It's a saga as old as Saul versus David, Red Cloud versus Crazy Horse.The scrappy old bosshas to go out and try todefend his turf against the brazen young challenger bucking to be if not his successor exactly, then theleader of a new breed.
That's the way it is inBurlington County, where 36-year old Dawn Lacy, acting chair of theRepublican Party, is facing Glenn Paulsen, 60, the party's former chair and enduring craggy-faced poster boy for GOPpower.
When Lacy threw Paulsen'ssurrogates out of party headquarters the day after the election on Nov. 6th, the boss went into attack mode and promptly started stirring up opposition to the bright-eyed young politico whom he'd initiallybrought into the foldto head up the party's youth recruitment efforts.
In this ongoing generational battle, youth prevailed over age today as Superior Court Judge John A. Sweeney ruled that Paulsen's faction cannot use the party's letterhead, emails, fundsor slogansin intraparty correspondence to schedule meetings or ape official acts. Moreover, Charles Lambiase, the party's paid certified public accountant,must comply with Lacy's order for a full and transparent review of the Republican Party's financial records.
"We were very successful today," said Lacy following the judge's conference. "It is unfortunate that we had to go to a judge so that he could declare the obvious, which is that these individuals' actions were highly disruptive and confusing to party membership."
On that score specifically, Sweeney ruled that the Paulsen allies'designation ofa Dec. 1stmandatorymeeting of delegatesto install a new chairperson is not an official meeting of the Republican Party, and upheld Lacy's assertion that she is under no obligation to hold a special election prior to the end of her term in June of next year.
Lacy said Paulsen wants his ally, Bill Layton,nominated as chairon the eve of the New Jersey presidential primary and on the eve of what is likely to be a Republican primaryof candidates hoping tosucceed U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton in the 3rd congressional district.
"This is a mythical meeting they are fabricating to maintain control," said the acting chair. "They have a sense of entitlement and they want this seat now."
Paulsen vowed to fight on and challenged Lacy to defend her acting chairmanship before the party as a whole.