Sussex Democrat Chair’s “X-Rated” video

By Sussex County Watchdog

We believe in free expression. 

The Sussex County Democrats do not.  State Democrats asked them to find something on the county Republican Chairman.  Murphy operative Leslie Huhn “friended” his Twitter page, and two days later the Sussex County Democrats’ Communications Director was in front of the Sussex County Community College Board of Trustees, asking that the Republican be fired.  It was a partisan political scam by people looking to be “offended” in order to score political points.

Worst still is the role played by SCCC Trustee Howard Burrell.  Last year, when Burrell wanted to be a trustee, this website wrote in support of him.  Burrell gave his word of honor that he would not be political while a member of the college board.  Then he sat there while he was running for Mayor of Vernon.  He didn’t even disclose that he was campaigning when he took a vote against the Republican Chairman.  Just days later, he campaigned at a Democrat political event with the very Democrats who slashed education funding in Sussex County.  An ethical person would have recused himself from taking that vote.  But not Burrell.  

The question is:  Why didn’t SCCC Trustee Chairman Bill Curcio ask Burrell to recuse himself?  Why did Curcio and the board allow the college to be used this way – to sink into partisan politics? 

Yes, we believe in free expression… but hypocrisy needs to be addressed too.

Katie Rotondi, the Sussex County Democrat Chairwoman, has led the stalking of other people’s social media pages.  She and her fellow stalkers have found things to be “offended” by and have demanded that people be punished.  But has anyone looked at what she puts out?

She isn’t re-tweeting something by mistake.  She produces and edits this stuff.  She promotes it.  And there is a whole lot of it.  What follows is one of the milder examples of her stuff (and make sure no children are around to see this)…

https://vimeo.com/182943568

There are things in this video that many people in Sussex County would find to be offensive.  We highly doubt that we could get Bill Curcio and Howard Burrell and the other members of the SCCC Board of Trustees to read out some of the lines in this video.  They would be too embarrassed to do so… although we might just show up and ask them to. 

The SCCC trustees essentially allowed the Sussex Democrat Chairwoman to script their proceedings.  With the help of the SCCC’s newly hired Democrat law firm – a major funder of state Democrat campaigns – Rotondi and the state Democrats used the college to implement a political strategy that actually involved one of their trustees as a Democrat candidate.  This is a very serious ethical issue for the college.

In the midst of turkey vulvas and facial treatments and peeing on desks, we think this video should be reworked to show footage of the trustees… you know, talking and reacting and stuff like that.   After all, they allowed themselves to become part of Katie Rotondi’s body of work, so they should be part of her reel.  Call it performance art.    

Stay tuned…

Hey Fred… It is called getting “Frelinghuysened”

By Sussex County Watchdog

InsiderNJ’s Fred Snowflack can’t think of a single Republican who was targeted by the Left and then driven out of office?  Well, we can.

Was there a nicer gentleman than Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen?  The Antifa Democrats targeted him and upset the old guy so much that his doctor told him to give it up.  They tormented a man whose public service began in the jungles of Vietnam and drove him out of office.  And it didn’t end – even after he agreed not to run again.  Remember how the Antifa Democrats held a party and mocked him, even as he closed his office?   

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Two of these Antifa Democrats are now running for the Assembly – Lisa Bhimani and Darcy Draeger.  They and their comrades showed up to the old gentleman’s office on its last day open – to “celebrate” by acting like dirtbags.  Well good for you.  You showed all the world what measure of class and grace you possess – obviously the kind of folks who get their jollies by pulling the wings off flies.  

Well, nobody is getting Frelinghuysened in Sussex County.  Antifa can hold its breath and kick and scream and all they are ever going to get in Sussex County is a sympathetic flip of the bird and the sincere advice to suck it. We give as good as we get and will keep on and on… until all the participants are dust.

God always saves a remnant.  Here, in Sussex County, we are that remnant.

