Sweeney’s cronies: Taxpayer rip-offs?

SenSweeney

Pocketed more than $1 million as a political consultant while employed by the county.

Call them his SUPERMEN.

They’re Senate President Steve Sweeney’s cronies who get paid for the work of two or three or even four people for jobs done simultaneously.  These cronies are truly amazing – one even has three careers – and when they attract the attention of the media, Senator Steve Sweeney is there to defend them with always the same claim:

“They work nights and weekends.”

Take the case of Mr. Robert N. DiLella.  He has an important job.  Not only is he supposed to maintain records on everything the Freeholder Board does, he is supposed to supervise other public employees – and he is the county’s public information officer – responsible for handling open records requests from citizens and journalists alike.  His responsibilities don’t end there.  Along with the Director of the Freeholder Board, the Clerk of the Board is authorized to execute agreements, contracts, and administer funds.

As Gloucester County Freeholder Director, Senator Steve Sweeney appointed DiLella to the job of Clerk of the Freeholder Board.  It should be a full time job, according to DiLella himself his 2012 salary was $83,326.  Unfortunately for the taxpayers who pay him, being the Clerk of the Freeholder Board isn’t really what DiLella does.  In 2006, the Courier-Post reported on how DiLella was doing political work for the same politicians who were supposed to be supervising him on the Freeholder Board.  The Courier quoted an ethics expert who said it was a “conflict” and noted that DiLella had pocketed $654,621 in fees for his political work.

Go to DiLella’s twitter page and it explains that he is a “Political Consultant” who is “President/ CEO Strategic Message Design Group”, a political consulting firm with clients from around the United States, in China, and from the Caribbean – including the Prime Minister of the Island of Aruba.  His corporate clients include Valero Energy, the Palm Beach Civic Association, and the Aruba Hotel &Tourism Association.

Looking at DiLella’s recent “tweets” gives you no idea that he holds an important county job paid for by Gloucester County’s taxpayers:

“SMDG Client has passed Miguel Pourier was of great significance for our Country – Curaçao Chronicle: http://www.curacaochronicle.com/main/miguel-pourier-/#.UVJM3hyAob4.twitter …

Florida elects their judges have signed 3 for the 2014 cycle … Still not sure this is the best way to seat judges!

At Emerald Society Breakfast in Ft. Lauderdale honoring SMDG clients Mayor Jack Seiler and Judge Dale Ross

From his Florida clients alone, DiLella pocketed $723,191.

Before you wonder how someone with the responsibilities of the Clerk of the Freeholder Board can also manage a pretty happening political consulting firm – stop, because that’s only half the story.  Robert N. DiLella is also the Chairman of the Gloucester County Pollution Authority AND the owner of a business called Cruise Outlets & Travel.  All of this is what DiLella himself lists on the personal financial disclosure statement he is required to file each year, under penalty of law.

What is Cruise Outlets & Travel?  Well, according to the information it provided a business website, it takes in between $1 million and $5 million each year – and DiLella is the owner!

How does he juggle a full-time job paid for by the taxpayers, a lucrative political consulting career, a second government appointment, and a second business too?  Well, it’s that same old story Sweeney likes to tell.  In 2006, DiLella told the Courier-Post that he worked “nights and weekends” to do it all.

That doesn’t seem to ring true though.  For one thing, in DiLella’s biography on the Cruise Outlets & Travel website it brags that he has vacationed in Aruba “over 100 times”.

You do the math.

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As Clerk of the Freeholder Board, one of Bob DiLella’s more important roles is to oversee county employees like Michelle Coryell.  She’s paid $90,000 a year as a full-time county employee while being paid $50,000 a year to be the District 03 legislators’ chief-of-staff.  On top of this, she gets another $33,000 to run Senator Steve Sweeney’s political operation.

It’s clear somebody isn’t getting what they paid for… any doubt that it’s the county taxpayers who are getting ripped-off?

Somebody has got to look into the kind of operation being run out of the office of the Clerk of the Gloucester County Freeholder Board.  A complete review of how their time is being spent and on what – for the money the taxpayers pay them – is called for.

For more information, go to www.NJconservativeOnline.com

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MAURICE CARROLL: ACADEMICIAN OR MARKETING REP?

Carroll_Mickey

Take a look at this photograph… what a good looking man… what a sage pose… is that Nantucket seersucker?  (only a true member of the establishment can wear seersucket, and then only when he attains a certain age, notice the drape).  Central casting… send us a modern Walter Cronkite.  See Mr. Carroll’s biography, at the end of this column.

And now for the most breathtakingly biased statement from a pollster this year:

“New Jersey likely voters support same-sex marriage any way they can get it. By almost 2-1, including a lot of Republicans, they want Gov. Christie to drop his appeal of a judge’s ruling so same-sex couples can marry in the Garden State.” (Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute)

Read Mr. Carroll, and one would think that there was a queue tens of thousands long just waiting to be married — like these same proponents claimed about civil unions, which has managed in the years so far to get just above 3,000 couples.  3,000 couples out of 8.8 million people does not represent a population demanding something “any way they can get it”.  You do yourself an injustice, Mr. Carroll.

Mr. Carroll asked two very specific questions about same-sex marriage AND Governor Christie AND the judiciary AND the legislature.  How an individual respondent feels about each of these individually and the relationship of one to another necessarily shades the answers to these questions.  Here are the questions:

As you may know, a state judge recently ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in New Jersey. Governor Christie opposes same-sex marriage and is appealing the decision to the State Supreme Court. Do you think Governor Christie should appeal the decision or drop his appeal and allow same-sex couples to get married in New Jersey?

 As you may know, the state legislature has passed a bill that would allow same-sex couples to get married in New Jersey. Governor Christie has vetoed that bill. Do you think the state legislature should override Governor Christie’s veto so that same-sex couples are allowed to get married in New Jersey or not?

