In Memoriam: David Rebovich
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.