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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday's Primary: The Buying and Selling (out) of Plainfield

I left off yesterday's post with Plainfielders wondering about the money being spent by Assemblyman Green on next Tuesday's primary election.

Well, you need wonder no longer. Jerry himself revealed all. Or at least more than he ever meant to.

At last night's very well attended candidate forum hosted by the Netherwood Heights Neighbors, the candidates were just finishing up a question. Here's the scene:

Annie McWilliams was pointing out that her campaign was truly grass roots, supported by the many small contributions of homeowners and taxpayers across the city, leaving her beholden only to the voters and residents.

Annie contrasted that with the funding of her opponent, Council President Harold Gibson, whose team's bankroll is many times larger and doubtless includes money from vendors -- those pay-to-play lawyers, engineers and providers of costly services who bankroll the campaigns of machine incumbents in the expectation of lucrative contracts once the election is past.

Gibson avoided the thrust of McWilliams' point, saying any contributions he took would pass scrutiny.

In the silence before moderator Joan Van Pelt of the League of Women Voters could ask the next question, Assemblyman Green was loudly heard to say "It's my money ... MY money, $200,000 of it."

Now, gentle reader, just when was the last time YOU sat down and wrote a check for $200,000?

Kind of explains the slick commercials on Comcast and the glossy mailers which are starting to fill our mailboxes, doesn't it?

And where do you think 'Jerry's money' comes from?

A pol may be forgiven if they sometimes confuse the money they can dole out and the SOURCE of the money they can dole out.

The $200,000 Jerry says he is spending on the campaign is 'his' in the sense he can write a check for that amount.

But make no mistake, this isn't JERRY'S MONEY, it's the money of those same vendors that Annie McWilliams was talking about.

Producing those slick commercials takes money -- for photographers, lighting, editing and coaching, rehearsal and makeup for the 'actors'. Yes, makeup.

And those glossy mailers from the good folks at 491-A Washington Avenue in Carlstadt? They cost plenty of money, too.

The bottom line in this election is that Assemblyman Jerry Green has a bottom line -- to continue to control the City Council by electing the best (in his mind) Councilors money can buy.

And there is the problem in a nutshell, isn't it?

Buying -- and SELLING OUT -- Plainfield.

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Anonymous said...

Annie needs to reach out to Wards 1-3 and 4. I hope the good people in those wards realize that they will be better represented and have their voices heard and their concerns acted upon with Annie. Harold Gibson may have been effective at one time, but his time is no more. I pray that Annie is our new Council at Large person. Go Annie!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that I was shocked to see a commercial for plainfield Dems while I was watching "College Hill" on BET. The commercial was quick, but there were two things that the commercial accomplished. It let me know that they had spent alot of money and that Don Davis might be spending taxpayer money to have his mustache groomed as well. I just got a new digital camera. I think I might look into that.

Sincerely, Looking forward to a better Plainfield!

Anonymous said...

At the first candidates debate at Washington School Jerry solemnly told a story how he is no longer receiving money from Solaris and how he sold some personal property for $700,000. Did he tell this story to be more beholding or did he calculate that funding would be questioned and he could state that he divulged the source publicly? Rest assured Jerry Green is no dummy. He plays a good game and the only way the people of Plainfield will win is if we vote his guard out.