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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Will someone please turn up Burney's Valium drip?

Two Remington & Vernick contributions to Burney's 2010 campaign
he fails to mention. another $2,500 from an insurance vendor and an engineering firm he forgets to mention.
Will someone please turn up former Plainfield Councilor Rashid Burney's Valium drip? Thank you.

Once again, Burney has turned to using Olddoc's blog (see here, and comments Doc refers to here) to post an ill-tempered and overlong (981 words) rant about...well, about what?

  • Rashid is still angry at the New Dems (he was first elected as a New Dem, so did he 'frisk the local vendors' when he ran back then?);

  • Rashid is angry that all ('New' and 'Old') Democrats unite in the November election (he forgets to mention Democratic campaign signs are always placed in front of his house);

  • Rashid takes Council President Adrian Mapp to task for receiving two contributions totaling $500 from Remington & Vernick, the city's engineers at his annual (and hardly secret) birthday party.
Let's review --


So, Council President Mapp received two checks totaling $500 (I understand one has been, or is being, returned -- meaning Mapp will have received a total of$250).

As Councilor Storch pointed out after the new ordinance was adopted, it does not stop vendor contributions (nor is it meant to), but forces vendors to disclose contributions if they are seeking business (see my summary of the ordinances here).

What Burney fails to mention is just how his own campaign in 2010 benefited from contributions he 'frisked' from local vendors (to use his colorful verb).

You can view Burney's complete ELEC reports online (see here, especially the 6/25/2010 report) --

  • Rashid took $1,000 from Remington & Vernick, the second check being from the R&V employee's wife, evidently attempting to disguise the true source of the contribution (those with long memories will recall that Burney voted for Remington & Vernick as the city's engineers after $300,000 in campaign contributions were 'wheeled' into Robinson-Briggs' successful 2005 mayoral campaign -- Burney says they have made $3 million on the contracts);

  • Rashid took $1,000 from insurance vendor Martin Statfeld (for an interesting Record story on Statfeld and 'wheeling' political contributions around the state, see here; but more explosive is the CountyWatchers revelation that in one 9-month period, Statfeld gave $75,000 to various Dem committees and candidates, see here); and

  • Rashid took $1,500 from T&M Associates, an engineering vendor.
This $3,500 from vendors, plus another $1.500 from a die-hard local supporter, account for $5,000 of the $5,665.98 in over-$300 contributions made to Burney for the 2010 campaign.

Did Remington & Vernick or Martin Statfeld 'buy' any of Burney's votes?

Burney alleges that Mapp held a 2011 fundraiser to 'bypass annual contribution limits' (forgetting that birthdays are an annual occurence?).

Here Burney shows his ignorance.

Campaign committees have just TWO CYCLES: the Primary Election of the election for which the candidate is running and the General Election cycle. The General Election cycle runs from post-primary to the General Election. The Primary cycle runs from after the General Election to the NEXT Primary Election for the candidate -- three and a half years later. The total contribution limits hold for the entire period. There is no such thing as an annual 'reset' on campaign committee contributions.

Lastly, Burney insinuates under-$300 contributions 'were probably also...from Plainfield vendors' not required to be reported individually.

Well, them's the rules. Were Burney's under-$300 contributions from vendors? Who will ever know -- besides Burney?

How about just acknowledging that a whole lot of folks can afford to make relatively small political contributions and let it go at that?
Whether it was Burney or Olddoc that put up the epigram for the post, it has a certain bite --

"Getting a lecture on morality from a politician is like getting a lecture on chastity from a whore." -- Perry de Havilland

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Burney stop the BS. It make us all sick.

Bob said...

Thanks, Dan. I was waiting for this. It like the old saying, "The kettle calling the pot black." They're both doing the same thing and I think Adrain Mapp is more above board and meets all of the new campaign laws on the book. We all knew that Rashid took many large contributions and many smaller ones and everything wasn't necessarily transparent. That's politics and that valium drip sounds fine to me. Many of us could use it from time to time. I think Rashid does and I wonder if someone else is putting a "bug in his ear" during this politcal season.

Bob Bolmer

Alan Goldstein said...

Burney only pointed out one area of hypocrisy, but it does go to show the extent to which vendors juice the system and suck on the public teat. I don't think Rashid tried to make political hay by evangelizing about evil one day, and immersing himself in it the next, like the typical opportunist does, so I give him some credit.

You do seem overly protective though, Dan, but of something that doesn't rate protection. However, thanks for pointing out the grip money has on our city government. It's an epidemic. We can still watch as the wheel turns and pours its bounty into our politicians' laps, while they in turn pass the bill to us.

It would be a good thing if government was just government instead of tool to enrich a select few. So many of our endeavors fail when government is ruled by the profit motive.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you New Democrats are being so slimy and dishonest.

KUDOs to Burney!!!

Anonymous said...

Gee Dan. . . during your long winded thousand word plus rant you missed Burney's point, the hypocrisy of your party!

My friend Rashid never said he wouldn't take campaign donations from vendors. He has expressed that it is necessary for folks like him because they can't compete against the money you New Dems raise from your haughty-taughty Plainfield Country Club friends.

This was your main argument against him in 2010. You all spoke adamantly out against these contributions.


It's been a big lie. Congratulations, you won. Now Plainfielders can be the judge of your success.


'die-hard local supporter'

PS how come you never pick on MB's donations?

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised. T&M is the PMUA's engineer as well. Connect the dots and Plainfielders will see that we continue to get SHAFTED by all in government!

Anonymous said...

To 4:57pm - I think you miss the whole point - the hypocrisy of politics.

YEP I SAID IT!!! said...


This isn't about being "protective". If you feel that way then you are being "protective" of Rashid Burney.

Rashid continues to be BITTER!


Dan -

I read the first two paragraphs of Rashid Burney's email to Doc . . .

Can't you tell Jerry Slimey Green put him up to it! The beginning of his email "protects" Jerry Green. He says something like everyone blames Jerry Green or whatever he said. Yeah right -poor Jerry Green. Boo Hoo!!!

So Rashid Burney what did Jerry Green promise you as payment for this nonsense? Did he promise you the mayoral seat or possibly his seat?

Tsk tsk tsk!!!

Rashid . . . get over it! You lost the election and you need to move on! You said you try to stay out of Plainfield politics. . . Well Rashid . . . you aren't doing a very good job trying. So stop trying and just do it.

It is more than obvious that you needed the New Dems to keep you in office. You believed in the Green Machine and it threw you under the train and ran you over!

Chooo choooo!!!

Anonymous said...

Once again, Rashid displays his bitterness and selective memory. He’s bitter because he wasn’t re-elected, and he fails to understand that that is democracy. He is also angling to have a place in the Obama campaign in New Jersey as he though he did during the last election, where Assemblyman Green played him like a two bit strumpet. Go away Rashid, go away!!!