Entries in FBI (4)


Bob Hugin is right: Harboring illegal aliens is illegal

How can some people argue that more gun laws will make us safer, when the laws that we have aren't being obeyed?  It's like printing more money during a period of hyperinflation:  It turns legal tender into toilet paper. 

And that's what happens when state and local governments pick and choose which national laws they will obey and which they'll ignore.  They turn the whole concept of having laws into a joke and turn the statute book into a toilet roll. 

If you are a radical libertarian, maybe that is a good thing.  Anarchy in the U.S.A.!

But for most of us -- those who depend on the law for clean water, unadulterated food, breathable air, automobiles that don't explode on the road, buildings to work in that don't fall down, streets that are free from the fear of assault, homes to sleep safely in at night -- for those who depend on rules that society lives by, a world without rules is a scary place, a new barbarism. 

It takes humility to live in a democracy. 

You make your arguments.  Sometimes you win.  Other times you lose.  There is always tomorrow.  

And then you have groups like Make the Road Action (what kind of name is that?) and people like Sara Cullinane.  They can't accept ever being on the losing side.  If they lose the debate and something becomes law that they don't like, they feel it is their right to ignore it.  It's kind of like those arguments offered by the Sovereign Citizen movement. 

The trouble is that when they win the argument and something becomes law that they do like, other people will follow what they did and ignore it.  And soon, there will be no laws that everyone agrees to follow and so, no law.

Sara Cullinane and her group issued an attack on U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin today for saying on the Rich Zeoli radio program that the "idea of sanctuary cities is just illegal."  Yes, the idea of state and local governments defying national law was kind of settled during the 1860's -- and later, during the 1960's.

Now "states' rights" groups like Make the Road Action and "states' rights" folks like Sara Cullinane can and should work to deconstruct the federal government's hegemony over many aspects of state and local jurisdiction.  But this must be done legally, through the painstaking process of democracy, not by simply picking and choosing the laws you will ignore and those you will obey.

Sara Cullinane made the mind-numbingly silly argument that local government cooperation with regards to people here illegally -- some who are victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and slavery -- was akin to making them "foot soldiers for ICE."  That is like saying that local government cooperation with regards to anti-terrorism -- "see-something, say-something" -- is akin to making them "foot soldiers for Homeland Security." 

Sara, don't be stupid.  Cut the rhetoric, grow up, and get real.  A great many illegal immigrants are victims of coercion, exploitation, and trafficking. 

Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second to drug dealing and tied with arms dealing.  Recently, the FBI announced that it had uncovered and arrested 42 child sex traffickers in New Jersey.  The Star-Ledger reported that the 42 were arrested on charges that included sex trafficking, child exploitation and prostitution.  A total of 84 children were rescued during the operation.  Human Trafficking is modern day slavery and it is happening while you write your next press release. 

Child trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year industry and is on the rise in all 50 states, according to the U.S. government.  4.5 million of trafficked persons have been sexually exploited and nearly 300,000 Americans under 18 have been lured into the commercial sex trade.  The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported that in 2016, human trafficking in the United States increased by 35.7% -- in one year!  

If you really want to help people, get on the right side.  Stop shilling for the human traffickers and work with law enforcement.  And don't attack a guy like Bob Hugin for telling the very obvious truth.


Mudrick shills for solar

Fresh from hosting a big fundraising event for Freeholder candidates David Gray and Kathleen Gorman,  ex-Freeholder Dennis "it's sexual discrimination not sexual harassment" Mudrick has been making the rounds to public meetings trying to hard sell the solar scam all over again.  Hey, has he been down to see the FBI yet? How about the State Attorney General?  We've asked, but he hasn't told us anything.  Maybe he should try the hard sell with them?  On the record.

Mudrick lost his place on the Freeholder Board last year, not only because he voted for the solar bailout and spent the county's rainy day fund, but because he tried to bully the board's only woman member into voting for it too.  Some guy!

Mudrick would like us to forget the sad, sordid story of the solar scam that left Sussex County taxpayers on the hook for upwards of $40 million.  But we won't forget .  We read about it week after week... in the Herald, the Star-Ledger, the Record, the Sparta Independent, and the New York Times.  We don't forget!


