Recall petition: partisanship wrapped around mistruths
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ): According to Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Patricia Walsh, she left Middletown Republican Chairman Peter Carton’s Republican party because of “personal attacks, the likes of which he is launching against me right now.”
A petition drive, sponsored by Republicans James Cody, Kathleen Bjelka and Anthony Testa,
was begun Oct. 8. The petition erroneously claims that Walsh “accepted a $30,000 gift.” In addition, the petition singled out Walsh as having raised “taxes more than any official in Middletown history.” In fact, the petition distored Walsh’s record, the candidate said, and is a typical “dirty trick” to distract the good people of Middletown from the real issues, such as taxes and affordability.
“I have in my possession sworn statements in depositions that show the personal loan
made to me by Cathy Sullivan has been repaid in full,” Walsh said.
The personal loan referred to by the petition was made when Republican Committeeman Tom
Stokes sued Walsh unsuccessfully for eight years in an attempt to “own what Pat Walsh owns.” Stokes used a Republican law firm, which represented him on a contingency basis, to conduct the failed lawsuit. Subsequently, Stokes was awarded a job on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, a well-known breeding ground for cronyism, and a seat on the Middletown Sewerage Authority, which is given by the all-Republican Middletown Committee.
Where it involves her voting record on the school board, Walsh said she has “dutifully participated as a member of that body for 11 years and is proud that she has worked for consensus to improve the education of township children ” as a volunteer. Consequently,
Walsh said she is proud of the quality of education for Middletown’s children. “As a group, Middletown’s children are some of the best-educated in the country, as testified to by where these kids go to college afterward,” Walsh said.
“The real reason for this petition is not because I participated on the school board, or because I won a lawsuit against Tom Stokes,” Walsh said. “The reason this petition is going on is because it is likely that, come Election Day, myself and my running mate, Jim Grenafege, are going to join committeemen Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes on the governing body.”
Walsh said the Republican-controlled Middletown Committee has “raped the township’s
coffers with partisan appointments and cronyism for more than a quarter-century.”
Walsh said that Middletown is witnessing the “death rattle” of 27 years of corruption, sponsored principally by Middletown Republican Chairman Peter Carton.
“To put it simply, the way of life for a handful of corrupt local Republican officials is about ready to come to a screeching halt in January, and Mr. Carton and his cronies are fighting it in every way they canâ€”this petition included,” Walsh said.
However, despite the scurrilous Republican attacks, Walsh said she will not be deterred in reforming Middletown’s government, changing her hometown’s approach to spending, or cleaning up the evident corruption that has taken hold of Monmouth’s largest municipality.
“It has always been a case where Middletown will get “fixed some other day,” “ Walsh said. “Well, I have news for Mr. Carton and his flunkies: It’s some other day”