The Politics Of Disaster Relief

By Art Gallagher, artvg@aol.com

When disaster hits, natural or man made, Americans put aside their differences and come together to handle the emergency.

We saw it with 9-11. Most recently in New Jersey we saw it with Superstorm Sandy.

Once the emergency is over and the federal money is flowing, the politics…partisanship and patronage starts.  We saw it with 9-11. We’re living it with Sandy.

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Posted: April 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Bob Menendez, Chris Christie, Chris Smith, Christie Administration, Congress, Cory Booker, Democrats, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Homland Security, Frank Pallone, George W Bush, Housing, Hurricane Sandy, Jennifer Beck, Jersey Shore, NJ Democrats, NJ State Legislature, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

MacArthur counter-punches Lonegan In CD-3

Tom MacArthur

Tom MacArthur

In the race to replace Congressman Jon Runyan as the GOP nominee in the 3rd congressional district (Ocean and Burlington counties) former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan is doing what anyone who has observed New Jersey politics for the last twenty years expected he would do.  He’s attacking his opponent, former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur, as a tax and spend RINO who paid for the GOP establishment support.   In the race between carpetbaggers, Lonegan is attacking MacArthur for be a worse carpetbagger.

MacArthur has the support of the Burlington and Ocean GOP machines. Lonegan, who beat Cory Booker in the district in last October’s special U.S. Senate election, has superior name recognition, a PolitickerNJ commissioned poll that gives him a huge lead, and his trademark attention getting rhetoric.

MacArthur counter-attacked Lonegan in a Open Letter last week by calling him desperate, negative, angry, caustic and creepy.  All the things Lonegan’s supporters love about the guy.

MacArthur took particular umbrage to the fact that a Lonegan supporter did some opposition research by visiting the facebook page of MacArthur’s 16 year-old daughter and blogged anonymously about it.

Moreover, I am appalled that you are promoting an anonymous internet blog by a person or organization who has clearly spent a considerable amount of time spying on my 16-year old daughter’s Facebook page in search of an issue to use against her father in a political campaign.

Frankly, Steve, it’s creepy.

 

What salacious dirt did Lonegan’s blogger dig up on MacArthur’s daughter on facebook? She lists herself as a student at Randolph High School which is 90 miles away from the 3rd district.

Posted: April 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Steve Lonegan, Tom MacArthur | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Kovach still trying to get her name on primary ballot for 7th District seat held by Lance

Kovach still trying to get her name on primary ballot for 7th District seat held by Lance (via NJ.com)

  CLINTON — Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach continues working on appealing a decision that leaves her off the primary election ballot for Congress. She said today, “I am working with the Board of Elections to do what we need to do” and hopes to know…

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Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

An Out Of The Box Thought For Tea Parties To Consider

1058-alice-tea-party-cardClinton Mayor Janice Kovach’s failure to submit sufficient petition signatures to get on the ballot in CD-7 Democratic primary brought to mind a question I’ve been kicking around for a while.  What would be possible of Tea Parties competed in Democratic primaries?

Nationally, there is no question that the Tea Party movement has made a difference in restraining the growth of government since 2010 when the Republican Party took back the House of Representatives.   On the plus side, the Tea Party Caucus has restrained the Obama/Pelosi/Reed agenda.  On the down side, an argument could be made that if not for 2012 Tea Party victories in the senatorial primaries in Missouri and Indiana the GOP would be two seats closer to controlling the Senate. There would have been less “war on women” fodder for the liberal media and Democratic machine to use in defeating Mitt Romney in the presidential election.

Tea Parties boast that they stayed home in 2012 rather than voting for Romney, thereby assuring Obama’s reelection.  There are some Tea Parties campaigning for conservatives to withhold their votes in 2016 if the GOP does not nominate a candidate that meets their approval.

Tea Parties have had some success in Republican primaries that have resulted in losses of “safe” Republican seats in general elections.  Delaware in 2010, and Missouri and Indiana in 2012.  If Tea Party conservatives really don’t vote in general elections rather than choosing between “the lesser of two evils,” the are assuring the the greater of two evils wins.

Why not take the battle to the Democrats?  Why fight only with “RINOs” and then surrender the general elections to the Democrats?

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Posted: April 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Democrat who wanted to challenge Leonard Lance fails to get on ballot

Democrat who wanted to challenge Leonard Lance fails to get on ballot (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach had planned to run against Republican U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance in November, but she failed to get on the ballot. A Kovach aide showed up to the State Division of Elections in Trenton on Monday to file for the June…

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Posted: April 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

A Kumbaya Moment

      Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Barbara’s Tea Party Group co-founder Barbara Gonzalez announced on her APP blog that she approves of the Monmouth GOP’s nominations of Anthony Wilkinson in CD-6 and Rich Pezzullo for U.S. Senate.

Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Barbara’s Tea Party Group says they will work with Republicans to save the nation, so long as the Republicans do as BTPG says and nominates candidates that pass their litmus tests.

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Posted: March 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, 2016 Presidential Politics, Barbara Gonzalez, Barbara's Tea Party Group, Bayshore Tea Party Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Meanwhile at the Monmouth Democratic Convention….

….there were no surprises out of the IBEW Local 400 Union Hall in Wall this morning.

Senator Cory Booker was endorsed for the nomination to seek his first full term in the U.S. Senate.

Congressman Frank Pallone was nominated for his 14th term in the House of Representatives.

In the 4th congressional district, criminal defense attorney Ruben Scolavino has agreed to take another one for the Democratic team.  Scolavino lost to Sheriff Shaun Golden, 64%-36% last year.  He will likely face a worse fate against Congressman Chris Smith who running for his 18th term.  Scolavino is probably angling for a Judgeship.

For Monmouth County Freeholder, Larry Luttrell, a Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso in 2013, hopes to do better this year against Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich who were renominated by the Monmouth GOP this morning.  Joining Luttrell on the County Democratic ticket for freeholder is Joe Grillo of Asbury Park.  Grillo is making his first run at elected office.  He is the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats, the former executive director of the Monmouth Dems, and works for his family’s tile business.

CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal.

CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal. Photo via Pallone’s facebook page.

 

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hari Eppanapally Withdraws From CD-6 Race

eppanapallyIn an email to Middlesex and Monmouth County Republican Chairmen Sam Thompson and John Bennett, Hari Eppanapally withdrew his name from consideration for the nomination for Congress from the 6th congressional district this afternoon.

In his letter which can be read in its entirety here, Eppanapally said he made the decision to withdraw in the best interests of the GOP so that the party can put up a united fight against the incumbent, Congressman Frank Pallone, by rallying behind one candidate.

“Looking at the big picture and being a responsible leader, I feel the party’s time and energy  should be spent on the main election to win this race rather than diluting it on a primary which may divide the party.”

Anthony Wilkinson, an attorney from Old Bridge, is now the only candidate seeking the Republican Party endorsements at the Middlesex and Monmouth GOP conventions which will be held tomorrow morning. Monmouth’s convention is at Freehold Township High School at 9am, Middlesex’s at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords at 10..

Eppanapally said the GOP in CD-6 and nationally should focus on Health Care, Education and the Economy.

Click for larger view

Click for larger view

Eppanapally offered an explanation for his support of Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula’s 2012 congressional candidacy against Congressman Leonard Lance in the 7th congressional district.

I want to clarify my support to Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula during his 2012 Congressional race from NJ CD7. He is a
very close long-time friend of mine. I decided to support him purely on a personal level, not because of his Party affiliation. I
want to stand corrected on this so that people do not have any misunderstanding on my belief in Republican principles.

Eppanapally did not offer an explanation of his $2500 contribution to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in his letter.

MMM stands by its endorsement of Eppanapally for the Democratic nomination in CD-6.

Pallone can be beat in a primary, as Cory Booker proved last August in the Special Senate Primary.  More importantly, Pallone’s campaign war chest was depleted by about 75% in that primary last year.  Eppanapally can force Pallone to spend his resources while defending his Democratic nomination while the GOP candidate, presumably Wilkinson baring an unknown primary contestant, raises funds for the fall campaign.  If Eppanapally agrees to enter the Democratic Primary, MMM will lead his petition drive to get him on the ballot.

UPDATED

Eppanapally told MMM that he became interested in challenging Pallone after being approached by the National Republican Congressional Committee. NRCC presented Eppanapally with statistics showing that almost 300,000 Indian Americans live in Middlesex County, over 100,000 of them in CD-6 and argued, based upon Anna Little’s 2010 performance against Pallone, that an Indian American candidate could swing enough votes to beat Pallone.  Eppanapally said that he would only seek the nomination if there was no primary challenge.  When Wilkinson got in the race and made it clear he would run a primary campaign regardless of the outcome of the Monmouth and Middlesex GOP conventions, Eppanapally bowed out.

Labels and List’s analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census Data indicates that there are 21,069 voters of Indian/South East Asian descent in CD-6.

Eppanapally told MMM that his $2500 donation to President Obama’s reelection campaign was the price of a ticket to an event at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 2011 that he attended as an employee of Financial Policy Council Inc.  Obama spoke at the event.  He said he was unaware that the event was an Obama fundraiser when he attended.

Eppanapally said he would not challenge Pallone in the Democratic primary.

UPDATED AGAIN

Eppanapally called to clarify his earlier remarks about his $2500 contribution to President Obama’s reelection campaign and the event at the Waldorf-Astoria. He said that his attendance at the event was “on the personal level” and not as an employee of Financial Policy Council Inc.  He said he wrote a personal check to the Obama campaign to attend the event.  Asked how he could not know that he was contributing to the Obama campaign or attending an Obama fund raisers if he wrote a check to the Obama campaign, Eppanapally said, “It doesn’t matter.”

Posted: March 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Old Bridge Attorney Seeks GOP Nomination in CD-6

anthony-wilkinson-photo-greyAnthony Wilkinson, 48, of Old Bridge, will compete with Hari Eppanapally for the Republican nomination to represent the 6th Congressional District on Saturday, March 22 when the Middlesex and Monmouth County Republican organizations convene separately to nominate their candidates.

Wilkinson, the married father of two children, 26 and 17, is a partner at CoffyLaw, an Intellectual Property and Business Law firm in Freehold.

A Michigan native, Wilkinson moved to New Jersey in 1990 upon his graduation from Yale Law School where he was an editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review, a director of the Yale Moot Court of Appeals, and a founding director of the Yale Civil Rights Law Association.  He received a undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1986.

Wilkinson started his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk for Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz of the New Jersey Supreme Court before moving on to the elite Dewey Ballantine where he was an associate in the project finance group. In 1993, Wilkinson left the practice of law to embark on a career as a high school teacher.

In 2007, Wilkinson returned to the practice of business law as an Associate at Wilentz, Goldman and Spitzer where he practiced until joining CoffyLaw last month. He serves as an Educational Consultant to the Seton Hall University Academy for Urban Transformation, an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Pillar College and as a Volunteer Teacher at the Monmouth Worship Center in Marlboro.

Wilkinson has not previously sought elected office. He told MMM that he has never contributed to a Democratic congressional or presidential candidate. He was recently appointed to the Old Bridge Township Ethics Board.

Wilkinson bested Eppanapally before the Middlesex GOP Screening Committee last week, 20 votes to 11.

Posted: March 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Anthony Wilkinson | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Candidate For GOP Nomination Against Pallone Is Democratic Fundraiser/Donor

eppanapallyHari Eppanapally of Livingston will be seeking the Republican nomination for congress in the 6th congressional district next Saturday at the Monmouth and Middlesex nominating conventions. His prior political experience is as an active fundraiser for Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula’s 2012 congressional run against Republican Congressman Leonard Lance in the 7th congressional district.

Eppanapply contributed $2500 to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.

MMM hereby endorses Eppanapally for the Democratic nomination for congress in CD-6.

Really.  Eppanapally has a better chance of beating Frank Pallone in the Democratic primary than he does of beating Pallone in the general election.

The Vice President and member of the Board of The Financial Policy Council, a free market oriented non-profit think tank and policy advocate, Eppanapally would be a much better congressman than Pallone.

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Posted: March 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, Middlesex County Republicans, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »