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Monday, April 18, 2011

Chairman Green contests New Dem city committee petitions

Is Jerry making a serious challenge?
Plainfield Democratic City Committee chairperson Assemblyman Jerry Green challenged eleven city committee candidates running on the New Dems slate. Is Jerry being a vicious pit bull or a toothless old dog past his prime?

With the entire 68 seats on the committee (one female and one male for each of 34 voting districts) up for re-election on June 7, Green is attentive to the need to minimize the chances of the New Dem candidates electing a majority to the committee, which would endanger his control.

Five Hispanic candidates in Wards 1 and 3 and one non-Hispanic were challenged for either not being registered Democrats or having the signatures of those who are not registered Democrats on their petitions.

In a letter to Chairman Green dated April 15, City Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh, writing as Plainfield's Chief Election Official, denied Green's objection, citing Lesniak v. Budzash (1993), in which the court ruled unaffiliated voters may declare party membership by SIGNING A NOMINATION PETITION.

Green challenges two other Ward 1 committee candidates as not having enough signatures and for an alleged discrepancy in a candidate's signature in two section of the petition. City Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh denied the challenge to the required number of signatures, and held that he has no way of verifying the validity of the challenged signature, to which the candidate swore under oath before a notary.

Lastly, Green challenged the petition of Ward 2 candidates Dave Beck and Lois Mattson, alleging two signatures appeared on the line indicating the petition's circulator.

This City Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh denied on the basis it was clear the notary had signed the line in error and corrected the error by crossing their name out and signing in the correct location, with the circulator writing their name above the crossed out line.

Chairman Green's only option at this point would be to take his challenges to Superior Court in Elizabeth. He has done this before, with less than happy results. Will he do so again?

That would cost money. With less than $241 in the City Committee treasury, Green would have to either find a pro bono lawyer or fork out the cash himself.

I'm betting on the toothless old dog in this one.

Thursday at 3:00 PM the ballot positions for the June Primary will be drawn at the County Clerk's office in Elizabeth.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

He must be scared. If he takes it to court, you said the Dem committee will have to pay. What about the taxpayers!? Wouldn't we end up paying to defend the municipal clerk since Green would be challenging him? Will the clerk have to hire a lawyer at cost to us? So once again Green is costing the Plainfield taxpayers more money.

Rob said...

Well..since you implied it would be a waste of time and money I would say it's a "GO" for running to Elizabeth. It's what toothless tired old yapping dogs do...annoy people.

Anonymous said...

It appears to me as if Jerry is trying to disenfranchise hispanic voters from getting involved

Anonymous said...

Now that is going to make Old Jerry really mad Dan! The truth hurts!

Anonymous said...

Once AGAIN JG leads in embarrassing his chairmanship.

What an idiot. WHo's he taking advice from these days??

He's either desperate or just listening to the wrong people.. which is an unfortunate weak spot of his!


Anonymous said...

Thank you A.J. -

I have proudly watched you during council meetings and I have heard how you brought the "old" office into "new" technology and I must say Great Job and THANK YOU!

You have US and the LAW on your side.

Anonymous said...

A perfect example of why the City Clerk needs to be "non-partisan", hopefully, Jalloh acted on what he thought was right and in accordance with the law and not any political pressure from EITHER side!

Rebecca Williams said...


I am surprised by these challenges. Unaffiliated voters can declare their party affiliation by signing the petition. It is in the statute. I can't imagine that municipal chairs are not aware of Mayer v. Addison, argued in 1993. Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi explained this to me two years ago, and our own clerk Laddie Wyatt did so as well. The pink forms are for Democrats and the blue ones are for Republicans. Unaffiliated voters can sign either one. Everyone in the local party knows this. Before the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s, blacks (particularly in the south) were routinely terrorized, and usually had their literacy and their signatures challenged by those who wanted to suppress their voting power. Any attempt to disenfranchise voters is looked upon with contempt by judges. It seems that Latino voters, many of whom are still unaffiliated, are the newest targets for willful disfranchisement. The judge will toss this out of court.