Thursday, January 26, 2006


Former Wall Township Mayor Robert F. McKenna has written a letter to Chairman Fredrick Niemann and County GOP Committee members. I was provided with a copy today. Rather than paraphrase it, I believe this one is best left in Mr. McKenna's own words.


Dear Chairman Niemann,

Two years ago you came to me seeking my input on your running for County Chairman. I shared with you the many concerns I had about the then current state of the GOP and its future, a future that was not looking particularly bright and the need for substantive change. When you asked for my help and support I willingly gave it. I co-founded "Monmouth GOP for Change", along with a group of dedicated Republicans, whose only motive was the betterment of the GOP. Many new practices and procedures were proposed to achieve this goal. I, and others, put our reputations and political necks on the line to get you elected in order to achieve this much needed reformation. When you won I immediately stepped back, didn't ask for anything, didn't want anything. Just like the citizen-soldier militias of old I went out, fought the battle, won and then went home.

When I attended the Finance Gala in August 2004 at Navesink, the air was so thick with hope and enthusiasm that one could cut it with a knife. It was as if a window had been thrown open and the sunshine let in. My hands helped open that window and I have watched it slowly close shut ever since. I made personal representations to my fellow County Committee members, one of which was that all of our practices would be transparent. I can either ignore what I said to so many back then or I can fulfill that obligation, which after what has just happened, I am compelled to do.

11/17/05... I e-mailed you expressing my concerns regarding the Freeholder vacancy process. I touched on this in my 11/29/05 letter to the County Committee. My concern was that this process was already a done deal and that there were two chosen ones, Joe DiBella and Rose Marie Peters.

11/17/05... you wrote "Bob, don't listen to all the rumors. I'll give you the straight up", and then forwarded my e-mail to Dan Gallic for a response.

11/18/05... Mr. Gallic wrote; "no decision has been made, if Fred is going to back anybody full throttle it will come after serious deliberations with many parties, you are one of those parties. Suffice it to say that if you are not "in the know", then there is no "know" to be in".

11/18/05... I replied to Mr. Gallic and copied you. I reiterated my concerns but ended my e-mail, "at this point I will not take any overt or proactive actions until I meet with Fred".

11/20/05... You called me and during this conversation you told me that you had committed to Joe DiBella "some time ago". You will recall that I asked how could you do that when didn't even know who the other candidates would be? I told you that I wanted to meet with you to discuss this matter.

11/22/05... Joe DiBella called me to ask for my support for Freeholder and I told him I wanted HIS support, thus the necessity of my 11/29/05 letter to the committee.

1/11/06... After waiting 2 months I again e-mailed you and Bill; "I intend to play a very active and overt role in the future of the Monmouth GOP and the pending Freeholder vacancy and I think that it would be in our collective best interest to meet ASAP to discuss same. I am available any time morning, noon or night. I look forward to hearing from you."

1/13/06... Reply e-mail from Mr. Barham; "received your e-mail, will talk to you soon." Never spoke with him.

1/14/06... At 5:36 P.M. I received your reply to my 1/11 e-mail; "Karen will set up".

1/16/06... I found out that you had a meeting of countywide officials and constitutional officers, 20+ people, that was held the PRIOR Saturday morning, 1/14/06, in Freehold to interview and meet all of the Freeholder candidates. A MEETING TO WHICH I WAS NOT INVITED.

As a direct result of this, I met with you on 1/18/06 at your office. The fact that I was not invited, not informed, not able to participate as a Freeholder candidate in that meeting is clearly, as I told you personally, at best incompetence and ineptitude on someone's part and at worst I was intentionally not invited. I know you said it was not done intentionally, but frankly I don't know what to believe anymore. You had no problem finding time to come to me when you needed my help and support; Bill Barham had no problem finding time when he came to my office asking for my help and support the first time he ran for Freeholder.

So let us have the sun shine in once again: You and Mr. Barham both want Mr. DiBella for your own reasons, Marie Muhler does not run again, Ms. Peters gets the Surrogate slot and everybody gets what they want...EXCEPT the Monmouth County taxpayers. It's hard to tell an agenda without a score card, yet there should be only one: That which is best for Monmouth County taxpayers; fiscal prudence, accountability, transparency, nothing else. When we think that way and act that way, the Monmouth GOP wins by default.

