Monday, January 30, 2006

SO. WHAT ABOUT CONGRESS?

Monmouth County is divided among three congressional districts: The Fourth, Sixth and Twelfth. All three seats are up for reelection this year.

The Fourth District consists of Allentown, Brielle, Colts Neck, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, part of Freehold Township, Howell, Manasquan, Millstone, Roosevelt, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Upper Freehold and Wall. The Fourth has been ably represented since 1981 by Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R), the dean of the New Jersey Congressional delegation. We at the Monmouth County Republican Blog believe that Congressman Smith will seek another two-year term.

The Sixth District includes Aberdeen, Allenhurst, Asbury park, Atlantic Highlands, Avon, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Deal, Hazlet, Highlands, Interlaken, Keansburg, Keyport, Lake Como, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, part of Manalapan, part of Marlboro, Matawan, part of Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Neptune, Neptune City, Ocean, Red Bank, Sea Bright, Union Beach and West Long Branch.
This district is a successor to the old Third District, held for many years by the late Rep. Jim Howard (D); upon Howard's death in 1988, Frank Pallone, his protege, was elected. Howard's original claim to fame was his ability to win in a Republican district; redistricting over the years has left the district strongly Democratic. Today's district snakes its way like a follow-the-dot gone awry through many of Central Jersey's Democratic bastions, from Asbury Park and Long Branch through South Amboy, New Brunswick and Highland Park to Piscataway and Plainfield.

The Twelfth District consists of Eatontown, Englishtown, Fair Haven, part of Freehold Township, Holmdel, Little Silver, part of Manalapan, part of Marlboro, part of Middletown, Oceanport, Rumson, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township and Tinton Falls.
Long represented by Republicans like Jim Courter and Dick Zimmer, the Twelfth is now represented by Democrat Rush Holt. When Zimmer ran (unsuccessfully) for U. S. Senate in 1996, conservative Somerset County Freeholder Michael Pappas (R) was elected to the seat. While many believe Pappas' singing of "Twinkle Twinkle Kenneth Starr" on the House floor did him in, others believe it was a group of "moderate" Republicans working against him; indeed, liberal Republican lobbyist Hazel Gluck was open in her denunciation of Pappas. It is said that the moderates had hoped that in defeating Pappas, a Democrat would only last for one term in that district and then a moderate could then reclaim the seat. If that was in fact the plan, it backfired badly, as Holt is in his fourth term!

So, has anybody out there heard any names thrown about? I'm sure that Chris Smith will run for reelection, but what about the other districts?
Who wants to run against Pallone? Will it be an unknown like Sylvester Fernandes? Will it be Fernandes? A big name? Monmouth, Middlesex or Union? Will Pallone run unopposed?
How about in the Twelfth? That district runs all the way out to the Delaware River, folks. Parts of five counties. Anyone know who's running there? Is Bill Spadea going for it again? Buster Soaries? An unknown? Who? Will Holt run unopposed?
Let us know your opinion on the congressional races. And you people from the other counties can chime right in, too; these districts overlap some serious territory.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

LITTLE IS IN THE RACE

Describing herself as "a Little person from a Little town", Highlands Borough Councilwoman Anna C. Little spoke at the Affilliated Republican Club of Monmouth County's Freeholder Candidate's Night at Ft. Monmouth's Gibbs Hall last night.
Other speakers were Howell Mayor Joseph DiBella, former Wall Mayor Robert McKenna and Spring Lake Councilman Brian Reilly.
With copies of her resume placed on each table, Little impressed many there with the brevity of her speech.
She is an attorney at law, practicing in her hometown of Highlands. She is multi-lingual. A lifelong resident of Monmouth County and a Middletown South graduate, Little is said to have the support of the Two-Rivers Republican group and is making headway as an alternative to the DiBella/Peters choice. (It has been said that Peters is out for the time being.)
Little is in her second term on the Highlands Council, having served since 2003. She expects to have letters out to the County Committee early this week.

