NY Times today, A Lieutenant Governor, an Artist and a Portrait of a Smear. It describes one case of Republicans using smears to make people think government is wasteful and corrupt, and the way the smears hurt people.
In her first year in office, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno opened a frontal attack on an unlikely target, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Its contracting was “inexcusably” flawed, she said. Its practices were “unethical” and too cozy. Its director had to go.
Like Joe McCarthy, they needed a target.
In spring 2011, she began a new offensive. She went before legislative committees and pilloried a man doing work on an Arts Council contract, building a 9/11 timeline at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. His contract was no-bid, she said, the money unclear.
OK, there’s your waste, fraud and abuse. You’ve got to read the details.
Just like that, Mr. Aubrey fell into reputation’s ditch, and the Christie administration piled dirt atop him. Except — and this is not incidental to our story — Mr. Aubrey did nothing wrong.
Again, read the details, he really, really did nothing wrong.
“None of it was true,” the newspaper noted in a December 2011 editorial. “The state could find no evidence of wrongdoing.”
But wait, there’s more.
It was, in fact, worse than that. The lieutenant governor and Department of State, it turns out, had control of the Arts Council’s spending all along. Her divisions signed off on every payment.
So not only did these Repubicans smear a good man who had done nothing wrong — who in fact was practically donating his time — the Lt. Gov. office was the responsible party all along.
Think about that the next time you hear a Republican run down things like Arts Councils and other things government does to make our lives better – also known as “government spending.”
Republicans. They just lie.