The needler in the haystack.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rucker part of Jerry's first dirty trick of 2011 campaign?


In 'The Wizard of Oz', the man behind the curtain
tried to secretly run the show -- until he was unmasked.
An audible gasp went up from the audience when Council candidate 'Dee' Dameron got up to the microphone at the Plainfield City Council's Town Hall meeting last Wednesday and revealed that Councilor Bill Reid had come -- uninvited and unnannounced -- to her place of employment to harangue her about her run for the Council seat.

Not only that, Dameron continued, Reid reappeared at her job the day before the Town Hall with Ward 2 candidate Tony Rucker and his campaign manager Dwayne Wilkins in tow, to question her run for the Council seat yet again.

Dameron put
Rucker, Reid and Wilkins (who by that time had left the meeting) on notice that any further attempted contacts by the three would be met with legal action, as she believed their intent was to harass and intimidate her and put her job at risk by coming to her workplace.

Once she resumed her seat, Rucker sprang to the microphone, rudely cutting in line in front of several waiting speakers, attempting to explain himself by saying he 'didn't know where he was'. Council President Annie McWilliams cut him off, noting he had had the floor twice before and telling him to take the matter up with Ms. Dameron on the side.

When McWilliams adjourned the meeting, Rucker went to Dameron and wanted to get her in a corner away from the crowd to explain  himself. Dameron pointed to a seat next to her and said she was fine with him talking right there in front of witnesses (myself and Dr. Inez Durham, Dameron's campaign manager).

The gist of Rucker's explanation was that he and Wilkins had run into Councilor Reid after coming out of the Plainfield Donut Shop and accompanied him to Dameron's nearby workplace.

When I asked him directly if he had business to take care of at her workplace, Rucker said 'no', but offered no explanation as to why he had gone there with Councilor Reid.

Dameron made it quite clear that she viewed the incident as an attempt to intimidate her and to put pressure on her in front of her employer in the hopes of provoking an incident with her employer or of pressuring her to withdraw from the campaign.

As I was leaving the Cedarbrook School, attendees were already buzzing about whether the visits by
Rucker, Reid and Wilkins were part of a 'dirty trick' by Assemblyman Jerry Green, chair of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee.

Green had acknowledged being surprised by Dameron's appearance before the committee to explain her candidacy, so moves by Green to protect the candidacy of his handpicked candidate
Vera Greaves are not unexpected. Reid's unannounced visit to Dameron's workplace happened the morning of April 11, the Monday following the City Committee meeting.

The Rucker, Reid and Wilkins visit occurred on Tuesday, April 19, the day before the Council's Town Hall meeting. Dameron told me that when she emerged from the ladies' room, she was told the three had specifically asked for her. Their attempt to harass Dameron was cut short by her appointment with a client.

Plainfield being the small town that it is, it quickly came out that Rucker was dissimulating. Far from 'running into' Councilor Reid, I have been told that Rucker, Reid and Wilkins were at Investor's Savings Bank together, opening Rucker's campaign account.

With Bill Reid as treasurer. Reid also happens to be the treasurer for Assemblyman Green's campaign committee as well as that of Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.

Has Jerry called in the first of an endless string of chits he will hold over Rucker's head?

What do you think?



-- Dan Damon [follow]


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28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are we really to believe Rucker didn't know where he was? I have never, in my life, gone somewhere without knowing where I was going and why I was doing so. Since it's make no sense to me, I just can't buy that explanation.

What's Reid's explanation?

Bob said...

I have long said the Mr. Reid has to go and this is the straw that broke the camel's back. Jerry Green is an experienced and ,therefore, very dirty politician and doesn't deserve the support of those in this community. I hope this dirty trick by them and, perhaps Green helps do them in. I wouldn't vote for Green, Reid, or Greaves. I hate dirty politicians and this state and it apprears, Plainfield, already have too many of them.

Anonymous said...

Plainfielder's need to wake up. Vote Republican for a change. Someone who, not only, will not be influenced by JG but will most likely act in opposition of JG and his puppets!

Rob said...

I can admit, I was not aware he had Reid involved in his campaign.
To say I am disappointed in Tony's lack of integrity before the race even really began is an understatement.
He can proclaim all he wants that he isn't Jerry's go-boy, having the Mayor or any of her cheerleaders involved in your campaign pretty much tells all we in Plainfield need to know.
Sad, truly sad that a bright individual would mix himself up with such a filthy political mess such as the group of them.
Admitting you have no self respect can only be surpassed by refusing to admit what the rest of us know.
What Jerry Green touches most certainly becomes rotten.

Keeping It Real said...

Wow!! Regardless of what their intentions may have been, the fact that these 3 men showed up at Ms. Dameron's workplace is unacceptable and if their intention was to cause conflict between her and her employer, that is unexcusable behavior and ruthless.

