Home > Uncategorized > Mr. Barr, Please Withdraw Your Nomination to the Pinelands Commission

Mr. Barr, Please Withdraw Your Nomination to the Pinelands Commission

An Open Letter to Bob Barr

Dear Mr. Barr:

Sometimes, a good man of conscience and integrity  – which I believe you are – needs to take a step back from the daily hubbub and reflect on the essence of things.

This is one of those moments.

As a good man of conscience and integrity, I now urge you to do so, and, upon reflection, withdraw your name from Senate consideration as a Pinelands Commissioner. Here’s why:

I’ve listened closely to your good friend Senator Van Drew’s praise of you as a man and a public servant. Indeed, you have struggled and overcome obstacles and achieved many good things, both for yourself and your community.

And that is precisely why I urge you to withdraw your name from consideration.

The context for your nomination by the Governor is deeply troubling.

You personally had nothing to do with creating this context, but you are immersed in its fabric and caught in the crossfire.

You now must make a choice. Your choice will have consequences. Listen to reason and follow your conscience in doing so.

Your confirmation by the Senate would do lasting damage to individuals and institutions, including yourself.

I am certain that you would never cause this kind of damage, but your decisions now may contribute to it.

First of all, the Pinelands Commissioner you would replace, Mr. Jackson, is a man of integrity. He has served the Commission well for a decade. He wants to continue that service.

Commissioners have routinely been reappointed when their terms expire. The Governor’s proposed replacement of Mr. Jackson’s is obviously in retaliation for his NO vote on the South Jersey Gas pipeline. Whetether you agree with this or not is irrelevant – it is widely perceived to be true.

Your appointment to the Commission under these circumstances would forever taint you personally – you could not serve effectively as a Commissioner when your fellow Commissioners and the public would never forget and blame you for the Gov.’s scheme.

Second, your confirmation by the Senate would undermine the independence of all members of State and regional boards and commissions by sending a message that if you defy the will of the Governor or powerful political interests, you will be replaced.

That is redolent of the old Stalinist Soviet Union.

Do you want your name associated with that?

Third, your confirmation by the Senate would taint the Senate itself, rendering its Constitutional advise and consent role subordinate to the power politics of the Governor.

The stench of these politics would stick to your skin forever.

Do you really want to go through public life under these conditions?

Is all this damage worth a handful of very temporary jobs?

Reflect on that, then take a drive through the Pinelands forests and do the right thing.

Please withdraw. Now.

Respectfully,

Bill Wolfe

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