Voice of the People: The Democratic Donald Trump

By James J. Devine

Roselle mayoral candidate and Councilman Jamel Holley attended Essex County Republican state Sen. Kevin O’Toole’s Feb. 17 event, where Gov. Chris Christie was featured, and he says he loves the Tea Party.

The explanation Holley gives is that he is a lobbyist-for-hire who has to do business with everyone. That’s fine, except, it doesn’t say much about his character, integrity or any consistent philosophy of governing other than “doing anything to win.”


Donald Trump’s threat to run for President has helped put perspective on Holley’s ambition. Trump has stiffed lots of people as a businessman, Holley’s political record is replete with disaster. He was a key aide to former Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who was sent to prison for five years after pleading guilty to distributing child pornography.

Holley was sentenced to only a year on probation after he was caught trying to steal an election through absentee ballot fraud. A lawyer who helped overturn the results of that race outlined dozens of specific crimes during an interview with this newspaper and said, “Holley belongs in jail.”

A scheme in which Holley conspired with Finance Chairman Yves Aubourg to disrupt Mayor Garrett Smith’s administration blew up in their faces as the state threatened to take over the municipality and a key employee they brought in was fired. Consequently, taxpayers are stuck with an immediate $250 property tax hike and more increases may be necessary as the extent of Holley and Aubourg’s screwup becomes known.

Known locally as a sweet young man who smiles kindly when he delivers goodies to senior citizens, Holley is believed to be under federal investigation for using funds of his non-profit, tax exempt charity for illegal political purposes.

By Trump’s standard, Holley would be an excellent candidate because he’s made money as a soul-selling lobbyist, but fortunately most voters have better judgment than the Donald. Republican Tea Party politics, a record of crime and corruption, plus a political agenda that ignores the needs of the people add up to a ringing endorsement for Holley to get out of public office and pursue a different career. A solid rejection from voters on June 7 might be the hint he needs.

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