Chris Christie paid a visit to downtown Plainfield, here in Union County last week, he was accompanied by the District 22 GOP Assembly candidates, Dr. Martin Marks and William "Bo" Vastine. With members of the press following he went door to door visiting some of the shops and chatting with passersby on the street. It would seem that when word got around that there were actual Republicans who had the nerve to set a foot in Plainfield, Democrat Assemblyman Jerry Green appeared on the scene. Green later shared his version of the events on his blog as did Dr. Marks and Mr. Vastine on their campaign web site and it seems that Assemblyman Green 's report of what transpired has a different slant from the others including what appeared on the news broadcast by NJN that evening.
To read Jerry's version is pretty entertaining as he seems to have forgotten who he is in fact running against this fall; one would think that he was running for governor as he targets Christie in his blog piece. But then again this is not surprising because judging by his behavior in Plainfield it looks as though he is running for mayor as well. He must be exhausted covering all of these fronts singlehandedly because everyone knows that he runs the Queen City for the Mayor, Sharon Robinson-Briggs, is one of the Assembly Representatives for the 22nd District and both of these political offices are up for reelection this year so that makes Jerry an incumbent candidate, officially for one spot at least and unofficially for the other. Confused yet?
Green is a fascinating character to say the least, he is a larger than life old time politician with the uncanny ability to show up unannounced at places that he has not been invited and make the omission appear to be a forgivable oversight. Such was the case this past primary season when he showed up at a forum intended for the local Plainfield council/mayoral candidates taking a seat at the candidate's dais. It has been speculated that his showing up on the scene that night was an effort to actually keep the heat off of Sharon Robinson-Briggs a light weight who relies on Green to give her direction. He claims that he is not the one who pulls the strings in Plainfield but rather his relationship with the Mayor and Council is one that he is a phone call away if needed. He also claims that he has the same relationship with the other municipalities in his district. It is hard to impossible to imagine that the mayor of Clark or Linden would be ringing him up for advice anytime soon as he would have people believe.
Jerry says he queried Christie on the "day-worker" (it must be noted that these were mostly illegal aliens) issue which he says is the number one problem facing the downtown area of Plainfield. According to Green Christie never gave him an answer. Some of us will recall Green's outrageous solution from a couple of years ago when he suggested that taxpayer money be used to create shelters for these illegal workers to protect them from the elements when they converged on the downtown each morning looking for work. Needless to say that this hair brained scheme never got out of the planning stages where thankfully it lasted for all of about 5 minutes. One has to wonder about Green sometimes because he seems to rush around and not only act but speak without really thinking things through. Or one could speculate that he thinks about things too much which is why some of his explanations and problem solving solutions can give those on the receiving end a headache.
Noticeably on his legislative page he lists all of his government experience but his employment is only that of a business consultant with no further information regarding who he consulted for or any other work or business history. On his blog "Jerry Green's Page" (blogspot.com) the profile link goes nowhere it is as though he just popped up one day on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders by accident and decided to stay. A reliable source who did business with Jerry back in the day has reported that he owned/operated a liquor store and a bar simultaneously and down the street from each other on St. Georges Avenue in what is now a redevelopment area straddling Linden and Roselle. It is said that Jerry was well versed in the "business practices" of that industry at that time and knew who in the neighborhood to see for whatever a "customer" needed. Admittedly he got out of the liquor business long ago but just recently, according to public records, Green sold one of the properties for over half a Mill. to the Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) the government entity managing the aforementioned redevelopment project. The Director of the UCIA is Charlotte DeFillippo the chair of the Union County Democratic Committee and as chairman of the Plainfield Democratic Committee and assemblyman Jerry is assuredly one of her "King Street Men" and probably doing her bidding.
Several days after Christie's Plainfield visit with Marks and Vastine Green continued his senseless attack on the gubernatorial candidate, this is evident on his blog page. But Jerry didn't stop there, he also went after Marks saying "I never had a good relationship with Mayor Marks" and the majority of Republicans don't like him either, Jerry wrote. Certainly Mayor Marks could retort loudly with the raspberries in response, but he is much to classy to even acknowledge this kind of nonsense, and with his running mate is campaigning on the actual issues. Green has gone so far as to include George Bush in his diatribes by attempting to place the blame for the closing of Muhlenberg Hospital at his feet, and he also denies then appears to justify his involvement in the operations of the Queen City. Green has gone on to complain that it is actually the Republican Party that is keeping him busy defending local issues that are out of his control and not part of his "direct responsibility". One such issue could be the PMUA, Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority, which Green called on the state comptroller to review.
Well maybe in an attempt to lighten his work load Green should let the Plainfield mayor and town council handle those issues themselves, perhaps he needs to stop appearing at events that he was not invited to attend, stop writing letters to the local news papers about these local issues and decide just who he is running against and what office he is running for in the November elections.