In a power flex that denies the will of the local party committee, Middlesex County Democratic Committee
Chairman Kevin McCabe today descended with a boss’s vengeance into the midst of an Edison political contest and X’d out the committee win of Mahesh Bhagia.
As expected, McCabe awarded the party line to Councilman Sam Joshi for Edison mayor.
Joshi and Bhagia are trying to earn the June 8th nomination of their party.
Weary of the machinations of the Democrats, the sitting mayor, Thomas Lankey, says he may run as an independent.
Now formally facing a candidacy conditioned by a position off the line, Team Bhagia, the local party chairman, responded in a statement to the county party power grab:
In Backroom Deal, Lobbyist and Insurance Broker Under Investigation Circumvent Democratic Process to Overturn Will of Edison Democrats, Choose Their Own Candidate for Mayor
Edison, NJ – Today, Trenton corporate lobbyist Kevin McCabe, Chairman of Middlesex County Democratic Organization and self appointed King of Middlesex County, with the help of an insurance executive who is under state investigation, Gary Taffet, circumvented the established democratic process and overrode the will of local Edison Democrats, who overwhelmingly chose to support Mahesh Bhagia for Mayor as well as Sparshil Patel, Shannon Peng, and Tom McCann for Council. In addition to kicking out the first Chinese-American and first Indian-American to ever win the Democratic convention in Edison, he made a backroom deal to support establishment stooge Sam Joshi and his council slate, none of whom bothered to run in the local Democratic convention. Party boss Kevin McCabe’s day job is lobbying for big corporations and profiting directly off New Jersey Politics.
Mahesh Bhagia legally won the endorsement by a 3-to-1 margin in a landslide at the Democratic convention. Joshi only seeked to screen for Edison Council, but later dropped out after not gaining enough support. Joshi is the preferred candidate of the Middlesex party bosses because he has proven he is willing to steer lucrative contracts to their friends and family, while turning a blind eye to the Attorney General’s investigation into Gary Taffet and his political allies.
“I guess this is Kevin McCabe’s version of democracy. We all worked hard to go through the legal process to receive the Middlesex County Democratic Organization line, but the party bosses decided to put their self interest first,” stated the Edison Democratic Chairman Mahesh Bhagia. “It is not a shock that I did not receive the line, Mr. McCabe did exactly what he always does, takes advantage of Edison to give boatloads of cash to his favorite vendors and friends at the expense of us as taxpayers, and put in place a candidate who will not assist the Attorney General in the state investigation regarding Edison Township’s insurance vendor, Gary Taffet.”
Earlier this year it was reported that McCabe attorney and friend Bill Northgrave had profited $1.2 million from Edison taxpayers in one year and Gary Taffet, who shares an office with Kevin McCabe, is profiting in the millions from Edison with an Insurance contract for Edison. Taffet is currently under investigation by the Attorney General Office.
“This is what happens when you speak out against the party bosses. They make the rules, and tell you to play by them in the interest of democracy, and once you start winning they just change the rules and move the goalposts to maintain their own control. I am running for open and transparent government and vendor reform,” Mahesh Bhagia stated. “Why does that scare Kevin McCabe and Sam Joshi? Why is he embracing dictatorship over democracy and working against me and my team for speaking up against his friends Taffet and Northgrave?
“I am disappointed and disgusted by Chairman McCabe’s undemocratic actions. He has stayed mute on racism against the Chinese community in Edison, but now he has taken it a step too far. He has appointed Councilman Sam Joshi and his team to a seat I legally won. Joshi has had a horrible history of attacks and racism against the Chinese community, with the harassment of the first ever Chinese library director, the bullying of the Chinese Americans Commissioners, and has done nothing but support Nilesh Dasondi as Special Assistant in Edison Town Hall after he called the Chinese community a ‘virus’,” stated Council Candidate Shannon Peng. “Kevin must resign and the Attorney General must investigate hate crimes against the Chinese community, in addition to his current investigation of Gary Taffet and his accomplices.”