By Vin Gopal
If Frank Pallone or Rush Holt or John D’Amico sent out taxpayer funded automated phone calls at 10:00pm at night two weeks before an election, how would YOU react? I recall my friend Art Gallagher often saying that the art of franking, sending out taxpayer funded newsletters during an election year is wrong. I agree with him. So I ask not only Art but conservatives who claim to believe in smaller government, those who consider themselves members of the Tea Party movement, how would YOU react if Frank Pallone or Rush Holt sent out a taxpayer funded robocall two weeks before an election urging people to recycle?
Because thats what Middletown’s Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger did. Then he sent another taxpayer funded robocall apologizing for sending out the late night call. So how come those, whom call themselves members of the tea party movement or conservatives, how come they don’t speak out about Mayor Scharfenberger’s actions? Or is it basically hypocrisy 101 – hear no evil, see no evil when it comes to Republicans. Is that it? If thats it, thats fine but lets just put it out on the table and lets understand that this movement is NOT about stopping taxpayer abuse but it is simply to elect Republicans. As long as everyone is honest, it make its much easier to communicate if that is indeed what the tea party movement is about.
Middletown has a mayor who spends taxpayer money like water, he supports a patronage mill-filled Middletown Arts Center, which the entire town pays for even though a small percentage of residents use it. Now the Mayor wants to discuss privatizing or selling the taxpayer funded swim club – after 6 years in office, now he brings it up after pressure from the lone Democrat on the committee, Sean Byrnes, who urged the mayor that government should not be in the business of running a pool club. But you won’t see Scharfenberger and his buddies go after the unnecessary Sewage Authority – why would you, when their attorney, Middletown political boss and GOP Chairman Peter Carton has the most to lose from a missing sewage authority. At every turn and every corner, under Mayor Scharfenberger’s watch, Middletown’s taxes skyrocketed more than any other municipality in Monmouth County. The few short examples I listed is just a piece of Scharnfeberger’s record of being a tax and spend politician.
I love the attacks that Mayor Scharfenberger has gone after Sean Byrnes on in his attack mailers….that he is a career politician (Sean has served 2.5 years on the Middletown Township Committee, 1 year as a prosecutor in Atlantic Highlands and 22 years in the US Coast Guard) meanwhile the Mayor has been elected in Middletown for almost the past 6 years and runs a patronage mill in town.
So is the Tea Party in Monmouth County nothing more than an umbrella group trying to convince us to defeat Democrats? Is this an organization that will look the other way on their own fiscally irresponsible members if they simply have an R next to their name? I seriously question the integrity of anyone who says they want to stop the abuse of taxpayers but who say nothing and look the other way when the mayor of the county’s largest municipality sends out a taxpayer funded robocall 2 weeks before the election asking voters to recycle.
Yes, I’m a Democrat because I believe in certain core principles of my political party. I didn’t vote for Ellen Karcher and I didn’t vote for Jon Corzine. I wrote out about the disgusting tactics of those Democrats in South Jersey who tried to create a fake candidate in the 3rd Congressional District in order to manipulate and deceive voters. I like to think, even though I vote Democrat more often, I still have a mind of my own and when members of my own party who are not fiscally or ethically responsible, that we have a moral right to call them out. I question why my counterparts in the other party don’t do the same. Is it because all they are about is politics and elections and not about public policy? I hope that’s not the case.
So as you are reading this, Mayor Scharfenberger and his friends will attack me in the comments section and elsewhere, they will quickly attack Sean Byrnes, making up things that have nothing to do with his taxpayer funded automated phone calls and they will quickly attack anyone else because they are unable to justify why it was necessary to spend taxpayer money 2 weeks before an election urging voters to recycle. They will try to distract the voters and they will be unable to defend the question at hand – why they are sending out taxpayer funded automated phone calls 2 weeks before an election asking voters to recycle. Watch them – watch their excuses.
I have many close friends who are members of the Tea Party. My business partner hosts tea party meetings at his restaurant. But as I watch this, I now question the integrity of this organization of self-proclaimed conservatives who continue to support a Mayor who is responsible for the largest tax hike in the history of Middletown. While Fair Haven’s conservative mayor was able to stabilize taxes in his town, Mayor Scharfenberger skyrocketed taxes in Middletown and yet the Tea Party leaders and conservative leaders all over Monmouth County seem to support him.
Is that what it comes down to? The Tea Party is okay with anyone fiscally irresponsible as long as they have an R next to their name?