Thursday, January 24, 2008

Arrested Developments in Cape May

Clearly it is news when a high profile figure like former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan is arrested for displaying protest signs outside of Governor Corzine’s recent Cape May County Town Hall Meeting on his debt reduction/toll increase proposal.

But is the volume of coverage the incident received this week warranted?

On one hand, it is difficult to ignore the charges and counter-charges over who bears the ultimate responsibility for the arrest. Depending on who’s doing the talking, it could be local police, State Police, local school officials or the Governor’s Office. Meanwhile, Republicans are calling for an investigation by the state Attorney General, and the County Freeholders in Atlantic County are drafting a resolution to ensure that neither protestors nor supporters of the proposal will be arrested when the Governor’s Town Hall meetings come to Atlantic County Community College on February 7.

On the other hand, if the press were to downplay or ignore such actions – many of which are done primarily to garner media attention or for political gain – would our elected officials stop spending time on these matters and turn their attention to some of the pressing issues confronting state and local government in New Jersey?

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