Herald lies about Sanctuary State ballot question. Cites attorney that they refused to interview.

Sussex County Clerk Jeff Parrott is hiding behind inadequate legal counsel in his contention that the taxpayers of Sussex County do not have a say in the function of the Sheriff’s office, which they pay for entirely from their property taxes.  As one activist put it, “The Clerk doesn’t understand the idea that he who pays the piper calls the tune.  In this case, we taxpayers are paying, so we want our vote.”

In a New Jersey Herald story today, Parrott agreed with the Administration of Democrat Governor Phil Murphy, “that only questions about issues over which a governing body has control can be submitted for a ballot referendum. In this case, the policy in question is set by the Attorney General's Office.”  Parrott used this argument to cancel a vote by the people on a public question on the November ballot.  The ballot question asks voters their opinion on whether Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada should follow American law on illegal immigration – or the directives of the Murphy administration.  

However, just a few sentences later, Parrott raised the question of “Sussex County taxpayer funds” and stated “that only the freeholders control the budget.”  This is essentially the Freeholders’ argument that they – not the Murphy administration – have the authority to ask the taxpayers how they want the Sheriff’s office, which they pay for, to function.

The Herald story – written by reporter Bruce Scruton – contains one whopper of a lie.  Somehow Scruton got it into his head that the County Clerk has retained three attorneys.  This is not true.  The Clerk has only one attorney contracted to advise him in regards to this question, and according to news reports he is more of a specialist in criminal matters (sex crimes, homicides, and such) as opposed to election law.  Somehow the Herald was led to believe that County Clerk Parrott had a stable of three attorneys, reporting the following:

“County Counsel Kevin Kelly, the clerk's attorney Gary Kraemer and special counsel Douglas Steinhardt all advised Parrott that such a question could not be put on the ballot.”

Of course, it was County Counsel Kevin Kelly who conducted the legal review that cleared the Ballot Question to be placed on the Freeholder agenda in April.  Kelly signed-off that it was legally sound before allowing it on the agenda, so the Herald’s claim is nonsensical, unless the newspaper is alleging malpractice against an attorney who has often represented the corporation that owns the Herald itself.  

As for Special Counsel Douglas Steinhardt, he was hired by the Freeholder Board less than 48 hours before the County Clerk precipitously sent his “letter of surrender” to the Murphy administration.  He is a very good attorney, but even a legal savant would not be so reckless as to throw together a constitutional argument in so short a time, especially as he was travelling out of state the morning after he was hired.  It simply wasn’t possible for Steinhardt to provide the kind of legal argument the Herald claims the County Clerk based his opinion on. 

To add further injury to the Herald’s claims, when the newspaper was asked to interview Steinhardt for its story, they failed to do so.  If they had done so, they would have been provided with the following statement from Steinhardt released on July 13th:

“To be clear, Sussex County conceded nothing. On July 24th, its Freeholders will consider revisions to the public question that will strengthen it & make clearer the County’s resolve to stand firm & fight the Murphy Administration's gross overreach & attack on the safety of the residents of Sussex County.”  

Why did the Herald allege that Special Counsel Steinhardt supplied advice to County Clerk Parrott, but then fail to interview Steinhardt or even include a statement that has been in the public domain since Saturday?  Did the Herald deliberately mislead its readers and advertisers?  Did its reporter lie to provide a fig leaf by which the County Clerk could excuse himself?

And finally, why wasn’t a statement by Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada part of the story?  The Herald article appears to be mainly written from the perspective of one politician – County Clerk Jeff Parrott – an apologia as opposed to a news story.  In contrast with the Clerk, the statement of the Sheriff could not have been clearer:

Sheriff Strada states that he will cooperate with ICE officials and does not plan on letting any immigration inmates that have a detainer out of our facility unless they are turned over to ICE officers. I will not jeopardize the safety of the citizens of our county.”

What is the upshot to all this?  Does the Herald support illegal immigration?  Does it wish to see its readers and advertisers less safe?  Is the reporter the problem?

One thing’s for certain… in the era of Trump, there are still some Christie Whitman Republicans out there.  Let the voter beware!

Phil Murphy tries to suppress voting in Sussex County

In a move that is rich in hypocrisy, the Murphy administration has “ordered” the Sussex County Clerk, Jeff Parrott, not to place on the ballot a public question that allows voters in that county to instruct their Sheriff on the Sanctuary State directive issued by Governor Murphy’s attorney general.  The ballot question gives voters a choice to instruct their county Sheriff to (1) obey the state directive or (2) follow the laws passed by the Congress of the United States of America, signed by successive Presidents of both parties, and upheld by the United States Supreme Court. 

