Monday, July 24, 2006


By Times Square I don't mean the Times Square of today. No Disney or anything like that. What I mean is the pre - Giuliani Times Square. Strip clubs, X - rated theatres, brothels. A place you wouldn't bring the kids.
Arch Street was Philadelphia's answer to Times Square.
Although New York and Philly have cleaned up their erstwhile "red-light" districts, look out, it's here.
No, you won't see streetwalkers strolling Freehold or Red Bank. It's a lot more subtle than that. A look in The Asbury Park Press classified Business & Service Directory under "Massage" will reveal that much more than "therapy" is offered. The Saturday July 22 issue advertises "AAA NUDE 24/7"; a bit further down the page a "shemale" is advertised. "DOM Avail" can also be found. While I'm sure many of the other advertisers are legitimate, the ones referenced above would appear to refer to some type of prostitution.
Let's take another look at the page. Seven advertise as "Asian", another two as "Oriental". Another advertises as "Ukrainian Massage", while yet another under the heading "East European" promotes their "Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian Staff".
How is nationality relevant?
Well, normally it isn't. Let's take a look, however, at the world of prostitution. It's no longer limited to the fresh-faced Midwestern girls leaving the cheerleading squad and farm life behind, coming to New York and hooking up with a right-out-of-Hollywood-type pimp, usually black, wearing a loud suit, wide-brimmed hat with an arching plume and driving a loaded pink Cadillac. Nor is it any longer under the kindly eye of a matronly "madam".
Often what you have today are international rings luring unsuspecting young women with the promise of a life of opportunity in the United States. Unfortunately, they are forced into a life of slavery, often as prostitutes or domestics. Some women or children are forced to work in sweat shops. Many of these women come from Eastern Europe or the Far East.
This is called human trafficking.
Many of these international rings use the profits to fund other illegal activity; some may even fund terrorism.
What to do? Well, obviously, if there's any doubt about a business, don't patronize it. Report suspicious activity to the police. If you'd like a massage, stick to reputable practitioners; many of these can be found at your gym, or referred by a chiropractor's office.
In our area, Congressman Chris Smith, a champion of human rights in the spirit of Lincoln himself, has been a national leader in the fight against human trafficking.

Monday, July 17, 2006


UPDATE -- July 22
The Halper family has left the property.
"(Clara) Halper expressed frustration with Judge James P. Hurley, whom she said called for the Halpers to leave peacefully today to reduce the chances of someone being harmed. Sheriff's officers will be on hand today to enforce the eviction order, if necessary.
'Do I take that as a threat when he says someone is going to get hurt?" she said. "Can you imagine a judge telling you this?'" ...From The Asbury Park Press.

Now, whether Hurley actually said that or not is utterly beside the point. The fact remains that it is a wonder that with all the eminent domain abuse nationwide that nobody (That I'm aware of.) has been hurt or killed. When I try to put myself in the shoes of the homeowner facing loss of their property, sometimes after being in a family for generations, for the purpose of a developer making money, I can't even fathom the horror they must be going through. When I try to put myself in the shoes of the developers, politicians and judges who steal people's homes and property, I would think that they would have to spend their lives looking over their shoulder and sleeping with one eye open. The Monmouth County Republican Blog in no way shape or form advocates turning to violence in this or any other issue. There are legitimate groups like The Castle Coalition which were formed to protect private property.

Eminent domain was set up for very limited purposes; for public uses. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "...nor to be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." That's public use, not some ethereal public so-called benefit as the eminent domain skells say.

The Founders worded this very carefully. Public use specifically meant roads, bridges, parks and public buildings. It did not mean taking a farmer's land and modest home so a wealthy planter could build a plantation, no matter how well-connected the planter. The Founders specifically wanted to protect the private property owner from siezure by government for the benefit of some lord or baron, as was a problem under the British regime.

Here in Monmouth County, the City of Long Branch under the administration of Mayor Adam Schneider (D) is the number 1 poster child for eminent domain abuse, but the issue has reared its ugly head in other towns as well. That list can grow much longer when you include such below-the-radar abuses as using the threat of eminent domain to force an owner to negotiate. With such a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, many owners feel they have no choice but to sell.

Thirteen months after the U. S. Supreme Court's diabolical Kelo decision, some states have enacted reforms; New Jersey's reforms so far have languished in the Legislature.

Many bills have been introduced; Monmouth County's Assembly members Jen Beck and Sean Kean are among the leaders in eminent domain reform in New Jersey. Former State Senator and Assemblyman Joe Azzolina has also weighed in on this.

One theory given as to why reform has been held up is that with Democratic majorities in both houses of the State Legislature, policies are weighted towards the cities, which are largely under the control of Democratic bosses. A number of these cities have redevelopment programs with just the kind of eminent domain abuse that needs to be reformed. Delaying enactment of reforms only buys time for these projects and the players involved.

