Tag Archives: burlington county nj freeholders

Update on Democracy Gone Wrong

Last week The Curmudgeon wrote about the undemocratic form of government in Burlington County, New Jersey, where he lives.  There, a member of the county’s board of freeholders – the elected officials who run the county – had resigned her position and was to be replaced not by a special election but by an appointee of her political party.

That’s right:  the political bosses of just one party get to appoint someone to an elected office.

What idiot wrote that law?

So the party bosses did just that:  with the public having no voice in the matter at all, this little cabal filled the vacancy.

How’s that for democracy?

But the story gets worse.

Burlington County’s Republican Party appointed one of its own – totally understandable – but it didn’t select any old Republican.  No, its appointee had prior experience as a member of the county board of elected freeholders.

And he probably still would have been a freeholder except that the voters drummed him out of office – a Republican freeholder voted out of office in a county totally dominated by Republicans.

How bad does an incumbent have to be to lose his elected office in a county his party dominates?

Pretty damn bad, The Curmudgeon suspects.

But the story’s still not over.

To add insult to injury, the party then engineered the election of the previously ousted, newly appointed, unelected freeholder as director – the head of the board of freeholders.

So what you have now is a county that voted an official out of office, had that official reappointed by the party for which he failed, and now is essentially being run again by the discredited, unelected official.

How incredibly arrogant do the leaders of that party have to be to force a rejected person back on the electorate?  How completely disdainful of the will of the public must this ring of party bosses be?

But that’s democracy in action in Burlington County, New Jersey.

It’s the kind of government that could make a head of state proud.

If that head of state was Vladimir Putin.