Monday, February 8, 2010

Jersey Shore Tea Party Hosts Congressional Candidates

Tonight I attended a Jersey Shore Tea Party meeting in Ocean Twp which had a few important guests: Steve Lonegan, Mike Halfacre, Scott Sipprelle and Alan Bateman. I'll keep this short, as the event wasn't as explosive as some people might have expected.

Steve Lonegan was the first speaker, talking about the importance of winning several Congress seats in New Jersey, in order to stop Obama's socialist agenda. He also touched state issues, mainly the Senate bill #1, which is supposed to abolish COAH. Introduced by Dem. Senator Ray Lesniak, this bill will replace COAH with something much bigger and much worse ("COAH on steroids", as he called it).

And then, the Rush Holt opponents in the 12th District spoke. It was not a debate, just a speech by each candidate, followed by a brief Q&A. Mike Halfacre went first and after a short bio portion he spoke against Government spending, in favor of less Government and strong national defense, against Rush Holt's record and so on. There were no hard questions (except a few weird ones), and Mike handled them all very well. He didn't say anything about his primary opponent, and neither did Sipprelle, which was very polite of both of them.

Scott Sipprelle also told his life story, repeatedly presenting himself as a representative of the middle class (well, probably Wall St middle class, as his wealth approaches $100 mil). He explained his Wall St background as something not as negative as many would think it is, and I agree with him, I don't like the continual vilifying of the banking and investment industry. Scott presented himself as the opposite of Rush Holt in all the economic issues. His main points were about reducing spending, including withdrawing our troops from all our fronts. In the Q&A section, he again refused to answer John Menella's question about his donations to Chuck Schumer. Scott acknowledged that it's the third time he gets that question, and he dodged it for the third time. He also blamed the blogs who keep bringing up the issue (thanks for the shout-out, Scotty!). He also quoted Rush Holt's claim that "America is a rich country because of Government spending", and so far this has only been mentioned on this blog as well as in my letters to the editor. Glad to have him as a reader. Sipprelle also made it clear that he's not pro-life, he just wants less abortions. He said that abortions are caused by economic conditions, and he'll fix that by improving the economy.

It was quite a big crowd, and besides the usual tea partiers there were a lot of Monmouth GOP people that have never attended a tea party meeting. It was the result of a successful phone offensive by Sipprelle's campaign who kept calling municipal chairmen around the county asking for support at tonight's meeting (he was probably afraid of the tea party "nuts", as he knows he doesn't fit their mold - details in his recent interview; no word yet on the size of the checks he sent them).

Alan Bateman (whose editorial we published earlier today) also spoke for a few minutes, referring to his primary opponent, Chris Smith' abysmal record (voting for cap&trade and for Pelosi's light bulb bill, against the Bush tax cuts, against drilling in ANWR, sponsoring card check).

Mike Halfacre was endorsed by two big tea party groups, and it's interesting how will Scott Sipprelle address the conservative grass-roots from now on.

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