Friday, April 27, 2007


Up for election this year are all 120 members of the New Jersey Legislature.
Since the 2001 election, both houses have been in Democratic hands. Before that, the GOP held majorities in both houses for over a decade.
Can we win it back this year?
That depends. Some say the Republicans are weaker because of the retirement of a number of veteran lawmakers, including Sen. Joe Palaia and Assemblyman Steve Corodemus. But are we? Here in Monmouth County, we have strong Legislative candidates in each district. It may matter more what we as Republicans stand for.

Having a strong set of statewide issues on which to run is a powerful start. The Democratic Legislature has received some very bad publicity of late, topped off with the Feds investigating the supposedly non-partisan Office of Legislative Services.
If we strongly state what we are for, rather than meekly what we're against, we can do this. Here is a list, not in any particular order, of some important issues:
  • Property Taxes - Time to wrap up this issue. New Jersey has had the highest in the nation for far too many years, under both Republicans and Democrats. This issue calls for a hard look at school funding, as well as an elimination of duplication of municipal services. Creating another "rebate" for those who "qualify" after jumping through a fiery hoop, and which can be rescinded at any time doesn't cut it.
  • School Funding - Goes hand in hand with property taxes. We can't keep funding education the way we do. This includes a reform or abolition of the so-called Abbott Districts. More is spent per student in these districts than in many upper-crust private schools, yet Johnny still can't read, let alone graduate. Nothing will change here either as long as the school monies are sent right into the hands of the urban Democratic machine bosses.
  • Ethics - You can talk about ethics all you want, but, like gun control, if you're not going to enforce the laws already on the books, nothing's going to change. U. S. Attorney Chris Christie is doing a good job sending corrupt pols to jail, but he's the only one. The much-celebrated State Attorney General Stuart Rabner, appointed by the Bozo-coiffed Gov. Jon Corzine, has done little or nothing in that regard. The Legislature too must seriously police the ethics of its members, and drop the club atmosphere.
  • Legal Reform - This issue covers a number of subcategories, including personal injury. Frivolous lawsuits, many by serial litigators, must be stopped, but this must not be tightened up to the point that we hurt legitimate people. This issue also includes judicial appointments. Although appointed by the governor, these positions are confirmed by the State Senate. There is no reason that the Senate should confirm any stiff the governor nominates. Having good, solid judges and justices, and not lightweights like Deborah "Because I Said So" Poritz, will go a long way towards cleaning up the legal system. It will also have a positive ripple effect in many other issues, too.
  • Regulatory Reform - Overregulation is what keeps jobs out of New Jersey. Make no mistake, we are in competition with other states for businesses (= jobs). If we don't compete, we fall behind. Simple as that. It's already happening.
  • Oppose Overdevelopment - And mean it. This goes back to property taxes. Towns go on a "ratable chase", supposedly to keep taxes stable. But it just becomes like climbing a mountain looking for the top when there is no top. Overdevelopment leads to...
  • Eminent Domain - A hot button issue if there ever was one. Right here in Monmouth County is Long Branch, which is becoming a national poster child for eminent domain abuse. The arrogance of Democratic Mayor Adam Schneider on this issue just attracts more attention. Eminent domain was intended for public works like roads, bridges and parks. The abuse of the process to make rich developers richer only hurts the process when it is used for its intended purpose. Time for some reform here with teeth. Sharp teeth.

This list could go on and on. As I said above, we have a strong legislative team here in our Monmouth County districts, both incumbents and newcomers. Our team will only become stronger with strong stands on issues that are important to Monmouth County voters.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Many of us read about the pablum coming from the mouths of the national Democratic leadership. Unindicted Abscam co - conspirator Rep. John Murtha and Sen. Dick "Turban" Durbin disparaging our brave service men and women. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi having unauthorized meetings with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. And most recently, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid announcing that the Iraq War is "lost"; this pronouncement hit Al Jazeerah and other Arab media in a flash and has energized al Qaeda and other terror groups.
Going back a few years, we had Rep. "Baghdad Jim" McDermott carrying water for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In our own area, Rep. Frank Pallone made common cause with none other than Cindy Sheehan, who has broken bread with enemies of America like Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.
But Abe, but Abe, these are national leaders; they wouldn't do anything to hurt America, would they? Hey, Benedict Arnold was a general before he turned against his own troops. He's a household name now.
Sounds like a pretty skanky bunch. Truth be told, this may not be only show.
Back in 1980, a large number of Democrats proved that they had no problem taking money from Arab sheiks. This was the Abscam case, and the sheiks were actually FBI agents, but the crooked pols didn't know that at the time. In the 90's, the Democratic National Committee had an infusion of funds traced to the People's Republic of China; the Chinese mysteriously ended up with our missile technology! So there is a longstanding tradition of Democratic friendship with enemies of America. This longstanding tradition includes accepting money from the same enemies, whether as bribes or campaign contributions.
Many Democrats must think all of this is a disgrace. It would seem that there are three clear choices for the Democrats:

1. Stand pat. You agree with all of this and support it wholeheartedly.

2. Voice your outrage. Within your party, speak up and work for change, both for the good of the party and the country.

3. Leave the party. Become a Republican, Green or independent. If the cancer has metastasized in the Democratic Party and can no longer be cured, Democrats of good will may consider this option. Here in Monmouth County, many Democrats are much more conservative than the national party, and the GOP might prove a logical choice for them. More liberal party members may choose the Greens.

