Graphic by Robert Hazelrigg. Click on photo for RobertHazelrigg.com
Prominent New Jersey Republicans seem to finally be moving out of Governor Chris Christie’s shadow.
This afternoon The Star Ledgerreported that Monmouth County State Senator Joe Kyrillos was among the 15 or so New Jersey Republicans who met with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a top rival of Christie’s for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, last week at a dinner hosted by Lawrence E. Bathgate. Bathgate, an Ocean County attorney, is one of the top Republican fundraisers in the nation. Also attending the dinner held at the Union Club in Manhattan was Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr, according to The Record’s Charles Stile, who first reported the event.
Such potential defections from the Christie camp were unthinkable just 15 months ago. Christie’s attempt at ousting Kean as Senate Minority Leader immediately following his 2013 re-election, and the resulting fallout as Kean, Jr’s father, the former Governor, went national in criticizing Christie can explain the younger Kean’s flirtation with the Bush campaign.
But Kyrillos being anything other than solidly in Christie’s corner is big news. Their relationship was personal before it was political. Christie introduced Kyrillos to his wife Susan. He swore Christie into his first elected office, Morris County Freeholder. Kyrillos was the Chairman of the Christie for Governor campaign in 2009.
Texas Gov Rich Perry and Dwayne Horner. Oct 2014 via facebook
Dwayne Horner, campaign manager for Leigh-Anne Bellew’s 2013 Bayshore Tea Party backed primary campaign against State Senator Joe Kyrillos, received an early Christmas present earlier this month when he was admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program.
The 45 year old resident of Little Elm, Texas woke up thousands of Monmouth County voters with a 4 am robo call on June 4, 2013 the morning of the primary election. The call purported to be from the campaign of Kyrillos and his running mates Assembly members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon, informing Repbulican voters that the still had four hours to vote. The calls were caller ID spoofed to falsely indicate that they came from a phone number owned by the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
New Jersey Governor Christie on Friday signed a revised sports betting bill, and Monmouth Park officials almost simultaneously said they would offer betting on National Football League games at the horse track on Oct. 26. “The Governor’s signature on S2460 earlier today is a wire-to-wire winner for horse racing, the gaming industry and the people of… Read the rest of this entry »
Dwayne Horner of Little Elm Texas was arraigned in Monmouth County Superior Court on Identity Theft Charges stemming from a 4am robo call purported to be made on behalf of State Senator Joe Kyrillos, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin in the early morning of the primary election in the 13th legislative district on June 4, 2013.
Horner was the campaign manager for Leigh-Anne Bellew, Kyrillos’s challenger in the Republican primary.
The political landscape in New Jersey is ripe for a historic shift this November. But a shift in New Jersey’s representation in Washington is not likely to happen because the New Jersey Republican Party is wholly unprepared for the opportunity. The nincompoops who lead the NJGOP gave up on the U.S. Senate race in January. They gave up on picking up seats in the Congressional Delegation in 2012 when the new congressional map was drawn.
According to a Fairleigh Dickinson Univeristy Public Mind Poll released this morning, President Barack Obama’s approval rating among New Jersey registered voters is a dismal 36%. 49%, including 21% of Democrats and 45% of Independents, disapprove of the President’s job performance. Senator Cory Booker is 8 points below the magic number of 50% that an incumbent needs to be comfortable in a reelection race. Those are the kind of numbers any opposition party/candidate would pray for 8 weeks before an election.
Dwayne Horner of Little Elm, Texas was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury yesterday. Horner was the campaign manager for Leigh-Ann Bellew of Union Beach in the 2013 Republican Primary challenge to State Senator Joe Kyrillos.
At 4am on June 4, 2013, Republican voters in the 13th legislative district of New Jersey were awakened by a robo call purporting to be from the campaign of Kyrillos and his running mates, Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. The caller, allegedly Horner, said they were reminding voters that they still had four hours to get to the polls, as if the call was being make at 4pm.
A recording of the call can be heard here. Horner’s voice can be heard on the voice mail greeting of the Bellew campaign here.
The indictment charges that Horner impersonated another person or organization for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or for the purpose of injuring or defrauding another. The fourth degree crime has a potential sentence of 18 months in state prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
MMM could not find a current phone number for Horner. Bellew could not be reached for comment.
