Published On: Mon, May 15th, 2017

Republican NJ Congressman Makes Sure Constituent Loses Job for Anti-Trump Activism

Republican NJ Congressman Makes Sure Constituent Loses Job for Anti-Trump Activism

Susanne Posel ,Chief Editor Occupy Corporatism | Host of Hardline Radio Show

Republican New Jersey Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen was so disturbed by one of his constituents asking him to oppose Donald Trump’s agenda that he wrote a letter to her employer and got her fired .

Saily Avelenda organized the NJ 11th For Change, a group of anti-Trump voters, was targeted by Frelinghuysen. Avelenda’s group was quoted as saying: “Part of what our goal is is to educate, to ensure they are aware of the individual that sits in that seat today… So that when they go make a choice they have all the information they need to make a choice.”

Publicly, NJ 11th For Change wrote on their Facebook page about Avelenda’s forced termination: “We are outraged and alarmed by Representative Frelinghuysen’s intimidating action against an ordinary constituent. He sent this letter with the clear intention of using his power and leverage as a Member of Congress to create a difficult situation for a concerned constituent. In that regard, he succeeded. ”

The group went on to point out: “His targeted, retaliatory letter to Saily Avelenda’s employer was intended to create an uncomfortable work environment for her. As a result, she was subjected to professional scrutiny about her personal political activities which directly contributed to her decision to resign. In a larger sense, he used his influence in an attempt to punish an opposing view. How can democracy work if ordinary citizens are intimidated or their livelihoods threatened when speaking out? Frelinghuysen abused his position and acted against a concerned citizen for expressing a position he didn’t like. But in that regard, he failed, because our voices will not be silenced by his intimidation tactics.”

He wrote a letter to Joseph O’Dowd, a board member of the bank where Avelenda was employed as a senior vice president and assistant to the bank’s general counsel, to warn them about her group and claimed they “are already hard at work to put a stop to an agenda of limited government, economic growth, stronger national security.”

Frelinghuysen ended his letter with: “P.S. One of the ringleaders works in your bank!”

Keeping with the “paid protesters” theme, Frelinghuysen said: “As you may have seen in the front page of the New York Times, the Democrat political organizations, the ‘DCCC’ run by Nancy Pelosi, has targeted my district for Democrat takeover. Democrats have chosen to targets districts like ours because we sit in prime media markets and their protesters are highly organized.”

Avelenda was confronted by her employer with Frelinghuysen’s letter in hand. She told the media: “I had to write a statement to my CEO, and at my level as an assistant general counsel and a senior vice president, at this employer it was not something that I expected. I thought my Congressman put them in a situation, and put me in a really bad situation as the constituent, and used his name, used his position and used his stationery to try to punish me.”

Frelinghuysen’s spokesperson confirmed the congressman wrote the letter to Avelenda’s boss, explaining: “The Congressman wrote a brief and innocuous note at the bottom of a personal letter in regard to information that had been reported in the media. He was in no way involved in any of the bank’s business and is unaware of any of the particulars about this employee’s status with the bank.”

Avelenda said Frelinghuysen’s stunt “did cause some issues at work that were difficult to overcome” which lead to her forced resignation after being reprimanded for her activism.

Journalist Charlie May noted that Frelinghuysen has displayed disdain for having to appear at town halls to answer to his constituents. The congressman “also complained about the amount of phone calls his office has received recently.”

He told the local press: “For people who have jammed our lines and made it difficult for us to meet our constituent needs, it would be nice for you to back off. I’m not suggesting people don’t have a right to speak and let their views be known, but some of this is highly orchestrated and it’s unfortunate.”

Mikie Sherrill has stepped up to be the Democratic contender for Frelinghuysen’s congressional seat in 2018.

Sherrill is a former federal prosecutor. Her remarks about Frelinghuysen’s letter invoked the majority of the country’s sentiment that the current Congress does not represent the ideals of Americans and are choosing party over country.

She said: “This shameful abuse of power by Representative Frelinghuysen is exactly why we need new representation in Congress. Frelinghuysen has gone from simply refusing to meet with his constituents and telling them to ‘back off,’ to threatening constituents who are exercising their freedom of speech. That Frelinghuysen would use his powerful public office to hurt a private citizen is wrong, unethical and immoral.”

Susanne Posel

Susanne Posel

Chief Editor | Investigative Journalist