UPDATED: KEAN REELECTED MINORITY LEADER
The statehouse press corps is buzzing news on twitter about a possible change in the GOP leadership in the New Jersey State Senate.
Current Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean JR has been fighting to keep his leadership post since the election results…no pick ups in the Senate…on Tuesday. Kean released a letter signed by 11 of the 16 Republican Senators pledging their support for his reelection as leader to the press yesterday. Governor Christie declined to comment about the possible change in the Republican leadership in the Senate, but said that the he is “committed to Steve Sweeney” being President of the Senate.
Within the last half hour, The Star Ledger’s Matt Friedman and PolitickerNJ’s Matt Arco both tweeted that Kean entered Christie’s office and left a few minutes later, looking unhappy. Senator Joe Kyrillos entered Christie’s office 5 minutes after Kean left.
Neither Kean or Kyrillos would speak to reporters.
The Republican Senate Caucus is meeting to elect a their leader for the next legislative session this afternoon.
Kean’s relationship with Sweeney is not good, as Sweeney resented Kean targeting the Senate President seat. Sweeney responded by keeping all Republican sponsored legislation off the calendar. Since Tuesday’s election, Sweeney has been publicly taunting and teasing Kean for not gaining any ground for Republicans when the Governor was reelected by over 20%.
Christie needs Sweeney’s cooperation in order to get anything accomplished in a second term, whether Christie runs for president or not. If Kean’s unworkable relationship with Sweeney is an obstacle, tapping his trusted friend, the ever congenial Kyrillos, as Minority Leader makes perfect sense.
Posted: November 7th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: NJ GOP, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Chris Chrisie, Joe Kyrillos, NJ GOP, NJ Legislature, Steve Sweeney, Tom Kean JR, Trenton Republicans | 4 Comments »
photo credit: Rhoda Chodosh. Click on photo for larger view. Sen Joe Kyrillos is NOT wearing mouse ears.
He’s finally saying it.
Yesterday afternoon at Bachstadt’s Tavern in North Middletown Governor Chris Christie urged the enthusiastic crowd of several hundred to “vote Republican from the top of the ballot to the bottom. I don’t want to serve another day with a Democratic legislature.”
“He finally said it,” I quipped to Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, JR who was present at the rally along with Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnik. “He’s been saying it everywhere,” Kean replied.
SaveJersey reports that Christie made a similar appeal in South Jersey’s 2nd legislative district.
“I need Frank Balles in Trenton,” Christie told supporters as he worked the enthusiastic crowd. This trip constituted his second and final announced foray into Southern New Jersey before Election Day. The Governor also had a few harsh words for Balles’s opponent, incumbent state Sen. Jim Whelan, whom Christie rebranded “Grandfather Whelan” and an “animal” simultaneously, implying that the veteran Democrat behaves different back in his district than he does in Trenton.
And PolitickerNJ reports that the Governor declared that the GOP can “turn this blue state red” in Bergen County on Friday.
“We’re driving home for the biggest margin we can get,” Christie said. “We want to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn this blue state red.”
The GOP needs to win five seats in the Senate and nine seats in the Assembly in order to take control of both chambers.
Posted: November 3rd, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics | Tags: 2013 Elections, Chris Chrisite, Joe Kyrillos | 6 Comments »
For those who try to read political tea leaves, the only lesson to be taken from the results of the Special Election this week is that apples and oranges make fruit salad.
For conservatives and Tea Partiers enthused that Steve Lonegan lost to Cory Booker by a significantly lower margin than Joe Kyrillos lost to Bob Menendez last year, consider this; Kyrillos had more votes in the 2012 general election than Booker and Lonegan had combined on Wednesday. More people voted for Joe Kryillos in the 2012 U.S. Senate race than voted for Chris Christie in the 2009 gubernatorial race.
For Trenton Republicans hopeful about taking control of the State Senate, consider this; If the fact that Lonegan lost Senate President Steve Sweeney’s district by only 347 votes, .9%, means that Sweeney is more vulnerable to Niki Trunk’s campaign than previously thought, does that mean that Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt is a shoe-in to defeat Senator Jeff Van Drew in Cape May where Lonegan won by almost 19%? Does the fact that Booker won Mercer and Middlesex Counties handedly mean there is no hope of picking up the Senate seats in the 14th and 18th districts? None of the above.
Should Monmouth County Democrats conclude that they have a fighting chance on November 5, because Lonegan beat Booker here by only 9%. Let them think that.
Posted: October 18th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election | Tags: #NJSen, Bob Mendenz, Cory Booker, Jeff Van Drew, Joe Kyrillos, Niki Trunk, Steve Lonegan, Steve Sweeney, Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt | 6 Comments »
With bi-partisan fanfare, Governor Chris Christie signed the Economic Opportunity Act yesterday afternoon. The new law,which Christie reshaped with his conditional veto, is far-reaching legislation designed to make New Jersey more competitive in economic development and job creation.
Economic incentives for business and development will now be more generous and easier to obtain.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos, a primary sponsor of the bill, celebrated the enactment of the legislation and called for more comprehensive tax reform.
“We got this done to boost New Jersey’s private-sector economy, because many Republicans and Democrats realize that this legislature desperately needs to do more to attract and retain job creators,” said Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “We came together; we compromised to create more opportunities for New Jersey families. This should be the bridge to comprehensive tax reform that New Jerseyans have been waiting on for far too long.”
“It is encouraging that Democratic prime sponsor Senator Lesniak acknowledged the following during Thursday’s session: ‘We know that New Jersey cannot compete not only with our surrounding states but we can’t compete internationally because of the cost of doing business here we know is high,’” Kyrillos added. “This is a problem that Senate Republicans have tried to permanently address for years. With more Democrats now realizing the issue, the chances that this legislature will finally fix this state’s non-competitive tax structure are much better. When we get this done, residents won’t have fear that our sons and daughters will be forced to flee this costly state to start their families elsewhere, or that they won’t be able to find solid jobs because employers can’t afford to operate here.”
Posted: September 19th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Chris Christie, Economy, Joe Kyrillos | Tags: Chris Christie, Economic Opportunity Act, Governor Chris Christie, Joe Kyrillos, NJ Legislature, Tax reform | 1 Comment »
Neither Booker nor Lonegan have been as forthcoming as Mendenez and Kyrillos were last year
© Jim Urquhart / Reuters;
Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Cory Booker has not released his tax returns, despite a promise to do so, according to the New York Post.
“We will release his tax returns,” vowed Booker campaign spokesman Kevin Griffis more than two weeks ago, yesterday claiming Booker “will continue to raise the bar on transparency — both in this election, and if elected, in the US Senate.”
GOP nominee Steve Lonegan provided three years of returns exclusively to The Post. The paper said that Lonegan earned $515,280 in 2012, mostly from property sales, and paid nearly $100,000 in federal taxes.
Lonegan said Booker is refusing to release his returns because he used his office, Newark Mayor, to accumulate personal wealth.
“It’s indicative of the fact that he’s got something to hide,” Lonegan told The Post. “It’s clear to me that Booker leveraged the office of mayor . . . to gain wealth.”
The Post has previously reported that Booker received an undisclosed amount in an equity payout from the law firm he was a partner in before being elected mayor. The payout was made from 2007 through 2011. During that time the firm, Trenk DiPasquale, collected more than $2 million in fees from local agencies that Booker has direct influence over.
The New York Times reported in May that Booker has earned $1.3 million in speaking fees since becoming mayor and that his Newark home is assessed at $406,000. He earns a salary of $174,496 as mayor.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 26th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, Joe Kyrillos, Media, Senate Special Election, Steve Lonegan | Tags: Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, Joe Kyrillos, NY Post, Steve Lonegan, tax returns | 6 Comments »
It’s been two months since 13th district Republicans were awakened by a fraudulent 4am robocall urging them to get out to vote for Senator Joe Kyrillos, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon in the Republican primary, but the perpetrators are not off the hook.
Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni told MMM that the incident remains under active investigation and that subpoenas will be issued. “Stay tuned,” Gramiccioni said.
Kyrillos, who was awakened by the call, which he publicly blamed on the campaign of his opponent in the June 4th primary, Leigh-Ann Bellew, said he has been interviewed by investigators from the Prosecutor’s Office.
The voice on the 4 am call, which can be heard here, sounds very much like the voice on the recorded message on the Bellew campaign’s voice mail. Listen to the Bellew for Senate voice mail greeting here.
The New Jersey Democratic Party was fined $42,000 for making fraudulent robocalls in the 2009 gubernatorial election. Among Republicans, Kevin Collins plead guilty, paid a $1000 fine and received a year on probation for violating the Fair Campaign Practices Act with a fraudulent robo call in a 2009 legislative primary. More serious charges against Collins were dropped in plea negotiations.
