Just as Hal Wirths was sitting on deck at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Monday, another potentially more damaging front was opening up against a second Christie nominee.
In the morning, the New Jersey Conservative Republican Leadership Committee ( the name is self-explanatory ) sent a letter to members of the Senate expressing concerns about Janet Rosenzweig, Christie’s pick for the Department of Children and Families.
At issue is Rosenzweig’s testimony before Judiciary on March 8th in which she disavowed any direct knowledge of what an organization known as The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality stood for and advocated.
In 2008, the Society held a conference in Puerto Rico. One of its workshops addressed the subject of “Change in attitudes toward child nudity and adult genitals in the Puerto Rican culture…”
In fact, Rosenzweig served as the group’s Executive Director. I’m told She was paid several thousand dollars a month – enough to be the only one listed on the Society’s IRS form. So some say “it’s a stretch to say she didn’t know anything.”
Well, the letter from the Conservative group was enough to make at least three Senators very uncomfortable – Steve Oroho, Mike Doherty and Kip Bateman ( who voted against Rosenzweig in committee ). At least one of them went to see Christie and told the Governor ( or in this case Bill Stepien, who btw, denies that any such visit took place ) that the nomination was in trouble. I’m told The Governor’s people were none too pleased.
However critics say it’s no longer about the Society or its sexual politics, but whether Rosenzweig told the truth. Even Nia Gil asked her during the committee hearing if Rosenzweig was aware that she was under oath. As one Republican put it, the nominee is “either dumb, or lying.”
Moreover, as people tried to do research on Rosenzweig, they found her biographical information ( once widely available via google ) quickly disappearing from cyberspace.
The Senate was set to confirm Rosenzweig, but wound up re-committing her in a 38-0 vote. I am told she was given the option by the Gov of either going back to the committee to explain herself ( which wouldn’t happen ’til May ), or consider withdrawing.
I suppose everyone bends the truth a little when it comes to sex…