Bilik campaign attacks Alison McHose

In 2003, Alison Littell McHose gave up a full-time job to serve the people of the 24th Legislative District.  Legislators receive only a part-time salary of $49,000. 

During the 12 years she's held office, McHose has become known as an independent conservative voice for reform in Trenton -- crossing the aisle to work with reformers of both parties to pass legislation like the Party Democracy Act.  Time and again, reforms in Trenton began with McHose's lone voice.

 

In January, McHose announced that she would be stepping aside and would not be running for re-election.  The reason for her departure was that her two sons are approaching college age so she had decided to work full-time again as the administrator of Franklin Borough.  McHose and her husband, a U.S. Army Sergeant who served three tours in the war on terror and just returned home from Afghanistan, also have a young daughter.

Marie Bilik's campaign chairman is Molly Whilesmith, a Sparta councilwoman and former mayor.  Until recently, Whilesmith was a Democrat.  Now she claims to be a Republican, so we were surprised when she posted a link on her Facebook page to a letter to the editor by a leftist Democrat operative that attacks Alison McHose for seeking full-time work to stay close to home.

The writer takes a reform championed by Alison McHose and Parker Space and then lies about it.  McHose and Space successfully pushed legislation that ended the ability of an elected office holder from retiring and collecting a state pension while collecting a public salary.  It closed the loophole on double-dipping so that an elected official can no longer do both.

The writer is a clever liar who conflates this reform with an elected official having a second working income from a public source.  The loophole McHose and Space closed has to do with pension income and not holding a second source of public income.   That would take separate legislation and all such attempts have been blocked by the Democrats who control the Legislature.

In Alison McHose's case, she is not running for re-election and is temporarily holding two public positions, as full-time administrator and part-time legislator, only long enough for the people to choose her replacement at a primary held on June 2nd.  As was reported in the Herald and elsewhere, McHose had wanted to resign from the Assembly  immediately upon taking her new position.  However, with memories of the controversies surrounding Gary Chiusano's departure from the Assembly in 2013 and the opposition to county conventions voiced by the Herald and others, McHose decided to remain in office until the voters had their say in an election.

For this McHose is being attacked by Molly Whilesmith, the chairman of Marie Bilik's campaign.

Many elected officials do have a second working income from a public source.  Take the Bilik campaign's Molly Whilesmith as an example.  She has attended public meetings in municipality after municipality and lobbied on behalf of a corporation that sells its services to county and local governments.  In her work, Whilesmith is often accompanied by Wendy Molner, another Bilik campaign person and the Vice President for Government Relations of Concord Engineering/ Concord Energy.  Official government minutes are available off the Internet showing the role the two play.

Curiously however, while Molly Whilesmith's relationship with this energy vendor is demonstrable from local government documents, she failed to record it on her state mandated Financial Disclosure Statements for 2014 or 2015, covering her activities as Mayor, Member of Council, and Member of the Planning Board.

Looks like Mayor Whilesmith has some explaining to do.