We remember who we are.  We remember that America is a Republic.  That we are a nation of laws.  We have due process.  We have the Bill of Rights.  We do not succumb to the emotional howls of lynch mobs.  We do not honor vendettas or fatwas.  We don’t give in to terrorists.  We don’t let them have their way.  We are… Americans. 

Which brings us to Fred’s silly comparison between the NAACP’s Jeffrey Dye, who held a taxpayer-funded state Labor Department job, and the Sussex GOP’s Jerry Scanlan, who is a volunteer county college trustee.  Dye lost his taxpayer funded job for (as reported in InsiderNJ) having “authored some Facebook posts that were anti-Semitic and anti-Hispanic.”

In the dismissal of Jeffrey Dye, we hope that the Murphy administration followed the law and there were work rules that addressed Dye’s actions.  We hope that Dye was afforded the due process that is the right of every worker when facing the often arbitrary power of an employer.   

The two great protections of the working class are the Bill of Rights and the right of workers to collectively organize.  If it ever becomes routine that an employer can simply fire someone when any old mob of people claims that he or she did something that gave “offense” then employers will have a ready tool to sweep away every protection that the working class has. 

In the case of Jerry Scanlan, the Board of Trustees of the Sussex County Community College failed to create a written policy to address the private use of social media by trustees, faculty, administration, and staff.  Scanlan broke no SCCC rules and did not use SCCC property.  He has no charge to answer for.  The Board’s only real course was to ask him very politely.  This they failed to do (and ultimately they placed the college in legal jeopardy).

Nobody would wish to live in a country in which the opinions of any old screaming mob constitutes the law.  Or a country in which laws are made up to appease the mob and then applied retroactively.  That would be a vigilante nation, a lawless nation. 

That might happen in other places… but not here.

CAIR jumps into Sussex fray. Is it a “terrorist” group?

The New Jersey chapter of CAIR jumped into the controversy over a satirical post tweeted by Sussex County GOP Chairman Jerry Scanlan. The post, which resembles a classic movie poster (think “Charlie’s Angels” or the “Mod Squad”), features four Democrat members of Congress and the words “Jihad Squad”.

CAIR, which is short for Council on American-Islamic Relations, put out a statement that labeled Scanlan’s tweet “anti-Muslim” and “Islamophobic, racist, and xenophobic” and called for Jerry Scanlan’s resignation. In a lengthy statement, CAIR’s executive director concluded that “Jerry Scanlan should be removed from his position as the county’s GOP chairman.”

We didn’t know much about this organization, so we Googled it and found the press release and statement, referenced above, on the home page of CAIR’s website. Here is what else we found.

The featured story on the home page of CAIR states: CAIR Wins Landmark First Amendment Victory Striking Down Texas Anti-BDS Law.

This is interesting, because we just read today of the bi-partisan efforts by Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (D-Sussex) and Chris Smith (R-Mercer) against the BDS movement, which CAIR obviously supports:

Two New Jersey congressmen today celebrated the passage of a resolution denouncing the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement that targets Israel.

“The BDS movement demonizes Israel and Jews and applies a double standard whereby Israel is always wrong, and the “oppressed” Palestinians are always in the right – regardless of whether groups such as Hamas are engaging in terrorist acts upon Israeli citizens,” said Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton), the co-chair of a Bipartisan Task Force on Combatting Anti-Semitism. “The overwhelming vote in favor of the House resolution to reject the BDS movement and its efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel, underscores America’s strong support for Israel as a key ally and our commitment to Israel’s right to exist.”

The resolution, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last night by a 398-17 vote, opposes economic apparatuses aimed at punishing companies that do business with Israel.

“There are few clearer examples of bias and double standards than BDS movement. But BDS is also fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution. It seeks to punish only Israel and it rejects direct negotiations in favor of a unilateral strategy,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff). “That is why it is so important that Congress is on record opposing BDS and other harmful efforts to single out and delegitimize Israel.”

The only New Jersey House member to vote against the measure was Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).

Wikipedia explains that CAIR is “a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. It is headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., with regional offices nationwide.” Wikipedia goes on to note:

Critics of CAIR have accused it of pursuing an Islamist agenda[5][6][7] and have claimed that the group is connected to Hamas[8] and the Muslim Brotherhood,[9][7] claims which CAIR has rejected and described as an Islamophobic smear campaign.[10] Due to apparent ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the government of the United Arab Emirates has designated CAIR as a terrorist organization.[11]

A “terrorist organization”? That is a very serious matter.

The “Muslim Brotherhood”? Quite a few nations have designated that a “terrorist organization” as well, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia… these are all Islamic nations and all strong American allies.

It looks like you have some explaining to do.

As a courtesy, we offer you the use of these pages to explain how CAIR came to be designated a “terrorist organization” by one of America’s Islamic allies.

And as a further courtesy, we offer to attempt to set up a personal meeting – hosted by Sussex County Watchdog – so that you can meet Jerry Scanlan, who was a resident of Saudi Arabia for many years. We urge you to make your concerns directly to him. Watchdog will provide refreshments. There, over good tea, we can talk as brothers. Perhaps even move on from politics to something more interesting… literature perhaps… The Travels of Ibn Battuta?

Please reach out to us.

Memorial Day Remembrance

Courtesy of Sussex County Watchdog

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for "Decoration Day" to be observed annually and nationwide; he was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), an organization of and for Union Civil War veterans.  His proclamation, Logan adopted the Memorial Day practice that had begun in the Southern states three years earlier.

The first Northern Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868. The northern states quickly adopted the holiday. In 1868, memorial events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states, and 336 in 1869. In 1871, Michigan made "Decoration Day" an official state holiday and by 1890, every northern state had followed suit. By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Union dead had been reinterred in 73 national cemeteries, located near major battlefields and thus mainly in the South. The most famous are Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania and Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.

Since 1868 Doylestown, the county seat of Bucks County, in Pennsylvania, has held annual Memorial Day parades which it claims to be the nation's oldest continuously running.

Here is a clip from a movie about the famous 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the “bravest of the brave” preparing for the storming of the Confederate Fort Wagner, in 1863.

Sussex County boosts one current and one former infantryman serving or having recently served in elected office.  Sheriff Mike Strada was a platoon leader (SGT) in Iraq during Desert Storm.  Former Freeholder Rich Vohden served in the Korean War in the U.S. Army Infantry.

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Candidate brags to local media about NBC “hit job” on Sheriff

By: Sussex County Watchdog

Since its founding in 2012, the contributors here at Watchdog have generally been just ordinary citizens, not professional journalists.  Nevertheless, we have got the ball rolling on a number of big stories in Sussex County – including the illegal negotiations to sell the county solid waste facility (caught in time and prevented), the solar program that ended up going bust (which ultimately cost taxpayers $26 million), the corruption at the county college (leading to the resignation of several trustees), and environmental issues impacting the health of county workers (CWA members) in Newton (which was addressed after our report).  Whether via tips or submitted columns, we publish stories that address the bad behavior of the government and corporate establishment.  

Generally we work with for-profit corporate media, which is advertising based. As we do not run ads, we do not have a need for click-bait, as they do.  Nevertheless, we respect them for the work that they do.  So we were shocked when a local media person had a story concerning a media organization outside the county – in New York City, in fact – that was using Sussex County to attract viewers.  

Apparently, a candidate for Sheriff in the upcoming GOP primary – Andy Boden – bragged to local media that he had arranged for a “hit job” on his opponent, Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada.  It seems that Boden said the “hit job” would be about how Strada has suspended him for running, and that now he must work construction and that his wife had to take a job.  Boden claimed that the “hit job” was being done on his behalf by a friend of a friend who has a show on NBC out of New York City.  

Andy Boden is a rather sad case.  Earlier this year, a police psychologist found him “unfit for duty” and he was placed on leave.  Boden went to Sheriff Strada and asked him to restore him to duty – which meant giving him back his power over people, a firearm, handcuffs, and badge.  The Sheriff’s office told Boden that he needed to get well first and re-evaluated by a mental health professional, before he could be re-instated. 

