Archive for the ‘Pay-to-play’ Category

No Debating Corrupt System

It is billed as a debate tomorrow among Democrat freeholder candidates in the primary next week but the rules make it a ‘must-miss’ for anyone but the plants and political operatives who will be stuffing the question box. Among their rules:

  • The forum will be video recorded and the media are invited to attend. Only credentialed media are allowed to record the event.
  • Each candidate will have 2 minutes for opening remarks to introduce themselves. The moderator will then ask a question from the audience. So that we can address as many questions as possible in the time available, each candidate will have 1 minute to answer each question. If time permits, candidates will also have 2 minutes for a closing statement.
  • All questions are screened by a neutral committee to ensure that questions are applicable to all candidates, are not personal in nature, and are addressed to subjects relevant to this forum.

There will be a Plainfield debate immediately after and if all 9 freeholder candidates show up a best case scenario is that there will be six questions. Almost certainly nothing on the theft of Open Space tax money or the Solar Panel fiasco but, if Armstead can sneak it in, maybe something on this.

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UCCF 4/25/19: Roadmap to Acceptable Bribes

From the last freeholder meeting – more pay-to-play before elections:
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And a suggestion:

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Roselle Park In Play

Democrats took over in Roselle Park with a more malleable mayor and the first order of business was to funnel more money to Democrat politicians.

nj.com had the story with video:
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and this explanation:

[Republican Councilman and former mayor Joseph] DeIorio noted that the biggest difference between contributions under the old limit and what the state allows is for county political organizations, which can now receive up to $37,000 from donors doing business with Roselle Park for each election cycle, up from just $200.

“The most money you can donate is to the county,” DeIorio said, adding that the amounts now at stake make will make it all too tempting for county party officials — who can make or break the careers of local politicians — to influence municipal contract decisions.

That notion was dismissed by both Signorello and Union County’s Democratic chairman, state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-22nd Dist. Both said the issue had never been discussed, and while Scutari acknowledged that lifting Roselle Park’s contribution limit could indeed boost the county party’s fundraising, he said it would not lead him or his organization to pressure municipal officials to award contracts to certain donors.

“Do I influence municipal decisions? No,” Scutari said in a phone interview Thursday night, adding that he wasn’t even aware of the council’s move. “This is the first I’m hearing about it.”

So who makes out with this in Roselle Park?

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T&M Checks (and Balances?)

2018-745: Amending Resolution Number 2017-220, adopted March 9, 2017, a Professional Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Service contract with T&M Associates of Middletown, New Jersey, to provide ongoing LSRP Environmental Services associated with the Meisel Park Project for an amount not to exceed $9,450.00 for a new contract amount not to exceed $59,050.00. (NJDEP Case # 99-04-28-1512 and 01-08-29-146-05; SRP Pl#130838; Union County Engineering Project #2011-030)

There were questions brought up at the Agenda meeting:
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With some confusion:
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More questions at the regular meeting:
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Some sanctimonious pushback:
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More back and forth:
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Now as to those checks and balances:

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Hectoring Works

Perhaps you recall these incidents from the freeholder meeting of July 28, 2011:
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This hit a nerve with Willard C. Shih, Esq of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA who, two months later, on behalf of Netta Architects, LLC and Nicholas J. Netta, AIA, NCARB (“Netta”) dispatched a letter to the offices of the Union County Watchdog Association (UCWA) addressed to Ms. Tina Renna and Mr. Bruce Paterson (though the latter was never affiliated with the UCWA) that, considering what we now know about how Netta got his start with the county and how Netta projects (Family Courthouse; Warinanco Ice RinkGalloping Hill Clubhouse) work out, reads like an object lesson in hypocritical bullying.

Excerpts from that September 28, 2011 letter:

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Netta/Devanney Links

According to county check registry data Netta Architects (established in 2007) has received over $7 million for professional architectural services from March, 2010 through May, 2018. Among their projects:

  • Union County College MacKay Library
  • Galloping Hill Clubhouse – 2013
  • West Hall Building Expansion at the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools campus in Scotch Plains – 2015
  • Union County Family Courthouse – 2017
  • Warinanco Park Skating Rink- 2017
  • Union County Courthouse Complex New Tower Stairwell Modernization Project – ????

What qualified Netta Architects for these diverse projects? Could it have been past experience?
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Or could it have been campaign contributions and former County Manager George Devanney?

According to an anonymous source:
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R.I.P. Bill Schluter

Soft Corruption by William E. Schluter has become a bible for me here as it reflects closely my experience with legalized graft in New Jersey politics.

Bill Schluter died yesterday. Here are his teachings from past blogs.

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