Herman Cain told supporters in Ohio that he is not dropping out of the 2012 GOP presidential nominating race, according to the New York Times:
“The American people are going to raise some Cain in 2012!”
Over a roar of approval from the crowd, he added: “They want you to believe that we can’t do this. They want you to believe that with enough character assassination on me, I will drop out!”
Bayshore Tea Party Group leader Barbara Gonzalez said, “YAY! I don’t believe Cain did what he’s being accused of, but even if he did, that’s between him and his wife! We need to save the frickin’ country!”
A strong argument could be made that the path to becoming a Monmouth County Freeholder goes through Red Bank realtor Jim Giannell’s office.
Since 2005 when he backed Colts Neck Mayor Lillian Burry, Giannell has picked every non-incumbent Freeholder nominee except two. One exception was Marlboro Councilman Jeff Cantor who replaced Freeholder Anna Little, a Giannell pick, on the ticket in 2007. Cantor lost a close election to Democrat John D’Amico and then left the Republican party for Jon Hornick’s Democratic organization in Marlboro. The other exception is John Curley. Curley was Giannell’s pick over Serena DiMaso in 2008. Curley narrowly lost to Amy Mallet in the Obama landslide. In 2009 Giannell backed Kim Spatola, a former Atlantic Highlands councilwoman over Curley. Curley prevailed at Joe Oxley’s first candidate selection screening and went on to defeat Sean Byrnes of Middletown in the 2009 Christie landslide in Monmouth.
With the election of Gary Rich earlier this month, 3.5, counting Curley, of five Freeholders owe their offices to Jim Giannell. If the former Red Bank municipal chairman’s pick in the current race to replace Assemblyman-elect Rob Clifton, Howell Mayor Bob Walsh, is elected on January 14, Giannell will have picked all five members of the board.
While the Freeholders may owe their careers to Giannell, there is little, if any, evidence that he is a boss, in the classic New Jersey sense of the word. Once they take office, the Freeholders go their own way. Burry is supporting Anne Marie Conte over Walsh in the current race. Curley and Tom Arnone are staying out of the race for now.
Here is a list of Giannell’s picks for non-incumbent Freeholders since 2005:
2005: Lillian Burry. Burry ran with incumbent Bill Barham. Barham was elected at a Republican convention earlier in 2005 to replace long time Freeholder Director Harry Larrison. Even in the wake of the Operation Bid Rig scandal which tarnished the Republican brand, Barham and Burry defeated Democrats Barbara McMorrow and Rebecca Aaronson and Independent Brian Unger. The Republican victory was in large measure do to the Asbury Park Press’s call for voters to bullet vote for Unger. Back then the APP’s endorsement still had influence. Unger garnered over 18,000 votes. Burry’s margin of victory over McMorrow was only 1,792 votes.
2006: Anna Little and Andrew Lucas. Little was elected, by one vote, over Howell Mayor Joe DiBella at a convention to replace Amy Handlin who had been elected to the Assembly. Giannell managed Little’s campaign and her floor fight at the convention. A month later at a contentious multiple ballot nominating convention, Giannell and candidate Terrence Wall threw their support to Lucas in an anti-establishment move against DiBella and then Chairman Fred Neimann. Little went on to win the rest of Handlin’s unexpired term in the general election. Lucas lost to Barbara McMorrow.
2007: Giannell did not have a candidate. Little, his successful pick in 2006, spent a contentious year battling with Chairman Puharic and Freeholder Director Barham. Little declined to seek the nomination rather than submit to Puharic’s rules for screening and the convention. Cantor was selected to join incumbent Rob Clifton on the ticket. Clifton won. Cantor lost to Democrat John D’Amico.
2008: John Curley was Giannell’s pick over Serena DiMaso who had the backing of Chairman Adam Puharic. Burry was Curley’s running mate. In a photo finish election dominated by Obamamania, Burry prevailed and Curley lost to Amy Mallet on the count of provisional ballots. Democrats took control of the Freeholder Board for the first time in 20 years.
