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".

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