The Philadephia Inquirer ran an editorial last week arguing FOR Gabriela Mosquera’s admission to the New Jersey State Assembly.
We’re still waiting for the NJ Supreme Court’s final word on the matter.
The Inquirer’s argument? Who cares if her candidacy violated applicable state residency laws!?
Everyone’s doing it…
Although Mosquera, born in Ecuador, has lived in New Jersey since she was a toddler, she moved into the Fourth District only 11 months prior to the election. But so what? The one-year residency rule for Assembly candidates hasn’t been applied in New Jersey since it was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge a decade ago. New Jersey never appealed that decision, and lawmakers and voters never amended the state constitution to clarify the rule. In the interim, the Attorney General’s Office told candidates not to worry about it.”
I’m reminded of my favorite book, Save Jerseyans – George Orwell’s Animal Farm – an allegorical satire of the 1917 Russian Revolution and its subsequent betrayal by Stalinists. At one crucial point in this classic tale, the wiser barnyard animals realize that their revolution’s ideals are in deep trouble when the ruling cabal of pigs revise the farm’s mission statement to read, “All animals are equal, but some animal are more equal than other.”
What a delightfully accurate analogy to help us understand a political machine’s unbridled arrogance!
Its members really believe rules don’t apply to them…
In this instant case, as best as I can tell, not a single pro-Mosquera advocate (formally Carl Lewis advocates) is arguing that she qualifies for office under the laws on the books. All they’ve said is that the laws shouldn’t apply to her, or that the State of New Jersey should’ve updated its standards to conform with other U.S. courts or, even more ridiculous, that everyone else is ignoring the residency requirement so let’s let Gabby off the hook, too!
But rules are rules, correct? And if Mosquera’s supporters are seriously alleging that other folks (presumably a Republican candidate somewhere?) had violated residency requirements in the past, then why did they let such a major transgression slide without filing a complaint? I find that very hard to believe; machines are usually pretty thorough in dissecting their opponents.
I suppose the major difference here is that Mosquera’s fall opponent, Shelley Lovett, had enough courage to raise a red flag, put herself on the line, and file suit to protect the integrity of our electoral process. She believes everyone should be held equally accountable to the rule of law.
And I am 100% positive, Save Jerseyans, that one particular class of individuals is NOT protected or exempted from the residency laws contained in our state constitution: Machine Democrats!
Of course, whether all political animals will remain equal in New Jersey hinges on how the Supremes rule on Ms. Mosequera’s case. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a just result.