Saturday, February 14, 2009


A top Monmouth County news item this past week was the flipping of former freeholder candidate Jeff Cantor, who put his knees in the breeze, cowboyed up and rode a donkey into the sunset world of the Democratic Party. We're not yet sure whether that move now makes him a former county commissioner candidate.
I had intended to write a post on this subject, but Tom DeSeno at the Jersey Shore Blog wrote about everything I would have, so I held off. I posted a comment on Art Gallagher's More Monmouth Musings where I offered some opinions on the subject. (Read Art's posts here and here.) In the end though, it seems that the flip is just the result of a local split in the Marlboro GOP.
Which is why I was intrigued by some comments on Art's blog, particularly "There are problems with many local GOP organizations. That is why many rank and file are giving up."
Our local situation in many towns is a bit soft. There is a disturbing amount of infighting in many towns and it favors the Democrats. Places like Marlboro, Howell, Manalapan, Holmdel and Wall are too big to concede to the other side. Gone are the days when we could win with the votes of Middletown and Wall, and neglect the rest of the county.
Some are blaming Chairman Joe Oxley, but this is a problem that has been festering for many years, at least as far back as Bill Dowd's chairmanship. During that time, the Democrats were building local organizations and getting stronger (often with wheeled bucks), while our priority was reelecting Harry.
This problem did not develop under Oxley's watch, but it has been thrown into his lap. Joe needs to grab this bull by the horns before it sinks our great party once and for all. And you local people: Joe cannot solve this problem alone. It's time to put egos aside, because that's where these local splits begin, pull together, and work for the common good.

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