We, the undersigned, are members of the Clark Democratic Committee. We are part of the legions of committee members throughout Union County who Union County Democratic Chairman Nick Scutari has thrown off the regular Democratic Organization line this year for our re-election.
The reason for this action is simple: we voted for someone else at the last election for Union County Chairman who we believed would be better for the party. For people unfamiliar with this process, all votes were signed – and Nick Scutari personally examined and took note of each one. We know that Chairman Scutari is concerned about maintaining his position, but there’s more. Clark, along with several other towns in Union County, may play a pivotal role in his re-election to State Senate next year, and it is up to the Committee Chairs to nominate him.
Chairman Scutari may be concerned with his level of support.
So instead of working to win the support of committee people who have worked hard for their party – in some cases for 30 years or more —he chose to use his position to replace them with new names. While a few hand-picked candidates may be genuinely interested in serving their community, most of these candidates come from the ranks of County employees, their families, and others whose fate County Chairman Scutari controls. These employees and/or family members who are candidates may feel that they have no choice but to run to protect their employment.
The result? Chairman Scutari has pitted neighbor against neighbor, and Democrat against Democrat. Divisions in the party are seen everywhere, within and outside of Clark. As evidence, you need only to look at the primary ballot in Clark, which includes four separate columns. We chose to run on our own line --- Column D - “Democrats United for Clark”. We are not part of any other organizational line and did not participate in the formation of any other organizational line. We did not desert the organization; Chairman Scutari deserted us.
While we cannot speak to the motives of others who chose to run under their own organizations, we can speak from our own observations. Shutting people out of decisions on who can run for a position does not promote unity. Submitting frivolous complaints against
committee members who Scutari did not select does not promote unity. Sending representatives door-to-door to discourage people from running does not promote unity. Pressuring County employees on how they should vote does not promote unity. And (unbelievably) hiring handwriting analysts to attempt to invalidate petitions does not promote unity.
Chairman Scutari’s actions have served to divide and ultimately weaken our party. Instead of allowing others some say in decisions, he chooses to spend hours and hours of manpower and thousands of dollars in campaign donations to fight fellow Democrats. This only serves to erode our party from within.
Chairman Scutari should remember that the word “democrat” stands for “democracy” – something we need to stand for and see more of in Union County. If you agree that each of us should be able to vote our conscience without fear of retribution, vote column “D” – Democrats United for Clark!
Clark Column “D” Democrats
Nancy Sheridan (chair)