Boden’s case mirrors the current national debate concerning mental health and gun laws.  Should employers act when they observe traumatic stress in employees (in this case, confirmed by a mental health professional) or should they wait until after something actually happens?  It is a complex issue.

Boden’s case has been further complicated by his candidacy, which was not his idea, but rather that of a local union fighting to preserve the jobs of corrections officers at the Sussex County jail (the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility).  The jobs of many who work at the jail were put in jeopardy by the passage of Bail Reform, a bi-partisan bill aimed at reducing the number of people incarcerated while waiting for trial.  Before bail reform, many innocent people were locked up for weeks or months simply because they couldn’t afford the cost of bail.  They often lost jobs, homes, and relationships while they were locked up – only later to be found “not guilty” or have the case against them dismissed.

After bail reform became law in New Jersey, jail populations began to diminish drastically and elected officials started to consider shared services agreements that would allow them to close or scale-down some facilities and save money for taxpayers.  The August 2014 “needs assessment” on the Sussex jail (Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility), conducted by Pulitzer/Bogard Associates LLC, clearly outlined the devastating impact keeping the jail open would have on county taxpayers.  Making the jail compliant with basic standards would cost $11 million in short term and $64 million in long term expenditures. 

At the insistence of county Freeholders, Sheriff Strada has been working to scale-down the jail and enter into shared services agreements with Morris County. An agreement to house Sussex County’s female inmate population has recently been reached (and the quality of life for female inmates markedly improved, according to media reports).  

A working group that includes county bureaucrats, elected officials, and union leaders has been working to place every corrections officer likely to be displaced by the plans for the jail.  It is our understanding that County Administrator Greg Poff will shortly announce that positions have been found for every officer likely to be displaced.  Unfortunately, some union people have continued to oppose any changes to the jail.  They’ve complained about the length of the commutes to other facilities and such.  And it is this group who recruited Andy Boden as their candidate and spokesperson.  

They have been using their media contacts to shop around “dirt” on Sheriff Strada and even used a fake Facebook account to distribute a fake video of an “incident” between the Sheriff and a female firefighter, which was later found to have been doctored by the media (including the Star-Ledger/ NJ.com and the New Jersey Herald).  After the media spoke with the female firefighter, who confirmed that the incident never happened, Andy Boden claimed to have had no knowledge of it – despite the fact that Boden’s campaign managers had met with the local party chairman and threatened him with the release of the video some 48 hours before it was released.  This according to a legal statement given by the party chairman.

Boden’s managers went to a well-known statehouse blog in Trenton with their “dirt” – but after the reporter reviewed the transcript of the public hearing Boden asked for regarding his “unfit for duty” status – the story that was written was not to Boden’s liking:  

Incumbent Sheriff Mike Strada faces a challenge from corrections officer Andy Boden, who suspended earlier this year after a police psychologist ruled he was unfit for duty.

Following his suspension, Boden has mounted an offensive against the three-term sheriff, accusing him of endangering his deputies and misusing public funds.

“My decision to run is to end the culture of harassment and mental abuse that Strada has created and fostered. His actions, along with his posse’s, will come out in the upcoming weeks,” Boden said. 

Boden has been suspended since early March. The New Jersey Herald first reported his suspension.

In testimony provided to the New Jersey Globe by Strada’s campaign, a police psychologist said he or she could not rule out the possibility of Boden harming someone if he was allowed to continue working while receiving therapy.

The psychologist recommended the corrections officer receive additional treatment to restore fitness for duty.

“Lt. Boden was to engage in individual treatment outside of the treatment that he had already been receiving with his wife with the sole purpose on managing his stress level, identifying coping mechanisms that work for him so that he could return to his position,” the psychologist said.

For further reading, visit New Jersey Globe at…

https://newjerseyglobe.com/local/sussex/mud-flies-in-sussex-sheriffs-race/

Watchdog is attempting to find out just who the NBC person is who Andy Boden was speaking about when he told local media that a “hit job” was being done on Sheriff Strada.  Stay tuned…