Rep. Scott Barrett. Good thing this
is only a head shot, because his pants
are on fire.
What is it with New Jersey Republicans? Are they all head cases, psychopaths, and habitual liars?
First we had Chris Christie, whose shenanigans in creating a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge to punish a mayor who didn’t support him made life miserable for hundreds of thousands of innocent bystanders, including kids on their way to school, and could have cost lives if an ambulance had to get through. And it has unmasked Christie for the malign liar he is.
Now, spewing into my Manhattan living room from Northern New Jersey comes a barrage of wildly misleading TV spots. They’re from Scott Garrett, an incumbent Tea Party Republican member of Congress who evidently can’t stoop low enough to make sure he keeps his butt on his Republican seat.
The advertising depicts a condo apartment building and discusses a woman who, according to Garrrett, was “assaulted” in the building by Garrett's Democratic rival, Joseh Gottheimer.
Garrett’s ad keeps gushing out of my television set. It declares:
“Gottheimer aggressively intimidated and assaulted her and left her fearful in her own home.”
“Scared and violated, the victim had to move to escape Gottheimer’s harassing environment. That’s the real Josh Gottheimer, and his values aren’t New Jersey’s values.”
"Fearful?" “Violated?” What was this, a Donald Trump-style sexual attack? A brutal mugging? A sex attack and mugging?
Nope. Gottheimer was with his wife at the time. (The apartment by the way, isn't in New Jersey. It's in Washington, D.C.) And the neighbor turns out to be one of those, umm, “difficult” individuals of whom some apartment dwellers say, “There’s one in every building.”
NJSpotlight, an online journal, reports:
According to documents filed in 2007 in Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Gottheimer said he and his wife had entered the building and saw someone they did not recognize in a place where owners’ keys were kept.
The woman’s complaint said she was retrieving her keys from an unattended key closet in the lobby when “Gottheimer aggressively approached” and “derisively asked if she was the new security guard.”
“When plaintiff informed him that she was a resident, Gottheimer threateningly waived [sic] his finger in her face and aggressively questioned plaintiff in a loud voice and an intimidating manner about who she was and what she was doing,” the complaint said.
Gottheimer countered that when he and his wife “saw an unidentified/unknown woman searching in a restricted closet/drawer, he asked questions in order to assure the appropriateness of the conduct he was witnessing.”
So the so-called "assault" that desperate T-Party Republican Garrett refers to in his ads consists — even if we assume it’s true — of nothing more than wagging a finger and speaking in a voice that the cranky neighbor perceived as loud.
But wait, there’s more! The neighbor not only attempted to sue Gottheimer, but also another neighbor because of another “incident.” She also tried to sue one of the building’s concierges for, among other transgressions, going to the bathroom in one of the building's toilets, and in addition she tried to sue the building’s management company. Here’s NJ Spotlight again:
She said, for example, that she had been discriminated against because she was Asian, and cited numerous complaints about one of the concierges and the management company that employed her. The concierge, for example, had failed to provide the homeowner with a garage key; twice turned away a cable television technician while other technicians were waiting; twice called police to ticket vehicles making deliveries, and once failed to notify the homeowner when a package was delivered.
Also named as a defendant was another condo board member who questioned the plaintiff as she was leaving the building gym about whether she had made a complaint to the management company about building employees using the bathroom in a common area. The woman denied making the complaint, and said she felt intimidated by that board member as well.
For a complainant, the so-called harassed woman wasn’t very cooperative. Court papers show at one point the management company’s attorneys asked the judge for an order to compel the plaintiff to answer interrogatories.
Finally, when it looked as if her case was falling apart and was going to cost her a pretty penny in costs and legal fees, the woman dropped the matter. The judge in the case dismissed her case “with prejudice.” According to the legal dictionary Nolo:
“When a lawsuit is dismissed with prejudice, the court is saying that it has made a final determination on the merits of the case, and that the plaintiff is therefore forbidden from filing another lawsuit based on the same grounds.”
In other words, a court has already ruled that the charges are nonsense. Which so far hasn’t stopped incumbent Congressman Garrett from spewing lies into my home via my TV set on an almost daily basis. I find it almost impossible to watch the evening news in New York without being “assaulted” by this lying Republican from New Jersey. Maybe he took lessons from Chris Christie.
Recently, various commentators been appropriating the old saw about the similarity between making laws and making sausages, and applying it to electoral politics. But that’s a bad analogy.
Watching many Republicans run for office is nothing like watching sausages getting made. It’s more like watching human feces gushing into a vat in a sewage plant.