Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Democrats Celebrate Sipprelle's and Gooch's Victories

After the Monmouth and Middlesex Republican organizations endorsed Scott Sipprelle and Diane Gooch for Congress, in the 12th and 6th district, the Democrats are celebrating. If the public dislikes something more than Congress, that is Wall Street, and that's exactly what the GOP choose to oppose incumbents Rush Holt and Frank Pallone in the 2 Democrat-leaning districts. It will be total class warfare, and that's exactly what the incumbents were looking for.

This is a message that I received from Dem. consultant Vin Gopal:
"Your party leaders got shown the $$$ - they picked 2 Wall Street candidates who don't resonate with their districts at all. Mr. Sipprelle has such disdain for blogs and new media and people in general and Ms. Gooch's Rumson credentials won't resonate at all in Asbury Park, Plainfield and Keansburg. Between both their donations to Schumer and Pallone, I don't know who did a better job of supporting the Democrats, the candidates running or the party bosses who picked them."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sam Thompson's Disgraceful Performance at the Middlesex Convention

On Saturday, Assemblyman Sam Thompson had another classless performance at the Middlesex County GOP convention. After Mike Halfacre's speech, Chairman Joe Leo introduced presumed future Chairman Sam Thompson to nominate Scott Sipprelle. Why did that happen?? At the screening committee, Halfacre beat Sipprelle by 22-14. So Sipprelle was about 10 votes short of being nominated by the county committee. So why did the two party bosses play this game?

Halfacre got sand bagged, and everybody knew about it: Leo, Thompson, Sipprelle. It was all political theater. After all, Sipprelle and Thompson spent the previous night schmoozing at the same table, at the Monmouth County candidates night.

Even worse, Thompson introduced Sipprelle with unnecessary comments on Mike Halfacre's speech: "I'm tired of you questioning this man's (Sipprelle) Republican credentials, dammit!". Thompson almost flipped out when Halfacre won the screening committee, but cursing kind of crosses the line.

Sam Thompson called me a liar when I wrote about convention voters being strong-armed by him into voting for Sipprelle. He spent a week trying to find out who's talking about his doings. This time there were over 700 witnesses. I wonder what his reaction will be this time.

Art Gallagher reported from the convention here and here. Matt Rooney also reported here and here. Mike Illions wasn't present, but he commented on Sam Thompson's disgraceful behavior here.

Convention voter Elaine said:
"Thompson introduced Sipprelle and I thought that was inappropriate because it seemed like he was presenting Sipprelle as the screening committees recommended candidate. Then he berated Mike, in front of the entire convention, because he did not like the type of campaign that Mike is running. And he cursed. It was such an uncomfortable moment, and he was so incredibly rude and out of line. Sam Thompson is indeed a cranky old jerk. He was so incredibly rude and offensive, that my sister and I went to confront him. He cursed and called Mike Halfacre a liar. It was beyond inappropriate."

Jim was also a 12th district voter:
"Hearing Thompson was like hearing Obama. He was a disgrace to Republicans and should be forced to at least apologize or step down. He sheer lack of professionalism when addressing his nomination for Sipprelle and directing the anger that he did at Halfacre was appalling. My wife had to contain me from confronting him in front of the voting body. Pure showing of someone who had a lot at stake if Sipprelle didn't get the nomination. I have to know what "sweetheart deal" Sipprelle made with Thompson."

A Princeton blogger reported:
"Sam Thompson's defense of Scott Sipprelle was inappropriate and a buzzkill. He sounded angry and bitter. He does not inspire much enthusiasm, only frustration."

Another attendee, Ashlee:
"Sipprelle has been the one going extremely negative in the last month. I have gotten numerous letters and phone calls from his campaign pointing out negatives and half truths about Mike. Funny how its now twisted around as Mike is the negative one! Yesterdays convention was a nightmare. I was ashamed to see our so-called leaders rants on stage. Not only Sam Thompson, but Leonard Lance was a shame to the party we belong to."

Tony P. also reports:
"I was there and witnessed the whole scene. I do not condone the actions of Assy Thompson or Chairman Leo. I have seen those tactics used time and time again BUT when you are at the podium you should be absolutely sure that what you say is above board and totally honest."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Are Unions Trying to Intimidate Council Members?