REILLY IS IN THE RACE

Spring Lake Borough Councilman Brian Reilly spoke at the Affilliated Republican Club of Monmouth County's Freeholder Candidates Night at Ft. Monmouth's Gibbs Hall last night.
As he did not have resumes at the dinner and has not sent out letters yet, not much is known about him county wide. If I am able to get a copy of his letter, assuming there is one, I'll update this post.
Other speakers were Howell Mayor Joseph DiBella, former Wall Mayor Robert McKenna and Highlands Councilwoman Anna Little.

Friday, January 27, 2006

De SENO IS IN THE RACE

Thomas De Seno, an attorney practicing in Asbury Park and a resident of the Ramtown section of Howell Township, has notified Chairman Niemann and Republican Committee members of his intention to run for Freeholder. His letter emphasizes as his strongest qualification:

"As a Republican, are you tired of the treatment our Party receives from the Asbury Park Press? Since Gannett purchased the paper and appointed two Camden County men to run it, they have attacked Republicans. They pick a different Republican each year to attack incessantly. Coincidently [?], Camden County money has flowed into Monmouth Democrat coffers ever since. Republicans have made Monmouth the best run county for two decades, yet the Asbury Park Press writes about Republican leadership as a problem. They want us out of power, and this year showed their left-wing radicalism by endorsing a Green Party candidate for Freeholder.
"For four years I have written a weekly column in the triCity News called "Justified Right" in which I defend your conservative and Republican ideals, as well as slap the Asbury Park Press every time they're unfair to us. I have a proven record of standing up to them and will do so as your Freeholder, as I, like you, am proudly Republican. Let's push back!"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

McKENNA IS IN THE RACE

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.


AN OPEN LETTER TO CHAIRMAN FRED NIEMANN AND THE MONMOUTH COUNTY COMMITTEE

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,

Bob

Robert F. McKenna

KING GEORGE III AND THE KNIGHTS OF THE NORTHERN CROSS

Oh, well, it would've been nice to nail both Lynch and Norcross.
Today's Asbury Park Press contains some interesting information. On the Front Page is an
article where U. S. Attorney Christopher Christie criticizes the State Attorney General's Office for "bequeathing him a botched probe of the Palmyra tapes case."
This investigation involved Camden County Democratic powerbroker George E. Norcross III.
The criticism covers the AG's office under more than one administration. This is a chilling revelation, as it reveals the power that Norcross wields. The question arises, was this the work of several Attorneys General of both parties, acting serially to protect Norcross? Or should one look further down the chain of command; are there lower-level people, people who are supposedly non-political and stay on regardless of administration, but who are protecting Norcross? Is there an issue here of incompetence or corruption?

Today's
editorial is related. State Attorney General nominee Zulima Farber was approved Monday by an 8-2 vote by the State Senate Judiciary Committee, with Republican Senators Gerald Cardinale (Bergen) and Joseph Kyrillos (Monmouth-Middlesex) voting no. She is expected to sail through confirmation in the full Senate next Monday.
The editorial points out her toxic driving record, that she is a lightweight in criminal prosecutions, and that her chief claim to fame is the fact that she is a Democratic partisan hack. The Press recommends that Bozo-coiffed Governor Corzine withdraw her nomination, and failing that, that the Senate not confirm the appointment.
This is related to the Norcross case because we as citizens of New Jersey depend upon the Attorney General's Office to be a strong link in the law-enforcement chain. This has not been the case, and apparently has not been for many years; Peter Harvey being the poster child for incompetent AG's. It should not have to fall upon the United States Justice Department to prosecute every corruption case that comes along, but it does because the State Attorney General's and County Prosecutors' offices have been weak links.
Former Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye was criticized for being soft on political corruption; indeed he was the subject of similar criticism to that of the AG's office. Corzine's predecessor, Gov. Dick Codey did the right thing by appointing Luis Valentin as Monmouth County prosecutor. Valentin came from the U. S. Attorney's office and presumably would not work at cross-purposes with the Feds.
Wouldn't it make sense for Corzine to do the same as Codey and nominate a competent person to the AG's post instead of a hack, another "See No Evil"? Oh yeah, that's right, Corzine is Norcross' boy.

