Friday, May 20, 2011

Land-Grab-Gate Is Now A Major Manalapan Issue

There's an old saying we all know: "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck." Well, there are those who are deep within da Manalapan GOP'ers who want you to believe: "If it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, talks like a duck, walks like a duck, has a bill like a duck, swims like a duck and acts like a duck, it must be a golden retriever with a hurt paw."

We at daTruthSquad were talking about "Land-Grab-Gate" months ago, and now it seems like this is all starting to boil over. At issue is a 85+ acre tract of land that is going to be put into Farmland Preservation. That doesn't sound bad in theory, except for a few minor issues, such as da Republican mayor of Manalapan receiving a taxpayer-funded payday of over $1 million, approved by a Republican-dominated Township Committee who have issues of their own, and cleared by a fellow Republican county team. And, of course, that's just da info on da surface!

Now, everybody's climbing on daTruthSquad's Truth Train and admitting that da fish smells from da Mayor up.

Da chorus of "Land-Grab-Gate" is now being led by far from Liberal Asbury Park Press, who wrote a scathing editorial saying "Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas may want to paint himself as some sort of ecological hero, preserving farmland from development. But heroes don’t generally pocket a cool million bucks for doing something they could have done for free." They continue, "Taxpayers should know how much Lucas paid and see what kind of deal he got. Lucas should have pulled back the application until he is out of office. He didn’t. The township should have asked him to reapply when his career in township politics has ended. It didn’t. Now it is up to the county and the state to halt these proceedings, at least until Lucas leaves office."

Add Monmouth Freeloader Amy Mallet, whacking Mayor Landlord with a mallot of her own, saying "We have 53 municipalities, we have hundreds of parcels that are available—why this property? The people of Manalapan, Monmouth County and New Jersey appear to be purchasing a farm for the mayor of Manalapan and that is not right."

And, it is quickly becoming clear that Land-Grab-Gate could become da centerpiece of da upcoming Queen for Manalapan Township Committee campaign.

DaTruthSquad has decided to look further into this issue, and here's what we've uncovered:


DA REALITY: No, we didn't make this up. This was actually da essence of a quote said by GOP'er Farmer Don Holland to Democrat Queen Michelle Roth. He said, "Your concern about what Mr. Lucas paid, frankly, I think is none of your business." Maybe daTruthSquad's memory is going, but didn't someone once run on da issue of transparency? Even if not, he is da sitting Mayor who is about to be handed a taxpayer-funded check of 7-figures in da midst of da Great Recession. If this is not da taxpayer's business, then why bother to televise meetings? Why bother to make budgets known online? Why hold public meetings? Maybe we should just close Town Hall and save da money, and have all da meetings in Mayor Andy Boy's kitchen? Mrs. Andy Boy can bake some of her delicious favorites and all will be happy.


DA REALITY: Since there are some who want to hide da numbers from you, we'll give you those numbers and let you decide for yourself. Da township, led by GOP'ers, agreed to approve da GOP'er Mayor to receive approximately $1.152 million dollars of TAXPAYER money to allow him to buy da land and place it into Farmland Preservation, keeping da dreaded developers from building those many 9 homes there. Da land was assessed at $1.3 million. Da land will now be placed into what they call da "PIG" Program (No we can't make that up). What we do know is both da local taxpayers of Manalapan, da County of Monmouth taxpayers and state taxpayers will all be handing over their hard-earned $$$$$ to Manalapan Mayor Andy Boy for this purchase, and it seems as if Republicans have no desire to stand in its way. Making matters worse, there's rumors that da former owner scored a huge payday for this land too, and da whole issue of da "Developer" is another issue that could quite possibly require a formal investigation to straighten out.


DA REALITY: According to da developer, da new owner could have built nine (9) mansions on da 85+ acres of land. This is where supporters of da Mayor might say he's doing da township a favor by stopping da development and saving da town from 9 new homes and da kids they will add to da crowded schools. HOWEVER, what of da nearly 100 low-income COAH units they were all in favor of last year? They approved that with no care of adding kids from nearly 100 families into da schools, but those 9 new homes could have created da overcrowding they were most concerned with? Save da town from 9 homes and you're a hero? Allow da town to bring in kids from nearly 100 apartments, and you're also a hero?? Is it us or is this "Lucas-Speak?"


DA REALITY: This statement was made by GOP'er Manalapan Committeeman and Lucas running mate Jordan "Stu" Maskowitz. He says according to da local Snoozepaper, "it was a bold move by the Lucas family to put this land in preservation." Did he receive a doggie treat for saying this? How is it a "bold move?" Were they going to build housing for 50,000 sex offenders there? Were they going to make it a spent nuclear fuel rod burial site? Oh, wait, it's da place where taxpayers are going to pay HIM over $1 million dollars for taking da land off their hands! Bold, indeed. Thanks to Jordan Stu, here's some other situations that our TruthTellers came up with that can now be considered "Jordan Stu bold moves":

1. "I was driving down da road and saw my fuel tank was half-full, so I got a fill-up - BOLD MOVE"

2. "It was raining, so I grabbed an umbrella - BOLD MOVE"

3. "I was going to eat that sandwich that was covered by fire ants, but decided at da last second not to - BOLD MOVE"

4. "I was reading da local Snoozepaper editorials and I got a headache, so I took an asparin - BOLD MOVE"

5. "I'm going to give my sister a $22 per hour job, then say I didn't recognize her name even though it's da same last name as mine (actually happened) until da Queen pointed it out so I blamed politics - BOLD MOVE"


DA REALITY: Here's a bold move - There's courage, and then there's what's happening here. Da Manalapan mayor comes out and instead of being transparent and giving da price of sale like everyone else does when a property is sold, he instead blames da seller of da property and claims they don't want da price revealed. With everything else about this Land-Grab-Gate situation tilting on da unethical, Mayor For Life Andy Boy refuses to reveal vital price information. Even President Obama revealed his birth certificate! What reason could he have for not disclosing da sale information? Could it be that he paid very little - maybe even well under da assessed value of da land in question? Was he given a special deal for political reasons? Was there another reason yet disclosed that could be considered "a problem?"

When you're a lawyer, one thing lawyers seem to like to have a lot of is documentation. Where are da documents? Why hasn't this been posted like all other land sales to da public? By keeping this hidden, even if there was no laws broken (and nobody knows for absolute certainty) by hiding da price it gives creed to belief that there may be something wrong here.. That in itself is a serious problem.


DA REALITY: As daTruthSquad uncovered before, it is not that Mayor Andy Boy bought da land from Diamond Developers. He and his family own a controlling interest in Diamond Developers! And, in one case, he even admitted he should have recused himself on a vote on da land in question, but proclaimed he did not know da block and lot number in question were owned by him! Making matters even worse, da land grab was pushed through in just 9 days into farmland preservation. Da Village project took parts of two decades and is still being debated. Yet, da sitting mayor who stands to reap a windfall profit on land gets that through in just 9 days????


There was never a reason given that Andy Boy has been shut out of running for higher office this year for Monmouth County Freeloader, District 12 State assembly and even District 12 State Senate. Da only constants in da whole equasion are - (1) He has strong political backing, (2) He's a sitting mayor who recently won reelection, (3) He has this ethical cloud hanging over him like a 50,000 pound albatross. Now, da Queen of Manalapan, once thought of as politically doomed may have da issue that can get her reelected - Andy Boy's Taxpayer-Funded Million Dollar Land Grab.

DaTruth is, and to be fair, what Andy Boy did may not be illegal and may not violate any known laws. Ethics however appear to be a totally different matter.

ETHICAL CONCERN 1: By his own admission, although he claims he didn't vote on anything he was in on da process at da very least one point that allowed for da decision to be made on which land to choose for preservation at taxpayer expense, so much so a re-vote needed to be done following objections by da Queen, and his land was chosen.

ETHICAL CONCERN 2: He continues to refuse to disclose how much he paid for da land in question, while normal taxpaying citizens usually must do so.

ETHICAL CONCERN 3: He's being painted as a hero of ecology for damning development for greener pastures by locksteppers within his own political party, however as da Asbury Park Press so aptly stated, "heroes don’t generally pocket a cool million bucks for doing something they could have done for free."

ETHICAL CONCERN 4: Da Manalapan Township attorneys and da committee itself allowed this to progress to what it has become - and he was da mayor during all of it - a sitting mayor who will reap a financial windfall during da worst recession since da Great Depression.

ETHICAL CONCERN 5: Why was da property owned by da mayor of Manalapan chosen over all others?

ETHICAL CONCERN 6: As Freeloader Mallet says, "The people of Manalapan, Monmouth County and New Jersey appear to be purchasing a farm for the mayor of Manalapan and that is not right." Many people seem to see this, unless you're a Republican tied to Mayor Lucas in Manalapan.

ETHICAL CONCERN 7: This is da very same mayor who recently placed his own political party boss as a paid commissioner of da local Sewer Authority! Where's Governor Christie when you need him?

ETHICAL CONCERN 8: He currently owns a major stake in da development company that was behind da sale of da land - to him!

DaTruth is, this is just another issue of politics as unusual in a small town in New Jersey. It was just 4 years ago that Manalapan became da laughingstock of da world for suing a lawyer for following a judge's court order, and going after this blog for exposing aspects of that lawsuit and shining a light on it. Manalapan now faces a lawsuit from both that lawyer for what could be trainload of $$$$$$ for that failed lawsuit, and from da former highly decorated police chief for defamation by a member of da Township Committee. For years now we have highlighted alleged wrongdoing, and then this juicy plum of a story drops in.

Now, to be fair, let's make clear again that what Andy Boy is doing may not be illegal. However, hiding things gives pause for ethics, and to many ethical problems attached to this allows for too much pause. As an elected official, and any past or present elected official can tell you this - we da citizens expect better, and in this case we're not getting it.

This is a very serious issue. Questions have been raised about a sitting mayor who can reap a financial windfall while in office, questions about members of his own party on da Township committee, questions of how it got through da county. It's time for answers, and right now, there are none being provided by elected officials, and that in itself is a concern.

DaTruth is - enough is enough. We believe Mayor Andy Boy should do da right thing and remove that land from da taxpayerfunded Farmland preservation. If he wants to buy it, he can do so with his own money. Da taxpayers of Manalapan, Monmouth County and New Jersey should not be buying him land at any price. if Mayor Andy Boy wants da land so much, resign from office and put on a pair of overalls and farm da land. Da Taxpayers should not have to pay for what is being considered a land grab at taxpayer expense. This situation both looks and smells unethical, and it harms da GOP'ers you claim to support.

DaTruth is - enough is enough. Da County and State should step in and investigate this. If this is or is not illegal, that needs to be established with absolute certainty. As for ethics, enough said.

DaTruth is - enough is enough. It's time for a State or Federal investigation into da goings-on in Manalapan Town Hall. Too much has gone on in years gone by and too many lawsuits, ethical issues, and questionable instances that da only way we'll really know for sure how taxpayer money is being spent is to have da Feds come in and shine a bright light on da books. We are not only asking for this - we are demanding it. Without a qualified and unbiased investigation, taxpayers unfortunately may not be able to believe without a reasonable doubt that their money is being spent wisely - or properly.

It's a shame it has come down to this, but an investigation would be best "For All Da People."

And that's daTruth.


Anonymous said...

Wow! If this were the state's governor the Feds would be all over this. I guess when a small town mayor wants to put one over on the public its another story.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if what Lucas is doing is illegal or not. May not be illegal at all. But you're right. This has ethics issues written all over it. I'm a Republican and I'm not sure I can trust Don Holland or Susan Cohen anymore because of their standing with Lucas. I may just have to sit this election out.

Anonymous said...


To: Federal Investigators
Fr: Concerned Citizen
Re: Unbelievable Crime

If you're looking for Manalapan Town Hall, they have a website with easy directions on how to get there. Bring subpoenas - and plenty of storage boxes for files. Arrest warrants are optional.

Horace Greeley said...

that guy fred slone said the same thing you just said, but he said it in about 3 sentences over on the hate site. maybe you need an editor.

Anonymous said...

This just goes to show that Manalapan has become the laughing stock of New Jersey. You can't go anywhere without hearing someone talking about it or rading about this latest theft of taxpayers to the tune of over 1.1 million dollars by our own Mayor Andrew Lucas who gives the appearance of using political influence to acquire over 85 acres of farmland for himself for free. The entire circumstances surrounding this land grab stinks from the head up as people on both sides of the political aisle agree - we DESPERATELY NEED an unbiased Federal and State investigation of this flagrant and unethical scandal AND THIS should be damanded immediately!!!!

The US Attorney said...

U.S. Attorney's Office
970 Broad Street
7th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

Main number: 973-645-2700
General FAX: 973-645-2702(please include a cover sheet with all faxes indicating the name, division, and unit, if available) --

A Manalapan Republican said...

This mayor is an embarassment. IMHO he's simply using his political office to gain favors and get rich. I'll be sitting this election out. Unless of course he can arrange for me to get $1 million from taxpayers free like he's getting!

Anonymous said...

Andrew Lucas makes Michelle Roth seem like a saint and a person who never lies.

Anonymous said...

Idon't always agree with this blog but I have to admit this time the only way things will get better is if the Feds do come in and investigate not just this obvious land deal for profit but everything that goes on in town hall. Manalapan is making Newark seem like they have no corruption. We'd be better off if Sharpe James were Manalapan's mayor.

Anonymous said...

How about going to the original--Ken Gibson?

Anonymous said...

You know ANY town is in the toilet when its politics is placed on equal footing with Newark.

Anonymous said...

I've had enough. I'm moving to Manalapan and becoming a Republican. I want my 90 acres too and have taxpayers pay the money for it. This Lucas guy is a genious.

Anonymous said...

And to think that the government used to give out 40 acres and a mule. Talk about inflation and Princeton graduating sharecroppers!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer or investigator so I can't say with any accuracy if this is illegal or not, but ethically this is about as low as you can go. However, if he had help from other government officials in getting all this land and money, then this may be more than just a pretty severe ethical violation IMHO. Obviously those who call for an investigation are right on.

Anonymous said...

Without this blog, the Asbury Park Press and Manalapan Patch we probably wouldn't even know what is happening right under our very noses. Thanks to all who expose corruption!

Anonymous said...

'land grab" is a misnomer. call it what it is-->


Anonymous said...

I want some land paid for with a cool $1,000,000 of tax payer money!

Who do I talk to about getting this sweet deal?