Posted: August 7th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 13th Legislative District | Tags: 4 am robocall, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, Christoper Gramicconi, Dwayne Horner, Joe Kyrillos, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Wake up call | 1 Comment »
Despite waking up thousands of Monmouth County voters at 4am on primary day, the Bayshore Tea Party Group and the Bellew Brigade have apparently not lost any sleep over their crushing defeat last week. The architects of the 20%-80% defeat in the Monmouth County and LD 13 GOP primaries have endorsed Dr. Alieta Eck in the Special U.S. Senate Primay and are angling to run that campaign.
Congratulations Steve Lonegan!
Neither BTPG nor Leigh-Ann Bellew’s campaign have admitted to commissioning the 4am robocall on June 4 that announced it was being made on behalf of Senator Joe Kyrillos , Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon and faked the caller ID to a number belonging to the Monmouth County Republican Organization. They are exercising their right to remain silent to the extent that they have yet to congratulate their opponents.
MMM first reported the call (click here to listen) and that it appears to have been recorded by the same person who recorded Bellew’s voice mail greeting. (Click here to listen to Bellew’s voice mail greeting.)
Kyrillos and O’Scanlon publicly accused the Bellew campaign of making the call. Monmouth County GOP Chairman John Bennett lodged a complaint with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Bennett said yesterday that he will not let up on pursuing prosecution of the dirty trick.
Bayshore Tea Party Group co-founder Barbara Gonzalez complained about this website on facebook, saying she was going to report its owner to the FBI because he finds out, and acts on, what she is writing about on the social media site without the help of the NSA or the Obama Administration.
Charles Webster, spokesperson for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, confirmed that there is an active investigation into the 4am robocall.
Webster was not at liberty to discuss the investigation, so MMM’s investigative team got to work to find more evidence of the call’s origin.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 13th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2013 Election, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, LD 13, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Monmouth GOP, Primary Election, Senate Special Election | Tags: 4 am robocall, Amy Handlin, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, BTPG, Declan O'Scanlon, Dwayne Horner, FBI, Joe Kyrillos, Kevin Collins, Leigh-Ann Bellew, NSA, Obama Administration, Wake up call | 18 Comments »
Sen. Joe Kyrillos and Mayor Fred Rast greeting voters in Atlantic Highlands. photo by Art Gallagher
The National Review is quoting anonymous sources that say State Senator Joe Kyrillos will not be a candidate in the Special Primary for U.S. Senate on August 13.
“He’s one of Jersey’s leading Republicans, but this campaign doesn’t make sense for him right now,” says a source close to the governor. “I bet he’ll run statewide again, but he won’t rush it.”
Kyrillos told MMM Wednesday afternoon that he was not pursuing the seat, but would not speculate about what he would do if Governor Chris Christie asked him to run or accept the temporary appointment.
Petitions for candidates in the Democratic and Republican Special Primaries are due on Monday afternoon, June 10. 1000 signatures are required to qualify as a candidate.
Posted: June 5th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Joe Kyrillos, Senate Special Election | Tags: Joe Kyrillos, Special U.S. Senate Election, Special U.S. Senate primary | 5 Comments »
~ Declan O’Scanlon
With remarkable teamwork on the part of the candidates, county and municipal leaders and key members of the legislative delegation outside of the 13th legislative district, the Monmouth County Republican Organization earned the resounding endorsement of a Republican electorate that has proven over the years that performance and integrity matter far more to them than party loyalty.
Big egos checked, big leaders pulled together to support each other. A real team emerged.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 5th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, LD 13, Monmouth County, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Amy Handlin, An Amazing Moment, Caroline Casagrande, Christine Hanlon, Dave Rible, Declan O'Scanlon, Gerry Scharfenberger, Jennifer Beck, Joe Kyrillos, John Bennett, Mary Pat Angelini, Monmouth GOP, Peter Carton, phone banks, Tony Fiore, volunteers | 3 Comments »
With over 62% of the voting districts in LD 13 reporting, State Senator Joe Kyrillos has won the GOP nomination for another term in Trenton’s upper chamber, according to MoreMonmouthMusings’ statistical expert team.
Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon have also been renominated.
Sheriff Shaun Golden and Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso have been renominated with over 80% of the vote with 80% of the districts reporting in the county.
Monmouth County GOP Chairman John Bennett, celebrating with about 250 supporters at the Lincroft Inn in Middletown has declared victory of the LD 13 legislators and counter incumbents.
Posted: June 4th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election | Tags: Amy Handlin, Declan O'Scanlon, Joe Kyrillos, John Bennett, Serena DiMaso, Shaun Golden, Tom Arnone | 28 Comments »