Tuesday, December 27, 2005

PARTY LINES AND COUNTY LINES II

Last week I reported that Courier was planning an article on Middlesex County Democrat money going to the Monmouth County Republicans. At the time I pointed out that it would be interesting if it was not Jack Morris redux.
I picked up a copy of Courier and it is not Jack Morris redux.
In an interesting and well-researched article, reporter Jackie Corley writes about the connection between Middlesex County Democrat boss and former state Senator John Lynch, and Monmouth County developer John "Jack" Westlake.
This pair have partnered up and, using at least two business names, have made political contributions to, among others, the Monmouth County Republican Organization and several GOP campaigns in Monmouth County.
Illegal? No.
Wrong? In my book, yes.
Stupid? Oh, yeah.
Why?
This writer has been aware for several years that Monmouth County is a "battleground county" between the John Lynch faction and the George Norcross/Jon Corzine faction of the state Democrat Party. Recent primary activities in Manalapan and elsewhere have been but a few flare-ups of this intra-party "cold war."
The door was opened for this back in the 1980s when a Democrat-controlled Monmouth County Board of Freeholders appointed Jack Westlake as Clerk of the Board. Although Westlake was only in the job a few years, he and Freeholder Harry Larrison struck up a friendship. Larrison had many Democrat friends, among them County Administrator Robert J. Collins, former Hazlet Democrat boss Eugene M. Melody,Westlake and others.
Although a Democrat, Westlake was soon found at Republican events. This appears to have created the opportunity for Lynch, who appears to have had an interest in undermining County Democrat Chairman Victor Scudiery in order to gain control of the Monmouth County Democrat apparatus. Funding the Republicans, according to the Courier, may have been Lynch and Westlake's way of creating Democrat losses, thereby eroding support for Scudiery.
Ms. Corley's article is accompanied by an editorial by James Purcell who, as an active Democrat himself, takes umbrage at Democrat leaders in one county supporting Republicans in another.
I agree with him.
The purpose of a two-party system is to offer the voter a clear-cut choice in elections. This should not be blurred by backroom deals, or even the appearance of such.
My advice to finance chairs, treasurers, elected officials and candidates is this: Be careful who you accept or solicit donations from.
Just because you receive it doesn't mean you have to deposit it.
This applies to both parties; it was not long ago that the county Democrats under Scudiery were accepting donations from gangsta developer Anthony Spalliero.

2 comments:

Irene said...

You agree with Purcell? HA! Azzolino should fire Purcell.

Rick said...

"The purpose of a two-party system is to offer the voter a clear-cut choice in elections. This should not be blurred by backroom deals, or even the appearance of such."

Howell's had the "appearance" of backroom deals WAY too often.

That's why we're trending towards Independant candidates these days.