Attention Highlands and Sea Bright residents: Your input matters

New-Jersey-Future-logoNew Jersey Future has teamed up with a research scientist from Carnegie Mellon University to support Highlands and Sea Bright in our effort to develop a long-term resiliency plan.  One part of this support involves reaching out to and engaging with the public to talk about flooding risk and plausible solutions. To that end, they developed a short survey to understand how best to talk about these issues with community members.

Please help our community in its plan for recovery and resiliency.This 10-15 minute survey will ask about your beliefs on flooding and flooding risk. Your answers will help Highlands, Sea Bright and New Jersey Future make plans for long-term community resiliency.  In a few months, New Jersey Future will publish a summary of the answers given by the community.

Here is the link to the survey:  http://njfuture.org/risksurvey

Posted: August 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Highlands, Hurricane Sandy, Monmouth County, New Jersey Future, Sean Kean | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Attention Highlands and Sea Bright residents: Your input matters

Raising Keans

Bridget Kean, Assemblyman Sean Kean’s wife, gave birth to triplets this afternoon!

Sean, Mary and Terrence were born at Jersey Shore Medical Center at 1:30, according to Politickernj.

Sean told MMM that mother and children are healthy. 

Congratulations and God Bless the Keans!

Posted: July 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Sean Kean | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Did Senator Kean Miss An Opportunity?

 By Tommy DeSeno

Have you ever seen a news wave?  It’s a real phenomenon in journalism.  One outlet says something, then outlet after outlet says the same thing, never verifying if the first outlet was right.  And you can’t stop a wave, even if it’s wrong.
As soon as the new 30th district was announced, immediately the word got out that Senator Singer would have the advantage over Senator Kean.  I guess Senator Kean concurred, having agreed to move down to the Assembly.
I like Singer.  But his comments in the Press yesterday that Sean Kean would be primaried even if Singer retired has me angry.  It’s as if Bob is throwing down the gauntlet and declaring that the rest of us will be governed by Lakewood for the next 10 years.
Well, as a Howell boy, I’m pretty upset that I had to be governed by Lakewood the last 10 years.  So I’m calling bullshit on Singer, which I can do even though we are friends, because I’m a journalist first.
Howell and Wall combined are larger than Lakewood, so if Howell and Wall got behind Kean, that could be a fair fight against Lakewood.
As for the rest of the district, those little Monmouth shore towns are larger than the 2 Pt. Pleasants, and Sean has name recognition there while Singer does not.
I know what the road block would have been – Howell Republicans.  They rarely get along.  But John Costigan is a strong Municipal Chair.  He could have pulled the Howell Republicans together (which would be a nice thing all by itself) to back Kean.  The rallying cry would have been provincial but effective –  Monmouth needs to keep a Senator.
I really wish Sean decided to stay Senator.  I’m not reading next week’s triCityNews, because I don’t want to know what Dan Jacobson will call Sean now.

Posted: April 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Robert Singer, Sean Kean | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments »

Singer Is Running

By Art Gallagher

While not exactly news, Senator Robert Singer of Lakewood told Gannett’s Michael Symons that he is definitely running for the Senate seat in the new 30th legislative district that includes Wall Township, the home of Senator Sean Kean.

Singer had nice things to say about Kean who he called a friend and a great legislator. Singer said he hadn’t spoken to Kean.  Symons said Kean didn’t return a message seeking comment.  What a relief!  I was beginning to take Kean’s lack of availability personally.

Posted: April 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature, Robert Singer, Sean Kean | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

James Hogan Might Seek the Dem Nomination Against Sean Kean

James Hogan is considering switching parties in order to compete for the Democratic nomination for State Senator so he can run against Sean Kean in the general election.  

Do the Democrats even have another candidate?

Hogan expressed his intentions in a letter to Democratic Chairman Vic Scudiery, which is also posted on his blog.

Posted: April 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: James Hogan, Sean Kean | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

Dem Map Would Pit Kean Against Singer

By Art Gallagher

Senator Sean Kean could have a bigger problem than Dan Jacobson in his quest for renomination to the State Senate.

According to a report on Politickernj the proposed legislative map favored by the Democrats on the redistricting commission puts Kean of Wall Township in the same district as Senator Robert Singer of Lakewood.

Without knowing the composition of the entire proposed district assessing each senator’s prospects in a head to head primary would be purely speculative.  However Singer would start with a decided advantage based upon the size of the two senators’ home towns.  Lakewood has 12,636 registered Republicans. 3813 Lakewood Republicans voted in the 2009 primary and 873 voted in the 2007 primary.  Wall has 6,171 Republicans. 2507 voted in the 2009 primary, 457 in 2007.

Neither Kean nor Singer are favorites of Governor Christie.  Kean was uninvited from Christie’s Monmouth County press conference after the December blizzard.  Until recently, Singer was a “double dipper,” serving both in the Senate and on the Lakewood Township Committee.  

As the horse trading escalates in New Brunswick through Sunday, trading Kean or Singer for a more competive district elsewhere in the state, perhaps moving Atlantic City into an Ocean County dominated district, thereby putting Senator Jim Whelan’s Democratic seat at risk could be considered a good trade by the Christie loyalists on the commission.

Politickernj and The Star Ledger have both reported that the final map will be adopted on Sunday at noon.

Posted: March 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Redistricting, Robert Singer, Sean Kean | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Dan Jacobson Is A Republican

By Art Gallagher

Former Assemblyman and triCityNews publisher Dan Jacobson has switched his party affiliation to Republican.  Jacobson is preparing to challenge Senator Sean Kean in the Republican primary should he and Kean reside in the same district when the new map is introduced.

Monmouth County GOP Vice Chair Diane Gooch, while not commenting on the prospect of Jacobson challenging Kean, said she was thrilled that Jacobson has joined the GOP.  “I always knew he was a closet Republican,” said Gooch, “I’m thrilled that he has finally had his epiphany and joined the right side.”

Jacobson has frequently espoused his affection for Gooch in his paper.  Diane was genuinely surprised by the news of Dan’s conversion when informed of it by MMM.  She had nothing to do with it. 

The credit or blame is still mine.

Posted: March 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Dan Jacobson, Sean Kean, triCityNews | Tags: , | 9 Comments »

Jacobson vs Kean?

By Art Gallagher

Former Assemblyman and trCityNews publisher Dan Jacobson, a Democrat, says he’s seriously considering a challenge to Senator Sean Kean in the Republican primary and that it is this blog’s fault that he’s considering it.

Good.  I’ll take responsibility for that. 

This blog has never been about preaching to the choir, even though as Governor Christie says, preaching to the choir makes them sing better.   Democrats and Independents have always been welcome here.  I’m proud to have the only conservative blog with a link on Blue Jersey‘s blog roll. I’m proud when morons on the right who can’t count call me Arlen or a RINO.  I’m proud that Kathy Baratta can’t stay away, sprays some insults in the comments every now and then before going back to her little websites to rant about me.  If I’m not tweaking or out and out angering members of the mainstream media and members of the political establishment, on both sides of the isle, I’m not doing my job.

I think it is weird when friends, acquaintances or readers I don’t know personally tell me, often apologetically, that they don’t agree with me, but that they respect me and still enjoy the site. I think it is weird that the guy I ran against for council in Highlands years ago still takes it personally that I had the audacity to do so.  I think personal animosity and vitriol over differences of opinions is weird.  I think it is weird that Democrats and Republicans alike are offended that Democratic Chairman Vic Scudiery’s companies advertise on this site.  It’s sad that people can’t understand how Vic and I can be both friends and political adversaries.  It’s not sad for Vic or I.  It’s sad that so many people will only relate to people they agree with on everything and that differences of opinion can threaten a releationship.  It is weird that agreeing to disagree is a big deal.  It is almost as if differences of opinion is the new racism in terms of how we thoughtlessly separate ourselves from each other.

I’m especially proud that MMM is Dan Jacobson’s favorite blog and that he has chosen to participate here.   Dan and I have roughly the same size readerships.  His might be a bit larger than mine, but mine is more committed.  While we come at it from different angles, with different styles and mediums, Dan and I both seek to wake people up, challenge the status quo, shape opinion and influence action.

But enough about I why I publish Dan’s work here and why those of you who only relate to people you see eye to eye with are ripping yourselves off.  Let’s talk politics and piss some people off.

First, when it comes right down to it, I don’t think Dan will challenge Kean in the primary.  He’s too much of  kitten. Kitten, kitten, kitten!  He wouldn’t even call Sean Kean and talk to him.  Even though it is painless to do so. You leave a message and Sean doesn’t call back.  What’s so hard about that?   Dan’s such a kitten that I wonder if really ever called former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna.  For years Dan complained that McKenna wouldn’t return his calls.

Secondly, Dan’s candidacy would cause a Constitutional crisis.  Using his newspaper to promote his candidacy would raise interesting and challenging issues regarding New Jersey’s campaign finance laws.  Dan could be required to disclose his advertisers as campaign contributors on his ELEC reports and return ad fees/donations that exceed the limits.  Some advertisers have already spent more than the allowable campaign contribution amounts and would have to pull their ads for the remainder of the campaign.   Dan is just the guy to take campaign finance laws all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, accept for one thing….he’s too much of a kitten to do it.  That and he’s not pissed off enough about Kean’s anti-marriage equality vote to put his paper out of business.

Third, he won’t win.  Sure, based upon the 2009 turnout a victory looks to be possible, but all Sean Kean has to do to win is spend a little bit of the SEIU/CWA/NJEA money he has collected on a post card and robo call and he’ll turn out more than enough voters in Wall Township to crush Jacobson district wide.  Just because he can, Sean would get lawn signs and a troop of volunteers to distribute them for overkill.  Dan might spring for a few signs and ask his paper boy to deliver them to stores that distribute the triCityNews, but the store owners won’t put them up.  Now he’s spending money for signs and losing ad dollars. 

Still, I hope I’m wrong.  I hope Dan is not too much of a kitten, kitten, kitten and that he goes for it.  Not because I want my friend to go broke (he’ll have to pay in advance if he wants an ad here!), but because Dan’s readers need to hear his message about goverment employee unions:

For years, I’ve criticized the Democratic Party for being clueless on economic policy. Becoming a subsidiary of the unions destroyed us. We lost our independence, and the ability to shrink the government and reduce taxes when needed. That’s why angry Democrats write in calling me a Republican.

Call me crazy. But if a government employees union has the right to collective bargaining, it’s absurd that they can elect those who sit across the bargaining table. And it’s absurd that they can elect those who enact the rules for that bargaining.

Tell you what: Government employee unions should not be allowed to collect mandatory dues – and then use those dues to elect those running the government that employs them. That gives them way too much power. That’s the root problem right now. It’s why collective bargaining can’t be fair. It’s why everything is out of whack. If these unions want to form their own  political action committees and convince members to voluntarily contribute, so be it. That’s democracy. But today’s situation is ridiculous.

When I write stuff like that many of my Democratic readers call me names, just like my idealogical right wing readers do when they don’t agree with me, and dismiss my arguments.    Even many of my Republican readers are affraid of that argument, given the power of the unions in NJ.  They need to hear from Dan and others too.

Maybe Dan can skirt the ELEC issues by waging a write in campaign.  I don’t know, he should ask a lawyer who knows stuff like that. 

But the message is important and needs to get out.

Posted: March 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Dan Jacobson, Sean Kean | Tags: , , | 7 Comments »

Mulling a run against Sean Kean…in the GOP primary!

By Dan Jacobson, Publisher, triCityNews  (Cross published in the triCityNews, Thursday, March 24, 2011)

I’m a Democrat. And I’m starting to seriously consider running against Senator Sean Kean in the Republican primary.

Why not? I’d love to see what that forbidden land looks like. Like when this newspaper sent me to Havana, Cuba on assignment. Running as a Republican would be one hell of a journalistic expedition. I think it would be a blast.

 Here’s my favorite angle to the Kean vs. Jacobson story:  If the contest were based solely on economic issues, he’d beat me in a Democratic primary. And I’d beat him in a Republican primary. I’m not kidding! It’s pretty wild.

For years, I’ve criticized the Democratic Party for being clueless on economic policy. Becoming a subsidiary of the unions destroyed us. We lost our independence, and the ability to shrink the government and reduce taxes when needed. That’s why angry Democrats write in calling me a Republican.

Conflicts with big labor predate my journalism career. I served one term as a Democratic Assemblyman in Trenton 20 years ago. In my final race, I told the NJEA that school vouchers should be tested in poor urban school districts. That didn’t go over well. They endorsed my Republican opponents. And when I lost my seat in 1991, a local AFL-CIO activist ran against me as an independent to siphon off votes. Many in that union were angry because I refused to support a state payroll tax to bail out their self-insured health insurance funds.

Now contrast that with Republican Sean Kean. Last week, I wrote about his history of taking endorsements from the government employees unions – specifically the NJEA and the state workers union (CWA). With those endorsements, Sean sold out the limited government principles of the Republican Party. He gave up his independence. Check out his campaign reports at the website of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. You’ll see union contribution after union contribution. I stopped counting at $20,000 between the NJEA and the CWA. And I only got through about one-third of his reports starting with his most recent. That was enough.

(And Sean got tons of police union money – he’ll never get a ticket from a State Trooper! Biggest surprise? Even I was stunned to see a large $5,000 contribution from the SEIU union out of New York – that’s the powerful union instrumental in pulling the Democrats way out of the mainstream. Google the SEIU and the Democratic Party. You’ll see.)

Call me crazy. But if a government employees union has the right to collective bargaining, it’s absurd that they can elect those who sit across the bargaining table. And it’s absurd that they can elect those who enact the rules for that bargaining.

But that’s Sean Kean. He’s the recipient of all that union largesse. And how hilarious that it takes a Democrat like me to say it! You won’t hear a local Republican speak up. Party loyalty, you know. Man, I hate that shit.  So remember this: Sean Kean would bury me in a Democratic primary with all his union support. And that just cracks me up!

Tell you what: Government employee unions should not be allowed to collect mandatory dues – and then use those dues to elect those running the government that employs them. That gives them way too much power. That’s the root problem right now. It’s why collective bargaining can’t be fair. It’s why everything is out of whack. If these unions want to form their own  political action committees and convince members to voluntarily contribute, so be it. That’s democracy. But today’s situation is ridiculous. Exhibit A is Sean Kean’s campaign finance reports.

So why have I stayed registered as a Democrat? Because I don’t want to live in a theocracy. That’s what the cultural right-wing of the Republican Party represents – and they’re as powerful in the GOP as the unions in the Democratic Party. I just don’t like hypocrisy. While Republicans politicians claim they want limited government, many will happily order the government to tell a woman what to do with her body. Or tell a huge chunk of our population who they can marry.

Sean Kean’s vote against same-sex marriage last year is what really pissed me off. That’s what got me. It was a moral issue that he called a “tough” vote, meaning a politically tough vote because he represents a sizeable gay community. What bullshit. There’s nothing “tough” about a moral issue – you vote what you believe. Period.

But back to my kamikaze Republican candidacy. Let’s get it all out. Over the years, I’ve also derided the Republican Party as being dominated by anti-gay bigots and gun nuts. With pro-lifers I’ve been more gentle (at least as far as I can remember). Because they’re motivated by legitimate religious beliefs. I just don’t think the issue has any place in our secular government. It’s between a woman and her doctor.

(And gun nuts hold your fire! I would not tighten New Jersey gun laws. Every cop I know tells me that weapons used in crimes here are coming from other states with lax gun control laws, particularly in the south. That’s the problem. So don’t shoot! I’m not running for federal office, where I’d change that. Nor am I running for state Senate in Georgia. If I were, you bet I’d be wearing a bullet-proof vest right now.)

But forget all this stuff.  My beliefs are united by one thing – a knee-jerk reaction against the concentration of power, wherever it may be found. That includes government employee unions. That includes powerful corporations that get government favors instead of competing in the free market. It also includes big media – my disgust with the Gannett-owned Asbury Park Press is well-documented. And it includes political parties who order elected officials what to do. I recoil against it all.

You know what? I sound a lot like a Tea Party type. I just can’t call myself one! They’re way too kooky. But on the big issues they’re right, and they’ve done a huge service for our nation by turning the Republican Party upside down and forcing it to stand for fiscal responsibility.

OK, so here’s my political situation:

I can never run again as a Democrat. The unions and I have a bad 20 year history. Sorry, I just love repeating this: Sean Kean would beat me in a Democratic primary with all his union support. Hands down!

Sure, I could run as an Independent in the general election but voters are asleep. They don’t pay attention. It would be no fun and a waste of time. People are lazy and apathetic. Yes, I’m insulting the voters.

Yup, a kamikaze run in the Republican primary as the most unconventional of insurgents makes sense. It’s a very small electorate that pays attention. And they understand the debate about economics, limited government and the dangers of concentrated power in our economic and political system.

Could I win? You tell me.

Only 2500 people voted in the last state Senate Republican primary. That’s it. When they learn about Sean’s and my divergent experiences with unions, I bet you I peel off a third of them. Maybe more. Lots of Republicans have long respected my independence. They’re motivated by economics and freedom. They will not like Sean’s alliance with the unions. For many, the social issues aren’t as important. Or they agree with me on them.

Anyway, peeling off a third of the usual vote makes the tally about 1700 to 800 in Sean’s favor. But the question is whether I can convince, say, just 1000 independents to come out and vote for me. That would put me over the top. Remember, independents can vote in the primary. And they’ll definitely like what I have to say.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The triCityNews has about 25,000-30,000 regular readers who read the paper every week or two. They are tuned in politically. And they reflect our region’s overall distribution of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. I bet close to 20,000 Republican and Independent triCity readers would be eligible to vote in the primary. That’s a lot.

And I’m sure they’ll enjoy following such a wild race. What great political theater! Guarantee they’d love what I had to say. Or love to hate it! Hey, that’s why they read the paper now.

Whether they can stomach voting for me is another story. Of that I have no idea. But I may only need an extra 1,000 or so to come out. Out of about 20,000. Not bad odds. (Then again, 5,000 could come out against me!)

Nah, I’ll never win. It’s preposterous. Perhaps in some ways I’d rather lose. After all, I’ve got a fake newspaper to run here, and that takes time.

Of course, Republican leaders have nothing to fear if the unthinkable happens and I win. We’ll get along just fine. I’ll ignore them, and they’ll ignore me. I have no interest in getting involved in campaigns for anyone else – Republican or Democrat. I have no interest in party politics, fundraisers or rallies. And I have no interest in party leaders telling me how to vote.

 It’s quite simple. I’d just want to do the job of Senator and advocate for my principles. Imagine that.

But me running in a Republican primary is way too nutty, right?  I mean, this is crazy? I can’t really…

Help! Someone please stop me! Stop me, please! Stop me before I run again….as a Republican!!


This the following was not published in the triCityNews. It’s Dan’s addendum just for his growing MMM readership:

This is your fault Art!
After your commentary last week — and also the comments by TR — I started to think about this much more seriously. I am now likely to do it, and am moving forward on organizing.
Looking forward to MMM reader feedback. No doubt it will be uniformly positive. And I think I know who TR is! (I’ll send him a code: He’s svelte, has great vision and is a dogged defender of the downtrodden in the criminal justice system…of course, if I’m not right he won’t know what the hell I’m talking about).
Also, anyone is welcome to say whatever they want in the triCityNews in response to this article. Our email is [email protected] Please put something in the email captoin about letter to editor kean/Jacobson. Please note that the shorter and more concise the better. While we normally reserve the right to edit letters, in this situation it is not appropriate for us to do that. But if it’s too long, we can’t guarantee that we’d print it. I’d suggest 400-500 words max. Obviously, if there’s something libelous or defamatory it won’t be printed.
Nor will we print any expletives. Just kidding.
(Note to my fellow Republican Mike Golub: Your comments last week were excellently written as usual. I would have printed any of them in our paper. But we normally couldn’t have fit ALL of them. Please feel free to send in a response with that in mind. Still, if you don’t want to cut back what you have to say, I don’t want to censor you. Please send whatever you like and I’ll do my best to get it in regardless of the length. After all, the triCityNews is, as they say, Fair and Balanced.)
Please submit letter to editor by monday at 9 am for us to get them in this week.

Posted: March 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Dan Jacobson, Sean Kean | Tags: , , | 5 Comments »