Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Forrester's “Faux Democrats” Ad Already Unraveling

Wow, that didn't take long.

I have an update on the piece I wrote just yesterday, called Forrester Slimes Corzine With Faux Democrats, in which I describe a scummy television ad being aired by Republican Doug Forrester to smear U.S. Senator Jon Corzine in the New Jersey Gubernatorial race.

The ads show a Rogues Gallery of so-called Democrats lamenting the level of corruption in state government and implying that it's Jon Corzine's fault – even though Corzine has never held state-government office in New Jersey.

The Star-Ledger reports today that David McGraw, one of the “Democrats” featured in the ad, switches political parties whenever convenient and, 20 years ago, was fired from a clerk's job with the district court in Essex County for "unethical and immoral conduct."

The Democratic State Committee yesterday said McGraw's appearance in the ad "advertises Forrester's hypocrisy" on corruption issues.

As a clerk with the Essex County district court in 1985, McGraw was tried on criminal charges of embezzling $55,000 in court funds. While a jury found him not guilty, he was fired after a disciplinary hearing found that he had misappropriated cash from court deposit envelopes many times and had intentionally lied to the county prosecutor.

"He exploited his position as clerk in a continuous course of dishonesty using the district court's financial operation for his own personal benefit. In so doing, the appellant flagrantly violated his fiduciary obligation to the judiciary and the public," Administrative Law Judge Joseph Fidler wrote in his decision at the time.

The Star-Ledger also points out McGraw's history of switching parties whenever it has been financially expedient for him. In the 1990s, he helped Republican Jim Treffinger – who later did 13 months of prison time on corruption charges -- get elected Essex County executive. For that bit of service, McGraw was given a county job that helped increase his government pension.

According to Rich McGrath, of the New Jersey State Democratic Committee, McGraw was a registered Republican until two months ago and had served as an Essex County Republican Committeeman.

Finally, The Star-Ledger makes it clear that the other Democrats in the ad have suspect motives as well. “Karen Maxim lives around the corner from Forrester in West Windsor and five [others in the commercial] are members of a Union City-based political group called "Younity,” reports the Star-Ledger. “The group of dissident Democrats opposes the Hudson County Democratic Organization, which backs Corzine.”

So there you go. A bunch of fake Democrats, with hidden agendas trying to smear Senator Corzine of behalf of the Republican party.

Game over.