Minor slime and media bias

The Republican candidates called a press conference today, explaining how they are posting the Cumberland County budget online, because Lou Magazzu’s $40,000 website does not supply this important information the public. Almost every other county in the state posts their budget online.

When Magazzu heard about the press conference, he immediately scheduled a press conference designed to conflict with the Republican conference. Daily Journal reporter Joe Smith was slated to cover the press conference. The Daily Journal editors pulled him from the event outlining the county budget for taxpayers, which we at Magazzu Watch think is an important issue, and sent him to cover Lou’s press conference for the CCIA.

Excuse me, but I thought Steve Wymbs was the Director of the CCIA, not Louis. In fact, word is that Steve was not at all happy with Lou’s usurping authority that is not his.

More upsetting is that we hear that not only was Joe Smith pulled from covering the Republican press conference to cover Lou’s, but Joel Landau was also covering the last minute Lou charade. This reeks of an obvious bias on the part of Daily Journal editors. They ensure that Lou is in the paper daily, and they purposely interfere with the Republican press conference.

And the press conference, according to some of Lou’s associates, was bogus. Even the reporters asked Lou why he had a press conference for news he released last week? Why – he had to divert attention away from the Republicans that actually came to discuss real issues, such as increasing county taxes , outrageous spending, and constants lies and misrepresentation of the facts.

Lou Magazzu called the county budget the “most honest budget”. If this budget was “honest” what do we call the previous budgets that he worked on, dishonest?

Actually the current budget is a joke and a travesty. While Cumberland County boasts the highest unemployment rates in the state, with an increase from 8.2% in July 2008 to 13.0% in July 2009, Lou as finance director has gone on a county spending spree.

In five years, Lou and his freeholder board have increased county salaries from $28,832,599 in 2004 to $44,404,482 in 2009. In fact this past year, wages have increased 14.4%, or more than $5.5 million. Is it any wonder that county taxes have increased 93% in six years?

This current budget robs the capital improvement fund, which was $4,000,000 last year, and has been scaled to $300,000 this year. And yet county spending has increased!

It is no wonder that Lou Magazzu does not want you to see the budget!

9 Responses to Minor slime and media bias

  1. Matt Dunn says:

    I too was at Magazzu’s press conference and not the Republican’s press conference, but my reasons had to do with practicality.
    I was at the county courthouse Thursday afternoon covering jury selection in a murder trial.
    Although I was unable to travel from one end of the county to the other to attend the Republican’s 2 p.m. event, because Magazzu’s press conference was a few minutes away in Bridgeton, I was able to leave court for 1/2 an hour or so and make it to the county administration building for that event.

    Matt Dunn

  2. Matt Dunn says:

    On a related note … and since I know both Republicans and Democrats read this site:
    Unless a press conference has to do with a breaking event or emergency situation that requires important information to be gotten out to the public, there is no reason why at least a days notice can’t be given when holding a press event.
    I know it’s election season. I know you want to get the jump on the other party by holding “surprise” press conferences and that giving prior notice to the press might ruin the element of surprise you wish to create.
    Just don’t expect the newspapers to drop everything and come running every time you open your mouth.
    If something can be summed up in a press release, maybe you’re better off just sending a press release.

    Matt Dunn

  3. The Republicans DID give a day’s notice – Lou gave only hours notice.

    The Republicans were informing the taxpaying public that the county budget is online courtesy of their website (CumberlandAnswers.com) since Lou cannot find a way to put it online on his $40,000 county website.

    Lou’s press conference was a rehash of old news, nothing earth-shattering. It was a transparent ploy to divert attention, a tactic for which Lou has a reputation.

    It is a shame that the press falls so easily for a childish ploy.

    And, one more thing. I did not see your article in the print version of the paper today, although the Lou article took a quarter of a page!

  4. Matt Dunn says:

    I wasn’t calling out any party in particular. The Republicans actually have been quite good about giving notice and not wasting time with unnecessary press conferences.

    Matt Dunn

  5. Matt Dunn says:

    …but let me be clear, if I had driven all the way out to Millville just to hear the Republicans announce that the county budget was available on their Web site, I would have been pissed. That sort of thing belongs in a press release. At least Magazzu’s press conference only killed 1/2 an hour of my time.

    Matt Dunn

  6. gorgon says:


    Be grateful for small favors !

  7. Matt Dunn says:

    By the way, the Republicans’ story is on A1 of the paper. Lou’s story is somewhere on the inside. Despite being able to attend Lou’s press conference in person, we found the Republicans’ issue regarding the missing NACo dates and the Fralinger Engineering contract to be more relevant than Magazzu’s press conference and put it on the front page.

    Matt Dunn

  8. Your are correct Matt – you have been doing a good job of keeping the really important news out there. The contributions to a secret fund, In our opinion, is very revealing of Cumberland County politics. If not illegal by the letter of the law – these contributions reek of an appearance of impropriety.

  9. “…but let me be clear, if I had driven all the way out to Millville just to hear the Republicans announce that the county budget was available on their Web site, I would have been pissed.”

    But it was so much more than that. They tore the budget to shreds, showing how spending has increased, how the sacred surplus that Lou refused to touch last year was used this year to hide the increased spending, how the freeholders increased their personal budget by 82%, how the capital improvement fund was slashed from $4,000,000 to $30,000 – in effect this year’s budget is anything but the “most honest” budget as proclaimed by Lou.

    I believe it is a story when the freeholders try to hide the budget from the public by creating obstacles to view it. To view it one needs to OPRA it, and pay for the copies, or commute out to Bridgeton (a hardship for seniors and the disabled) because Lou refuses to utilize the $40,000 county website and post the budget online, as most counties do.

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