In a further concession to government by secrecy, Sussex County’s GOP “disinvited” the press to its annual Lincoln Brunch, the party’s flagship event and fundraiser, which was held April 9 at Lafayette House.
All five candidates for the Republican nomination for governor spoke at the event, but unless they or the party release transcripts of their remarks, the public will never know what they said.
While the brunch was a private event and there is no legal obligation to open it to the public, in this case the GOP had invited media to cover the candidates’ speeches but then backpedalled a few days before the event, for reasons it declined to specify.
All GOP chairman Jerry Scanlon said in announcing the decision was that “a number of people” said they didn’t want media coverage.
All five candidates—Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, Steven Rogers, Joseph Rullo and Hirsch Singh—said they had welcomed, and even hoped for, media coverage of the event.
With Sussex County’s GOP showing cracks in its decades-long hegemony, as evidenced by the ouster of Scott Garrett and vulnerability of Rodney Frelinghuysen, operating behind closed doors may not be its best strategy as the gubernatorial election approaches.
Which, come to think of it, is not bad news for Democrats.