DiSomma to Sweeney: Stay out of Red Bank

“Red Bank Doesn’t Need Lobbyist Money Swaying Elections”

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Referring to Senate President Steve Sweeney as a conflicted Trenton lobbyist, and Red Bank Councilmen Michael Dupont and Art Murphy as influence peddling shady dealers, Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma, launched a no holds barred attack on New Jersey’s highest ranking Democratic elected official, a presumed contender for the 2017 gubernatorial nomination, and the two councilmen he seeks to unseat next November in a statement to the press this afternoon.

DiSomma’s statement includes a warning that he will treat all lobbyists and politicians who support Red Bank Democrats to similar welcomes.

Sweeney is headlining a fundraiser for Dupont and Murphy tomorrow evening at Buona Sera.   The Monmouth GOP is also holding a fund raiser in the venue at the same time.

DiSomma’s statement can be read in its entirety below the fold.

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Posted: December 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Monmouth County, Red Bank, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments »

Sweeney coming to Red Bank to raise campaign cash for Murphy and Dupont

DiSomma says Dems fear losing control. Signals hard hitting campaign to come

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney, a contender the 2017 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, is coming to Red Bank on December 17 as the headliner for a $175 per head fundraiser for Red Bank Councilmen Arthur Murphy’s and Michael Dupont’s reelection campaign.

The soiree is being hosted by Mayor Pat Menna and former Mayor Ed McKenna at Buona Sera.

The invitation includes a questionnaire to assure compliance with the borough’s “pay to play” ordinance.  Contractors that do business with the borough, developers and “Alcoholic Licensees” must disclose their attendance and in certain circumstances limit their campaign contributions to $400.

Who would have guessed that Red Bank issues licenses to alcoholics?

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Posted: December 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Monmouth County, Red Bank, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Analysis: Partisan and Labor Politics Drive Battle Over Health-Benefits Reform


0014As Gov. Chris Christie’s Pension and Health Benefits Study Commission wrestles with the issue of how much public employees should pay toward their health insurance, New Jersey’s public-employee unions are focused not only on how much they will pay, but also on making sure they win back the right to collective bargaining on healthcare issues. It… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Pensions | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Geraldo Rivera to headline Monmouth GOP Fundraiser

Photo courtesy of Geraldo.com. Used with permission

Photo courtesy of Geraldo.com. Used with permission

Had the late Senator Frank Lautenberg lived to complete his term, Geraldo Rivera might have been the Republican nominee to be New Jersey’s junior member of the United States Senate. Cory Booker would still be mayor of Newark and the two celebrities would have been engaged now in an expensive high profile race with national implications.

In early 2013, Rivera was very publicly exploring the possibility of running for Launtenberg’s seat.  Booker had just declined to challenge Governor Chris Christie’s reelection bid and announced that he would run for Lautenberg’s seat.  Booker’s announcement came before the ailing Lautenberg’s announcement that he would not seek another term.

Lautenberg’s June 2013 death and Christie’s call for an October Special Election to fill the seat scuttled the plans of the television and radio personality/journalist to enter politics on a national level.  He was not able to rearrange his life or gain support of his family in the short time required to compete in an August GOP primary.

What might have been a high profile exciting battle between Rivera and Booker this fall is now reduced to bragging rights as to which man will raise more money for his respective Party in Monmouth County.   Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden will announce this afternoon that Rivera is the keynote speaker at the GOP Fundraising Gala on October 15 at the Navesink Country Club.  Rivera’s office and Golden both confirmed that Geraldo is coming.

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Posted: September 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Cory Booker, Frank Pallone, Geraldo Rivera, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Opinion: Christie and Sweeney Have More in Common Than Ambition

photo via Gov Christie's website

photo via Gov Christie’s website


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Posted: September 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Opinion, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Handlin Wants SCI To Investigate Allegations That Fulop Planned Traffic Jams At Holland Tunnel and Port Jersey

Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan has responded to his announced demotion by Mayor Steve Fulop by alleging that the mayor order traffic jams at Port Jersey and the Holland Tunnel.   That Cowan objected and interfered is the reason he is being demoted, he says, according to reports in the Jersey Journal.

Fulop announced plans to sue the Port Authority of NY/NJ for $400 million. Cowan’s attorney said Fulop’s plan was “designed solely to create havoc for the Port Authority.”

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Middletown) wants the joint legislative committee that is investigating the September 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closures to investigate the allegations against Fulop as well.

In a letter dated today to Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Co-Chairs of the New Jersey Select Committee on Investigation,of which Handlin is a member, the assemblywoman asked that the committee immediately issue subpoenas to Fulop and Cowan

As you know, the mission of the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation is to “investigate all aspects of the finances, operations, and management of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and any other matter raising concerns about abuse of government power or an attempt to conceal an abuse of government power including, but not limited to, the reassignment of access lanes in Fort Lee, New Jersey to the George Washington Bridge.”

Because the allegations against Mayor Fulop raise significant concerns about the repeated abuse of government power directly related to the Port Authority, I respectfully ask the committee to investigate this matter including the immediate issuance of subpoenas to Mayor Fulop and Chief Cowan.

Handlin’s letter can be found here.

Fulop is widely considered to be a contender for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2017, or sooner if Governor Chris Christie does not complete his term.

Posted: July 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Amy Handlin, Chris Christie, Jersey City, New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature, Port Authority, Steve Fulop | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Kyrillos: “Millionaires Tax” hurts the poor and middle class

By Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Nobody ever felt sorry for a millionaire. At least that’s the principle some Democrats in Trenton are banking on as they resurrect former Gov. Jon Corzine’s “millionaires tax” to close the expected budget gap for fiscal 2015. Proponents of this tax increase promise it will hit only the wealthy, but in fact, poor and middle-class families will ultimately shoulder the burden.

Of course, the term “millionaires tax” is a misnomer. New Jersey already taxes the income of millionaires at one of the highest rates in the nation — higher than 44 other states do. The so-called millionaires tax is just an expired tax increase that raises New Jersey’s top tax rate to about 11 percent, the third-highest in the United States.

Proponents of the millionaires tax imagine that the only reason people could oppose this tax hike is that they’re worried New Jersey’s well-to-do will run low on caviar if it’s passed.

Actually, what we’re worried about is the impact on New Jersey’s working families.

As it turns out, millionaires don’t like paying high taxes any more than the rest of us do. But unlike most of us, they can easily move out of New Jersey to avoid new tax hikes. For many, changing their tax residence is as simple as spending a few more weeks a year at their vacation home in Florida. They can keep a house in New Jersey to spend time with the grandkids, live for six months and one day in the Florida home, and voilà, they are Florida residents who no longer owe a dime in New Jersey taxes. As a bonus, their children will escape paying New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation estate tax.

It’s little wonder that in 2010, the last year we had the old Corzine millionaires tax on the books, 88,000 individuals left New Jersey, taking with them a total annual income of $5.5 billion.

The millionaires tax could be more aptly named the “Goodbye New Jersey Tax.”

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Posted: June 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Joe Kyrillos, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , | 9 Comments »

Christie’s pension plan puts NJ Democrats in a bind as budget deadline looms

Christie’s pension plan puts NJ Democrats in a bind as budget deadline looms (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — No one wants to be the politician who guts spending, raises taxes or reneges on a promise. But thanks to Gov. Chris Christie and a sluggish economic recovery in New Jersey, those are the choices facing Democratic leaders in the state Legislature…

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Posted: June 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sweeney in Sea Bright: “Republicans Shaming Themselves” Over Sandy Bill of Rights

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 living room prior to Sweeney's press conference. May 30, 2014. Photo by Art Gallagher

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 Press last 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.”

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Declan O'Scanlon, Dina Long, Hurricane Sandy, LD 13, Legislature, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

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: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off