Former Assemblyman Arthur Barclay, Haddon Township Commissioner Paul Dougherty and Camden County Freeholder candidate Vincent Squire all have one thing in common. They screwed up and got themselves into legal troubles.
Two are Democrats. One is a Republican. All three had brushes with the law.
The difference is Camden County Republicans are trying to clean their own house, Camden County Democrats, not so much.
Barclay got in trouble with his arrest on domestic violence charges. The case against him was dismissed because the complainant did not appear in court to testify. Barclay admitted the incident happened, telling the New Jersey Globe, “I don’t want to talk about it. It is what it is. It happened. I just want to move forward.” Camden County Democrats kept the Barclay incident quiet for 11 days and did nothing until County Republicans brought the issue to the public.
Dougherty got in trouble when he drove his car into the back of another and left the scene. The incident happened on July 19 and didn’t become public until the Courier-Post broke the story on August 8, almost three weeks after the fact.
Dougherty also happens to be the municipal prosecutor in three Democratic controlled municipalities. Camden County Republicans have called on Dougherty to, at the very least, step down as a prosecutor. Still nothing but crickets from the Democrats.
Squire has a checkered past, but Republicans were willing to overlook that past because as CCGOP Chairman wrote to party members, “Vince paid for his earlier conviction, pleading guilty and serving time in prison. After completing his probation, he used his past mistakes to help others, volunteering at anti-recidivism programs and prison ministry work. When we selected Vince as one of our candidates, knowing only that, it seemed like a compelling story of a young man who worked hard, found success, then threw it all away by making a few greedy, bad decisions, but who was using those mistakes to try and help others from choosing a similar path.”
Unfortunately, County Republicans learned “there were other more recent brushes with the law that Vince did not fully disclose or sought to conceal outright.” After confirming that these more recent pending charges do indeed exist, County Republicans asked Squire to resign, several times. He refused, so the CCGOP disavowed Squire.
And, that’s the difference between the two major parties in Camden County – Democrats are happy to circle the wagons around office holders who are accused of or actually admit to violating the law and Republicans try to purge accused lawbreakers from the party. It’s obvious who holds the moral high ground in Camden County.