Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mellina's attacks spoil otherwise strong message

In her OpEd piece in today's Asbury Park Press, Kate Mellina spoils her strong message by attacking those who were most responsible for implementing the reforms that Mellina has worked so hard for.

Rather than celebrating the unprecedented reforms the Monmouth County Freeholder Board voted for last week, Mellina bashes Rob Clifton and Jeff Cantor for not making those reforms happen sooner, and for hanging Anna Little out to dry while she was calling for those reforms earlier this year.

As a stong supporter of Little, I share Mellina's sentiment. I think Clifton should have stood up for Little when Bill Barham and Adam Puharic were engineering her unceremonious dump from the Republican ticket. I think Jeff Cantor should have rejected Puharic's last minute arm twisting to seek Little's seat and that he should have run for Assembly in the 12th district. However, that is water under the bridge.

Mellina said, "But with November elections looming, it's definitely time to shake it up at the county and state levels, where Republicans and Democrats, respectively, have held power for far too long." In April, after Little was dumped, I would have agreed with Mellina's points wholeheartedly. However, the Democratic candidates for Freeholder have yet to offer anything other than increased government spending...they called for an expensive renovation of the court house and for an ethics ombudsman to do what they should be doing if elected. They rejected term limits, which the Republicans have endorsed.

Mellina concludes,"New Jersey politicians still aren't getting the message that state residents want honest, ethical government. It's time to grab their attention."

Clifton and Cantor apparently did get the message, belatedly or not. Their opponents have yet to demonstrate that they have gotten the message. If Clifton and Cantor are elected and their ethics reforms turn out to be empty election year politics, I'll lead the recall effort. But for now, they are winning on the ethics issue.

I hope the Democratic candidates embrace and endorse the reforms too, rather than declaring them "20 years too late," as candidate John D'Amico did after they were passed.

Wouldn't it be something if ethics weren't a campaign issue because all sides agree to do the right thing. Then we could have a campaign about issues that effect the quality of life.


ambrosiajr said...

I think you missed the point Art. She was saying that none of this would have happened without Anna Little's prompting, along with McMorrow's nudging it along. And as you pointed out, Little got the shaft from her fellow republicans on the board. Clifton has always been a tool of Comrade Puharic, and will continue to be one after this election. She also mentions the public outrage at having not one, but two play to pay reform bills pulled at the insistance of Puharic, and that only because of the APP's editorial and the public outcry at having pulled it off the table at the 11th hour, did a bill finally get passed, one written by Puharic with little input from Clifton. I have said before that Comrade Puharic was never elected by the people of Monmouth County and should get out of all county business once and for all. If you continute to endorse Clifton, and Cantor, you are, in essence, endorsing for continued behind the scenes maneuvering by Comrade Puharic. This should be unacceptable to ALL citizens of the county and not just us Democrats. He needs to be rendered irrelevent by this election and the only way to do that is to elect Judge D'Amico and Mayor Schueler. We need free thinking Freeholders in place of the lemmings we now have.

Art Gallagher said...


Anna Little is not on the county ballot, as much as I wish she was. If one of the Dems drops out and endorses a write in campaign for Anna, I'll be on board. In the meantime we have to deal with the choices we have.

McMorrow could have seconded Little's resolutions in May and didn't. She's as guilty as the rest.

Even Mellina praised the stronger pay to pay and wheeling resolutions that Clifton proposed in August, after pulling the weaker resolution that the Citizens Campaign proposed in July.

I haven't endorsed Clifton and Cantor, but rather given credit where it is due.

So far the Democrats have shown me nothing to support. I hear good things about Schueler but not from him. D'Amico sounds like a potential Bill Barham II, only with a pension to pad.

Show me something. I haven't decided who to vote for yet. I won't vote against Clifton and Cantor because of Puharic, especially now that Barham seems to have been neutralized.