Saturday, June 11, 2016

I'll 'I'll f---ing kill you!' A NJ senator's chilling account

Both houses of N.J.+Legislature vote on a state budget
Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-Essex) speaks during a voting session in Trenton on June, 25, 2015. (Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media for

editor and columnist Tom Moran writes today:
When you hear about death threats, the backdrop is usually a power struggle in the mob, or a really bad marriage.
As of this week, add New Jersey politics to that list.
"Did I fear my life? You bet I did," says Sen. Kevin O'Toole. "Look, politics is a rough business. And we use colorful language in Essex County. But this really struck home."
Pull up a chair, please. Because in nearly 30 years of covering New Jersey politics, this is the darkest story I've ever heard.
It was first reported by Matt Friedman at Politico Thursday morning, and is here flushed out with ugly details and quotes from all the key parties.
O'Toole (R-Essex) says the threat was made in 2005 by Paul DiGaetano, then a leading Republican assemblyman dreaming about a long-shot bid for governor. 
3  TRPAUL18  YEPELLOFormer Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano in a 2004 Star-Ledger photo. 
"He calls me in March and says 'I've got see you immediately,'" O'Toole says. "He said, 'I need the line in Essex. If I get that, I can really win this thing."
The "line" is the endorsement of the county organization, which gets a candidate the best ballot position and a decisive advantage.
But O'Toole never liked DiGaetano. They were rivals fighting over the same sandbox. So O'Toole, sitting in his law office in Nutley, shot down DiGaetano hard, on the spot. No way.
Here's O'Toole's version of what happened next. Needless to say, DiGaetano denies every scrap of it:
DiGaetano, furious, made an explicit and terrifying threat.
 "You know me," he said. "I will kill you if I don't get this."
"Excuse me?" O'Toole said.
"I'm going to kill you. You know the people I hang out with. You hear me? I want the line!"
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