Thursday, October 02, 2008


Monmouth County's Democratic Party has a number of high-profile power-brokers. Chairman Victor Scudiery and Middletown Party Boss Joseph "King" Caliendo come to mind. But did you know that they have an evil wizard, too? OK, not some guy with a gown and a wand, the wizard monicker came from a Manalapan related comment on More Monmouth Musings by one called Trevanian. I'm talking about a very mysterious, behind-the-scenes Democratic political boss.
Norman Kauff.
Kauff has never held an elected office that I'm aware of. A lawyer, he has held several no-bid professional contracts in a number of towns in Western Monmouth and the Bayshore where he wields a lot of influence. He has been of controversy in several of these towns. Read The Middle Road from back in '03, when Kauff had an apparent no-show appointment in Hazlet, who's Democratic mayor seemed to be clueless as to Kauff's actual function and duties.
A post last year at Da Truth Squad appears to bear out the no-show thing, this time in Manalapan. And Aberdeener, from Kauff's home base of operation, has an entire category dedicated to Norman Kauff.
He receives a public pension, which appears to be the result of a process called multiple job holding, or double dipping.
For some reason, Kauff has evaded coverage in the local media. No Courier exposé here. No write-ups in the Asbury Park Press, The Transcript or the Independent. As low-key as he is, he has been a power, not only in Hazlet, Manalapan or Aberdeen, but in Marlboro, Matawan and Keyport too. On the County level, he is a trusted lieutenant of Boss Scudiery.

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