May 31, 2008

The Star-Ledger has a stunning reversal in policy

When the New Jersey State Attorney General's office served subpoenas at the Union County Improvement Authority where the Director is the Union County Democrat chairman Charlotte De Filippo just weeks before the general election in 2007, the Star-Ledger chose to suppress the news claiming it is their policy not to interfere with local elections.

As was previously posted on the County watchers: Election Day was November 4th, 2007. Appearing on the “Breaking News Page” of the website and calling it “real time” news at 12:02 AM, Friday, November 9, and in the middle of the night, the Star Ledger announced that an investigation had been launched by state officials into the business and personal dealings of Charlotte DeFilippo the Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee and Director of the Union County Improvement Authority. The news article went on to explain that DeFilippo had been served with subpoenas in September and October so one could say that the Star-Ledger was “late in breaking the news”.

In direct contrast to that policy on Friday, May 30, 2008 just 4 days prior to the Primary Election, and today May 31 just 3 days prior to the Primary Election, in which Elizabeth Board of Education board member president, Armando Da Silva, an outspoken opponent of Elizabeth Mayor Bollwage and the Union County Democrat Committee is running for City council, the Star-Ledger chose to break a story and continue by publishing another story the following day about the Corzine Administration sending a team of inspectors to the Elizabeth school district that week after auditors alleged they have found far-reaching spending abuses. Lucille Davy, the state’s Education Commissioner whose husband James was in Governor James McGreevey’s cabinet and currently has a no-bid county consulting contract, issued the subpoena on behalf of the state Board of Education.

Quoted in today’s Ledger article is Kirk Nelson, general counsel for the Elizabeth board “The politicization of the state Board of Education is frightening on the weekend before a municipal election.”

What is more troubleling and of a great public concern is the Star-Ledger is Union County’s only daily newspaper and it appears they are playing politics in support of Senator Raymond Lesniak, Inc.

The Star-Ledger should include the names of those politicians who apparently are influencing their reporting on the mast head along with their editors and publisher.

Although they boast in advertisements that they are the most read newspaper in Union County The Star-Ledger has not had a reporter covering Union County government for over 9 months now.