Saturday, March 31, 2007


At today's Monmouth County Democratic Convention the following candidates were nominated:
11th District: Former Freeholder and Assemblyman John "Well Done" Villapiano for Senate; Asbury Park teachers' union boss John Napolitani and Teamsters Local 177 Business Agent John Pirnat for Assembly. Villapiano is an old supporter from way back of curmudgeonly County Counsel Malcolm Carton.
12th District: Senator Ellen Kärcher; Amy Mallet and Assemblyman Michael Panter for Assembly.
13th District: Leonard "ELEC" Inzerillo for Senate; Patricia Walsh and Robert C. Brown for Assembly. Inzerillo is well known for his campaign finance reporting foibles, which resulted in his withdrawal from last year's freeholder race.
Sheriff: Belmar Police Chief Jack W. Hill, Jr.
County Clerk: Amod Choudhary, a Colts Neck School Board Member.
Freeholders: Bradley Beach Mayor Stephen G. Scheuler and former Freeholder and State Senator John D'Amico. D'Amico has served as a Superior Court Judge and is retiring as Chairman of the State Parole Board. Like Villapiano, he is also an old Malcolm Carton supporter from way back. I guess, like Democratic Freeholder Barbara McMorrow, D'Amico and Villapiano are "able to serve residents without partisan bickering".

Hat tippo to Will Seward; read his post here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Freeholder Anna C. Little has issued a statement announcing that she will not seek reelection this year.
Little was denied the Republican Party line by County Chairman Adam Puharic. Courted by County Democrats, Little ultimately rejected their offers. The vast editorial staff here at the Monmouth County Republican Blog always believed that a change of party by Little was unlikeley. Little, a Conservative, would find herself in a party diametrically opposed to her social views.
She ultimately rejected both a Republican primary run or an Independent run in November,

"I have decided that a costly and divisive primary is not in the best interests of the people of Monmouth County. Likewise, a costly and divisive independent run is not in the best interests of those whom I serve".
Little's term runs until the end of this year. She has taken many courageous stands on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and is expected to remain a strong voice for the remainder of her term.
Sometimes it takes more courage to not run than to run. Freeholder Little's action shows a level of grace and class sorely needed in Monmouth County politics.
I do not believe we have seen the last of Anna Little.

Secretary Seward has the full text of her statement.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The New Howell
In Western Monmouth County, west of Freehold, but not as far as Millstone, is the Township of Manalapan. While since the 60's much of its green farmland has been replaced by suburbia, the southern and western portions of the township still have many a pastoral acre.
Politically, Manalapan has for many years been relatively quiet as it slowly cycled between Democratic and Republican control. During the 70's, it became a Democratic powerhouse with the construction of Hovnanian's Covered Bridge 55 & over development and its largely New York derived residents. The GOP regained control in the 80's. Walter Lieberman was the local GOP chair at the time. It was during this time that Jack McKenna and Jim Gray served on the Township Committee. Jim Gray is now Monmouth County's genial Clerk of the Board.
After a while, control went back to the Democrats. The Dems would have their intra-party battles, but have retained their majority.
The GOP has, however, elected Andrew Lucas and Joseph Locricchio.
Running mates in 2004, party divisions in the past year have led to a falling out between the two, with Lucas allied with Republican Municipal Chair Steve McEnery, and Locricchio "on the outs". This party split materialized for all to see at the January 7 reorganization meeting where Lucas was selected as Mayor in a 3 - 1 vote, with two Democrats voting yes and Locricchio voting no. Some say it first reared its ugly head with a 2006 Lincoln Day ad featuring the slogan, "No Gray Skies over Manalapan", which some considered a direct slight against former Mayor Gray.
Locricchio is now running for State Senate in the 12th District, contesting Jennifer Beck in the June primary.
Lately, much has been appearing on various sources, like the Manalapan Forum, the blog Da Truth Squad and elsewhere demonstrating that politics in Manalapan is becoming a contact sport, making it "The New Howell."

Saturday, March 24, 2007


At today's Monmouth County Republican Convention a vote to approve the rules was approved.
The following candidates were nominated:

10th District: Sen. Andrew R. Ciesla; Assemblymen James W. Holzapfel and David W. Wolfe. By acclamation.
11th District: Assemblyman Sean Kean for Senate; retired Wall police officer David Rible and Mary Pat Angelini for Assembly. Neptune Township Committeeman Tom Catley withdrew his name due to a family situation and the fact that his name has been placed in nomination for a Superior Court Judgeship. We wish him the best of luck in everything. Kean, Rible and Angelini were then nominated by acclamation.
12th District: Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck for Senate; Colts Neck attorney Caroline Casagrande and Little Silver Councilman Declan O'Scanlon, Jr. for Assembly. By acclamation. Jen Beck will likely face Manalapan Committeeman Joseph Locricchio, who opted to forgo the screening process, in the June Primary.
13th District: Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr.; Assembly Members Amy H. Handlin, PhD and Samuel D. Thompson, PhD. By acclamation.
30th District: Sen. Robert W. Singer; Assemblymen Ronald S. Dancer and Joseph R. Malone III. By acclamation.
Sheriff: Kim Guadagno over Shaun Golden.
County Clerk: M. Claire French. By acclamation.
Freeholders: Robert D. Clifton and Jeff Cantor. Clifton won by acclamation; Cantor bested Brian Reilly and J.David Hiers. It is not known at this time what incumbent Freeholder Anna Little's intentions are.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Controversial and curmudgeonly County Counsel Malcolm Carton received more criticism today, this time from 13th District Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin, a former freeholder. Apparently Carton treated then - Freeholder Handlin in a similar manner to her successor, Freeholder Anna Little.
Former Assistant County Counsel Robert J. Hrebek has also weighed in with his experiences with Carton.
Since our last post on Carton, the tips have been pouring in; it seems Carton has courted controversy since at least the 80's.
Carton has had a habit of giving poorly researched legal advice. In the early 80's, then - Freeholder Frank Self resigned. Carton advised him to direct his resignation to Director Harry Larrison, Jr. As a result, Long Branch Mayor Philip Huhn was appointed to Self's seat. Freeholder Huhn's vote was needed to provide a 2/3 majority for a bond issue. It was then revealed that freeholder resignations are to be addressed to the Secretary of State, rendering both Huhn's appointment and the bond issue invalid, as Self's resignation was defective there was no vacancy.
Carton's advice may also be at the root of recent controversy about Director Bill Barham's relationship with Hall of Records contractor Benjamin R. Harvey III, and may be the reason Barham directed Carton to seek an opinion from the State Attorney General's office; in effect a second opinion. It is not known whether Carton became uppity with Barham.
Also in the early 80's, Carton was considered a front - runner to succeed Democrat County Prosecutor (Now Superior Court Judge) Alexander "Hollywood Al" Lehrer to the point that some people called Carton "Mr. Prosecutor". County Chairman Frederick Kniesler had a different idea, and nominated John A. Kaye, who would go on to serve over 20 years in the post. Harry Larrison, who supported Carton, publicly objected in the press, and promised a "bloodbath", presumably meaning that he would work to oust Kniesler. The "bloodbath" never happened.
The Board of Chosen Freeholders will meet tomorrow night (March 22). Freeholder Little's complaints about the belligerent barrister will be on the Executive Session agenda. The freeholders are busy people; they have no time to play. Carton can do the Board, the Republican Party and the taxpayers a big, solid favor by submitting his resignation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


You can build them or you can burn them. In our great Republican Party, with our Big Tent and Politics of Inclusion, Freeholder Rob Clifton has shown his willingness to build bridges. County Chairman Adam Puharic, however, is still playing with matches.
Clifton was reported in the Asbury Park Press as saying that he would welcome having Little as a running mate "if that's what the party chooses."
He was quickly rebuked by Puharic.
Many Republicans are hoping Clifton's leadership can help bring about an end to the battle between Puharic and Little. It is hoped that the awarding of the County Organization line will go to Clifton and Little, and that Republicans can go into November's election united against the Democrats.
Little opted not to participate in Puharic's steering process due to a "hold harmless" clause in the candidates' questionnaire that would absolve the County Organization of any liability for leaks in the background checking process. Basically the candidates would be participating at their own risk.It also appears that Puharic intentionally structured the screening process from the beginning so as to deny Little the line. It is uncertain why, but it appears that Puharic objected to Little's organization of volunteers and supporters in the 2006 campaign. Another theory is that Little, a conservative, drew the ire of the party's "country club" faction, or that her vote against curmudgeonly County Counsel Malcolm V. Carton may have triggered a vendetta. Clifton also voted against Carton.
In a related matter, prospective freeholder candidate J. David Hiers has filed for reelection to the Ocean Township Committee, a move viewed as hedging his bets.
Hopefully, Clifton's move will prompt other Republicans to call for a Clifton - Little ticket, and that the prospective candidates Hiers, Brian Reilly and Jeff Cantor will withdraw their names from consideration in the interest of party unity.
Read Seward's take here, Goldwater's here.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


The Steering Committee has steered Shaun E. Golden of Farmingdale and Monmouth Beach Commissioner Kim Guadagno to the March 24th convention. At that time, one will be chosen to run for sheriff to succeed outgoing Sheriff Joseph W. Oxley.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Today, March 13th, the Asbury Park Press, in an editorial, calls for the Board of Chosen Freeholders to issue Carton a letter of reprimand. We believe that that is not enough. He is obsolete, has become a liability to the entire Board, and should be replaced.
The irony of it all is that today, March 11th, begins Sunshine Week, dedicated to open public records.


County Counsel Malcolm V. Carton has "jumped the shark." The Asbury Park Press reports that he has responded to Freeholder Anna C. Little's request for information on his billing records in a very snide and sarcastic manner. Read Will Seward's account here.
It doesn't matter whether you support Freeholder Little or not, the operative word here is "freeholder." Carton was insubordinate and inappropriate. His response demeans the entire board, particlarly where he has the audacity to hint that he would bill for the act of providing his billing records!
It also doesn't matter whether his cost overruns are legitimate or not. Let's assume that they are. Since his billing and fees were raised as an issue, the County has imposed guidelines as to what his costs should be. If he does go over his guidelines, he owes it to the Board (His client) to have the information readily available.
Carton was reappointed by a controversial 3 - 2 vote last summer, with Freeholders Robert D. Clifton and Little dissenting. Knowing that the Asbury Park Press just flat dislikes the guy and would look for any opportunity to blast Carton as well as the Board of Freeholders, one would think that Carton would owe the Board the courtesy of being on his P's & Q's and not go out of his way to generate negative press. After all it's not his name on the ballot. The Press has been known to attack in a frivolous manner; it makes no sense to hand them (Or the Democrats!) legitimate ammunition.
It's time for Carton to be replaced. There are plenty of competent attorneys already doing legal work for the county that can step up to the job.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

150,000 HITS!

Sometime today, my hit counter turned 150,000. When I began this blog, I never thought I would be seeing numbers like this.
Recently, the counter has been turning at a rapid pace; sadly, the reason is no doubt due to the disappointing circumstances our party finds itself in.
Hopefully, better times are to come.

Special thanks go to the many readers who help make this blog possible, including but not limited to William H Seward (and his Seward Authority), Lew Alcindor, Jim Purcell, Jackie Corley, Teddy Roosevelt, Elephants not Donkeys, Sue Veitengruber, Kaiser Sose, Ginger Hoffmeyer, Howard Stern, Cliffwood Soccer Dad, Sharon Migliaccio, Edwin Stanton, Barry Goldwater, Concerned Monmouth Republican and the multitudes of readers who choose not to post.
Thank you all!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Do not underestimate the power of forgiveness. Often, all you need to do is ask.
...blogger Barry Goldwater.

Recently the vast editorial staff here at the Monmouth County Republican Blog called for the resignation of Adam Puharic as County Republican Chairman. We were of the belief that there was just no way to extricate himself from the mess caused by his handling of the screening process.
Today, we are temporarily suspending the call for resignation.
New GOP blogger Barry Goldwater, of the Voice of Reason, has some interesting advice for Chairman Puharic; all should read it.
If the chairman follows Goldwater's "Roadmap to Relevance", there is a possibility of getting our party back on track, thereby avoiding what now appears to be a certain train wreck this November.
Adam, the ball's in your court.

Monday, March 05, 2007


"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, referring to the race for County Chairman last May.
He was right.
The Monmouth County GOP is in a very vulnerable position going into the 2007 election, with the retirement of two out of three legislators in the 11th District, our one Republican in the 12th District facing a contested primary in June and an incumbent Democrat in November.
Then there's the county situation.
First, Chairman Adam Puharic did everything in his power to deny the "line" to incumbent Freeholder Anna Little because he didn't like her. Going into the March 24th Convention are three newcomers vying for her place on the ballot; Marlboro Township Committeeman Jeff Cantor, Ocean Township Committeeman Dave Hiers and Spring Lake Councilman Brian Reilly. The winner of the convention may face Little in the June primary, depending upon her decision.
To top it all off, award-winning Sheriff Joe Oxley has informed the Steering Committee that he will not run for reelection. This news was broken by blogger RonalD ReagAN over the weekend. The County GOP is now seen as casting about for a sheriff candidate; William H Seward at More Monmouth Musings reports that Monmouth Beach Commissioner Kim Guadagno may be interested.
So, what do you think will happen? Who will get the legislative and freeholder line? How will our party fare this November?

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Not a spine to be found. Anywhere.
That is how the Monmouth County GOP looks as County Chairman Adam Puharic bumbles his way to a Democratic victory this November.
It is time for Republicans to think about what's going on and do something about it. It's not about Freeholder Anna Little, it's about principle.
Puharic has manipulated the candidate selection process from day one to deny the line to Freeholder Little because he didn't like her. She was too independent. Why, if only she had followed Puharic's lead unquestioningly during last year's campaign, she would have... probably lost.
It's time for some of the elder statesmen of our party to stand up and be counted. Where she is now, so may you be. While I can understand to a point that some officials would fear the same treatment as Freeholder Little, others such as Assemblyman Steve Corodemus, are not running and are beyond the reach of Puharic's vendettas. Still others such as Sheriff Joe Oxley have the status, the gravitas, that it would be difficult for Adam to dump him. And if enough elected officials protest, there is a certain safety in numbers that Puharic would be hard pressed to react.
So grow a spine or grow a pair, but stop him before he screws up again!