DOT showing favoritism in removing campaign signs
The New Jersey Department of Transportation has gone off the deep end. It's illegally involved itself in the political process in Northwest New Jersey. Once again, DOT personnel have been caught, by witnesses, pulling down political signs while leaving alone those of DOT supervisor and fellow CWA union member William Hayden.
When public employees remove or destroy the campaign signs of candidates who they oppose, while leaving up and intact the campaign signs of candidates they support , that is an illegal act and amounts to campaigning on public time. The state's taxpayers shouldn't be paying for this.
Besides which, the destruction, vandalism, and removal of political campaign signs is a criminal act . Violations carry a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to six months for each act if convicted.
In Warren County, the prosecutor has said that he would bring charges against anyone who is seen "engaging in such behavior, regardless of political affiliation," adding, "I am instructing all law enforcement personnel with this County to be alert to this unlawful activity and to see that violators are charged... I respectfully request all campaign managers and candidates for office to remind their supported and workers that candidates for office spend money and time to print and post campaign signs. This is a part of the election process that should not be and will not be disturbed by vandals without penalty.”
Witnesses to these acts by New Jersey DOT employees now include a Roman Catholic priest and the pastor of a Church in Sussex County. Here is what others have sent in:
"I witnessed NJ State DOT employees removing signage along Route 94 in McAfee and Hamburg. I stopped and told them I believed their actions were illegal. They told me the signs were on State right of way and they were doing what their boss told them to do. I do have a picture. Call to discuss if you like."
"Attached picture taken on Route 94 across from entrance to Crystal Springs at 9:30 this morning. Also removed signage on 638 in Highland Lakes, but miraculously Bills signs remain. Check intersection of 515 & 638. Orohos' signs removed, but Bill Haydens' remain."
"He pulled signs out of the DOT dumpster, not a Hayden one in there."
"FYI XXX XXXXXXX this morning watched the DPW take everyone's signs from 206 and left Hayden's. I think XXX was trying to get a video."
William J. Hayden (AKA Bill Hayden, Dell Hayden, Skylands Patriot ) is an 18 year public employee of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. He works as a supervisor, based in Trenton, where he pockets a salary and extras more each year than any legislator earns -- plus full benefits and a pension. Hayden is a member of the CWA -- one of the most liberal unions in America. Hayden's union has endorsed leftwing Democrat Phil Murphy for Governor.
Hayden doesn't vote much. He made it last November, but the last time before that was 2010. Now he thinks we should give him a second public job -- as our legislator.
Hayden is being aided and abetted by two cronies -- Nathan Orr and David Atwood -- who have chosen to endorse Hayden's behavior and tactics, and who are running a joint campaign with him. Perhaps Orr and Atwood should be asked if they approve of using government money, personnel, and equipment to thwart free speech and to obstruct the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America.
What is happening here is not so different from the violence visited up the campaign of Donald Trump last year, when his signs were destroyed and stolen. Then, Trump supporters came up with some rather creative ways of protecting their property.
In any event, this matter is coming before one or more county prosecutors and an internal investigation by DOT has been promised. So the miscreants should have their fun now. In a few weeks' time this will become a real shit sandwich.