The Halper family farm in Piscataway Township, may actually be considered a legitimate use of the eminent domain process as the township wants the land for open space, however the issue runs a lot deeper than that. This is the very property which became embroiled in the "Machiavelli" scandal, which involved none other than former Governor James Edward Hyde McGreevey himself. It might not be a bad idea for Piscataway to just drop it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


A Recent Column By Chairman Adam Puharic

The headlines of this past Thursday told about New Jersey lawmakers reaching a “deal” or a “compromise” on the stalled and bloated budget. But those terms are not appropriate. This was a sham and a travesty. Democrats in Trenton shut down our government to fight over which of our taxes they would raise.
As the new Monmouth County Republican Chairman, I am stunned by the uniform response by fellow residents of every political stripe. Outrage. May I remind the Democrats in the legislature that they were elected to represent the best interests of the people, not to play a child’s game of “winner-take-all.” Was it ever in our interests to shut down revenue generating casinos and parks?
With all of the political grandstanding and rhetorical ramblings of this past week, the Governor and Democratically-controlled legislature are hoping you the taxpayer won’t notice that 800 pound elephant in the room – that cutting spending is the real answer.
They are wrong. Monmouth County residents know a bad deal when they see it. This is the biggest budget in state history and New Jerseyans will be paying more in taxes than ever before. Governor Corzine is not balancing a budget, he is increasing spending by almost $3 billion, and paying for it with over $2 billion in new taxes. This includes $1.1 billion in a sales tax hike that impacts lower income workers most severely. Politicians laugh off the estimated $275 dollars this will cost every family, but for my household this represents one week’s worth of groceries. Clearly, our children deserve those resources more than the dual pensioned political class in Trenton.
We have been told to accept this tax hike because it will lower our property taxes. I thought the millionaires tax enacted by Democrats would do that. Instead, every day 115 New Jerseyans leave our state for the lower taxes and sensible governing of the so-called “red states.” What the Governor and his legislature fail to realize is that with this “freedom flight,” New Jersey continues to lose ground on economic opportunity, new job creation, and improving standards of living. There is a truism that Democrats in Trenton don’t want to tell you. New taxes never created a job, never helped a young family to invest, or save for their children’s college.
There was another way, a better way. The Assembly Republicans, with leadership from many of our outstanding Monmouth County legislators proposed $2.2 billion in real budget cuts. They made the hard decisions that we elected them to make, including calling for an end to dual pensions, and deep cuts from the over 1,200 politically appointed positions in non-essential roles. Hats off to Senators Palaia and Kyrillos, and Assemblymen and women Steve Corodemus, Sean Kean, Sam Thompson, Amy Handlin, and Jennifer Beck for voting NO on this abomination of a budget bill.
At the county level, our Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders responded to New Jersey’s budgeting woes by keeping the taxpayer squarely in their priorities, and holding the line on spending. The Freeholders slashed a proposed $18 million increase in county spending by more than half without sacrificing jobs or services. County government is being streamlined to improve efficiency and stem future increases. Republican leadership recognizes that you can manage spending, growth and change without punishing our overburdened taxpayers.
When you run a household, and you decide to irresponsibly increase your spending, you can not automatically turn to your employer and demand a raise. This is a recipe for the unemployment line, and a pink slip. In fact, a pink slip would be the right idea for a Governor who used Republican principles of self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and investment to improve his own life, but magically transforms into a tax and tax again politician when given the opportunity to govern. New Jersey deserves better.
Thankfully, in Monmouth County we have leaders and public servants in the Monmouth County Republican legislative delegation, a great Board of Republican Freeholders, and competent, outstanding Republican candidates on all levels of office who understand this. It is more important than ever that we come together and elect Rosemarie Peters, Andrew Lucas and Freeholder Anna Little this November.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


From the Asbury Park Press


Yes: Adler, Bryant, Buono, Codey, Coniglio, Doria, Gill, Girgenti, James, Kenny, Lesniak, Madden, Rice, Sacco, Sarlo, Scutari, Smith, Sweeney, Turner, Vitale, Weinberg
No: Kärcher
** Sen. Ellen Kärcher said she later switched her vote to yes. That change is not yet recorded in the Legislature's computer system.
Read all about Kärcher's explanation here.


Yes: Gormley, Martin
No: Allen, Asselta, Bark, Bucco, Cardinale, Ciesla, Connors, Inverso, Kavanaugh, Kean, Kyrillos, Lance, Littell, McNamara, Palaia, Singer

Yes: Barnes, Burzichelli, Caraballo, Chivukula, Cohen, Conaway, Conners, Cruz-Perez, Cryan, Diegnan, Egan, Epps, Fisher, Giblin, Gordon, Green, Greenstein, Greenwald, Gusciora, Hackett, Johnson, Lampitt, Manzo, McKeon, Oliver, Payne, Pou, Prieto, Quigley, Roberts, Scalera, Schaer, Sires, Stack, Stanley, Steele, Truitt, Vainieri Huttle, Vas, Voss, Watson Coleman, Whelan, Wisniewski
No: Albano, Mayer, Moriarty, Panter, Stender, Van Drew



Yes: Blee
No: Baroni, Bateman, Beck, Biondi, Bodine, Bramnick, Carroll, Connors, Corodemus, Dancer, DeCroce, Doherty, Gregg, Handlin, Holzapfel, Karrow, Kean, Malone, McHose, Merkt, Munoz, O'Toole, Pennacchio, Rooney, Rumpf, Russo, Thompson, Vandervalk, Wolfe
Not voting: Chatzidakis

Saturday, July 08, 2006


"This is the budgetary equivalent of a game of three-card monte."...Sen. Robert Littell (R-Sussex)

"How ludicrous is it that in this theater of the absurd, we're raising the sales tax to provide direct property tax relief while cutting rebates at the same time."...Sen. Joseph Kyrillos Jr. (R-Monmouth)

"The public is denied the opportunity to see what's going on while it's going on. Instead of having government under glass, we have government under a rock."...Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Morris)

"This was all about Democrats behaving badly.''...Assemblyman Kevin O'Toole (R-Essex)

Just as a union will call a strike for higher wages, the Bozo-coifed Gov. Jon Corzine had called a strike for higher taxes. The budget was approved early this morning, and the strike called off.
The disagreement among Democrats was not whether to raise taxes, but on which taxes to raise.
And raise them they did. A Republican proposal which would have cut spending by over $2.2 billion (With a B) was never even given serious consideration. Instead, Democrats raised taxes by $1.5 billion (With a B), and even made sure to throw in some pork for loyal supporters.
Sounding more like a union activist than the leader of state government, Corzine had declared his solidarity with public employee unions. This was totally expected, as Carla Katz, President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1034, is Corzine's former girlfriend; she had her mortgage paid off by Corzine. Local 1034 surprisingly went on to endorse Corzine.
He was just rewarding his supporters.
In addition to the casinos, Corzine's government shut-down even affected flood victims along the Delaware River.
So, the shutdown has ended, the state will be reopened by Monday and everything will be back to normal.
Till next year.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Monmouth County has experienced a proliferation of political blogs. Both parties are represented, but so far we Republicans seem to be ahead on this.

Some blogs have flourished, while others seem to have fallen by the wayside.

The Monmouth County Republican Blog has been active for over a year. Lew Alcindor started Right Inside Monmouth Politics in November 2005, but has only been intermittently active. In January of this year, William H. Seward started More Monmouth Musings, and has been very active posting since then. Two blogs were set up by someone posting as Ronald Reagan, believed to be the nom de blog of Dan Gallic, the shadowy former executive director of the Monmouth GOP. Both blogs went dormant but one has been reactivated; it has been a repository of namecalling and hopeless negativism and will not be linked here.

Some folks running for office have started blogs under their own names. Freeholder Anna Little began a blog back in February; sadly she has not kept it up. I hope Anna reactivates her blog for the campaign and posts pertinent Freeholder information. (Hint hint hint!) I'd like to see Surrogate Candidate Rosemarie Peters and Freeholder Candidate Andrew Lucas get into the blogging act, too. On the local level, so far we have Borough Council Candidates Art Gallagher from Highlands and Charles Cocuzza in Union Beach.

Some journalists have blogs, too, and often post on political subjects. Jackie Corley, formerly of Courier, would have to be considered the pioneer in this category, with Bayshore Journalista and Jersey Blog Beat. Courier publisher and sometime Democrat Jim Purcell has The Inside Clamdigger, where he posts on news up in the Bayshore; he also posts on Airborne issues. Courier probably has more blogs per capita than the other Monmouth papers; there's Matt McGrath with Matter of Fact; other Courier bloggers with varying degrees of political content include Doug Irvin (Who recently left the paper.), Rich Kohler and Mike Kenny. Of these blogs, the only one officially affiliated with Courier is Matter of Fact. Over in Howell we have Kathy Baratta, who is administrator at She covers Manalapan for the News Transcript, but the blog is not affiliated with the paper. The Asbury Park Press has recently launched its own family of bloggers, including Bob Ingle, Editorial Page Editor Randy Bergmann, editorial writers Clare McDowell and Larry Benjamin, and columnist Rev. Michael Riley.

The Democrats have begun to get into the act too. A few months ago the Monmouth County Democratic Blog was started by Old Hickory, but that seems to have gone dormant. Middletown Democratic Boss Joseph "King" Caliendo has started Democrats Calling, and the Democrats also have Donkeys Rule! on their blogroll. Assemblyman Michael Panter (D-12) has a blog, as did Bill Flynn and Mike DaSaro, the unsuccessful Democratic candidates in the 13th District last year. It is generally believed that so far the Democrats lag behind the Republicans in blogging.

If I missed anyone's blog (preferably of a political nature), please leave a comment with the blog's address. I will add the Republican ones to my sidebar links.