Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Less than two weeks out from the June 13 County Committee reorganization, and we cannot stress this enough: Fred Niemann may be down, but he's still not out. He is still the chairman until that meeting.
The behind the scenes machinations going on would be familiar to anyone who has participated in the last two county conventions, where an assortment of dark-horse candidates, stalking-horse candidates and outright red-herring candidates were in the races.
Several candidates were suspected of being nothing more than a part of an elaborate divide and conquer scheme aimed at securing the freeholder nomination for Howell Mayor Joe DiBella.
These schemes were ultimately unsuccessful, and owing to the closeness of both the February and April Convention votes, some have pondered that, without the divisive schemes and outlandish shenanigans of some of DiBella's supporters, he may have been a freeholder today.
Today finds us with several names in and out of the race for County Chairman. Sheriff Joe Oxley, the perceived frontrunner, opted not to run, leaving Red Bank's James Giannell in the apparent lead. Former Freeholder Ed Stominski and Neptune Township's Mel Hood have apparently formed a slate. Other names mentioned have included Little Silver Councilman Declan O'Scanlon, lobbyist and former DiBella campaign manager Brian Nelson, Howard Dean contributor Madeline Ferraro, and newcomers Adam Puharic of Aberdeen and Elias Abilheira of Millstone.
Several leaders said to be allied with the Niemann-Gallic group are reported to be casting about for a candidate, but so far have not found the candidate they seek.
If you are on the County Committee, or will be elected in the Primary on June 6, please pay attention to this race. It is very important. Read and listen to what the candidates say, and look at their records to get an idea of what they will do. Beware of stalking-horses. And be on the lookout for shenanigans.
The future of our party depends upon it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Some readers may have noticed that "The Inside Edge" has been removed from our link list.
There's a reason for this.
Wally Edge, the editor of that site, has been asleep at the switch and the nutjobs have been running wild. That had been a problem here at the Monmouth County Republican Blog; it reached the point where something had to be done. We did something about it. First, we eliminated anonymous commenting and required people to register with Blogger. When this proved insufficient, we activated "comment moderation." Now, all comments must be approved before they are published.
Some of the comments that have been rejected from this site would curl your hair, so it would appear that we have done the right thing.
Wally needs to pay attention to the comments left on his site.
It began with a comment left over three weeks ago in which an individual slandered a potential candidate for County GOP Chairman. Then, last week, a comment was left in which a colorful local publisher and sometime Democrat activist was accused of drug abuse. To compound matters, this particular commenter signed their comment with the name of a longtime Republican activist. This was followed two days later by a similar comment using a different name.
As of May 30, all of these comments remain on The Inside Edge.
Due to the anonymity of the internet, bloggers must be constantly vigilant for such abuse. While it is not always possible to trace who these comments come from, it is possible to delete them, or to institute an approval process. Wally has not done any of this.
As a result of this, the link to The Inside Edge has been removed. At such time as he removes the offending comments, and stays on top of the situation, we may re-link.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Memorial Day Weekend: What many consider the beginning of summer. The sweet aroma of barbecuin' fills the balmy Monmouth County air, as people make their way to the beach, barbecue or sale. The highways and byways of Olde Monmouth become packed with bennies bound for the shore.
As you read this, think. Think about how it became possible to go to the sales, the barbecues or the beaches. How it is possible for you to even read this and many other blogs.
In short: Love your freedom? Thank a servicemember.
But Abe, but Abe, you say, I'm so busy this weekend I can't get to any of the ceremonies.
No problem. There are other ways every bit as appropriate. When you have a moment, stop at a local cemetery. It doesn't have to be Arlington, right here in Monmouth County rest veterans of every war. Find a veteran's grave; they'll have flags on them. Then just take a moment to think about this individual's sacrifice and contribution and just say "thanks." He may have been with Washington's troops at the Battle of Monmouth, in the Long War on Terror, or any conflict in between, but pay your respects. These service men and women deserve it!
Maybe a loved one was lost to the ravages of war. Take out that family album, and maybe, as you enjoy a family barbecue, remember and celebrate the life of that person.
Our war dead gave their life for us; they did not die in vain. They live on in our freedom as Americans. Be proud of them, and let's make them proud of us!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Wally Edge reports that some unspecified Aberdeen GOP leaders are encouraging former Undersheriff Adam Puharic to run for County Chairman.
Puharic is a former municipal chairman and township committee candidate. He was a founding member of the Bayshore Republican Conference. He works as a spokesperson for Meridian Health, and heads Michael's Feat, which helps seriously ill newborn babies.
It is not known at this time whether Puharic himself is actually interested in the chairman's position or not.

Will Seward has interesting comments from Puharic himself.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Those of you who logged on this morning may have noticed something new on my sideboard. We have added a category for links to candidates' websites.
Now the Monmouth County Republican Blog has become your one-stop location for campaign information!
You will find links to the websites of Republican Campaigns. There is a link to Tom Kean's Senatorial Campaign. All the Monmouth County House races are represented: Chris Smith in the 4th District, Leigh-Ann Bellew in the 6th District and Joe Sinagra in the 12th District. (Chris' website is currently being updated.) Freeholder Anna Little's campaign website is also here. Right now we don't have any websites for Rosemarie Peters and Andrew Lucas. If anyone has that info let us know and we'll update. There is a website for Peters, Lucas and Little, but I understand the candidates are unhappy with it; if that's resolved we'll add that too.
Readers of this blog will remember a report of $2,100.00 listed as an in-kind donation from Courier to the losing 13th Assembly campaign of William Flynn and Michael DaSaro. The following day, Jim Purcell, Courier's publisher, posted a comment that his paper makes no in-kind contributions to any campaign, and that he will make sure that the campaign paid its bills.
Well, Flynn & DaSaro finally got their ELEC reports in on May 2, and it would appear that Purcell's been paid. There are two reports filed the same day. One was an amendment to the previous report; the $2,100.00 was changed from an in-kind to an outstanding debt. The second report picked up where the first left off, and listed the payment of $1,131.40 on January 6 to Bayshore Press t/a Courier; another payment of $1,000.00 was made on March 31. So I guess that clears that up.
Flynn & DaSaro also did have to refund an excessive contribution in the amount of $654.95. This was from the Central Jersey Democratic Leadership Council (CJDLC), which is led by Union County's oompaloompaesque, goose-stepping, black helicopter theorizing, ad overcharging publisher James J. Devine, infamous for his now-defunct weBSite, where he asserted, "It is hard to imagine that the best explanation for this is that Handlin got special treatment from Asbury Park Press editor Skip Hidlay because she is Jewish, but that is the most solid theory I have heard."
Speaking of Jim Devine, back in February we reported that Lenny Inzerillo was seeking the Democratic nomination for freeholder, and that he had some "housekeeping" left over from his losing 2003 13th District Assembly campaign, noting an anomaly in his campaign reporting.
Inzerillo's treasurer was James Devine.
As treasurer of the Election Fund of Flynn, Inzerillo and Perry, Devine filed the 29-day and 11-day pre-election reports, but no 20-day post-election report. Why? Well, the 11-day pre-election report shows that Devine closed out the Election Fund of Flynn, Inzerillo and Perry on October 13 (nearly a month before the election) by writing out a check in the amount of $2,473.47 to the Election Fund of Inzerillo and Perry. We reported that ELEC has no record of the Election Fund of Inzerillo and Perry.
Mr Devine posted a response:
"I don't have anything to say about Lenny Inzerillo, but the joint campaign account for which I was treasurer closed out without raising much money.The lack of any report could be due to the fact that none was required, because you don't need to file anything except a notice if you spend less than a certain amount on your campaign."
Well, Jim, there was no "notice" filed or anything else. Nuthinn... In fairness, maybe Devine wasn't the treasurer of the second account and doesn't know.
Somebody knows. Guaranteed.
Fast forward to today, and like Spanish dictator Francisco Franco is still dead, Lenny Inzerillo's ELEC Reports are still unfiled.
So if Lenny is really interested in running for freeholder, he should get on the horn and find out what happened to that account. No reports means there's no way of knowing what was raised, from where, and where it was spent. I really doubt it was just shut down, nearly a month before election.
As the candidate, Lenny, you're responsible; you and your erstwhile running-mate, Aberdeen Township Committeeman Tom Perry. So call him if you need to, whatever. Call ELEC for information if you have to. (609) 292-8700.
I suggest you do yourself a favor and straighten this out because this isn't going away.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Some interesting contributors to last year's unsuccessful Democrat Rebecca Aaronson & Barbara McMorrow campaign.
Contributions totaling $10,800.00, were made to the campaign during the summer of 2005 from nine sources in Palm Beach County and Broward County.
I get the impression that these contributors are not from someone's retired uncle.
Here they are:

