Middlesex County Democratic Organization Responds to Wisniewski Decision to Boycott the MCDO’s Gubernatorial Forum

Middlesex County Democratic Organization Responds to Wisniewski Decision to Boycott the MCDO’s Gubernatorial Forum

(Metuchen) – Following Assemblyman John Wisniewski’s decision (read his statement here) to boycott the Middlesex County Democratic Organizations gubernatorial forum on Tuesday night and to cast aspersions on the two-decade process under which statewide candidates have been screened, MCDO Chairman Kevin McCabe issued the following statement:

“Assemblyman Wisniewski has been in the state legislature for over twenty years and a member of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization far longer than that. The bylaws that Assemblyman Wisniewski criticizes today are the very same bylaws that have been in place for twenty-five years and ones he has taken full advantage of all that time.  He never once complained about the bylaws as a former state chairman or an incumbent legislator. Now, as he faces the possibility of losing the support of the county committee in his own county, he has decided to cast spurious allegations upon the open and transparent process in which he has participated for more than two decades.”

Assemblyman Wisniewski’s allegation against the MCDO’s transparent process are especially hypocritical because of his own history of using his leverage as an insider to benefit his own ambition:

·      As state chairman, Wisniewski promoted a 2011 redistricting proposal that would have arbitrarily and unnecessarily pitted two sitting Middlesex County Democratic senators against one another, attempting to create a new district for Wisniewski to run for the state senate.
·      In 2016, Wisniewski changed the locks on the Sayreville Democratic Organization headquarters without the knowledge of the Democratic municipal chairman and the county committee.
·      In 2016, Wisniewski ran an insurgent freeholder slate against the Middlesex County Democratic Organization’s endorsed candidates, despite asking for the MCDO’s support for his own candidacy every time he has run for office.
·      Earlier this year, Assemblyman Wisniewski’s law firm was stripped of a legal contract because his firm violated a local pay-to-play ordinance.

This is not the first time Assemblyman Wisniewski has complained about a “rigged” process when faced with losing the support of an open and transparent county committee vote. In January, he complained that Monmouth County Democrats were “rigging” the system, despite the fact that the Monmouth County Democratic Organization held a paper ballot that was counted in full view of representatives from competing campaigns. He lost that vote decisively. Later that month, he complained that the Bergen County Democratic Committee process was “rigged,” despite the fact that the BCDC held a machine vote, which Assemblyman Wisniewski also lost decisively. Now, he is accusing the MCDO process of being “rigged” as well.

For more than two decades, the MCDO constitution has authorized the Democratic chairman the sole discretion to award the county line for statewide office. In order to make the process even more inclusive, Chairman McCabe made the determination in 2016 to provide the county committee with the opportunity to cast a hand vote for their choice of presidential candidate. The hand votes were conducted in full view of representatives from each campaign.  The same opportunity will be provided to any gubernatorial candidate who decides to participate in Tuesday night’s gubernatorial forum.

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