Nuzzi, a Middletown native who interned for Vin Gopal’s 2011 Assembly race and wrote for MMM and the triCityNews before emerging as a nationally prominent political reporter, while helping to bring down Andrew Wiener along the way, has grown into a unique story teller with a commitment to telling the truth regardless of the political fallout.
These men want to turn Monmouth County into South Essex County. CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal. photo via facebook
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal said that Essex County’s Government is the model he hopes to impose on Monmouth County should he ever win control of the Board of Freeholders.
Gopal and his freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo ventured north to Essex this week, hat in hand for money to fund their quest to transform Monmouth into South Essex, according to a report on PolitickerNJ.
“They have done an extraordinary job in Essex County as far as managing a county government, and it’s all Democratic,” Gopal said. “It’s a model for Monmouth to hope to achieve one day.”
Professional pollsters call the tactic “unethical” and “fraudulent”
Senator Cory Booker and freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo have deployed a campaign tactic dubbed “unethical” and “fraudulent” by the American Association of Public Opinion Research. photo via facebook
The Democratic Party is deploying a controversial campaign tactic known as “Push Polling” in Monmouth County on behalf of Senator Cory Booker and their county freeholder candidates. MMM has received reports of such calls being delivered to unsuspecting voters in Shrewsbury, Neptune and Manalapan.
The automated calls, which do not disclose who they are being made on behalf of or who is paying for them, purport to be opinion surveys. If the voter responds that they favor Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jeff Bell rather than Booker, they are subject to a series of “If you knew” questions that distort Bell’s record and lie about his positions.
If the voter responds that they intend to vote for Monmouth County Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich for reelection, the are subject to “If you knew” questions that accuse the incumbents of unethical hiring practices, dirty dealing on Open Space acquisitions and criticizing the length of their public service in various municipal and county offices.
The political landscape in New Jersey is ripe for a historic shift this November. But a shift in New Jersey’s representation in Washington is not likely to happen because the New Jersey Republican Party is wholly unprepared for the opportunity. The nincompoops who lead the NJGOP gave up on the U.S. Senate race in January. They gave up on picking up seats in the Congressional Delegation in 2012 when the new congressional map was drawn.
According to a Fairleigh Dickinson Univeristy Public Mind Poll released this morning, President Barack Obama’s approval rating among New Jersey registered voters is a dismal 36%. 49%, including 21% of Democrats and 45% of Independents, disapprove of the President’s job performance. Senator Cory Booker is 8 points below the magic number of 50% that an incumbent needs to be comfortable in a reelection race. Those are the kind of numbers any opposition party/candidate would pray for 8 weeks before an election.
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.
Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate Larry Luttrell partying with a model and squinting like Frank Pallone in Atlantic City in February, 2013. facebook photo
If you’re a Monmouth County Democrat thinking about a career in government, working on Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo’s freeholder campaign could be hazardous to your ambitions.
Luttrell and Grillo told the Asbury Park Press that the fact that Freeholder Director Lillian Burry’s 2011 campaign treasurer, Bill Bucco, was given a raise and a promotion after three years in a county administrative job where he streamlined operations and found $200,000 in revenue due the county that was never collected is “politics at its worst.”
I must have missed their press release condemning Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s new job as a “consultant” with ties to South Jersey Democratic Boss George Norcross, which Preito somehow manages to do while collecting six figures from his three government jobs.
Confronted with independent polling data that shows him to be in a surprisingly tight 7-10 point race against Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Jeff Bell, Booker has labeled his opponent a “right-wing ideologue,” according to a report on PolitickerNJ.Booker beat former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan for the job of filling the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term last October by only 11 percent.
I don’t think we need to send any more right-wing ideologues down to the U.S. Senate. I think we need to send bridge builders to get Congress moving again,” said Booker, the former Newark mayor, said.
Booker touted the work he has done with Republicans in Congress, including such bridge builders as Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to PolitickerNJ, as evidence that he will break the partisan gridlock in Washington.
On his website, Bell says he’s pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and pro-religious freedom. He’s against Internet gambling and drug legalization. Some would say those positions make him a right-wing radical.
Booker has had much better nights in Hollywood and on Twitter than he had last night in the county he lost by 10,000 votes last year to former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan.
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal confirmed the take and said he was happy with it.
Democratic Freeholder candidate Larry Luttrell was excited in his remarks at the Wall Township home of Gary Faraci, the Wall Democrats only nominee for three Township Committee seats this fall.
“This is different. This isn’t like any other year. This year is special. We have a rock star on top of the ticket,” said Luttrell, of Holmdel, an attorney, as he pointed to Booker. “He’s here to help us, and that means a lot. We’re going to out work them, we’re going to out raise them, and we’re going to make it happen.”
In the March Monmouth/APP poll, 55% of NJ voters said Booker deserves to be reelected. Today, only 44% say the former Newark Mayor deserves his own six year term in Washington. Booker was elected last October to fill the remainder of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term. He faces off with Republican Jeff Bell in November.
Booker would beat Bell easily if the election where today, 43%-23%, but 15% say they would vote for a third party candidate and 17% are unsure. But the vast majority of voters, 82%, don’t know enough about Bell for express a favorable or unfavorable opinion of him. The GOP nominee for U.S. Senate against Bill Bradley in 1978, Bell scored a surprise victory in the GOP primary for Senate last month. Of those who do know enough about Bell to express an opinion, the overwhelming impression, 2-1, is favorable.