Saturday, January 07, 2006

RATE YOUR COUNTY CHAIRMAN

About a year ago, Politics NJ.com ran a "rate your county chairman" piece. With the reorganization of the Monmouth County Republican Committee but a few short months away, the vast editorial staff here at the Monmouth County Republican Blog thought we would run something of our own, as well as include a link to Politics NJ's E-mail so you can send your thoughts there. If they get enough, they might do a write up this year.
Fredrick Niemann was elected Chairman in June 2004, defeating longtime Chairman William F. Dowd. Dowd had been accused of neglecting local GOP organizations and candidates, of not grooming prospective new candidates for county and legislative positions, and of general inaccessability. Dowd was accused of mishandling the controversies raised about state Sen. John Bennett, and allowing the 12th District to slip into Democrat hands. Because Dowd was Middletown Township Attorney, a local dispute between Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina and the Middletown Township Committee resulted in Dowd publicly threatening political retaliation against the veteran legislator. The straw that broke the camel's back occured when Dowd unilaterally replaced Freeholder Edward Stominski with then-Matawan Mayor Robert Clifton on the 2004 ballot, a move which outraged municipal chairmen and the party rank-and-file. This led to the formation of a grass-roots group, Monmouth County G. O. P. for Change, and ultimately Dowd's ouster.
Niemann promised a more "local-friendly" party, including regional coordinators, chairmans' meetings and open County Conventions. Fundraising was to be ratcheted up, so as to provide ample funds for county campaigns, as well as support for local organizations. Many Republicans are disappointed with Niemann's peformance, saying he failed to keep many promises. There are no regional coordinators, some have said Niemann, like Dowd, neglects local organizations, and questions have been raised as to the conduct of his County Conventions. On fundraising, it has been said that he insisted that the candidates for freeholder take out second mortgages on their family homes to fund their campaigns! The 13th District, due to a lack of coordination with the Middlesex G. O. P., had a divisive and bitter primary for Assembly. Niemann and his executive director, Dan Gallic, interfered in the Hazlet organization and caused their hand-picked man to be appointed to a Township Committee vacancy, resulting in the loss of two seats to the Democrats. And it is said that Niemann quietly supported Howell Independent Robert Walsh and in fact swore him in to his council seat.
Let us know what you think. Do you think Niemann should be reelected or replaced? If reelected, why? If replaced, why and by whom? Do you know of any names of people interested in the job? Please let us know, and don't forget to send your thoughts to Politics NJ.com.

17 comments:

Moncty said...

Mr Neimann is just not up to the task.

If Unger didn't run for Freeholder and get 18000 votes Barham and Burry would have lost.

He'll let the committee choose again, and they will pick "old Guard" candiates again and they will lose -as Dems won't let their be another unger campaign.

It is time to make a better mouse trap and it starts with Mr Neimann

Anonymous said...

Fred Neimann took over the County Republican organization and built it up from the shadow that it had become. By that time there wasn't much of an organization left. If anything had happened to Bill Dowd, the County Republicans would have been in a real pickle because there was no provision for someone to take his place.

Neimann brought in computers; started having meetings with municipal chairs; and set up committees to deal with the day to day problems that were confronting the Party.

He has a different style than his predecessor. Neimann got us through the 2004 elections in good shape. Yes, we were lucky this year because Unger ran (damn lucky)

It takes a lot longer than two years to put a viable organization together. The last thing we need right now is to be even considering "changing horses in midstream" by bringing in another chair. Neimann should be given more time to complete putting our organization together.

Also, some felt that Ted should have been given the Freeholder Director spot for his final year. Under normal times I would succumb to sentimentality and agree.

We are not in normal times right now. We are up against the Asbury Park press and a democrat party who will be getting big bucks from outside of Monmouth County. They are all looking to bring us down.

The right decision this year was to start right off with Bill Barham as Director. It will be up to him to move the Board of Freeholders forward. There is radical surgery needed to tighten up the County spending and to get rid of the "business as usual" attitude.

I hope we are smart enough to see this.

Anonymous said...

Barham move the board in the right direction???????????

Are you feeling alright>>

Barham is the guy hand picked by Larrison . Larrison who would be in jail now if he hadn't died.

Barham is the guy who was in Office for 9 months and then ran a campaign that said he would cut taxes now. What happened to cuuting taxes 9 months ago.

Barham is now leading the board in to 6 Months of reviewing the legal bills before making a decision. $400,000 Handlin said hired a in house lawyer -- you could pay that guy/gal $150,000 and still save $250,000.

And as far as Ted goes -- he is probably thinking now screw them I am going to run again, and I don't blame him.

Anonymous said...

fred niemann was elected because he said he was going to bring bylaws, inclusion and decentralization of the party's leadership of the county gop to the chairs and regional directors. he went to a few club meetings before june 2004 and buffaloed the people who actually put together the committee votes and ever since he was elected the only thing he has done is buy computers and pay for over-priced staff, raising the need for more fundraising for overhead and not candidates. if that's leadership, i'll pass.

fred didn't win the '04 race; dowd lost it and gop for change could have passed the chair off to mickey mouse if it wanted. fred didn't even beat addonizio in his own town for a county committee seat. he's not a gamer and really doesn't know a lot about how to campaign because he hasn't done it a lot and he hasn't got enough people actually close to him who know a lot about winning on the grassroots level. he's relying on a line that harry and dowd made strong. but he's not bringing anything to the table that is going to keep the line strong. he will lose big one of these days and that will be the beginning of the gop losing big.

at least dowd won without a ton of overhead and he didn't lose a race for 18 years.

bob mckenna in wall has more county committee votes than anyone else (even middletown) so the real question is if niemann has ticked off mckenna enough for bob to want to replace him. or, are the two still close? who knows?

otherwise, carton has more votes than anyone else except mckenna and he probably wouldn't want to get rid of niemann because a more independent and powerful chairman might emerge, one who he can't push around.

howell is a wild card. niemann has promised freeholder seats to people but hasn't been able to deliver votes. he probably needs to deliver over there before he loses support, but carton is awful strong and can play kingmaker if he wants it bad enough for the freeholder race (provided mckenna doesn't really push for the seat). blocs are becoming more important and the influence of the chairman's seat isn't what it used to be when it comes to delivering county committee votes for appointing candidates. niemann is living off the patronage of stronger local bosses for anything he gets from the committee. voting blocs like the 2-river group (generally in favor of niemann) are more of a concern. but, even if most of howell goes with wall -- if wall even wants a change -- then no one is going to be able to do anything about it.

john bennett probably plays an important role and would make a difference. i don't think he wants to get rid of niemann but one never kows in county politics. but, if dowd wants the job back and starts lobbying, i think it would be a mistake to under-rate his ability to lobby and convince behind the scenes.

at the end of the day, the guy or gal who wins the race is going to be the one who makes 8oo and something calls a couple times and puts together some infrastructure. if that doesn't happen then there isn't going to be a change. it's not about idealism...it comes down to logistics and hard work...anyone who puts it in is going to walk away with it because niemann and his people don't know how to actually run and win a real county committee fight. if the work isn't put in then there's nothing to talk about. you can't run a "stealth" chairman's campaign. and, if no one actually cares enough to come out, or is too scared, then that's game--set--and match. whoever it is, if they don't announce by like march it's all academic anyway.

Anonymous said...

Are you David Lat?

Anonymous said...

Niemann screwed Hazlet and got lucky with the county elections. How about District 12 - he let one of our candidates slip by a hundred or so votes.

I heared about Neimann's quiet support of the Independent candidate in Howell. I also heared he swore him in to office.

I mean the township works like crazy to fundraise and campaign for their R candidate and then the County Chairman works against them.

If that is NOT County Chairman material, I dont know what isn't!!!

Anonymous said...

