Christie: Federal Law Keeping RREM Applicants in Limbo

Pallone says legislation is not necessary, regulators can change the rules

MMM photo/Art Gallagher

Governor Chris Christie listens to a resident’s question in Belmar. March 25, 2014 MMM photo/Art Gallagher. Click for larger view.

Governor Chris Christie told the 650 people in attendance at his Town Hall Meeting in Belmar yesterday that he went to Washington last week to ask HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to waive the rule that is keeping Sandy victims from rebuilding their homes while they are waiting to find out if they will be approved for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grants of up to $150,000.

The RREM program will not reimburse homeowners for work done on their homes prior to their acceptance into the program.  Over 3000 people are on the RREM waiting list for the second round of HUD funding which is expected to be awarded late this spring. They are in limbo, living in temporary housing, paying rent and mortgages, while their ruined homes are dormant.

Christie said that Donovan told him he could not waive the rule because a specific federal law prohibits grants being used to pay for work performed prior to the federal approval being secured.

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Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Belmar, Chris Christie, Frank Pallone, Keansburg, RREM, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

A Kumbaya Moment

      Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Barbara’s Tea Party Group co-founder Barbara Gonzalez announced on her APP blog that she approves of the Monmouth GOP’s nominations of Anthony Wilkinson in CD-6 and Rich Pezzullo for U.S. Senate.

Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Barbara’s Tea Party Group says they will work with Republicans to save the nation, so long as the Republicans do as BTPG says and nominates candidates that pass their litmus tests.

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Posted: March 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, 2016 Presidential Politics, Barbara Gonzalez, Barbara's Tea Party Group, Bayshore Tea Party Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Meanwhile at the Monmouth Democratic Convention….

….there were no surprises out of the IBEW Local 400 Union Hall in Wall this morning.

Senator Cory Booker was endorsed for the nomination to seek his first full term in the U.S. Senate.

Congressman Frank Pallone was nominated for his 14th term in the House of Representatives.

In the 4th congressional district, criminal defense attorney Ruben Scolavino has agreed to take another one for the Democratic team.  Scolavino lost to Sheriff Shaun Golden, 64%-36% last year.  He will likely face a worse fate against Congressman Chris Smith who running for his 18th term.  Scolavino is probably angling for a Judgeship.

For Monmouth County Freeholder, Larry Luttrell, a Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso in 2013, hopes to do better this year against Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich who were renominated by the Monmouth GOP this morning.  Joining Luttrell on the County Democratic ticket for freeholder is Joe Grillo of Asbury Park.  Grillo is making his first run at elected office.  He is the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats, the former executive director of the Monmouth Dems, and works for his family’s tile business.

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.

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 Pallone’s facebook page.

 

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hari Eppanapally Withdraws From CD-6 Race

eppanapallyIn an email to Middlesex and Monmouth County Republican Chairmen Sam Thompson and John Bennett, Hari Eppanapally withdrew his name from consideration for the nomination for Congress from the 6th congressional district this afternoon.

In his letter which can be read in its entirety here, Eppanapally said he made the decision to withdraw in the best interests of the GOP so that the party can put up a united fight against the incumbent, Congressman Frank Pallone, by rallying behind one candidate.

“Looking at the big picture and being a responsible leader, I feel the party’s time and energy  should be spent on the main election to win this race rather than diluting it on a primary which may divide the party.”

Anthony Wilkinson, an attorney from Old Bridge, is now the only candidate seeking the Republican Party endorsements at the Middlesex and Monmouth GOP conventions which will be held tomorrow morning. Monmouth’s convention is at Freehold Township High School at 9am, Middlesex’s at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords at 10..

Eppanapally said the GOP in CD-6 and nationally should focus on Health Care, Education and the Economy.

Click for larger view

Click for larger view

Eppanapally offered an explanation for his support of Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula’s 2012 congressional candidacy against Congressman Leonard Lance in the 7th congressional district.

I want to clarify my support to Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula during his 2012 Congressional race from NJ CD7. He is a
very close long-time friend of mine. I decided to support him purely on a personal level, not because of his Party affiliation. I
want to stand corrected on this so that people do not have any misunderstanding on my belief in Republican principles.

