Details have been fluid, and I’m sure they will continue to slowly emerge regarding Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D – 4th district) and the charges against him for an alleged DUI and refusing to take a breathalyzer, Save Jerseyans.
The Washington Township police, facing serious accusations of misconduct from the Assemblyman/Former Mayor himself, are not rushing to inform the media on the status of the situation.
The full records, according to NJ.com, will be released once it can be determined that they are “public records,” meaning they have not been released yet and will not be until there has been extensive review, and I am using the term review very loosely. I find it hard to believe that the same considerations would be taken for any other alleged offender.
But truthfully, I am not all that interested in whether Paul Moriarty had a drink before hitting the road Monday afternoon. This is a political blog, and this year, unlike most of the districts in our state, the 4th has a special election, so lets talk implications . . .
Some of you may recall that in 2011, now-Assemblywoman Gabby Mosquera, was temporarily kept from assuming her seat by a court order based on her ineligibility to have even been on the ballot. Mosquera had not lived in the district for the measly year required before the machine hand picked her for the position. The court order the Democrats to name someone eligible to the seat, and since enough time had finally passed earlier this spring, they selected the very woman who was knocked off the ballot.
Every campaign commercial that the Democrats ran in South Jersey showed footage of Mosquera, but were completely voiced over by Moriarty talking all about how great she was. The message I got was essentially that Mosquera could not be trusted to speak for herself or stand on her own.
Now that Moriarty might be toxic in a special election year, will she be able to be her own candidate? I have a hard time believing that the powers that be in Camden County will want Paul Moriarty, an accused intoxicated driver, vouching for an arguably beatable candidate this year?
That’s right, I said beatable.
With the Governor’s numbers across the state being up in the mid-50’s, it is not hard to believe what it happening in Gloucester County. A source tells me that Governor Christie’s numbers there are trending far better than they have been at any point in his tenure as Governor or when he was a candidate for the same. While that area may have been one where Republicans had previously hoped to cut margins, it is now a net positive or, at worst, a non-factor. That enthusiasm for the Governor could be a huge boon for Shelley Lovett, the GOP challenger who was the next highest voter-getter behind Mosquera in 2011.
The damage being done to Moriaty’s brand will certainly be a liability for Mosquera this year. And the longer the uncertainty surrounding this situation goes on, the worse that damage will be. IF Mosquera is lucky enough to hold on to her seat, she still has to run again next year, with Moriarty on the ticket right above her to drag her down.