2 Democrats, 2 Counties, 2 Brawlers, Silence From Their Party Bosses

Jason Ravitz - Bob Gant

Jason Ravitz - Bob Gant

Camden County and Salem County have something in common, I mean other than the influence of Democratic party power broker George Norcross. Both counties have alleged brawlers on their tickets and their party bosses have chosen to remain silent.

In Camden County there is Voorhees Township Deputy Mayor Jason Ravitz. This guy has been caught on video engaging in bar fights and wrote a letter to Township voters begging forgiveness. There’s a website dedicated to Ravitz bar brawls and an apparent reader of The Bob & Steve Show blog even went so far as to comment on one of our posts that Ravitz “was a bully in middle and high school.”

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Despite the fact Ravitz’s bar brawls are on video and that he somehow managed to get into a fight at an Applebee’s of all places, local and county Democrats have remained silent. Imagine if there were video evidence of an elected Republican getting into bar brawls. Democrats would be screaming for that Republican to resign.

In Salem County there is a lieutenant in the Sheriff’s Department running for sheriff who allegedly beat a former inmate at the old Salem County Jail unconscious.

Gant supporters first denied, then demanded proof the incident happened. We provided court docket numbers. I wrote, “So, if you still doubt Gant beat a handcuffed, defenseless man unconscious with a weapon I do know Salem County imposed major discipline and terminated Gant's employment. I know because he appealed to the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law (Docket No.: CSV5577-91) and lost. I know he lost because Gant appealed to the Appellate Division, N.J. Superior Court (Docket No.: A-4025-91 T2).”

That wasn’t enough for Gant supporters so The Bob & Steve Show provided an actual court document and interviewed Gant’s alleged victim twice, once by phone and most recently in a call-in interview on our radio show.

Just like the Camden County Democrats, Salem County Democrats have remained silent on the Gant issue. A similar question has to be asked about Salem County Democrats. Could you imagine how loud the Democrats would be screaming if a Republican running for sheriff were accused of beating a handcuffed inmate unconscious? There would be calls for investigations and calls for the candidate to drop out of the race. Not in Salem County, the Democrats continue to wholeheartedly support the candidate.

Why the double standard from Camden County and Salem County Democrats? Is it the best they can do, put up with allegedly violent candidates for office?

When it comes to Ravitz irrefutable video proof has been offered. In Gant’s case plenty of evidence, including a court document and two interviews of the alleged victim have been provided. Still nothing but silence from Democratic Party bosses. Fortunately, the voters have the opportunity to speak loudly with their votes.

Salem County Sheriff Race Update: “Bob Gant Once Agreed He Will Not Seek Re-Employment With The County Of Salem At Any Time In The Future”

Bob Gant

Bob Gant

On October 11, when I first wrote about the Salem County Sheriff election, I thought it would be my only post about that race.

I only wrote about it because at The Bob & Steve Show we focus on South Jersey politics and at that point I had yet to write anything about Salem County. I thought writing that a guy running for office and using personal days to campaign would get little attention. That was the week we learned George Norcross was wiretapped, the week we asked if Vincent Squire was breaking the law again and the week we learned about sexual misconduct within Governor Phil Murphy’s administration.

With all that going on, you can imagine why I was shocked my seemingly innocuous first piece on the Salem County Sheriff race caught fire.

Not only did the piece get a lot of attention, Gant supporters took to social media to attack Bob and I. Bob being Bob, and me being the kind of guy I am, we were not going to let anyone bully us. Bob egged me on – he does that well – and I started digging around. It’s amazing how being good at opposition research translates to blogging.

A bunch of digging led us to a second blog post that included an interview with Bunyan Mills, a one-time inmate at Salem County Jail who told his story of being assaulted by Gant while in the jail. Again, we were attacked on social media by Gant’s supporters. Even Gant got into the act. Many of those social media comments have since been deleted.

The one constant in all of this is that Bob and I have repeatedly replied to those comments with invitations for Gant to call in to our radio show, he has not. The call-in number is still 856-696-0092.

So, because Gant’s supporters have attempted to “bully” us, called us liars and went so far as to claim Gant was never disciplined or fired by the County I am writing this third piece on the Salem County Sheriff race and providing the paperwork to go along with Docket No. A-4025-91 T2.

Here are the facts: Gant and Salem County settle the case by Stipulation of Settlement (party's sign on September 4, 1992; Appellate Division Clerk files it on November 24, 1992), resulting in (i) dismissal of the appeal, (ii) Gant's severance is termed a resignation in good standing, (iii) Gant can't seek re-employment with the County; (iv) County agrees to tell anyone that asks only dates of employment, rate of pay and fact the Appellant resigned.

Obviously somewhere along the line someone screwed up and rehired Gant. The above document is clear “Appellant Robert Gant agrees that he will not seek re-employment with the County of Salem at any time in the future; provided, however, that the County of Salem, in its sole discretion, may waive this restriction.”

Some on social media have been saying Gant must be good because the sheriff promoted him. True, Gant has made it to the rank of lieutenant, he can thank Civil Service rules for that. I’m oversimplifying but the rules are basically, take the test, pass the test and when it’s your turn you get the promotion.

This document opens Gant up to another important question voters should be asking. How could a guy who once agreed to never seek re-employment with the County of Salem, and obviously didn’t hold to that agreement, be trusted to keep his word as a political candidate?

George Norcross Was Wiretapped. So What!

George Norcross

George Norcross

Last night, shortly after arriving at the Camden County Republican Committee’s Fall Reception, my phone exploded with text messages with links to stories about George Norcross having been “monitored” by the feds.

South Jersey Republicans were excited about this news. CD1 Republican candidate Paul Dilks took to social media with a message, “Breaking news... Reign of Norcross coming to an end...time for change. Draining the swamp wasn’t enough in South Jersey, we have to dredge the sludge! South Jersey needs a leader, not a boss!” He included a link to the Politico version of the story.

Dilks Norcross Post.JPG

For some reason South Jersey Republicans get excited when they hear the name George Norcross. Well, here’s a newsflash for you. Voters don’t care! His name is not on the ballot.

I know for a fact Camden County Republicans have polled his name in the past. The name George Norcross, while recognized, didn’t move voters. I polled his name for a candidate once. Nothing!

So what? His phone calls were monitored by the feds. In New Jersey it is a fact of life that people who play hardball politics might end up on an audio recording somewhere. I personally know, both Democrats and Republicans, who have been under some type of scrutiny and did nothing illegal.

That time I released expunged police records and a freeholder had me charged criminally after the case was dismissed my attorney advised me that “people may be listening to your phone calls.” There was that time that close to 15 years ago Al Sullivan of the Hudson Reporter wrote that sources close to me said I was paid a visit from the feds. To my knowledge I am still not at liberty to discuss if that visit happened, so draw your own conclusion, but I never went to prison so I assume that if that visit took place they found I did nothing wrong.

It’s a fact, Norcross plays hardball politics. As Republicans, especially in South Jersey, we don’t like it, he makes it very difficult for us to win, even at the municipal level.

One thing I do know is that Norcross respects those who aren’t afraid to play hardball, too. I know this first hand. There was that time I made his brother Donald Norcross yell at me during a debate back in 2003. The video is still circulating online. I’ve run into both, George and Donald Norcross, and we’ve shared a laugh or two over that incident. Well, maybe pleasant smiles.

You want to beat Norcross? Find an issue that gets an emotional response and ride it hard. Maybe the tax breaks mentioned in the recent Norcross news might help. Taxpayers don’t like rich people getting tax breaks. But the fact someone listened to Norcross’ phone calls isn’t going to win an election.

And, just for fun, I’ll leave you with that video: