The needler in the haystack.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Plainfield Gazette attacks Damon, McWilliams, Saturdays and Truth




(Click HERE to see full-size, printable version of flyer)

PT wants to thank the anonymous author(s) of the scurrilous flyer circulated as the Plainfield Gazette yesterday throughout City Hall and City Hall Annex and placed on the public literature table in the City Hall rotunda. (For a complete, printable version, click here.) The leaflet helps me organize some thoughts and observations.

Aside from misstatements about myself (which I will deal with below), and mischaracterizations of what I am doing in publishing this blog, the diatribe bashes the late Mayor Al McWilliams -- and this just a week after his funeral.

That is unconscionable. The Mayor should apologize to the McWilliams family immediately.

Further, the
anonymous author(s) use the derogatory "F" word, which I consider hate speech. I have written Mayor Robinson-Briggs about the matter (see here), citing both the language and the chill its use must cast over the city's many gay and lesbian employees.

As well, there is the question of whether the leaflet was composed on a city computer and copied on a city copier.

For today, I will address the misstatements about myself personally. A second post will deal with the attack on Mayor McWilliams, and a third this blogger's approach to the current administration and the flyer's (mis)conceptions of what blogging is about.

I know that many of you will chide me for posting the flyer and giving the "Plainfield Gazette" an audience of thousands more than it could reach through its own efforts, but hey, isn't it about letting the sun shine in?

I invite PT's many blue-pencil readers to sharpen their pencils -- and wits -- and have a go at the grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. of the flyer and to submit a critique. Feel free to assign a grade (A+ to F).



MISSTATEMENTS ABOUT DAN
  • TENURE: I began working for the City as an employee at the Plainfield Public Library in April 1996, going to City Hall in March 1998 and retiring effective June 1, 2006. That's 11 years-plus by my records.

  • SALARY: $85,000? Would that it were so. Sounds like the writer was smoking the same no-name product as former Councilor Bob Ferraro, who made similar statements. Salaries of city employees are public record and it is easy for anyone to find out what I made. For those who don't want to get exercised about it, the correct amount is RRNTT (for those of you who have ever worked in the old-fashioned wholesale trade, you will recognize the code at once -- if you don't, drop me a line and I'll share it).

  • VACATION: When I was at City Hall, the administration had a 'use it or lose it' policy -- we all used up our vacation time, some in large chunks, some in occasional days off. Since I was 'on call' 24/7 as public information officer (no overtime, please note), I only got to take an occasional day or two usually -- and then would often have to deal with the media when 'on vacation'.

  • VOLUME OF WORK: Besides filing thousands of press releases and organizing hundreds of media events for the Mayor and the City, I coordinated all the printed materials produced by the city, including the acclaimed PLAINFIELD LIFE, a full-color brochure used by the real estate community to introduce the city to prospective buyers. Readers will recall that it was the FAILURE to get press notice on a City activity that led to the beginning of Plainfield Today in the first place.

  • PROFESSIONALISM: What can I say? I conducted myself as a professional and held my output to the highest professional standards. In addition, I had the toughest copy editor and spell-checker of all: Mayor Al McWilliams himself.
LASTLY, A CHALLENGE: I will gladly acknowledge any grammatical errors and mistakes from publications or press releases. Find and submit. And I'm willing to go mano a mano in a spelling bee with the author(s) in a contest to be hosted by the mayor or perhaps former Gov. Jim McGreevey as a fundraiser for the Plainfield Public Library's literacy program. But be forewarned, I was Western New York spelling bee champ in grade school.

-- Dan Damon

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ARCHIVED POSTS OF PLAINFIELD TODAY FROM 11/03/2005 THROUGH 12/31/2006 ARE AT
http://plainfieldtoday.blogspot.com/

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there a name behind the Gazette?

Anonymous said...

What is going on in Plainfield City Hall when something like this can be written and distributed and placed out for public view. The use of the term Faggot is certantly not an new "F" Bomb and anyone who has any understanding or brains would not use it. It is as mean and hurtful as the "N" word. Didn't they see what is going on at Rutgers with the "N H Ho's" ? I hope McGreevy sees this and he knows where he chose to move, what an example Plainfield continues to set. If the current administration thinks this is appropriate, it further shows its ignorance as to the real world. What if we refered to her as a "N H Ho B"? Rember also that Jerry Green once refered to gays at an RSVP event as "you people" and didn't come out in favor of domestic partnership until it was sure of passing. He has never been a friend to us either, unless you are trying to get a political appointment or you work with GSE. Lets see if they have anything to say to blast the current administration about their anti-gay stand.

Rob said...

Ok...so let's get this straight. The City of Plainfield, by not stopping the distribution of this letter which included HATE SPEECH ( can someone call Rev.Al for me please..) has basically implied it's ok. I do agree that something needs to be said and done regarding this letter. Now...per your "rants" about the Mayor..PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEE have this person contact me if they want a real rant to complain about. I have more than enough to say. And I will start it with my usual statement, " I have nothing personal against Jerry, I mean the Mayor, but..." When there is a clear lack of leadership people break ranks and do as they please. Which is more than obviously going on now. This Bitching Faggot has more than enough to say to whoever penned that letter...

Anonymous said...

I am just waiting to hear a response from Jerry Green/ Administration, The City Council,Dottie or Joan (PAE). Let's see who has a backbone and is willing to stand for something. I also remember the other hate filled flyer that came out during the election(I still have a copy). This now makes it even clearer that the author has very close ties to Green/Mayor. Where is the "UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY" and some have the nerve to call themselves christian's.

Anonymous said...

I think it speaks VOLUMES that the administration and their patronage folks who sit at the City Hall desk "welcoming" visitors have allowed this unconscionable piece of garbage to be displayed--the employees sit there all day--they KNOW who left the flyer--I think this ought to be fully investigated by the mayor and Mr. Daniels, and I think that the individuals on duty should be fired. It starts at the top--Plainfielders deserve an apology from the mayor for this.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the statement: "Jerry Green once referred to gays at an RSVP event as 'you people'." I was there. Yep, he said those very words, but it wasn't an RSVP event. Jerry Green NEVER ONCE attended an RSVP event in it's two decades of (on and off) existence. He only discovered that he wanted to talk to - a select few of - Plainfield's gay residents after he lost control of the city in the 2003 June primary.

Anonymous said...

It's shameful that something like this can be distributed at a City Hall meeting. Someone should call the 'authorities' and pursue a civil rights action as this mayor is obviously condoning this hateful language by her inaction in not pursuing the writers and denouncing the 'plainfield gazette'


this is not a reflection of plainfield at all. i've lived in plainfield many years and as a gay man have always felt welcome. this has more to do with the late mr. mcwilliams than it does ms. robinson-briggs. it's up to her to decide whether she is going to continue the welcoming reception that glbt folks have felt when moving to plainfield.

fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

HOW DISTASTEFUL!!! What do you expect from this Administration and their followers.

Anonymous said...

How low of a Human Being do you have to be to publish such garbage. Al's wife and children are still it the early throws of grieving. And the low life's put this garbage out.

YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

Anonymous said...

This just shows who is running the City. It all starts at the HEAD.

Anonymous said...

Rotten all the way through. CITY HALL stinks.

Anonymous said...

Dan don't waste your breath or time. These people have no conscious or respect for anyone much less themselves. They are a group of cowards who hide behind the title of " The PLAINFIELD GAZETTE"

Anonymous said...

It has been over a year since this administration took office. Instead of putting out this crap tell or better yet show us it's accomplishments.

Give the Administration a chance it's been over a year. Put up or shut-up!

They want to talk about sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

Jerry/Mayor has no control over their ranks. This just makes the whole lot of them look BAD.
In this case one bad apple does spoil the bunch.

Anonymous said...

This "Gazette" was an anonymous flyer which someone put on the front table in the open, public rotunda of City Hall. To suggest that the city, or the Mayor or any other specific person was behind it is irresponsible.

As soon as these flyers were noticed, about 1 pm yesterday, they were removed from both City Hall and the Annex.

Of course there is no place for hate speech in the public discourse in Plainfield or anywhere else. Mayor Robinson-Briggs has gone out of her way to make sure that everyone in this city knows she, and her administration, support equal rights for lgbti citizens and has done everything from providing access to domestic partner benefits to publically announcing her eagerness to perform civil union services.

