The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The UCA and the whore's lesson


The usefulness of the Union County Directions magazine
was lampooned in this 2009 photo by the CountyWatchers website
(see here) captioned "Please don't squeeze the UC Directions".

Plainfield households are among 200,000 in Union County to receive free copies of a newsmagazine called Union County Directions twice a year, usually just days before the primary or general election.

The magazine is published by the Union County Alliance (UCA) -- see their website here -- a nonprofit that is now in the spotlight thanks to an investigation by the New Jersey Comprtoller's office.

The Comptroller's report, issued this past week (see here), cataloged issues with the organization from it support through no-bid contracts from Union County (to the tune of $1.5 million) to a failure to keep receipts or financial records to potential abuse involving meals, travel, liquor and hotels.

The report further details that the primary "advertisers" have been the County itself and Kean University, and that the Alliance's salaried president -- initially a former Union County official -- also got a 15% commission on the ads placed with the magazine.

The mission of the magazine was originally supposed to be promoting economic development for Union County, but it is hard to see how that goal is met by telling county residents about Sen. Lesniak's successful knee surgery or the joys of summer in Union County's parks.

The county could certainly grind out the contents on its own, within its own budget and using its own personnel and for free. So, why not?

Several reasons come to mind.

One is that the issues always seem to promote individuals who are candidates in the upcoming election -- how convenient!

And state law frowns on elected officials using their office to promote their candidacy immediately before an election.

A second reason is that taxpayer monies can be funneled off to support "friends" -- such as former county employees who now work for the nonprofit in question.

Which brings me to the point of the whore's lesson.

While in college, I wrangled baggage at the Trailways bus terminal. Across the street was a bar frequented by the local hookers.

One of them was different, however. She was a knockout and very businesslike -- she never drank, never got in fights with the other girls, and was very independent.

She stopped by the Trailways station on a daily basis, making her rounds. After getting to know her, I asked her once about how she got into hooking. She told me she had run a beauty parlor for some time but found the hours demanding and the work grueling, and she was always being hit on by her customer's husbands.

Her solution? "Why give it away when you can sell it," she told me.

Seems to me like Union County poobahs came to the same conclusion.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

but the hooker actually earned her money and probably put more effort into doing it well...
Union County Democrtats ??? Ehhh..not as respectable.