AP Top Stories December 31 P

AP Top Stories December 31 P (via AP Video)

Here’s the latest news for Tuesday, December 31, 2013: People around the world celebrate the New Year, Colorado prepares for the legalization of marijuana, Obama’s health benefits take effect tomorrow, and the Australasian researchers wait to be rescued…

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Posted: December 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , | No Comments »

Winners and Losers of 2013, Part 3

Monmouth County’s Biggest Losers

Vin SmugVin Gopal. When you’re twenty-eight years old and the most popular governor in the nation singles you out as a practitioner of the “politics of yesterday,” twice in four months, you’re having a bad year.

Worse for the Monmouth County Democratic Chairman, he doesn’t have the juice to enforce the retribution he promised to Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long and Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider, two Monmouth County Democrats who endorsed Governor Chris Christie’s reelection.

When you’re a twenty-eight year old County Chairman and the elite statewide power players of your party convene for dinner in your county, twice, and you’re not invited, you’re having a bad year.

When, after a devastating county-wide electoral loss, a member of your party leaks your declaration of victory taking credit for wins in races you lost and for a victory in a non-partisan election you weren’t involved in, you’re having a bad year.

But none of those things are what landed Vin Gopal on MMM’s biggest loser list.

Gopal in on this list because of his reckless, mean-spirited and false attempted character assassination of a Republican candidate for Red Bank Borough Council.

Gopal launched his inaccurate attack against Sean DiSomma in a press release late on a Friday afternoon in October.   He encouraged reporters to print his allegations on over the weekend and do their fact checking on Monday, after the story had legs.  Some did, to their own detriment.

In his desperate zeal to win in a Democratic town where he was losing, Gopal ruined his credibility with members of the media who had come to rely upon him as a reliable source.

The Bayshore Tea Party GroupOnce respected as a powerful and principled political force, Barbara Gonzalez , Bob Gordon and their shrunken band of zealots traded their welcome at Republican power tables where they could have made a difference for the road less taken of self-righteous irrelevancy.

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Posted: December 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

CNN Poll: Christie Beats Clinton As Presidential Favorite

Posted: December 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Monmouth County Government to Reorganize on Thursday

Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso with Sheriff Shaun Golden

Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso with Sheriff Shaun Golden

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold their annual reorganization meeting on Thursday, January 2, 2014, 4 PM, at the Biotechnology High School, 5000 Kozloski Road, in Freehold Township.

Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso will be sworn into their new terms of office, as will Sheriff Shaun Golden.

Freeholder Lillian Burry is expected to be elected Freeholder Director for 2014.  Freeholder Gary Rich is expected to be elected Deputy Director.

The 2013 Freeholder Board will hold a Sine Die meeting to conclude the years business at 2PM on the 2nd, at the Monmouth County Hall of Records.

The Latin term Sine Die means the final adjournment of a legislative session, without adjourning to a specific time or date; literally it means “adjournment without a day.”

Posted: December 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

As N.J. prepares to hike minimum wage, experts still disagree on advantages

As N.J. prepares to hike minimum wage, experts still disagree on advantages (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — In two days, more than 250,000 workers making minimum wage in New Jersey will get a raise — but what that means for the state’s future depends on whom you ask. On Wednesday, nearly two months after voters approved it, the state’s minimum…

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Posted: December 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Economy | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

Winners and Losers of 2013, Part Two

Losers:

Congressman Frank J. Pallone, Jr. Since losing the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate to Cory Booker in a special primary, New Jersey’s longest serving Democratic Member of Congress has gone off the rails with bizarre rants is defense of ObamaCare.  As the healthcare plan proves to be increasingly unworkable and unpopular, Pallone’s credibility will tank.

Pallone’s once formidable campaign war chest of roughly $4 million is down to $1.2 million after the special primary, as of the September 30th FEC reports.   That $1.2 million is not as high as it might seem, as the congressman historically burns through about $1 million per year in “campaign” expenses during years when he doesn’t have to face the voters.  Given that his seat is considered “safe,” he’ll have a tough time competing for campaign dollars with candidates who are in districts considered “competitive.”

There is a talk of an Asian-American from Middlesex County who is willing to spend $1 million of his own money to unseat Pallone.   It will take a guy like that to exploit Pallone’s obvious vulnerability.

 

Tom Kean Jr. Kean overplayed the best hand dealt to New Jersey Republicans since Jim Florio’s toilet paper tax, Chris Christie’s overwhelming popularity, and lost.  He picked a fight with Senate President Steve Sweeney and thought he knew better than Christie’s strategists how the Republican legislative campaign should be waged.  His only winning option was to defeat Sweeney’s reelection bid and pick up at least another two state Senate seats.  He failed on all counts, not winning even one Senate seat.

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Posted: December 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Frank Pallone, Tom Kean JR | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Remains Discovered on Sandy Hook Not Human

Remains Discovered on Sandy Hook Not Human (via Middletown Patch)

The remains were found near Gateway National Recreation Area on Saturday. The remains discovered in Sandy Hook bay on Saturday were not of human origin, New Jersey State Police Sgt. Brian Polite said Sunday. The remains were found near the Gateway National…

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Posted: December 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Highlands, News, Sandy Hook, Sea Bright | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Today in History for December 29th

Today in History for December 29th (via AP Video)

Noblemen in Russia murder Gregory Rasputin; Wounded Knee massacre takes place; Texas joins the United States as the 28th state; Dissident playwright Vaclav Havel is elected president of Czechoslovakia; First YMCA opens in Boston. (Dec. 29)

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Posted: December 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: History | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Tom Kean Jr. in a fight he just can’t win: Moran

Tom Kean Jr. in a fight he just can’t win: Moran (via NJ.com)

It was Christmas season, a light snow covered the ground, and all across New Jersey children were mailing letters to Santa Claus swearing they had been good. But in the state Senate, a political brawl was breaking out, one that guarantees the New Year…

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Posted: December 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments »

Winners and Losers of 2013, Part One

Winners

January 2013 seems like a long time ago.

The years are supposed to go by faster as we get older.  2013 missed the memo, at least for me. President Obama’s second Inauguration and Freeholder John Curley’s second swearing in seem like a long time ago.

Selikia Joshia Gore started us off in 2013 with a timeless call to renew our humanity; the ongoing struggle of saints and sinners to love one another regardless of standing, status or creed.   It is a winning message that works only by embracing our failures without resigning to them.

The Governor. Governor Chris Christie started the year lambasting House Speaker John Boehner and the Congressional Republicans for playing politics with Superstorm Sandy aid and ended the year as the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. In between he built a bi-partisan and multi-cultural coalition that reelected him with over 60% of the vote in Blue Jersey.   Christie had the best year of any politician in America.  Only Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin had better years globally.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.  Menendez started the year on the losers list. Embroiled in a sandal of allegations of his cavorting with teenaged girls in the Dominican Republic and using the powers of his office to benefit the businesses of the donor who arranged the party, speculation was that he would resign as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, if not his Senate seat.  Menendez seems to have survived an FBI investigation into his relationship with Dr. Saloman Melgan unscathed.

At the end of the year, Menendez’s position seems secure. He is the leading, and most powerful, critic of President Obama’s foreign policy.   His approval ratings are net positive 22 points in the last Monmouth University Poll. He got engaged to be married earlier this month.

Given where he started, Menendez may have had the best 2013 of any New Jersey public figure, other than Christie.

The Gramiccionis.  The Wall Township power couple had a very good year.  In March, Christopher, the Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor and U.S. Naval Reserve Officer, received orders to report for a 9 month tour of active duty in Afghanistan effective in August.  Those orders were canceled in July, keeping Chris on the job fighting crime in Monmouth County and home for the holidays.  Deborah was appointed by Governor Christie to be the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  The job pays $289,657.

Monmouth County Republicans.  Sheriff Shaun Golden, Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso were always expected to be reelected on the strength of their records and due to the fact that Monmouth County Independent voters usually vote Republican.  They make the winners list by virtue of fact that they ran as if they were behind, not taking any votes for granted.  More importantly, they ran a positive campaign based on reducing spending, holding the line on taxes, and improving services, in the face of yet another negative campaign on the part of the Monmouth County Democrats.

Monmouth County’s Legislative Delegation.  Each member of Monmouth County’s Legislative Delegation deserves more recognition than space will allow.

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Posted: December 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »