Webber Targets ‘Leftist Thugs’

MORRIS PLAINS – Back in 2019, Jay Webber discovered ripped up campaign signs from his previous year’s congressional campaign dumped in his driveway.

That was just a few months after he said he got a letter that threatened his family.

You would think this experience would make Webber a strong supporter of a move in Trenton to shield the home addresses of local officials from the public.

Not so.

The veteran Republican assemblyman from the 26th District spoke out last week against a bill that would do just that. This was a commendable stance, but as it turned out, a fruitless one.

The bill passed both the Assembly and Senate with bipartisan support.

The impetus for local officials seeking to hide from the public they represent stems from a belief they face potential violence from those who are unhinged.

Politics today is very polarizing, no question about it.

Webber, who gained attention above that of a state legislator when he ran for Congress in CD-11 in 2018, acknowledged his unsettling experiences of a few years ago. But he said those episodes in themselves do not eliminate the need for transparency.

The bill specifically centers on financial disclosure forms public officials must file. Up to now, those documents – like many such forms – require officials to list their home addresses.

Not anymore. Under the bill, officials would no longer have to do that.

This challenges the belief that voters should have a right to know where their representatives live. And in truth, such addresses are available – at least for now –  in various locations, including mortgage records and voter registration lists.

Webber in a phone conversation did not totally dismiss arguments about safety. However, he suggested that being transparent and open with the public is more important. And he noted that this bill grants privileges to officials that are not given to average residents who contribute to election campaigns.

“Rules for thee, but not for me,” is how Webber put it.

If home addresses are no longer required, a provision of the bill says – apparently with a straight face – that those seeking positions must “certify” that they live in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Webber – like any follower of Jersey politics – was skeptical about the “trust” aspect of all this.

Unfortunately, this may not be the end. There may be further action in Trenton to reduce now available public information about our public officials.

As for the sign-dumping, Webber at the time blamed “leftist thugs” operating under the cover of darkness.

Officially, the perpetrators were never identified – or caught.

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3 responses to “Webber Targets ‘Leftist Thugs’”

  1. Not very thuggish tearing up signs and leaving them in a driveway; kinda like toilet papering a house at Halloween. However there is a school of thought that says webber did it himself.

  2. His running mate Brian Bergen is know for ripping up campaign signs and throwing them all over and littering our streets.

  3. Point of order, there were two incidents of note in the news involving lawn signs. Both incidents we’re allegedly perpetrated by Republicans.
    Not just any Republicans mind you. Both caught by the unblinking eye of the camera. One in Pompton Plains the other in Wayne.

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