According to published reports today is Adam Puharic's last day working for the Department of Homeland Security.
In his wireside announcement of his resignation he states that he's leaving the job because, "this position did provide critics with an opportunity to attack the Republican party and smear our good names". He's right about that.
However, given the coverage his resignation received it is safe to assume that the attacks will not stop. Puharic's employment, or lack thereof, is not the only issue his critics, on both sides of the isle and in the media have with him. He has ensured that he himself will be an issue, at least in the upcoming campaign, if he remains chairman.
Is he giving up the wrong position? I think so.
There are signs that his candidates, both on the county level and legislative level are inclined to think and act for themselves (more on this over the weekend). The candidate who did that last year won the election but was given the boot by Puharic. If, as it appears it might be happening, and the candidates embrace and run on a true reform agenda as opposed to the old "Monmouth County is great, we have a AAA bond rating, and the Republicans did it" status quo campaign, Puharic may find himself at odds with his candidates and irrelevant in the campaigns.
Puharic never had relevance regarding poltical appointments, as the Director has chosen to keep all of that power for himself. The "half a chairman" moniker was not just about the fundraising restrictions on Puharic due to his Federal employment.
Puharic's job with the Feds is a good job. It pays well and offers security. It gives him an opportunity to use his skills and training to make a difference in a critical government function. It may not have the juice or excitement of politics, but it does make a difference and more importantly, enables him to provide for his family. Giving it up for the chairmanship is foolish, and it doesn't serve him, his family or the party.
Puharic was quoted saying his superiors encouraged him to stay on at this job. He should do so, and resign the chairmanship, if it is not too late.
That would be better for him, better for the party, and better for Monmouth County.
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Pallone's Town Hall Meeting, Red Bank, August 25, 2009