2009: Giannell backed Chairman Joe Oxley in supporting Atlantic Highlands former Councilwoman Kim Spatola over Curley. McMorrow was up for reelection and was considered a lock to be reelected. Nominating a woman, given the pro woman gender gap demonstrated by Burry and Mallet’s 2008 victories was considered the only hope of defeating McMorrow. Just before the nominating meetings for both parties, McMorrow announced she would not seek another term. Curley won a roll call vote at Oxley’s first screening selection. The Democrats scrambled to find a candidate to replace McMorrow, settling on Byrnes from Middletown over Mike Beson of Neptune Township. Curley defeated Byrnes and Republicans won back control of the Board.
2010: Giannell’s pick, Tom Arnone, narrowly defeated former Middltown Committeeman Tom Wilkens and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich. Arnone and incumbent Rob Clifton went on to defeat D’Amico and Spring Lake Councilwoman Janice Venables.
2011: Giannell backed Rich over Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, who had Burry’s support, Walsh, and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry. Rich won the nomination with 25 votes in the screening committee. Lucas has 23 votes and Newberry 22. Walsh withdrew before the polling. Rich and incumbent Burry went on the defeat Mallet and newcomer William Shea earlier this month.
2012? Monmouth County Republicans have not had a nominating convention of all county committee members since 2008. It remains to be seen if Giannell can pull off another close race. Don’t bet the house against Bob Walsh.
Joined by Former Romney Counsel Charlie Spies for February 2012 Special Convention
PRINCETON, NJ (November 30, 2011) – Princeton Township resident Bill Spadea has officially declared his candidacy for the vacant New Jersey Assembly seat in the newly redrawn 16th Legislative District by filing the necessary documents on Friday, November 25. The vacant Assembly seat was held by longtime public servant, Assemblyman Pete Biondi, who sadly passed away two days following his re-election this month.
Mr. Spadea will vie for the party’s nomination at the special four-county convention, which will happen within 35 days of the swearing in of the new Assembly on January 10, 2012. The vote at the convention will determine who will fulfill a one-year term for the vacant Assembly seat. Mr. Spadea will also participate in the June 5, 2012 primary to become the 16th Legislative District’s Republican candidate for the NJ legislative special election on November 6, 2012.
“Pete Biondi was a great legislator, public servant, community leader and patriot. So many business and political leaders asked and encouraged me to consider this run to do right by Pete’s legacy of public service. I was so honored by their request that I felt compelled to step up,” said Spadea.
Mr. Spadea’s campaign is off to a strong start, enlisting the support of prominent GOP attorney Charlie Spies. Mr. Spies, head of Clark Hill PLC’s national Political Law practice, served as CFO and Counsel for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2008 Presidential campaign, as well as counsel for the Republican Governors Association in 2006 and the Republican National Committee in 2004. Spies stated, “Bill is a dynamic and enthusiastic candidate. His conservative principles, business background and organizational success make him the right man at the right time for New Jersey.”
Princeton Township is one of the eight new municipalities that will be a part of the new 16th Legislative District in January 2012. It was also one of the first municipalities to vote to consolidate with another municipality this month. The consolidation of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough will be historic for the state of New Jersey.
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Bill Spadea has worked in New Jersey as a senior executive in the real estate industry for the past 15 years. Additionally, he is an on-air political analyst and Republican strategist for several New York Region television stations. Mr. Spadea served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1991 to 1999. He ran for U.S. Congress in New Jersey’s 12th district and earned more than 115,000 votes (40%) in 2004 running against the heavily-funded incumbent Rush Holt. He is the co-founder and past-president of Building the New Majority, a grassroots political organization focused on helping NJ citizen-legislators win local campaigns. Mr. Spadea lives in Princeton with his wife Jodi and their two children, who attend Princeton public schools – where he serves on the Zoning Board, is a coach for little league, chairs the annual Veteran’s Day event, and serves as master of ceremony for the annual Memorial Day Parade/Service.
