The Politics Of Disaster Relief

By Art Gallagher,

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: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

DiBella Considering A Challenge to Pallone

DiBella for webFormer Howell Mayor Joe DiBella said he “would love to” run against Congressman Frank Pallone if Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden decides against running.

Golden has been considering a run, at the behest of party leaders, for several weeks, but has yet to make a decision.  Sources close to the sheriff say he is leaning against running due to his agenda in the Sheriff’s Department and the impact a candidacy would have on his family.  Golden was reelected as Monmouth County’s Sheriff last November by a 64%-36% margin.

A 23 year veteran of the health insurance industry, the charismatic and articulate DiBella would offer a sharp contrast to Pallone, the self-professed author of ObamaCare, in matters of both style and substance during a federal election when once again ObamaCare is expected to be the predominant issue nationally.  DiBella is an Executive Vice President of Connor Strong & Buckelew, the prominent insurance broker run by South Jersey’s Democratic power broker George Norcross and Joseph Buckelew, the former Republican Mayor of Lakewood.


Posted: February 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Congress, Frank Pallone, Joe DiBella | Tags: , , , , | 39 Comments »

House of Representatives Unanimously Approves Smith’s International Child Abduction Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Left-behind” parents came from across the country to watch as Members of the House of Representatives voted to unanimously pass a bill to help

Bindu Phillips of Plainsboro, N.J. addresses media at a Capitol Hill press conference. From left in rear are other “left-behind” parents Barton Hermer of Texas, Paul Toland of Maryland, Rep. Chris Smith, David Goldman of  N.J., Dennis Burns of Colorado, and Arvind Chawdra of N.J.

Bindu Phillips of Plainsboro, N.J. addresses media at a Capitol Hill press conference. From left in rear are other “left-behind” parents Barton Hermer of Texas, Paul Toland of Maryland, Rep. Chris Smith, David Goldman of N.J., Dennis Burns of Colorado, and Arvind Chawdra of N.J.

bring home American children abducted to overseas destinations, said Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), the author of the legislation and chairman of the House congressional panel which oversees human rights.


The bill gives us continued hope that our elected officials grasp the enormity and the severity of this ongoing injustice and pail inflicted upon these victim families torn apart because their American children have been ripped from their loving arms,” said David Goldman, of Monmouth County, N.J., who waged a five-year battle to get his son back from Brazil. He is one of the lucky parents. H.R. 3212, the “Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2013,” passed 398-0 late Thursday.


Smith has held several hearings on the heartbreaking cases of  left-behind parents of American children abducted to India, Japan, Egypt, India, Brazil, Russia, England and other countries where far too few of the thousands of U.S. kids held wrongfully overseas are returned. Not all countries have signed The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the standing international treaty to try to address parental abductions via a civil framework that provides for the quick return of abducted children, and access rights to both parents. Sadly, even Hague signatories, like Brazil, often don’t enforce its provisions.

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Posted: December 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Congress, Press Release | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Catholic Priests Are Subject To Arrest For Military Ministry During Government Shutdown

Civilian Catholic priests employed by the federal government have been forbidden by the Obama administration from performing their ministries with military personnel during the government shutdown and are subject to arrest even if they do so voluntarily, according to John Schlageter, the General Counsel of the Archdioceses for Military Services, USA.

This morning, the House of Representatives passed a resolution, 400-1, urging Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to allow continued performance of religious services on military installations during the government shutdown.

There is no indication that the Archdiocese will defy the ban on their priests performing religious services. Rather, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio thanked Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia for sponsoring the resolution and urge the U.S. Senate to pass it.

“Military personnel enjoy, like all Americans, the First Amendment guarantee of the ‘Free Exercise’ of religion, Broglio said, “In the current political climate, however, nothing can be taken for granted. I am grateful to Representative Collins and the many other House members who recognized the importance of passing this resolution, which reflects the seriousness with which the American people take their Free Exercise rights. It can only be hoped that the members of the US Senate will act decisively in order to favor the same First Amendment rights.”

Posted: October 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Congress, Government Shutdown | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Not quite a shutdown

IMG-20131001-00074 (640x414)Sandy Hook, the Monmouth County arm of the Gateway National Recreation Area, is closed to the public as a result of the Federal Government shutdown.

But vehicles were driving in and out of the park when I drove by this afternoon.

Ranger Tim Quinn said the Marine Academy of Science and Technology is open as are “the cooperators,” the non-profit organizations that have their offices in the park.  The Coast Guard Station is also open.

Quinn said all others are prohibited from entering the park, by car bicycle or foot. He said several members of the park staff were sent home after working four hours today and referred me to the press office for the answers to any other questions.  I guess the press office is working.

In addition to Quinn, there were five rangers gathered in toll house at the entrance to the park.  Asked if he was getting paid, Quinn laughed and said, “I’m not volunteering for the government.

IMG-20131001-00075 (640x477)The Jersey Tomato Press reports that 800,000 “non-essential” government employees are out of work. Passport offices and the Federal Housing Administration are closed.  No mortgages or last minute overseas trips.  No SBA loans or background checks for gun licenses either.  The trash isn’t being picked up in Washington, DC, but lots of garbage is being reported in the media.

While President Obama and Senate Democrats are blaming House Republicans for shutting down the government, the House is taking up measures to fund the National Parks, veterans affairs and Washington, DC government operations.   Senate Democrats, budget chairwoman Barbara Mikuski and Majority Whip Dick Durbin rejected the piecemeal approach to reopening the government, according to Politico.

Posted: October 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Congress, Government Shutdown | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christie: Government Shut Down Is A Failure



Governor Christie: You know when you’re in the silly season like we’re in now – everybody running around and campaigning for different things – when we see the craziness we’re seeing down in Washington DC today where people who say that they want to be in public life to try to run the government and then their solution to doing that is to not speak to each other, not work with each other, and shut our government down, that’s a failure. That’s a failure of people in public life for everyone in this country who’s depending upon a government that will get its stuff together. And notice, since I’m only 35 days away from an election, I said stuff and not something else which I know you all figure I would be more apt to say. But we’re 35 days away from an election so I’m trying to clean up my act a little bit. You know, we need to make sure that we have a government that listens to the needs of the people who pay for it. You know it’s not the other way around. We’re not supposed to be dictating to you, we’re supposed to be listening, and I think much too much in politics these days we have folks who have forgotten that one of the most important parts of leadership is listening. Listening to people of divergent views and opinions. Listening to the folks who pay the bills. Listening to the people who are going to lead our state and our country in the future. And so, we’re going to do a lot more listening around here and a lot less talking. And I hope in Washington what they figure out is that what we pay them to do when we send them down there is to run the government, not to shut it down.

Posted: October 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Chris Christie, Congress, Government Shutdown | Tags: , | No Comments »

For N.J., a federal shutdown would hit full force in two weeks

For N.J., a federal shutdown would hit full force in two weeks (via

Star-Ledger file photo By Salvador Rizzo and Susan K. Livio/The Star-Ledger TRENTON — State officials are bracing for a federal shutdown this week if a squabbling Congress can’t agree on a budget solution by Tuesday’s deadline, but it could take…

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Posted: September 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Congress | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Obama warns against Syria inaction

Obama warns against Syria inaction (via AFP)

President Barack Obama on Saturday warned US lawmakers against turning “a blind eye” to Syria, as Washington sought to muster European Union support for military strikes against the Damascus regime. Fresh from a G20 summit in Saint Petersburg where…

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Posted: September 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Congress, Syria | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

House leader: expect Syria vote within two weeks

House leader: expect Syria vote within two weeks (via AFP)

The US House Republican leader told his caucus Friday to expect a vote on authorization of the use of force in Syria within the next two weeks. In an internal memo to fellow Republican members, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor laid out a busy schedule…

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Posted: September 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Congress, Syria | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Pallone’s Vulnerability Exposed

Pallone njtv senate debateReports out of Long Branch are that Frank Pallone was shocked and dismayed that he lost his first election ever last night.

The story is that it took him two hours after the Associated Press called the primary for Cory Booker to show up at McLoone’s Pier House because he was holed up in his office, unable to compose himself.  It was only after he heard the media was leaving that he was able to pull himself together and join his own party while Senate nominee Cory Booker was delivering his victory speech on live TV from Newark.

But the big story, and what Pallone should really be upset about, is not that he lost a primary few thought he could win, but that he is now exposed as vulnerable for reelection in the 6th Congressional District.  Pallone performed poorly in his Middlesex and Monmouth base.Senate Primary results MiddlesexSenate Primary results MonmouthNumbers and graphics from Politico.

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Posted: August 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Anna Little, Congress, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments »