Memo to Corzine: Don't Re-Appoint McGreevey Hack
By Carl J. Mayer.
The first tests of Governor-elect Corzine’s leadership will begin before he takes office.
One of the keys will be who Corzine appoints to lead the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
New Jersey has more environmental problems than any other state in the country, thus this position is vitally important.
The current Commissioner Bradley Campbell has failed to safeguard New Jersey’s environment and wildlife and needs to be replaced by someone who will actually protect the environment of the state rather than do the bidding of developers and special interest groups.
Herewith the top five reasons Corzine ought not to re-appoint Campbell:
5. Campbell recently approved New Jersey’s first bear hunt in almost 35 years. You can’t be an environmental leader and work to destroy wildlife. Yosemite Park has thousands of people and bears in close proximity; they routinely manage by using non-lethal methods.
4. Commissioner Campbell not only approved the slaughter of Deer in New Jersey in 2001, but he approved a vicious method called “Net and Bolt” that is condemned by the Humane Society and virtually every other animal welfare organization in the country. Under “Net and Bolt” animals are wrestled to the ground after being trapped under a net and then an eight-inch steel rod is exploded into their heads, causing a gruesome, painful death.
3. Campbell is controlled by the bosses who have corrupted New Jersey politics for decades. The best example of this is the proposed development of Petty Island in South Jersey. News outlets reported earlier this year that Campbell opposed preserving this island – home to nesting bald eagles – in favor of developing it after he was lobbied by notorious political boss George Norcross (currently under investigation by the U.S. Attorney). The development will be done by Cherokee Partners – a firm that has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Norcross and Campbell’s party.
2. Campbell is a McGreevey appointee and was close to the Governor and the corrupt bosses that control politics in New Jersey. Outside his office, Campbell had a framed picture of Jim McGreevey, addressed to Campbell that said: “Thanks Brad.” Corzine cannot call himself a reformer if he re-appoints McGreevey holdovers.
1. Campbell approved the worst environmental law in the modern history of New Jersey and maybe the country. This so called “fast-track” bill allows developers to bypass the ordinary legal and environmental protections afforded land in New Jersey and continue to build uncontrollably. The Sierra Club and the entire environmental community opposed this measure because it endangers the remaining 20% of New Jersey that is open space. It was passed in a back-room deal, written behind closed doors, with the exclusive input of industry and without the environmental community.
I personally have witnessed Campbell’s failed management style.
In 2001 I represented, as a lawyer, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and various groups in New Jersey that wanted to stop the “Net and Bolt” torture of animals. We had a meeting with a Commissioner Campbell at his office.
Rather than listen to any of the facts or evidence regarding the costliness and ineffectiveness of killing deer, Commissioner Campbell spent the entire meeting ranting and raving about how “Net and Bolt’ was actually humane, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Campbell has a history of these outbursts. When Governor McGreevey was on statewide radio call in show, I called the show and pointed out that McGreevey had himself called the “Net and Bolt” deer slaughter “heinous” and he agreed that it was.
Minutes later I received a call from Campbell screaming about how I dare call the Governor and threatening to cancel a previously arranged meeting.
You can’t run a government agency by calling environmental advocates and shouting at them. You can’t be an environmental leader and favor torturing wildlife and loosening controls on developers.
Campbell tried this. It didn’t work. He must go and Corzine should find a new leader to protect the environment of New Jersey.
Carl J. Mayer
Carl J. Mayer, a lawyer, runs the blog devoted to ending corruption in New Jersey: www.newjerseyuntouchables.org.