It's a shame, because Mr. Rucker seems like a well intentioned individual; but, that's what happens once politics gets involved, all those good intentions become political favors and paybacks.

No doubt Jerry Green is leading the way on this front and for that, just one more reason Mr. Green must be voted out of office.

Angela said...

This whole things proves that Rucker can not be trusted. Either he is so naive as to allow Green and Co to manipulate him into the posotion of an unethical bully or he was in on it. Either way I will not be abble to support a man who I thought was a capable breath of fresh air. He's just another puppet for Green.

Anonymous said...

I can't begin to say how utterly disappointed I am in Mr. Rucker. He talks a good game - integrity, independence, vision - but he's already demonstrated that he's willing to "lay down with dogs" to win the election. But I will not vote Republican because of the callous and "serve the rich" vision of that party. So I will not be voting at all in this cycle. Instead, I'm going to work with others like myself in Plainfield to try to find some decent, responsible people to run for public office over the next few years - hopefully we will eventually be able to fill the oouncil and the Mayor's office with people who truly understand what it means to serve the public.

Alan Goldstein said...

Dan, aren't you getting tired of re-running the last two mayoral campaigns? It's no wonder the city is going nowhere, what with two political factions stuck in the past, and partisans like yourself who continually force us to listen to the same broken record regardless of circumstances, or in many instances, simple truth.

The fact is that Councilman Reid is not Tony Rucker's treasurer, nor was Rucker or Dwayne Wilkins aware that this was Ms. Dameron's place of employment, or that Reid had visited previously to 'harangue' her. If that is the case, Reid should be held accountable and offer a public apology at the least.

Having been accused in public of being part of some underhanded scheme, a point you note that led to an 'audible gasp' from the audience (myself included), Rucker should have been permitted an opportunity to rebut Dameron's implication. Of course that would be close to impossible from a City Council more noted for reaction and grandstanding than actually promoting and advancing legislation along the lines of the ideology they seem to espouse.

You, as a faux journalist, should ask a few questions, but as the partisan you are I guess you're content with the slash and trash politics we've become accustomed to. Mind you, I am not condoning Reid's actions, or disputing Dameron's very real and understandable feelings about the situation. She'll be a fine addition to the Council and I do support a progressive agenda for city government. But let's be clear; There is no progressive agenda, there is only reaction to ineptitude, and regression to past political affronts and personal battles. Those who are so narrow-minded that everything must be construed in the same way over and over again are not doing anyone a favor, nor acting in the best interest of our city.

As far as I can see, this is the year for two new Council members who are not stuck in the ways of the past. For Democrats, it's time to split the primary vote and forget the columns that have worn us down for years.

RASRAHMATAZ said...

Why Mr. Goldstein --there is hope!

Anonymous said...

Oh I thought that was you in the picture Dan

Anonymous said...

Goldstein says, 'The fact is that Councilman Reid is not Tony Rucker's treasurer, nor was Rucker or Dwayne Wilkins aware that this was Ms. Dameron's place of employment, or that Reid had visited previously to 'harangue' her. If that is the case, Reid should be held accountable and offer a public apology at the least.' Who is Rucker's treasurer and how would Goldstein know about there intentions or what they knew and when they knew it.

GB said...

Dan, I knew you were old, but to have taken a picture of the "Great & Powerful Oz" means you have been around for quite awhile ....

Davis said...

Mr. Goldstein is missing the point. I find it very hard to believe that men of the education and intelligence of Rucker and Wilkins had absolutely know idea where they were going or why. But if this is the case as Goldstein suggets, this is not a person I want on the council. We need people who will question the status quo, not take at face value the intentions of someone who has been a part of the problem. This is not about old factions battling or re-running old campaigns. It's about whether we need people in office who will raise questions then make their own judgements or folks who will follow the puppeteer no matter the ramifications.

Willa said...

Like Mr. Goldstein I am also tired of the bickering within the Plainfield dem party, but I don't think he gets it. It boils down to one question. Would you vote for someone who meets up with a councilman on the street, and then gets persuaded to go someplace for an unknown purpose? My answer is no. Not in this town under the current climate.

Anonymous said...

Alan, where did Tony think he was, or where did he think he was going?

Do I want a councilperson to represent me who has no idea where is he or what he is doing?

And, if he didn't know where he was, or what he was doing, why did Tony not immediately apologize to Dee when he finally got a grip as to where he was and leave?

Nice try Alan. Doesn't pass the smell test.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Alan--it's good to read a comment that makes sense on this blog.

Dan said...

Dwayne -- I would be happy to post your comment, but you identified Ms. Dameron's place of employment in it, so I cannot put it up.

It is a very serious matter to have gone to her place of employment without her knowledge or consent, however you got there, and her workplace is not part of the matter at hand. What would you have done if it had happened to you?

