Why can't Phil Crabb tell the truth?
Once again, Freeholder Phil Crabb ends up looking a fool by trying to paint a picture of himself that isn't true. Freeholder Crabb wants to look like an outsider, when in fact he is the consummate insider.
Remember how he became Freeholder in the first place? Crabb was an unknown, newly elected Franklin Councilman who was the childhood friend of former Franklin resident Hal Wirths. It was 2007, and Franklin resident Freeholder Steve Oroho had just been elected to the Senate and to the Assembly was re-elected Franklin resident Alison McHose along with Freeholder Gary Chiusano. Chiusano would be leaving the Freeholder Board, Wirths favored his old friend Crabb, so Crabb was plucked from Franklin Council after barely serving there and made a Freeholder.
As a Freeholder, Crabb became an embarrassment after breaking state election law for four years and failing to follow it most of the time since. But Freeholder Crabb has been useful to certain county vendors, following the lead of Rich Zeoli when he was Freeholder. Zeoli has a long relationship, including as a paid consultant, to the Mulvihill family of corporations. It was Zeoli who handled the family's political operations in local elections in Sparta and Vernon and it was Zeoli, along with Crabb, who in June 2012 was at the center of an attempt to take control of Sussex County's waste disposal away from the County's 24 municipalities and turn it over to a committee of five insiders.
Freeholder's Crabb's latest whopper was delivered at last night's Sussex County Republican Committee meeting. Crabb told county committee members that he was running his campaign without the assistance of a political consultant. That's not true. He has Zeoli. The former Freeholder is now a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he works as a talk radio personality. That hasn't stopped him from staying involved in Sussex County politics and practicing his old trade of political consulting. Zeoli is the consultant-of-record on Crabb's media buys, according to official documents required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It was Zeoli who shopped around and assembled Freeholder Crabb's re-election team.
We can already hear Freeholder Crabb trying to talk his way out of this one by insisting that Rich Zeoli isn't a political consultant. He can try, but first he should read Zeoli's biography on the website of his current employer, CBS radio in Philadelphia:
Rich Zeoli represents a new generation of compelling talk radio. He grew up in New Jersey and spent his career advising candidates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania running for all levels of political office including Governor, US Senate, and Congress. He was the youngest chair of a political party in New Jersey history.
Rich is the founder of RZC Impact, a communications firm specializing in media training, public speaking, and strategy. His clients have included Fortune 500 Executives, national television personalities, and bestselling authors. He has personally trained individuals for high profile speaking engagements appearances on national programs including Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, Larry King Live, CBS Evening News, Hannity, Today Show, and many others.
Rich is the author of “The Seven Principles of Public Speaking: Proven Methods of a PR Pro,” and a Visiting Associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Let's say it together: "Spent his career advising candidates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania running for all levels of political office including Governor, US Senate, and Congress." Yes, that means he's a political consultant.
It is funny to think of the Crabb campaign being run by an out-of-state political consultant from Pennsylvania who, back when he lived in New Jersey, was an out-of-state political consultant working in Pennsylvania.
Notice something missing from Rich Zeoli's professional biography? It mentions his work as a political consultant first thing, and that he was "chair of a political party in New Jersey". Does that mean the whole party? Sure sounds like it, when it fact Zeoli was the chair of a county committee of a political party. Sussex County, in fact.
Zeoli's biography mentions his business, his clients, his book -- but there's no mention of him being an elected Sussex County Freeholder and a Freeholder Director. Why not?
Any ideas on why there's no mention of Sussex County?