A time line of the case can be found
here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Monday, January 23, 2006

LOCAL LINKS

Today I updated my sidebar, organizing it by topic. I have added links for some local Republican organization websites. My source for that is the Monmouth County Republican Organization website's "Municipalities" links. There were only six towns listed with GOP websites. (I did not include where an actual municipality's website was listed - just the party.)
That's not many, people.
So, if anybody out there knows of a local GOP website that I don't already have, please post the URL in the "comments." I will verify the site, then add it to the links.
Hat-tip to William H. Seward for the idea.

NOTE: I will not allow any "bleedover" from the last thread. If you have anything to say about Joe DiBella, Howell or related items, post it on the previous thread. The Howell GOP website has already been linked. If I see Howell stuff here, I will delete it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

DiBELLA IS IN THE RACE


Republican Committee members in several towns today have reported receiving a letter from Howell Township Mayor Joseph M. DiBella asking that they support his candidacy for the Board of Chosen Freeholders. DiBella is seeking the seat expected to become vacant on Tuesday when Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin's resignation takes effect.
I'm told DiBella's letter includes biographical information and his qualifications to serve as a freeholder. His resume is enclosed. When I can get a copy of the letter, I'll post it. I will do this for any candidate if I can get a copy of their letter.

In a possibly related event, according to the Tri-Town News, a group of three Howell residents, called “The Committee to Recall Joseph M. DiBella from the Office of Mayor of the Township of Howell”, has filed a notice of intent to file a petition for recall with Township Clerk Bruce Davis. This may or may not doom DiBella's candidacy. According to the article, the recall group does not list its reasons for wanting to recall their mayor. I will caution the reader that the filing of an intent to petition for recall does not mean that there definitely will be a recall, it does not mean that the target of the proposed recall has done anything wrong and it does not mean that, should a recall election take place, that it will necessarily be successful.
If the County G. O. P. Committee chooses DiBella as a freeholder to fill the vacancy, he would assume his County office long before any recall election is to take place; indeed, possibly before the committee can even get its petitions filed with Davis. DiBella would then probably resign from his township post and render any recall efforts moot.
At this point, I would say it does not help him.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

DYNAMO BUZZ

There is a nice write-up about the Monmouth County Republican Blog, and Mr. Purcell's editorial, at Dynamo Buzz.
Dynamo Buzz is "A weblog about New Jersey, politics, sports, computing, web design, hockey, beer. Other stuff, too!!"
Roberto, your host, writes about all of the above subjects, but mainly Jersey politics, with a refreshing conservative point of view.
I would encourage my readers to log on to Dynamo Buzz; it's a great site.
Thanks, Roberto!

Friday, January 13, 2006

HOWELL

This site has many readers from Howell Township. Many are very opinionated, and I have also let my opinion be known from time to time on Howell politics. This thread is for Howell and Howell Republicans.
Howell Township is Monmouth County's largest municipality in terms of land area, and is second only to Middletown in population. If you find yourself between Colts Neck and Lakewood, or between Freehold and Wall, then you have found yourself in Howell.
Howell is a diverse town, with lush green farmland in the northern sections of Adelphia and Ardena along the Route 524 corridor, strip malls and suburban subdivisions along the Route 9 corridor and some Pinelands.
Such a large and growing community is very important to winning countywide elections.

Howell traditionally has been competitive politically, with Republican leanings in recent years. The trend in the past was cyclical, with control of the Township Committee swinging back and forth every few years. This cycle has been "disrupted" since the new form of government was adopted in 1990, but Howell still swings locally.
The Howell G. O. P. has produced many fine leaders over the years. Among them are Toby Roe, Dave Shaw, Jerry Levine, Larry Butterworth, Marie Cuddy, Aaron Smith, Mary Alice Kelly and Marion Masnick. Danny Massa, who later became a Democrat, also dabbled in journalism with The Booster News. Levine was elected in 1979 on a ballot with Township Clerk Bruce Davis using a "Batman and Robin" theme. Levine later went on to marry Sally Fox, who was also on the Committee. Davis is still Township Clerk.
Until the late 80's the local organization was able to hold together. It was at that time that bitter primary battles began to occur, starting with the G. O. P. leadership withdrawing backing from Mayor Marion Masnick and Committeeman Wayne Stewart in their reelection bid. When Masnick and Stewart won the primary anyway, some leaders refused to back the nominees, resulting in the election of Democrats. It has been said that some well-known Republicans were spotted putting up Democrat signs that year. The vicious primary became the order of the day for several years.
A change in government to the Council-Manager form in 1992 required the entire 5 member governing body to run at once that year; the team led by Harvey Morrell for Mayor was nominated in the primary and was elected that year. Subsequently during the 90's Howell went Democratic.
By the 2000's the local organization was in pretty good shape, and a Republican majority was elected; in 2004
Mayor Joseph DiBella was elected.
In 2005 a rift was apparent again when Robert Walsh ran as an independent against Wayne Lucey for DiBella's unexpired council term; Walsh won.

It is important for Howell Republicans to stay united and avoid any petty bickering if they wish to avoid any more local losses; the County G. O. P. at large also depends upon good pluralities in Howell. Fighting serves only the Democrats. If Howell is to have a freeholder or other higher official, the local organization must be united and not give people the impression that "Jerry Springer Show" type behavior will be brought into the Hall of Records or the State House.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

ARTICLE IN THIS WEEK'S COURIER

I would encourage everybody who can get up to the Bayshore to pick up a copy of this week's Courier. Jim Purcell, the paper's publisher, has written a very nice editorial about me, your host, Honest Abe.
While we as Republicans may disagree with Mr. Purcell's Democratic politics, this column is pretty much spot on, and the illustration is very creative.
Thank you Mr. Purcell for a great editorial.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

TRIBUTE TO JOE AZZOLINA

Today marks the swearing-in of the new State Assembly, and one fixture from Monmouth County will sadly not be among those taking the oath. Capt. Joseph Azzolina will retire from the Assembly, due to a close loss in the June 2005 Republican Primary. He will be succeeded by Freeholder Amy H. Handlin.
Azzolina has been compared to the late British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill. Although of different generations, the two men bear a striking physical resemblance, and both men are known for their eminently quotable, plain-spoken (and sometimes salty) demeanor. What you see is what you get. Both are war heroes as well as statesmen.
Azzolina was one of the most senior members of the Legislature at the time of his retirement, having served, with a few breaks in service, since January 1966. Elected to the Assembly in the 1965 election, Azzolina served in the lower house until 1972, when he took a seat in the State Senate. He served in the Senate for a two-year term; he was defeated for re-election in the 1973 Democrat landslide. A 1977 Senate campaign likewise proved unsuccessful.
Azzolina returned to the political scene in 1985. Running with the late Joann Smith of Old Bridge, he and Smith defeated incumbent Democratic Assembly members William Flynn and Jacqueline Walker. The 13th District has remained in Republican hands ever since. Azzo
lina ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 1987, and had another hiatus from the legislature; he returned in 1992 and served admirably until the end of the last term.
Azzolina has built a record as an effective legislator, but his successes are not only political. He served in the Navy and Naval reserve for over fo
rty years. He built a family-owned mom & pop grocery store into the multi-store Food Circus corporation. His philanthropy is done the way it should be - quietly, without any self-aggrandizement. It's not about publicity, it's about helping people.
The Convention and Primary of 2005 were truly unfortunate indeed. It has been said that events were manipulated by two successive Monmouth County G. O. P. Chairmen to replace Azzolina with Handlin. Some said that he could not win in November due to controversy over the Town Center development proposed by members of the Azzolina and Scaduto families. While I most certainly would have advised the Assemblyman to handle the situation somewhat differently, in particular his address to the Middletown Township Committee, I believe that, district-wide, he would have overcome that issue and been reelected to the Assembly, especially in light of the lackluster pair of candidates the Democrats ran in '05.
So, whether you call him Assemblyman Azzolina, "Joe Az", "The Captain", "Mr. A", "The Old Man (Not to his face!)" or simply Joe, The Monmouth County Republican Blog salutes Joseph Azzolina and the many years of service he has provided. He will be missed in Trenton, but I know he will be a fixture in Monmouth County Republican politics for many years to come, and he will continue to serve his fellow man.

