An ongoing political feud among Republicans in Passaic County escalated a bit today with former GOP County Chairman Michael Mecca sharply criticizing the current chairman, Scott Rumana, for not attending the wake or funeral of Elaine Murphy, whose son and late husband both served as Passaic County Republican Chairman.
The following is a text of Mecca's e-mail sent to party leaders today:
As many of you know the mother of Peter Murphy, and the wife of former Passaic County Republican Party Chairman “Red” Murphy passed away last week. We are all saddened by the loss to Peter and his family.
The Murphy family has been stalwarts in the Republican Party for decades. They have provided leadership, counsel and friendship to hundreds, if not thousands of people in and out of politics.
The outpouring of love and sympathy for the Murphy family was evident by the thousands of people who lined up at Sunday’s wake and today’s funeral to pay their respects to the Murphy family. Many people chose this sad moment to put aside their political differences and demonstrate their respect for Peter and his family and to honor all that the Murphy’s have done to help those in need. Among those present at the wake was former Paterson Mayor Lawrence “Pat” , who despite his political and ideological differences with Red and Peter Murphy, showed the decency and Kramer humanity to personally offer his condolences to the grieving family.
Unfortunately, the class and dignity of Mr. Kramer was not emulated by our current Passaic County Republican Chairman Scott Rumana, who chose not to attend either the wake or the funeral of Elaine Murphy.
In the rough and tumble world of politics, people often clash over ideas and outcomes. But in the end, we are all just people trying to do the right thing for our community and our party. Sadly, Mr. Rumana could not look beyond his own bruised ego and his self-serving rhetoric to attend the Murphy wake and offer his respects to the man and the family that gave him his political start.
Mr. Rumana has demonstrated a lack of basic respect and courage by failing to personally offer his condolences to the Murphy family on this – one of the saddest occasions of their lives. He has demonstrated that he cannot separate political differences from his basic responsibilities as a human being. That is a bad quality for anyone seeking to be a leader. There is a time to fight for what you believe in and a time to extend a hand of friendship to those with whom you disagree. Mr. Rumana, unfortunately does not seem to understand the difference.
A true leader does not hold grudges and does not let political rivalries stand in the way of his responsibilities as a man. A true leader builds bridges, not walls. It is evident that Mr. Rumana wants to tear down bridges and build walls – all in the name of advancing his personal agenda at the expense of the party he is trying to represent.
Sadly, none of Mr. Rumana’s staff chose to attend the wake or funeral either. His Assembly aide and the Republican Chairwoman of Wayne, Anne Mary O’Rourke did not attend and neither did Mr. Rumana’s legal counsel, and Totowa native, Mark Semmaro.
This further sign of disrespect is without question, unacceptable. But it is revealing. Obviously, Rumana’s inner circle is as blind to their responsibilities as human beings as he is. And it is just as obvious that their concern is not for building an inclusive and more effective Republican Party, but merely to advance the personal ego-driven agenda of their leader.
I am compelled to write this letter because I cannot help but comment on the personal deficiencies in the man who falsely positions himself as a man above the pettiness of politics, but who, in actuality thrives on it.
This is not the first time I find myself disappointed in Scott Rumana, but this is certainly one of the most memorable and unforgiveable disappointments that I will recall in years to come.