Friday, February 5, 2010

Sipprelle's Struggles With Rank and File, Grassroots

By John Menella

Last night I went to an East Brunswick Republican Club meeting. As I walked in, and to my surprise, who did I see sitting there but Scott Sipprelle. As the meeting Started Mr. Sipprelle stood up in front of the room and introduced himself. He began by telling everyone in the room that Mike Halfacre has been going around bashing him, and that he follows Regan's 11th commandment, and will never bash another Republican.

He then began to explain why he donated money to 5 Democrats and to Chuck Schumer. he explained that in 2009 he donated money in the hopes of getting them to vote no on the health care bill. He stated that 4 out of 5 of them did in fact vote no, and went on to say, "that was money well spent."

He then explained that he donated money to Chuck Schumer in 2002 and in retrospect made a mistake doing so. I then stood up and introduced myself and reminded Mr. Sipprelle that we had met a few weeks earlier at an event in East Brunswick. he remembered, and I refreshed his memory as to our conversation. I told him that when I asked him about his donation to Chuck Schumer, several week earlier, his reply to me was that he was told to by the senior partners at Morgan Stanley and ultimately resigned because of it.

I explained to him I had 2 problems with that, the first being that to cave into his bosses demands and contribute to Schumer, concerns me with how he would hold up to Pelosi's or Obama's demands. Secondly I informed him that he left Morgan Stanley in 1998 and donated in 2002.

At that point you could briefly feel the tension in the room as his mouthed tightened while he attempted to answer. The problem was he reiterated the love for his country, how bad things have become etc. etc., but never addresses the discrepancy about 1998 and 2002.

I then asked him a follow-up question pertaining to his contributions to the other 5 Democrats, and explained my concerns. I asked what would lead me to believe that if he were in congress a Democrat would not contribute to him to sway his vote in an attempt to get reciprocation for their votes.

Again he somewhat danced around that as well, although in fairness, he explained it by basically saying he won't do that, and again he did not seem to like that question very much

At one point another member of the group asked him how he believes health care should be fixed and what he would do. His answer was actually spot on, however after his answer yet another member told him that the answer was very good, but Mike Halfacre has been saying that exact thing for months now. He went on to ask him where he was six months ago, when Mike Halfacre was already doing what he is doing now. Mr. Sipprelle went onto say that 6 months ago he was running his business, and now he has received a different calling.

In the end we shook hands and I once again made it clear that my support would be for Mike Halfacre, but wished him well as we exited the meeting.

John Menella is a law enforcement officer and a Middlesex County Republican.

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