The election is over, and now the papers are full of articles explaining the results. I may as well join in. The Daily Journal had two articles that are enjoyable reading.
One article interviews the winners and losers. Lou Magazzu, winner of the Freeholder race, is still playing martyr:
I had the greatest personal attack that anyone has had to undertake…
Poor baby! Now he knows how the people that have been on the receiving end of his attacks feel. I was one of them. I ma happy that his life was uncomfortable for a while. And I suspect it will continue to be uncomfortable. You see, you can’t offer the county for sale to the highest bidder and not raise ire.
Bob Greco, chairman of the Republican Organization sees the results as a referendum that the voters want to see diversity on the board.
It’s absolutely a message of people want diversity on that board…
This is a point that Lou has repeatedly railed against (under his pen name tryagain on these forums). Lou insists that Republicans in the county do not deserve any representation in County government. Lou outspent Republicans by a tremendous margin. Jon Corzine helped finance buses to bus people to the polls. The unions had 700 workers flooding the streets (of mainly non-home-owning, property tax paying citizens) bringing them to the polls. In Fairfield, Democrats illegally campaigned at the polls, escorting voters into the polls, and Democrat poll workers ignored the law. Thankfully one of our regular readers called the attorney on duty that day, and sheriff’s officers were called out to disburse the illegal campaign activity.
Despite the highly organized and financed campaign (most of that money came from Jon Corzine and Camden and Gloucester Counties) the Democrats were still unable to sweep. The two winners won by slim margins. Lou’s reelection was anything but a mandate, and it may be an indicator that his iron-fisted rule in the county has ended.
Independent Democrat Jennifer Swift quipped:
“I’m surprised there is such a big difference between Corzine’s vote and Lou’s, which tells you something,” Swift said. “They were willing to vote for a Democratic governor, but not carry it through.”
We stated earlier that candidate for clerk Lauren Van Embden got more votes than Lou. And Lou still seemed to miss the point:
Magazzu, the top vote-getter in the freeholder race, said his opponents made the election a referendum on him. That was a mistake when there were issues like taxes to pound on, he said.
In fact, one of the major topics of this website has been taxes. Taxes and ethics. Lou does not find ethics to be an issue. It appears that his opinion is that you can do whatever you want, whether ethical or otherwise, as long as you benefit personally.
We have pounded the issue – county taxes INCREASED by almost 100% in the past six years under his rule. He refuses to accept the fact that spending is also an issue, tossing money around like confetti, increasing county spending at an alarming rate. The more you spend, the more you have to raise through taxation. And as has been pointed out repeatedly, everyone has seen a property tax increase in this county, on their county portion of the tax bill. Perhaps it it time to require that landlords present their renters with quarterly statements showing what portion of their rent goes to local taxes.
The other article in the Daily Journal summed it up in a nutshell:
The National Election Pool/Edison Research conducted exit polls Tuesday with resultsanalyzed by the Monmouth University Polling Institute for the Gannett New Jersey newspapers. The survey found that leading the issues for voters were the economy and jobs, property taxes, corruption and health care.
The county can make little impact on the subject of Health Care. The prescription cards are a red herring. Every pharmacy has their own version, and you can find dozens of free alternatives online. Lou did not have to spend thousands of tax dollars to fly to NACo conferences (none of the 2008 expenditures for his NACo campaign have been reimbursed to the county as far as I can tell) and spends thousands more advertising (that was just an end-run to allow Lou to campaign on public money). All prescription cards are basically the same. However, it is interesting to note that CareMark, the entity behind our cards has been in legal troubles for various reasons including giving out personal information of its clients.
However, jobs, taxes and corruption can ALL be addressed at the county level, and Lou has failed miserably on every count. And it is for these reasons that MagazzuWatch will continue to exist. As long as Lou is in charge of county Democratic politics, any Democrat that runs will come under scrutiny, and will be assumed to carry on Lou’s legacy and mission.