Eppanapally did not offer an explanation of his $2500 contribution to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in his letter.

MMM stands by its endorsement of Eppanapally for the Democratic nomination in CD-6.

Pallone can be beat in a primary, as Cory Booker proved last August in the Special Senate Primary.  More importantly, Pallone’s campaign war chest was depleted by about 75% in that primary last year.  Eppanapally can force Pallone to spend his resources while defending his Democratic nomination while the GOP candidate, presumably Wilkinson baring an unknown primary contestant, raises funds for the fall campaign.  If Eppanapally agrees to enter the Democratic Primary, MMM will lead his petition drive to get him on the ballot.

UPDATED

Eppanapally told MMM that he became interested in challenging Pallone after being approached by the National Republican Congressional Committee. NRCC presented Eppanapally with statistics showing that almost 300,000 Indian Americans live in Middlesex County, over 100,000 of them in CD-6 and argued, based upon Anna Little’s 2010 performance against Pallone, that an Indian American candidate could swing enough votes to beat Pallone.  Eppanapally said that he would only seek the nomination if there was no primary challenge.  When Wilkinson got in the race and made it clear he would run a primary campaign regardless of the outcome of the Monmouth and Middlesex GOP conventions, Eppanapally bowed out.

Labels and List’s analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census Data indicates that there are 21,069 voters of Indian/South East Asian descent in CD-6.

Eppanapally told MMM that his $2500 donation to President Obama’s reelection campaign was the price of a ticket to an event at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 2011 that he attended as an employee of Financial Policy Council Inc.  Obama spoke at the event.  He said he was unaware that the event was an Obama fundraiser when he attended.

Eppanapally said he would not challenge Pallone in the Democratic primary.

UPDATED AGAIN

Eppanapally called to clarify his earlier remarks about his $2500 contribution to President Obama’s reelection campaign and the event at the Waldorf-Astoria. He said that his attendance at the event was “on the personal level” and not as an employee of Financial Policy Council Inc.  He said he wrote a personal check to the Obama campaign to attend the event.  Asked how he could not know that he was contributing to the Obama campaign or attending an Obama fund raisers if he wrote a check to the Obama campaign, Eppanapally said, “It doesn’t matter.”

Posted: March 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Sweeney and Pallone confirm that Feds are the problem with Sandy relief

IMG_9170

Keansburg Deputy Mayor Jimmy Cocuzza, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Congressman Frank Pallone at Sweeney’s Town Hall Meeting in Keansburg, March 20, 2014

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Congressman Frank Pallone tried to feign non-partisanship yesterday at Sweeney’s Town Hall Meeting in Keansburg, the most recent leg on Sweeney’s Sandy Bill of Rights tour. “This is not about politics, or party,” Sweeney said as Pallone nodded “it’s about taking care of the people who need help and getting them the information they need.”

Sweeney’s bill seems to make perfect sense.  It requires plain language explanations of disaster assistance programs and gives applicants the right to know where they are in the process, where they are on waiting lists, and how to appeal.  The bill was cleared with amendments by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, 4-0 with one abstention, Sen. Jennifer Beck, on Monday.

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Posted: March 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: FEMA, Frank Pallone, Keansburg, RREM, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Candidate For GOP Nomination Against Pallone Is Democratic Fundraiser/Donor

eppanapallyHari Eppanapally of Livingston will be seeking the Republican nomination for congress in the 6th congressional district next Saturday at the Monmouth and Middlesex nominating conventions. His prior political experience is as an active fundraiser for Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula’s 2012 congressional run against Republican Congressman Leonard Lance in the 7th congressional district.

Eppanapply contributed $2500 to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.

MMM hereby endorses Eppanapally for the Democratic nomination for congress in CD-6.

Really.  Eppanapally has a better chance of beating Frank Pallone in the Democratic primary than he does of beating Pallone in the general election.

The Vice President and member of the Board of The Financial Policy Council, a free market oriented non-profit think tank and policy advocate, Eppanapally would be a much better congressman than Pallone.

