One of the things I continually hear from the people that I speak with throughout Bergen County is that they want “honesty” from their elected officials.
Integrity is certainly not too much to ask. That’s why I decide to insist that Republican Robert Schroeder immediately resign from the state Assembly as he awaits trial on a litany of criminal charges and a series of civil lawsuits.
A state grand jury indicted Mr. Schroeder for allegedly stealing $1.8 million and writing more than $3.4 million in bad checks. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and severe fines. Lawsuits may force him to repay millions of dollars to his creditors.
Of course we should consider Mr. Schroeder to be innocent until he can defend himself in state court. I firmly believe in our judicial system. But, the appearance of impropriety by public officials is enough to damage everyone’s trust and confidence.
That’s why Mr. Schroeder should resign now. His fellow Republican lawmakers – state Sen. Gerald Cardinale and Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi – should join me and also insist that he resign gracefully.
Although it would boost their credibility – I doubt Cardinale and Schepisi will speak up because I have a sneaking suspicion that Bergen County’s well-greased Republican machine wants Mr. Schroeder to warm his Assembly seat until after the June Primary.
Why? It’s part of a slick political scheme – if Schroeder steps down after the Primary, Bergen Republicans can appoint Bob Auth to fill the unexpired term. Auth – who has been Sen. Cardinale’s aide and chauffeur for years – can march toward the Nov. 5th general election as an incumbent, rather than an unknown.
These kinds of political shenanigans are what make hard-working people cynical. No wonder people tell me they are fed up with politics and politicians.
Uncovering and ending schemes like this are among the reasons I am running for N.J. Senate against Mr. Cardinale – integrity and honest representation are not too much for voters to expect. Learn more about my campaign at www.bidwellforsenate.com.