Earlier this month Maggie Moran, former Governor Corzine’s campaign manager and Deputy Chief of Staff and the wife of Belmar Mayor “Lawless Matt” Doherty threatened to take legal action against us if we did not correct or retract a story wherein we claimed she worked for Ashbritt, the company that made millions cleaning up the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy and the company Belmar hired after Dirty Doherty fired a local clean up contractor. We responded by publishing her lawyer’s letter and proof that Maggie worked on behalf of Ashbritt, in the form of marketing materials with Maggie’s name and phone number on it.
Yesterday, Monmouth County Democrat Chairman Vin Gopal, threatened to sue, not about something we wrote, but about something we might write.
Goofy Gopal and the Middletown Schools administration are circling their wagons over the story we broke on Saturday morning about the Democrat Surrogate and Freeholder candidates campaigning in a Middletown High School North honors Government, Law and Public Policy Program (GLP3) seminar that was coordinated by a teacher who is also a Democrat candidate for Borough Council in Eatontown. Goofy held a fundraiser for the teacher/candidate on June 28.
A photo of Surrogate candidate Vincent Solomeno and Freeholder candidates Sue Fulton and Mayor Dirty Doherty with the school children was posted on Solomeno’s campaign facebook page and then removed after Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, a Republican running for reelection this year, inquired to North Principal Patricia Vari-Cartier as to why his opponents were campaigning in a classroom.
Schools Superintendent Dr. William George Ed.D., sent us a text claiming the issue is a personnel matter and he can’t discuss it.
Gopal and Solomeno told us that the candidates had been invited by a school administrator who they refused to name. Multiple sources who requested anonymity for fear of retribution told us that the teacher/candidate, Patti May, who is one of the two coordinators of the GLP3 Pathway, made the invitation. So we asked Gopal and Solomeno if they wanted to correct or update their statement.
Gopal responded quickly via email:
“We have evidence of an invitation from a school administrator inviting the County Democratic candidates to share their experiences running for office with a local classroom. If you state or verify that we made up this invitation, let me make it clear that the Monmouth County Democrats will sue you and those involved in spreading that lie.”
He’d sue us if we verified that they made up the invitation? That’s one of the reasons we call him Goofy.
Gopal also said that MMM publisher Art Gallagher is not a real journalist or reporter. Given the state of journalism today, Art takes that as high praise.
We still do not know for sure who made the invitation, but Gopal’s insistence that the invitation came from a school administrator makes this infraction a more serious issue for the school system and the citizens who oversee the schools as elected members of the Board of Education.
If the campaign appearance happened at the invitation of a young teacher and aspiring politician who wanted to impress her goofy Party Boss, the matter could be easily resolved administratively by disciplining the teacher. But with the administration involved, as Gopal emphatically insists, there is a bigger systematic problem in the schools that the Board of Education and the community must address.
Since we got Gopal’s threat yesterday we were told, but have not yet verified, that an administrator was present at the event. Maybe Gopal is telling the truth and the school system has a bigger problem than we were first led to believe.
A bigger concern than the campaign appearance by Democrats is the photo. Who took it? Who posted it on facebook? Who removed it from facebook? Both Gopal and Dr. George refuse to discuss the photo.
At least three of the students are identifiable in the full size photo. We asked Dr. George if the photo was also a personnel matter. He did not answer. If the photo was taken by a school employee, it is obviously a personnel matter. If that employee also posted the photo to the Democrats’ campaign facebook page during school hours, that obviously raises more serious questions for the Board of Education regarding the political activity taking place in the schools. If the photo was taken and posted by a Monmouth County Democrat volunteer or employee who is not on the Middletown Board of Education payroll, that raises other legal questions that should be addressed by authorities other than the local Board of Education.
We want to know how and why the facebook post that included the photo was removed from Solomeno’s campaign webpage. The post was taken down within hours of Arnone calling the school principal. Solomeno said he did not make the post or remove it. “That was done by the campaign,” he said. Who from the school called the campaign? Who responded from the campaign? Is the campaign facebook page being run from within the school? MMM is going to keep digging. Board of Education members should demand answers to these questions. The board members should remember that Dr. George works for them and that they represent the taxpayers and the parents.
This issue raises further questions about the character of “Lawless Matt” Doherty. Of the three Democrat candidates who attended the campaign event within the school, only Doherty is a parent. He should have known better. How would he and Maggie react if photos of one or more of their children appeared on an advertisement without their knowledge and consent.
Goofy Gopal must be worried that the lies and distortions the Democrats will be broadcasting on TV and stuffing into voters’ mailboxes next month, paid for by special interests groups, unions and Trenton, Essex and Hudson Democrats who want to cash in on Monmouth County taxpayers, will not be able to overcome the truths we publish here. Twice this month they threatened legal action. Next we expect them to attempt to discredit this site by dragging up the five year old story about Gallagher’s arrest and bankruptcy—all of which were resolved in his favor. That’s getting to be another fall tradition.