A Question of Ethics

The Republican candidates for Freeholder held a press conference yesterday afternoon, releasing their solution for an Ethics Plan in Cumberland County. Many of the tenets of their plan mimic concerns we have expressed on this website including lack of transparency in government; the refusal to make the budget readily available for every citizen and not just the ones that can afford to pay and make the trip to the county seat via OPRA request; and the insistence on hiring from outside the county (which is a blatant end-run around pay-to-play laws rewarding loyal party supporters) while ignoring competent and capable businesses in the county. They are also leery about the number of insiders, public employees on supposedly independent authority boards.

Former Vineland Solicitor Rick Tonetta, businessman Sam Fiocchi and Lawrence Township Mayor Tom Sheppard called for several changes:

Creating a new county ethics board, comprised of the county’s 14 mayors

  • Posting more government records online, including all audits, contracts and reports
  • Requiring local firms get first shot at legal, architectural and other professional contracts
  • Forbidding county employees from appointments to independent authority boards

The plan is straightforward, and does make common sense. It scares the bejeezus out of Lou Magazzu! Lou was so threatened that he lashed out immediately with unsubstantiated and possibly libelous rhetoric, accusing the Republican leadership of promising Republican lawyers a judges seat in return for fund-raising.

If one wants to delve into unsupported and spurious claims, why don’t we ask Lou what he gave Gary Wodlinger in exchange for promising him the position of Superior Court judge? Lou is treading dangerous waters.  As usual, he creates a campaign of rumor and innuendo, with absolutely no supporting evidence, based on hearsay in order to cast aspersions on his competition. Lou never runs on his record or campaigns on issues; he knows he would lose on that front.

It will be interesting to watch as this scenario plays out.

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20 Responses to A Question of Ethics

  1. SalarySam says:

    You obviously mean what Wodlinger gave Lou.

    There are very interesting figures available from Data Universe on the contributions of several of last appointed Superior Court Judges from the Dems and, oddly, there seems to be a pattern of large increases in donation pattern just before appointment. In one case there are no prior contributions at all and then three large contributions to the County Dems followed by an appointment. I don’t have the time right now to analyze the contributions in terms of time but maybe some of the busy bees out there do. The date of appointment of the judges is a matter of record.

    Lou may have opened a can of worms that may have some repercussions.

  2. Disinterested third party says:

    I saw this on the DJ forums… it raises some questions…

    Magazzu casting stones from his glass house. Magazzu helped Gary Wodlinger obtain a judgeship, even bragging about it to the media. As a private attorney, Wodlinger called a citizen an “economic terrorist.” At the same time, Wodlinger also served as counsel to the freeholders, who, with the support of Magazzu, passed a resolution asking the state DEP to investigate the company owned by the husband of the person Wodlinger labelled an “economic terrorist.” Prior to that, Wodlinger had sued the estate of a teenager killed by a drunk driver. How did Wodlinger get a judgeship? According to NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, Gary Wodlinger, since 1987, contributed $20,600 to local and state Democratic candidates and PACs, including $15,450 — $5000 of that coming in 2008 just before he became a judge — to the Cumberland Co. Democratic Organization PAC (Magazzu is Chair of the CCDO). Greco and the Rs, as well as the independent Ds, should raise this issue more. There’s a lot here.

  3. Salary Sam says:

    So you could ask the question, did Lord Lou tell Wodlinger that he had to make some large donations in order to get the appointment?

  4. tryagain says:

    Who will serve as the Ethics Board for the 14 Mayors? This is just politics as usual and EVERYONE knows this website has been “taken over” by the Republican Party. They have infiltrated what was a Magazzu Watch turning it into a Magazzu Bash and now just a blatant politcaaly partisan website controlled by the Republicans!! Nothing more than a front for the R’s and renegade D’s to spout off their propoganda!! CRAS and more CRAP from the R’s in their desperate attempt to win A seat at the Board!

  5. It is no surprise that Lou is against any sort of ethics reform.

    And just because we post an article about ethics – Lou has to commence with scare tactics and fear-mongering, pointing his fingers and calling good democrats on this site republicans because they are against immoral actions by elected officials.

  6. Salary Sam says:

    Knot Head. Lord Lou is a candidate for freeholder. The Republicans (and an equal number of fellow Democrats) are running against him. That would seem to make the Republican candidates statements appropriate for this site. Please notice that they have also been posting the statements of the alternative Democrat candidates. I would imagine if Lord Lou wanted to post comments here they would be welcome too.

    Now, to your only substantive point, the problem is inherent in any ethics watchdog. Who watches the watchers? Answer. Other watchers. That job goes to the Freeholders if they think the ethics board is wrogn or overreaching to go to the public. It goes to the prosecutors office if they violate the law for example, by going into cahoots with the board and trading. And its goes to the public and sites like this to keep an eye on government. Using the mayors seems like a good idea since their interests would tend to vary from that of the County and each other. If a bi-partisan balance can be struck that would also help. Seems like a rather clever choice.

    I also found it odd that in the news reports Lord Lou is quoted as saying the Rep Ethics Plan is suspect because it was brought up during a campaign. DUH. When else are their opposition candidates except during a campaign?

  7. Sam, we allow Lou, er, I mean knotu, I mean tryagain, to post here. We welcome his comments.

    We especially appreciate his comments because it proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that Lou lacks substance.

    Lou, as proven by tryagain’s inane postings, is adept at attacking others with lies and innuendo, but is totally unable to tell the voters of Cumberland why he deserves another chance.

  8. WaterLou says:

    Tryagain a.k.a. King Louie REALLY has something to fear if REAL ethics are imposed on the freeholder board. No more checks to be drawn on his say so from the county treasury, no more improper appointments to boards, no patronage – damn – what will Lou do with all of the time he has on his hands????

  9. tryagain says:

    Sam let me get this right . you want anEthics Board made up of Mayors to watch the Freeholders, BUT thenthe Freeholders will be in charge of watching the Mayors who will be in charge of watching the Freeholders watch the Mayors. Just a CRAZY political stunt be the Republican candidates. Whose watching the Republican candidates especially their County Leader Bob Greco? Maybe someone should be closely watching him?

  10. fortunecookie says:

    Tryagain avoids any issue, especially one as important as ethics. Says a lot about his ethics: ZERO Ethics means a free ride for him.

  11. Salary Sam says:

    That is almost the way it works. Everyone watches each other. Who watches Bob Greco? Obviously Lord Lou. Importantly, though, Bob Greco holds no position of publilc trust and is not running for one wo the scrutiny that is appropriate for him is much less than for Lord Lou who does hold a position of public trust and who is running for one. Bob Greco, by the way, has not even been accused of doing anything. Lord Loou simply asked a question (to which he had already been given an answer.)

  12. tryagain says:

    Oh contrare my friend Sam guess it depends on what you mean by Mr. Greco (who is THE elected Chairman of the Cumberland County Republican Party) by being “accused of doing anything”. By the way whatever happened to the posibility of a charity boxing match between Greco and someone from Cape May County?

  13. Salary Sam says:

    I said elected to a position of “public trust.” The Cumberland County republicans are really just a private group or club. Neither he nor the party gets, spends or controls public money. They don’t make decisions regarding taxing the citizens of the county. They can’t take private property. Lord Lou is subject to scrutiny because of his position as a Freeholder, not because of his position as head of the county Democrat party.

    Now, as to whether an “accusation” has been made, it seems VERY clear that Lord Lou insists he has not made any accusations. Only asked a question and wants to hear a denial. Problem is that he had been told the answer to the question BEFORE he asked it. Lord Lou is trying to hide behind the fiction that he is not accusing but only asking in order to sling mud and cast aspersions without, perhaps, exposing himself to a lawsuit for slander.

  14. AMUSED says:

    Tryagain… get a grip and stop egging on a fight that you’re too coward to participate in. Focus sir, we’re not discussing boxing matches here! If you’re so obsessed with boxing I’ll be glad to reveal myself to you off this sight and take you on in the ring for charity! Can you spell SISSY?

  15. tryagain says:

    Amused, the name certainly fits you!! Now the contributors want to resort to physical violence!1 What a crap site!! I was just trying to raise money for charity by proposing a “mock fight” between your leader Greco and some ” good friends” from his former home of Cape May County. Especially since he challlenged Magazzu to a similar fight. And Sam, I guess that means the Republicans cannot be trusted since your Infamous leader Greco was not elected to a position of “public Trust” even thought he was elected by the ENTIRE Republican leadership of Cumberland County?!

  16. AMUSED says:

    Tryagain spin it however you want to but we all know the tenor of your comments on the boxing match. If you truly wanted a “mock” challenge you would have gotten involved instead of hiding behind this sight and ridiculing. You’re such a hypocrite and noboby is buying your “all in fun” approach now. “Just trying to raise money for charity”?? So do it!

  17. AMUSED says:

    What I’m saying is put-up or shut-up…we’re all tired of hearing about it!

  18. SalarySam says:

    Bob Greco absolutely has a position of trust with the Republican Party. What he does not have is a position of “Public” trust. That’s an important word. Lou has a position of “Public” trust.

    Would you please stop it with that fight already. When I saw the silly cartoonish “boxing” gloves in the paper I realized what a whole bunch of hooey it all was. It’s like hitting each other with balloons. Lord Lou’s holier than thou reaction of being too busy with important government work and then, of course, being at the “boxing” match as “referee” and then attending some dinner that night reduces the whole to thing to total hooey (also known by more graphic references to animal feces).

  19. tryagain says:

    Fight on or off? Glad someone undertsands the tenor of the comments Funny One

  20. Rev. Higgs Boson says:

    Ethic on or off? With lou at the helm, look for more “changes”, or watering down, as it’s known by those in the know.

    GRIP

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