Before he passed away last year, Rider University Professor David Rebovich was the most quoted man in New Jersey politics. The media, including PolitickerNJ.com, depended on Rebovich nearly every day for his thoughtful, independent analysis of New Jersey politics. His successor as Director of Rider’s Institute of New Jersey Politics, former Democratic operative Ben Dworkin, doesn’t have the same gravitas – and has some conflicts that should prevent his ability to comment on certain issues.
Here’s an example: today’s Star-Ledger has a story about Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver just one week after FBI agents seized personal records from his law office. State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a fierce Ferriero rival, told the newspaper that Ferriero should not have attended, and her view was backed up by Dworkin’s “independent” analysis:
Ben Dworkin, a political scientist at Rider University, said Ferriero's convention appearance will play into the Republican plan to attack New Jersey's ruling Democrats. But Dworkin said it is also a signal to key party insiders that Ferriero believes he has not broken the law and can prove it.
"The issue comes down to this: Does he really think he's guilty of something? He says no. And if he's going to fight whatever charges, this shows it," Dworkin said. "Of course it's a distraction and Republicans will do everything they can to make sure everybody knows it."
But the story failed to disclose Dworkin’s conflict: he is a longtime ally of Weinberg, and the former anti-Ferriero Democratic Municipal Chairman in Teaneck.