Freeholder John Curley will be elected Director of the Board by his colleagues when the Monmouth County Board of Freeholder reorganizes in January, MMM has learned. Freeholder Tom Arone will be elected Deputy Director.
Curley said he will use the opportunity to continue his work to reduce the size and cost of county government. He said he was concerned about the amount of surplus used to hold the line on property taxes in the current fiscal year. He sees savings coming from using more part time employees and outsourcing government functions where possible. Curley said he hopes the county is able to sell the nursing homes it owns.
Arone sees the continued expansion of shared services as an opportunity to reduce costs for municipal governments while enhancing revenue for the county.
Freeholder Lillian Burry who has served two terms as director and broke the glass ceiling when she become the first female director said Curley would do a good job in the post. Burry was elected to her third term on the Freeholder Board earlier this month. She said her focus will be on the projects she has been working on, notably, the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth and the park system.
Curley, Arone and Burry are each taking a strong interest in the race to fill Assemblyman-elect Rob Clifton’s seat on the board. The new Freeholder will be running with Curley in the 2012 general election and with Arone and Sheriff Shaun Golden in the 2013 election, assuming a 2012 victory.
Neither Curley or Arnone expressed a preference for any of the announced candidates, noting that the field may not be set.
Burry recruited Wall Township Mayor Anne Marie Conte into the race and is supporting her for the post.
Curley said he expected a strong challenge from the Monmouth County Democrats in 2012, mentioning Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty and Freeholder Amy Mallet, who lost her reelection bid earlier this month, as possible challengers.
Wall Township Mayor Anne Marie Conte and Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle are candidates to fill the Freeholder seat being vacated by Freeholder Director Rob Clifton upon his swearing in to the State Assembly.
Conte and Doyle join Holmdel Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso and Howell Mayor Bob Walsh as candidates in the Republican County Committee election which will take place on January 14th. Both Conte and Doyle were reelected to their current offices earlier this month.
Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle
Doyle confirmed to MMM that he is throwing his hat in the ring, saying, “I think I can do a lot for Monmouth County.” Conte was not immediately available. Multiple reliable sources told MMM that she is “definitely” running. The sources said that Conte was running for the vacant seat at the urging of Freeholder Lillian Burry.
Burry confirmed her support of Conte. “Anne Marie is exceptionally competent and intelligent. I’ve been impressed with her enthusiasm and the job she has done in Wall,” said Burry, “she would make an outstanding Freeholder, but must first get through the process of the convention.”
The Monmouth County Affilated Republican Club’s website mentions Manalapan Deputy Mayor Ryan Green, Manalapan businessman Joe Ficalora, Keyport Chairman Bob Burlew, Hazlet Mayor Scott Aagre, and former Freeholder Bill Barham as possible candidates.
The County GOP’s official website has an announcement urging potential candidates to call Chairman Joe Oxley as soon as possible at 732-431-6664.
GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain is reassessing his candidacy in the wake of allegations of a 13 year extra-marital affair, according to a story broken by National Review Online. NRO reports that they had a writer on Cain’s five minute conference call with his senior staff wherein he discussed his campaign’s latest setback.
Cain has denied the affair, as he has denied allegations of sexual harassment while he was the CEO of the National Restaurant Association.
Cain attempted shore up his weak foreign policy credentials by issuing his denials in German, “nine, nine, nine.”
Locally, Bayshore Tea Party Group leader Barbara Gonzalez told Politickernj that her group continues to support Cain, “Until they can prove something, we continue to support him….it’s a smear campaign….no one is buying it.”
Rep. Barney Frank will be remembered for three things: First, he was not only the first openly gay member of Congress but the first involved in a gay-prostitution scandal. Second, he said, “I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness” regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as exercised with regard to other government-affiliated agencies, preferring, as he memorably put it, to “roll the dice a little bit.” Third, he was co-author of the Frank-Dodd financial-reform legislation. Which is to say, Representative Frank will be remembered as an embarrassment, a reckless gambler, and a legislative malefactor.