If you want to resubmit your comment WITHOUT IDENTIFYING THE WORKPLACE, please do so and I will post.

As for Mr. Reid not being the treasurer, I will apologize in a separate post.

If Mr. Rucker wants to clear this up, I strongly suggest he post a forthright, clear and factual account on his blog.

I did speak with him and he was not very clear at all. Perhaps it was the pressure of the moment.

Getting involved with Mr. Reid in this matter -- however intentional or not -- has made it an issue.

So, deal with it and move on.

Dwayne said...

Dan -

We are NOT INTERESTED in participating in back and forth rhetoric. Tony Rucker is about the ISSUES.

Please check your facts - I know you didn't speak to Tony or myself about the detail of this story. I have an issue with Bill Reid as we had NO IDEA that Reid spoke with Dee beforehand and will follow up accordingly. Frankly, if YOU said "Hey, I have someone I want you to meet" should we say no because you are Cory's son's Godfather? I would hope the answer is no...

Here are the FACTS:
- Tony nor I had any knowledge that Reid went to Dee's place of business earlier - Reid said he wanted to introduce us to someone;
- Tony nor I did not know Dee worked there nor did we ask for her;
- Reid is NOT the campaign treasurer, noted Plainfield Attorney Ernestine Forbes is the treasurer;

Dan how about following up with either Tony Rucker or I so you can post the truth?;

Dan, we realize that you are very close to Cory Storch as a family friend and don't want anyone to run against him.

We are NOT engaging in this type of reporting. We are strictly running on the facts and frankly Cory's record or lack thereof for the past 8 years. Bottom-line is this, you are doing exactly what you claim others do to you and your candidate. This is an issue between Dee and Bill as YOU stated that night when you came up to Dee and Tony.

Tony is an independent minded Democrat - he is trying to do what is best for Plainfield. Frankly, I am saddened that Cory is allowing you to play in the mud. Let's rise above.

I for one will speak with ANYONE who has Plainfield's best interests at heart. I volunteer alongside Old Dem's, New Dem's, Independents and anyone who supports positivity. I would hope that your readers do the same and not turn their heels just because they are seen with someone. I am, and will always be about collaboration and inclusion, not separation and exclusion.

Let's be about the people of Plainfield. All of the people of Plainfield!

Dwayne said...

By the way, I am certain that Tony will follow on his own blog...

DEW

Rob said...

Oh..he is not. Well that is nice to know.
If the rest of the world is held accountable by who they hold company with then I suppose Tony must also be held accountable..
( Unless of course he was explaining to Reid the errors of his thinking by playing political lackey to Jerry and Sharon...unless of course, again, Reid has no sense of self worth )
When you lie with dogs....
Sad.

Anonymous said...

Dan,

We can certainly disagree on the issues, but as Moynihan rightly said, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."

I will leave it to Mr. Reid, Ms. Dameron, Mr. Rucker, and Mr. Wilkins to respectively respond to your article. I can only bear witness to what transpired at the meeting.

What I witnessed:

Mr. Rucker did NOT try to corner Ms. Dameron - he attempted to address the allegations publicly and was stopped by Ms. McWilliams from doing so;

Mr. Rucker was obviously upset at the FALSE allegations made against him (who wouldn’t be?), and attempted to set the record straight. He was DIRECTED to speak with Ms. Dameron and give others the floor;

Mr. Rucker clearly stated that he did not know that the location they visited was Ms. Dameron’s workplace. You are disingenuous when you say he “offered no explanation as to why he had gone there with Councilor Reid...” when he had minutes earlier publicly stated that he thought Mr. Reid was asking him to come along to meet some people [for campaigning purposes], and;

Mr. Rucker plainly and unequivocally stated that he did not know Mr. Reid previously spoke with Ms. Dameron.

Let's keep the record straight. Your header “Rucker part of Jerry's first dirty trick...” is, simply stated, a misstatement of the facts. You say this as if it a commonly accepted axiom - IT IS NOT.

In fact, all evidence proves otherwise. Mr. Rucker ran as an independent last time around, while Mr. Storch had the line; Mr. Rucker’s current campaign is INDEPENDENTLY financed and staffed with independent thinking professionals. His diverse team is not filled with the traditional political operatives affiliated with Green. Rather, his team (of which I am a member) is made up of progressives that advocate for policies with which Green and the Dems would certainly not traditionally associate. The TREASURER is Ms. Forbes – not Mr. Reid. Most importantly, his varied positions on the issues via his blog have proven his independence for years. The facts are not difficult to determine - anyone who has followed Mr. Rucker’s blog for a nano-second could have easily made that determination.

We all know that politics are not for the faint of heart. Fine. Accepted. But please, keep the birther-like allegations out of the discourse. If you disagree with Mr. Rucker on his positions, state so. Prove him wrong. Demonstrate how it is in the best interest of Plainfield to NOT find common ground from which to move us forward. I am all ears. Until that time, articles like this serve no one, are PLAIN wrong on the facts, and are merely a distraction from the true issues our city faces.

Lilas Borsa

Anonymous said...

I'm sure when Cory had the line 4 years ago he spoke to Reid and Green.

It seems interesting to me that the New Dems don't say that Cory was in Jerry's pocket 4 years ago.

Come on New Dems -- you can't have it both ways. If anyone on the line is Jerry's man -- then Cory for the last 4 years has been Jerry's man.

If Cory was NOT Jerry's man 4 years ago -- why can't Mr. Rucker NOT be Jerry's man?

Seems like very illogical thinking. But, this is politics.

Anonymous said...

Dan,

I forgot to add, in addition to supporting Mr. Rucker, I am also supporting Ms. Dee Dameron in this race.

Lilas Borsa

Tony Rucker said...

I'll say this: Most of you make lots of assumptions. Without these negative assumptions it's really hard do anything but guess.

Davis: I'll say this slow.. follow the bouncing ball. No one persuaded me to go anywhere. When you are a candidate you are constantly going places and being introduced to people. Now if I wasn't running for office and I was by myself and I didn't know where I was going, now that would be a problem.

Rob: Is Dan Damon's blog the bible? Second I'm no one's boy. I don't know the last time I was called boy. Lack of integrity based on what? You know what's amazing one false allegation and now I have no integrity. Even if a million people say a lie it's still a lie. If you want to know the truth e-mail me I'll gladly answer your questions.

Angela: What are you basing your assumptions on? It must be what you read on Dan's blog because I know you didn't read it on mine. I had not posted anything yet. Never come to a decision with incomplete information.

I got caught in public with a city councilperson in a public place. Wow. What a crime. You guys need to get out of these blogs and read a real newspaper. Just becausse you don't like someone doesn't make him a criminal or a dirt ball. If you have the evidence call Governor Christie and send me the story. Take care everyone.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, Dwayne, in the language you are using, you are suggesting the same thing that you are accusing Dan of--that "Cory is allowing" this to happen. The use of the word "allow" suggests that Dan goes to Cory for advice on writing his blog. One could say that Tony is allowing Jerry Green to attack Cory's family unless Tony disavows Jerry and condemns Bill Reid for bringing you and Tony to the candidate's workplace. Bloggers will write what they want to write. I urge everyone to read Cory's blog to find out Cory's positions on the issues. I will be writing my own thoughts on this on my blog.

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

News flash: in the real world, candidates need to interact with people they hope to work with, if elected. Today, you posted an apology for your erroneous "reporting." Generally, I enjoy and appreciate this blog. But it would be helpful if you could check facts before "reporting." The problem with apologies/retractions is not everyone sees them. We have a lot of worthless comments about a non-event when we should be focusing on what we can do to improve Plainfield. We should be grateful that anyone wants to take time to give back to the community and serve. Instead, we create non-events to speculate about. I am a results-oriented resident who realizes that sometimes change is good. Look at our low voting rates; this dialogue is underwhelming at best and will not motivate or raise awareness of registered voters.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Tony -- you got Rob, Bob and Dan at your throat. You are in the big leagues now buddy.

Keeping It Real said...

Well, Tony Rucker just lost my vote, not over the issue regarding Mr. Reid and Ms. Dameron; instead, I'm disappointed at the tone of his response in comments he made, today, on this blog and on his own blog - - some of which I believe have racial overtones. NOT GOOD!

THESE WERE COMMENTS FROM HIS OWN BLOG:

1. "FOX News: Plainfield Style"
2. "If this doesn't convince you, I doubt you probably were going to be convinced no matter what I said and you know what that means"
3. "Thank God its 2011 and not 1911 in Mississippi."

I asked Mr. Rucker for clarification regarding the above comments, hoping that I was perhaps reading into his use of language. However, my comments were not made visible and I did not receive a response from him.

I've been reading Mr. Rucker's blog regularly and have enjoyed his insight and sense of balance; but I think that his true colors are starting to show and I don't like what he has to say.

I don't think Mr. Rucker is ready for primetime anytime soon.

Earlier today I was willing to give Mr. Rucker the benefit of the doubt, first, regarding the Reid issue and then regarding the comments on his blog; but now I read his comments on this blog and that's strike 3 (in a mere 24 hours).

Mr. Rucker has clearly demonstrated that he's well intentioned and cares about Plainfield; however, he's also demonstrated that he does not know how to handle himself in a public forum with criticsm and adversity. It's not a good sign when your potential representative starts making personal attacks directed at constituents/residents in writing, very similar to what Mr. Green does -- not a profesional thing to do.

I'm sorry, but you've lost me as a supporter, for now.