O’Scanlon said,“I’m glad to see that this matter was taken seriously and did not slip through the cracks. Those who would play these types of desperate games during campaigns need to know that there are consequences and they will be mete. It is hard enough to get eligible candidates interested in running without the threat of these juvenile type pranks. This indictment will hopefully be a message to anyone who would attempt it in the future – grow up.”
MMM has learned that at least one individual was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury today in the investigation into the 4am robocall that occurred on the morning of the 2013 Republican Primary in the 13th legislative district on June 4, 2013. The 13th, represented by Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon, is compromised of Middletown, Marlboro, the Bayshore and the Two Rivers area of Monmouth County.
The call, a recording of which can be heard here, was purported to be on behalf of the incumbents Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon. The caller said that he was reminding voters that they had four hours to get to the polls, as if the call was made at 4pm instead of 4am. The callers voice sounds very much like the recorded voice of the person on the Leigh-Ann Bellew for Senate’s voice mail greeting. That recording can be heard here. Bellew was Kyrillos’s opponent in the primary.
MMM was told that fourth degree identity theft was the charged the grand jury delivered. Fourth degree identity theft is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Charles Webster said he had not yet received a copy of the indictment and that he would provide it promptly upon receiving it from the prosecutor.
Nobody ever felt sorry for a millionaire. At least that’s the principle some Democrats in Trenton are banking on as they resurrect former Gov. Jon Corzine’s “millionaires tax” to close the expected budget gap for fiscal 2015. Proponents of this tax increase promise it will hit only the wealthy, but in fact, poor and middle-class families will ultimately shoulder the burden.
Of course, the term “millionaires tax” is a misnomer. New Jersey already taxes the income of millionaires at one of the highest rates in the nation — higher than 44 other states do. The so-called millionaires tax is just an expired tax increase that raises New Jersey’s top tax rate to about 11 percent, the third-highest in the United States.
Proponents of the millionaires tax imagine that the only reason people could oppose this tax hike is that they’re worried New Jersey’s well-to-do will run low on caviar if it’s passed.
Actually, what we’re worried about is the impact on New Jersey’s working families.
As it turns out, millionaires don’t like paying high taxes any more than the rest of us do. But unlike most of us, they can easily move out of New Jersey to avoid new tax hikes. For many, changing their tax residence is as simple as spending a few more weeks a year at their vacation home in Florida. They can keep a house in New Jersey to spend time with the grandkids, live for six months and one day in the Florida home, and voilà, they are Florida residents who no longer owe a dime in New Jersey taxes. As a bonus, their children will escape paying New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation estate tax.
It’s little wonder that in 2010, the last year we had the old Corzine millionaires tax on the books, 88,000 individuals left New Jersey, taking with them a total annual income of $5.5 billion.
The millionaires tax could be more aptly named the “Goodbye New Jersey Tax.”
A JUNE 10 California court ruling that teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional and violate students’ rights to quality education signals the need for further education reforms in New Jersey and other states across the country.
New Jersey was the first state to pass tenure legislation more than 100 years ago, and despite bipartisan reforms enacted two years ago, many antiquated state education laws still persist.
In 2012, the Legislature and Governor Christie compromised to pass a bipartisan reform law, addressing teacher tenure and the teacher dismissal process. Although it was a good first step, that effort came up short because public teachers’ unions had enough influence over the Legislature to preserve policies such as “last-in, first-out.”
LIFO forces schools to ignore educator effectiveness and lay off high-performing, bright educators, instead of ineffective, more senior ones.
Five Bayshore business groups and the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau joined together yesterday in Keyport to kick-off the Summer of 2014 on the Monmouth County Bayshore..Exit 117…the Gateway to the Jersey Shore.
Lt Governor Kim Guadagno, Congressman Frank Pallone, State Senator Joe Kyrillos, Keyport Mayor Harry Aumack were on hand as the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Keyport Bayshore Business Copperative, the Hazlet Business Owners Association, the Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce, the Highlands Business Partnership and the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau joined together in cooperation for ceremonial ribbon cutting for the region’s summer tourist season.