Saturday, October 30, 2010
An October BaconHead - With A Side Order Of Ethics
Talk about a no-brainer! Da Choice of da October BaconHead Award winner was unanimous, and da answer was as fast as you can say "ETHICS."
However, before we go to da BaconHead Award winner, lets investigate daTruth about da two recent political mailings being received this week by Manalapan residents.
ISSUE 1: DEMOCRATS MAILING AGAINST LAND BARON MAYOR ANDY BOY
In this ad you wouldn't even know Mr. & Mrs. Maskowitz had a baby boy named Jordan. It was all about Andy Boy and his land grab. Let's investigate daTruth in da Quotes on da mailer.
SHOCK QUOTE #1: "Land Baron Andy Boy is trying to use OUR tax dollars to get 95 acres of land for free AND a property tax break."
DATRUTH: There's actually a lot of truth here. Yes current Mayor Andy Boy is trying to purchase 95 acres of land in a very questionable land grab, and yes, if he gets his way, it will be placed into Farmland preservation which means he can get over $1.2 million in taxpayer money from da state for that land - and keep da deed to it - plus a huge $$$$$ break on property taxes on da land.
SHOCK QUOTE #2: From an Asbury Park Press editorial by their own staff on da land grab - "Proposed land deal with Mayor raises ethics concerns in Manalapan" and "Sure smells like a conflict."
DATRUTH: This isn't from some politician. This is from da editorial staff of da Asbury Park Press. Need we say more.
SHOCK QUOTE #3: "After acquiring the land, Lucas pushed it into farmland preservation program even though it was not on the list."
DATRUTH: This is a quote from da Asbury Park Press - and cannot be refuted.
SHOCK QUOTE #4: "Lucas participated in the open space purchase process that could reduce the amount of money available to him for his land."
DATRUTH: One word - ETHICS. Two words - RECUSE YOURSELF. If you are knowingly going to be involved in a processs like this, you cannot be involved in it at all, including voting on or persuading votes on other land. This means da shock quote has accuracy.
SHOCK QUOTE #5: "LUCAS ALSO FAILED TO DISCLOSE TO DA PUBLIC THAT HE OWNED DA PROPERTY AND REFUSED TO STEP OFF DAIS WHEN DECISIONS WERE BEING MADE ON DA PROPERTY."
DATRUTH: This is highly damning. This is from meeting minutes and shows corroborates Shock Quote #4.
Overall, this mailing has - unfortunately for da GOP'ers - too much of daTruth.
ISSUE 2: REPUBLICAN MAILING PRAISING LAND BARON ANDY BOY.
On this one, you find Mommy and Daddy Lucas praising their beloved little boy.
SHOCK QUOTE #1: "We raised our son Land Baron Andy Boy on this farm. We taught him da value of hard work and to give back to da community which has given so much to him."
DATRUTH: There is some truth here. Land Baron Andy Boy lived and lives on a farm. We'll give his mommy and daddy da benefit and agree they probably did teach him da value of hard work. However, da part of da quote "da community which has given so much to him" isn't 100% accurate - yet. Once he receives over $1.2 million in taxpayer $$$$$ for da land grab - then YES - he will indeed get something back from da community - huge sums of $$$$$$$ with tax breaks too!
SHOCK QUOTE #2: Recently some politicians who are supported by developers attacked our son for standing up for our town and saving one of da last remaining farms in Manalapan from developers."
DATRUTH: While there are probably a lot less farms in Manalapan than there were 50 years ago, there are still many farms, including that of current Township committeeman Don Holland. And, as for da "politicians" who are "backed by developers," those claims came from da Asbury Park Press newspaper that investigated da land grab. Da newspaper article included a quote from da Queen - but also more from Andy Boy himself. However, da investigation was done by da newspaper, which isn't a "politician" and obviously isn't "backed by developers."
DaTruth here is, it was both da newspaper and daTruthSquad that exposed this land grab - not some politician supported by developers. In fact, now there are questions about da whole deal itself.
1. While Land Baron Andy Boy said he got approval from three attorneys on da deal, do we know for sure if he actually disclosed to his barristers that the company he and his family bought da land from is majority owned by both Land Baron Andy Boy and his parents - according to former Manalapan mayor Beth Ward?
2. If that statement is correct, then why did Andy Boy go on da record saying da seller wished to keep da sale price secret - if he was da seller of da land?
3. Why did he not recuse himself during da entire process of either Farmland Preservation or Open Space - especially if he knew if his land was a part of the process?
4. Why has the town placed itself in da crosshairs of potential lawsuits by da other property owners in da process who can now claim bias on da part of da township? Where was da township attorney in this process? We know if we were da landowners in this situation, we'd be contemplating this.
DaTruth is, this entire process is now tainted and should be stopped immediately and no land should be bought due to the ethical lapses here. As hard as it is to believe, da Queen is 100% right on this one. Da mere appearance of impropriety is glaring, and da process does give da appearance of being tainted. Think about this - da sitting mayor of a town stands to make millions on a land deal using taxpayer money - with what appears to be a serious appearance of manipulation by at least one or more members of da Manalapan Township Committee - during an election year. If this doesn't get da state to investigate Manalapan politics for corruption, then nothing will.