To my fellow County Committee members, this is not how I envisioned starting my campaign when I wrote you in November, but reform and change are needed now, it should have started last year, and if we don't do it, the voters will do it for us in November. I waited and I tried, but given all of the above, I'm not waiting anymore.

I look forward to sharing with you much more positive and substantive thoughts in the next few weeks. Working together, we can do it.

Very Truly Yours,


Robert F. McKenna


Anonymous said...

Niemann's time is up.

If he was smart- he wouldn't run for reelection because he is not going to win.

What was the meeting for two weeks ago if he has decided on dibella
and like him or not Mckenna should have been at the meeting

11/20/05... You called me and during this conversation you told me that you had committed to Joe DiBella "some time ago".

William H Seward said...

Fred is toast

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mckenna, it seems as though you have your finger on the pulse of what is wrong with our party. Perhaps, you should step aside from the freeholder race and run for Chairman.

Wall has a big voting bloc, not enough to undo Middletown, you should unite with some of the other muni's. Support someone other than Peters, or DiBella, in return for support as Chairman.

As Chairman you can have so much more opportunity to influence the party for good.

Next year Monmouth County will be center stage in National politics. Our Lincoln Day Dinner is in February, the legislature voted to move the primary up, which means some, or all of the Presidential candidates will be marching through the republican territory, that is Monmouth County.

Anonymous said...

Mr. McKenna, what's your problem? History says that your actions and choice of friends (Mayor Merla and Terrence Wall) are not the actions that one would be looking for in their Freeholder candidate. The thought of you as Chairman is laughable and ridiculous.

Your fifteen (15) minutes of fame are up and it's time to say good bye.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Your claim to fame is that you were buddies with Merla and Wall? Why trash both Neiman and Barham? And what was today's letter in the Press attacking the entire Freeholder board and giving the democrats and the press more ammunition? Seems like you should be running with Unger as a Dem. Simple rants and whining are easy to come by. The party needs sound constructive people who will move foward with change to meet the demands of county growth.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Mr McKenna nor have I ever met him but if this statement is true,

"1/16/06... I found out that you had a meeting of countywide officials and constitutional officers, 20+ people, that was held the PRIOR Saturday morning, 1/14/06, in Freehold to interview and meet all of the Freeholder candidates. A MEETING TO WHICH I WAS NOT INVITED."

Then Mr Niemann has alot to answer for along with anyone else who was involved with organizing the meeting in question!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't county committee by-laws help stop all this fighting?

I heard the new Chairman ran on this issue?

Anonymous said...

This is about power, who's got it, who wants it and who can keep it the longest! Us poor little citizens just get in the way of people like Neimann and Dibella who's personal/political agendas take precident over all else!

Anonymous said...

Us little people can pass da rulz without the Chairmans consent. One of us cc folk should introduce by-laws and like the old Nike commercial 'Just Do It'

Us 'littles' would are biggah then you think.

Anonymous said...

While what McKenna says is true in some respects he's being a little tough on Fred because Fred really doesn't have a clue regarding what's going-on in the county and McKenna can't blame Fred for that. There really was nothing to know because Fred didn't know it. I guess the conclusion should be that it's bad to have a county chair who doesn't even know or have control over what is going on in his own county.

Anonymous said...

Fred Kniesler for chairman!

Anonymous said...

Heard that McKenna was notified through phone calls, emails, personal conversations and certified mail about the meeting. And that Fred has a record of all of this. If this is true he's done. Lie to me once and I believe it, your fault. Lie to me twice and I believe it, my fault.

Honest Abe said...

Do you have a source for this? If Niemann did in fact notify McKenna, and has proof, it would be the height of foolishness for McKenna to claim otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Ann Little from Highlands wasn't notified either for the first meeting, which I believe is the one to which McKenna is referring. Other major candidates also failed to recieve notice, but it is most likely due to the fact that Fred didn't even know who is running at first. Only for the second screening did Fred cover his rear with certified mail, etc.

Anonymous said...

Foolish is what foolish does.

edwin m stanton said...

Mr. President, regardless of the fact that Mr. Niemann didn't know the lesser known candidates, he did know that McKenna was in the race.

I do apologize for debating you in public Mr. President, perhaps I should have reserved my comments for a cabinet meeting.

bob mckenna said...

someone just informed me of your site;I think it's interesting, I especially enjoy the different perspectives, informative and most certainly entertaining.thanks for publishing my letter unedited.I love debate in any form.To clarify,
the certified letter, email and telephone call was to all candidates for the 1/28 meeting as a direct result of the non-invites for the 1/14 meeting and my meeting with Fred on 1/18 to discuss same.

bob mckenna said...

I,"trash Niemann and Barham"? as to Fred i recounted the facts.I "attack" Freeholders? We are sending 2 Freeholder candidates against the dems in Nov.armed with a tax Increase, a tax increase that should Not have happened. Ted publicly complained loud and clear about this budget, particularly that the Freeholders spent a whole 4 hours on a $456 million budget with a $21 MILLION spending increase!I guess we should'nt ask the hard questions NOW, while we still have time to do something about it; let's have the dems do it for us.

William H Seward said...

Its good to see a candidate with the balls to participate here.

Anonymous said...

No surprise that McKenna would identify himself.One thing you can be sure of with Bob McKenna - he will not shy away from anything or anyone.
He always dealt with the tough issues straight on when he was on the Township Committee in Wall. He would do the same in Freehold - a breath of fresh air.

Anonymous said...

Like Katrina?

Anonymous said...

McKenna's big mouth merely gives the Democrats more ammunition to hit us with. Nice job Bob. Also very rude of you to attack Ms. Little Saturday. Sitting in the crowd it was obvious and rude. You also shout too much and seem awfully angry about everything. Stop houting because you are turning people off.

Anonymous said...

McKenna is not well liked in Wall. He has too big an ego. He loves himself. He always tells us how smart he is and how he did this or that. He turns off all the new people all the time. We'd love to see him go to Freehold to get him out of Wall. Time for new blood in Wall.

bob mckenna said...

to anon, 1/30/06, 9:14...."very rude of you to attack Ms.Little on Sat." you say you were there? are you sure? all we had were presentations and collective questions. you can call me anything you want,say what you want about my style,voice your opinion but don't fabricate an outrageous lie in a lame attempt to smear me and then hide behind anon.You are a coward and this type of rhetoric does a diservice to ALL candidates.All anybody has to do is ask any of the other candidates, especially Ms. Little, who I happen to like,how Sat. went and what a positve experience it was for our organization.What an idiot.And if you don't like this then call me, be happy to discuss with you personally.

Anonymous said...

It's Dibella's people posting all the garbage about other candidates on this site. Tearing other people up is the only way they can make him look good.


There are a lot of people who would be good chairs of the county GOP. When I was a Republican, I was an advocate of Bob McKenna because he is rich enough that he can't be bought, he's obstinate enough that no one could ever control him and he's intelligent enough to outwit any soft-minded politicos who would throw their weight around and hurt the party.

He's a good guy...abrasive as Hell at times, but that's his thing. People either will get past it and see him for what he really is, which is a strong and vital leader, or they won't.

edwin m stanton said...

For once I agree with Mr. Purcell.
McKenna should drop out of the freeholder race and fight for the cahirman's position.

Anonymous said...

Bob McKenna may turn you off with his harsh style, but what you see is what you get. If he doesn't like you, doesn't agree with you, or thinks you're a fool, he'll be the first to tell you.

Unfortunately, that's not the case with Fred Niemann. How unfortunate for Monmouth County Republicans.

Though perhaps "politically incorrect," McKenna's smart and got plenty of chutzpah. I do believe he would help get the County's fiscal house in order - even if it pissed people off.

I hope he gets the chance.

Anonymous said...

McKenna's a fool if he really believes that Howell and Middletown will give him the chairmanship if he drops out of the race. Kelly has other plans and she and DiBella are the masters of the double cross. They will promise him the chair now and by June they will be telling McKenna that they have reconsidered. Kelly didn't have anything nice to say about him when the Monmouth County GOP for Change was formed.

edwin m stanton said...

Maybe the deal with McKenna doesn't have to be between McKenna, Middletown and Howell. Maybe, the deal can be between McKenna, The Two Rivers Group and the Bayshore, excluding Matawan, Middletown and Holmdel. I am not sure about Aberdeen's independence under Borg? Hazlet, Keansburg, Keyport and Union Beach are pretty independent, if Aberdeen were thrown in the mix, with Two Rivers and Wall you have a substantial block of votes.

Ronald Reagan said...

New poll set up for the Monmouth County Freehold race at: