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Christie’s Office: Separation of powers prevents Governor from intervening in Shaneen Allen case

Shaneen Allen and her sons Niare and Sincere

Shaneen Allen and her sons Niare and Sincere

Governor Chris Christie’s office responded to a constituent who had written in support of Shaneen Allen with a phone call stating that the separation of powers prevents the Governor from intervening in the Atlantic County prosecution.

Allen is a 27 year old single mother who is facing a possible 10 years in State Prison for bringing her Pennsylvania licensed handgun into New Jersey.  She is being prosecuted by Atlantic County Prosecutor James McClain, a Christie appointee.  McClain refused to allow Allen to enter the same Pre-Trial Intervention Program for first offenders that former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice was admitted to after he knocked out his then fiancee in an Atlantic City casino elevator last February.

Last week, McClain requested a three week adjournment in the case.  This was seen as a sign by Allen’s supporters that McClain is reconsidering his decision to prosecute due to the public outcry since the video of Rice beating his fiancee became public.

In the call from Christie’s office this afternoon to James Hogan of Howell Township, a young sounding man left a message stating that he was calling from the Governor’s office. Hogan forwarded the message to MMM:

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Posted: September 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Atlantic City, Atlantic County, Chris Christie, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Gun Control, Gun Rights, Guns, Monmouth County, New Jersey, News, NJ Constitution, Shaneen Allen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Booker vs Lonegan on Foreign Affairs, Syria

By James Hogan

According to a recent poll, the majority of Americans, 50%, don’t approve of their Commander in Chief, Barack Obama.  (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll ).

Beyond that, an even greater majority of Americans, over 75%, disapprove of our nation’s Congress (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html).

Meanwhile, a report regarding Syria is claiming that nearly 75% of Americans want the President (that they disapprove of) to get permission from a Congress (that they also disapprove of) before involving our nation in a war with Syria (http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2013/08/30/americans-obama-congress-approval-syria-strike/2736855/ ).

Even more interesting, the USA Today link claims, “When respondents were asked if the military action meant launching cruise missiles from naval warships — 50% favored it, while 44% opposed military action.”

JamesHoganConsider then what the poll numbers might show if Americans were asked if they were in favor or opposed to the North Koreans doing We The People a favor by parking their warships off of the coast of Virginia and start firing cruise missiles down on DC, or the homes and offices of our elected representatives, that we disapprove of? 

Would Americas approve of the *friendly* aide provided by the North Koreans? Or would we unite as a nation against these aggressors, declare war on North Korea, gather our allies and crush the North Koreans for attacking our land and our people? 

Before you answer, remember, the North Koreans would just be here lobbing cruise missiles at our nation to help us obtain freedom and democracy from a government that we don’t approve of, it’s not like they’d be invading our nation with soldiers or anything too terrible. They would just be providing some peace seeking missile attacks, aimed specifically at the people we don’t approve of (according to the media polls) so that we can be free at last.

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Posted: August 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cory Booker, James Hogan, Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

James Hogan Is Hanging It Up

By Art Gallagher

Four years ago a young software engineer from Long Branch decided to serve his country and attempt to right the wrongs of Washington by running for Congress against Frank Pallone.

At the time I described James Hogan as Motivated, Dedicated and Completely Out of His Mind.

Jim was shunned by the Monmouth GOP back in 2008.  He wasn’t allowed into the nominating convention that awarded the 6th district line to Bob McLeod and the U.S. Senate line to Andrew Unanue.

Hogan lost the primary to McLeod.  Rather than go away angry, or stay around angry, Hogan volunteered for McLeod’s futile effort to unseat Pallone.  He started a blog, became the ideal county committee member,  and volunteered his time, talent, good humor and good nature to Monmouth County and Long Branch GOPs.

Sadly for America, but happily for his family and employer, Hogan has regained his mind and lost his motivation to change the world.  He announced today that he is closing his blog and will not seek another term on the county committee from Long Branch.

I wish my friend well.  He knows he is always welcome to contribute here.  He has his own access to MMM.  I look forward to the day when something moves him to write and he surprises me with a post that makes me laugh while exposing an infuriating circumstance of government malfeasance.

Godspeed my friend.  Make money.  Enjoy your family. Enjoy your life.

And I’ve been meaning to tell you, you’re not really that ugly.

Posted: March 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: James Hogan | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Hogan Endorses Walsh For Freeholder

After careful review of the Freeholder candidates at multiple forums as well as a review of facts and statistics from their hometowns and feedback from other like-minded, concerned, private sector taxpayers, I’d like to share the following opinions and observations:

Bob Walsh is a fiercely Independent Republican — despite being at odds with his local Republican committee, Bob forges ahead for the good of ALL taxpayers, and the good of the Republican party. Bob stands firm on his principles and convictions and is unyielding to “higher-ups” or those who would try to put road-blocks in front of him. His life story is one of overcoming hardships and diversity and that life experience gives him the ability to represent average, honest, working class people who also face the [currently dim] economic and social environment.

Bob Walsh is an open, honest and often blunt speaker — if anyone is unsure of where Bob stands on an issue, they should ask him. Bob is well informed and will consistently speak the honest truth, even if it is a controversial or a dissenting opinion, and not sugar-coat an issue simply to make people feel good or make friends. Bob does not shy away from confrontation but rather stands firm for what he believes in while being open to the facts and reality around us. 

Bob Walsh has courage and political will — Bob has made every effort to work within the framework of the State Constitution and NJ state law to limit the size of his local government and make government more affordable. While major reforms are much needed in our system, those reforms must be made at the state level where Democrats control the Legislature in opposition to the principles we stand for as Republicans, and Bob has succeeded in working within the system we have to the benefit of taxpayers. Further, Bob Walsh will not be bullied by department heads, union bosses or other beneficiaries of the system as he has proven in his own town.

Bob Walsh is a fellow, Independent private sector taxpayer — Bob is not a public worker and his livelihood is not dependent on political outcomes. Bob has no conflicts of interest with his fellow taxpayers and is not a beneficiary of the public system. Public workers may despise him, and Democrats may attack his unique personality, but attacks on his conviction to principles and his defense of taxpayers will be without merit.

I thank all of the candidates, their supporters and the eventual Freeholder for answering my questions and I pledge my full support, time and dedication to whoever is elected, but it is these specific qualities, among others, that I see in Howell Mayor Bob Walsh that, in my humble opinion, make him stand out among the other candidates for Freeholder at this time. It is for these qualities, many of which I believe that I share in common with Mayor Walsh, that many of you have supported me in the past and I ask you to extend that support to Bob Walsh on Saturday January 14th, and again in November.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

James Hogan
Monmouth County Republican Committeeman
Long Branch District 10

Posted: January 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: James Hogan, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

The Impression I Get

By James Hogan

Hello MMM readers, I’m sure you’ve missed me as I’ve been quiet and well behaved since Art’s thunderous return but since I know how much you all miss me and value my opinion, I wanted to pass along my observations of the Freeholder candidate’s from Wednesday night’s Ocean Township hosted forum.

 

Ocean Township Chairwoman and State Committeewoman Christine Hanlon opened the meeting by having each candidate, in alphabetical order, give a short speech as an introduction. I’ll recap what I recall here, where there isn’t much means there wasn’t much said that was memorable, for me.

 

Serena Demaso – from Holmdel – Deputy Mayor for several years. Has lived in Monmouth County for 23 years. She’s of the Board of Trustees of Meridian Health. She’s a mom and employee of her husband’s medial office, she runs it. (My research indicates that the office is in Staten Island, maybe someone can verify if I have that wrong. I don’t think it hurts to run for office here and work/run a business elsewhere but maybe real experts like you anonymous commentators have different opinions.)   Serena wore some dress pants and a nice/dressy swear, not some Hillary looking PantSuit(TM), no “hands in the pocket” while speaking. Her appearance is very professional, I’d say her demeanor is closest to that of Strict Mom.

 

Peter Doyle – Councilman from Atlantic Highlands – Peter has a long resume in the military, and I thank him as I thank all veterans for their service. He is a West Point grad and a BigWig of some sort at Moodys, the credit rating people. He touts his financial sector career and knowledge and ability to pick apart financial data and give recommendations/take action. Peter wore a nice suit, buttoned correctly, no “hands in the pocket”, in fact, you might think of the (and my apologies to Tom DeSeno) stereotypical Italian hand moving while speaking. He looks and sounds very professional however, as a pocket protector wearing computer nerd myself, dare I say Peter looks a bit nerdy. I’d say his demeanor is closest to that of the over-excited high-school physics teacher who does the same experiment year after year but gives an appearance of excitement every time.

 

Ryan Green – Committeeman from Manalapan – Ryan is a social worker in a school.  He is relatively new to the scene but his passion and care was evident. Truthfully, I didn’t get, or remember, much more, but it may not be Ryan’s fault, I’m easily distracted and have a poor memory. Ryan also wore a suit, not buttoned and also not a “hands in the pocket” guy. Ryan appears to be younger guy of the bunch, seems to be a real go-getter type. I’d say his demeanor might be closest to the “its all business” accountant at tax time.