There is no shortage of hateful rhetoric whirling around the Plainfield rumor mill, and Dan, you must admit, you are usually somewhere in the middle, stirring that pot. So let's tone down the umbrage for the moment and see if any actual facts come to light.

And Dan, you know perfectly well that anonymous diatribes are not worth the paper, or electrons, they're printed on.

joann hervey

Dottie Gutenkauf said...

Dan, one of your anonymous commentators has some facts wrong and the record should be set straight.

Jerry Green was one of the major sponsors of the domestic partnership bill--before it even got to the Assembly floor--and was instrumental in getting it passed. He was also one of the prime sponsors of the civil union bill. And Sharon Robinson-Briggs made it quite clear early on that she would implement domestic partnership for city employees, which she has done, and that she would perform civil unions.

And as you of course know I'm not interested in getting any kind of job with anybody--retirement is too much fun to waste on working.

I didn't see the "Gazette," but I'm told copies were removed quickly by the city employee who spotted it. Shame on whoever produced that piece of trash--we don't need that kind of crap anywhere in Plainfield!

Anonymous said...

The sick mind(s) that created that revolting piece of hate mail had better stay anonymous, because anyone with any sense of decency would shun them like the plague if they knew who they were.

Literally sickening. Have they no sense of decency? Sounds like the same folks who slimed Al in the primary.

Robert said...

Hmmm....when the administration allows this type of document to be put on public display something is certainly NOT RIGHT!!! When they attack a private, tax paying ergo salary paying citizen it is not in anyone's best interest. And as far as grammatical errors go did the 'author' of the Plainfield Gazette ever hear of spell check? How about the proper use of punctuation you hate mongering moron!? If any of my tax dollars went toward the production of this ridiculous propaganda I want the person(s) responsible to pay it all back with interest as well as with their job! If it's good for Imus then it's good for them too! Stop wasting resources that could better be used to improve the school system-then at least the hate would be grammatically correct. Or maybe we could actually get a few streets paved so that we didn't need a tow truck to get out of the potholes! This shows just how much the administration really 'cares' for the community as a whole. Just atrocious, and that's an understatement.

Anonymous said...

This "Gazette" was an anonymous flyer which someone put on the front table in the open, public rotunda of City Hall. To suggest that the city, or the Mayor or any other specific person was behind it is irresponsible, until there are some facts to back up the accusation.

As soon as these flyers were noticed, about 1 pm Thursday, they were removed from both City Hall and the Annex.

Of course there is no place for hate speech in the public discourse in Plainfield or anywhere else. Mayor Robinson-Briggs has gone out of her way to make sure that everyone in this city knows she, and her administration, support equal rights for lgbti citizens and has done everything from providing access to domestic partner benefits to publically announcing her eagerness to perform civil union services.

There is no shortage of hateful rhetoric whirling around the Plainfield rumor mill, and Dan, you must admit, you are often somewhere in the middle of it, stirring that pot. So let's tone down the umbrage for the moment and see if any actual facts come to light.

And Dan, you know perfectly well that anonymous diatribes are not worth the paper, or electrons, they're printed on.

Joan E. Hervey

Julie Jerome said...

It's hard to believe on the heels of the Don Imus situation where everyone came out against racist and sexist commentary, that in our town someone believes that this elevated state of civilization somehow does not apply to them. Hate speech in any form, in any venue,is heinous, unacceptable, and should never be tolerated. In this diverse community which we share and are proud to be a part of, speech such as this dishonors us all. However, it's alive and well and obviously living somewhere in our town. I'm sure this is as reprehensible to the current Administration as it is to our community members, and my hope is that it will be addressed with an appropriate public statement and apology. To defend this communication in any way, is totally indefensible, and a clear indication that some of our residents do not truly believe in the concept of unity.

Anonymous said...

A "Bitching Faggot" .. eh?? Let's see how long it takes the mayorette and her minions to find the source of this slur, publicly display those individual(s) responsible for polluting the atmosphere with such rubbish, and apologize for allowing it to happen on her watch. I know I'm not holding MY breath for this to happen .. wonder what Don Imus must think of this ...eh??