This, of course, leads us to our October BaconHead Award winner.
At one time, this election was an afterthought. Now, it has come down to whether you want someone who puts da town ahead of their ambitions, or a person content with making millions of taxpayer dollars using their position in da town.
As it was recently reported in da Asbury Park Press, "Lucas said he never cast opinions on da properties or allowed himself to be polled in those discussions." However, you have to ask yourself - what was he doing in those discussions to begin with, if he was an active part of da process? Ironically, it was da Queen herself who may have made da defining statement of da whole situation when she said "Mayor Andrew Lucas manipulated da public process by participating in discussions on da three properties that competed with da tract of land he owns" in da process. What he said actually doesn't matter. he was present - he was there - and his mere presence taints da entire process to da point where Manalapan could potentially face lawsuits because of his mere presence in da process.
One thing you can say about our BaconHead, he's consistently in da middle of Manalapan politics.
2004 - He's carried over da finish line by Joltin Joe and wins a seat on da Manalapan Township Committee.
2005 - Takes township committee meeting abuse from da Queen and former mayors Jim Gray and Gorgeous George Spodak.
2005 - Gets nailed by da local Snoozepaper for "E-Mail-Gate."
2006 - Turns his back on his Republican running mate and begins laying da foundation for an alliance with da very same people who ridiculed him in 2005 to secure becoming mayor in 2007.
2007 - Led da charge to file da "Lawsuit to Nowhere" against da Mosked Man, and also led da charge to file da lawsuit against daTruthSquad in da "First Amendment Lawsuit Heard Around da World" that brought scorn and ridicule to Manalapan, and may have been da singular moment in da entire "Lawsuit to Nowhere" dooming it to failure.
2007 - In da midst of da lawsuit, as mayor he turns his back on a campaign pledge to not raise taxes and creates and enacts one of da largest municipal tax increases in town history - nearly 28%!
2007 - Questions are raised if he's actually living in town when he is served legal papers at a home in another city - at a home where his wife was allegedly residing.
2008 - Backs again as an architect da second double-digit municipal tax increase in two years.
2008 - As in 2007, voted for a lawsuit that he was a third-party DEFENDANT in, which begs da question as to what his legal council told him to do in this regard.
2008 - For da second time in 3 years, turns his back on a running mate and sides with his Democratic alliance against Susan Cohen.
2009 - Does nothing when da WMUA has more ethical issues, while Lord-God-King-Doctor-Mr. Wasser makes our school district da laughingstock of da nation, and while taxes are lowered and he is ridiculed by da same people who gave him grief about his flat budgets of 2005 and 2006.
2010 - Possibly under orders of his handlers, breaks da nearly 4-year old alliance between himself and da Queen in order to pass his flat budget during his own election year.
2010 - Nailed by da Asbury Park Press for attempting to profit on a land-grab deal involving a questionable land purchase. No price for da land was divulged because he claimed it was da seller who wanted to not release any information. It is later discovered by a former Manalapan mayor that da seller was a LLC that is majority-owned by da Lucas family - information that was never refuted by Land Baron Andy Boy at da meeting where she exposed this!
Da Huge Question here is - if he is reelected, what will we have to add to his timeline for 2011, 2012 and 2013 when he would be in office?
DaTruth is, as a sitting mayor, Land Baron Andy Boy had no place in steering this land deal into any position where he could have gained monetarily. Some might call that a conflict of interest. While it is not illegal to own land or try to get land into Farmland Preservation, da mere appearance of him being a part of da process taints da entire process and calls into question who participated, and who voted for what - and even more important - why they cast their votes da way they did. Were they asked to? Were they coerced? Did they not know all da facts? These are only three of da many questions that can be asked.
DaTruth is - is this Land Baron worthy of your vote? As we have all learned over da years, members of da Manalapan Township Committee have received censure for a lot less than this - and they did not commit any crimes or were alleged to have done so. As for whether he will remain on da Manalapan Township Committee, and if he will receive a windfall of $$$$$$$ from da now-talked-about land deal, we'll know for sure if ethics are a question for voters on Tuesday.
However, win or lose, one thing is for certain: If he wins da election, Manalapan residents deserve whatever they get in da next three years and should never be surprised about news accounts of ethical lapses in Manalapan Town Hall, because that's what we should come to accept and expect - because we will have voted in favor of that type of government. If he loses his election next week, Land Baron Andy Boy won't go home empty-handed. He still stands to reap over $1 million in taxpayer money for his land grab deal, and he also gets, for all he has done this month to put Manalapan back on da map for all da wrong ethical reasons - - Land Grab Manalapan Mayor Andy Boy is da unanimous winner of da October 2010 BaconHead of da Month!
And remember - don't forget to vote! And that's daTruth.