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.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

DIRECTOR BARHAM

This evening the Board of Chosen Freeholders chose William C. Barham of Monmouth Beach as Director of the Board; he succeeds Thomas J. Powers. Matawan's Robert D. Clifton was chosen as Deputy Director.
We at the Monmouth County Republican Blog support the Board's choice and wish the new director and deputy director well in 2006.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

CLARENCE HALL

NOTE: This is a work of satire. It is not intended to imply that any real person actually did the things stated in this article, or that girls actually say "Eeeeeewwwwww" about anyone. Rather, it is to illustrate the juvenile behavior displayed by some people who are supposed to be grown-ups who know better.

Once upon a time, long, long ago in a high school far, far away, was a student we'll call Clarence Hall.
Clarence was a straight "A" student, and many teachers and administrators often said that Clarence showed a lot of promise. With his strong leadership skills, he was chosen for a mentoring program at a school across town; through tutoring and other activities he calmed what had been called an out of control "blackboard jungle", and received many accolades for it.
All who he came into contact with were highly impressed, but for one thing.
Clarence was an incorrigible discipline problem.
With his Irish good looks and gift of gab, Clarence should have been a babe magnet, but many of the girls he asked out reacted with an emphatic, "Eeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!" Clarence spent many an hour at in-school detention, as well as suspension.
His "extra-curricular activities" included:

Putting wads of paper into the larger opening of each drinking fountain, causing unsuspecting users to get squirted in the face by a jet of water.
Placing a pencil, eraser first, into each nostril during class.
Clarence came into class after gym with his pants on backwards. More than once.
Replacing dry-erase markers with permanent markers; the school district had to replace eight dry-erase boards.
Writing on the walls.
Throwing spitballs.
Goofing in the halls.
He "borrowed" several chunks of dry ice from the chemistry lab and placed them in toilets in the boys' rooms, filling the rooms with fog.
Lit off stink bombs in said boys' rooms.
While he was supposed to be working on a stage set after school, Clarence took a can of paint, painted the soles of his bare feet, and walked through all the corridors of the school, leaving bright orange footprints everywhere, repainting his feet as he went.
Incited a food fight in the cafeteria by imitating John Belushi's character in National Lampoon's Animal House and spraying the captain of the cheerleading squad with mashed potatoes. The entire football team has been after him since.
Incited a book fight in the library by doing the same. An entire set of World Book Encyclopedia was ruined and police were called when a thesaurus went through a window and dented the principal's car. This earned him a suspension.
Egging the principal's car after the dent was repaired.
Clarence likes to monkey with the phone, and he frequently was called down to the principal's office to explain some call made to someone the night before.
While walking the halls during free periods, he presses his face against the glass in classroom doors, disrupting the class inside.
He was caught with diagrams he had made of drilling a hole through the wall between the girls' and boys' showers. His plan was to create a camera obscura, where images of the showering girls would be projected upon the boys' shower wall. His plan unraveled when he was caught removing a drill from shop. This earned him a suspension.

Sophomore and Junior years, Clarence was chosen to represent his homeroom in the Student Council. Many questioned who would vote for him; how could he actually win, but he did. Although he didn't do a half-bad job, his record was marred by his bad behavior. Clarence had a habit of making up stories about other students and running to a teacher. His reputation became that of the little boy who cried wolf. When criticized for telling tales, Clarence would adopt the role of a victim; that they were picking on him. Incorrigible, Clarence just kept it up. He ran for Senior Class president but lost out when his mischief finally caught up with him and people just said "enough". He just kept going, though, going to the principal and the school newspaper with some story about what the class president supposedly had said freshman year. Most who heard his story said that they just didn't believe him and that it was just sour grapes because he didn't get to be class president.
Many teachers and school administrators are toying with the idea that Clarence Hall should just transfer to the other school as a full-time student, as it appears that there are no problems with him there and he is well-liked by the teaching staff.

Monday, January 02, 2006

PARTY LINES AND COUNTY LINES III

"Interesting how some people in Union County care an awful lot about what goes on in MONMOUTH county."

Wheeling. It ain't just a city in West Virginia anymore. As all of us should now know, it's the movement of money, usually in large amounts, from one part of the state to another. Although both parties do it, it is the Democrats who have honed it into an art form.
In Monmouth County, the Democrats have an appetite for money from Union County Democrats.
This seemed to pop up on the radar screen in 2004, when a total of $57,850 was wheeled from the Union County Democratic Committee to Monmouth, thus:
8/17 $200.
9/21 $25,000.
9/21 $5,000.
10/5 $11,300.
10/8 $14,350.
10/27 $2,000.


This raised some red flags and came out in a debate at Brookdale Community College that fall, so it appears that the Democrats wished to diversify.
In 2005, Union County again showed its largesse to the Monmouth Dems, but this time they used different funds and donors.
$2,062 went to the 2005 Democratic freeholder campaign from the following:

$312. from Daniel J. McCarthy, a Cranford lawyer.
$1,000. from the Election Fund of (Union County Assemblyman) Joseph Cryan.
$750. from the Election Fund of (Elizabeth Councilman) Frank J. Cuesta.

Additional Union County money went to the legislative campaigns; the 11th District campaign of Doherty & Reilly got a total of $18,000.:

$17,400. from the Election Fund of Joseph Cryan.
$600. from the Election Fund of (Union County Assemblyman) Neil Cohen.

In the 12th District, where the Democrats practice a process they call reform, the Panter & Morgan campaign got $23,600.:

$16,400. from generous Joe Cryan.
$7,200. from the Election Fund of (Union County Assemblywoman) Linda Stender.

The 13th District was slightly different, as campaigns of both parties were involved in the ill-fated Clean Elections program sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Joe Roberts (D-Camden). There were at least two Democratic funds here, Flynn for Assembly and the regular Flynn & DaSaro (or was that DeSaro?) campaign fund. Both got Union County money, totaling $21,554.95, which includes $12,700. in monetary donations and $8,854.95 in in-kind donations. Here's the breakdown for Flynn for Assembly:

$1,500. from the Election Fund of Neil Cohen.
$3,000. from the Election Fund of (Union County Senator) Raymond Lesniak.
And for Flynn & DaSaro:

$8,200. in monetary donation from the
Central Jersey Democratic Leadership Council (CJDLC).
$6,354. 95 in unspecified in-kind contributions from CJDLC.
$2,500. in in-kind from the CJDLC for printing & design by
Devine Media Enterprises, Inc.
It is notable that the chairman of the CJDLC is none other than Union County's own
goose-stepping, Oompa-loompaesque publisher and Democratic Party hack, James Devine.
Devine on the CJDLC weBSite claims the CJDLC is not subject to ELEC reporting as it is organized as a 527 fund. This is the same guy who says contributions to his "Handlin-Thompson.org" site go into his personal bank account.

(Another notable in-kind, insofar as newspapers donating to any politacal campaign is notable, is $2,100. in free newspaper advertisements by Courier, which is not in Union County.
UPDATE: Mr. Jim Purcell, publisher of The Courier, has commented that his publication makes no in-kind contributions of any kind to any campaign, and that the advertising bill will be paid. Click on comments to read his full explanation.)

Why are the Union County Democrats so interested in Monmouth County? I honestly don't know. Could it be appointments? Influence? I really don't know. But to get an idea of how the all-Democratic
Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders governs, log onto The County Watchers. Would the Monmouth County Democrats govern the same way if elected? Maybe that's why the Asbury Park Press refused to endorse them.