Angelo Scardina,
of Boca Raton; President, Villages of Windsor by Ansca Homes LLC, $2,600.00, June 25, '05.

Richard Finkelstein,
of Ft. Lauderdale; President of Kenco Communities, $1,000.00, June 25, '05.

Stuart Cohen,
of Boca Raton; retired, $2,600.00, June 26, '05.

Bruce Grunot,
of Boca Raton; Paramount Builders Corp, $500.00, June 28, '05.

Triad Title Agency,
of Boca Raton; $500.00, June 29, '05.

Ned Siegel,
of Boca Raton; The Siegel Group, $500.00, June 29, '05.

Stephanie Siegel,
of Boca Raton; "homemaker", $500.00, June 29, '05.

Note: Paramount Builders, Triad Title and The Siegel Group are all located at 5000 T Rex Ave., Boca Raton. Stephanie Siegel is the wife of Ned Siegel.

Joseph Lelonek,
of West Palm Beach; Southland Centers LLC, $1,300.00, July 20, '05.

Robert Bentz,
of West Palm Beach; $1,300.00, July 20, '05.

Note: Both Lelonek and Bentz are reported as "Developers" on this report.

It's interesting as to why these people from so far away are so concerned with Monmouth County Politics.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Red Bank Boro GOP Chair Jim Giannell has announced his candidacy for County Chairman. Giannell is the leader of the Two Rivers Republican Conference, and has earned a reputation as a tireless and successful grass-roots operative. He is the president of New Markets Realty Inc., Red Bank.
Giannell has been called by some "The Kingmaker", a title he shuns, believing that any successes attributed to him are actually the result of a team effort. Recent examples of such successes include the election of Freeholder Anna Little to the unexpired term of Amy Handlin (Now an assemblywoman.), and the nominations of Lillian Burry and Andrew Lucas as freeholder candidates. Burry was elected last year; Lucas, with Little, will be on the general election ballot in November.

"I support (Asbury Park Press Editor) Skip Hidlay for County Chair, since everyone seems so interested in what the Asbury Park Press has to say. Let him deal with all of it."
...Former State Senate President John O. Bennett III

Bennett was being facetious, of course. His 2003 defeat by Democrat Ellen Kärcher has been attributed to a series of negative articles in the Press. Some may contend that the articles were correct; be that as it may, Bennett has a point.
While a pillar of a free press is to be critical of government and its officials, a watch-dog if you will, and politicians should be on their p's & q's lest their actions be reported negatively, it is not healthy to tailor all public policy simply for the satisfaction of any journal or journalist. At that point, the press becomes just another special interest group being pandered to.

Many other Republicans have been mentioned for the chairmanship, among them Mel Hood of Neptune Township, former Freeholder Ed Stominski of Eatontown, Middletown GOP Chairman Pete Carton, Millstone GOP Chairman Roger Staib, former assembly candidate Declan O'Scanlon, Holmdel Committeeman Terence Wall, lobbyist Madeline Ferraro, and former GOP State Committee Executive Director Brian Nelson; it seems the only one not interested is Howell Mayor Joe DiBella.

