Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spanking the Donkey: New Jersey Politics At Their Finest

Just when you thought New Jersey politics couldn't get any more entertaining…

Last Friday afternoon, police in Flemington, New Jersey answered a call at the Liberty Village Premium Outlets. Two women at a bus stop at the popular shopping center reported to arriving officers that they had witnessed a man standing outside his minivan while “committing lewd acts.” A quick NJDMV license search and police lineup later, the lewd acting individual was identified as Christopher Daul.

Some quick background information might be needed for those unfamiliar with Mr. Daul. Christopher L. Daul is a 49-year-old lawyer and government official in Hunterdon County. He works for a management and consulting services firm, chairs the Delaware Township’s Planning Board, has served as a counsel to the to the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, an assistant counsel to the New Jersey State Senate, and on the last two Governor's Transition Teams for the state Department of Transportation.

And last Friday, he was caught masturbating in public wearing only socks, glasses, and a hands-free headset.

When I first read this story in the local papers, three questions immediately sprang to mind. First and foremost, were the socks black? Try as I might, I couldn't imagine this middle aged politician/professional business man standing there in white athletic tube socks. If he was going to keep the glasses on, then the socks had to be black. I was ready to put money on it.

Next, I was puzzled by the headset. Granted, I was relieved that such a busy individual was doing his part to drive responsibly by using a hands-free device for his cell phone, even if this particular use is not quite something the Bluetooth people would want to structure an ad campaign around. But his decision to leave it on while showing the women at the nearby bus stop exactly how fast he cold pop his cork made me wonder if he was using it at the same time. Was it possible that he was in the midst of an obscene phone call at the same time he was knuckle-shuffling for the Flemington shoppers? In such a fast paced technological age, it seems only fitting that even the sexual deviants have to multitask these days in order to make their perversion quotas. Then again, he might have simply been on the phone to his wife, an executive in the state Treasury Department, to let her know that he was running late and would pick up the dry cleaning on the way home.

My third and final question, of course, was whether or not he finished before fleeing the scene.

Of course, friends and coworkers of Daul’s did their best to express their displeasure with condemning the man, while at the same time sympathizing for him and his wife without excusing and belittling the crime at hand (pun painfully intended). You can’t really fault them for their awkward statements or unwillingness to respond to questions, though. Would any of us react differently if someone we had known for years was suddenly arrested for jerking off in front of some window shoppers in a mall parking lot? I think not.

Tempting as it is, it’s kind of hard to hold this whole event up as an example of the corruption inherent in politics today. Anti-gay religious leaders buying male prostitutes and crystal meth, politicians responsible for Internet Predator legislation being caught preying on underage boys on the Internet, and presidents bumming hummers off of impressionable secretaries are all great examples of the sort of hypocrisy and abuse of power that cranks up the righteous indignation loud enough to wake the neighbors. But a middle-aged lawyer exposing himself to a couple of women at a bus stop, then driving away buck naked in his minivan? Hell, we've all been there before.

And yes, the socks were black.


Anonymous said...

It just goes to show, the people who run for office have too much time on their hands. Or something. But really, I'd bet there is a higher incidence of crazy in politicians. I mean, who wants to spend all that time and money to run for office? Takes a certain type, and the words "smart" and "capable" don't come to mind.
Great blog. Cogent and clever. Keep it up.

Itty said...

If he was talking to his wife at the time, I'd really have given my right arm to have heard that conversation.

Is it a sad thing that as a Jerseyan I'm not surprised or even batting an eyelid at news like this? Am I jaded now, or just expectant?

Anonymous said...

S., you are truly gifted!! Quite a summation. It's nice to know the local Dems are sticking together - I've even heard some were offended at this piece - too bad they weren't more offended by Mr. Daul!! Kathy

Anonymous said...

As trial time approaches one wonders if he will get off a second time.