The first question produced a result of 32% (should appeal) to 61% (should not appeal) to 7% (don’t know/no opinion).  The second came in at 59% (yes, override), 33% (no), to 8% (don’t know/no opinion).

Now look at what happens when a different set of questions are asked:

A poll was conducted September 24-26, in five legislative districts in New Jersey.  Two were what could be described as conservative-Republican, two as moderate-Republican, and one as a “swing” district (currently held by a Democrat).  The poll was conducted by Magellan Strategies.  The poll targeted “likely” voters from a voter registration mix that reflected general election turnout.

The poll touched on issues such as the minimum wage, the Second Amendment, and same-sex marriage.  On same-sex marriage, the results were surprisingly consistent throughout the Republican held districts and in the Democrat district the numbers indicated a more socially conservative electorate, which was an even greater surprise.

Thinking now about the issue of same-sex marriage……………….

T6. As you may know, New Jersey is suffering from high unemployment and record housing foreclosures. Recently Democratic legislative leaders held a press conference to announce that the passage of same-sex marriage is New Jersey’s number one priority. Knowing this, do you agree or disagree with the Democratic legislative leaders?

18% Agree

77% Disagree

5% Unsure or no opinion

 

T7. Do you agree or disagree that the state legislature should focus on jobs and the economy instead of same-sex marriage?

81% Agree

13% Disagree

6% Unsure or no opinion

 

T8. Do you agree or disagree that the state legislature should work on reducing property taxes instead of same-sex marriage?

83% Agree

13% Disagree

4% Unsure or no opinion

 

T9. Some people have suggested that same-sex marriage should be placed on the ballot so that the people of New Jersey could vote whether to allow it or not. Do you support or oppose placing same-sex marriage on the ballot so that voters can decide this issue?

63% Support

29% Oppose

8% Unsure or no opinion

 

T10. As you may know, New Jersey currently has a civil union law that provides same-sex couples with all the legal protections of marriage. Knowing this, do you support or oppose the civil union law for same-sex couples?

60% Support

29% Oppose

11% Unsure or no opinion

 

T11. As you may know, a little over 3,000 same-sex couples have taken advantage of the civil union law in New Jersey. Now others are demanding that same-sex couples be allowed to marry as a husband and wife do. Knowing this, do you support or oppose same-sex marriage?

38% Support

51% Oppose

11% Unsure or no opinion

Maybe Mr. Carroll should try asking different questions that the two he posed?  Maybe he should ask the questions from the Magellan Poll. . . if for no other reason, intellectual curiosity?

And as for statements like “any way they can get it” — get hold of yourself, Mr. Carroll, you are an academician, not a marketing rep.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PkOc-B64dY

 

Mr. Carroll’s credentials:

Maurice “Mickey” Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, brings more than 40 years of experience as a political writer and columnist for New York and New Jersey newspapers.

Carroll is the chief spokesperson for the New York State, New York City and New Jersey polls and works with Douglas Schwartz to develop, analyze and present the results of the many polls conducted by Quinnipiac.

Carroll’s experience as a journalist includes work with The New York Times, Newsday, the New York Post, the Passaic Herald-News, the Jersey Journal and the Newark Star-Ledger.

Carroll taught journalism at Columbia University, New York University and Montclair State College and presently teaches in Quinnipiac’s mass communications program. He has a BA in journalism from the University of Notre Dame.

WHERE DO YOU STAND ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE?

Same-sex Marriage:  Please answer a two-question poll

 Sen.-Sweeney

New Jersey has been suffering through continuing economic troubles.  At the start of the legislative session, Senate President Steve Sweeney held a news conference to announce that same-sex marriage was his party’s “number one priority”.

This announcement was made with New Jersey’s unemployment rate at 9.2 percent and 60,000 New Jersey workers set to lose their unemployment benefits.  It was made with New Jersey’s foreclosure rate at 8.2% – second only to Florida – and with the building/construction sector’s unemployment at 14.7 percent.

A report earlier this month showed poverty in New Jersey is at a 52 year high.  That’s one out of every four New Jersey residents in poverty – more than two million people.  And it is not just the big urban centers suffering from poverty.  Look at the poverty levels in the counties that make up Steve Sweeney’s own district:

– 37 percent of the people in Cumberland County live in poverty – 2ndhighest in the state.

– In Salem County, 30.8 percent of its people live in poverty.

– Even in Gloucester County, Sweeney’s home, the rate is – at 18.5 percent – above the national poverty rate of 15 percent.

A record high of more than 630,000 children — 31.2 percent — live in poverty in New Jersey.  32.8 percent of the state’s 18 to 24 year olds now live in poverty.  Why is attention being taken away from them and the focus placed on social issues?

Please take a moment to answer two questions:

Q1. As you may know, New Jersey is suffering from high unemployment and record housing foreclosures. At the beginning of the legislative session, Senate President Steve Sweeney held a press conference to announce that the passage of same-sex marriage is New Jersey’s number one priority.  Knowing this, do you agree or disagree with the Senate President Sweeney?

Agree ……………………………………………………………

Disagree ………………………………………………………..

Unsure or no opinion ………………………………………..

Q 2. Governor Chris Christie and others have suggested that same-sex marriage should be placed on the ballot so that the people of New Jersey could vote whether to allow it or not.   Senate President Steve Sweeney opposes allowing the people to decide.  Do you support or oppose placing same-sex marriage on the ballot so that voters can decide this issue?

Support …………………………………………………………

Oppose …………………………………………………………

Unsure or no opinion ………………………………………..

Visit  http://www.njconservativeonline.com/ to answer online or email your answers to editor@NJconservativeOnline.com