Isola considering jumping into the U.S. Senate race

IsolaOcean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore told MMM that he is actively encouraging Chris Isola, a declared candidate for the CD-3 GOP nomination, to seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate instead.

Isola, of Malton in Burlington County, is close to making a decision, according to Gilmore.

The Ocean County GOP’s screening committee endorsed former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur to replace Congressman Jon Runyan in the House of Representatives last weekend.  Gilmore’s committee interviewed Murray Sabrin and Jeff Bell for the Senate nomination on Saturday but did not select a candidate. “There are two other candidates we want to interview and a fifth who I want to get in, Chris Isola,” Gilmore said after Governor Chris Christie’s Town Hall meeting in Toms River.

Isola’s LinkedIn profile lists his profession as “Candidate at 113th United States Congress.”   A U.S. Marine Corp veteran, Isola served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon his honorable discharge in 2005 Isola entered the financial services industry.

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, George Gilmore | Tags: , , , , | 6 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 »

Democratic Legislators Set To Investigate AshBrit’s Alleged Gouging

By Art Gallagher

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, and Senate President Steve Sweeney told The Star Ledger that they are going to investigate the lucrative no-bid state contract that AshBrit received from the Christie Administration for Superstorm Sandy clean up and the well connected lobbyists the company used to sell their premium priced services to municipal officials from Sandy ravaged communities.

“We already had questions about how Sandy relief money was being spent, and these findings raise those questions to a new level,” Prieto told The Star-Ledger. “This money is supposed to be spent properly to benefit New Jersey residents and communities devastated by Sandy, not become a feeding frenzy for lobbyists and an excuse to bypass regulations on business, the environment and pay-to-play.”

As a conservative, it warms my heart to see Democrats fighting wasteful spending. Maybe Trenton really has been turned upside down.

As a skeptic, I expect that whatever hearings the Democrats hold will be done with the intention of denting Governor Christie’s substantial Sandy related armor going into the November election.

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Posted: February 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Hurricane Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Gilmore’s Cleaning Up

gilmoreOcean County GOP Chairman Geroge Gilmore is among a handful of connected lobbyists hired by AshBrit, the Florida company that won the sole state contract for Superstorm Sandy clean up, who was making sales calls to municipal officials looking for lucrative non-bid clean up work after then storm, according to an article in The Star Ledger this morning.

MMM was the first to report that former Corzine staffer Maggie Moran and her firm, M Public Affairs, was selling AshBrit’s premium priced services to Sandy ravaged municipalities.  The Ledger report expands the list of lobbyists working for AshBrit in New Jersey to Gilmore, former Corzine cabinet member Kris Kullari, and former Assembly Republican director Jon Bombardieri.

AshBrit has been widely praised for the quality of the clean up work it hired subcontractors to perform.  Their no-bid pricing is the issue.  AshBrit charged $100 per ton for debris removal. Towns that didn’t hire AshBrit got the work done for $26 per ton.

“If this isn’t a classic example of how everything is connected in New Jersey politics, I don’t know what is,” said state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), who was Corzine’s running mate in 2009 when Moran managed his re-election campaign.

MMM is generally not a fan of Weinberg, but we are with her on this issue. Excess profits paid to AshBrit for making phone calls and signing contracts could have been used to rebuild infrastructure, house the displaced, etc, or not borrowed from China in the first place.

Gilmore got another new job last month. Just as MMM predicted last June during the Monmouth GOP Chairman’s race, Gilmore’s firm was appointed Assistant Monmouth County Counsel by the Board of Freeholders during their reorganization meeting.

Despite his threats to due so, John Bennett has not sued MMM for making that prediction.

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: George Gilmore, Hurricane Sandy, John Bennett, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Ocean County GOP Unanimously Endorses Joe Kyrillos For U.S. Senate

Kyrillos Secures Yet Another Unanimous County Endorsement


Ocean County – March 20…  Today, the Ocean County Republican Organization endorsed Senator Joe Kyrillos for United States Senate.   This is Senator Kyrillos’ sixth unanimous county organization endorsement.

Ocean County Republican Organization Chairman George Gilmore said, “Joe Kyrillos is the leader that will make Ocean County proud in the United States Senate.  Ocean County families are struggling with high taxes and out-of-control gas prices.  Joe has a proven record of cutting taxes and fighting to reduce spending and that is exactly what we need to get our economy moving again.  I am proud to support Joe Kyrillos for U.S. Senate.”  

Senator Joe Kyrillos said, “I am honored and humbled to have the support of Chairman Gilmore and the Ocean County Republican Organization endorsement.  New Jersey families and small businesses are struggling with higher taxes and job killing regulations from Washington.  The Obama/Menendez plan to tax our way to a stronger economy is failing and is just more of the same.  We need to cut taxes so families can keep more of what they earn and small businesses can invest and create jobs.  In Washington, I will put families and small businesses first and I look forward to making the people of Ocean County and all of New Jersey proud.”     

Kyrillos has also been endorsed by Governor Chris Christie and the Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Monmouth County Republican Organizations.

Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr., 51, is married to Susan Doctorian Kyrillos and they live in Middletown with their children Max and Georgia. He began serving New Jersey’s 13th Legislative District in 1988 when he was elected to the General Assembly. After spending two terms in the Assembly he was elected to the Senate where he has served since 1993.  In addition to his official duties, the Senator is employed as Senior Managing Director of Colliers International, the commercial real estate services firm with offices in New York and Parsippany. He is also an advisor to the Newport Capital Group in Red Bank, NJ.

Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 U.S. Senate Race | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

MMM Year In Review – April

As is customary, April started with a joke.   This year the month of April ended with two jokes; the school board elections  and the President of the United States of America released his long form birth certificate.

After three years of study, Hopewell Township passed an ordinance regulating chicken sex.

A tongue in cheek post about who the Democrats could get to challenge Senator Joe Kyrillos when their endorsed candidate failed to submit his nominating petitions, generated more calls from Trenton than any other post of the year.

The worst joke of the month has consequences that will last at least a decade.  “Continuity of representation,” a political value in the mind of Rutgers professor Alan Rosenthal, trumped competitiveness and the state constitution in determining the lines of the new gerrymandered legislative map.

The stakes were so high that Governor Christie got personally involved in the negotiations regarding the map.  But Rosenthal’s was the only vote that counted.  The professor was not persuaded by the governor.

The map was so gerrymandered for the Democrats that Christie and the Republicans did not even try to win control of the legislature.  The governor, who came into office vowing to “turn Trenton upside down” transformed into the “compromiser in chief” in order to salvage what he could of his reform agenda.

While Rosenthal preserved the status quo for the Trenton trough swilling class, he unwittingly contributed to the creatation of a national Republican rock star, as Christie, freed up from having to work to win control of the legislature transferred his political attentions to the national stage.

The new map was no joke for many in Monmouth County

Senator Sean Kean of Wall was put into the same district as his friend, Senator Robert Singer of Lakewood.  After a few days of saber rattling about a primary for the seat, cooler heads prevailed as Kean agreed to go back to the Assembly to represent the safely Republican 30th district. 

Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore told MMM that the Democrats put Singer and Kean in the same district in the hopes that the GOP would waste resources on a contentious primary in a safe district.  The real reason was that the Democrats were horrified at the prospect of Dan Jacobson returning to the legislature in the upper house.

Jacobson was preparing a fanatasy Republican primary challenge to Kean for Senate should Wall and Asbury Park remain in the same district.   The Democrats, who have never understood Monmouth County, didn’t realize the futility of such an endeavor.  But they knew Jacobson and they weren’t taking any chances.  So they put Senator Jennifer Beck in the same district as Jacobson, knowing that he would never challenge her in a primary.  Jacobson, through his newspaper, created Jennifer Beck.  Just ask him.

The new 11th district would be represented by Beck in the Senate and Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande in the Assembly.  A district represented by three women.  A historic first. 

Assemblyman Dave Rible, formerly of the 11th,  was now in the 30th with Singer and Kean.

The new 12th district provided brief drama due to the fact that the lines created a senate vacancy.  Sam Thompson of Middlesex County and Ronald Dancer of Ocean County were the incumbent Assemblymen in the predominently Western Monmouth district.   The Monmouth GOP wanted to keep three senators.  Thompson wanted to move up. Freeholder Director Rob Clifton had long eyed Thompson’s seat in the assembly, but the senate vacancy presented an unexpected opportunity.  Always level headed and not one to needlessly rock the boat, Clifton let the Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Burlington chairmen figure it out.  Thompson got the senate nod and Clifton joined the ticket with Dancer running for assembly.

The 13th district became even safer for Senator Joe Kyrillos.  Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon of Little Silver joined Kyrillos and Assemblywoman Amy Handlon in representing the district.   Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornick, a Democrat, had his ambitions put on hold by the map makers who put Marlboro into the 13th.

The Democrats did the best they could, but only put up nominal opposition in the Monmouth legislative districts and on the county level.

Former Howell Chair Norine Kelly passed away in April.

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno threw Carl Lewis off the 8th legislative district ballot for Senate.

A team of six Red Bank Regional High School students won the national Cyber Patriot III competition in applied defense technology.

The Monmouth County Freeholders established term limits for boards and commissions.

Posted: December 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2011 Year in review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

30th District Primary Looking Less Likely

By Art Gallagher

“The Democrats created this district so that Republicans would spend resources fighting each other while they sit back and get ready for the general election and it looks as like that is going to happen.”  So said Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore about the new 30th legislative district in an interview with MMM early yesterday afternoon.

Within hours what had seemed to be a certain primary between Senators Sean Kean and Robert Singer was apparently avoided.  “Sean is talking to Singer,” said Monmouth GOP Chairman Joe Oxley, “There will be no war between the Ocean and Monmouth Republican organizations. Ocean and Monmouth were key counties in delivering a victory to Governor Christie and we will be working together to deliver Republican gains in the legislature.”

Kean later told the Asbury Park Press that he was uncertain about challenging Singer in the primary.  Singer told the APP that should he retire, that Kean would face an Senate candidate from Lakewood.

With both Senators backing off their firm positions to run, it appears that cooler heads will prevail as a slate is chosen with an eye towards victory in November.

The new 12th district will not be such a heavy lift.  “With three counties, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean, each having roughly 1/3 of the population of the district it would seem that each county should have a representative in the legislature,” said Gilmore.  Oxley concurred.

Middlesex County Chairman Sam Thompson, Old Bridge, is an incumbent Assemblyman from the new 12th district.  He has been angling to get the senate nod, touting the fact that he would be the only GOP Senator from Middlesex County and that his senatorial courtesy would give the Christie administration a new bargaining chip in dealing with the Democrats.   GOP sources in the legislature and the administration are divided over the benefit of Thompson having sentatorial courtesy so long as there is a Republican governor.  “The Senate seems to be slipping away from Sam,” said one senior Republican close to the process.

Oxley does not consider Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas’ primary bid in the new 12th to be a serious undertaking.  “I don’t know who is giving Andrew his political advice,” said Oxley, “this is not fun and games, it is serious business.”  Oxley was referring to Lucas’ comment on MMM that a legislative primary against Freeholder Director Rob Clifton would be fun.

If Clifton is awarded “the line” in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean, a Lucas primary victory would appear to be unlikely even if he runs a competitive race in his Western Monmouth base.

Posted: April 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: George Gilmore, Joe Oxley, Legislature, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

What will George do?

By Art Gallagher

Looming large for incumbents and potential legislative candidates in the new 12th and 30th legislative districts is the question, “What will George Gilmore do?”

Gilmore is the Chairman of the powerful Ocean County Republican Organization.  He was a member of the Redistricting Commission.

The new 12th includes Plumsted,Jackson and the Pt. Pleasants in Ocean County.  Ronald Dancer of Plumsted is an incumbent Assemblyman.  Sam Thompson of Old Bridge (Middlesex) is also an incumbent Assemblyman in the new district.  There is a Senate vacancy.  Monmouth County Freeholder Director Rob Clifton and Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, also of Monmouth County, have both announced their intention to seek a legislative seat in the district.

Will Gilmore put up candidates to challenge Thompson, Clifton and Lucas? 

Likewise in the new 30th, Glimore looms large.  Monmouth County’s population dominates the new 30th, but Robert Singer has represented Howell of Monmouth for years.  Singer is better known in Howell than Sean Kean is. 

Dave Rible is the only incumbent Assembly member from the new 30th.  Rible hasn’t returned a call for comment, but some of his supporters from the old 11th are worried that Dave could be vulnerable should Gilmore field two Assembly candidates in the district.

Posted: April 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: George Gilmore | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »