During the Bush era, Monmouth County Democrats steadily chipped a freeholder seat per year away from Republicans until they built a majority.
A year after they built a 3-2 advantage, however, a big Chris Christie victory over Jon Corzine in Monmouth helped demolish the Dems’ dreams of party rule.
Now the Democrats are trying to make it a fight as they face off against Freeholder Rob Clifton and Neptune Mayor Tom Arnone, going back to their glory days with reminders of Operation Bid Rig, the statewide scandal that tarred Republicans locally.
Freeholder John D’Amico and running mate Janice Venables want an investigation of allegations that when Monmouth County government buys new trucks and heavy equipment items, it limits competition to a handful of favored vendors.
D’Amico, along with fellow Democratic Freeholder Amy Mallett, forwarded the matter to the Local Finance Board in Trenton for investigation pursuant to the Monmouth County Code of Ethics.
“We must make sure that we do not have another ‘Operation Bid Rig’ on our hands,” said D’Amico. “If truck dealers and other vendors are complaining that Monmouth County does not practice a fair and open bidding process, then county taxpayers have been ripped off. Any wrongdoing must be rooted out.”
“The sting of Operation Bid Rig is still fresh for many Monmouth County taxpayers,” said former prosecutor and Sheriff Candidate Eric Brophy.
“The elected officials of this county owe it to the people to provide the most honest and efficient government possible and, if the facts are as they appear, the Republicans are not living up to their responsibility,” said Brophy.