By 5th District Assembly Candidate Wil Levins
After reading Freeholder Louis Cappelli’s Op-Ed about the proposed Camden City Metro Police (better known as the Countywide Police Service Plan) I was awe struck by the hypocrisy of his statements. I can only assume that he and his “Norcrat” associates believe we the voters have not been paying attention to the history of our region.
Notice I use “Norcrat” to describe these individuals. They are not the normal, blue-collar, salt of the earth Democratic Party members I grew up with and who live throughout our region. I would not want to offend those Democratic Party members by this association, so I separate the two by giving Lou Cappelli and his ilk the special designation of “Norcrat” for being Norcross Democrats. They are a special breed of politician, a class of their own, individuals totally beholden to the will of their political benefactor, George Norcross III.
So let us examine some of Mr. Cappelli’s statements.
“Public Safety in the City of Camden is in crisis. The existing public safety structure in the city has failed its residents for years, if not decades. That is indefensible.” – Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli
Lou Cappelli should know. He and his “Norcrat” associates have been misrepresenting the People of Camden County and Camden City for over twenty years.
Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli – 8 years on the Camden County Freeholder Board (2003 to present)
Assemblyman Angel Fuentes - 16 years on the Camden City Council, 10 years as Council President (1994 to 2010), 2 years as Assemblyman
Assemblyman Whip Wilson – 9 years on the Camden City Council (1997-2001, 2005-2010), 1 year as Assemblyman
During their time in office, Camden City has ranked in the top ten of America’s most dangerous cities every year and was ranked the nation's most dangerous city in 2004, 2005 and 2009.
“This crisis in the failure of public safety needs to be addressed now, not delayed by special interests thinking only of themselves and not the people they are sworn to protect.” – Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli
Special interests like Cooper Hospital and its CEO George Norcross III, the former Chairman (his brother Senator Donald Norcross is the current Chairman) and unofficial political boss of the Camden County Democratic Committee?
In a recent editorial board interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Norcross stated that, “Camden's fate and Cooper's fate are inseparable" and went on to say that ”if the Camden Police Department were disbanded, the county could start a police department from scratch without inheriting the high pension and benefit costs the city now pays.”
That sounds like the same kind of ‘thinking only of themselves’ special interest that Lou Cappelli was talking about. Mr. Cappelli apprerently has no problem with the influence of his political benefactor’s special interests, he just objects to those whom he is trying to fire and do away with…like Police Officers working in America’s most dangerous city.
What we really suffer from is a crisis of political patronage, years of irresponsible spending and mismanagement of Camden City’s and Camden County’s government.
During their combined 40 plus years of career elected office, Louis Cappelli, Angel Fuentes and Whip Wilson have been directly responsible for the distribution and expense of BILLIONS of local, county, state and federal tax payer’s dollars in our region. After years of massive public spending in Camden City and Camden County; both still suffer a crisis of public safety and urban decay.
“It’s time to put the people of Camden first. It’s time to defend their right to the protection of their government.” – Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli
Mr. Cappelli speaks as if he is detached from his failed government’s responsibility and it was instead comprised of a different party than his own or even a different group of Democratic Party officials.
He and his fellow “Norcrats” have held TOTAL control of the City of Camden, the Camden County Freeholder Board and the 5th Legislative District for twenty plus years; so when I hear “Norcrats” like Lou Cappelli speak of government failure as being something detached from himself or an US vs. THEM scenario, remember it is actually a THEM vs. THEMSELVES reality.
When Lou Cappelli, Donald Norcross, Angel Fuentes, Whip Wilson and even George Norcross himself speak of government failing the people, it is THEIR government and THEIR elected officials who have been in charge of this region for the past two decades.
They want to blame others but do not be fooled. “Norcrat” politicians who blame Police Officers are shirking responsibility for their own poor leadership, failed policies, political patronage and fiscal mismanagement.
“No more excuses.” – Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli
Now, after their policies have failed so miserably, they want us to give them even more control and authority of our region with a Countywide Police Force? No thanks, you’ve done enough damage already. Before casting the blame on our dedicated Police Officers try looking into the mirror instead and embrace your own failed record, Mr. Cappelli.