So Phil Murphy is telling Sussex County that they must obey him – and join him in disobeying the laws of the United States of America.  And he is attempting to suppress the rights of voters to have a say in the matter.

The “order” was issued by Murphy ally Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who Murphy appointed in January of 2018.  The Attorney General is the scion of a very wealthy but controversial family of developers.  And it is no secret that Grewal is angling for a spot in some future Democrat administration in Washington, DC, if he can get past the confirmation hearings (which are a whole lot tougher in Washington than they are in Trenton).  That controversial family of developers thing again (it’ll get you every time).

The “order” to deprive the voters of their right to voice their opinions on a ballot question pits Murphy and Grewal against Sussex County’s Sheriff, Mike Strada, who has strongly supported the ballot question and opposed Murphy’s Sanctuary State plan every step of the way. Strada, a career law enforcement officer who led a U.S. Army platoon in Iraq (Desert Storm), has no time for federal law breakers like Murphy and Grewal.

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Murphy & Grewal vs. Sheriff Mike Strada

 
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New Jersey Herald reporter Bruce Scruton did a good job of covering this breaking story, which appeared on that newspaper’s website late last night.  It can be accessed here:

https://www.njherald.com/20190524/attorney-general-nixes-countys-anti-sanctuary-ballot-question

Reactions from the Freeholders have been mixed, with some clearly in the mood to stand up for the rights of voters and others a bit tepid.  Four of the five member freeholder board cast votes in support of the ballot question earlier this year, but there is a long history in Sussex County of elected officials taking the advice of “go-along-to-get-along” establishment types.  This is what lured them into the solar debacle that cost taxpayers $26 million but has yet to identify a guilty party (despite nearly $600,000 in “studies” to find out what went wrong and who done it).

You can’t put a cost on doing the right thing – and the right thing is standing up for the right to vote and the primacy of the Constitution of the United States of America.  Too often doing the right thing is dismissed on grounds of cost (unless it can be monetized, as with the $600,000 in “studies” into the solar debacle). 

This is a moment of truth for Sussex County Republicans.  We’ve heard a lot about the “walk away” movement among the Democrats.  Republicans should understand the frustrations of their own base – at least enough to prevent a “walk away” movement of their own.

This Saturday: Stand against Gov. Murphy in Sussex County

Governor Phil Murphy has cut education funding for Sussex County and his administration has dragged its feet on stopping illegal dumping in Vernon. 

Murphy is pushing a bizarre New-Left agenda of making taxpayers pay for illegal immigrants with his Sanctuary State programs to fund subsidized legal and education benefits for illegals.  Murphy has allowed dangerous criminals to flow into New Jersey, simply because they claim illegal immigrant status, while he works to take away the rights of New Jersey residents to defend themselves and their families from violence.  

Murphy has driven out jobs (over 9,000 last month alone) with higher business taxes and higher property taxes, while calling for taxes on everything up to and including the rain. His administration is a by-word for corruption – not only hiring convicted politicians who ripped-off taxpayers, but even tolerating the rape of its own female employees.

This Saturday, you have a chance to let him know in person just how pissed off we are.  Governor Murphy will be in Sussex County to place his stamp of approval on Democrat Assembly candidates Deana Lykins, an insurance industry lobbyist, and Dan Smith, the city attorney of Orange, in Essex County.

Murphy will be arriving at an event put on by the Sussex County branch of the Trenton Democrats.  The event starts at around 9 in the morning.  Murphy is supposed to get there by 10.  The location for the event is the Walden Village Clubhouse, 1 Rolling Brook Way, Hardyston. 

The New Jersey Herald announced that the event will be “open to the public” but that might change on Saturday.  That’s how Murphy rolls.

Bill Hayden of the Skylands Tea Party is organizing a counter-protest.  You can and should access his effort at

https://www.facebook.com/events/1991865810926266/?ti=icl

This is a great opportunity to tell the Governor about the illegal dump in Vernon and about his cuts to education funding in Sussex County.

Thugs attempt to shut down discussion of candidate Boden’s record

Yesterday, the New Jersey Herald reported that Andy Boden, a challenger to Republican Sheriff Mike Strada, was suspended from duty in January, per a determination by Undersheriff John Tomasula and Dr. Matthew Guller of the Institute of Forensic Psychology, and is awaiting a "fitness-for-duty evaluation”.  You can read the full story here:

https://www.njherald.com/20190319/sheriff-candidate-suspended-from-job

Again and again we have publicly asked Candidate Boden for his side of things and offered the use of this website for that purpose.  We have invited Boden and his campaign to provide documentation that would dispute the documentation provided by Boden’s own attorney, which is the basis of the Herald story.  On at least a dozen occasions we have published requests for this and have assured him that will publish whatever he sends, unedited.

Instead of taking us up on the offer, those around Andy Boden have resorted to the tactic, used by Antifa and other far-left advocates, of silencing any opinion they happen to disagree with.  Instead of free and open discourse about a candidate who wants to be the top law enforcement officer in Sussex County, we have received threats and thuggery of the most Neanderthal variety.

The message of the thugs who surround Andy Boden is clear:  If you attempt to bring up why Candidate Boden was suspended by a police psychiatrist, the Boden team will hurt you and will personally attack anyone they believe might be against their candidate.  Frenzied, aimless attacks, in the manner of a mad dog.

One Boden insider, who is himself an elected official in Sussex Borough, went so far as to attack Senator Steve Oroho over this, apparently unaware that Boden is a supporter of the Senator.  Again, these are frenzied, aimless attacks that fail to take reality into account.  Another Boden-backer took time from his work at a real estate office in Vernon to attack Senator Oroho’s consultant from his 2017 campaign… simply because the Boden-backer “believed” he was involved.

This is crazy, shoot-first-ask-questions-later behavior.  Which, in a way, is the whole worry in the first place. 

So let’s recap.  The New Jersey Herald ran a balanced story on the case of Andy Boden, who is now running for office against the head of the department that suspended him – Sheriff Mike Strada.  Citing a letter written by Boden’s attorney to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, here’s what the Herald wrote:

The letter begins by saying the law firm has been retained "with respect to his (Boden's) suspension as a result of a Jan. 16, determination by Undersheriff John Tomasula and Dr. Matthew Guller of the Institute of Forensic Psychology."

The letter then asked that the document be accepted in lieu of a more formal petition for interim relief "as Lieutenant Boden has been orally advised that as of Monday, March 4, 2019, he is no longer on paid leave status and he is being required to use his own time while he undergoes counseling with a licensed mental health professional."

The Institute for Forensic Psychology was founded in 1972 and built a reputation for providing services for police applicants, recruits and on-duty officers throughout northern New Jersey as well as several federal law enforcement and other agencies, according to its webpage and other newspaper stories.

That is what Boden’s attorney wrote.

That’s right, a prison officer who carries a loaded firearm at work was suspended “while he undergoes counseling with a licensed mental health professional.”  That sounds to us like the right move by Sheriff Strada.  Why take chances when you have an employee who carries a firearm suffering from what could be a serious psychological issue?  Let him get the help he needs to get back on his feet, then re-evaluate him to see if he is fit for duty.  Don’t brush it under the rug and hope that the problem attends to itself.

Unfortunately, the Antifa-like thugs who surround Candidate Boden don’t think the voters should be allowed to know any of this.  Instead, they go mad dog on anyone they even believe dares to think about it.   They attack Sheriff Strada, accusing Strada of suspending Boden, when Boden’s own attorney clearly admits that it was a police psychiatrist who suspended Boden.  Haven’t we had too many deadly incidents concerning firearms to simply ignore the concerns of a police psychiatrist?  Don’t we have the right to ask questions?  Or should we expect to be bullied and threatened just for asking?

Once again, we invite Andy Boden to present any documentation he has to correct the record that his own attorney provided.  We invite candidate Boden the use of this website to provide us with his perspective.  We will publish what he sends us.


Lafayette resident calls out Herald on Gottheimer

Lafayette taxpayer Josh Aikens called out the New Jersey Herald for reporting that Democrat Congressman Josh Gottheimer was in attendance at the annual Sussex County St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday.  The parade was held in Newton, Gottheimer was the only elected official mentioned by name…but he was, in fact, a no show.  Records from Gottheimer’s own social media indicates that he was in Teaneck at the time of the parade in Newton. 

Aikens, who serves as the President of the Lafayette School Board, took to social media himself to complain about the Herald’s dishonest focus on Democrat Gottheimer, while other elected Republicans were ignored.  In recent years, the Herald has openly promoted Democrat Gottheimer.  This appears to be its editorial policy.