Representative Frank was not much of a crusader on gay-rights issues, which was just as well. On the substance of those issues, he was on the wrong side. As a symbol, he was toxic — a powerful politician whose homosexual orientation was hardly the most remarkable feature of his private life, which included involvement with a gay hustler and convicted drug dealer whom the congressman was paying for sex, and who ended up running a prostitution operation out of the congressman’s home. Representative Frank was reprimanded by the House for making misleading statements to a Virginia prosecutor on behalf of the prostitute — whom the congressman eventually put on his own payroll — and for having fixed dozens of parking tickets on his behalf. Americans are broadly tolerant of homosexuality; they are rightly less tolerant of prostitution and political corruption. The congressman’s self-pitying account of the episode made the bad situation worse.
But though his private life spilled over into his public duties, it is as a champion of a different kind of pay-for-play operation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that the congressman did the most damage to the country. The government-backed mortgage giants were at the center of the housing bubble and the subsequent financial crisis. Representative Frank was a stalwart defender of the organizations, even after the government uncovered “extensive” fraud at Fannie Mae and found that Freddie Mac had illegally channeled funds to its political benefactors. Again, Representative Frank’s personal life intruded into the story: He was sexually involved with a Fannie Mae executive during a time when he was voting on laws affecting the organization. The final cost of the Fannie/Freddie bailouts will run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, and the real damage that the organizations did to the U.S. economy — and the world economy, for that matter — probably is incalculable.
In response to a financial crisis in which he was a significant figure, Representative Frank helped to craft a financial-reform law that bears his name. The drafting of Dodd-Frank began as a punitive measure, evolved into a dispensary of political favors, and in the end did little or nothing to address the problems that led to the 2008–09 crisis or to prevent similar crises in the future. Which means that we may have Barney Frank partly to thank not only for the last financial crisis but for the next one.
From his relatively petty transgressions related to his personal life to his more consequential role in enabling Fannie and Freddie, Representative Frank personifies a great deal of what is wrong with American public life. Though a highly intelligent man, he made the wrong decisions at every turn, and compounded his policy errors with the petty and vindictive style of his politics. Republicans will not miss him. Neither should his Democratic colleagues, his constituents, or the American public that will be paying off the cost of his errors and those of his allies, with interest, for a great many years. We hope that he will find in the obscurity of retirement the grace and wisdom that eluded him as an elected official, but we do not assume that it will be so.
Now Pascrell, 74, should announce his retirement and save the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission a lot of work. Doing so would eliminate all controversy over naming a state highway after him.
Pascrell announcing his retirement prior to the new congressional districts being determined would be a selfless act of public service. The rest of New Jersey’s congressional delegation would want to name a more prominent road after him. The Resdistricting Commission’s work would become easy and appropriate, as the district to be eliminated should be from North Jersey where the population has declined vis-a-vis the rest of the state.
If Pascrell announced his retirement, the bill to name Route 19 after him could be fast tracked in the lame duck legislative session. Governor Christie might even sign it, despite the fact that Pascrell was a Corzine caddy, second only to Frank Pallone, during the 2009 gubernatorial campaign.
If Pascrell does not take this opportunity to retire, the question of the appropriateness of naming public facilities after sitting office holders should be hotly debated. Every member of the Assembly Transportation committee except Burlington County Assemblyman Scott Rudder voted to release the Pascrell naming bill to the full Assembly. Rudder said that naming a road after a sitting office holder was hypocritical and that the state has more pressing issues.
Rudder is right, but there is a stronger argument against giving away the names of public facilities. In these difficult economic times, we should sell and resell the names of our roads, bridges and buildings, with all of the proceeds going to either retire debt or build new facilities, thereby avoiding new debt.
There is precedent for this type of revenue generation. Former Governor Brendan Byrne’s name was taken off the Meadowlands Arena in favor of Continental Airlines and later Izod who both paid handsomely for the naming rights.
Glassboro State College was renamed Rowan University after Mr. Rowan donated $100 million.
The State and New Jersey’s counties and municipalities could benefit greatly by selling naming rights to businesses and philanthropists.