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Posted: March 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, Middlesex County Republicans, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Lonegan Should Challenge Pallone

Lonegan PC presserSteve Lonegan is not going to win the GOP nomination to replace the retiring Congressman Jon Runyan in New Jersey’s third congressional district.

The party bosses in Ocean and Burlington Counties that comprise the district have settled on endorsing former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur.  Ocean County Republicans with the stones to defy Chairman George Gilmore are lining up behind Toms  River Councilman Maurice Hill, a retired Navy rear admiral.  If Lonegan continues to compete for the nomination in the party conventions, he’s likely to come in third in Ocean and second in Burlington.  Lonegan does not have an organization to compete with the Ocean and Burlington Republican organization should he run a primary race against MacArthur.

Lonegan should stop fighting fellow Republicans in Ocean and Burlington and come north to Monmouth and Middlesex where we need his considerable talent.  If Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett and Middlesex GOP Chairman Sam Thompson have not been on the phone pleading with Lonegan to take on ObamaCare author Frank Pallone in the 6th Congressional district, they are missing an opportunity.

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Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Frank Pallone, Opinion, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Cullari will not challenge Pallone

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1He had pledges for the $30,ooo he wanted to raise in thirty days and said Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett reacted enthusiastically to his potential candidacy, but at the moment of choice his heart was not in it.  Ernesto Cullari, a GOP primary candidate for the CD-6 nomination in 2012 told MMM he will not seek the nomination to challenge Frank Pallone this year.

Cullari said he recently signed a deal to author a series of novellas, the first of which will be released later this year, and that his commitment to that project and his partners was the major stumbling block to mounting his second campaign for public office.

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Ernesto Cullari, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Pelosi endorses Pallone’s opponent for leadership spot

Pallone njtv senate debateHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has passed over Congressman Frank Pallone and thrown her support to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California in the internal Democratic caucus campaign to select the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to a report at TheHill.com.

Eshoo, who has served two terms in the House less than Pallone, is currently the fifth ranking Democrat on the committee.  Pallone is the third ranking Democrat, behind Chairman Henry Waxman and John Dingell.  Both Waxman and Dingell are retiring at the end of the 113th Congress.

In a letter to House Democrats, Pelosi said she’d intended to steer clear of making a public endorsement, “but since so many of you have asked, I am writing to let you know why I support Anna.”

“Anna’s leadership is marked by integrity, inclusiveness and bipartisanship, critical qualities in a committee leader,” Pelosi wrote. “She advocates in the committee and in the House for healthcare, consumer protections, the environment and access to technology and issues related to women and children.

“Anna’s leadership, vision, values and progressive commitment to the future gives us the opportunity to newly invigorate the debate,” Pelosi added.

Since being sworn into Congress in 1987, six bills that Pallone has sponsored have become law. One of the bills was to name the post office on Route 35 in Middletown. Does anyone know the name of that post office?

Eshoo has sponsored 234 bills that have become law.

Posted: February 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »

Cullari Considering Congressional Bid

cullariErnesto Cullari of Asbury Park said that if he can raise $30,000 in thirty days he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Congressman Frank Pallone at the Monmouth and Middlesex Republican nominating conventions on March 22.

The conservative Justified Right columnist for the triCityNews was the Monmouth GOP endorsed candidate in the 2012 6th district primary which he lost for former Highlands Mayor Anna Little who was tabbed by the Middlesex GOP.

Cullari said that he had hoped that Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden had run against Pallone. “Shaun is a great elected official and public servant. He was the candidate who could really have taken it to Pallone, ” Cullari said, “now that Shaun has said he is not running, I am taking a serious look at doing it. If I can raise $1000 per day for a month, I’m in.”

“I want to fight for my county.  I’m too old for military service, but I would run against Pallone as if I were protecting our freedom, because I believe that ultimately that is what is a stake given what is going on in Washington.”

Cullari said he would file a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission this week and start calling his supporters for donations.

Posted: February 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, Ernesto Cullari, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments »