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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dems Green, Robinson-Briggs energize GOP campaigns

Republican mayoral candidate Jim Pivnichny with
Barbara Sandford, who hosted a meet-and-greet Sunday.

Entering the two-week home stretch to the November general election, missteps by Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and Assemblyman Jerry Green have energized local GOP campaigns.

Over the past week, I have checked out events hosted for mayoral candidate Jim Pivnichny and Assembly candidate 'Bo' Vastine, to find them packed wall-to-wall with folks who say they are fed up with 'business as usual' and sense a real opportunity to change the electoral landscape this time around.

To those who believe in a two-party system (and I certainly hope that includes Green, Robinson-Briggs and their supporters), these signs of life among Republicans can only come as a breath of fresh air after years of somnolence in Plainfield's Grand Old Party.

One of the problems of one-party dominance is that there is no incentive to
draw in new talent and groom successors. (Why should we? We're gonna ride this rollercoaster to the end of the line.)

Another is that ideas for solving new (and old) problems and issues suffocate for lack of oxygen in rooms that are filled with the blah-blah-blah of pols patting themselves on the back for their honors and titles.

Not to mention using governmental powers as if they belonged to the official personally and not to the public. Consider this --
  • Assemblyman Jerry Green used the cops to physically hustle a duly-elected City Committee member out of a June meeting at the YWCA, and

  • Mayor Sharon used the cops to physically oust Senior Center member Pivnichny when he tried to ask questions at her recent monthly Seniors meeting.
The way the pols see it the police are not there to de-escalate situations, but to do as the pols want as they make up their own interpretations of the law.

This -- and the fact that the pols involved have not apologized to their victims -- has gotten a lot of voters steamed.

Then there is the matter of Muhlenberg Hospital.

Try as they might, Assemblyman Green and Mayor Robinson-Briggs have not been able to wriggle out of their complicity in the closing of Plainfield's 131-year-old hospital in 2008.

'Bo' Vastine gets roars of approval from attendees every time he says, 'If it was me and Corzine was proposing to close Muhlenberg, with its 1,100 jobs and history as a lifeline for 13 surrounding communities and a couple hundred thousand people, I WOULD CHAIN MYSELF TO THE FRONT DOOR'.

If such a dramatic sign of support for the hometown hospital ever occurred to Green, it was probably muffled by the money he was making through the Alman Group, for which he was a vice president, and which counted Solaris Health System, Muhlenberg's corporate parent, among its clients.

Mayor Robinson-Briggs earns her boos from the fact that she has NEVER IN HER ENTIRE FOUR-YEAR TERM taken up her responsibilities as a member of the Muhlenberg Hospital Board. In warming to Pivnichny, voters seem to be saying Sharon's alligator tears over Muhlenberg's demise are just that -- alligator tears, a sort of emotional 'cubic zircon', not at all the genuine article.

Voters are also upset at the thought that the Robinson-Briggs administration is not only INEPT, but may actually have engaged in POSSIBLE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, knowledge of which Mayor Sharon may have attempted to suppress (see yesterday's post here, and the record number of comments -- 28 and counting -- along with it here).

Pivnichny signs can be seen everywhere,
here near City Hall.

What do pols like Green and Robinson-Briggs do when their 'negatives' are high and they are in a tough race?

Looks like they've adopted the 'lie low' approach.

Though I have offered to publicize ANYONE'S CAMPAIGN EVENT, no Democratic event has been offered (unless one counts the forum by WFPIP -- Women for Progress in Plainfield -- a Redshirt Sharon support group).

Green and Robinson-Briggs either do not have any grassroots folks inclined to open their homes to friends and neighbors to hear the candidate's pitch and ask questions, or they are afraid to do so for fear that voters will put them on the spot.

Ditto the kind of non-spin opportunities to put themselves before the voting public. Again, consider the facts --
  • Today's Courier print edition has the League of Women Voters informational ad. All candidates are invited to supply background information to this 80-year-old, highly respected nonpartisan group and answers to three questions posed by the League. Candidates get the questions weeks in advance. For Assemblyman Green and Mayor Robinson-Briggs not to have an entry raises three possibilities -- either a) they have no answers, b) they are afraid to answer, or c) they want to show their disrespect of the organization.

  • Monday's Courier print edition had its 'Election Yearbook' in which candidates for Plainfield elected offices were invited to submit their accomplishments, affiliations and contact information. Pivnichny is there. Robinson-Briggs is not.
There will be other opportunities over the next two weeks, but one can only wonder what Assemblyman Green and Mayor Robinson-Briggs will do, given the voting public's increasing frustration with things-as-they-are and the incumbents' defensiveness.

In any event, Pivnichny and Vastine seem energized.

And the voters are looking for their pitchforks and torches.

  • Tomorrow - October 22. 4 PM. Mayoral Candidates Discussion on Harvest Radio. Mayoral candidates have been invited to participate in Rev. Zechariah Jackson's Town Talker radio program. Harvest Radio, WKMB, is at 1070 AM on your radio dial.
  • Sunday - October 25. 5:15 PM. NAACP Candidates Forum. Sponsored by the Plainfield chapter. At the Whitney Allen Young community room, 300 Central Avenue .(Entrance to parking lot from New Street).

  • Wednesday - October 28. 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM. LWV Candidates' Forum. The Plainfield chapter of the League of Women Voters will present its candidates' forum in two segments: at 6:30 PM, candidates for the 22nd District Assembly seats; at 7:30 PM, candidates for Mayor and the Ward 4 Council seat. At Emerson Community School, East Third Street at Emerson Avenue.
-- Dan Damon

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Bobbie said...

