Sue Altman took a page out of Kevin O’Toole’s playbook.
The state director of New Jersey Working Families has filed incorporation papers with the state that gives her control of the “Camden County Democrat Committee, Inc.” slogan.
“Game knows game,” Altman said.
O’Toole originated the move in 1996 when he incorporated the Essex County GOP slogan that allowed him to seize control of the county Republican organization from longtime chairman John Renna. His successor, Al Barlas, did the same thing in 2017 when Bergen County Republican Chairman Paul DiGaetano sought to give himself the organization line for State Senate against Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa).
The Camden Democratic slogan lapsed last year and Altman, the nemesis of Democratic powerbroker George Norcross, filed papers with the New Jersey Secretary of State to incorporate the Camden Democratic machine’s ballot slogan.
“Jim Beach should have spent less time being nasty to me and Kate Delaney and more time filing his paperwork,” Altman said of the Camden County Democratic chairman.
Now she and Collingswood Democratic municipal chair Kate Delaney own it.
“We see slogan games happening all the time. Slogans are problematic,” Delaney said. “We see copycat stuff, with progressive labels being taken over, so this is a counteractive move.”
While working on Jim Florio’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2000, Democratic strategist Steve Ayscue employed a similar strategy when he incorporated the slogans of several North Jersey Demcoratic organizations backing Jon Corzine in the primary.
A Superior Court Judge rule that the move was too clever by a half, the New York Times reported.
Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) filed under the Camden County Democrat Committee, Inc slogan. He will either need to get the permission of Altman and Delaney, or change his slogan.
Dennis Gormley and Robert Raevy filed to run for Camden County freeholder against incumbents Jonathan Young and Barbara Holcomb using the Camden County Democrat Committee, Inc. slogan.
Gormley is part of Action Together Camden County and Raevy is active in South Jersey Progressives.
William Tambussi, an attorney for the Camden County Democrats, said that Altman “misappropriated” the party slogan and the process they used was “flawed and inaccurate.”
“The slogan has been in use by the Camden County Democratic Committee since 1999 as the identification of candidates endorsed by the Committee in the primary and general elections each and every year,”
Tambussi said. “Steps are being taken to ensure that it will continue.”
“The revocation of the registration by the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services was in error and contrary to New Jersey law. The error is clearly evident by the attached record downloaded today from the Division’s website showing that the Division identifies the address to which the requests for annual reports are to be delivered as “not deliverable” which is demonstrably false,” Tambussi said. “No notice of revocation, as required by law to be sent by certified mail, was delivered.”Camden Democrat