The News printed this letter today asking why Lauren Van Embden has gone over to the dark side. Lauren is a bright, ambitious young lady, and if she stays in the area, she will no doubt go far in politics, perhaps beyond Cumberland County. Maybe a start with Lou is better than no start at all, but we do agree that it seems as if Lou has shafted her on the Levoy deal. Word has it that his promise to her for joining the ticket was support for the Levoy. The progress of that project, which is essential for Millville, is due in great part to the very hard work of Lauren and her dad, Phil Van Embden. Even if she loses to Gloria, she will be part of a lasting legacy to the city of Millville.
Here’s Jim Swift’s letter:
Van Embden should distance herself from Magazzu’s party
Wednesday September 09, 2009, 2:10 PM
To the Editor:
Lauren Van Embden, it’s time to drop out of your bid for Cumberland County clerk.
As a political observer of local politics, I had to always wonder how an intelligent young lawyer from a Republican family could ever end up on a campaign ticket with a Lou Magazzu-led Democratic organization.
You and your father’s work on the preservation and restoration of the Levoy Theater has taken a project full of only dreams to be now within inches of reality.
There can be no doubt that the reopening of the Levoy Theater will be a legacy for which your family can be proud. Your dedication and commitment to this dream is more than admirable.
However, it is now apparent to anyone who carefully observes current events, that you are on a ticket with Mr. Magazzu, who is puppeteering the Cumberland County Improvement Authority to deny the Levoy necessary funds that are critically needed to get this long-awaited project completed.
He has done this by favoring the Landis Theater project over the Levoy Theater project in the competition for the CCIA’s financial backing. This can be clearly demonstrated by following the money trail.
Mr. Magazzu recently revealed his list of contributors to his ill-fated run to be the National Association of Counties’ second vice-president. Contributing to the $81,000 war chest is Landis Theatre Properties, LLC.
The connection smells of favoritism, and the Levoy is apparently suffering for not having the extra funds to help support Mr. Magazzu’s $20,000 junket to Nashville with Freeholders Bill Whelan, Nelson Thompson and Joe Pepitone, along with cronies Surrogate Doug Rainear and Sheriff Bob Austino.
Wow, what a time they must have had with a $16,000 Opryland Hotel bill, because that’s a lot of southern hospitality.
Ms. Van Embden, it’s time to pick the greater cause and distance yourself from Mr. Magazzu and vocally stand-up to the purchasing of political favoritism.