I would not vote for some one like Sharon who does nothing for the people of Plainfield. Crime is very bad and she does nothing. Good Luck

Anonymous said...

YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Throw the bums out.

Anonymous said...

Dan, when are you going to stop telling people Green ran members out of a committee meeting? It was a half hour before the general meeting, and there was a caucus meeting going on, by invite only. Please, try and at least give one or two facts, sometimes, just for fun.

Dan said...

To 9:33 AM --

Get YOUR facts straight, and don't embroider!

What 'Caucus' was it that was meeting?

Was there a separate application for use of the room, and a second payment for same -- NOT BY USE OF A DEM CITY COMMITTEE CHECK?

Let's hope there was, because it would be highly inappropriate to use PDCC funds to pay for any meeting from which DULY ELECTED MEMBERS of the PDCC were excluded.

If there was a Caucus meeting, why weren't the cops posted OUTSIDE the meeting, with a checklist of who was to be allowed in and not let anybody in the door not on the list? After all, they are not members of the PDCC, so why should THEY be inside?

Secondly, if it WAS before the time of the City Committee meeting, it was only MOMENTS before and not 'a half hour' as you say.

I was in the lobby, just coming in when the ejection happened.

A wise, thoughtful and prudent chairperson would have taken much more care to the appearance of the whole business, and not to have two meetings run into each other.

You must be using your Soviet Party Committee handbook by mistake.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the caucus. Why were only certain members of the city committee allowed in? Shouldn't all committee members have been told that there was one? Even if they were not invited? And what was the caucus about. Doesn't sound very democratic to me.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, Dan, that both you and 9:33 AM are right. You have to remember that Plainfield time is about half an hour behind people-who-own-watches time.

Anonymous said...

Dan I attended last nights meet and greet and was amazed at the turnout and enthusiasm of the crowd. When I turned the corner on Kensington I couldn't believe the cars. Haven't seen this much excitement in the Queen City in years, perhaps a decade. I hope we are on to something.

Anonymous said...

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over & over and expecting a different result. Plainfield voters have been insane for the last 20 years. Too many people owe the jobs to Mr. Green for things to change. While this seems like the best time for a change, I doubt that Plainfield's voters in the first & fourth wards will gain any sense of sanity yet. Unless there is a strong voter turn out in the other two wards for CHANGE, it'll be four more years of the same old same old!

Anonymous said...

If the citizens of Plainfield are gullible enough to re-elect Mayor Robinson-Briggs and Assemblyman Green, an old saying comes to mind: sometimes you get what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you and Mapp are attending the Republican rallies.Yet it was the New Dems who shut Muhlenberg. Now you cheer Bo.

The New Dems are out of ideas. So all you can do is try to tear down at our own expense.

The people the Republians have sent in from out of town to divide the Democrats up will not work either.

They will only succeed in showing everyone YOUR true colors - once again.

Bitterness. Nastyness and full of vile are you Dan Damon.

Joan Van Pelt said...

I am saddened by the news which shows the total incompentence (or is it arrogance) of our administration. Plainfield deserves better. On the other hand, I am excited by the response Jim and Bo have recieved by those at the meetings and on your blog. I can only remind people that change is in their hands. If they do not get out and vote on election day - Sharon and Jerry will be reelected by those who don't think but vote by rote. I urge all who read this blog and agree to call your friends and get them out to vote on 11/3. This election is ours to lose, if we are complacent.

Anonymous said...

9:33AM - It seems as though Jerry and Sharon only send the police after senior citizens. At the Committee meeting I heard a scream and when I turned around Mary was on her knees and the police officer closed the door WITHOUT helping her up!!!

Then . . . we have a Mayor hopeful and senior citizen center member Pivnichny thrown out of the senior citzen center.

It looks like the Sharon and Jerry like picking on the elderly.

But . . . when I became a victim of Sharon and Jerry's pitbulls the police officer only looked in my face and had tough words. I had smart words back and the pitbull backed off! It would not have been a pretty picture if she had put her hands on me. I guess I would've been a bloody mess behind bars and the press and the bloggers would've had the story out.

The Senior Citizens need to fight back . . . VOTE PIVNICHNY!!!

JMG said...

I remember in my college days there was a heavy metal band called Twisted Sister one of their greatest hits was a song called "We're No Going To Take It.......Anymore" , I think the fed up citizens of Plainfield should adopt it as their campaign song....

Rob said...

Her arrogance and his stupidity are coming back to haunt them...Would love to say " Bye Bye Mayor Jerry and Assistant Mayor Sharon "

Anonymous said...

The comment by 2:23 pm shows exactly what is wrong with politics in this city. Denigrating first and fourth ward voters and praising voters in the second and third wards just demonstrates the elitism and snobbery of the local promoters of the Republican candidates, including those so-called new democrats like Dan and his ilk who don't give a crap about people who aren't like them. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

The Courier News endorsement of Marks and Vastine speaks volumes.
I strongly suggest their campaign copy it and place one in every Plainfield mailbox. Change does have to start somewhere and the time is NOW!

JMG said...

To Anonymous @4:14 AM

There are no degrading comments or elitism and snobbery going on, what are you reading......
I guess its okay that the local politicans can put themselves first and don't give a damn about the citizens who elected them...thats Ok with you, your fine with them missing the boat on Muhlenberg,being unable to control the PMUA, unable to control taxes, unable to fix the City's crumbling infrastructure, the Connolly mess, the inept financial dealings, the Monarch....I guess your fine with all that. Then you have the nerve to say "Dan and his ilk who don't give a crap about people who aren't like them"

Get a life