Why Good People Don’t Get Into Politics

Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan waits and consults as the votes are counted last Thursday night at the BCRO in Hackensack.

Remember back in April when Kathe Donovan, Bergen County’s tough-as-nails county executive, threw down and fired seven members of the notorious Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority?

Well, Save Jerseyans, it seems Donovan has hit a legal snag.

The Bergen County Superior Court released its decision late yesterday afternoon in Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority v. Kathleen A. Donovan, et. al., Docket No. L-3073-12. Click here to read it for yourself (pdf). The Judge said Donovan’s government’s legal arguments were “misguided,” overtunring her veto of the Authority’s minutes and reinstating the sacked commissioners along with their ample public compensation. 

My question: what now, Save Jerseyans?

In a state with objectively waaaaay too much government, a point that even the state’s top elected Democrat readily concedes, these “authorities” continue to operate without limitations or a meaningful democratic check on their power. They command huge operating budgets and waste our hard-earned money with impunity. My favorite example is South Jersey’s notorious DRPA, an out-of-control organization operated by a sell-out former Republican legislator. Donovan has been a leader in the fight to rein in the authorities; this spring, she expressed to NJTV her uncontroversial opinion that there are “two many freakin’ layers of government in New Jersey.”

The Court’s decision is what it is, Save Jerseyans. But if Donovan can’t fire bureaucrats “serving” the county which she was elected to manage, then who the hell CAN control these authorities? They’re not elected, yet they are entitled to our monies, and Donovan is stuck going in and out of court just to execute her fiduciary duty to her taxpayers? This is madness! The system is obviously midguided. But we’re powerless to change it without votes?

And as if that wasn’t enough ridiculousness to digest in one sitting, Donovan also has to deal with easily the most dysfunctional county GOP of all twenty-one counties and, like all politicians, the glaring spotlight of media scrutiny when her family undergoes relatively-normal problems associated with raising kids in the 21st Century.

So the next time you catch yourself wondering “why good people don’t get into politics,” folks, revisit this article for a clear reminder. No good deed goes unpunished in American politics.