Sweeney Uses Gay Slang To Denouce New Democratic State Chairman

NJ Media trips over itself to give the Senate President cover

Photo credit: nomblog.com

Photo credit: nomblog.com

Senate President Steve Sweeney referred to Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, Barbara Buono’s choice to be the new Democratic State Chairman, as “Cryan’s beard” yesterday while condemning the choice as divisive.  Buono is the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee.  By tradition the gubernatorial nominee of both parties chooses the state chairman of the party. Cryan is former Democratic State Chairman, Assemblyman Joe Cryan.

“Beard” is a slang term for a person, most often a woman, who is used, knowingly or unknowingly, as a date or spouse to conceal their ‘partner’s’ homosexuality.

Can you imagine the media outcry if Governor Chris Christie or another prominent Republican denounced an advisory as a beard?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Barbara Buono, Garden State Equality, Gay Marriage, Gender Equality, NJ Democrats, NJ Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The sin of Joe Cryan’s tawdry emails

In a column posted on NJ.com yesterday,  Where is the sin in Cryan’s tawdry sex e-mails?, Star Ledger Editorial Board Editor Tom Moran argues that “the sin” is the “outrageous breach of privacy” that Cryan suffered as a result of the leaked emails.

Yes, Cryan, a Democrat from Union County, had sex with a lobbyist and tried to hide that fact for years. But we are talking about two consenting adults, neither of them married at the time. Where is the crime against humanity?

Anything goes if you’re an unmarried consenting adult and everything apparently did between Cryan and Karen Golding.  But what does it say about New Jersey that texting while driving is a crime, but fellatio while driving is not a sin?

We’ve evolved as a culture to the point that sexual acts are no longer sins or crimes, unless they involve children, money exchanging hands or the violation of a marriage vow or vow of celibacy.

Golding says that Cryan emailed her pornographic pictures from his government owned computers, but that is apparently OK, because, unlike his former office mate, former Assemblyman Neil Cohen, the pictures did not depict children.

Moran should have read beyond the tawdry emails. Golding provides evidence of possible perjury, abuse of power, judicial misconduct, and official misconduct by several in the Union County/Trenton government machine.  There is no apparent effort to investigate or prosecute these alleged crimes, but there is an announced investigation into who leaked the emails.

Evidently Cyran’s pride and privacy are more of a government priority than his actually working while on the government payroll as a Union County Under Sheriff or a State Legislator.

Cryan’s personal emailing activity from his government issue computers raises the question of how much political activity is done from those computers.  How much of his “work” as Democratric State Chairman was done while on the Union County Sheriff Office’s dime?  New Jersey residents deserve more investigating of Cryan and his protectors than Bob Ingle asking, “Where does he find the time?”

Don’t say, “Everybody does it” as a defense for using government equipment and offices to do personal and/or political business.  Everybody doesn’t do it.   I talk to many elected officials who won’t take my calls in their offices just in case the subject becomes political.  They call back from their personal cell or home phones.  Or they won’t meet me at their office, but at a restaurant accross the street.

Posted: March 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Joe Cryan | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Prosecutor to investigate leak of Cryan’s emails

Barnes & Noble Nook photo

Barnes & Noble Nook photo

Sussex County First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller is launching an investigation into how the New York Post received copies of the salacious email exchages between Assemblyman Joe Cryan and former Corzine staffer Karen Golding, according to a report on NJ.com.  Mueller told the Star Ledger that the emails were sealed by Court Order.

The initial NYPost report said the emails were dropped at a reporter’s doorstep.  The story has since been updated, omitting that information.

Who is going to investigate Cryan using government computers to describe his erections?

Posted: March 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Crime and Punishment, Joe Cryan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

20 Prominent Democrats Endorse LaRocca for Monmouth Democratic Chair

Twenty prominent Democrats, including former State Democratic Chairman, Assemblyman Joe Cryan, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, and Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider have endorsed Marlboro Council President Frank LaRocca for Monmouth County Democratic Chairman.

