The Monmouth County Democrats will hold a “mini-convention” this evening at the IBEW Local 400 Union Hall in Wall Township to formally nominate their slate of County and Legislative candidates for the June 2 primary.
Jeanne Cullinane is challenging Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon in the 13th legislative district
MMM has learned that Hazlet Board of Education member Tom Herman will be a candidate for Assembly in the 13th legislative district, challenging incumbent Republicans Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. Joining Herman on the Democratic ticket in the 13th will be Jeanne Cullinane, also of Hazlet, a political newcomer.
Monmouth County Chairman Vin Gopal has previously announced on his blog that Neptune Township Zoning Board Member Carol Rizzo will challenge incumbent Republican Freeholder John Curley. There has been speculation that Rizzo was seperated at birth from Rumson Democratic Chairman and former Democratic candidate for Surrogate, Michael Steinhorn.
Monmouth County Democratic insiders tell MMM that all Monmouth County and Legislative Republicans except Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini will essentially get a free pass to election this year as Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has been unable to recruit candidates or raise money for the legislative races in legislative districts 12, 13 and 30, or the County Offices of Freeholder and Clerk.
Gopal is expected to leave the candidate recruitment in LDs 12 and 30 to the other counties included in those districts. The 30th district, currently represented in the Assembly by Republicans Dave Rible and Sean Kean, has 12 towns in Monmouth County and two in Ocean County. Seven of the fourteen towns in the 12th district are on Monmouth County. The other seven are split between Burlington, Ocean and Middlesex Counties. The 12th district is represented by Republicans Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton.
Gopal’s trial balloon last December of making a second run for Assembly in the 11th himself( he ran in 2011) went over like the Hindenburg with State Democrats, other County Chairs and Special Interest donors who he had convinced that the money they invested in Monmouth County last year would lead to a pick up of Freeholder seats.
Dwayne Horner of Little Elm Texas was arraigned in Monmouth County Superior Court on Identity Theft Charges stemming from a 4am robo call purported to be made on behalf of State Senator Joe Kyrillos, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin in the early morning of the primary election in the 13th legislative district on June 4, 2013.
Horner was the campaign manager for Leigh-Anne Bellew, Kyrillos’s challenger in the Republican primary.
Karen Finley, former CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems Inc, one of two Red Light Camera companies operating in New Jersey, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago last week on bribery charges.
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, New Jersey’s fiercest opponent of Red Light Cameras, says that is not a surprise:
“Well this is a shocking turn of events, said no one! If cameras actually increased safety no one would have to bribe anyone for business – we’d all be lining up! How any public entity can continue to do business with Redflex in particular, but really any of these companies pitching these ineffective, thieving cameras is beyond me. Is the lure of fast cash so strong we have decided that morality doesn’t matter? We now have multiple pieces of evidence of corruption reaching the highest levels of one of the two companies operating these cameras in New Jersey. Both companies are guilty of blatantly lying about their products and misrepresenting data.”
Dwayne Horner of Little Elm, Texas was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury yesterday. Horner was the campaign manager for Leigh-Ann Bellew of Union Beach in the 2013 Republican Primary challenge to State Senator Joe Kyrillos.
At 4am on June 4, 2013, Republican voters in the 13th legislative district of New Jersey were awakened by a robo call purporting to be from the campaign of Kyrillos and his running mates, Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. The caller, allegedly Horner, said they were reminding voters that they still had four hours to get to the polls, as if the call was being make at 4pm.
A recording of the call can be heard here. Horner’s voice can be heard on the voice mail greeting of the Bellew campaign here.
The indictment charges that Horner impersonated another person or organization for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or for the purpose of injuring or defrauding another. The fourth degree crime has a potential sentence of 18 months in state prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
MMM could not find a current phone number for Horner. Bellew could not be reached for comment.
O’Scanlon said,“I’m glad to see that this matter was taken seriously and did not slip through the cracks. Those who would play these types of desperate games during campaigns need to know that there are consequences and they will be mete. It is hard enough to get eligible candidates interested in running without the threat of these juvenile type pranks. This indictment will hopefully be a message to anyone who would attempt it in the future – grow up.”
MMM has learned that at least one individual was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury today in the investigation into the 4am robocall that occurred on the morning of the 2013 Republican Primary in the 13th legislative district on June 4, 2013. The 13th, represented by Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon, is compromised of Middletown, Marlboro, the Bayshore and the Two Rivers area of Monmouth County.
The call, a recording of which can be heard here, was purported to be on behalf of the incumbents Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon. The caller said that he was reminding voters that they had four hours to get to the polls, as if the call was made at 4pm instead of 4am. The callers voice sounds very much like the recorded voice of the person on the Leigh-Ann Bellew for Senate’s voice mail greeting. That recording can be heard here. Bellew was Kyrillos’s opponent in the primary.
MMM was told that fourth degree identity theft was the charged the grand jury delivered. Fourth degree identity theft is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Charles Webster said he had not yet received a copy of the indictment and that he would provide it promptly upon receiving it from the prosecutor.
Beck: “Hubris and Ego have no place in this recovery process. We have all made some mistakes. Now we need to fix them.”
Thomas P. Largey, 82, and Senate President Steve Sweeney talk in Largey’s gutted Sea Bright home prior to Sweeney’s press conference. May 30, 2014. Photo by Art Gallagher
Senate President Steve Sweeney held a politically charged press conference in a partially gutted Sea Bright home this morning, ostensibly to create political pressure on Republicans in the State Legislature to join Democrats in overriding Governor Chris Christie’s conditional veto of the Sandy Bill of Rights.
Sweeney’s comments sounded like a campaign rally against Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Jennifer Beck and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, JR.
The “Sandy Bill of Rights” passed both houses of the State Legislature unanimously in March. Christie conditionally vetoed the bill earlier this month, making over 150 changes to it. Some of the changes were to bring the law into compliance with federal Housing and Urban Development regulations, others removed what Christie called “partisan language.” One of Christie changes removed the requirement on the State that applicants for RREM grants be able to access the status of their applications online.
Sweeney penned an OpEd published in The Asbury Park Presslast week wherein he appealed to Republican legislators who had unanimously voted for his bill “to do something they have yet to do under this (Christie) administration, and that’s to put aside their partisanship and override the governor’s veto.”
O’Scanlon responded with an OpEd of his own, wherein he said, “after further analysis we found a number of critical flaws that the Governor wisely and reasonably addresses in his conditional veto.”
Assemblyman urges Bayshore residents to ask Senate President Sweeney join the bi-partisan effort
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, issued a statement today welcoming Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik’s support of Regional Contribution Agreements (RCA) for use in getting Sandy victims back into their homes, and called upon residents of his Bayshore district to question Senate President Sweeney the use of Affordable Housing Funds when Sweeney visits the district for his Town Hall meeting in Keansburg on Thursday afternoon.
“Recently, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik suggested that RCAs could be used by towns to help their neighbors continue to rebuild in the devastating wake of Sandy,” O’Scanlon said, “My Republican colleagues and I have been calling for the use of RCAs for years and I am excited to hear that Mayor Hornik is on board. When the Democrat leadership in Trenton killed the RCA program it was bad, short sighted policy that many of us knew would come back to bite us. Its flaws are now magnified by the plight of Sandy victims as many towns struggle with the economic burdening of rebuilding.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos came out swinging this afternoon regarding the news that the Department of Housing and Urban Development denied the Christie Administration’s request to allow victims of Superstorm Sandy to continue to rebuild their homes while they are applying for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grants.
Kyrillos implored HUD officials and New Jersey’s congressional delegation to do whatever is necessary to allow Sandy devastated residents to rebuild their lives.
“It’s ridiculous, to say the least, that the people of New Jersey are being denied access to grant money because they are trying to rebuild their lives after the worst storm ever,” Kyrillos said. “The people of my district and the surrounding areas were some of the hardest hit and their federal government should not be hindering their recovery. Our home owners should be able to rebuild as they apply for grant money and I urge our congressional delegation to get to work immediately”
Senator Kyrillos added that the people deserve a reasonable return on their federal tax dollars in the form of Sandy grants.
“A lot of good has come out of the $1.83 billion in initial aid to New Jerseyans, but the reality is that more resources are needed for this state to recover from nearly $37 billion in damages,” Kyrillos said. “New York has received about $4 billion more, so the time is now for HUD officials and our congressmen to turn their eyes to our state.”
The Associated Press reported today that HUD denied a Christie Administration request to waive a rule that all reconstruction work must stop when a property owner applies for RREM grants. The federal government wants be sure that historical structures are protected and that the properties are rebuilt to the new elevation standards. No work that is completed prior to a HUD approval of the plans will be reimbursed with RREM grants, even if the work complies with the standards.
While storms and fires can’t be ignored or missed as we go through the motions of our daily lives, one of the biggest threats to the well-being of our state was silently ignored – or even enhanced – by the folks supposedly in charge for the 8 years preceding Governor Christie’s election. When Governor Christie took office our state was on the precipice of insolvency. Governor Corzine and the folks leading the legislature – Barbara Buono amongst them – continued, either blindly or incompetently, to steer us toward utter disaster. Some of you public workers still upset over the pension and benefits reforms that helped to dramatically turn our outlook around? Get real. The only alternative would have been huge, economy-strangling tax increases, or insolvency. You don’t want to imagine the negative impact on your pensions – or our state’s economy – had that outcome become reality.
Yet that is exactly the outcome Governor Corzine and the Democrat legislative leadership were opting for. Barbara Buono herself voted against the unquestionably necessary Christie administration reforms that have helped save our state. She was also the Senate Budget Chairperson that authored resoundingly irresponsible budget after budget during the Corzine era – digging the hole deeper every step of the way.