Union Dems Convention Process Going to Court

Not only do Acting Union County Democratic Chair Colleen Mahr and Senator Nick Scutari (D-22) disagree on who should be the next chair of the county party organization.

They differ on how.

Scutari wants a hand raise vote by the county committee people on Feb. 21st at the Grand Centurion.

Mahr wants machines employed, and to that end she has retained attorney William Northgrave.

“Most people should be able to vote their conscience without fear of any impact or embarrassment,” Mahr wrote in a letter to attorney Edward Kologi of Linden and CC’d to Scutari, Attorney Robert Renaud and Hillside Democratic Committee Chair Anthony Salters.

The acting chair invoked the case of Reynolds v. Sims in arguing that voters’ “right to exercise the franchise in a free and unimpaired manner is preservative of basic and civil and political rights.

“To deny our committee that right is in-American,” said Mahr, citing the need to organize a process for over 800 committee votes to determine the next chair of the county party organization.

Scutari argued his position over the weekend in an InsiderNJ op-ed.

“I have reviewed the County Committee by-laws… Based upon our review, and I have highlighted the applicable sections, it is absolutely clear that an open vote be conducted to fill the spot of County Chair,” the state senator said. “Further review of the by-laws, also highlighted, notes that no changes to this process may be made in advance of the scheduled convention at this late date. Therefore, any attempt to hide the vote and the will of the committee members is not in the best interest of a smooth and orderly convention on the 21st. Further, it would open up the Democratic Party to legal scrutiny and it does not benefit our party members or future leaders to be involved in such a discourse. As such, I remain committed to an open, transparent process regarding the election of a new Party Chair.”

Salters responded to the situation in aggrement with Mahr.

“I wholeheartedly agree that the use of voting machines is the best way to accurately count votes, ensure the privacy of each voting member and maintain (above question) the integrity of the entire tabulation process,” he said. “Each UCDC member should have some government form of identification with a picture  [driver’s licence, passport, naturalization card, military id, etc] presented just prior to voting on February 21st. It’s not harassment or suppression. It’s simply ‘Trust but Verify.’  The bigger responsibility for the 3 candidates for Chairperson is to not have wedge issues that can potentially divide the UCDC further. We must quickly unite regardless of who wins to MOVE the UCDC FORWARD. No individual is more important then the overall health of the organization. This election will be over in 10 days. The UCDC is great for a reason. We are all a major part of that greatness.”

 

 

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  • Bob Harry

    Scutari only wants a show of hands because it is best for him. I am a Democratic Committee member and want a vote using voting machines or some method that is less open to cheating and ridicule. I am not a Scutari supporter and want someone, like Mahr, who knows more about my community in Plainfield. I am not concerned with the political future of any politicians who will benefit from Schutari’s election. We don’t need another Jerry Green. We need representative governance. I believe Coleen Mahr is more likely to give that to us than either of her opponents.

  • Bruce Paterson

    the most disconcerting issue with scutari is that he is forcing his chief of staff onto us union county residents and taxpayers for the union county manager position. This C-O-S oatman is basically just a concierge with minimal management experience so not qualified for such a major county manager position handling 2500 employees and half a billion dollar budget. Plus he does not live in union county so has no idea about the town issues, residential criteria is part of the county bylaws. And one last thing the freeholders and scutari collaborated to put oatman in the position ignoring with the interview process that is required by county bylaws which is resulting in an anon lawsuit. Scutari knows all this since he was a freeholder before. All this points to a scutari corrupted system he is forcing on all of us. I am a democrat but not a committeeman, so have no sway, just want all to understand the corrupted system scutari is trying to invoke. Scutari will just extend the belief that NJ is the most corrupt state in the nation. Dump Nick, bring integrity into the party with Mahr.

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