I was having a discussion with some friends last night and we decided that Lou’s tactic is to take sole credit for every positive thing that has happened in Cumberland County, and to blame the Independent Democrats for every bad thing. Before the Independent Leaders challenged his role as king of Cumberland County, he blamed the Republicans, which is quite hollow considering that for 4-decades Democrats ruled this county, with only a brief reprieve ten years ago when the Republicans swept the election. One of those Republicans speaks up in the Daily Journal today:
I’ve sat and read claim after claim by Lou Magazzu about all the great things he has done for Cumberland County all by himself.
Much to my dismay, The Daily Journal has printed Mr. Magazzu’s statements as though they are fact. Because I’ve yet to read a factual statement from him during this entire campaign, I decided it’s time to set the record straight.
Lou Magazzu has claimed, on numerous occasions, that he is responsible for bringing the Empowerment Zone to Cumberland County. The fact of the matter is there were many individuals involved in bringing the zone to Cumberland County and it is a slap in the face to everyone along with a U.S. senator who worked so hard to bring the zone here for Magazzu to make the claim that he is solely responsible. He owes many people an apology and needs to acknowledge those who helped.
Lou Magazzu loves to take credit for the New Jersey Motorsports Park coming to Millville. Again, he was not the only person who worked on this project. It was a bipartisan effort spearheaded by then-Assemblyman Doug Fisher and then-state Sen. Nick Asselta. In fact, while I served as freeholder director, I met with Don Fauerbach a number of times about the racetrack. But to hear Lou Magazzu tell the story, he did it all by himself.
In 2002, as freeholder director I attempted to foster a spirit of bipartisanship on the freeholder board by appointing freeholders to the committees they served on previously. I appointed Lou Magazzu as finance chairman. Even back then he loved to claim he did things on his own. He tried to claim the success of that year’s budget, but doesn’t bother to tell anyone that he failed to show up at five of our seven meetings.
Oh, and by the way, the $10 million bonding for the expansion of the college was done in 2002 when I was director.
Now that I’ve listed some of the things that Mr. Magazzu likes to take sole credit for and pointed out that there were many folks who worked hard to bring these positives to our county, let me tell you what he can take credit for.
Lou Magazzu can definitely take credit for the triple net lease of our county’s Social Services building. He and he alone negotiated that deal with one of his campaign contributors behind the backs of other freeholders. Lou Magazzu made certain that his campaign contributor was able to collect $1.2 million a year in rent for 20 years, while the taxpayers also are responsible for the taxes and maintenance of the building. I’m not so sure Mr. Magazzu is proud of this accomplishment given the fact he never talks about it in the newspaper.
Another thing Mr. Magazzu turned out to be good at is he has yet to talk about his voting on Feb. 26, 2009, to give a contract to the highest bidder and then accepting a $5,000 contribution to his NACo slush fund only eight days later from that contractor.
As a matter of fact, Lou Magazzu turned out to be a giant when it comes to accepting money from folks who he voted to give business to. Three lawyers who in 2007 and 2008 were paid more than $760,000 by Cumberland County contributed thousands of dollars to Lou Magazzu’s NACo fund, as well as his re-election campaign. The lawyer who speaks on his behalf with regard to a complaint about the way Magazzu raised money for his NACo fund was paid more than $170,000 by Cumberland County.
Lou Magazzu surrounds himself with folks he gives big county contracts to. He is very good at that.
Before you vote on Nov. 3, ask yourself if Cumberland County can afford another three years of Lou Magazzu.
Board of Chosen Freeholders