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.
RAINE Foundation volunteers in Union Beach, November 2012. Click for larger view.
During the first week of November, 2012 Tim Mills was alone working on cleaning up what remained of his Union Beach home. He was making very little progress. His home was badly damaged and he felt there was no way possible for his family could return to the shambles or overcome the devastation. “I was in a very dark and desperate place emotionally that day, ” Mills recalled.
Mills noticed a group of at least 20 men and women walking down the street, approaching his home. He was scared, fearing they were looters coming to steal what little he had left. One of the group pulled the family’s American flag from the muddy debris that used to be the front lawn.
“Who the hell are you?” Mills shouted at the group. “We are from RAINE. We here to help,” the team leader responded. Mills stood in silence as the man, a U.S. Marine, who pulled his flag out of the mud draped it over the furniture that was drying out on his lawn.
“It was at that point that I didn’t feel alone or lost any more. I felt like somehow, we were going to be OK. That team saved my life that day.”
Mills donated his flag to RAINE (Reaching All In Need Everyday). Since then the volunteers that lead the non-profit have put the flag on tour as a symbol of leadership, perseverance and strength in the face of adversity.
New Jersey’s Comptroller issued a scathing report yesterday alleging that Newark’s Watershed Director stole millions of dollars during the Booker Administration.
The report included an referral to the Attorney General for a criminal investigation and was sharply critical of Cory Booker, the former Newark Mayor who is now a U.S. Senator, completing the term of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Not a peep out of Murray Sabrin, Brian Goldberg, Rich Pezzullo or any of the other candidates for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate whose names I don’t know.
Joe Kyrillos stepped up about HUD prolonging the agony for New Jersey residents with the strongest statement I’ve heard from him in the eight years I’ve been covering New Jersey politics. How about someone who is actually running for office this year stepping up and getting from free media?
Can we get a Republican who wants to be on the ballot this year grow some balls please?
State Senator Joe Kyrillos came out swinging this afternoon regarding the news that the Department of Housing and Urban Development denied the Christie Administration’s request to allow victims of Superstorm Sandy to continue to rebuild their homes while they are applying for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grants.
Kyrillos implored HUD officials and New Jersey’s congressional delegation to do whatever is necessary to allow Sandy devastated residents to rebuild their lives.
“It’s ridiculous, to say the least, that the people of New Jersey are being denied access to grant money because they are trying to rebuild their lives after the worst storm ever,” Kyrillos said. “The people of my district and the surrounding areas were some of the hardest hit and their federal government should not be hindering their recovery. Our home owners should be able to rebuild as they apply for grant money and I urge our congressional delegation to get to work immediately”
Senator Kyrillos added that the people deserve a reasonable return on their federal tax dollars in the form of Sandy grants.
“A lot of good has come out of the $1.83 billion in initial aid to New Jerseyans, but the reality is that more resources are needed for this state to recover from nearly $37 billion in damages,” Kyrillos said. “New York has received about $4 billion more, so the time is now for HUD officials and our congressmen to turn their eyes to our state.”
The Associated Press reported today that HUD denied a Christie Administration request to waive a rule that all reconstruction work must stop when a property owner applies for RREM grants. The federal government wants be sure that historical structures are protected and that the properties are rebuilt to the new elevation standards. No work that is completed prior to a HUD approval of the plans will be reimbursed with RREM grants, even if the work complies with the standards.
Bayshore Tea Party Group member Frank Gonzalez, husband of the group’s co-founder, Barbara, installs homemade lawn signs on Rt 35 in Middletown during the 2013 Monmouth County Republican primary campaign
Bayshore Tea Party Group co-founder Barbara Gonzalez told HuffPost that her group has nearly 1000 members and that they are staunch supporters of former Highlands Mayor Anna Little’s quest to unseat Congressman Frank Pallone, in an article posted last evening.
“If you don’t get someone in who is totally willing to fight the establishment, it will never change,” Gonzalez told HuffPost.
Little lost to Pallone in 2010 and 2012 with BTPG’s support, but Gonzalez thinks it will be different this year.
Gonzalez said her membership roll has grown by “a couple of dozen new members” since earlier this month when the Bridgegate controversy broke.
The years are supposed to go by faster as we get older. 2013 missed the memo, at least for me. President Obama’s second Inauguration and Freeholder John Curley’s second swearing in seem like a long time ago.
Selikia Joshia Gore started us off in 2013 with a timeless call to renew our humanity; the ongoing struggle of saints and sinners to love one another regardless of standing, status or creed. It is a winning message that works only by embracing our failures without resigning to them.
The Governor. Governor Chris Christie started the year lambasting House Speaker John Boehner and the Congressional Republicans for playing politics with Superstorm Sandy aid and ended the year as the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. In between he built a bi-partisan and multi-cultural coalition that reelected him with over 60% of the vote in Blue Jersey. Christie had the best year of any politician in America. Only Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin had better years globally.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. Menendez started the year on the losers list. Embroiled in a sandal of allegations of his cavorting with teenaged girls in the Dominican Republic and using the powers of his office to benefit the businesses of the donor who arranged the party, speculation was that he would resign as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, if not his Senate seat. Menendez seems to have survived an FBI investigation into his relationship with Dr. Saloman Melgan unscathed.
At the end of the year, Menendez’s position seems secure. He is the leading, and most powerful, critic of President Obama’s foreign policy. His approval ratings are net positive 22 points in the last Monmouth University Poll. He got engaged to be married earlier this month.
Given where he started, Menendez may have had the best 2013 of any New Jersey public figure, other than Christie.
The Gramiccionis. The Wall Township power couple had a very good year. In March, Christopher, the Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor and U.S. Naval Reserve Officer, received orders to report for a 9 month tour of active duty in Afghanistan effective in August. Those orders were canceled in July, keeping Chris on the job fighting crime in Monmouth County and home for the holidays. Deborah was appointed by Governor Christie to be the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The job pays $289,657.
Monmouth County Republicans. Sheriff Shaun Golden, Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso were always expected to be reelected on the strength of their records and due to the fact that Monmouth County Independent voters usually vote Republican. They make the winners list by virtue of fact that they ran as if they were behind, not taking any votes for granted. More importantly, they ran a positive campaign based on reducing spending, holding the line on taxes, and improving services, in the face of yet another negative campaign on the part of the Monmouth County Democrats.
Monmouth County’s Legislative Delegation. Each member of Monmouth County’s Legislative Delegation deserves more recognition than space will allow.