In their endorsement letter the Democratic leaders said that LaRocca has the qualities necessary to be a successful Chairman “in abundance”

  1. Unmatched history of fundraising at the local level having raised over $500,000 in three election cycles for municipal elections.
  2. Commitment to ALL Monmouth County Democrats. Frank has hosted fundraisers, provided headshots and lawn signs, and offered strategic advice for all candidates up and down the ballot.
  3. Proven winner, having won 8 or 9 seats in Marlboro, including 2 of 3 Republican seats during the Christie campaign.
  4. Energized and empowered an over 1,200 member youth council creating a culture of community and civic responsibility in Monmouth County teens.
  5. Accomplished and respected professional, recognised as being a Top 100 lawyer in New Jersey by his peers five (5) years in a row.

The endorsement letter can be downloaded here.

The Monmouth County Democrats will elect a new Chairman Tuesday evening, 6PM to 9PM, at the Shore Casino in Atlantic Highlands.  The candidates are LaRocca and Long Branch businessman/publisher Vin Gopal.

Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Suddenly Somebody Cares About LD 13

New Jersey Democrats are suddenly taking an interest in the 13th legislative district according to a normally reliable source familiar with the state wide campaign.

Word is that U.S. Senator Bob Menendezis feeling a bit vulnerable with his weak showing in the FDU poll  released this morning and with the possibility that Governor Chris Christie could be the Presidential candidate next year when  needs Obama coattails to get reelected.  He wants the Monmouth Democrats to rough up Senator Joe Kyrillos and make him spend some money.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan want to take a run at Declan O’Scanlon, if not to beat him this time, to at least weaken him for a future contest against Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornick.  Cryan will be in the district raising money twice in the next two weeks.

Unless I’ve been fed misinformation, which usually doesn’t start until the last two weeks of the campaign, expect 2 or 3 negative mailers on behalf of the 13th district Democrats.

Posted: September 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Declan O'Scanlon, Joe Cryan, Joe Kyrillos, Robert Menendez | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

What if we held an election and nobody cared? Part 2, 13th Legislative District

Prelude from Part 1:

In seven weeks New Jersey voters will have the opportunity to elect an entirely new state legislature.

Patrick Murray’s Monmouth University/Neptune Nudniks poll conducted in August indicates that New Jersey voters disapprove of their legislature by a 48%-35% margin.  Democrats disapprove by 45%-38%.  Independents, the majority, disapprove by a whopping 50%-28%.  Surprisingly, Republicans approve of the legislature by a 45%-41% margin.  Public workers disapprove by 55%-26%.

Based solely on those poll results, one might expect that we’d be in the middle of a spirited campaign with Democrats and public workers rallying to throw the Republicans out of office.  Obviously that is not the case.  Democrats control the legislature that their base and Independents disapprove of strongly.

Due to Dr. Alan Rosenthal’s decision that New Jersey voters are better off being continuously represented by legislators they don’t know, there are only a handful of competitive legislative races.  The Democrats will continue to control the legislature for the next two years.  Probably the next ten years.

13th Legislative District

This district keeps the Bayshore towns of Aberdeen, Hazlet, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Middletown, and Union Beach from the old 13th, adds Atlantic Higlands, Highlands, Monmouth Beach,  Rumson and Sea Bright from the old 11th and Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport, Marlboro from the old 12th.

The Republican incumbents are Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. O’Scanlon previously represented the old 12th.

On paper this should be a competitive district.  Democrats actually have a voter registration edge.  According to Labels and Lists Inc there are 34,193 registered Democrats, 33,758 registered Republicans and 74,492 unaffiliated (Independent) voters in the district.

Despite the slight registration edge for Democrats, the district generally votes Republican.  John McCain won the district in 2008, Chris Christie beat Jon Corzine here by a wide margin, and Anna Little beat Frank Pallone here in 2010.

Of the 16 municipalities in the 13th, 9 of the are comfortably controlled by Republicans. 6 are competitive towns with a local governing body that shifts from R to D on occasion.   Aberdeen is the only reliably Democratic town on the municpal level.

With 31% of the registered voters in the district, Middletown dominates.  Even though their registration edge is less than 2000 voters, Republicans dominate Middletown.  Middletown voters love their hometown office holders, Joe Kyrillos and Amy Handlin who they have elected time after time over the last two decades plus; Kyrillos served two terms in the Assembly from 1988 through 1991 and has been a Senator since 1992.  Handlin was a Monmouth County Freeholder from 1990 through 2006 when she entered the Assembly.

Roughly 73% of the district is new for O’Scanlon.  Yet, that 27% from his old district, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport and Marlboro knows O’Scanlon well.  They elected him to two terms in the Assembly after he lost to Michael Panter by only 73 votes in 2005.

The Democrats are running two former Hazlet mayors and a former Middletown township committee member. 

Christopher Cullen is the former Hazlet Mayor challenging Kyrillos for Senate.  Cullen, who served one term on the Hazlet Township Committee, won the nomination for Senate as a write-in candidate in the primary after failing to submit his petitions after being tabbed at the nominating convention in the spring.  He is the director of facilities maintenance and custodial services at MAST High School.  He is a member of Operating Engineers Local 68 and was previously a member of the teamsters.

Hazlet’s Community Center is named for Cullen’s father, James J. Cullen, who served the community for many years as a Republican office holder.

Both Democratic Assembly candidates won their first municipal elections in the wake of Operation Bid Rig.  Lavan was elected to the Hazlet Township Committee in 2005 and served through 2010 when he lost his reelection bid.  Like Cullen, his union roots are deep.  He has been a member of the International Longshoreman’s Association for 46 years.  He is making his support of unions, and the Right to Work legislation that Handlin and O’Scanlon have sponsored, the center piece of his campaign.

Short, a former Republican and a West Point graduate was the first Democrat elected to the Middletown Township Committee in 2006 in the wake of Bid Rig. He was swept out of office with Jon Corzine in 2009 as Chris Christie and the GOP swept Middletownoverwhelmingly.  Short was ambivalent about seeking a second term, but ultimately ignored MMM’s advise that he take the plaque.

Based on the early inactivity of the campaign, I was wondering if the feisty Constitution Party slate of Steve Boracchia for Senate, Bill Lawton and Frank Cottone might actually garner more votes than the Democrats in this race.  However, a volunteer from the Democratic campaign reached out to me to optimistic declare that the Democrats will produce a shocking victory on election day.  The volunteer said that Cullen, Lavan and Short are going in 20 different directions knocking on doors and that they are marshalling their scare resources for a last minute sprint into office.

While the 13th districts candidates don’t have the state Democratic support that the 11th district candidates have enjoyed….a paid staff and high profile fund raisers hosted by Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Senate President Stephen Sweeney…the volunteer said that the campaign is expecting an influx of union money and that Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan is coming to the district next week to raise money for the slate.

Posted: September 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Christie and Oliver at odds over leaked tape of secret speech

All the New Jersey media is abuzz over the leaked audio and transcript of a talk that Governor Chris Christie delivered to a secret meeting of GOP mega-donors organized by the Koch brothers in Colorado on June 26.  The meeting was so secret that Christie did not disclose to the press, as is customary, that he was leaving the state and transferring power to the Lt. Governor.

What has everyone in a tizzy is a story that Christie told the group about how he saved Sheila Oliver’s speakership during the landmark pension and benefit bill negotiations:

And Thursday night it came time for the Assembly. And they started to caucus at 11:00 in the morning. They were supposed to start voting at 1:00. It got to be 5:30 and they were still in the caucus room. And the reports I was getting out of there were not positive about what was going on to my friend the Speaker. She was takin’ a beating at the hands of her own party. At 5:30 she called me and she said to me, “Governor, I don’t know how this is going to play out, but I’m going to, I want to post the bill but I think when I go on the floor, my own party’s going to take a run at me to remove me as Speaker. So I can’t post the bill.” She said, “I think the only way I survive is if the 33 Republicans in the chamber will agree to vote for me for Speaker. Can you work it out?” [scattered laughter] So I said, “Give me five minutes.” [laughter]

So I went down to the Republican Assembly caucus room. I stood at the front of the room and I said, “Ladies and gentleman, it’s a historic day today. You’re going to get an opportunity to cast two historic votes.” [laughter] “The first one, of course, is about pension and benefit reform and I know that everybody in this room supports it. The second one is a little more unusual.” [laughter] I said, “Probably for the only time in my governorship I’m going to actually ask you to vote for a Democrat. I said Sheila Oliver is under siege. And she wants to do the right thing. And we cannot be slaves to party or partisanship. She is right on this issue and she is with us on this issue. So if they take a run at her on the floor, I need all of you to vote for her for Speaker.” I had these men and women look back at me like, “What?” [scattered laughter] And I said to ’em, “We were sent here to lead. Not to preen and posture, posture and pose. To lead. A public office to lead. We need to do this. So raise your hands. Are you with me or aren’t you?” All 33 of them raised their hands and said they were with me.

And so I went back to my office, I got on the phone and I called the Speaker, and I said, “You just got 33 new votes.” And she said, “Well, you just got yourself a bill.” And she went on the floor, she led the debate, another two and a half hours of debate. They never took a run at her. It was the Minority Leader who suddenly went over to the Majority Leader of the Assembly, it was the guy who was gonna take a run at her, and said, “By the way, we’ve got her back, so don’t try it.” [very scattered chuckles] They didn’t. They opened up the board, they cast the votes, by then 46 to 32, with 33 Republicans and 13 Democrats, we passed health and pension reform that will save the taxpayers of New Jersey over the next 30 years at least 132 billion dollars. [audience: “wows”, whistles, applause]

When I get back to New Jersey tomorrow morning, we will sign the bill on Tuesday and make it law and it will become effective July 1st. And that’s what we were sent to do to govern.

At a press conference in Atlantic City today, Christie confirmed he delivered the speech and he issued a correction.  He said there were 32 in Assembly members in the Republican caucus room, not 33 as he said in Colorado.  The Star Ledger quotes Christie today saying he was “proud” that he helped protect Oliver’s speakership.  He said that the story shows that “Republicans put policy over politics,” according to the Ledger.

Oliver said Christie “is deranged” :

“The assertions that Gov. Christie has made, they are outright lies. Outright lies. I am beginning to wonder if Gov. Christie is mentally deranged,” Oliver said. “At no time did I ever, ever pick up the telephone, call Gov. Christie and ask him to quote ‘save my leadership.’ ” The governor was engaged in a chest-thumping vaudeville entertainment session in front of the Republican donors, she said. “I don’t expect to call him at all,” she said. “I think it’s disgraceful.”

Now the Democratic leaders of both houses of the New Jersey legislature have called Christie a liar. In January Senate President Stephen Sweeney refuted Christie’s claim that he was in direct contact with Sweeney during the December blizzard while Sweeney was Acting Governor.

Sweeney famously called Christie a “rotten prick” in July after Christie used the line item veto to balance the budget.  Today Oliver called Christie “mentally deranged.”    Christie calls these people his friends.

Multiple people who were in the Republican caucus room spoke to MMM on the condition of anonymity.  They confirmed Christie’s version of the story, sort of.  Let’s just say that while 32 hands went up, not all of them had five fingers raised.

The caucus knew that Oliver was under siege.  They expected Majority Leader Joe Cryan to try to replace her in order to prevent the pension and benefits reform bill from being posted.

No one could confirm Christie’s account of Minority Leader Alex DeCroce going over to Cryan and telling him, “By the way, we’ve got her back, so don’t try it.”   If it happened, it may have been a bluff.

Several of the more conservative members of the caucus were very concerned about casting a vote for Oliver as speaker.  “Such a vote will follow me for the rest of my career, if I have a career,” one Assembly member said, according to a source who was in the room.

“There are two factions if the Republican caucus,” said the source, “those who are concerned about primary challenges from Tea Partiers and those from the more moderate districts who are concerned about winning the general election.  The conservatives were worried about having to vote for Oliver.”

There is some truth to Oliver’s carefully worded response to the leaked tapes.  Christie’s speech was entertainment.  As Assemlbyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) told the Ledger, this was “a red meat speech.”

As those who have followed Christie on the stump know, the Governor is a great story teller, in the tradition of great Irish story tellers.  

Great stories and tales get better every time they are told by a master. While the underlying truth remains, the details get embellished and the story gets “better.”  It makes a point better, is more moving or entertaining.  Anyone who has attended three or more of Christie’s town hall meetings knows Christie is a great story teller.

Posted: September 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Alex DeCroce, Chris Christie, Joe Cryan, NJ Media, NJ State Legislature, Sheila Oliver | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »