Sunday, September 16, 2007

Questionable South Plainfield Ethics

South Plainfield is another case of ethics being flaunted at a cost to the taxpayers.

A large campaign contributor benefiting from a land swap, sweetheart deal from a sitting assemblyman who also represents the borough as legal counsel.

A recent Star Ledger Article quotes Mr. Diegnan as saying "I find it personally insulting, I'm never going to give somebody a benefit over a $200 campaign contribution."

The actual number was more like $5200 in total contributions towards Mr. Diegan’s campaign, with an additional $450 this year going to the South Plainfield Democratic Organization. As Chairman of that organization, Mr. Diegnan had to be aware of that contribution.

According to Mr. Diegan it was a “detached, arms-length transaction.” Excuse me?

What wasn't mentioned is there is a sign posted on this tract that says "This site has been permanently preserved as Open Space."

Do we just throw an ‘open space’ sign anywhere to place a hold on property that can be used as a payback favor for future contributors?”

The "deal" that was sold to this contributor is a corner lot; the surrounding lots were auctioned off at a price considerably higher because they were "ready to build" with sewer lines and utilities available on site. How do you get to the surrounding lots without improving the corner lot?

Mr. Diegan also stated "I'm outraged that every two years me and a lot of other people in this state have to put up with this baloney.” He also said "I find it personally insulting. You should ask the Republicans for a reason why people should elect them."

Mr. Diegnan in his statement seems to feel that this is his deserved position. He is right in saying every two years a lot of other people have to put up with this baloney. Every two years is there is an election, it is called the political process.

First, by recusing himself from the “detached, arms-length transaction” there would not have been any baloney. The citizen's are the ones that should be outraged over partisanship deals.

Second, I think the people should elect Republicans, if an attorney representing his constituents in the borough cannot tell the difference of what is ethical and what isn’t.

With one lot being auctioned off for $275,000, that is almost $100,000 difference from the $177,000 corner lot “transaction”.

Perhaps the taxpayers should also take it as personally insulting when they are being sold out.

Joe Sinagra
NJ 18th District
Assembly Candidate

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