Re-posted and updated
By Art Gallagher
It is sad to watch a highly esteemed member of our community be so easily manipulated by a heartless politician shamelessly fighting to save his career.
Make now mistake about it. Rush Holt is, and has been, manipulating Greg and Linda Bean, the former editor of the Greater Media Newspapers and his wife, for his own desperate political purposes.
Back in September, Greg accused this blog of conspiring with the Sipprelle campaign to play “dirty tricks” on the Holt campaign. Bean said he was convinced that the Sipprelle camp had put me up to posting “Abram Spangel’s” Rush Holt Champions Infanticidepost and that Spangelis a pseudonym of mine. The truth is that the Sipprelle campaign wanted to distance themselves from Spangel’s posts before Greg reacted to that one. I am not Spangel. Bean milked the controversy he created for a couple of weeks in his column in the Greater Media newspapers and on their website. I maintain that Bean was looking to attack Sipprelle and used this blog as his excuse to get started.
In case your unaware, Greg and his wife Linda lost their son Coleman to suicide in September of 2008. Coleman had served two tours in Iraq and was seeking treatment from the VA for post-traumatic stress syndrome. Holt and Bean blame Coleman’s suicide on a “gap in the system” that doesn’t serve members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), reservists who are not assigned to a unit. Greg wrote:
“He fell through the cracks. He had no advocate, no Army machinery to help him find his way through the system. He felt he was literally on his own. He made appointments with the VA to have an ulcer treated and to obtain treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Those appointments were postponed. He was still waiting when he took his own life.”
Holt reached out to console the Beans after their loss. Whether his initial gesture was genuine or political only he and God know. Since then, Holt has obviously been exploiting his relationship with the Beans for political purposes. During the spring of this year Holt promoted the legislation he introduced “to close the gap” in mental health care available to members of the IRR with great emotion and fanfare. He had the Beans testify in Washington and “earned” a lot of free media in the central jersey papers.
In his closing remarks at the Rider University debate with Sipprelle, Holt brought up the Bean legislation–“out of nowhere”–it had not been a topic during the debate–as a reason to reelect him.
Now the Holt campaign has an ad featuring the Beans tugging on the heart strings of 12th district voters, as if Holt’s efforts on their behalf are a reason to give the congressman another term:
In the ad, Greg Bean says Rush Holt has “worked on this (legislation) tirelessly.” Holt hasn’t work on it tirelessly.
Linda Bean says, “what we are talking about is legislation that will save someone’s life.” The legislation will not save anyone’s life.
Greg says, “Congressman Holt has actually been better than his word.” He hasn’t.
Holt approved the message and he has orchestrated the manipulation of the Beans.
Holt’s Congressional website, the one we taxpayers pay for, says the legislation he introduced in memory of Sgt. Coleman Bean has passed the House and awaits action in the Senate. It has not passed the House. It is buried in the Military Personnel sub-committee of the House Armed Forces Committee. Holt lied to the Beans and he is lying to his constituents on the website they are paying for.
Holt’s Congressional site, the one we pay for, goes on to say that on July 28 the House unanimously passed his amendment to allocate $20 million into the Fiscal Year 2011 Department of Veterans Affairs budget for direct advertising and the use of online social media for suicide prevention outreach. The House passed the funding bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and it awaits Senate passage.
Amendment to what bill Holt doesn’t say. But that it awaits passage in the Senate means it hasn’t happened.
If Rush Holt actually has worked tirelessly on his Bean legislation, he is incompetent. The legislation is not law. It is a campaign piece. It will not save any lives. If Rush Holt has been “better than his word” that is because his word has never been any good.
There is a strong argument to be made that Holt is incompetent. In the current Congress he has introduced 38 pieces of legislation. None became law. In the 110th Congress he introduced 52 bills. None became law. In the 109th Congress Holt introduced 50 bills. One, a resolution (not a law) passed the House and the Senate. That resolutionrecognised the 40th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s promulgation of Noestra Aetate. None of them became law. And so it goes.
Holt knows that the legislation he introduced for the Beans will never become law. He’s just using them for his campaign.
Hopefully the Beans will not be too bitter, or embarrassed, when they smell the coffee.
And hopefully Greg’s involvement in Holt’s campaign hasn’t cost him his column at Greater Media. His byline has been removed from their websites. Maybe that is just temporary until the election is over. If not, my offer to Greg to be published here stands.
Greg Bean’s column is back at Greater Media! MMM is pleased that GM didn’t pull a NPR on GB.
For such a good writer, you would think Greg would have better reading comprehension.
In his first column back from his trip to Colorado to celebrate his brother’s birthday, Grego takes another swipe at this blog. His headline, The truth isn’t always apparent at first blush , is a reference to my questioning the absence of his byline on the Greater Media sites last week in the original post of this piece. As you can see by scrolling up a few lines, I expressed my hope that Greg’s involvement in the Rush Holt campaign did not cause him to be NPR’d by GM. Greg said, “…because my column didn’t appear in the paper, and my name wasn’t in its usual place on the newspapers’ website, the local right-wing bloggers said I must have gotten fired. ” That’s not what I said at all! The truth of what I said was apparent at first blush, just as it is at this second blush. You just have to read it and not twist it.
Funny, Greg used to complain about this blog being written anonymously. When he wrote about this blog in September, accusing us of conspiring to commit “dirty tricks” against the Holt campaign, he named the blog but didn’t link to it. Now he doesn’t even name it, refering to MMM as “local right-wing bloggers.” That’s OK. This piece will be picked up by CNN’s news feed (which is why I am really reposting it, I could care less what Greg did last week) and Greg’s won’t.
Sad, that while Greg obviously read the original posting of this piece, he who thinks he has a special gift for spotting dirty tricks, didn’t mention the dirtiest trick of the NJ-12 campaign….the one played on him by Rush Holt who lied about getting the bill named for Greg’s son passed by the House of Representatives.
He also didn’t write about the dirty trick Holt is perpetuating by falsely advertising that Scott Sipprelle used his volunteer service in Princeton for his own financial benefit. As Sipprelle has protested, Holt has falsely, and knowingly, accused Scott of a crime. That’s a pretty dirty trick.
No, Greg used his first column back from his brother’s birthday party to defend NPR’s right to fire Juan Williams.
I’m proud to be a “right-wing” blogger. When will Greg come clean about his leftist leanings and stop ranting about phantom “dirty tricks” to advocate for his candidate? Why won’t Greg, and Rush Holt for that matter, simply argue their ideological cases, rather than fabricating dirt about their opponent? Why? Because they know they would lose if they were honest.
They’re going to lose anyway.