Did you get another robo-call?

On Saturday, April 16th, Sussex County residents got a prerecorded "robo-call" from the campaign of David Gray and Kathleen Gorman, candidates for Sussex County Freeholder.  The message originated from Philadelphia (zip code 19120) and callers to the originating telephone number got this message:

Prior to this -- on Monday, January 25th -- Sussex County residents got a prerecorded "robo-call" asking residents to attend a meeting of the Sussex County Freeholder Board and oppose the investigation of the Sussex solar bailout.  This message also originated from Philadelphia (zip code 19120) and callers to the originating telephone number got this message:

The solar scam artists who ripped-off Sussex County and their allies have made killing this independent investigation their top priority.  First they tried blocking it. Then they tried intimidating the Freeholder Board.  Now it appears they are trying to replace the Board with allies of Freeholder Richard Vohden, who has arguedfor spending millions on the bailout and against an investigation on how those millions were misspent.

The reason Sussex County needs a county investigation is simple.  The solar scam cost $88 million.  Sussex taxpayers are on the hook for $24 million and another $10 million for the bailout. 

It is not the job of the federal and state law enforcement agencies investigating the solar scam to protect the interests of Sussex County.  The federal authorities will try to claw back the federal money involved in the scam.  Who is looking out for Sussex County taxpayers?

That's where an independent county investigation comes in.  It is a fact-finding mission to build a case to get some of those millions back through civil action. 

The FBI and State Attorney General's office are looking for criminal indictments.  That may punish those responsible, but it won't get our money back.  That is why the investment in an independent county investigation is money well spent.

Whoever paid for the call to block the investigation does not appear to have followed the law under which robo-calls are permitted.

First, "the prerecorded message must truthfully disclose who is responsible for the call and the telemarketing-related purpose of the call." 

Second, "the prerecorded message must disclose a call-back telephone number which would allow the recipient to call back within normal business hours and make an opt-out request."

The prerecorded message sent into the homes of Sussex County residents on January 25th did not abide by these legal rules.  In fact, it could be argued that the call was deliberately misleading and made it appear to come from an innocent party.  A prosecutor would have to determine if the robo-call was an attempt by those who paid for the call to hide their identity and to impersonate an innocent party.  In 2009, the State Attorney General brought a successful prosecution against a similar incident in Bergen County. 

The Federal Communication Commission expanded Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulations in June of last year.  Stay tuned... 


Police should reject effort to make them part of solar retaliation


In the middle of a criminal investigation into the loss of millions in fees paid by Sussex County taxpayers and the improper use of millions in United States Treasury grant money, Concord Energy lobbyist Molly Whilesmith has attempted to use the police to retaliate against Freeholder Gail Phoebus for blowing the whistle on the Sussex solar bailout.

Whilesmith is a lobbyist for Concord Energy/ Concord Engineering, an energy firm that just landed a fat contract from Sussex County.  She is also the chairman of the Marie Bilik for Assembly campaign. 

Bilik was recruited to run against Assemblyman Parker Space and Freeholder Gail Phoebus by another Concord lobbyist.  This was done in retaliation for Space and Phoebus' call for an investigation of a solar energy deal gone bad that cost Sussex taxpayers millions and had to require a $7 million bailout.  The deal is currently being investigated by federal and state law enforcement authorities.

Without revealing her connection to the Bilik campaign, Concord Energy, the solar deal, or the federal/state investigation, Whilesmith contacted every police chief in Legislative District 24 yesterday and asked them to politicize their departments in the effort to retaliate against Freeholder Gail Phoebus.

It was Freeholder Phoebus who opposed the solar bailout.  It was Freeholder Phoebus who led calls for an investigation.  It was Freeholder Phoebus who wrote to the United States Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities & Exchange Commission, and the State Attorney General's Office.

Unfortunately, Watchdog has learned that a few did assist in the furtherance of Whilesmith's attempts at retaliation and in violation of accepted ethical practice.  This is unfortunate because most taxpayers in these heavily Republican counties believe that the police should not become partisan political agents in an attempt at retaliation -- particularly when there is an ongoing criminal investigation.