 

Bob Walsh – Howell Mayor – Bob describes himself a self-educated kid who grew up in a poor family, on the mean streets of Manalapan (after his mother moved him there from Jersey city at a young age). Bob speaks loud and might be fit for a role in an HBO series that Tom DeSeno wouldn’t approve of. (why am I picking on Tom?? I like you Tom, I’m sorry.) Bob started a Mortgage Broker business in the 90s, enjoyed the boom and has so far survived the bust, which says something positive. Bob gives his family story – wife, 3 kids — 2 girls in college and an autistic son in a “special place”. Bob’s personal story is one of overcoming the difficulties of life, he is/was the only candidate to offer details of his personal life story. Bob wore a suit, unbuttoned, and never took off his jacket/scarf; I thought he was going to jet early a few times as he looked ready to run. Bob will crack a joke and out-loud others to steal the show — I suspect a union boss won’t out-loud Bob. His demeanor is probably closest to, well you know, I don’t need to make Tom DeSeno even more mad by offering some questionably accurate Italian stereotype here. 🙂

 

Then came questions. Christine Hanlon was kind enough to give me the first crack, and I came prepared. My question was pretty straight forward: Explain the cost of public workers in your town, specifically, the cost of your police officers and why these salaries are acceptable when the average HOUSEHOLD (combined) income in Monmouth County is $80K/yr, and what you’ve done to address the cost of government. The numbers are these and I provided/quoted these numbers to each candidate (except for Peter who seemed to know the numbers off of the top of his head):

 

Town Area Population # of Police Officers in top 100 earners # of Officers over 100K

Average of top 100 Police Top Paid Officer

Howell 61 51 74 54 113,223.00 $176,660.00

Holmdel 18 17 40 18 100,351.00 $154,254 

Manalapan

31 39 57 30 93,045.85 $154,036 

Atlantic Highlands

4.5 4.5 14 5 85,389.00 $137,125 

 

Serena answered first as in her opening presentation she noted that she had worked to address police contracts/costs – what a great tie in. In her town, 40 of the top 100 (base salary) employees are police. 18 of them make over $100K/yr. The top officer making $154K and the average being $100K. Serena notes these salaries are less than ideal, she gets it. She also claims to have worked hard to lower those salaries where possible and says her town doesn’t contribute to healthcare plans and some other benefits for officer. She also (rightly) notes that should they press too hard and go to arbitration, they’d likely lose their battle in this state. She also spoke of the 2% property tax cap and how it helps/helped in negotiations.

 

Bob answered next. In his town the numbers are 74 police officers are in the top 100 earners, 54 are paid over $100K, the top earning a whopping $176K, nearly double the average HOUSEHOLD income, and the average being $113K/yr. Bob claims to have taken on his local police, and all local public workers, by furloughing them for 18 days. He also noted some officers were laid off/not rehired after leaving, I think he said some were demoted but I may be mistaken in my poor memory, another forum attendee may fill this in. I was able to verify the furlough, maybe a Howell local can verify the lay-offs; Bob says he went from ~280 workers to about 220 over the past few years. Bob seems to have (tried to) take on the unions, but with numbers like the ones I see, I’m not sure how successful he really was, in fairness, if what he says is true, then those numbers must have been even more painful before. Bob also “gets it” when it comes to how outrageous the wages and benefits are, like Serena, I’m not sure how successful our part-time/volunteer municipal officials can really be against professional union negotiators.

 

Peter answered next. In his town, the numbers are 14 of the top about 70 (they don’t have 100 employees there!) are police officers. Only 5 police officers make over $100K and the top earner makes $137K, the average is “only” $85K, close to the county household average at least. Number wise his town looks best, but in fairness to others, he is in the smallest town. In my opinion, Peter gave the least impressive response, but his honestly is noteworthy. Peter’s immediate reaction/response was essentially “we, the people of Atlantic Highlands, chose to have a safe community and that comes at a cost we accept”. Ouch. Peter seemed to defend the salaries/benefits as necessary in order to maintain and uphold the law. In my humble opinion, I fear that Peter deals with such large numbers on a daily basis in his work at Moodys that maybe $140K/yr or $176K/yr doesn’t seem like a “big number” to him. I don’t think Peter sees the cost of individual government workers as the problem I think it is, maybe you agree with Peter, maybe for once you agree with me.

 

Ryan answered last. In his town, the numbers are 57 of the top 100 income earners are police, 30 officers make over $100K/yr with the top earner at  $154K/yr and the average at $93K. Oddly enough, Ryan couldn’t go into too many details because it sounds like he is TheMan right now doing the negotiations in Manalapan. He seemed to indicate we may read about him in the APP for his bold efforts, I’d be curious to see/hear the details – I think it could be a huge draw for Ryan if he’s really make a drastic impact, and gets it done before the 14th. Ryan, despite working in a school, seems to also “get it” that public worker costs are too high. One thing I noted is that Ryan relied heavy on talking about shared services and how they would/could/should save money — but if the county worker pay isn’t reduced, then adding more county workers just means a larger county budget.

 

 

There was a question/statement made about the need for photo IDs for voters due to vote fraud in Asbury. The hard-liners might be mad at me, and the ACLU too, but part of me really agrees with her and the need for a photo ID to vote — I can’t even buy Spray Paint at Home Depot without a photo ID, or get a cell phone, or buy a beer or pack of cigs – seeing as voting is more important than all of those things — it makes sense to me, but I’m like a liberal or something now, you got it, so mind me.

 

There was a question asking what two items you’d really like to get done/what you’d focus on. It was the usual stock answers — cut spending, lower taxes, the nursing home program, etc. I don’t know that I recall hearing “address the waste at Brookdale”, “put Fort Monmouth to good use”, etc. For me the answers were non-spectacular/non-memorable. Maybe another event goer can help out here if they heard something noteworthy/memorable.

 

Then came the BEST question, by far, in my opinion, from Ocean Twp Club President and Committee Vice Chair Joe Hadden. His point/question was simple and, again, great. 4 years ago in 2008, Obama was at the top of the ticket and John Curley lost because of the top of the ticket — how are you the candidate going to raise the money, get your name and message out and compete with Obama?

 

Serena noted her connections to Meridian and it’s size/potential donor base. She also noted she’s a chair(?) of Bayshore Hospital and seemed VERY confident that she could raise a lot of money from “outside of the usual” sources. She also claims to have about 5000 doors in Holmdel and she claims to have knocked on those doors 5-6 times over the past few years. Sh did a great job giving the impression that she has the ground game, and the money, to run a good campaign.

 

Ryan implied “I know people” and “I’ve been elected a few times”. There were no specifics on exactly who and how he’d get the job done. As one of the younger guys, I’d have to guess he has more energy to go — and as a school worker, I assume he has at least the summer off to knock on doors.

 

Bob also implied “I know people” and noted he raised a lot of money for his mayor runs and spent a lot of his own money too. Bob, having run as an independent, must know how to organize and run a ground game, or pick the right people to help him — having run as an independent, his “team-work” ability to run with Curley, and then Arnone, is worth questioning in my opinion.

 

Peter essentially said “I have my team picked and ready to go on the 15th to win” He assures all Republicans win top to bottom in November. Again, no exact information who/how he’ll get it done, but he has confidence. I have to think via Moodys, he likely has some good potential donors.

 

There was also a question about Agenda 21. As expected, no Republican supports it or any other measure against private property rights.

 

Short on time — Christine then let me get a second question in — I noted that Freeholder Clifton is now Assemblyman Clifton and Freeholder Christie is now Governor — so seeing as this office may be a stepping stone to higher office — do you care to make a statement about your views on 2A rights, abortion and Gay Marriage.  Christine cut me off, because of time constraints, and asked me to pick one issue. None of the candidates are NRA members, all claim to support 2A rights. Bob Walsh says he’s coming to the shooting range with me one of these days — win or lose – I’m going to hold him to it, and if any other Republicans want to take a trip to the range, let me know/be my guest.

 

Getting to a conclusion — here are my Random Thoughts of the “problems” (as I see them) with each candidate:

 

Walsh’s problem, is mainly that he comes off as a bit of clown at times which I think turns people off easily at first glance and is an easy item to attack him on. When he tries to come across as a softy, he slows down his speech, looks down, it just seems phony at times. I also need more information on his actions over public workers as his town has the worst/highest police pay numbers, by far. Did he really do the things he claims and did any of things really stick/make a difference? The effort (if accurate) is note worthy regardless.

Serena’s problem, is that she allowed Walsh, multiple times, to overshadow her/interrupt her. She needs to be able to demonstrate that she can debate/argue her points with public workers who abuse the taxpayers and the system as a whole as well as battle Democrats come November — and not just have others talk louder/longer over her, taking on Bob would be good proof of an ability to take on those evil Ds. Other than that, I think she’d do just fine, and far better that say a Democrat like 33 and retired for life on the public dime after 4 short years of “work” State Police officer Bill Shey’s… not that I’m bitter/angry/jealous or anything that I (hopefully) have 40+ years of work left until I drop dead….

Doyle is out for me personally. He seems like a really smart, nice guy, who deals with large numbers on a daily basis. I don’t think he views or understands that $180K (base) for a police officer or $220K for a corrections officer is a high salary in a county where household (combined) average is $80K. He might be a financial wiz, but it’s the smaller costs that need to be addressed IMHO. Simple dopes like me think $180K/yr is a lot of money, I’m not convinced Peter finds $180K/yr to be “a large number”. And I understand that saying “you’re taking a 50% pay cut!” to a corrections officer is much easier said than done, but I do think any one of the others would at least THINK the numbers are absurd (Bob may say it); it doesn’t seem like cutting pay would cross Peter’s mind as he doesn’t seem to think $180K is a problem that needs to be addressed. I’d certainly appreciate being proven wrong here, and his town has numbers on his side, but his response seemed troubling to me, or maybe I mis-understood and another forum goer could give their impressions/understanding.

Green’s problem is also a personality issue, as well as that he is a public worker himself (social worker in a school). I don’t know how well he’d fit in with the other members of the board and that he is a beneficiary of the public employment system seems to imply that he isn’t likely to advocate for a paycut for himself/his fellow public workers, I could be wrong. Again, he gives the usual line “lets cut the nursing home!” but that’s an easy/obvious one, does he have the courage and ability to take on the bigger issues — the trustees at Brookdale, the Corrections officers, Judges? I think with more self-confidence in his delivery/approach, and if he can pull out a win over the PBA/public salaries in his town, he’d have a real strong run, unfortunately, I don’t know that the details of his work against public worker pay will be available/on his side before the 14th.

 

 

Of course, this is all just my opinion, my *quick* little notes after a lot of research and a few hours of listening. To answer your question, if I had to vote today, I might vote Bob Walsh while thinking “maybe I should have voted Serena” but today this is the best I could do. Since I don’t have to vote until the 14th, maybe I’ll see Serena again and she’ll really stand out and not allow herself to be overshadowed, and she would win me over, because she has a certain appeal/personality that I think fits in well/best on the board, as long as she can also stand alone. Or perhaps by the 14th, Ryan Green will have cut his public worker pay in half in which case there is no contest, he gets my vote, and i’ll donate significantly to campaign immediately.  

 

The caveat to all of this — Bob and Serena each have a few people backing them who I really like and whose opinions I really trust and value. It’s a testament to the great candidates and deep bench we have to choose from when good, hard working, like-minded Republicans, who really stand for the right things every time, are supporting different candidates. I really respect the input and opinions of these few key people, one side or the other is going to be disappointed, but in the end, I’m going to make my choice based on the little things I see and hear — and I offer all of this as something for you to consider, not to tell you who to vote for.

 

And as a final note, as a private sector guy who is fortunate to be able to decide who is hired and who is fired from his own staff, (ie: if I don’t think you’ll fit in, I don’t hire you) — I have to say, as always, that John, Tom, Gary and Lillian’s opinion of who THEY want to work with and who would work best with them is paramount. It helps none of us to force them to work with someone they don’t think they will like or be able to work with. Equally important, love him or be on the fence about him (because I don’t think anyone should hate him) Chairman Oxley’s opinion is valuable and important to consider as the Chairman is constantly working in this county and state and has eyes and ears all over with a great understanding of the people and issues.

 

In either case, don’t take my word for it — get to the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club’s event on the 13th (http://www.monmouthrepublican.org/calendar.asp#a511), meet the candidates, chew their ears off (not literally or they won’t be able to listen to our complaints later) and then make a smart, informed decision based on your own issues and concerns in Colt’s Neck on the 14th..

Posted: January 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Freeholder, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »

2012 Predictions

Serena DiMaso will be elected Monmouth County Freeholder at the Title 19 convention of the Monmouth GOP Committee on January 14.   Bob Walsh will withdraw during his speech before the convention.

Bill Spadea defeats Donna Simon and John Saccenti at a Title 19 convention of the 16th legislative district to fill the assembly seat vacated by the death of Peter Biondi.  After recounts and law suits, the November special election for the seat is declared a tie between Spadea and Democratic Princeton Committeewoman Sue Nemeth.  Another special election is scheduled for January of 2013.

Joe Oxley will be named Township Administrator and In House Attorney for Wall Township.  The appointment will forward a statewide trend of municipalities hiring either attorneys or engineers as their administrators as a cost saving measure.   Oxley is reelected GOP County Chairman by acclamation.  Senator Jennifer Beck will give the nominating speech.  Christine Hanlon will be Vice Chair.

Middletown will get a new Parks and Recreation Director.  It won’t be Linda Baum or Pam Brightbill.

Jim McGreevey is ordained an Episcopal priest.

Jon Corzine remembers where he put the $1.2 billion.

Senator Joe Kyrillos will be the GOP nominee for U.S. Senator, defeating Anna Little and Joseph Rudy Rullo in the primary. 

Congressman Steve Rothman defeats Congressman Bill Pascrell in the Democratic primary for the 9th Congressional District nomination.  In the only surprise of the primary, former Bergen County GOP Freeholder Anthony Cassano, who had agreed to take one for the team in the 9th, was defeated when the Bergen County Tea Party Group organized a write-in campaign for Anna Little.  Little was on the ballot as a U.S. Senate candidate.  Having lost the Senate nomination to Joe Kyrillos, Little accepts the nomination, asks Kyrillos to host a fundraiser for her, and promises to move into the district if she wins.   She doesn’t.

Maggie Moran defeats Vin Gopal and Frank “LaHornica” LaRocca in a close election for the Monmouth County Democratic Chairmanship.

James Hogan of Long Branch is the GOP nominee for Congress in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District.  Frank Pallone is reelected by 8%.

Jordan Rickards of North Brunswick  is the GOP nominee for Congress in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District.  Rush Holt is reelected by 15%.

On August 28, the second day of the Republican National Convention, the National Weather Service warns that Hurricane Chris is heading towards the Jersey Shore.  Acting Governor Kim Guadagno gets on TV and says, “Get the heck off of the beach please.”

Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee for President of the United States.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be the Vice Presidential nominee.

President Obama nominates Vice President Joe Biden to be Secretary of State.  Biden submits his resignation as VP effective upon both houses of congress confirming his successor.  President Obama nominates Hillary Clinton as Vice President.   Speaker of the House John Boehner refuses to schedule confirmation hearings for the VP nomination on the constitutional grounds that their is no vacancy in the office.   Obama makes them both recess appointments.  Clinton is nominated for VP at the Democratic National Convention and Secretary of State Biden spends October in China.

Despite losing their home states of Massachusetts and New Jersey, the Romney-Christie ticket wins the electoral college by one vote, 270-269.   The winning vote comes from Maine, one of two states that awards electoral votes by congressional district.  Romney-Christie lose Maine 3-1 but win the election.  Obama-Clinton file suit to challenge Maine’s method of awarding electoral votes.  Romney-Christie counter with a suit in Nebraska, which they won 4 electoral votes to 1, using the same arguments that Obama-Clinton use in Maine.  The U.S. Supreme Court decides both cases for the plaintiffs, 5-4, and determined that in all future presidential elections that electoral votes are awarded on a winner take all basis nationally.  Tea Party leader Dwight Kehoe calls for the impeachment of the Justices who voted affirmatively, claiming that they don’t understand the 10th Amendment.

Robert Menendez defeats Joe Kyrillos for U.S. Senate by 1%.

U. S. Senator Frank Lautenberg resigns.   In one of his last acts as Governor before ascending to the Vice Presidency, Chris Christie appoints Kyrillos to Lautenberg’s Senate seat.

What do you think will happen?

Posted: December 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2011 Year in review, 2012 Predictions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Let’s Name Names For That Freeholder Seat

By James Hogan

With the Monmouth County Republican Election Day Sweep **long** behind us it’s time to look forward to the next big race, and I don’t mean the Presidential election of 2012, I mean the race for the open Monmouth County Freeholder seat now that Rob Clifton is moving up to the State Assembly. It’ll be up the Monmouth County Republican Committee Members (and I bet there are quite a few who don’t even know it) to vote for his replacement and it seems the horse trading and whisper campaigns have already begun, in fact they seem to have started a while back as if Rob’s election to the Assembly was certain.

My usual disclaimer: Don’t expect to get insider information out of me. If I know, or think I know something, I’m sure its that I’m among the last to know and it’s only a repeat of information someone else passed on to me.

Here are the names I’ve heard or been told are considering seeking the seat, and some names that I’ll add to spread my own rumors and get the discussion going.

Bob Burlew of Keyport seems to be interested in the seat according to multiple people. I’d normally be glad to name my sources names here but the truth is that at least three different people mentioned this to me and I speak to a lot of people about a lot of different things so I don’t want to misquote anyone. I don’t know anything about Bob Burlew, but I have met Bob a few times, seems like a nice enough guy. Maybe my old pal, Keyport Mayor Bob McLeod, or some other Keyport reader/Bayshore guy can chime in with all of the positive things about Bob, you can keep any negatives to yourself, this should be a friendly contest, right? FWIW – Bob has a brother, Ed. Ed was one of the recent county elections that went to a recount. I must have ADD or something as that tid-bit is irrelevant, but i figured I’d pass it on so readers would be know.

Speaking of Bobs, it’s hard to overlook that Howell Mayor Bob Walsh, who dropped out of this year’s primary the morning of the nominating votes, ran the circuit with Gary and Lillian. There was not a candidate’s forum or fundraiser (that I attended) that I didn’t also see Bob Walsh. Either Bob is a good, dedicated Republican (like me!) or Bob (and I) wanted to remind folks he’s around and ready to serve as a Freeholder. For the record, I am not available or ready to serve as a Freeholder, but thanks for considering me! I appreciate your support but I’m going to have to turn you down, this time. Worth noting that Bob Walsh seems to have a friend in Jim Gianell from Red Bank and Jim seems to have a lot of solid connections, and more important, I’ve spoken to Jim enough to believe that Jim is another libertarian leaning/conservative Republican so I think if a like-minded guy is pushing Walsh, it’s because Walsh is probably on the same page too. I can confirm that Bob is a likable guy, his line is that Howell is 53,000 people and 63sq miles and everyone of them from end to end love him — his ego might be burst but I think he’s mistake, my parents who live in Howell would love him more if someone repaved Larabee Blvd at Alexander down near Rt547/9 where those Russian churches are, it’s pretty bad – I won’t drive my beater car down that road. However, of slightly more importance, and also noteworthy, Bob Walsh may or may not have the support of someone I’m pround and honored to refer to as my friend, Howell Chairman Uncle John Costigan, who seemed to be supporting Lucas earlier in the year.