Let's see if we hear any protest from local Dems on the antics of their national party. Pallone and his fellow Rep. Rush Holt should be held accountable for their stands, too.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


We direct your attention today to two Monmouth GOP blogs.
Barry Goldwater, at The Voice of Reason, has been doing quite a well-researched series of posts on Sen. Ellen Kärcher, and a lot of issues that show that she's not quite the paragon of political virtue that she likes to portray.
At More Monmouth Musings, William H. Seward addresses the 12th District Clean Elections issue. In two posts, one yesterday and one today, Secretary Seward does an in - depth analysis of the issues a-brewin' between the Kärcher camp and the Jen Beck, Declan O'Scanlon, Caroline Casagrande campaign as pertains to Clean Elections.

Monday, April 16, 2007


"I seek a convention process that empowers our Republican County Committee, and allows them to make fair, even-handed decisions. I seek a process that not only produces great candidates like Freeholder Burry, Freeholder Little, Rosemary(sic.) Peters, and Andrew Lucas – but one that also heals divisions and ends factionalism."

"It is also harmful to use surrogates who seek to tear apart our party unity in the hopes of reliving their past glory days."

"The Republican County Committee voted to move beyond the divisiveness and infighting of the past two conventions. It was that atmosphere that created Little and helped to lose the first Republican freeholder seat in 20 years.
Little brought that belligerence to the freeholder board, and the Republican County Committee could see fratricide for what it was. Even the freeholders' lone Democrat has been able to serve residents without partisan bickering. This is the consequence of a rebellious few within the Republican Party who used their champion candidate to destroy rather than to build. But that was yesterday, and today is a better day."

...Chairman Adam Puharic

Let's talk about factions. It is one of Chairman Adam Puharic's favorite subjects, and a topic on which he spends a lot of time and effort discussing.
Is the Monmouth County G. O. P. factionalized? You decide. Puharic speaks of "...the divisiveness and infighting of the past two conventions. It was that atmosphere that created Little and helped to lose the first Republican freeholder seat in 20 years."
Let's take a look at what he's talking about. He speaks of the conventions of February and April 2006. Anna C. Little was elected to a vacancy on the Board of Chosen Freeholders at that convention, which was held under Title 19 of New Jersey State Law, which would preclude the use of any form of hand - picked steering committee, howsoever it is called. Thus, the vacancy is filled by a vote of the Republican County Committee, which can overrule the wishes of a county chairman, a curmudgeonly county counsel, elected officials or even county vendors. It was that atmosphere that created not only Little but Assemblymen Sean Kean and Sam Thompson, County Clerk Claire French, and Freeholder Director Bill Barham.
The candidates, and their supporters, work the County Committee and campaign for support. The object being, of course, that those Republicans who supported the losing candidates come together and support the one who was chosen. Since Little won last year, it looks like the system worked as it was supposed to. So far, no cancer here.

"We must make sure no future Republican candidate ever faces a divided base of powerbrokers and convention fanatics – angry that their candidate did not win. Many of the loud convention voices fell silent during the campaign trail, not raising money, not putting up signs, not interested in anything other than their own self-aggrandizement."
...Adam Puharic

Who is that, Adam? Who?Let's get down to Puharic's real problem: The fact that Little's initial base of support was the Two Rivers Republican Group, led by then - Red Bank G. O. P. Chairman James Giannell. Puharic never stopped looking at Giannell as a threat, and had vowed to destroy the Two Rivers group. So, Little's support was all from Two Rivers? Of course not; that group doesn't have enough votes to do it alone. Giannell, a known grass roots operative, and others reached out to people throughout the county. Little herself campaigned for the position, working successfully to convince Republicans that she was the best person for the job. Among her opponents was Howell Township Mayor Joseph DiBella, who's supporters included the County Chairman at the time, Fred Niemann. Fred and his supporters led an all - out effort to elect DiBella, which many G. O. P. observers believed exceeded the importance of the office. (More on that in a future post.) Little was elected.
So let's look at the April '06 convention. Once again, DiBella was in the race; his supporters seemed to want him for the nomination even more than Joe did himself. The Two Rivers Group had two horses in the race, Little Silver Councilman Americo J. "Rick" DeNoia for Surrogate and Manalapan Township Committeeman Andrew Lucas for Freeholder. So the same supporters lined up behind these candidates, right? Wrong. A number of the Two Rivers people who supported Little in the February Title 19 Convention supported DiBella this time around. Others who had supported Little supported Holmdel Township Committeeman Terence Wall for freeholder. So Lucas' supporters had to come from somewhere else, people who hadn't supported Little. See what's happening here when you analyze it? Individual Republicans supporting who they think is best! (Wall would go on to withdraw at the convention and ask his supporters to vote for Lucas.) And DeNoia would come up short against Rosemarie Peters for Surrogate.
Then, in June, came the Reorganization, where the vote took place for County Chairman. Again, if there were factions, one would think that the vote would reflect that of the Title 19 Convention. It didn't. In a three - way race, Puharic, running on a party unity platform, won decisively.

Now let's look at yet another issue that Adam has: Regional groups. As mentioned above, Puharic has voiced his disapproval of such groups. But that disapproval is not all - encompassing. While he has vowed to destroy the Two Rivers group, Puharic was a founding member and officer of the Bayshore Republican Conference. While running for chairman, he proudly announced that he had the support of the Southeastern Republican Caucus: "I am proud and humbled to announce that I have just received the endorsement of the 17 municipalities of the Southeastern Republican Caucus! The Southeastern Republican Caucus is comprised of the Municipal Chairs of 17 towns along the South Shore who meet and act in the best interests of the residents of Monmouth County." And another such group has appeared, The Western Monmouth Republican Conference, which recently endorsed the Puharic candidate screening process, "The Western Monmouth Republican Conference - made up of GOP representatives from the western part of the county - said last week it is endorsing the concept of the Republican candidate screening committee. "
So obviously, if a "faction" or "caucus" suits Adam's needs, they "act in the best interests of the residents of Monmouth County." Otherwise, they "seek to tear apart our party unity in the hopes of reliving their past glory days." Indeed, much of the most divisive language in our great party comes from Puharic himself.
But right now, we should rise above the poison coming from the chair; we "must not waste one word on Republicans. It is time to focus on beating democrats." We will concentrate on electing our G. O. P. team.
Adam, we will be watching. This is not going away.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Anyone who tuned in the "Jersey Guys" radio program on WKXW 101.5 on Wednesday (4/11) would have heard about the Coalition Against Corrupt Politicians, for the purpose of facilitating communication with the U. S. Attorney's Office and bringing crooked politicians to justice. If you listened that night about 6:30 or 7:00 you would have heard County GOP Chairman Adam Puharic getting on board. This is good. Other Monmouth County officials and candidates have also gotten on board.
Adam reiterated his Ethical Road Map, and stated that he would be posting a link to the CACP website on the Monmouth County Republican Committee website. True to his word, the link is up.
What we were wondering, though, was why the County GOP no longer does web postings of its ELEC reports. The June 30 and September 30 2006 reporting cycles were posted, but the December 31 reporting is not. So far, the March 31 report is not posted, but that doesn't even have to be in ELEC until Monday.
Posting of ELEC reports was a good idea on Adam's part last year. We hope that he reconsiders and posts the reports again.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Carton will keep his job.

The question has been raised as to whether Malcolm Carton, the curmudgeonly County Counsel will become an issue in this year's campaign.
He already is an issue, and has been for quite some time. One commenter on this blog characterized him last year as, "someone of questionable legal ability, who is a political liability and has the personality of a cranky nasty old man."
Will the Democrats use him as an issue, though? It's more complicated than that. You see, Freeholder Robert Clifton, the only Republican incumbent board member running this year, voted against Carton's appointment last August. Republican Freeholder Anna Little, who would have been Clifton's running mate this year but for the machinations of County GOP Chairman Adam Puharic, also voted no. Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, an unsuccessful GOP freeholder candidate last year, had stated that he too would have voted no, had he been on the Board at the time. County Clerk Claire French has had problems dealing with Carton. Marlboro Township Committeeman Jeff Cantor, Clifton's running mate for freeholder, remains an unknown quantity on this issue, as does Monmouth Beach Commissioner Kim Guadagno, our candidate for sheriff (Who will face a primary opponent.). As the County Counsel is a freeholders' appointment, the County Clerk and Sheriff have no vote in the matter.
Presumably, the Democrats would stand poised to make Carton an issue nonetheless, but herein lies the conundrum: John D'Amico, who will lead the Dems' freeholder ticket this year, not only voted for Carton's appointment back in 1988 when D'Amico was a freeholder, he actually sponsored the resolution! Freeholder John "Well Done" Villapiano, now the Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 11th District, provided the second.
Now, it would be one thing if the appointment was a slam-dunk, with all three Republicans voting for Carton, but the only Republican voting for him was Director Harry Larrison; Freeholder Tom Powers voted no and Freeholder Ted Narozanick abstained. Many Republicans were outraged at the time, and it cast quite a pall over the reception after the reorganization meeting.
So will Malcolm be an issue this year? A lot will depend upon what happens at Thursday's (April 12th) Freeholder's meeting, where Freeholder Little's complaint will be taken up for further action.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007