By Timothy Ryan Isaac McGuire
New Jersey State League of Municipalities officials are
converging on the City of the Atlantic for what they label as a
conference. McGreely dubbed it a frat party. So, what does it mean
that a large group of politicians are inserting themselves into the
gaming capitol of the East coast. This is not necessarily a quiet
place where a responsible authority could retreat, and reflect on his
or her strategies of governing. Most Americans would picture a
tranquil rural setting, albeit with modern convenience, to pour over
a three ring binder given to him by some one like, Tony Robbins, Bill
Cosby, or even Jerry Seinfeld. I am sure a flock of magistrates would
learn more from a man who has dedicated himself to “nothing” in the
typical corporate retreat center, than in a casino, each party member
with a personal trainer of the politico ways, in a month of Sundays.
There is only one reason to be in a casino for a conference, that
reason is to play and party like rock-stars. But, lawmakers are not
lime light junkies. They are servants, not sovereigns. Each American
citizen should have a leash on his/her representative so tight that a
local assemblyman would have to call his constituents if he needed to
pause his research into correct political behavior to scratch around
in the sandbox.
On the other hand, let us not be so opposed to these weekend
trysts as the fruit of their instigators often falls from the vine
unripened. Here is a key example: one recent high-profile incident in
which 11 public officials were arrested for bribery — including
former Assemblymen Mims Hackett and Alfred Steele — It was during
last year’s convention that the FBI rigged a hotel room at the Trump
Taj Mahal with surveillance equipment and planted an agent to catch
the envelope passing first-hand, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
But Dressel noted the alleged bribes in that case also reportedly
took place at diners and restaurants across the state.
“For those that want to go to Atlantic City to learn and get the most
out of their conference experience, we provide them that venue,” he
said. “You don’t become corrupt by going to the League of
Dressel says, “not corrupt.” Very nice indeed, if the very best thing
I can say about my functionary is that he/she is “not corrupt.” Most
office holders are not corrupt, we hope, yet we also would like to say
that they are not incompetent, that they are not irreverent,
obsequious, simple-minded or boorish.
I will find something nice to say about the local politics, if I
Among the seminars on the menu this year, U.S. Attorney Chris
Christie and Attorney General Anne Milgram will hold a program for
local officials called “Ethical Pitfalls in Public Service” — lessons
welcomed by event organizers and staff.
“The majority of people go down there for the right reasons,” said
Lambertville Mayor David DelVecchio, also the League president. “If
people are doing inappropriate things, let the chips fall where they
“For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories
of the death of Kings.” The chips are all about fools luck, office
holders must be about free will and informed decisions. These
participants take a chance when they go to A.C. and so do we when we
put faith in these hand-shakers and their policy.