A Double Standard

Does anybody remember an article in the Atlantic City Press from November of 2006? It goes as follows:

Press of Atlantic City, The (NJ)

November 11, 2006 FREEHOLDER’S HOME UP FOR SHERIFF’S SALE
Author: DANIEL WALSH Staff Writer, (856) 794-5111 Edition: Atlantic & Cumberland
Section: Region
Page: C4
A bank has foreclosed on the home of a Cumberland County freeholder and advertised it for sale.

MagazzuWatch has uncovered apparent media bias, as all of our local newspapers are ignoring a story that bears greater relevance than this one dug up from the dusty archives of history.

Lou Magazzu, Freeholder Director, stated publicly that people that allowed themselves to get in the financial situation that the freeholder referenced above did were not worthy to serve the public as an elected official. The local press jumped all over this freeholder’s personal family business – and Lou was happy to toss gasoline on the embers, and used the incident to publicly excoriate this man.

But now we discover that holier than thou Louis Magazzu did the EXACT same thing as the freeholder that he publicly humiliated. lou’s house has been in foreclosure since early January, 2010. The local media has completely ignored this story – proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a bias, they cannot be counted on to tell us the whole story behind Magazzu. How much more is being covered up?

this, my friends, is what MagazzuWatch is all about. If we don’t tell you the whole story, nobody else is going to.

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20 Responses to A Double Standard

  1. Calhoun says:

    Where or when did Lou criticize the freeholder in question for his finances? It’s not in the article you reference above, which is actually quite brief. I don’t recall all the details of this but I seem to remember that one of the freeholders was quoted in one of the other the papers (I thought maybe Lou) saying something to the effect that this could have happened to anyone.

    I agree completely that the local media have not been diligent in pursuing the issue of Lou’s employment more (back in June I had a comment asking “What does Lou do?”). I also believe that a freeholder’s finances should be private but only up to a point. If it can be shown that they are a disaster across the board, then I think that is something one should know when determining whether to support such a person.

    Regarding this particular issue, I think it is important to know at what stage of foreclosure the home is in. The further along the process is the more public it becomes (such as a sheriff’s sale). When homes are in the various stages of pre-foreclosure the info is available but less readily so (and thus the press may not know about it).

  2. WuLi says:

    Foreclosure proceedings began January 15, 2010 – which means that mortgage payments had been neglected for almost a year prior to that date for it to reach that level.

    Lou criticized the other freeholder, saying that he wasn’t fit to run for election due to the foreclosure. I am still looking for the reference – but being that you have to pay for every article online to find this info, my pockets are not that deep.

    Maybe one of our fans has clippings dating back to that incident?

  3. JamesRSauro says:

    I’m asking everyone to leave this alone. Personal is personal. I will go after with all my strength things he does publicly especially if it hurts people or this county. I believe he has done both. Keep family and personal finances out of this. If not we are no better than the person that is Lou.

  4. mango says:

    I wish I could support the lofty sentiments expressed by Mr. Sauro, but it seems to me it is a matter of fighting fire with fire. Lou’s “politics of personal destruction” have cut a mean swath across this county. Being nice to Lou is not going to work. If our objective is to remove him from office before he can do more damage, we may have to get down and dirty.

  5. Calhoun says:

    Jim, I agree with you but only up to a point. Lou’s a political animal, and thus he has politics on the brain 24/7/365 (common years; 366,leap years). As a result it is very hard to separate Lou, the citizen, and Lou, the freeholder/politician. (I believe RD Owens has blogged about this in the past).

    Furthermore, while I don’t want nor need to know all the details of a politician’s private life or finances, I do want to know things that may overlap the two areas. For example, if a politician, takes a very hard stance against adultery on religious grounds but yet in his private life cheats on his wife everynight, then I say that that aspect of his life should be exposed. In other words, once a politician makes private behavior part of his platform then his private behavior is fair game if it used to out him as a hypocrite.

    Likewise, if a politician paints himself as a bigtime whiz at finances and model of fiscal prudence, yet has private finances that paint him as something else, then again I would say it’s fair game to expose the contradiction. Another reason the public has a right to at least some glimpses into a politician’s private finances is that we need assurances that they’re earning a living through honest means. As we all know, graft is all to common in politics.

    Allowing politicians to build an impenetrable wall between their private and public lives, with them getting to define how these two lives are circumscribed, only empowers them more and increases the difficulty in exposing them for the frauds that they oftentimes are.

    To me an individual’s character and competence are critically important. And both are better evaluated when we don’t build an absolute wall between public and private lives. We shouldn’t tread into a politician’s private life or finances for no good reason, but we also shouldn’t declare them totally off limits. To do so, would allow politicians to treat their “private” lives as refuges where they can hide all their questionable dealings and hypocrisies.

  6. JamesRSauro says:

    Calhoun, You have made some very good points. I guess I was thinking more about the family. Sometimes they pay for his mistakes. I try not to cross that fine line. But again I can’t disagree with you.

  7. Chevy Guy says:

    Lou has disowned his family – he removed all reference to them from his official bio – this guy even rejected his own children. Somehow I don’t think that bringing out his total irresponsibility in paying the basic household bills is off limits – didn’t he even have a $5,000 over electric bill once? Did he ever pay off the money due on the storage locker he had in Vineland?

  8. Burnt says:

    I respect Mr. Sauro more for us stance on this one. No need to sink to the level of personal finances and family matters to attack the man; it would just be as low as anything else you accuse him of. Mr. Sauro taking the high road here is honorable.

  9. Gilgamesh says:

    Mr. Sauro, unfortunately, you seem to be the only one concerned with Magoo’s family.

    If Magoo cared, he would have made better choices. Unfortunately, if all is true in reference to his now rumored strained relationships at home, is that not an indictment on his “concern” to strangers (ie voters)?

    And yes, I chose to use the word indictment; this was not accidental. Wishful thinking, but not accidental!

    What truly surprises me is the apparent shock over his rumored family issues. Why would anyone think the public Magoo would be any different than the private one? If someone is good hearted they would never have behaved with his repeated boorish attitude. Clearly, the distorted image is what he presented to those he loved. Unfortunately one can’t hide who they are forever.

    If a fraction of the rumors are true, along with those rumors yet to come to fruition, I feel for the family. They did not sign up for this drama.

  10. LC says:

    Yeah, the local media is protecting Lou. That sounds like the most plausible explanation, not that they just don’t care.

  11. JamesRSauro says:

    Gilgamesh: That’s just the point he doesn’t care. But that doesn’t mean the pain or shame is any less for the kids or his wife. It was wrong for Lou to embarrass the other freeholder and his family. This doesn’t make it right by retaliating in the same way.

  12. Jim I’am sorry I have to diagree with you on this one.This bully has NO reguard for any one or any one’s family.His wife and her family are probbally very nice.But untill he goes or stops his ways will things change so I say any thing goes.Maybe this site will put it out for vote.colume1 everything goes colume 2.not everything goes.Then that will give us how people feel and only 1 vote per person.

  13. Is there anything in the law that states a person who runs for Freeholder has to own property in that county.If they rent is that ok and use a P.O.box.Can someone help me on this one?

  14. County Observer says:

    State law (N.J.S.A. 40A:9-1.12) requires elected officials to reside in the political subdivision (in this case the County) to which they were elected. That can be a rental; ownership is not required, just a physical residence in the local unit (the County here).

  15. Calhoun says:

    Alex, originally freeholders (an old English title) did indeed have to own land (an estate) in the county they represented. Furthermore, they had to have total control of the land (i.e., no mortgage or other commitment). Hence the term “freeholder” — they owned the land free and clear. However, today these rules no longer apply, the only requirement being that you have to be a resident in the county you represent.

    I believe New Jersey may be the only state in the U.S. that still uses this archaic term for its elected county officials. Counties in other states refer to the same officers as supervisors or commissioners.

    Of course many locals sarcastically refer to these officers as “freeloaders,” a commentary no doubt on New Jersey’s bloated government. And bloated it is. For example in each state legislative district we have three reps (two assemblypeople, one senator). Why? For each U.S. Congressional district we have only one congressperson and that district is always much more populated (and usually larger landwise) than state legislative districts. Then below the state we have County government. In Cumberland County we elect seven (seven!) separate freeholder all of which represent the same area — Cumberland County. Why do we need so many reps that represent the same legislative area? Of course we also elect plenty of municipal officials, school officials etc. Simply put N.J. has too many elected offices. I am all for elections but I don’t think we need so many, especially when the legislative region for so many is identical. We don’t need Van Drew, Milam and Albano in the 1st District — we could get by with just one of them (actually I prefer none of them but my point is made).

  16. Hang 'em High says:

    Cal and Alex,

    You may also find this little tidbit to be interesting:

    Freeholders, Assemblymen(women), State Senators who are employed by a public educational system (schools, colleges or universities) are ENTITLED under NJSA 18A:6-8.1 and 18A:6-8.2 to receive their full pay from that educational system for any time they take off work to perform their duties as a Freeholder, Assemblyman, etc. in ADDITION to the pay that they receive as a legislator. So, when Doug Rainear was a Freeholder anytime he was was off doing Freeholder stuff, like going to meetings in Atlantic City or posing for photo ops, his pay as a teacher could not be withheld by the Bridgeton Public School System. The same holds true for Celeste Riley (Assembly). She is a teacher in the Greenwich Twp. School System. These folks and hundreds like them in the state are truly double-dippers.

    Combine that with guys like Sweeney and Burzichelli who get paid as Senators and Assemblymen respectively along with their other governmental spiffs like Freeholder and Mayor, and we wonder if there will ever be true ethics legislation passed in NJ.

    Now, it has been said that Sweeney and Rainear donated their salaries to charity, but, to my knowledge, there has never been an accounting of these “donations.”

    Could it be that we have been hoodwinked?

    And the beat goes on and on and on……

  17. Byelou says:

    OK, I’ve had enough. Lou is an elected official who has been allegedly sleeping around with a county employee, abandoned his family, failed to pay his mortgage so that his Wife and 5 kids are living in a house on the verge of foreclosure,and we are all supposed to take the high road. The guy we elected to run the county has failed us and his family. If he wasn’t Lou, you would tar and feather him and run him out of town on a rail.

  18. Hang 'em High says:

    I volunteer to bring the tar and the rail if someone will bring the feathers…..make them turkey feathers if you please.

  19. disgusted says:

    No need to bring feathers. The maggot is the biggest chicken around. Use his chicken feathers. All mouth no physical guts. Course you will have to drag him out from under the table.

  20. Hang 'em High says:

    disgusted, you noticed that, huh? he is known for being a coward and a whimp.

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