Professional pollsters call the tactic “unethical” and “fraudulent”
Senator Cory Booker and freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo have deployed a campaign tactic dubbed “unethical” and “fraudulent” by the American Association of Public Opinion Research. photo via facebook
The Democratic Party is deploying a controversial campaign tactic known as “Push Polling” in Monmouth County on behalf of Senator Cory Booker and their county freeholder candidates. MMM has received reports of such calls being delivered to unsuspecting voters in Shrewsbury, Neptune and Manalapan.
The automated calls, which do not disclose who they are being made on behalf of or who is paying for them, purport to be opinion surveys. If the voter responds that they favor Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jeff Bell rather than Booker, they are subject to a series of “If you knew” questions that distort Bell’s record and lie about his positions.
If the voter responds that they intend to vote for Monmouth County Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich for reelection, the are subject to “If you knew” questions that accuse the incumbents of unethical hiring practices, dirty dealing on Open Space acquisitions and criticizing the length of their public service in various municipal and county offices.
The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) defines a “push poll” as a form of negative campaigning that is disguised as a political poll. “Push polls” are actually political telemarketing – telephone calls disguised as research that aim to persuade large numbers of voters and affect election outcomes, rather than measure opinions.
The call made into Manalapan was made from 732-479-4554. That number is answered by a recording that says “The number you have called is the voice mail box for our polling services. You received a call from us because you were randomly selected to participate in one of our research surveys.” “Push poll” calls are not polls or research surveys. The numbers called are not randomly selected.
The Local Finance Board, the entity within the Department of Community Affairs which oversees the ethics of local officials, has ruled that two Jackson Township councilmen did not violate State Ethics or Campaign Finance Laws when they voted to appoint their former campaign manger a job on the Jackson Municipal Utilities Authority, according to a report on Shore News Network.
Cara Glory was the 2012 campaign manager for Councilmen Barry Calogero and Robert Nixon. On January 6, 2014 Calogero, Nixon join the rest of the Jackson governing body in unanimously voting to approve Glory’s appointment to the MUA. Unidentified Jackson residents filed ethics charges with the Local Fiance Board.
The charges were deemed frivolous by Board Chairmen Thomas Neff, according to the Shore News Network report.
“Following preliminary investigation and evaluation of the facts and circumstances relevant to the complaints and upon consideration of the foregoing provisions of Local Government Ethics Law, the Local Finance Board voted to dismiss the complaints as having no reasonable factual basis.”
The state reiterated their stance, adding, “The relationship between an elected officeholder and a campaign deputy treasurer or campaign manager is simply not one, in and of itself, which poses a conflict.”
The charges against the councilmen were dismissed and Glory’s appointment remained as-is.
The issue is of significance in Monmouth County as Democratic freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo attempt to portray themselves and paragons of virtue in the campaign against Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich.
Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate Larry Luttrell partying with a model and squinting like Frank Pallone in Atlantic City in February, 2013. facebook photo
If you’re a Monmouth County Democrat thinking about a career in government, working on Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo’s freeholder campaign could be hazardous to your ambitions.
Luttrell and Grillo told the Asbury Park Press that the fact that Freeholder Director Lillian Burry’s 2011 campaign treasurer, Bill Bucco, was given a raise and a promotion after three years in a county administrative job where he streamlined operations and found $200,000 in revenue due the county that was never collected is “politics at its worst.”
I must have missed their press release condemning Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s new job as a “consultant” with ties to South Jersey Democratic Boss George Norcross, which Preito somehow manages to do while collecting six figures from his three government jobs.
Booker has had much better nights in Hollywood and on Twitter than he had last night in the county he lost by 10,000 votes last year to former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan.
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal confirmed the take and said he was happy with it.
Democratic Freeholder candidate Larry Luttrell was excited in his remarks at the Wall Township home of Gary Faraci, the Wall Democrats only nominee for three Township Committee seats this fall.
“This is different. This isn’t like any other year. This year is special. We have a rock star on top of the ticket,” said Luttrell, of Holmdel, an attorney, as he pointed to Booker. “He’s here to help us, and that means a lot. We’re going to out work them, we’re going to out raise them, and we’re going to make it happen.”
