Somebody really wants that picture with Fanale gone

If you want to know why Watchdog practices the old American tradition of anonymous criticism of the rich and powerful it's because the rich and powerful in a small and corrupt place like Sussex County can really mess up your life if they have a mind to.  Sussex County is a place that deals in rumors and gives life to gossip -- and gossip that is meant to destroy people.

Yesterday we commented on a column written on a website that is in competition with us.  We complemented the piece and the writer, but also noted that the accompanying photograph had been removed and a cropped version posted in its place.  The removed photograph featured a group shot with some prominent locals and David Fanale. the controversial former Franklin Councilman.  Standing side by side with Fanale was Sussex County Freeholder George Graham, who also works as a political consultant.

Within hours of it being posted, the writer of the original column was accusing a competitor of consultant Graham of owning this website.  We wonder who gave her that information?

A few years ago, whenever a blog published a truth that made life uneasy for the rich and powerful in Sussex County, they blamed some guy from southern New Jersey.  Then he died, so now they blame this new guy.

The joke is on the blamers.  They could organize a protest and parade stark naked around his house beating on their tin hats and blowing little horns and that guy wouldn't be able to do a thing for them.  Because this is not his website.  He doesn't own Watchdog.  Doesn't control it.  Doesn't have the passwords.  So if you are going to call yourself a journalist, don't buy into the gossip, especially from a competitor in the same business.

The New Jersey Herald broke an important story today.  It is about the corruption at the heart of politics in this county.  A former Freeholder and current Trustee of the county college was caught voting to give a contract to a for-profit engineering business he is involved with.  He admits he's involved and admits he has a title and even has business cards, but says he doesn't take any compensation.  What's up?

It looks like he's a vendor's lobbyist in the vast, unregulated field of lobbying county and municipal governments, and so called "independent" agencies.  As to if he really isn't getting paid for it, well, he could be applying for sainthood.

Here's a tip for the Herald.  This vendor's lobbyist has had a lot of contact with state, county, and local offices on behalf of the for-profit engineering business you named and other for-profit enterprises.  So OPRA away.  You'll get there.  When you do, and if you do it right, you might find yourselves in line for an award... or at least able to write the sequel to "The Soprano State".


Sussex County Watchdog