Blog for Highland Park

Welcome to the Blog for Highland Park, a weblog chronicling events in Highland Park, NJ from an alternative perspective to the often one-sided slant of the official borough newsletter.

My Photo
Location: Highland Park, New Jersey, United States

I am a freelance writer and community activist who has worked on many progressive and Democratic political campaigns over the last 25 plus years and a lifelong resident of Highland Park, NJ. I have a BA in Journalism from Rutgers University, an MA in Middle East Studies from Harvard University, and an MEd in English Education from Rutgers Graduate School of Education. An enthusiastic amateur astronomer, I have just completed Swinburne University Astronomy Online's Graduate Certificate of Science in astronomy and am pursuing a Masters of Science in astronomy at Swinburne. I am also an actress with experience in theatre and film and have written a full length play. I am currently working full time on a book "The Little Planet That Would Not Die: Pluto's Story."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mayor Speaks with Forked Tongue

"I don't take money from developers."

Over and over again, Mayor Frank has reiterated this statement, emphasizing it as part of her "good government" stance.

Of course, the reality has always been a bit murkier. Frank and the Democratic Municipal Committee have never hesitated to accept funding from the county and state Democratic organization, whose chief donors include developers such as the very environmentally unfriendly Jack Morris and Michael Kaplan. It seems that in Frank's mind, if the money comes through a middleman, namely the official party, somehow it is washed clean from the taint of the original developer donors.

Does Frank plan to take money from Jonathan Jaffe of Jaffe Communications? This is the man who recently published an op-ed column in The Courier News explaining how he "sells" redevelopment to the public on behalf of governments and redevelopers.

Now, it seems Frank has abandoned all pretense of not taking money from developers. Her campaign's own web site lists teas at the homes of several developers. Are we to believe these are only hosts and have no plans to give Frank's campaign any monetary donations? They are already providing their homes for the events, which according to state election law is considered an in-kind contribution.

And it is important to note that these teas are being held in conjunction with Meryl's emphasis on "residential redevelopment." No pay to play here? You decide.

If she wants to stick to her word and her integrity, Frank should immediately cancel these events. Otherwise, the voters of Highland Park can come to no other conclusion than that our mayor speaks with a forked tongue.