The needler in the haystack.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Caution: Operatives at work?

It may be the holidays, but operatives are still at work.

As Plainfield church choirs sing of peace on earth and goodwill toward man(kind), those faint rumbles you hear in the background remind us that politics persist and a gubernatorial campaign is in the offing.

For starters, I received the following anonymous comment the other day after posting an item about two new Plainfield blogs --

If we’re going to be fair, I came across another website for you to view. There are lots of interesting things beings said about state and local issues, especially as they relate to Plainfield. Go ahead and give it a gander: I started following them last week. I’m looking forward to finding out what they will have to say during next year’s elections. on Two new blogs for Plainfield?
So I checked out the suggested link and found an unsigned item recounting Jerry Green's get-together at the NJ League of Municipalities conference with Middlesex and Mercer Dems in an effort to put together a power bloc in the face of the growing likelihood of a Sweeney-Fulop-Murphy Dem primary race. You can read it for yourself (see here), but beware -- this stingy site only lets you view a couple of articles before you are locked out unless you pay. So much for rallying support for Jerry Green as a mover and shaker.

Over the weekend, the Jersey Journal's Augustin Torres lit into guv hopeful Phil Murphy, portraying him as a rich, out-of-touch Corzine clone. It makes pretty sizzling reading (see here). PolitickerNJ extracted some of the juiciest bits to festoon its own story (see here) and also included the tin-eared holiday card, photo and chatty newsletter from the Murphy family. Jetting to Europe to watch the World Cup? Celebrating a daughter's birthday in Paris? Shuffleboard? You get the drift.

What does any of this have to do with Plainfield?

Well, as I suggested before, the guv struggle is likely to have a local tug-of-war scenario, with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop looking to Mayor Adrian Mapp for support, and Jerry Green trying to play kingmaker -- or should I say 'guvmaker'?

And if you think Phil Murphy is a name you won't hear much of, consider the behind-smooching bread-and-butter note the guv hopeful penned to Jerry after the League of Municipalities conference, which Jerry proudly posted on his blog along with a transcription (see here) and I am including below --

Bread-and-butter note to Jerry Green (click to enlarge).
Like a summer thunderstorm, those rumbles and flashes of heat lightning signal a storm on its way.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Alan Goldstein said...

Interesting tack in yesterday's Local Talk News blog you link to.

It says in part:

"Let’s take Plainfield for example, my new home.

I found out the City Council has hired a man who many say has defrauded the taxpayers over and over again. Mr. Eric Watson will now earn a seat as Director of Public Works and Urban Development, earning a comfortable six figures each year.

Normally, I wouldn’t mind such a decision. The position itself requires a lot of labor. But, let it be known, the man has collected more than $151,000 and then an additional $750,000 from a settlement agreement after his time as head of the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority.

I don’t know all the details but word is the agency was badly managed, an investigation uncovered mismanagement of funds, fees spiked under his supervision, etc. The list goes on.

So, why would the Mapp administration want to continue paying a man a hefty lump sum after such a debacle? I don’t know.

What I know is this: I wanted the contrarians to prevail. There is no way this is good business for the City of Plainfield. There is no way this is the only man for the job.

Watson will now become Director through the Mayor’s full term, which comes to a conclusion in 2017.

It looks to be another very happy holiday for Watson."