Back in February of 2013, Governor Chris Christie said that Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal practices “the politics of yesterday.”
Gopal had issued a statement threatening Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long with “the restructuring of the Democratic Party in Sea Bright, to ensure that the true voice of Democrats is one that prevails” in response to the news that Long was endorsing Christie’s reelection as governor.
Long has since left the Democratic Party and is running unopposed, as an Independent, for another term as Sea Bright’s mayor. But that is another story.
Since Christie accused Gopal of practicing the politics of yesterday, it has become very clear that Christie was and is practicing politics with an eye towards a future office. Gopal seems to be doing the same.
The nominating petitions are due with the Divisions of Elections by Monday, March 30th at 4 p.m. Should no candidates file petitions with 100 valid signatures, the Democratic nominations for Assembly will be up for grabs to write-in candidates in the June 2 primary.
There has been radio silence from Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal’s office and on his blog since the convention on Monday. Even MMM’s spies at the convention have been mum. The silence has lead many Republicans to speculate that Vin has a problem.
Updated:Former Marlboro GOP Chairman Christopher Dean wants the world to know that Councilman Scalea was never a Republican and that he has proof from the Board of Elections. Dean says that MMM is spreading Mayor Hornik’s lies and that facts don’t matter on this site. He said he’s going to spread the word at some meetings he has coming up.
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik
Desperate to be a player and for a victory of any kind, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal told a gathering of statewide Democrats in Freehold on Wednesday evening that Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik’s reelection race is his top priority this year, according to report on PolitickerNJ.
Marlboro is a Republican town. Year after year the Township’s voters break for Republicans for Freeholder, County Constitutional offices, State Legislature, Governor, Congress, Senate and President.
Yet Hornik leads a municipal government that on paper is Democratic. The reality is that Hornik’s administration is dominated by former Republicans who left a dysfunctional local GOP at the mayor’s urging.
Hornik, whose father Saul was mayor of the community from 1980-1991, was first elected in 2007 in a race remembered for incumbent Republican Robert Kleinberg distributing flyers implying that he had been endorsed by NJ 101.5’s morning host Jim Gearhart. Gearhart and Gannett columnist Bob Ingle , then media leaders of the GRIP (Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians) movement, went ballistic on Kleinberg. Kleinberg imploded during a live radio interview wherein he explained the flyers were not meant to imply an endorsement, but as a way to show his kids that people were saying nice things about him.
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.
Sea Bright Democrats Expect A Primary Fight Over Council Nominations
Councilman Marc Leckstein: Gopal with overrule local chairman and award him the party line in the primary
Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long. photo credit:RedBankGreen.com
Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long is poised to lead the tiny coastal borough’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy for another four years.
Long, an Independent, will file her nominating petitions this week, over two months before they are due for Independent candidates. Both the Democratic and Republican municipal chairs have said that they won’t field candidates against Long.
“I am hopeful the voters of Sea Bright will give me the opportunity to see through our rebuilding from Sandy, the recovery of our municipal finances and the economic revitalization of our downtown,” Long said in a prepared statement, “I want to make sure we incorporate lessons learned from Sandy to improve our future resilience, and that we continue to engage and empower Sea Bright residents to be an active part that process.
“Over the last three and half years, we have seen that when we roll up our sleeves and work together, we succeed. If we keep bringing that spirit to the tasks at hand, I know Sea Bright’s potential can finally be realized. I am honored that the Democrat and Republican party organizations are not opposing my re-election bid, and am very very grateful. I look forward to working with them all to keep Sea Bright moving forward.”
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.
Giuseppe “Joe” Grillo, a Democratic candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder last year, has accepted a position as Director of Development at the New Jersey Audubon Society.
Working out of the non-profit’s Bernardsville headquarters, Grillo will be responsible for operations management, supervision of staff members overseeing membership, gift entry and prospect research. He will collaborate with the VP of Development in designing and implementing a fundraising strategy.
Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal’s blog has not reported whether Grillo will be commuting over an hour each way to Bernardsville from his current home in Asbury Park or if he will move to the Somerset County town where there are no parking meters. During his campaign for Freeholder last year, Grillo complained that it is impossible to live in downtown Asbury Park without getting parking tickets. Starbuck’s, where Grillo’s wife works as a manager, has a store in Bernardsville. A shorter commute and free parking may prove compelling to the couple should the job work out for Joe.
To be honest, I’ve had a draft of an article like this on my desktop since before Christmas. But the recent article about John Heyer, AKA Vin Gopal, AKA Monmouth County Democrat Chair has created an opportunity to tie the current matter into the above issues.
Integrity as one dictionary describes it is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” That was the point of exposing Vin Gopal as a real person behind Jersey Shore Insider. It was a lie of omission, for if the real truth were known about the editorial bend of the Jersey Shore Insider blog, one would be able to put it all in context.
One of the tip off’s that something was fishy was finding out that John Heyer was a Democrat Freeholder who died in 1905. No one in Holmdel knew of John Heyer, nor was he found in any public records. That wasn’t too smart of a move Mr. Gopal. It raised a flag. Furthermore, that Gopal has not replied to MMM with a comment should raise a flag with you; telling you that a) he got caught and b) he’s got something to hide.
It took ten years for the identity of “Wally Edge,” founder of PolitickerNJ, to be revealed as David Wildstein, the former Mayor of Livingston, Chris Christie high school classmate and former Port Authority of NY/NJ Director of George Washington Bridge Lane Closures.
It’s taken less than a month to reveal the identity of “John Heyer” the anonymous blogger behind JerseyShoreInsider, if frequent MMM commenter and Neptune Township GOP County Committeeman Jim Granelli is right.
The real Wally Edge was twice the governor of New Jersey and a U.S. Senator. The real John Heyer was a Monmouth County Freeholder in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, after fighting in the Civil War.
The fake “John Heyer” and JerseyShoreInsider blogger is really Deputy Vice Chairman of the State Democratic Party and Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, according to Granelli.
Gopal engaged Granelli on facebook as himself, apparently thinking he was signed in to facebook as “Heyer,” according to a copy of the exchange that Granelli sent MMM:
Ever the optimist and desperate for relevancy, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is floating his name as a candidate for Assembly in 11th District.
The district’s Assembly seats are currently held by Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande. Gopal and Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan lost to Angelini and Casagrande by over 3000 votes (out of 37,093 cast) in 2011. Former Democratic Assemblyman Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews and AsburyParkSun earned 2358 votes as an Independent candidate that year.
MoreMonmouthMusings hereby endorses Gopal for one of the Democratic Assembly nominations in the 11th.
We were worried that 2015 would be a boring year politically in Monmouth County and that we’d have to start covering restaurant openings to keep our traffic up next year. With Gopal on the ballot, MMM’s political focus would be assured for another year.
Another reason we like Gopal as a candidate for Assembly is that it takes an issue of the table for Sheriff Shaun Golden’s reelection in 2016.