Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why Republican John Campbell backs Democrat Abdul-Haqq

Why is Plainfield's Republican 'king maker' organizing support for this Democrat?
Many Plainfielders are intrigued that Republican 'king maker' John Campbell is backing the run of community activist Rasheed Abdul-Haqq as a challenger to incumbent Adrian Mapp for the Ward 3 Democratic nomination in the June 5 Primary election.

In fact, Republican Campbell is serving as chairperson of Abdul-Haqq's Democratic campaign committee, according to papers filed with the state's Election Law Enforcement Commission (see here, especially form R-1). Though unusual, there is nothing wrong here; it's just another indication of the spaghetti bowl that is Plainfield politics.

At first glance, one might guess that Abdul-Haqq's run has to do with his forced displacement from the Board of Ed by dint of legislation personally crafted by his old nemesis, Assemblyman Jerry Green. Indeed, there is no love lost between the two, and Abdul-Haqq has needled Green for years.

Green, as chairperson of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee, has given the Ward 3 line to incumbent Council President Adrian Mapp and Abdul-Haqq now resides in Ward 3, ergo Abdul-Haqq can get back at Green by challenging the regular party's candidate, no?

But this is Plainfield, and that scenario would be too simple.

Why Campbell as Abdul-Haqq's chairperson? That's the real question.

Suppose Campbell recruited Abdul-Haqq and not the other way around. And also suppose that Campbell has a score to settle -- with Mapp, and not with Green.

That would mean that Abdul-Haqq is being played like a chess piece.

Consider these points--

  • Campbell and Green have been partners before: In 2004, Campbell and Green were the largest individual contributors ($2,000 each) to the school board campaign of a team that included Campbell's wife Wilma, longtime Green operative Barbara James and then-newbie the Rev. Tracey Brown;

  • Campbell and Abdul-Haqq attended a fundraiser for Green's candidate Tracey Brown: Campbell and Abdul-Haqq recently attended a fundraiser for Green's candidate for the citywide at-large seat at the Spain Inn, and were seen by all yukking it up with Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, whose pastor and best friend Brown is, and Assemblyman Green;

  • That score Campbell has to settle with Mapp: Campbell has told others that he was miffed at Mapp for making an issue of the PMUA (Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority) when he last ran for office, putting unwanted attention and heat on another of Campbell's old pals, former PMUA executive director Eric Watson.
Add to this the fact that Mayor Robinson-Briggs, herself a former Republican operative, has been campaigning on behalf of her pastor Rev. Tracey Brown AND Abdul-Haqq and you have a 'spaghetti bowl' worthy of Plainfield politics at its most convoluted.

Meanwhile, the good Rev. Brown has been sitting as a PMUA commissioner for years now, without speaking out against the excesses and abuses of that agency's executives, including Campbell's old pal, former PMUA executive director Eric Watson, who got a $1 million separation package through Rev. Brown's connivance.

And she is running for the citywide at-large Council seat, apparently with the blessing of Mr. Campbell.

So, a vote for Abdul-Haqq or the Rev. Brown is a vote for who?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bob said...

It sounds like we should vote for Mapp, since there are games being played here and Haqq might be owing Robinson-Briggs and become one of her stooges. Sounds pretty shady to me. Too bad, I had a lot of respect for Haqq.

Keeping It Real said...

A vote for Brown and Haqq, regardless of their affiliations, is a vote in support of this Mayor and that would be detrimental to this City if we seek progress on any and all fronts.

This City is in desperate need of new leadership; leadership that cares to have a positive impact on all Plainfielders and not just the few that support their personal agendas.

We don't need the usual suspects that get recycled from the Board of Ed to the PMUA to City Hall and back again and are benefitting multiple times from our tax dollars, via benefits and stipends.

PLEASE VOTE IN THIS PRIMARY! Inform yourself on the candidates' position before you pull that lever.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Campbell Have been campaigning against Mapp for a long time. The chicken and fish frying Campbells are OPPORTUNIST. Superintendent John Campbell and his Assistant Superintendent Wilma Campbell are over there TEARING the board of education down. I say to the residents if you had been at the Superintendent Forum on saturday you would have wlaked away like so many other of us EXTREMLY DISAPPOINTED that the BOE would have the nerve to bring canidates like that both Mrs. Anna Belin-Pyles and the canidate from Trenton before the community to represent OUR CHILDREN. A VOTE for Mr. Houck is a VOTE for the same mess thats going on at the School District.

PLAINFIELD please wake up let's not allow the Campbells to destroy OUR CITY OF PLAINFIELD.

Let's start this year keeping Councilmen Mapp, and continue next YEAR VOTING out the Shady Shironda and her puppet tears

Anonymous said...

eople sit around complaining how bad Plainfield is now but they always vote to put the same old people back into office. We need to vote with OUR best interest at heart Isn’t it time for Assemblyman Green and all his pals to go. Mapp & Taylor is a winning ticket and a road to positive change for Plainfield.

Anonymous said...

Simple solution, Vote in the right direction, MAPP & TAYLOR is the way to go. Lets not be insane anymore.

Alan Goldstein said...

Mapp's voting record speaks otherwise. He is as much a part of the political machine as the others, and as quick to vote in favor of paying off the political contributors with public contracts as any. His ambition is his driving force, not the betterment of the city.

There really is no choice in the 3rd Ward that will put us on a winning trajectory. Without his foil, the mayor, Mr. Mapp would appear as the emperor with no clothes.

As for the city-at-large seat, vote for the Rev. Tracey Brown if you want to reward someone who, along with many past and present PMUA commissioners, has been stealing healthcare benefits in violation of municipal law which limits their compensation to $4500 annually. This has cost ratepayers considerably more than their annual stipend, amounting to many $100,000s over the years.

The urban legends surrounding our spaghetti politics are really quite remarkable.

Anonymous said...

For a more graphic illustration on how Plainfield's politics are mixing go ahead and see how the mayor is present at many of the recent BOE events at the district's photo gallery:

Be very afraid of what could be should the Campbells have their way.