Home > Uncategorized > More BS From NJ Spotlight & Senator Sweeney On Warehouse Development

More BS From NJ Spotlight & Senator Sweeney On Warehouse Development

NJ Spotlight Perverts A Corruption Story To Be One About Leadership

Senator Sweeney Hijacks Story to Cover Up Corruption And Murphy DEP Failure

yours truly (R) gets in Sweeney’s face in his District (Earth Day, 2005)

yours truly (R) gets in Sweeney’s face in his District (Earth Day, 2005)

Back on July 29, 2021, we wrote about an egregious abuse of the NJ Redevelopment law by Mansfield Township, who designated a farm on Rt. 130 as in need of redevelopment, see:

After I wrote that post, I contacted the NJ Attorney General’s Office and filed a detailed request (via email and telephone) for an investigation of possible corruption in that designation.

In that post, I also provided a link to 6 other major warehouse development approvals pending before DEP –

I then sent all that information to NJ Spotlight reporter Jon Hurdle (there are several other NJ based mainstream media reporters who follow my Twitter feed, so they all had the same information).

Today, over a month later, Hurdle wrote the Mansfield story, but it a way that intentionally obfuscates the issues and blatantly misleads readers, see:

It is obvious that Hurdle wrote the story based on spin from Senate President Sweeney (the story’s title in the URL revealing is  “Sweeney-Adiego will seek ban”).

What bullshit. Let me explain.

First of all, the bill the story focused on would NOT ban future warehouse developments. It applies narrowly to municipal designations under the NJ redevelopment law. Towns can still zone farmland for commercial development, including warehouses. Warehouses can still be built on farmland and could continue to do so in the unlikely even that the bill were to pass.

It is grossly misleading to suggest any kind of ban or even protection of farmland. There is no ban and there is no ban intended. Exactly the opposite!

Second, the bill is an Assembly bill and has no version in the Senate. So why is Senate President Sweeney the legislative source for the story?

Senator Sweeney is spinning this to:

1) divert and cover up the Mansfield (and other) corruption of NJ redevelopment law aspects of the story;

2) get out in front of what should be very bad press (if NJ had a functioning media);

3) create the false appearance of leadership in “opposing” very unpopular warehouse developments;

4) evade any media coverage of the DEP regulatory aspects of the story;

5) block emergence of grassroots organizing and prevent real legislation to preserve remaining forests an farmlands; and

6) control the Legislation, by pledging to sponsor the Senate version of the Assembly bill, to control the legislative review (and amendment) of the bill. A bill doesn’t move or get committee consideration or amendments without consultation and approval of the sponsor. The best way to kill a legislative initiative is to sponsor a fake bill on that issue (just as Sweeney has done here).

NJ Spotlight completely ignored the real story (which was about corruption of the redevelopment law and DEP rubber stamp regulatory approvals). They are working off Sweeney’s press release.

There also might be a story about investigation of Mansfield by the NJ Attorney General’s Office – all it would take would be some phone calls to the AG’s press office asking for a response to my request for investigation.

Instead of writing the real story  NJ Spotlight erased all that corruption and made NJ Redevelopment law appear to be good policy and made Sweeney and Mansfield officials look like leaders, not corrupt scumbags:

The new measure under consideration follows a meeting between Sweeney, Addiego and officials in Mansfield, Burlington County, where eight warehouses totaling between 4 million and 5 million square feet have been approved because of farmland being designated for redevelopment, according to the township’s deputy mayor, Bob Tallon.

Tallon urged lawmakers to support the legislation, which would prevent more warehouses from being built on farmland in the township, and any more farmland from being lost. He estimated that 500-600 acres of farmland will be occupied by warehouses and parking lots by the time the approved warehouses are built.

Tallon argued that the 1992 law was designed to help revitalize urban areas and has been misapplied to farmland.

‘We want to remain primarily farm’

“Redevelopment was meant as a tool to redo our cities, and it’s being used as a planning tool where you can designate active farmland that’s productive for the purpose of warehouses, and we didn’t think that was a good use,” he said. “We want to remain primarily farm, and if we fill our township with warehouses, we’ve lost our original plan.”

What total bullshit.

On top of this wild perversion, Mr Hurdle and NJ Spotlight again ignored the DEP regulatory role in the warehouse development controversy, once again giving Governor Murphy and the DEP a pass.

This is journalistic malpractice that misleads readers. I sent this note to NJ Spotlight editor John McAlpin:

John – I’ve been feeding Jon Hurdle stories for many months, all of which he either ignores or writes himself (without attribution or proper sourcing) and in ways that mislead your readers and let the Gov. and DEP off the hook. It’s happened so many times that it can not be an accident. I thought you should know.

Over and out.

[End note: Edited. Mr Tallon has been a leader in opposing warehouse and other development.]

[Ironic photo update: Here’s the photo NJ Spotlight is running tonight – no comment!:


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