The Republican presidential nomination has been decided. On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders and the FBI are still nipping at Hillary Clinton’s heels. A a national level, like most presidential years, the New Jersey primary will make little difference. However, this year Democrat voters have an important choice to make locally.
In addition to their presidential choice, voters in the Democrat primary next Tuesday, June 7, will choose two nominees for Monmouth County Freeholder.
Running on Hillary Clinton’s ticket with the support of Monmouth County Chairman Vin Gopal are Belmar Mayor “Lawless Matt” Doherty and Brenda Sue Fulton of Asbury Park.
Running on Bernie Sanders’ ticket are Laury Wills of Little Silver and Angelica Ashford of Manalapan.
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso at the Asbury Park St. Pat’s Parade
The all Republican Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a budget which included a $18.2 million spending cut and a $4.5 million property tax cut last Thursday.
“This budget reduces the tax impact on residents and businesses and returns the amount to be raised by taxation to the 2010 level,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “In January, I called for a roll back of last year’s 1.4 percent tax increase and we have achieved that.”
“Cost cutting and belt tightening over the past six years and the sale of the two County care centers have made it possible for this Freeholder Board to present a budget that resets our spending to below the 2007 amount,” Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso said.
Monmouth County’s government now spends $5.5 million less on salaries than it did in 2008 and has 1000 fewer employees than it did seven years ago when the Republican Party won control of the Freeholder Board back from the Democrats.
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is publicly calling for Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik to run for governor in 2017.
In a Letter to the Editor published on APP.com, Gopal sings Hornik’s praises as a “socially conscious and fiscally ressponsible” Democrat who was elected in three time in a town that voted for Chris Christie for Governor and Steve Lonegan for U.S. Senate over Cory Booker in 2013. Gopal said that should Hornik run for governor, he would have Vin’s unwavering support.
I wonder how Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, Senate President Steve Sweeney and former Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy, all presumed Democratic candidates for governor who have contributed generously to Gopal’s Monmouth County Democratic campaigns, feel about this.
Long hailed as one of the most talented up and comers in New Jersey politics, the Monmouth County Democratic Chairman from Long Branch appears poised to run against state Senator Jen Beck (D-11) in 2017. Beck will be a very tough out, but Gopal is a unique politician now emboldened by the loses last night of Beck’s running mates Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande.
With only $3,000 cash on hand, as of September 30, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal seems to be abandoning his strategy of concentrating on LD 11, and now appears to be focused on protecting his turf in Marlboro.
When we last heard from Lawrence “The Lunger” Luttrell, the three time election loser, was scurrying into obscurity while threatening to sue the Monmouth County Republican Committee for a radio ad that claimed his law license was “suspended” when in fact he had been ruled ineligible to practice law.
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To our knowledge, no one has actually investigated whether or not Luttrell actually practiced law during his ineligibility. He claimed he was unaware that he had been ruled ineligible, so maybe he did perform legal work when he was not legally authorized to do so. That would be a problem.
Now, nearly a year later, Luttrell has resurfaced in an apparent attempt to keep the voters of Marlboro in the dark about Councilwoman Randi Marder’s ethics violations and worse, the waste of $16,000 of Marlboro tax dollars that Mayor Jon Hornik and the Marlboro Township Council authorized to be spent in legal fees to appeal the New Jersey Local Finance Board’s findings that Marder committed eight ethical violations associated with the Township doing business with her husband’s companies.
Oh boy. Things just went from bad to worse for Vin Gopal and the Monmouth County Democrats:
Frank Argote-Freyre, Chairman of the Latino Coalition Continuing Political Committee. photo via facebook
The Latino Coalition Continuing Political Committee (LC-CPC) announced today its support for incumbent Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon because of her forward thinking pledge to modernize the clerk’s office.
“Many of the clerk’s staff are still using typewriters to conduct business on a daily basis,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, Chair of the LC-CPC. “The Latino Coalition believes she is the right person to bring the office into the 21st Century.”
At a meeting with the Coalition, Hanlon pledged to provide more information in Spanish on the county’s website. Hanlon also said she plans to improve the Clerk’s office by adding e-filing, providing more information online, and creating a more mobile friendly office, including a forms portal for online submission of many county forms.
In contrast, her opponent, Democrat Kevin Kane never responded to a request for a meeting with the Latino Coalition.
“Kane has served for many years as a Councilman in Freehold Borough and has done absolutely nothing to improve relations between the immigrant community and the more established residents,” said Argote-Freyre. “When former Mayor Michael Wilson tried to force Latino immigrants from the borough through a series of unethical actions, Kane sat silently and did nothing to foster a climate of understanding.”
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is having a bad day year.
The Dems have put their eggs in the LD 11 basket this year, hoping to pick off one or two of New Jersey’s only all female legislative delegation in Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande.
Vin made sure that his county candidates for Clerk and Freeholder are residents of the 11th, in hopes that a hometown turnout boost for the county candidates, who are hardly campaigning elsewhere in the county, might help Eric Houghtaling of Neptune and Joann Downey of Freehold over the finish line.
Only in the 11th will you find a typical election year showing of road and lawn signs. Houghtaling and Downey are advertising on ESPN and even FoxNews.
Gopal has historically been able to count on an assist from the Asbury Park Press. Not this year and not where he needs it most.
In endorsing Angelini and Casagrande, APP called them “among the strongest legislators in New Jersey.”
Democratic Councilman Michael DuPont Remains Confident He Will Be Reelected
Vin Gopal: “GOP Will Take Control of Red Bank”
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal told The Two River Times that the Republican Party will win control of the Red Bank municipal government in this November’s election.
Gopal, who launched a campaign of personal destruction against Red Bank GOP Chairman Sean DiSomma in 2013 when he issued a false press release asserting that DiSomma, then a candidate for council, had a warrant for his arrest in Texas over an unpaid traffic violation, whines incessantly to TRT reporter John Burton over the video that led to the resignation of Art Murphy from the borough council. Murphy, the Council President at the time of his resignation last week, also resigned his candidacy for reelection.
Gopal apparently has more of a problem with the fact that Murphy was caught vulgarly belittling his constituents than with the former Council President’s actions. Regardless of whether or not the Republicans released the video, which they deny, they did not fabricate charges, as Gopal did in 2013 against DiSomma.
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal’s entourage showed up at County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon’s office today for the ballot positioning drawing, armed with a space age temperature gun.
Not Linda Baum
Linda Baum, a Middletown Democrat who has twice been defeated for Township Committee, and who got the Middletown Librarian fired when they conspired together to politicize library operations behind the backs of the Library’s Trustees, was on the scene in Freehold to take the temperature of the capsules containing the names Democrat and Republican for the ballot positioning drawing.
Gopal issued a press release this morning wherein he accused former County Clerk M. Claire French of refrigerating the capsules in the past in order that she could pick the cold one to assure the Republicans win the favored ballot position.
Baum, who’s certification in temperature gun operation is unclear, pointed her gun at the capsules while Bertha Sumick, the Clerk of Elections and a Deputy County Clerk looked on.
Hanlon had recused herself from presiding over the drawing, because she is on the ballot in November.