Speaking of Lucas, Manalapan Republicans won control of the township there. Lucas could be interested in the open seat, and his town would do just fine already in Republican hands, but I suspect his Preserved Farm purchase with the Freeholder board and his effort to get to State Assembly over Clifton may eliminate support for Lucas, who since I know you all care about my opinion, seems to be a good person and as far as I know and can tell from the few candidate forums I’ve spoken to him at, a good Republican. His story about when his child was born makes me laugh – the punchline is “…looks just like you!”, HA! Ask him for his views and position on abortion and he’ll tell you the story; the answer is that he’s solidly pro-life.

Outside of the Bobs and Lucas, another name to consider might be former Freeholder candidate and re-elected Town Committeeman, Wall’s George Newberry. I was, and still am, a big fan of George. Sure, I’ll hear how he comes across as a boring guy (which I don’t think is accurate) who speaks a little slower than a John Curley or Tom Arnone, but I had the pleasure of talking to George enough to believe that George is involved for the right reasons, and those reasons are doing the right things for taxpayers. The claims were that George was Chairman Joe Oxley’s “pick” this year. Chairman Oxley never directly told me George was his choice, never seemed to push him over any one else and if George was his “pick”, then I think Joe was backing a solid candidate and I don’t see why Joe, as a voter and a Chairman, shouldn’t get a vocal say and be able to support a guy he likes, if Joe even likes him, how would I know? And don’t get me wrong, after getting to know Gary, I’ve come to love him and I think the committee as a whole got it right to nominate Gary over George this time, but with a seat open again, in my mind, George is a good fit and ready to serve, today, along side John, Tom, Lillian and Gary, should he be interested, and I think he was the second highest vote getter at the nominating convention so some other folks probably agree with me. Of course, the knowledge of the masses in the entire committee may find another Gary Rich or John Curley, and that could certainly trump George as a candidate.

Some other folks worth noting, Joe Irace of Oceanport is always a well liked and popular guy who is a good, solid Republican.

Ocean Township has a list of good, solid Republicans they could push, Joe Hadden being one of them, and with State Committee Woman Christine Hanlon and Mary Pat from his town, he’d seem to have some strong advocates. Plus I’d volunteer for Joe and, clearly, I’m a proven King Maker!

Neptune Township has a young, rising star Jim Frostick who has Don and Jeff Beekman on the ally list along with (I think) the Neptune regulars in Jim Granelli, Warren Lapp and maybe/hopefully Former Mayors Mike Golub and Tom Catley. In a case of full disclosure — I work in the private sector as a VP of IS for the company where Jim is VP of Sales. If you haven’t met Jim Frostick yet, I suggest you do – he’s very inteligent, and humble, and has an outstanding work ethic and ability to be reasonable and rational. He currently serves on the BOE in Neptune, and I think he’s capable of much bigger things.

Middletown has it’s own long list of good Republicans, currently elected or not, it could push. I don’t personally know them, but I’m sure Chairman Carton does and with a large, active committee, I’m sure they could do well.

I’d also like throw Mayor Mike himself, Mike Halfacre from Fair Haven, who backed out of a US Congress run last year, into the race for a Freeholder seat, except I won’t because I’ve met his wife and she might not be interested in having Mike be a Freeholder. Mike has done a GREAT job addressing property tax issues in his town, I’d bet he could do a great job for the county as well. I should disclose: I’ve been the shooting range with Mike, he’s a very, very pro-2A guy, a decent shot and a heck of a nice guy to be around, so maybe I’m biased. Mike has his own set of anonymous trolls that like to bad mouth him here on MMM, but those clowns aside, Mike certainly seems to be a qualified guy with the right track record for a Freeholder. Plus the trolls will likely go after Mike for issues that just don’t apply to a Freeholder, ignore the trolls.

And again, don’t take my word for anything or think I’m here to tell you exactly who is running as if these are the only contenders, nor am I telling you who to nominate and vote for, I’m just an Average No One taking names (of Freeholder Candidates) and kicking ass (because if Lillian can say “kick ass” then so can I!). I’m sure in the vast field of anonymous cowards, one of you knows of at least one more name to consider or has some more solid information to share.

Posted: November 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Freeholder, James Hogan | Tags: , | 14 Comments »

WHAT IF WE ASKED A PUBLIC QUESTION AND NOBODY CARED.

We recieved such a great response fron James Hogan’s last piece we are bringing you some more of his insights.

There is an election in less then one week, and no one seems to care.Voter turnout is expected to be low, Governor Christie has been rather silent in endorsing and pushing Republican candidates despite his popularity and successes and as sample ballots began to arrive, the few folks who didn’t just toss them in the trash have been trying to understand the public question.

The question as it appears on the ballot reads as follows:

Shall the amendment to Article IV, Section VII, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, agreed to by the Legislature, providing that it shall be lawful for the Legislature to authorize by law wagering at casinos or gambling houses in Atlantic City and at current or former running and harness horse racetracks on the results of professional, certain college, or amateur sport or athletic events, be approved?

The interpretive statement reads:

This constitutional amendment would authorize the Legislature to pass laws allowing sports wagering at Atlantic City casinos and at racetracks. Wagers could be placed on professional, certain college, or amateur sport or athletic events. However, wagers could not be placed on college games that take place in New Jersey or in which a New Jersey college team participates regardless of where the game takes place. A wager could be placed at a casino or racetrack either in-person or from any other location through an account wagering system that uses telephone, Internet or other means.

For once, the question itself seems rather simple and straight forward, I suspect most people who take the time to read it will answer Yes but I could be surprised..

Unfortunately, the real issues here don’t appear to be so simple, and a Yes, or a No, may or may not mean much. Having tried to do some research through my short contact list, it seemed impossible to get someone to answer what seemed like a few simple questions.  None of my contacts seemed to have the time to provide what may have been political science 101 crash course for me, one noted “it’s just not that simple”, another said “who cares about the public question?” and one told me “just vote Yes, but it won’t matter”. Two different sources provided me with a link to this wiki page (http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/New_Jersey_Sports_Betting_Amendment,_Public_Question_1_(2011)) that seemed to explain the issue a little better.

Based on the information I was able to get from my short list of contacts, and the wiki page, it seems to come down to:

Yes — NJ gets to spend time and money fighting a court battle, likely all of the way up to the Supreme Court, and then if and when a federal restriction is lifted, then the state Legislature can write a bill and change the state law. Essentially a Yes next Tuesday means maybe some year much later in my expected lifetime, we’ll have a debate and vote in Trenton to legalize sports betting.

No — NJ continues on like all but 4 other states where sports betting is legal. Maybe or maybe not related: Nevada, one of the states where sports betting is legal, has the nation’s highest unemployment level at 13.4%. The other states, Montana, Oregon and Delaware have unemployment rates of 7.7%, 9.6% and 8.1% respectively compared to NJ’s 9.2% so I doubt that sports betting solves the slow economy problem and I suspect No votes would be more of a protest vote against a less than important issue for most struggling taxpayers.

Also worth noting, a Yes or a No for sports betting has nothing at all to do with the issue of VLTs at Monmouth Park or the Meadowlands, it would just make betting on sports games legal, after that federal law changes, if it changes. It seems a bit disingenuous for the state Legislature to be giving the appearance of working so hard to bring gambling tourism money into the state through sports betting when it can’t even get legislation that would bring  gambling tourism money into the state through VLTs and slots at our own racetracks on the floor and up for a vote. With that, it’s easy for me to understand why voters are angry or apathetic, and planning to stay home.

Posted: November 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

Hogan Strikes a Nerve

PBA #314 President Joe Tuohy has jumped into the fray over the PBA charges against Assemblyman Dave Rible over at Jim Hogan’s blog.

Tuohy disputes some of the figures Jim used in his post and says he supports the PBA action against Rible.

Police unions complaining like this is really unseemly.  Even with the recent reforms, New Jersey police officers have an extremely enviable deal. 

I admit…I’m envious!   A high school buddy of mine retired from a NJ police force a little over a year ago.  His take home pay from his pension is $20 per month less than he was taking home when he was going to work every day!  I wish I had a deal like that at 52 years old.  If my friend lives to be 82 he’ll collect over $2.5 million.  That doesn’t count the cost of his health care.

Even with the recent reforms, I’m concerned about the economic sustainability of such a system.

Worse, we’re laying off police officers in high crime areas while we are paying able bodied men and women not to “protect and serve.”   That is why, “people are going to die,” as Senate President Steve Sweeney said.  They’re not going to die because of Governor Christie’s budget cuts.

Posted: July 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: PBA, Pensions | Tags: , , | 35 Comments »

James Hogan Might Seek the Dem Nomination Against Sean Kean

James Hogan is considering switching parties in order to compete for the Democratic nomination for State Senator so he can run against Sean Kean in the general election.  

Do the Democrats even have another candidate?

Hogan expressed his intentions in a letter to Democratic Chairman Vic Scudiery, which is also posted on his blog.

Posted: April 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: James Hogan, Sean Kean | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »