Robert Ortiz is starting his third week as Bergen County Republican Chairman by taking advantage of local Democrats’ ethical troubles.
Ortiz issued a statement today outlining what he called a “Democrat disgrace" — the federal investigation of state Sen. Joe Coniglio for his work as a hospital plumbing consultant; “extraordinary” state aid to 18 towns, 17 of which are controlled by Democrats; and the alleged misuse of public resources for campaign purposes by Democratic Freeholder Tomas Padilla.
“A Bergen County Democrat State Senator on the verge of indictment; misdirection of state aid to Democrat-controlled Bergen County municipalities; and a Bergen County Democrat Freeholder spending taxpayer money to aid his personal campaign efforts,” said Ortiz. “Enough is enough! It’s time for Democrats in Bergen County and around the state to stop playing politics with taxpayer dollars.
When news first broke that 38th District state Senator Joe Coniglio received a target letter from the US Attorney's office, Ortiz took a more cautious approach, telling PoliticsNJ.com that “it's always sobering when there are serious accusations that an elected official has violated the public trust, but we'll wait for the legal process to play out.”
Yesterday The Bergen Record reported that Ortiz is going to meet this week with GOP State Chairman Tom Wilson this week about campaign strategies in the 36th and 38th Districts.
Bergen County Democratic Organization spokesman Bill Maer responded that Ortiz was just trying to get as much “cheap press” as possible, and added a jab about Ortiz’s fundraising work on behalf of President Bush.
“Mr. Ortiz and his followers never criticized the Republican Party while they virtually drove New Jersey and Bergen County into financial Ruin,” said Maer. “If these are the tactics he used while helping the Republican Party in Washington, I'd advise him to stop now or step out of his glass house,” said Maer.