Some thoughts on a really stupid letter to the editor
Marie Bilik is a Virginia resident who is moving back to Sussex County to run for Assembly in Sussex, Warren, and Morris counties. Don't take our word for it, that is what she tells her followers on Facebook.
For some strange reason, Bilik has allowed her campaign manager to blunder into the middle of the solar scam mess. Worse still, Bilik's campaign manager has taken the side of the county bureaucrats who sold the deal to the Freeholder Board.
The most contentious issue is the "non-disparagement" clause, a gag-order really, that is part of the "settlement" agreement Sussex County negotiated in order to borrow more taxpayers' money to bail out the failed solar project. The Herald described it this way: "Under the settlement's non-disparagement clause, the county freeholders are barred from voicing public criticisms of the professionals, consultants and other entities that were involved in the original solar project and in the recently concluded settlement negotiations."
This may serve the interests of Bilik's campaign manager, but it doesn't help the candidacy of Marie Bilik.
Bilik's manager is Wendy Kuser Molner, who was mayor of Hardyston decades ago. Molner worked for the Corzine administration before becoming a lobbyist for an energy engineering company.
As a member of the administration of Governor Jon Corzine, Molner helped sell projects cooked up by NJ Transit and the NJ Department of Transportation. You know, those people who want to raise the tax on gasoline to pay for those projects that cost, per mile, twelve times what the rest of the country pays.
Molner is listed as the Vice President of Government Relations on the website of Concord Engineering, an energy engineering company from southern New Jersey that sells to county and local governments. Concord is affiliated with the NJ Clean Energy Program, which promotes "renewable sources of energy including solar."
Concord is also affiliated with the U.S. Green Building Council, among other organizations that promote the use of taxpayer subsidized solar energy. So let's be clear about who Molner lobbies for.
And yet, in her latest letter to the editor, Molner attempts to mislead voters by claiming that she opposes solar energy. In fact, Molner is paid to appear at municipal meetings in Sussex County and to lobby on behalf of a program called the Passaic County Energy Cooperative. This program has an solar component to it.
In her letter, Molner writes that she opposes government energy programs but fails to mention that she gets paid to pitch for one. The Passaic County Energy Cooperative is the brainchild of the Democrat Freeholders who run Passaic County. The current program was passed by the Democrat-controlled Freeholder Board in 2013, according to a Concord press release. So how can Bilik's campaign manager be against something she is paid to market?
But she doesn't stop there. Molner goes even further and tries to nail the Bilik campaign's colors to the infamous "non-disparagement clause" that has so outraged all right-thinking voters. Molner writes: "Clearly, the 'non-disparage' clause in the settlement is a basic clause in most settlements."
Maybe between private business entities it is, but not between a private business entity and a legislative body. Sussex County is plowing new ground here in the cause of corporate Fascism. Tell us when the Congress of the United States has signed such an agreement, or a state legislature? If it is so usual, produce examples.
Molner seems to vaguely remember doing so back when she was on local government, but offers nothing concrete. She writes: "Moreover, I am sure as a former mayor and councilperson, I voted for similar settlements with this clause without screaming about my First Amendment rights to disparage." Is that a nutty statement or what?
Molner goes on to further confuse herself by demonstrating that she does not understand the differing rolls of legislative and executive branches of government. She even confuses two separately elected offices. Hard to believe that she once held office. Did she sleep through her entire term?
So the questions for candidate Marie Bilik, courtesy of her campaign manager, are these:
(1) Do you support the non-disparagement (aka "gag order") clause that protects the solar scammers from public comment?
(2) If elected to the state Assembly, would you propose similar non-disparagement clauses between the Legislature and failed corporate vendors.
Not the sharpest tack in the box.