Governor’s Recidivism Initiative Builds on State’s Strong Record with Expansion of Successful Drug Court Program, Improved Program Management and Coordination and Accountability for Results
Trenton, NJ – Taking action to build on the nationally recognized success of New Jersey’s prisoner re-entry, rehabilitation and prevention programs, Governor Chris Christie today outlined an initiative to help even more offenders get the support they need to successfully re-enter society, break the cycle of criminality and lead productive lives.
Governor Christie outlined this cross-departmental Administration initiative at Cathedral Kitchen, a community service organization that serves meals to those in need in Camden. Cathedral Kitchen operates a culinary arts program which gives job training to unemployed, unskilled, homeless citizens, re-entering prisoners and parolees, helping them transition to a successful, productive life once they are out of prison.
The Governor’s re-entry initiative includes the expansion of the state’s successful Drug Court Program, the appointment of a Governor’s Office Re-entry Coordinator, the creation of a Governor’s Task Force on Recidivism Reduction, an ongoing program assessment, and the development of a real time recidivism database. These changes will allow New Jersey’s re-entry and rehabilitation efforts and programs to work together, to be guided and properly resourced based on results, and to ensure effective programs are expanded to serve as many individuals as possible.
“New Jersey has a strong record of helping rehabilitate offenders and providing the services they need to be successful in society, significantly decreasing their likelihood of reoffending and improving public safety,” said Governor Christie. “But we can do better to make our re-entry programs more efficient, successful and effective – helping even more individuals get the support they need to change their lives for the better and break the cycle of offending and reoffending.”
Today, New Jersey is widely recognized as a national leader in reducing incidents of recidivism and reducing its prison population. The Pew Center on the States’ State of Recidivism report, “The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons,” identified New Jersey’s 11 percent recidivism decline as among the steepest declines for any state during the report’s study period, from 1999-2002 and 2004-2007. Since 1999, New Jersey’s prison population has declined more than 20 percent.
New Jersey spends over $225 million, not including over $40 million for the Drug Court Program, on its system of various re-entry and prevention programs across state government, but it is done in a decentralized manner with no mechanism to implement these resources strategically or measure program performance. The Governor’s initiative builds on the relative success of New Jersey’s existing system of re-entry programs in breaking the cycle of criminality and helping offenders lead successful lives after prison by addressing existing shortcomings and expanding those programs that are getting results.
Existing programs like the Drug Court Program, which serves as an alternative to incarceration for drug-addicted, nonviolent offenders, have already been effective in reducing recidivism rates among those they serve.
According to their October 2010 Drug Court Report, the rate at which drug court graduates are re-arrested for a new indictable offense is 16% and the reconviction rate is 8%. This is compared to re-arrest rates for drug offenders released from prison that stands at 54% with a re-conviction rate of 43%. According to that report, an average institutional cost per inmate is approximately $38,900, whereas the cost for an active drug court participant is roughly $11,379.
The Governor’s initiative will focus additional resources on this successful, demonstrably effective program and allow others to be similarly identified and prioritized to further reduce recidivism with programs that work.
Connecting offenders with the services they need to be successful back in society, whether it is recovery from substance abuse or the need for official identification, is critical to ending the cycle of crime. At present, a joint program between the state Department of Corrections and Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) identifies qualified offenders on a quarterly basis, who are taken to MVC offices to obtain a driver’s license or non-driver identification card prior to the completion of their sentence. This program takes down impediments to successful re-entry resulting from the lack of official identification, which is often necessary to apply for a job, obtain housing, or connect with critical services like Medicare or food assistance.
“This initiative will build on our strengths by expanding highly successful programs like the Drug Court Program to get addicted offenders the underlying help they need, while also measuring and reforming or eliminating ineffective programs, and directing our resources in a smart, strategic and coordinated way to those programs that are making a positive difference in changing lives,” said Governor Christie.
First Lady Mary Pat Christie has made re-entry and prevention programs that help ex-offenders and recovering addicts return to normal life a priority. New Jersey’s innovative prevention and re-entry programs aimed towards at-risk populations have been highlighted by Mrs. Christie for their work in providing the building blocks to self-sufficiency and a pathway to achieve life success. Several of the initiatives have brought recognition to the Garden State as a national model for the progress made in this area. An overview of Mrs. Christie’s efforts in this area can be foundhere.
The Governor’s initiative includes the following components:
Expansion of the Drug Court Program
The drug courts presently accept approximately 1,400 new participants per year. Those new participants must volunteer for a sentence of drug court as opposed to incarceration. The Christie Administration initiative seeks to expand the drug court program by identifying eligible drug addicted non-violent offenders, providing them with clinical assessments to determine their suitability for drug court and sentencing those offenders to the drug court program regardless of their desire to enter the program.
This approach recognizes that one of the main impediments to treatment for addiction is the denial of addiction. Treatment systems that address the denial issue can ultimately be successful in treating a larger population of appropriate offenders. The Governor’s Re-entry Task Force will be tasked with working with the judiciary to facilitate a suitable expansion of this program beginning with two vicinages to be determined through this effort.
Governor’s Office Coordinator for Prisoner Reentry
A collaborative vision is necessary to improve what is a comparatively successful system of re-entry services. That vision includes, as a first phase, centralizing and providing a formal management structure on the current, decentralized system.
Governor Christie today announced that Lisa Puglisi, an attorney with more than a decade of experience with the Attorney General’s Office representing the Department of Corrections and later the State Parole Board, as his Coordinator for Prisoner Re-entry to convey and implement the Governor’s vision for an improved prisoner re-entry scheme. The Governor’s Coordinator for Prisoner Re-entry will co-chair the Task Force for Recidivism Reduction and serve as the principle policy adviser to the Governor on re-entry and recidivism reduction policy.
The Governor’s Task Force for Recidivism Reduction
There are more than just Corrections and Parole pieces to maintain and improve on the state’s public safety and prisoner re-entry mission. To address the current lack of coordination among the many treatment and reentry programs across state government, Governor Christie today signed Executive Order 83, creating the Governor’s Task Force for Recidivism Reduction.
The Task Force will be led by both the Chairman of the State Parole Board, James Plousis, and the Governor’s Coordinator for Prisoner Re-entry. Its members will include representatives from:
·Department of Corrections
·State Parole Board
·Motor Vehicle Commission
·Department of Human Services
·Department of Health and Senior Services
·Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
·Department of Law & Public Safety
·Juvenile Justice Commission
·Department of Community Affairs
The Task Force will develop recommendations for the Governor regarding how best to ensure the effectiveness and success of New Jersey’s efforts towards recidivism reduction, including an initial benchmarking study of existing program effectiveness and performance, and the development and implementation of a system to measure program effectiveness in an ongoing, real-time way.
Day-to-day implementation of the Governor’s initiative will be led by the State Parole Board Chairman Plousis, including the ongoing elements of the proposal such as collecting and analyzing performance data from various state departments for budgeting, programming and procurement purposes.
Ongoing Program Assessment and Measurement
The Governor’s Re-entry Coordinator and Task Force will work to facilitate a professional benchmarking assessment that will evaluate the effectiveness of all re-entry programs offered. The path forward to improve prisoner re-entry requires the Administration to gauge the successes, failures and the depth of gaps in program delivery – inside and outside of prison.
Programming gaps will be rectified by expanding existing, successful programs and hitting capacity thresholds, particularly relating to program delivery within prison. With the parallel development of the real-time recidivism database, this assessment will remain an ongoing accountability tool, allowing the Administration to identify and remediate or eliminate poor performing programs, ensuring that resources are directed to the most effective and successful programs.
Real-Time Recidivism Database
After the program assessment is completed, that data will be used to populate a database, which will allow the Administration to track outcomes for individuals and trends and level of effectiveness in programs in a real-time manner.
This project is currently in development through the efforts of the State Parole Board, Department of Corrections, the Juvenile Justice Commission, Department of Law & Public Safety, the Office of Information Technology and Rutgers University.