Earlier this month, the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional Board of Education voted to eliminate 78 jobs. Like almost every town, Matawan is facing budget cuts and they HAVE to find ways to save costs in order to keep property taxes stable. At the same time, the teachers union are demanding a 5% raise! Top pay in the district is around $90k, which is way more than most of the residents who are supposed to approve it are making. The teachers' jobs are safe, but among the layoffs required by the board are the school custodians, and their activities would be outsourced to a private company (which, by definition, is more efficient than any Government-operated enterprise).

This Sunday morning, freshman Matawan Councilwoman Toni Angelini woke up to find her porch smeared of grape jelly and her trees full of toilet paper. She'd just been graped and TP'd overnight. Was it a prank? Her three children are way too young for their friends to do it. Or could it have anything to do with Ms. Angelini's positions? She told us: "I believe that the teachers are going full force behind the custodians because they believe that they are next. If they are so concerned about the custodians, they could offer up some solutions (i.e., taking a % cut in salary or donating time) instead of trying to scare parents into begging for the status quo."

Toni Angelini hopes it's just a coincidence and she's not accusing anyone of being responsible for this.

Instead, the teachers had just sent an email to parents, from which we're quoting: "Well, our Board of Education wants to fire our school’s custodians and instead, hire strangers to be around your children." Ms. Angelini's position is that "the safety of our children will not be compromised due to the background checks that will be done by the private companies themselves". And I can bet that the private companies will hire probably some of the people being laid off, only that their bureaucracy and overhead will be lower than the Board can ever be.

The teachers' fear-mongering goes even further: "I can keep your children safe in the classroom, but what about in First Grade, when they are using the hallway bathrooms?" Now I'm not implying anything, but if they're using these kind of scare tactics, I've heard of more child abuse cases coming from teachers than from security guards...

To continue... "Our Union and teachers understand the need to explore cost savings options, but refuse to support any measure that does so at the expense of our children." So what about doing it at the expense of the union itself? Like not demanding a 5% raise in a recession year with basically no inflation?

Ms. Angelini tells us: "I do not hold the teachers responsible for this mess, however if they begin to stand in the way of making the proper adaptations to school board budgets, they will become part of the problem. To become a teacher is a calling, I truly believe it is a gift to be able to educate and inspire students on a daily basis. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the profession. However, I do NOT respect the NJEA. I have been able up until this point to keep the two very separate. It will be up to the teachers as individuals to ensure that they too maintain the distance between teaching our children and representing a union's best interest."

So to get back to the original point: Is the vandalizing of the Councilwoman's house on the day before an important Board of Education meeting an intimidation attempt by the teachers union? She doesn't think so, but if that were true, Ms. Angelini should be glad she's not an elected official in Staten Island, or she would've found a horse head on her steps.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is Sam "Rahm" Thompson Losing It?

With every day closer to the Middlesex Republican Convention, it's clear that Assemblyman Sam Thompson is going crazy. Both More Monmouth Musings and Conservatives with Attitude have reported about his desperate attempts to deliver Scott Sipprelle the county line.

Sam Thompson is (or was) expected to be the new Middlesex chairman, and in this position he took the lead in pushing real hard for Sipprelle to win the county. Apparently there are a lot of checks waiting to be cashed out if he delivers. Sam was very sure Sipprelle would win the screening committee, but Mike Halfacre won it 22-14. Considering that the 7 people at Joe Leo and Sam Thompson's table voted for Sipprelle, that leaves a 22-7 vote for Halfacre by the municipal representatives. Apparently, the Middlesex executives decided that the person who should beat Rush Holt in November is a well-known conservative Mayor with a tax-cutting record, and not a Wall Street insider who think he can simply buy a nomination, the way he bought favors from Chuck Schumer, Joe Lieberman and 5 Democratic representatives.

Sam Thompson had already endorsed Sipprelle (read: had been bought off) before the screening meeting, quite unusual for a county leader, but, well, he's not a county leader now, he's just an Assemblyman. At the screening, he got angry at a freeholder candidate for supporting Halfacre, saying he shouldn't do that before the convention. Look who's talking, Rahm Thompson who had done it weeks ago.

After the crushing vote, Thompson went ballistic. He couldn't believe it. He's now threatening municipal chairs and other candidates who are supporting Halfacre. A few municipal officials asked to be removed from Halfacre's endorsement list until the convention, because they feel intimidated.

Rahm Thompson has 9 days left for his intimidation, threats and arm-twisting tactics. As CWA reports:
I have received phone calls and emails from the threatened people, thanks to them being pointed in my direction, that all have the same theme and mention the same culprit as the caller or on behalf of. I am also receiving word that Thompson is working the rounds on other Middlesex candidates in other races and activists who have been publicly supporting Mike Halfacre and have been told to either shut the hell up or asked to switch sides, with consequences being mentioned as punishment for daring to disobey Sam Thompson.
Rahm Thompson's chief of staff explained that the Middlesex Chairman's policy was not to endorse anyone before the convention, like it happens in most counties. But she said Thompson doesn't agree with that, and he's made his choice. Apparently, when there's so much money on the line, old policies don't matter anymore. And, also, Rahm Thompson has no county leadership function now. And I think elected officials shouldn't be also part-time county leaders.

I asked the same chief of staff what will Thompson's position be if Halfacre wins the county line. She said that he will continue endorsing Sipprelle until he becomes Chairman in June. That will be interesting. Supporting the losing candidate while trying to get the votes to become that county's Chairman. It's the perfect opportunity to mount a serious challenge to the "grumpy old man".

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Halfacre Wins Middlesex Screening by 22-14

Mayor Mike Halfacre won the Middlesex County screening committee's vote on the CD-12 candidates by 22-14. His opponent, Scott Sipprelle, was previously endorsed by Assemblyman Sam Thompson, who is expected to become the new Middlesex GOP Chairman. Middlesex County votes for endorsements in an open convention that will be held on March 27th. Any registered Republican can attend and vote, by filing an application before March 13th.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Halfacre Would Beat Holt 46%-41%, Sipprelle Would Lose 20%-55%

National Research, the company of Chris Christie's former pollster Adam Geller, conducted probably the first poll about the NJ-12 Congressional race. Most significantly, 39% of the voters want Congressman Rush Holt to be re-elected, while 41% prefer someone else. Geller last polled the district in 2004, when Holt's favorability was 51%-23%.

As it's quite clear that the 12th district voters want someone else instead of Rush Holt, the next questions were about the 2 main Republican contenders.

Mike Halfacre, Mayor of Fair Haven, who cut spending and lowered taxes over the past 3 years, would beat Rush Holt 46%-41%. Scott Sipprelle, a Wall Street millionaire who donated to Chuck Schumer and five House Democrats in 2009, would lose 20%-55%.

National Research polled 300 likely voters and has a margin of error of 5.66%.

The poll's results reflect the spirit of the tea party movement, which mobilized most of the Republican grassroots, and which is leaning more towards a proven tax cutter than simply to a guy with lots of money and no record to run on. Scott Sipprelle very low number against Rush Holt could be explained by the fact that, while the left-leaning voters which make up almost half of the 12th district are dissatisfied with Holt's 12 years record in Congress, they have a general distrust towards Wall Street since the last recession.

It should also be noted that this was not a push poll, but a message test. Also, Adam Geller is a Fox News contributor and is doing internal polling for Mike Halfacre.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What Politics is, The Preamble

by Shannon Wright

What politics is is a method by which we can communicate our thoughts ideas and issues to those that can turn our collective concerns into that which can benefit us all~

Our great nation was founded by groups of community and self appointed leaders who came together because they were angry and were not going to take it anymore. Well most of us today are angry about something or another. It could be taxes, education , healthcare, or any number of issues that plaque our communities.

How many of you know the words of the preamble to the Constitution? It starts by saying "We the People". It goes on to say: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

No where in the preamble does it say anything about we do this for the select few. No where in the preamble does it say for those with big check books. No where in the preamble does it say when it is convenient. The preamble says "for ourselves and our posterity", for us and all of us to come. Somewhere along the line we lost that.

I am running for Congress to bring that back. I am running for Congress to represent the people of my district. I am running for Congress to be the voice of reason that makes others in Congress pause for thought about the concerns of the citizens of their own districts. I am running for Congress to bring the voices, issues, and concerns of my district to where they need to be heard.

To get there we need your help. If you believe in preserving life, if you believe in lower taxes, if you believe in responsible healthcare, if you believe in education reform, or if you believe in what our great nation was created to be please help us reach our goal of raising $50,000 in 50 hours.

Please go to our website and donate what you can, but please don't stop there share this with all of your friends and ask then to donate and share with their friends. Together all of us everyday citizens can let the few in the back rooms know we will not go away and we will be heard!

Please go to and voice your support by making a contribution

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Scott Sipprelle Wants Government to "Super-Regulate" the Financial Industry

12th District Congressional candidate Scott Sipprelle just issued a press release in which he argues for creating a Government super-regulator of the financial industry:
One Super-Regulator with the Power to Avert Systemic Crisis Proactively
Wall Street financial institutions form an inter-connected web where the failure of any one firm has a ripple effect on the entire system. In a severe financial panic the system is only as strong as its weakest link. Historically, this has presented regulators with a terrible choice if a large firm begins to fail. Either bail the firm out to save the system or let the firm fail and risk an unraveling of confidence in credit that could cause a severe depression, as occurred frequently in the early years of our nation’s history. It is for this reason that our financial markets require a single, vigilant, and powerful form of oversight to replace the dysfunctional form of current regulation.
As if we don't have so many Government bureaucrats meddling with the free markets, now Sipprelle wants a super-beast, a mega-czar to decide which way the financial markets should work.

Can you believe a "Republican" actually used the phrase "One Super-Regulator with the Power"? This guy should be on Obama's economic advisors team!

For some reason, his release makes me paraphrase Lord of the Rings: "One Czar to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them!"

Monday, March 1, 2010

Meeting the Candidates in the 6th and 12th Districts

The Jersey Shore Tea Party Patriots had another candidates night in Ocean Twp today, and it was a full house. The first ones to speak were the candidates from the 12th Congressional District, currently represented by Rush Holt.

Scott Sipprelle went first, and he repeated his Wall Street success story, but for the first time I saw him angry. He usually comes out as a nice laid back person, but tonight he was nervous and antsy. But let me say, kudos to him, I'm surprised he came. After all, his supporters have been calling tea partiers on forums and blogs as "tea baggers", a syntagm that usually Democrats who despise conservatives use. Also, Scott said he's running a 50 employee business. His supporters have been berating Mike Halfacre for being just the mayor of a 6,000 people town, saying that it's not enough to qualify for a Congress position.

Mike Halfacre came next, and he started by saying Wall Street and Washington got us into all this trouble, which is both true, and a jab at his primary opponent. He brought up the fact that Rush Holt was just ranked as the most liberal member of the House, to the left of Nancy Pelosi. Answering similar questions about healthcare reform that Scott had been asked, Mike reminded people that he was giving the same answers as early as October last year. He also declared that he would fight for abolishing the Department of Energy.

David Corsi
was last and he looked very amateurish. He has good knowledge of real estate and financials, but he is the outlier in this race.

After a short break, we switched to the "less mature" 6th District race (as the MC called it). There wasn't much activity until now in Frank Pallone's district, as most people are afraid of the 4 millions his campaign has in the bank.

We were first introduced to Fabrizio Bivona. He is a fireman and a 9/11 first responder, but he was also a bit amateurish. However he showed a lot of passion and really connected with the audience (unlike Corsi). He was "on a roll", like a kid having fun, and his main strength seems to be national security and 2nd Amendment rights.

Then came Anna Little, the popular Mayor of Highlands, who just announced a few days ago that she's running. Speaking of the 2nd Amendment, Anna responded to a questioner by saying she wouldn't be opposed to someone buying a tank, since the Government is not Constitutionally allowed to decide that. She had a passionate speech about representing the little guy in Congress and being our representative there and about the limited power of Government. She mentioned her past, when she was at odds with the Republican machine, and said she would run in the primary even off the party line.

Finally we heard from Shannon Wright, one of the first candidates to announce her run, who didn't have much time allowed since it was getting very late. She presented her campaign's main points: educational freedom, no Government involvement in healthcare and lower taxes. Shannon said that only by putting money in the pockets of the grassroots voters can we spur economic development.

While in the 12th, it's obvious that the conservative candidate to represent the tea parties is Mike Halfacre, it's still too early to decide about the 6th, where both Anna Little and Shannon Wright have good credentials, but nobody knows yet about their ability to run a campaign, especially since they'll have to face the money and organizational support of Diane Gooch.