shoot.

I was amused at all the attention I received, so I was a good sport about it. I even wanted to join in the fun. I thought a swift knee in Seb D'Elia balls in a crowded room full of people would be hilarious. This isn’t cruel or violent on my part, because I don't think it would hurt him much as apparently he doesn't have any balls, seeing as he sent his underlings to harass me while he kept himself clear across the room from me. Funny, but I didn't see him leave the building. He must have been hiding in the ladies' room 'till the coast was clear.

Then there was the pay-to-play (extortion) money - Republicans were outspent 42 to 1 according to a recent Star-Ledger article.

The taxpayer-funded commercial and mailers kept pace with what the Democrats spent of our dollars on their campaigns in past years. They've spent upwards of $327,769.85 to date this year. This year, the Republican County committee has filed ELEC complaints. Good for them - and me. They saved me all the paper work of having to file a complaint for the Watchdog Association.

The Democrat freeholders win in landslides in the banana republic towns. No wonder between the sheer number of registered Democrats and the way they are manipulated by the machine.

This was my second year working as a poll challenger in Elizabeth. Elizabeth's polls are lawless in many spots. Without the poll challenger presence it would have been much worse. No doubt Plainfield, Union, Rahway, Linden, Hillside and Roselle were just as lawless.

Of course it's illegal to use taxpayer’s money to promote campaigning freeholders; county workers working on campaigns during working hours; marching people into voting booths and telling them how to vote; pay-to-play is a nice term for extortion which is highly illegal in the business community; and the rest of the shenanigans that go on Election Day. But this is New Jersey and our tolerance for corruption hasn't changed much in the past 100 years since the days of Frank Hague.

Despite all of the major newspapers and talk show radio hosts warning about Corzine, we now have another governor who is a friend of the powerbrokers and, barring a scandal, he'll be in office for the next four years. Don't expect a thing to change in the banana republic fiefdom of State Sen. Raymond Lesniak under Corzine. In fact, if the county follows the same course as previous years, they will up it another notch and be even more arrogant than ever.

They'll be upping our taxes another notch too. Somebody's got to keep feeding the baboons their bananas.