Monday, February 09, 2004
READERS OF MAYWOOD TRUTH, WE HAVE NEWS FOR YOU ...
MAYOR TOM RICHARDS SAYS HE'S "WATCHING" US
Mayor warns, "I'm watching every word of your web site"
By Chris Neidenberg
In his usual menacing style, Mayor Tom Richards issued this warning to MAYWOOD TRUTH HURTS:
"I am watching every word of your web site."
Mr. Richards issued his warning just before the start of the council's Jan. 13 work session - his first as borough chief executive.
While we welcome legitimate scrutiny, the mayor's nasty tone was quite strident and threatening. After adjourning a closed session, he even went looking for us out in the hallway.
Talk about 1984?
George Orwell, you certainly knew what you were talking about.
This type of effort to intimidate is nothing new for Mr. Richards.
Mr. Mayor, do you remember when you received the "Segreto letter?" Well, you certainly were put in your place then.
Our response is quite simple...
"Mr. Richards, we'll be monitoring every move of your administration."
Strange that, as soon as you took your hand off the Bible, 'the redevelopment of Maywood" was somehow placed on the fast track. Is it moving too fast?
This is one area, among many, that will require the close scrutiny of your adminstration.
We can only surmise that Mayor Richards is mad at Maywood Truth because he knows he cannot exert any kind of pressure here affecting the coverage of his adminstration, and/or the borough, in a way which blatantly caters to his agenda - and currys favor with him.
We, more than likely, enrage the mayor because he realizes he can more easily try exerting pressure elsewhere in this land of the so-called "free and independent press."
Within that "mainstream" universe are the municipality's "politicized" daily paper of "record" based in Hackensack - and its three "politicized" weekly newspapers.
One weekly is even co-owned by a former two-time Democratic running mate of Richards - himself a former mayor - and his wife
So, if you're mad at us, Mr. Mayor, we can only say, "Look in the mirror."
And I believe we have been fair to you.
It's just that you simply can't stomach anyone who "has the gall" to print the truth about your past conduct and actions as a public official. That certainly matters now.
In conclusion, we must make two things very clear:
A. We will not cower, or blindly cater, to the whims of any elected Maywood governing body member, be it Mr. Richards or anyone else, simply because that official received more votes "than Candidate B."
B. We understand that certain "higher up" elected officials within Bergen County's Democratic political family - including its three state representatives, attended the Jan. 5 reorganization out of respect for their party colleague.
But we say again: For the New Jersey and county Democratic parties to endorse Mr. Richards and place him before the voters, and actually run him on an "anti-polluter, pro-environemntal" platform, has to be one of the county and state Democratic party's worst contradictions ever.
You see, we remember the state Democratic committee's 2003 daily radio ads, attacking "polluters," and vowing "to make polluters pay for causing environmental damage," very well.
When you examine Mr. Richards' past statements and actions defending Stepan Chemical Company, long one of Maywood's worst polluters, we simply fail to see how these two situations are consistent with each other.
Guess "party loyalty," particularly in this case, is quite blind.
IN CONCLUSION ...
TWO WEEKS INTO HIS TERM, MAYOR TOM RICHARDS WARNED MAYWOOD TRUTH THAT HE IS "WATCHING EVERY WORD OF" OUR WEB SITE.
HIS TONE WAS QUITE BELLIGERENT - AND NASTY.
IT ONLY REINFORCES WHAT WE HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID HERE:
ANY HONEST AND LEGITIMATE ATTEMPT TO CRITICIZE OR QUESTION THE ACTIONS OF THE MAYWOOD GOVERNING BODY, AND ITS OFFICIALS, IS COUNTERED WITH EFFORTS TO BADGER, HARASS AND INTIMIDATE THEIR CRITICS/WATCHDOGS.
THESE OFFICIALS GOVERN AMID A CLIMATE OF "FEAR AND INTIMIDATION" DIRECTED AT ANYONE WHO DARES TO "BLOW THE WHISTLE," AND RAISE VALID, TOUGH AND HARD-HITTING QUESTIONS.
THERE IS A DEFINITE AND CLEAR HISTORICAL PATTERN HERE.
TO QUOTE FROM A PRIOR STORY, "AN ADDENDUM - RICHARDS' POLITICAL WEATHER VANE SPINS AND SPINS," WE MUST REPEAT THIS PASSAGE AS IT RELATES TO MAYWOOD"S MAYOR:
"IF YOU ATTEMPT TO REPORT OR EXPOSE SUCH GLARING CONTRADICTIONS, (OF RICHARDS), OR ANY TRUTHS IN A WAY THAT HE PERCEIVES AS A THREAT TO HIS POLITICAL SURVIVAL, IN OUR SO+CALLED FREE SOCIETY, WATCH OUT!!"
AS WE ENTER 2004, I HOPE TO HAVE EVEN MORE NEW POSTS UPCOMING, AS I'VE BEEN SOMEWHAT BEHIND.
I'M PROUD OF THE FACT THAT, WITH MAYWOOD TRUTH, YOU"RE CLEARLY GETTING PERSPECTIVES THAT YOU ARE SIMPLY NOT SEEING ANYWHERE IN THE "MAINSTREAM" BERGEN COUNTY PRINT MEDIA, OF WHICH I WAS ONCE A PART OF.
THAT HAS BEEN BORNE OUT OVER TIME.
AS ONE WHO ONCE WORKED ON THE INSIDE OF "THE MAINSTREAM," I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT AT LEAST SOME OF YOUR MAYWOOD OFFICIALS - SOMEWHERE - EVENTUALLY DEVELOPED INSIDE CONNECTIONS THAT ACTUALLY BEGAN WORKING WITH THEM (YOUR OFFICIALS) TO START SQUELCHING COVERAGE CONSIDERED VERY DAMAGING TO THE BOROUGH"S ARROGANT AND ENTRENCHED POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT.
IT'S NOT GOING TO GET ANY EASIER WITH THE NEW ADMINISTRATION, BUT ALL VIGILANT MAYWOODIANS READING THIS SITE CAN REST ASSSURED KNOWING THAT- AT LEAST HERE - YOUR GOVERNMENT CANNOT "STAGE MANAGE" THE NEWS OR "FIX COVERAGE" - AS IT HAS BEEN ABLE TO DO ELSEWHERE.
SIMPLY PUT - MAYWOOD TRUTH WILL CONTINUE SPEAKING, "TRUTH TO POWER."