A top aide to Gov. Phil Murphy has personally called African American activists offering free buses and meals to increase attendance at the Democratic State Committee Conference in Atlantic City this week, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Long Branch NAACP Chairman Lorenzo (Bill) Dangler, a Councilman, told the Globe that he has been dealing with Derrick Greene, a senior advisor to the governor, about delivering a crowd for the event being headlined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Derrick is the one who held a couple of conference calls saying the buses are being taken care of,” Dangler said. “I did not speak to the governor.”
Greene’s involvement was confirmed by two other sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, although no one has said any political work was being done during business hours.
The Globe first reported this morning that the governor’s staff has been working on the state party event.
“The Governor’s Office has asked me to be the coordinator from Long Branch and fill a bus so we can be a part of the convention,” Dangler said in an e-mail obtained by the Globe. “The bus is free.” Dangler also said that lunch and dinner were included on Friday, the day Pelosi is appearing.
Dangler later made a second call to the Globe to say that the buses are being paid for by the state party and that Greene holds conference calls twice a week with stakeholders at 9:15 PM – an after-hours version of an Inside/Outside call.
“I’m being straight with you,” Dangler said. “I’m not BS’ing you.”
The state party acknowledged that they are working with Democratic activists to ensure a robust turnout this week.
“The New Jersey Democratic State Committee is coordinating with local leaders from throughout the state to arrange transportation to this week’s Conference to ensure that as many Democrats as possible have the opportunity to join Governor Murphy, Chairman (John) Currie, Speaker Pelosi and the many grassroots activists who will be in Atlantic City,” said Phil Swibinski, a spokesman for Currie.
Greene has caused some agita for Murphy in the past.
The Globe reported last month that Greene watched embattled Passaic NAACP President Jeffrey Dye launch an attack on Jews and Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) at a March 2017 event.
Greene was serving as African American outreach director for Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign at the time. He is now a senior advisor to the governor
Dye was fired from his Murphy administration post after anti-Semitic and anti-Latino posts on his Facebook began to receive widespread attention.
With Greene in the room, Dye launched an attack on Schaer, an Orthodox Jew, the city council president, and a strong political ally of Murphy.
“Every time we want something, we gotta go beg Gary Schaer for something. We’re on a slave plantation here, and we all (are) acting like slaves if we can’t come together,” Dye said. “Who wins when we conspire against each other? The slave master himself, Gary Schaer.”
Through a spokesperson in August, Greene denied any role in helping Dye obtain a job in the Murphy administration.
Dye and former Passaic City Councilman Marcellus Jackson worked for Greene on the Murphy for Governor campaign.
Greene did not immediately return an 11:30 AM message left for him at the Office of the Governor.