Archive for the ‘Pay-to-play’ Category

Fighting to the Death for Florio, Et Alia

Apparently the federal government wants to put strings on payments under the Cares Act to states and counties and Governor Murphy takes exception:
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Union County at this hour is spending the first of that Cares Act money.

On whom?

According to their meeting agenda:

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UCCF 2/20/20: Ex-Freeholder Cashes In

2020-191: Authorizing County Manager to enter into a professional services contract with Live Life Virtually (LLV), LLC, Linden, New Jersey for the period of March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, in an amount not to exceed $26,905, to provide online access to curriculum, training materials, data collection, and the full customization of a version of LLV “Your Practice Life” program optimized for low to moderate income youth in Union County.

Explained this way at Agenda meeting:
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Real Reason:

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UCCF 12/19/19: Development Directions and the Hollow ‘No’

2019-1092: Authorizing the County Manager to award a contract, through a fair and open Request for Proposal process, for the Administration of the Union County Housing Voucher Program (HAPP) (Section 8) to Development Directions for a two year period commencing January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2021, with the potential for two (2) additional twelve (12) month extension options, in an amount not to exceed $700,000. (Administrative fees are set forth annually by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.) (HUD)
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Yes there was one ‘no’ vote but it takes no courage to vote ‘no’ when it will be little more than an irritant to those who need Development Directions to get $700,000, especially when that ‘no’ vote is never explained.

Past coverage:

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UCCF 12/19/19: Boughs of Holley

According to Financial Disclosure forms filed by New Jersey legislators:

Assemblyman Holley, Jamel C. 20 D   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018  

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For all those years Millennium Strategies of Morristown, NJ was one of Holley’s jobs and paid him between $25,000 and $49,999 annually. As in prior years tonight we got this resolution:

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Corruption Level: Puerto Rico vs. Union County

2019-640: Resolution in support of the resignation of the Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo A. Rosselló and the improvement of Puerto Rican lifestyle conditions.

Most people outside of government, where they get to define the term, would consider both Union County and New Jersey as rife with corruption (ie. pay-to-play, budget chicanery, who-you-know hires) so when the freeholders call out an area outside of the continental US for for their practices it is with some regret:
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But the point was made….
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UCIA/Aries Biosolids Scheme in Linden

Here is the scheme as I see it now:

  1. Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) sells $50 million in tax-exempt bonds;
  2. UCIA loans most of that money to Aries Linden, LLC to refurbish a building owned by the Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority;
  3. Bond default in 2022 after all the usual suspects have taken their cuts.

But maybe it is different this time so I did a little digging and this is what I came up with so far.

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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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