Devoid of ideas of how to improve Monmouth County’s government and running on so called “issues” that have failed in the last few campaigns, the Monmouth County Democratic Freeholder candidates, Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo are apparently hoping they can win in November by mimicking Congressman Frank Pallone’s odd facial expressions. Even their campaign volunteers are doing it.
Luttrell and Grillo have been handing out literature that blame Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich for the misdeeds of Peter Burnham at Brookdale Community College and Andrew Lucas’s alleged misdeeds in the the sale of development rights to a farm that he owns to the farmland preservation program.
In a column in the current issue of the triCityNews, Freeholder Director Lillian Burry said that one of her opponents in the coming election was right when he accused Burry of not supporting “agricultural and farmland preservation in “coastal” towns. “It’s for the same reason I don’t support beach replenishment in Upper Freehold and Millstone. There aren’t any beaches there, just as there aren’t a lot of farms in Red Bank or Long Branch or Asbury Park.”
Burry points out that there in only one parcel in the region qualified for the farmland preservation program, in Long Branch, and that the owner of the property has not applied to sell the development rights to the program which is funded by municipal, county and state dollars.
At issue is beachfront property at the north end of Asbury Park that is slated for residential development. There is some vocal opposition to the proposed development and Democratic Freeholder candidate Joe Grillo is trying to jump on that band wagon to get traction in his fledgling campaign against Burry and Deputy Freeholder Director Gary Rich.
Senator Cory Booker is lending his star power and fund raising prowess to the Democratic Freeholder candidates who are looking to unseat Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich in November.
Booker is headlining a July 25 fundraiser for Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo at the Wall Township home of Gary and Linda Faraci.
For the fourth straight year, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted a county budget with no tax increase.
At their meeting April 10 meeting the Freeholder Board, comprised of 5 Republicans, adopted $480.9 million budget, a $100,000 spending reduction from last year’s budget. The amount raised through property taxes is $302,475,000, the same amount raised every year since 2010.
“It is a challenge every year to try to cut spending without impacting the level of services our taxpayers have come to expect,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “This process is not something that is done in haste. This budget reflects the months of work that has gotten us to a flat tax rate for the fourth year in a row.”
“This year, an internal budget subcommittee met with each department to look for duplicative services and identify areas for consolidation and savings,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., liaison to the Finance Department. “This process has yielded savings in the areas of information technology, finance, human resources, building maintenance and legal services.”
Monmouth County relies less on taxes than most other New Jersey counties. As a percentage of the overall budget, Monmouth County’s taxes comprise 62 percent of the total budget, historically behind Union, Hudson and Essex counties.
“The department heads deserve a lot of credit for their hard work in paring down the budget,” said Rich. “This is the fifth year in which we asked for concessions from the departments and, as a result, this is the fourth year in which the tax levy has remained the same.”
….there were no surprises out of the IBEW Local 400 Union Hall in Wall this morning.
Senator Cory Booker was endorsed for the nomination to seek his first full term in the U.S. Senate.
Congressman Frank Pallone was nominated for his 14th term in the House of Representatives.
In the 4th congressional district, criminal defense attorney Ruben Scolavino has agreed to take another one for the Democratic team. Scolavino lost to Sheriff Shaun Golden, 64%-36% last year. He will likely face a worse fate against Congressman Chris Smith who running for his 18th term. Scolavino is probably angling for a Judgeship.
For Monmouth County Freeholder, Larry Luttrell, a Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso in 2013, hopes to do better this year against Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich who were renominated by the Monmouth GOP this morning. Joining Luttrell on the County Democratic ticket for freeholder is Joe Grillo of Asbury Park. Grillo is making his first run at elected office. He is the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats, the former executive director of the Monmouth Dems, and works for his family’s tile business.
CD-4 Candidate Ruben Scolavino, Larry Luttrell, Senator Cory Booker, Joe Grillo, Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ Democratic Chairman John Currie and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal. Photo via Pallone’s facebook page.