Gopal’s only political play is to attack the integrity of the candidates he’s running against, regardless of the veracity of the attack.
Vin Gopal is setting himself up for another fall. photo via facebook
By Art Gallagher
In the aftermath of Red Bank Council President Art Murphy announcing on MoreMonmouthMusingsthat he would resign his seat on the borough council and withdraw as a candidate for another term, Monmouth Demcoratic Chairman Vin Gopal complained to the Asbury Park Press and The Two River Times that he has a hard time recruiting candidates to run for office because of the toxic political environment.
Gopal however, said Murphy’s decision was not solely in response to the video. “It’s part of a larger problem with contemporary politics,” Gopal said, alleging that political opponents had on the sly recorded Murphy, unbeknownst to the councilman and released it for political gain.
“It’s sad it’s come to this,” Gopal said, noting that these tactics increasingly have been making it difficult to get qualified candidates.”
In the pursuit of trimming Monmouth County’s bottom line Freeholders Tom Arnone, Gary Rich and John Curley, Curley who faces the voters in November, are about to turn their back on several handicapped and indigent patients living at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, despite a viable, fiscally responsible and compassionate alternative being proposed by Freeholders Lillian Burry and Serena DiMaso. The Burry-DiMaso plan both trims the budget and saves the facility, which serves some of the county’s most needy families.
Life is wondrous, beautiful and vital, until it’s not. Many of us have watched a grandparent, so active and so engaged from the earliest moments of our youth, suddenly decline and descend into illness and death. It’s even harder when it’s a parent or a child. My dad recently fell ill. As I write this he lays in intensive care, holding on to his relatively young life via prayers and the constant attention of family and medical professionals. If he survives this dangerous chapter, he may have a lifetime of respiratory, physical and occupational therapy ahead of him. A wondrous beautiful life is all at once fragile and uncertain.
Monmouth County will have a new 250 acre park in Aberdeen and Marlboro Townships, despite the fact that Port Authority of NY/NJ backed out of a commitment to fund $5 million to purchase 87.8 acres of the open space from a developer who had approvals to build 250 homes on the property.
Today, the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders approved funding the entire $10.6 million land purchase from Aberdeen/Wilson Associates, LLC through the County’s Open Space Trust Fund.
“The Port Authority appears to be unwilling to honor its commitment of sharing to fund a project that will preserve significant portions of the Matawan Creek watershed and eventually provide a 250-acre park,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County Park System. “The Port Authority’s offer to help move this deal forward appears to have been withdrawn. Fortunately, Monmouth County has an invaluable Open Space Trust Fund to finance the entire purchase.”
State Senator Joe Kyrillos praised the Freeholder Board, the NY/NJ Baykeeper and Aberdeen Township for making the park a reality and slammed Port Authority for backing out of the deal.
Monmouth County Clerk M. Clair French address the Monmouth GOP convention. Chairman Shaun Golden in background. photo by Art Gallagher
An impressive crowd of over 400 Monmouth Republican County Committee members gathered on Saturday morning to nominate their candidates for State Assembly, County Clerk and Freeholder. The size of the crowd was impressive not only because of the weather but because the results of the convention were a foregone conclusion as there were no challengers to the incumbent Assembly Members, Freeholder or Governor Chris Christie’s nominee for County Clerk.
Free of any competitive tensions, the mood at Colts Neck High School was upbeat, friendly and proud among the grassroots leaders who came out for Chairman Shaun Golden first nominating convention. Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso noted both the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. “This crowd is almost as large as last year’s convention when we had a competition for the freeholder nominations,” DiMaso said, “We’re in really great shape and that is a testament to Shaun’s leadership.”
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.
In his triCityNews column this week, the scofflaw former freeholder candidate blamed his defeat last month on President Obama. After outspending Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich 4-1, Grillo celebrated that he and lunging Larry Luttrell lost by ‘only’ 6% while Senator Cory Booker lost Monmouth County to “a no-name crazy” by 10%.
Grillo also recounted a story about how a “guy in a NASCAR hat and an oversized white t-shirt” pointed a .45 at him as he was knocking on doors in a Bayshore town while celebrating that he and Luttrell won more towns than any other Democratic Freeholder slate since Amy Mallet defeated John Curley in 2008.
Those were the entertaining items in Grillo’s column. The substance that Grillo reported with potential political impact in 2015 is the fact that he and Luttrell won the 11th legislative district by 3000 votes. I hadn’t noticed that prior to reading Joe’s column. I checked the numbers. Joe can add.
Maybe, just maybe, voters really are tired of the game playing and posturing that exists in much of politics. (I think voters across the county sent that message pretty loud and clear with their votes this Tuesday.)
Maybe all they really want is for us to get back to the business of working on the issues that affect them.
Maybe they don’t care how many hands we have shaken or how many babies have been kissed. Maybe they see through that.
Maybe that’s why—despite suffering “from a perception within the Party’s leadership that [I have] skated by on the backs of others” (a perception that Art clearly seems all too eager to perpetuate)—I have now TWICE been the top vote-getter in each of my races for County Freeholder. (FOUR TIMES if you add my convention victory in March and June’s Primary Election.)
The 2014 Monmouth County election is in the books.
After the most intense campaign in memory funded by out of county Democrats, Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has nothing but IOUs to show for his duplicitous efforts.
There are literally hundreds of winners in this campaign county wide. From candidates making their first bid for elected office, to the seasoned pros defending their records, to the selfless volunteers who knocked on doors and made over 50,000 phone calls to voters. We congratulate the entire Monmouth Republican team.
On every championship team there are stars who get the accolades on behalf of the entire team. Here are five special mentions from this hard fought victory:
The top Winners of the Battle for Monmouth:
Lillian G. Burry. Burry has been elected county-wide 4 times. Three of those four elections were hard fought. None had the benefit of up ballot coattails. In 2005 she prevailed despite the anti-Republican sentiment generated by Operation Bid Rig. In 2008, Burry prevailed as the top vote getter over the Obama wave that saw an unprecedented Democratic turnout. The low turnout race of 2011 was relatively easy. In the campaign that just concluded, Burry’s integrity was maliciously maligned by Gopal and his henchmen armed with hundreds of thousands of Democratic money wheeled into the county from Trenton, Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties.
Burry stood tall and fought hard. She is a proven winner, in politics and life. A role model for women and men, Burry embraces the toughest challenges and prevails with honor.
Shaun Golden. Already a rising star after his huge reelection victory as Monmouth County Sheriff in 2013, Golden risked his career in taking on Chairman John Bennett last spring in-order to lead beyond the status quo .
Bennett boasted of his fundraising prowess in his campaign to retain the Chairmanship, but left Golden with an overdrawn check book on June 10.
Undaunted, Bennett’s turd was just another challenge for Golden to overcome.
Shaun has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the face of adversity by doing what he said he would do. He assembled a strong team by appointing an unprecedented four Regional Vice Chairs. He empowered municipal Party leaders and candidates, expanded the Party’s demographic diversity, established a strong social media presence and fed the rank and file when they came out to work. He raised money and got the job done without wasteful spending. When all the money is counted the Democrats will have outspent the Republicans 3 or 4 to 1.
If the hapless NJGOP is ever to gain traction in the State, it will take a leader like Shaun Golden to make it happen.