Every local race Niemann got involved with was a loser. One of his biggest problems is that he keeps that Gallic guy around.

Honest Abe said...

The link has been fixed, so you can E-mail your thoughts to Politics NJ.com.

Honest Abe said...

Anybody have any names? Who would you like to see as county chairman? Know of anyone actually interested in the job?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Neimann stay if he wants to try to do a better job.

If he thinks he did a great job thus far, then he should go.

I'd like to see him recognize the criticisms, learn from the mistakes, and commit to using more regional directors as opposed to Gallic who seems to be flustered and wining most of the time.

JIM_PURCELL said...

Abe:

You have an interesting site and you are an interesting persona (as there is no "person" to link it to). While you may not be a big fan of some of my work, I think you are doing something worthwhile and am going to write something about it this week in Courier. At the very least, you have not "drank the punch" of some of the nonsense going on and have kept something of a level head. Good enough...someone who isn't brainwashed...refreshing.

It'll be in Courier, so be sure to pick it up and yes, you do have permission to use my photo from Courier. But, I do prefer no photos please. I don't think that is unreasonable given the fact you have chosen not to give your name. So, ball's in your court.

I do want to say that, while I see the "up side" of posting anonymously I am someone who generally believes in posting by name and I think that is something you should think about.

jp

Anonymous said...

here's a fact, mckenna brings spring lake, spring lake heights and probably long branch to the table (with a 'let's make a deal' fom gio). beat that and i'll tip my hat.

wanna know who the next chairman is ...call bob mckenna and see if he cares one way or the other.

Honest Abe said...

Mr. Purcell,

I have removed your photo, in respect to your wishes. For the time being, I will remain anonymous, for reasons explained to Ms. Corley. I believe that I am more effective that way.
I am looking forward to your article and will definitely pick up a copy of Courier.
And welcome to the blogosphere.

JIM_PURCELL said...

Thanks for removing the photo and, for the record, I have always thought that the chairman has to be someone relatively popular, able to raise money and be able to have the confidence of the majority of the County Committee at any given time. The person should be a veteran campaigner and understand the game and its strategy and tactics. He or she should command respect and confidence because of who he or she is and not just the office they hold.

The GOP has several good candidates for the job, a few of whom would have to be drafted. But, as a Democrat who would like to see the advacnement of bipartisan government in the county (at all levels), I think you guys have the perfect chairman right now and shouldn't change a thing. :)

Honest Abe said...

Jim Purcell wrote:

"But, as a Democrat who would like to see the advacnement of bipartisan government in the county (at all levels), I think you guys have the perfect chairman right now and shouldn't change a thing. :)"

Actually from the Democratic point of view, we have had two good chairmen for nearly two decades. A major complaint I have heard about both Bill Dowd and Fred Niemann is their lack of interest in the local G. O. P. organizations. At the same time, a good explanation for the repeated Democratic losses on the county level is that Chairman Victor Scudiery is concentrating on building the Democratic Party on the local level; the idea being that when Democrats actually do get elected as freeholders, sheriff, etc., there will actually be a party organization to elect them and sustain a majority.
We Republicans ignore that at our peril.
Another camplaint I had heard about Bill Dowd is that his detachment from the organization allowed the out-of-control culture in which Tony Palughi and his ilk were allowed to flourish.
Bi-partisan government isn't a panacea; it's no cure-all. Imagine if you will, the thought of hypothetical Freeholders Charles Fallon, Paul Zambrano and Director Richard Vuola.

William H Seward said...

Neimann either has to get to work and build the party the way he promised or he'll get the boot.

Anonymous said...

Fred Niemann is a loser and a liar. He does not have what it takes. He did not win this last election, the Asbury Park Press did by supporting Unger. This year when Unger runs as a D - we are in even bigger trouble........we need someone who knows the towns and the people and issues to be chairman. That person is not Fred. I support Ted Narozanick as the one man who can bring back the towns and the workers........amen.