Tuesday, July 10, 2007

No-Bidding Bergen: $125,000 Grapevine

Today, The Record ran a story about the new lobbying firm started by former NJ Transit Chief George Warrington, along with former McGreevey Cheifs of Staff Jamie Fox and Eric Shuffler. Turns out, the Democrats running Hackensack awarded these three a $120,000 no-bid contract to act as our county's lobbyists. Their firm was the only one to apply for the job:
Shuffler said his firm heard about the advertisement "through the grapevine," and later checked the county's Web site for details. Its principals had no contact with county officials before the contract was advertised, Shuffler said.

The corruption of the Papa Joe Ferriero run Bergen County Democratic Organization makes the first instinct when you hear something like this to think they must have given a campaign donation. When the grapevine thing came through, then you almost have to think that Papa Joe pulled some strings. After checking the ELEC website, as of right now it doesn't appear the donation theory holds.

Instead, this appears to be a case of the Democratic party paying back Democratic operatives (Fox & Shuffler) for years of service, and using taxpayer dollars to do it. We already pay over $1.4 million in salaries for state legislators to handle Trenton, and $330,000 for Representatives Scott Garrett and Steve Rothman down in Washington. Are they not advocating for us?

What about the Freeholders themselves, or our County Executive? They can't get their behinds down to Trenton or Washington to advocate on our behalf? It was noted in the article that the county has been disappointed with their ability to get funds in the past; there are a lot of ways to improve upon that, but using taxpayer dollars for lobbyists is politics as usual garbage.

There is simply something perverse about politicians hiring lobbyists to lobby politicians.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good work, keep digging and posting