The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Asm Jerry Green                                               Hosni Mubarak
The hasty departure of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak just hours after defying the country's citizenry and its military leadership brought to mind the Plainfield comparison suggested by Olddoc recently (see here).

Addressing Green's attack on Board of Ed member Rasheed Abdul-Haqq, Olddoc ended his post hopefully --

...[i]f Assemblyman Green does not wish to be remembered as Plainfield"s Mubarak, it is time for him to gracefully end a successful, profitable, respected political [career] and turn the reins of power over to a new generation...
Time indeed.

For the first fifteen years I lived in Plainfield, I was content to let Jerry have his way -- tending to every detail of who held local elected office (except, of course, for Plainfield's last elected Republican councilor, Donna Vose), who was appointed to the boards and commissions, and who was allowed to develop (or not) in the City and under what conditions.

When Al McWilliams decided things needed to change if Plainfield would ever improve, I threw in my lot with him as he launched the struggle to bring talented, farsighted and transparent leadership to the Queen City.

It has been a long time coming, but there are signs of change -- most prominently at the moment in a Council that tries its best to assert a reasoned, responsible and long-range view of how to manage the crises Plainfield faces if our future is ever to look brighter.

I remember remarking to Mayor McWilliams once that in ten years' time we would be able to look back at the contention between the New Democrats and Assemblyman Green and see that they were fundamentally about a generational shift.

Well, it's been a little more than a decade and, sadly, Al McWilliams is no longer with us to tackle the challenges at hand.

But, his daughter is. And that is eloquent evidence that we are facing an important time, when one generation must pass the torch -- however reluctantly -- to the next.

Assemblyman Jerry Green is no Mubarak, no absolute dictator able to literally control the life and death of ordinary citizens, nor a kleptocrat able to siphon billions of dollars off into secret Swiss bank accounts.

But there is a way that Jerry does remind us of Mubarak.

He  is of another, older generation, unable to fully grasp the changes -- social, technological and poiltical -- that have overtaken him.

Jerry's political techniques, language and habits of thought belong to another era, not our own.

Jerry's moment in the Legislature appears to have passed -- it does not seem likely that his great effort on behalf of affordable housing will ever be signed into law. Instead, it appears he will be remembered, if at all, for a mean-spirited bill intended to single out for punishment Plainfield resident,
Board of Ed member and longtime community activist Rasheed Abdul-Haqq.

Word in the street is that Union County Dem chairperson Charlotte DeFilippo is intent on Jerry serving yet one more term in the Assembly, unfortunate as that may seem.

Like Mubarak, neither Charlotte nor Jerry seem to be able to bring themselves to believe that times and circumstances have changed and that it is now time to let go and let a new generation take charge.

In that respect, sadly, it seems there is a valid comparison to Mubarak, making Assemblyman Green Plainfield's

One reader saw a distinct similarity.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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computer fax said...

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Dan said...

While finishing this post, several readers commented to the image placeholder post (since deleted).

Am pasting their comments below -- Dan

Blackdog said --
Hosni is better lookin'!

YEP I SAID IT!!! said --
H m m m m . . .

okay . . . maybe if some hair was added to Jerry or take away the hair from Muburak . . . h m m m . . . yeah . . . okay . . . I can see the resemblance.

Amazing! Wow!

Yes, I would agree with the similarities! But, here in Plainfield you couldn't get 200 people to protest against Jerry let alone enough to force him out of office. Remember when you go behind the closed must stick to the Party Line and not waver for a second! Happens every November.

Another ANONYMOUS said --

Anonymous said...

The people of Egypt stood together for days to rid their county of their political leader. If the residents of Plainfield would do the same,maybe we could save our city that is falling apart. Gerry Greedy Green and Mayor SRB need to go now!

Blackdog said...

Mubarak has accumulated between 50 and 70 billion dollars while in office. How much has Green managed to stash away, and from what sources?

Anonymous said...

But, Dan, if Jerry does step aside is it so Sharon can have the spot?

Anonymous said...

At this point I can not share your confidence in Annie. Is she truely a new democrat or just standing on the fence of politics? Her attitude and stated positions are not as yet well defined.

dr. emc2 said...

Sadly, the citizens of Plainfield have been forced to endure the shenanigans and the mean spirited actions of Jerry Green. It is time for a change and the people will rise and replace assemblyman is time.