Tuesday, February 20, 2007

N.J. Man Behind the Curtain

mug of Tomicki
Seems like a lot of anti-marriage-equality folk in Jersey are in concert -- and a lather -- following the beginning of civil unions there. Seems is the operative word, because it may be so much crap.

There are no original interviews here, but the thin facade of the Garden State anti folk is heartening. It turns out that the logorrheically self-titled New Jersey Coalition to Preserve & Protect Marriage is highly inflated balloon of an organization. Pop it and there are a couple of much smaller toys inside.

You couldn't click among Web pages or flip an article on N.J. unions without reading a quote from John Tomicki (the seemingly autopsy-ready fellow in the cropped AP pic right). The problem is that his personal and professional presence is as pale as his face. Where does he come from, who pays him, and what the devil is that coalition?

Greed Notice: The New York Times citations are all behind their for-pay wall. You can cough up per piece or if you are a subscriber, you can enroll in Times Select and get 100 articles a month from the archive. Either way, at the top of the NYT site, search for Tomicki to get the links and similar ones.

You can look real hard to find a mailing address for the coalition. It does not have a Website and Tomicki's résumé is not floating in the ether either.

As it turns out, those listed in the coalition must prefer it that way. At least some of the group apparently pay Tomicki to lobby for anti-gay and anti-SSM causes. Otherwise, this is so much dryer lint. Despite repeated claims of representing tens of thousands of Jerseyites, the facade coalition is nothing for legislators to fear or even take seriously.

From the looks of it, a couple of those listed as members of this coalition are small, but real and are almost certainly Tomicki's patrons. The others are just that much air in the balloon.

It can be hard to sort them. They use Mad Libs-style, mix-and-match names chosen from a small list. The seven are:
However, several of the endorsing organizations may have more power, at least to chip in if necessary to keep Tomicki talking. These are:
So, Tomicki appears to bump elbows with the big kids, but stalks the N.J. legislature halls alone. At the least and for the present, wingers with bucks probably take his calls and throw him some crumbs.

Tomicki has a long record of losing sooner or later. Not only did the legislature pass civil unions under his watch and over his efforts, he backed losing conservative gubernatorial candidates repeatedly and even failed to keep the state from mandating sex education in public schools.

You have to wonder whether the likes of Focus on the Family's James Dobson will continue to take Tomicki's calls...particularly if they figure he is asking for money.

Descriptions of and comments from Tomicki in various NYT articles help put some mortar on the coalition's facade. The lead on his support for the to-fail campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler is, "John Tomicki, a lobbyist for conservative social causes, usually shuffles through the corridors of the State House with a stooped gait and a resigned smirk on his face, the product of too many legislative and political disappointments over the years." (June 24,2001, In Schundler, A Rallying Cry for the Right.) It adds to his description with "(he is) essentially a freelance operator here, but has the ear of right-leaning state lawmakers..."

That appears to be the key epithet. He seems to have built a recent career of rousing the right-wing voters and their related small organizations with focused lobbying efforts. He'll figuratively stitch an emblem from one of those organizations he creates on his latest hat. He names himself executive director of the group. Then, poof, he represents everyone associated in any way with the cause or even vaguely related groups.

Nice trick, if it works.

Consider over 20 years ago, his effort to stop the state Family Life sex-ed mandate. "One of the leaders of the opposition, John Tomicki of Ringwood, associate director of the New Jersey Coalition of Concerned Parents, said that the Family Life mandate 'tramples on parental rights' and that sex education belonged in the home.," (NYT, December 11, 1983, Family Life Belies Its Beginnings).

He lost that one.

He apparently also is no big fan of the personal responsibility side of the Thoreau or Gandhi protest stuff. He was one who thought that free-speech trumped risk of punishment for civil disobedience. If God's with you, you should have free get-out-of-jail passes.
After sit-ins at abortion clinics, he said, "There has been an increased police and judicial heavy-handedness." he said. "We see it in the free speech area, and we see it in the sit-in, demonstration area." There is no doubt, he continued, that the access law "had a chilling effect on civil disobedience" in front of clinics, he said. "If he same rules had applied to civil rights sit-ins at lunch counters, on buses, people would probably still be in jail today." (NYT, June 3, 2001, Arrest Me, Please (But Jail? No Thanks); Rediscovering the Price of Protest.)
That particularly offensive set of comments seems to show both ignorance of history and disrespect for the thousands who risked health and life as well as jail -- willingly -- to secure rights for themselves and all of us. Facts? Wingers have little need for facts.

For another example, consider his currently circulating petition promoting a one-man/one-woman amendment to the state constitution. It leads and follows through with, if you pardon the expression, liberal use of distortions, lies and clichés.

It reads:
Whereas, social science research irrefutably supports the fact that God-ordained marriage, between only one man and one woman, is the time-tested foundation of a strong society, providing the best environment, on average, for the raising of children, thus benefiting society as a whole; and,

Whereas, for more than a decade same-sex “marriage” proponents have actively worked to radically change and redefine marriage by demanding that all barriers to the number, age, and gender of partners participating in marriage be removed; and,

Whereas, marriage is threatened by judiciaries in other states, such as in Massachusetts where the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in early 2004 that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry; and,

Whereas, we already have evidence that marriage is threatened here in New Jersey with the lawsuit of seven same sex couples suing the state for the right to redefine the definition of marriage, and in so doing, seeking to reverse the lower NJ Superior Court ruling which had earlier stated that there is no statutory constitutional right for same sex couples to marry;

I, therefore, as a member of the Clergy in the State of New Jersey, support the goal of preserving and protecting the institution of marriage, as being between only one man and one woman, and request our legislators to do the same.
So there you have it. This tripe may be Tomicki's best argument. From his opening words, his deceit rolled in the dung. He held up threats to opposite-sex marriage, defamed the Bay State, and threw in pedophilia and polygamy. I wonder how he missed bestiality.

Is this stooped and sallow old fellow fighting his last failing campaign? It looks that way...and the Garden State will smell better for it.

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Uncle Sam said...

Tomicki is your #1 ally. There is a reason he never wins. He is so incompetent that many think he is a double agent, secretly helping the Gay/Athiest group get their agenda through by pushing legitimate Christian Pro-Family groups out of the way. John is totally for sale, note his work for Jim Treffinger and Tom Kean. His main job there was to convince con pro-Lifers into supporting these radical pro-abortion candidates.

Uncle said...

Dayyum! Another Uncle? Never mind.

Slightly OT, if you want to co-opt The NY Times, consult your public library. Most of them are networked into pro bono access to the Times and some other mercenary dailies, and all you need is your library card.

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