Free Exercise


This is the article that started it.


And that’s the portion of the article that caused it all.

Saily Avelenda is a Democrat, living in the New Jersey 11th Congressional district. The Republican in Congress representing the 11th is Rodney Frelinghuysen, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee.

Sialy, like me, isn’t fond of Republicans.  Saily joined a PAC called NJ 11th for Change.  The PAC is duly registered, totally legal.  It’s Saily’s right to join this group if she wishes.

But Frelinghuysen didn’t like it one little bit that people are actively working to unseat him.

So he decided to shut her up, to punish her, to frighten her.

He contacted her employer.

You read that right. A sitting US Congressman contacted the employer of a constituent to bitch about the fact that one of his employees was working with a PAC. 

The person he contacted was a member of the board of directors of Lakeland Bank.  Saily Avelenda was a senior vice president and assistant general counsel of that bank.

What Frelinghuysen did was send out a typical “I am working hard, but I need your money” letter to his supporters.  In it, he did the “I’m being attacked by evil Democrats” routine. On the copy that was sent to the bank board member, he wrote by hand at the bottom:

P. S. One of the ringleaders works in your bank!

He attached a copy of the article quoting Saily.

The result was that Avelenda had to write a statement for her boss, apparently explaining why she was exercising her constitutional right to free speech and political activism.

I looked very carefully, and that single article that I included above is the sum of what Freylinghuysen was pissed off about.  She didn’t call him an asshole (he is).  She didn’t use his name.  She just said she wanted to disseminate information so voters could make informed choices.  That’s all.

She was not fired, but she resigned.

I do not blame her for leaving. How could she continue to work for asshole Republicans who think it’s perfectly okay to do this to people? How can democracy function if opposing views are threatened with retaliation and silenced?  We have a president (that moron in the White House) who has done this sort of thing his entire life.

It’s a cancer, and it’s spreading.

But you watch. There will be no huge public outcry about this.  Republicans won’t even see anything wrong with it.  Congress will do nothing to this representative.

I have to wonder if Frelinghuysen would have gone after a man.

I am spitting nails.

NJ 11th For Change Facebook page

NJ 11th For Change website


25 thoughts on “Free Exercise”

  1. As a Republican I am outraged and think this man should be thrown out on his ass by the voters of his district. Somone’s political ciews should not have anything to do with their employment status unless she is using her employers resources or time on the clock to further her personal beliefs. This is appalling and is beginning to reek of McCarthyism. Both sides of the political aisle need to grow up and get to work.


  2. What elected Republicans are doing in today’s political climate is a shame and disgraceful. Their constituents should care about this type of behavior and be equally appalled, but so many don’t seem to be at all bothered. It used to be that at least most Republican voters cared about the Constitution, equal protections for all, and wanted their elected representatives to both believe in the rule of law and to follow it. Nowadays, it seems like most Republican voters don’t care about their elected reps following the rule of law, until by chance it might affect them directly. (Perhaps that is merely human nature? Except I don’t want my elected rep behaving like a petulant bully who doesn’t care about my Constitutional rights, so no – that doesn’t explain it entirely.) After Donald Trump got elected, I basically had to give up on Republican voters – if they would vote for him, I just stopped believing in whatever moral compass they supposedly have.


  3. She was cleared to do this beforehand, so this is even more outrageous.

    “Avelenda said she cleared her volunteer political activist work with counsel at her job before she started, so she was surprised when her boss called her in with the Frelinghuysen’s fundraising letter in hand to ask her about it. She had to write a statement to explain what she was involved in and declaring that she was a “friend” of the bank.”


  4. A democracy cannot work if people are bullied into remaining silent. This is disgusting behavior.


  5. I hate politics because I lack the knowledge to participate in intelligent political discussions. Due to my lack of knowledge on the subject, I absolutely love hearing about politics! Thank you, Sally!


  6. politics

    Well, this issue isn’t really political. It’s more universal than that. It’s about an attempt to suppress opinion and punish someone for having a different one. It’s wrong no matter who does it – a politician or any official, or any citizen.


  7. I’m changing the topic, with your kind indulgence, Sally.

    You’re an idiot, Nicole.

    “Carfentanil and other fentanyl-related compounds are a serious danger to public safety, first responder, medical, treatment, and laboratory personnel. These substances can come in several forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets, and spray – they can be absorbed through the skin or accidental inhalation of airborne powder.”

    It has a quantitative potency approximately 10,000 times that of morphine and 100 times that of fentanyl, with activity in humans starting at about 1 microgram.

    This is from her public page.

    “He OD from brushing some off his shirt? Is this stuff really that dangerous and if so, this is a public hazard you could just wipe it on someone as use it like chemical warfare or is he trying to cover up the fact he was using evidence?

    Right now I’m giving the officer the benefit of the doubt, but I’m looking into this more.”

    How about looking into it before you open up your mouth and bray?


  8. Well its good to know she is going to look into it further then give her humpers the (TRUTH) according to her worldview. The saying birds of a feather flock togetherhas to be true, most of her dull witted viewers have had run in with CPS at one time or another. Why is that? Most of the honest commenters have been banned or doxxed.


  9. Looks like the letter was torn up and thrown in the trash. The congressman may have gotten away with it had not someone pulled it out of the trash.


  10. Lakeland Bank is backpedaling.

    Well, that’s some weasel-wording if I’ve ever seen it. LOL The water is getting hotter and hotter. The member of the board who got the letter and acted on it should resign.


  11. I can think of 2 other whiney babies that act like this doofus.
    I will give you a hint….one is named Donald and the other Nicole.


  12. @Tekla – I saw her muse on that story and just shook my head. She still doesn’t seem to realize that the old saying holds true, and that it is better to be silent and thought a fool, rather than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. I suppose that is what happens when you live in a world of memes and headlines. Now imagine what the children are “learning”.
    As an aside, I was on a fentanyl pump after having a thoracotomy. The docs needed to biopsy my lung and so they went in just around my shoulder blade and spread those ribs. Cutting through all that muscle and then spreading those ribs meant a great deal of post-surgical pain. I was allowed to press that button every 10 minutes and believe me, I did. That was one powerful pain killer. Even hospitals don’t like to keep patients on it for long and once a few days passed I was weaned on the fentanyl to the weaker oxy….LOL.
    Nicole is so ignorant it boggles the mind. What is even funnier is that she appears to think that her opinion in this case actually matters.


  13. So the bank claims to promote their employees’ full awareness and interest in civic and political responsibility?

    Was this policy put into place before or after asking Saily for a written statement in regards to her “ringleader” political activities?

    This just gets my blood boiling.

    I’m a Republican, but I don’t agree with all republicans. Saily wasn’t doing anything illegal and she was completely within her rights. I
    read both of the articles linked. It is a “shameful abuse of power”. These people who hold a political office are voted for by the people, for the people. How do you know what the people want if you ignore the people and only focus on your own agenda. Too many people vote people into office without knowing anything about them. Saily Avelenda is part of a wonderful organization about accountability and education. Abuse of power is wrong no matter who or what you are. I actually enjoyed the political aspect of this blog post.

    Sally, the “universal theme” pisses me off. EVERYBODY is entitled to their own opinion. One of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody disagrees or doesn’t like an opposing opinion, and then that somebody tries to silence the other person or tells them their opinion is wrong.


  14. I’ve been binge watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and this post really hit a nerve.

    “But you watch. There will be no huge public outcry about this. Republicans won’t even see anything wrong with it. Congress will do nothing to this representative.”

    I’m struggling to understand this. Maybe it’s a generational thing?

    My father fought in WW2. I grew up knowing that it was important to watch out for this stuff. Has this been lost?


  15. Shes careful on her hate for Pate, she borderline assults him with words.
    I have never seen so much hate for anyone with a badge, He was there for a reason. to take the kids you refuse to take care of.


  16. I’m struggling to understand this. Maybe it’s a generational thing?

    I don’t think so. I think it’s religious. Not all Republicans are religious whackjobs. However, nearly all of the religious right is Republican. And those are the people who still refuse to see that we have a serious problem in the White House. When Ann Coulter jumps ship, it’s sinking.

    Fundigelical Christianity wears blinders. They simply don’t reason at all ever about anything. I know. I came from that world. I was in my early forties and had to learn, painstakingly, how to reason and use critical thinking skills. I simply was not taught how.

    In their minds, “God” told them to vote for Trump. They did what “God” told them to do. “God” controls all the government. Therefore, it’s all good.

    The Handmaid’s Tale has haunted me ever since I first read it, and the Hulu series is disturbing indeed.


  17. Sorry to change topic.

    Here’s some interesting reading on the Schwabs…Nicole’s latest heroes in the “fight against state kidnappings”

    Funny how impressions differ.

    Some interesting parallels!

    The eldest son testified that he was taken out of school to care for five little kids while his mother and step father were sleeping after doing drugs.

    “I … for the past month or two have had to take care of five children in (Raymond Schwab’s) home,” the boy wrote. “I had to buy meals and make them while both parents were in house sleeping or fighting. Whenever they fought I took five children upstairs and had to protect them from both parents, they were scared.”

    The boy isn’t named in court documents because of his age. He wrote he had been pulled out of school to care for the younger children, ages 4-12. As he cared for his stepsiblings, he said, their parents, Raymond and Amelia Schwab, slept for days.

    “My mother told me she and dad had been doing meth and that I had to save the kids,” the boy wrote. “My dad threatened me saying he would kick me out of the house or hit me if I talk to anyone.”

    He had reason to believe his stepfather’s threat, he said, because Raymond Schwab had kicked Amelia Schwab out of the house, forcing her to sleep on the ground outside.

    The boy wrote that he had learned to lock his bedroom door and those of the other children or his stepfather would walk in or peek through the windows. His father was paranoid and constantly on the lookout for police officers, he said.

    Not surprising to me that Nicole is up these people’s butts like a tapeworm.


  18. A little more on the Schwabs…who Nicole is defending tooth and nail.

    Schwab said he was honorably discharged from the Navy after serving 18 months between 1994 and 1996, during which time an incident he said he didn’t want to discuss occurred that led to PTSD. Suffering from chronic joint and back issues, he said he became addicted to pain medications and then to heroin in 2009.

    He got treatment in 2011 and was able to kick the heroin addiction with the use of cannabis, he said. In 2013 he moved to Topeka from Colorado to take a job with the Veterans Administration, he said.

    Legal issues involving the family, however, were numerous.

    In November 2014, Amelia Schwab assaulted Raymond Schwab at a strip club near their home. She pleaded guilty to domestic battery last May. Raymond Schwab said he had started drinking because of marital problems and the strip club was close to his house.

    Police were called to the home in January 2015 for a domestic disturbance. On April 2 of that year, Amelia Schwab was hospitalized for mental health issues. State officials removed the children from the home on April 27 after Amelia Schwab’s mother took them to Riley County and told police they had been abandoned, Schwab said.


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