Friday, May 12, 2006


"There is a bit of a vacuum, and it is fair to say we only have a month. I think the party faces some tough times."
...Former County Republican Chairman William F. Dowd.
Well, I won't be able to use the banner "There's a New Sheriff in Town" after the June reorganization, nor would I be able to say, "Use 'Oxley-Clean' to Remove Stains from Your Political Party!"
The Asbury Park Press and Will Seward report today that Sheriff Joe Oxley will unfortunately not be a candidate for County Chairman. And Wally Edge reports two additional possibilities for the post: Madeline Ferraro, currently a lobbyist and former Appointments Counsel to Governor Christine Todd Whitman; and former New Jersey Republican State Committee Executive Director and Joe DiBella campaign manager Brian Nelson. As far as I know, Ekdahl, Stominski and Hood are still interested.
Wally Edge is now mentioning former Acting Gov. John O. Bennett. And Jim Purcell says Jim Giannell may be considering a go at it.
And now, the Asbury Park Press has Ekdahl out, with Giannell and Middletown GOP Chairman Peter Carton thinking it over.
A very fluid situation indeed. Let's not turn this into Bergen, folks.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Well, where do we go?
First, let's get through the June 13th reorganization meeting. At this point I don't know the location, but by state law this must be called by the incumbent County Chairman. Committee members will be notified after Primary, so leave that date open.
Who will it be? The current front-runner would appear to be Sheriff Joe Oxley, with former Freeholder Ed Stominski and Neptune GOP Club President Mel Hood as contenders. Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl is also mulling a run, but will not oppose the Sheriff. I'm not sure if Ed or Mel have plans to withdraw or if they're committed to a floor vote.
A possible wild card would be a Niemann-backed candidate a la Joe DiBella, but Fred really hasn't had much luck with that sort of stunt.
By-laws? A bad set of by-laws can cripple an organization, so this should be done right. At this point the party's finances are of the utmost priority if we are to win in November. The Monmouth County Republican Committee treasury has been depleted and the rent for the temporarily closed Republican Headquarters hasn't been paid. Most of the funds have been deposited in the various PACs under Glenn Hopler's treasurership.
It is important that the party get control of these funds. I would advise those interested in the job to get legal advice on that NOW. We don't really want the new Chairman, trying to do a good job, meanwhile Fred, Dan, Glenn and the rest of the "bunker boys" are still in control of the money and use it to start mischief.
Bottom line: All the PACs should be shut down by May 31, however many there turn out to be, and the money deposited in the Monmouth County Republican Committee account. Then the new leadership can go through the books and determine which contributions might be tainted and act accordingly. For starters, any contributions from the likes of Jack Morris, Solomon Dreck or Jack Westlake or others of that ilk should be returned to send a message that their games will no longer be tolerated here.
It is important that the new chairman operate a clean organization, and it is incumbent upon the rank-and-file to demand no less. We must be vigilant. Secretary Seward and myself will be watching. So will Jackie and Jim. Won't you join us?

Monday, May 08, 2006


This past Friday, William H. Seward of More Monmouth Musings ran a post criticizing Courier publisher Jim Purcell for an editorial he ran in last week's Courier. (May 4th.) In the editorial, Purcell bashes Freeholder Deputy Director Rob Clifton for accepting a $5,000.00 contribution from the Committee for Responsibility and Trust in Government, an East Brunswick Township-based PAC led by former State Senator Jack Sinagra (R-Middlesex). After receiving negative press (From Courier) last summer, Clifton returned the contribution.
Much of this is just a re-hash of last summer's articles.
Purcell updates the story by comparing Clifton to indicted former West Long Branch Councilman Joseph DeLisa, who was nailed in Operation Bid-Rig, and is now said to be jammed up with developer Jack Morris and former State Senator John Lynch (D-Middlesex).
As Seward says:
"With that being said, Jim's column this week is garbage. Yellow journalism. Not fit for the National Enquirer or Mr. Whipple's inventory. He rehashes an old story published last July with no new facts and spews innuendo and suspicion on Rob Clifton because a campaign contributor of Rob's is suspected by an Asbury Park Press reporter of being an unnamed developer in former West Long Branch Councilman Joseph DeLisa's Operation Bid Rig indictment."
I agree with Seward, "Jim has been kinder to Republicans and former Republicans who have been indicted. He's even talked about "innocent until proven guilty" in the cases of at least 3 indicted in Operation Bid Rig."
I can see going after a public figure based upon many factors, good government being one of them, but in this case it looks like Jim Purcell simply doesn't like Rob Clifton. That's fine, but dislike does not good journalism make.
Last July, Courier ran a series of well-researched stories by Jackie Corley on the train station redevelopment project involving Matawan and Aberdeen. The problem was, they didn't go far enough. It's not as simple as "Oooh, Rob accepted a campaign contribution." That does not exist in a vacuum. Aberdeen's Democrats have accepted several thousand dollars from several developers doing business in their town. From the Aberdeen GOP website:
"In 2003, they accepted contributions of $4,000 from JPI, developer of Jefferson apartments, now Versailles, and $5,000 from Kara Homes, developer of Aspen Woods on Route 34 and Aberdeen Forge in Freneau. And so far this year they “wheeled” $1,000 to the Hazlet Township Democrat campaign! It’s no wonder the Democrats in Trenton continue to fight meaningful reforms of “pay-to-play” laws and an end to “wheeling”; they subsist upon it."
And the Aberdeen GOP Chairman, Michael Borg, who is a commenter on this blog, has exposed a $5,000.00 contribution to the Aberdeen Democrats from Aberdeen's train station developer! You didn't see that in Courier.
This goes well beyond Matawan and Aberdeen. Getting back to the Committee for Responsibility and Trust in Government, other beneficiaries of its largesse are the Howell Committee for Good Government (10/27/05 -- $4,000.00), and the Election Fund of Bill Barham (11/01/05 -- $5,000.00), but Purcell never reported that either.
I have come to respect Jim Purcell as a journalist, but to single out Rob Clifton while giving numerous others a pass is just wrong. Just plain wrong. To quote Will Seward, "Jim, you can do better. A lot better."

I just took a look through ELEC today, and here's what I found. The Monmouth GOP Leadership PAC, another of Fred's PACs (This would be No. 11). This PAC lists Neptune Attorney Peter V. Cantalupo, Jr. as its chairman, and Glenn Hopler (of course!) as treasurer.
This PAC included a $2,250.00 contribution from Jack Morris (himself, no PACs this time), a $750.00 contribution from John E. Westlake, only 2 months after his office had been raided by the FBI, and another $750.00 from Solomon Dwek. I'm assuming Dwek's check has cleared.
These contributions were all dated January 26, 2006, the date of the Chairman's Gala. This only strengthens my contention that it's Fred Niemann, not Rob Clifton that's the problem.
Nice people Fred hangs out with.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


This one has been somewhat below the radar, but it should be discussed.
Chairman Fred Niemann has quietly been making changes on the Monmouth County Board of Elections. This four-member board consists by statute of two Republicans and two Democrats nominated by their respective county chairman and appointed by the governor. The senior commissioners from each party become the Chairman and Secretary. The Board of Elections is responsible for the conduct of elections within the county, and oversees the hundreds of District Boards.
Until recently, the Republicans on the Board were Robin Lemesevski of Freehold Township, and Barbara Muzetska of Eatontown.
Last year, Niemann nominated Norine E. Kelly of Howell to replace Robin. Mrs. Kelly is also Vice Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Committee, and GOP Municipal Chairman in Howell. This changed the seniority on the board, and Democrat Leah Falk became secretary.
Barbara Muzetska was still chairman, until earlier this year when Niemann nominated Karen Haines of Middletown as a replacement. Karen is the Republican Headquarters manager.
This has thrown the seniority on the board squarely to the Democrats, with Leah Falk as Chairman.