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.

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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."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In Memoriam: David Rebovich

New Jersey politics lost one of its few good guys with the sudden death of political commentator David Rebovich, Director of the Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. For those who have not yet heard, Rebovich died of a sudden heart attack at age 58 on Friday, October 12 while teaching a class at Rider.

According to Senator Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, who was quoted in The Home News Tribune, Rebovich "was never encumbered by politics or partisanship. He was about what was right and what was wrong," said Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, whose district includes the city of Perth Amboy.

I owe a personal debt of gratitude to Rebovich for his comments in a March 27, 2007 Star Ledger article in which he recognized Mayor Meryl Frank's attempt to intimidate me from running for office by filing a false and ridiculous police report against me on March 12 of this year as the abuse of power it was. That article ran in the statewide section of the newspaper.

In this state of pay to play, where money and power so often triumph over justice and fairness, where corruption runs so deep that even US Attorney Chris Christie is shocked at the depth and extent of wrongdoing that permeates our political culture, it is not easy to side with a watchdog over a person with an official position such as the mayor of a town.

Yet Rebovich, unlike so many politicians and political consultants in this state, found the courage to do just that, to speak the truth as he saw it, unafraid of repercussions from bosses and party leaders. And for that, he was respected on all sides of the political spectrum--not an easy feat to accomplish in New Jersey or in the country.

"Public officials are fair game," he wrote in the March 27 article on the false police report, an article I initiated by contacting the press to expose this obvious abuse of power.

"They have to have thick skin. It comes as part of the price in holding office to be accountable to all constituents, and the rule of decorum is to respond to queries politely. They can't use police reports to stifle political opponents, as annoying as they may be."

Sadly, in this case, Billy Joel's song is right on the money in stating "only the good die young."

However, the holding of government officials accountable for their actions and the vigilance of government watchdogs will go on. For that, David Rebovich would be proud.