Thursday, June 15, 2006

THAT MATAWAN TRAIN STATION, and Related Pay-to Play

The Monmouth County Republican Blog usually avoids delving into local issues, but this one is pretty big and promises to get bigger.
The controversial Matawan/Aberdeen Train Station Redevelopment project has been dogged with delays and accusations of "pay-to-play."
Courier publisher Jim Purcell has done a lot of hard work on this matter and has editorialized on it.
Purcell in turn, has received criticism for his coverage of the issue from this blog as well as More Monmouth Musings.
The criticism is not based on the idea that Purcell is covering the matter; it should be covered. It is based on the fact that related issues up in that part of the county have not been covered.
Let's not give the Democrats a pass here.
The Aberdeen Republicans' website says, "In 2003, (The Aberdeen Democrats) accepted contributions of $4,000 from JPI, developer of Jefferson apartments, now Versailles, and $5,000 from Kara Homes, developer of Aspen Woods on Route 34 and Aberdeen Forge in Freneau."
An article in the Independent back in December exposes a 2001 contribution of $5,000.00 from "Dean Development Co. Inc., a Monroe Township development firm linked to Silver Oak Properties."
Silver Oak is the developer chosen by Aberdeen for the redevelopment project.
The vast editorial staff here at the Monmouth County Republican Blog researched this at ELEC and found it all to be true.

Dean Development, Monroe Twp., contributed $5,000.00 to the Monmouth County Democrats on October 25, 2001. On November 6, 2001, $5,000.00 was contributed by the Monmouth County Democrats to the Aberdeen Democratic Campaign 2001.

Two years later we have the JPI Good Government Fund, Austin, TX, contributing $4,000.00 to the Monmouth County Democrats on October 20, 2003.That same day, Kara Services Co. LLC, East Brunswick, contributed $5,000.00 to the Monmouth County Democrats. On October 27, The Monmouth County Democrats contributed $9,000.00 to Aberdeen Democratic Campaign 2003.

Is it because these developers are extraordinarily civic-minded Americans who have a deep, abiding interest in township committees doing their jobs of serving their constituency? Might it be that these developers just love participating in the political process?
Naaaaaah, looks more like they're "power-washing" the money.
Here at the Monmouth County Republican Blog, we are known to look up an occasional ELEC report, when one is actually filed. We will continue to do this.
We encourage all the papers to cover this and similar issues.

22 comments:

the inside airbather said...

Maybe their airbathing with the money.

Kramer Hall said...

Well heeellllloooooooooo LISA!

The caboose is on the loose.

JIM_PURCELL said...

good post. Email me some documents, Abe. I'll see if I can get a bite from my writers.

home in the dell said...

Oh goody! More Elec reports! Hey Abe - are the Democrats writing theirs in a different language? Is that why our media is having trouble "finding" those? It's amazing what a couple of lunchdates can buy you nowadays.

Honest Abe said...

LOL Or airbath dates.

JIM_PURCELL said...

When you put together something like this, you need to show how a developer GOT SOMETHING from a governing body or candidate and how a candidate GOT SOMETHING from a developer. If it's just a list of contributions from developers...hell no one would be done with anyone's ELEC reports.

It's not really about smarty little quips, it's more like documentation, confirmaiton of events and the process of determining what was heard and when before what body and the relation of those principals to the contributions. If you don't have that it isn't going to be that interesting. If you do have it, then you make the case on the facts and go snark light.

Abe, without any "Democrats are eating my lunch" stuff, I'm seriously interested in ELEC documents and any kind of actual information on projects. If you got a place for me to start I'll try to get someone on it if you send something over.

I need documents, some idea about what was begun and when and how that relates to the governing body. If we can get past the "Democrats are in a monolithic conspiracy" thing we might be able to get some work done with this.

Howard Stern said...

Jim, Jim, Jim why don't you look-up the ELEC reports yourself? Did you forget that you work for a weekly newspaper and that you are a reporter? Your last posted comment tells the whole truth.

JIM_PURCELL said...

Jackie was the ELEC expert who could navigate their site incredibly well. I don't and she's gone. Every reporter finds their own strength...they develop themselves to a large degree through the stories they cover and commit to (routine ones are sometimes assigned, major ones are a discussion they have to believe in). Jackie moved in the direction of ELEC and campaign finance very heavily. Matt and Chris have other priorities and storylines they're committed to right now, but maybe they'd take the right story if they knew it was there.

I am a reporter, who is first a publisher involved with the business side of the paper (it's a full-time job) and not really so much the editorial side. We have a very competent and strong editor and staff and there's really no need to micromanage them.

If they get a story lead, they evaluate it, discuss it, ask my opinion if they want and then decide to do it or not. I know that each of them is very impartial so it really wouldn't matter to them if the story is about dems, republicans or libertarians. they need facts to decide if they want to invest an untold amount of hours into some idea, and no one is going to invest a ton of hours into obtaining documentation for a loose idea they saw on the web.

they need to KNOW something is there to evaluate, not guess in between a lot of loose facts. Jackie had more than 1,000 pages of documentation on train station and did double and triple redundancy on things before she let it go, not to mention a slew of first-hand interviews and meeting notes and memorandums.

If you want a story liek this from anyone you need to give them a reason to hunt first and see what they want to do. Even if I had the interest level in it I'm tied to a desk and admin most of the time.

eyeonaberdeen said...

/If you want a story liek this from anyone you need to give them a reason to hunt first and see what they want to do. Even if I had the interest level in it I'm tied to a desk and admin most of the time./

Wow. If you follow this logic then reporters need a "reason" to report news. And I thought that's what the paycheck was for. My bad.

JIM_PURCELL said...

whatever. it's an outside lead wanting someone who works for someone else to invest their time, and thereby the company's, into an idea that someone has without being grounded in any kind of sensible reason as to why to spend the time/money on the idea in the first place. so throwing it against the wall is the basis for journalism and reporters should be clamoring to go running around after something for weeks based on a post. yes, i guess you got the whole idea behind the thing marvelously. you shoudl do pr. hell, in the gop you probably do.

the inside airbather said...

poor little jimmie. i guess all yoiu use is inside leads.Must be to much like work. oh well i'm off to Gunnison beach.Have a nice day!

Howard Stern said...

Jim, even my sidekick Robin agrees with "eyeonaberdeen" and "the inside airbather". Maybe you need to consider a new profession.

cliffwood soccer dad said...

I've been reading this thread and think it is high time that someone investigates the people running Aberdeen. Too many done deals here and too convenient to blame Matawan when the guy developing the Aberdeen portion of the train station has a shady past. Now you have evidence of pay to play on Elec and you're too swamped to cover it? C'mon guy. Political corruption still sells papers dunnit?

I don't need a paper to tell me what's going on in my town. That's why the current guys were almost booted out last year. Maybe you've got some people convinced they smell like roses, but people in this town know the "real deal".

JIM_PURCELL said...

so this is such a good idea you have the other papers all over it? or not at all.

people come in all the time, have an idea and some informaiton and a story ends up on the other side because they're organized.

papers all work about the same. if a reporter likes it then they go for it. if they're not onto it themselves then they usually listen to what someone else has to say , evaluate the news potential and look at any proof the person may have.

you can't get anything done if you keep on playing the same tune, folks. it's ridiculous. yeah, go tell a lawyer to go grab ahold of someone because something happened to a person and they may want to sue. that'll work.

use your head and get serious or just leave it as a subplot. i'm saying it sounds ok, but there needs to be more. you want to do the little jokey "republicans are so cool and smart" snark then knock yourself out.

you want to talk about an issue then stop sounding stupid and get to the availabale documentation. if it's not about facts then it's about cutsy candor. and that means...a lot? something?...or nothing at all?

i vote for nothing at all.

Howard Stern said...

I now understand why Jim has no time to do any real reporting, he spends way to much time "Blogging" his day away.
A really good reporter would investigate the issue that has been raised without help from others. Maybe Jim needs a new Jackie replacement?

Elephants_not_donkeys said...

Jim Purcell UNBELIEVABLY said:

Jackie was the ELEC expert who could navigate their site incredibly well. I don't and she's gone. Every reporter finds their own strength... Matt and Chris have other priorities and storylines they're committed to right now, but maybe they'd take the right story if they knew it was there.

WOW! Jim, admitting that you have no idea how to navigate the ELEC website has just given all of us some incredible insight into your overall prowess and acumen. We'll rely on that insight the next time we read the Circular.

By the way, you should know that there is no "right" story, just as there is no "wrong" story. There is JUST THE STORY. Impartiality above all else, eh, Jimbo?

Then, Jim INCREDIBLY said:

I am a reporter, who is first a publisher ... and not really so much the editorial side.

What a delightful guffaw I had over that one! Though most people don't read the Circular anymore, I still sometimes do and I do read missives from Jim that sure read like editorials. In fact, some of their "straight news" reads as editorials too!

How delicious, Donkey J!

JIM_PURCELL said...

OK, have a good time with this thread. I'm done. You guys are just way too bright and showing it.

I somehow knew this was going to be an utter waste of time. At least it didn't disappoint. You folks have a grand total of no one talking to you about this issue; and then I mistakenly did. But you don't want to treat it like a real issue. It's more like a carnival act or something. Whatever it is it's not serious. Make this a Jim-bashing thread or whatever. Have a blast.

Honest Abe said...

I will repeat:

Is it because these developers are extraordinarily civic-minded Americans who have a deep, abiding interest in township committees doing their jobs of serving their constituency? Might it be that these developers just love participating in the political process?

Anyone have a theory here?

William H Seward said...

Honest Abe said:

Might it be that these developers just love participating in the political process?

Anyone have a theory here?


Heck no. Political contributions are a cost of doing business for developers and vendors. There's not necessarily anything wrong with it. Smart business people who do business with the government contribute to both sides.

Campaigns are expensive and getting more so. If we keep people from exercising their 1st amendment rights and donating to campaigns, pretty soon only unions will be able to contribute. Where will that leave us?

DUD said...

I don't see any problem with union's contributing to campaigns. I also don't see any problem with redeveloping a community if you have the right developer.

Howard Stern said...

Does . mean the Aberdeen Developer, Silver Oaks? The Developer whose owner is a convicted felon!

The Big Professor said...

W. Bocra and J. Morris are both fine individuals, but I must bestow my favor upon J. Morris here.
You have vilified both developers; the sole fruit of that endeavour will be that no redevelopment takes place.