Welcome to Big Time Small-Time Dicks, a regular column on The Slot that explores local politicians, small-town scandals, and everything else making life miserable on a local level. Know a small-time person who is a big time dick we should feature? Email us.
In a sort of a medium-size dick situation, a New Jersey Congressman is refusing to discuss transition matters—or even call back— the guy who beat him. Republican Rep. Scott Garrett lost his reelection bid to Democrat Josh Gottheimer in November. Gottheimer claims that since then, Garrett has been very hard to get on the phone. In what we might call “foreshadowing,” during the campaign the two men had one debate, in which they argued bitterly about who was a bigger liar.
Gottheimer won the Congressional seat by about 10,000 votes. The New Jersey Record reports that now he’s accusing Garrett of refusing to talk about how to hand over the keys:
Gottheimer told The Record that Garrett has not returned his calls or responded to a certified letter asking about a transition, especially to ensure constituent requests do not fall through the cracks.
“I called him,” Gottheimer said Thursday. “I sent him a letter before Thanksgiving both thanking him for his service as well as asking him to meet to discuss the transition. My chief also reached out to his chief of staff. We just haven’t heard back.”
In a statement to the Record, Garrett’s office didn’t quite dispute that, saying only that they were communicating with their constituents about ongoing cases. “Any information that needs to be forwarded to the incoming office will be sent in a timely manner depending on each constituent’s preferences, as has been done in the past,” the statement added.
In October, Politico reported, Garrett and Gottheimer had a fun debate about who was a goddamn liar (the other one). Gottehimer pointed out that Garrett fundraiser had ties to a militia group. Garrett accused Gottheimer in a TV ad of assaulting a woman (Not quite true: in a civil lawsuit that was later withdrawn, a neighbor accused him of aggressively wagging a finger in her face.) And then Garrett spent a little time on election night refusing to concede.
This is a lot like Spy vs. Spy, in other words, except bracingly, almost impressively petty.