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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sweeney endorsement of Scutari for Union Dem chair doesn't necessarily play well in Plainfield

Senate President Steve Sweeney has endorsed Nick Scutari
to replace Jerry Green. But there's a history here...


Nothing in Union County politics is ever as simple as it seems. This is even more true of Plainfield in particular.

Take, for instance, Senate President Steve Sweeney's endorsement (see here) of Sen.Nick Scutari to replace Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green as chair of the Union County Dems. The endorsement came Wednesday evening, just a couple of hours after Jerry's resignation became public.

By Thursday morning, Max Pizarro of InsiderNJ had connected the dots between Sweeney and a mailer Sweeney put out in the 2014 election cycle smearing Plainfield Councilor Rebecca Williams (see post here).

Here are images of that mailing piece so you can see for yourself how thuggish the Senate President was --

2014 Sweeney mailer contained a letter attacking
Councilor Rebecca Williams..

... and saying Plainfield's New Democrats
used "Tea Party" tactics.

On Monday, InsiderNJ posted an in-depth retelling of Sweeney's ham-handed dealings with another woman -- then Assembly Speaker, now Lieutenant Governor -- Sheila Oliver. Read that post here.

However, that is not the end of the story of South Jersey putting its nose in North Jersey business.

Those with long  memories will recall that Sweeney's predecessor Joe Roberts "wheeled" $300,000 to the 2005 Plainfield mayoral campaign of Sharon Robinson-Briggs. Though Robinson-Briggs -- a Jerry Green protégé -- won the hard-fought election, she turns out to have been one of Green's costliest political mistakes, ultimately causing him to lose support of the Democratic base throughout the city.

So, while Sweeney's endorsement may count for something in other parts of Union County, in Plainfield his name only reminds us of his and his South Jersey pals' misadventures in Queen City politics.

(It is interesting to note that the Sheila Oliver piece leads off with a Latin epigram -- Dux femina facti (a woman was the leader of the deed) -- from the first book of Virgil's Aeneid. The woman in question was Dido, the legendary founder and queen of Carthage, who "led that city into prosperity at a time when women were expected to 'walk behind the men'." (My thanks to Prof. Michelle Scandurro for that insight (see here).)

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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