Monmouth County’s Biggest Losers
Vin 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, 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 Group. Once 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.
By waging a primary campaign against the highly respected 13th District Legislative Team; Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon, and the accomplished and popular Monmouth County Republican Team of Sheriff Shaun Golden and Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso with a slate of ill-prepared and poorly vetted amateurs, BTPG betrayed their mission and reason for existence. By failing to support Steve Lonegan’s U.S. Senate candidacy against Cory Booker they revealed themselves to be driven more by petty personal concerns than by principle.
Andrew Lucas. The former Manalapan Committeeman finally, after three years trying, sold the development rights to his farm for Open Space, for the tidy sum of $1.152 million. But he lost the Republican Party’s support to continue his political career and resigned his seat on the Manalapan Township Committee abruptly without explanation after federal investigators visited the Hall of Records asking questions about the land deal. EIEIO. 2014 is not looking too good for Lucas.
Susan O’Neal , Linda Baum and the Middletown Democrats. Former Middletown Township Library Director Susan O’Neal did not like the policies her bosses, the Board of Trustees of the Library, were implementing, so she turned to Democratic Township Committee Candidate Linda Baum for political support and used library resources for her insubordination and political purposes.
O’Neal lost her six figure job. Baum lost another election and Gopal is looking for new leadership for the Middletown Democrats.
The Asbury Park Press has become so irrelevant that we hardly make fun of them anymore.
In 2013, they put their headquarters up for sale, laid off their most senior reporters and announced that the paper will soon be a local version of USA Today.
Their worst moment of 2013 was their ignorant editorial blasting Middletown Township Committeeman Tony Fiore and Judge Lawrence Lawson for doing their jobs appropriately regarding the Middletown Library/Linda Baum controversy. They took an editorial position that contradicted the facts as accurately reported by their own staff writer.
MONMOUTH COUNTY’S BIGGEST LOSER IS A WINNER!
Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett is our biggest loser of 2013 for all the weight he has shed.
Bennett had a very good year, in the face of some significant challenges. He fought off the Bayshore Tea Party’s primary challenge of his 13th District and County teams, reestablishing the power of “the line” by not taking it for granted. The Monmouth GOP increased Chris Christie’s margin of victory in 2013 over the Christie’s lofty plurality in 2009 and in a great move not seen in many years, the Chairman reached down to the municipal level to support candidates in competitive races with financial and logistical support.
2014 won’t be without its challenges for Bennett, as his party by-laws are likely to result in freeholder incumbents Lillian Burry and Gary Rich being challenged at the GOP nominating convention. The Democrats, energized by Senator Cory Booker on the top of the ballot, are likely to be more competitive and better funded in their county campaign then they were this year.
Bennett is a lock to be reelected Chairman, probably unopposed. That hasn’t happened in 12 years.