Democrats To Announce New Slate In 13th Legislative District

Hornik, D’Amico and Mallet will team up to target the “safe” Republican district

Jon HornikHazlet-April 1  Monmouth County Democrats spent the holiday weekend scrambling to collect petition signatures for a new slate of candidates for State Senate and General Assembly in the 13th Legislative District, according to a Democrat who does not want to be known for speaking to a Republican blogger.   Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik will be the Senate candidate. Former freeholders John D’Amico and Amy Mallet will be the Assembly candidates.

Petitions are due in Trenton today.

Barbara Buono, the presumed Democratic nominee for governor, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver each called the new candidates to promise amble funds to wage the general election race, even if the incumbents prevail in the GOP primary.
Chairman Vin Gopal  believes the 13th district will be in play should the expected Bayshore Tea Party Group backed slate led by former congressional candidate Leigh-Ann Bellew for Senate win the Republican primary against incumbent Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon.   The BTPG will announce the rest of their slate, as well as the freeholder and sheriff candidate, this afternoon after their petitions are filed.cheap jumpers for sale

John D'Amico

“The Tea Party has beat the Monmouth Republican line every time they’ve tried,” said the source, “Anna Little beat the GOP organization twice and David Corsi did it in 2010.  We’re betting they will do it again.  In a race where the Republican candidates are running an anti-abortion, pro-gun campaign, we believe the district will vote for proven vote getters like Mayor Hornik, Judge D’Amico and Freeholder Mallet.”

The candidates nominated at the Monmouth Democratic Convention in February, Rutgers Professor Sean Dunne for Senate, and Assembly candidates Matthew Morehead, a dog groomer and Allison Friedman, a public defender, have agreed to resign their candidacies and not file their petitions.

AmyMallet_Web“Having a strong legislative team will help Barbara Buono.  There is no way Governor Christie carries Monmouth County by the margins he did in 2009 if he has Tea Party running mates in the 13th.  We’ll be forcing Christie to spend time and money in Monmouth he would not have had to with Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon on his ticket.”

 

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Posted: April 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, April Fools, Humour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

America’s Sacred Scriptures

By John D’Amico

The American people are “demanding that we realign our country’s compass with its founding principles” in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution! So says the Republican Party’s “Pledge toAmerica,” which champions smaller, more accountable government, economic freedom, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility. The Tea Party’s “Contract fromAmerica” calls for fiscal responsibility and limited government “consistent with the U.S. Constitution’s meaning,” asserting that “our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government.”

Republicans and Tea Partiers want the smallest possible federal government that taxes the least and interferes in daily life the least. Toward that end, they want to slash government spending, privatize and curtail Social Security and Medicare, defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act (deridingly referred to as “Obamacare”), eliminate Environmental Protection Agency regulations, and cut programs that mainly serve low-income Americans.

Are these policies and programs consistent with the core values and ideals underlying the Declaration and the Constitution? Only a probing analysis of the meaning and intent of our founding documents can help us answer this question. In We Hold These Truths (Macmillan 1987), the renowned 20th Century philosopher and educator Mortimer J. Adler called the Declaration of Independence, “the architectural blueprint” of theUnited States, from which “we can derive the fundamental principles of republican or constitutional government.” He wrote that from the Preamble of the Constitution, the articles that follow it, and their subsequent amendments, “we can come to understand the elaboration of those articles of political faith in terms of governmental aims, governmental structures, and governmental policies.”

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that:

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Posted: July 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution | Tags: , | 14 Comments »

Does the Freeholder Board need a clerk?

By Art Gallagher

The Asbury Park Press reported yesterday that the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders balked at appointing Freeholder Director Lillian Burry’s choice to replace Jim Gray as Clerk of the Board.

Gray retired at the end of October.  His salary was $109,748.  Burry wants to replace Gray with James Stuart of Colts Neck, a semi-retired real estate appraiser, who would start the job at $60,000 if appointed.

Stuart served on the Colts Neck Township Committee with Burry. He served the township for nine years through 2008.  He also had a real estate sales license that hung in Burry’s Colts Neck Realty brokerage office.

Freeholder Amy Mallet (D) slammed Burry for political patronage in proposing Stuart.  That is ironic coming from Mallet, whose unsuccessful running mate, Glenn Mason, was appointed the county Emergency Management Coordinator shortly after the Democrats took control of the Freeholder Board in 2009.

Freeholder John Curley (R) raised questions about Burry’s business relationship with Stuart which were echoed by Freeholder John D’Amico (D). Freeholder Rob Clifton (R) told the APP that we would wait and see what happens.

Sources tell MMM that Clifton and D’Amico are expected to join Burry in appointing Stuart at the next Freeholder meeting on November 23 over the bi-partisan objections of Mallet and Curley.

In these times of fiscal austerity, I think it is worth questioning this appointment and all appointments.  Let me emphasis that I am not taking a position, pro or con, on this appointment, at least not yet.  I’m simply raising questions and encouraging others to do the same.

The first question should be “Is the position necessary?”  Even if the position is required by legislation, and I don’t know if the clerk of the board position is required, the question should be asked, at all levels of government.

The Monmouth County website describes the Clerk of the Board function as follows:

The Office of the Clerk of the Board of Chosen Freeholders provides the Board with the necessary information and background material on those matters requiring its attention.

The principal activities of the Clerk of the Board are to keep a book of the minutes and a record of the orders and proceedings of the Board. The Clerk of the Board has custody of the official seal of the County and all records, documents and other official papers relating to the property and business of the County.

The functions performed by the Clerk of the Board include:

  • recording the official minutes of the Board
  • handling Board correspondence
  • preparing meeting agendas
  • processing, filing and advertising ordinances, resolutions and the county budget
  • serving as a liaison between the public and the Board
  • administering and recording oaths of office
  • signing official documents
  • attesting the signatures of officers and officials
  • maintaining a receipt of service of legal documents;
  • acting as custodian for several county departments with regard to the Open Public Records Act (OPRA)
  • directing correspondence and inquiries for action to various county departments
  • conducting business with other county departments as directed by the Board

Monmouth County’s Clerk of the Board’s office has a Deputy Clerk and three staffers.  When the new clerk is hired that will be five full time people working to fulfill the prescribed functions.  Record keeping and correspondence is important, but are all of those people necessary?  Would there be a savings by promoting the Deputy Clerk and freezing or reducing the staff?  Would the functions suffer?  Does technology make record keeping and correspondence more efficient?

Another question, and this is not meant to single out Stuart, but to address widespread abuses.  Is Stuart’s appointment a pension pad/grab?  Does he have pension credits from his service on the Colts Neck Township Committee that would count towards years of service should he be appointed to this job. I don’t know in Stuart’s case.  However such pension padding by part time elected officials has been so rampant over the years that the pension system, and abuse thereof, has obviously been a consideration when making such appointments in the past.  It should also be a consideration, on the other side of the equation, going forward.  If two people are equally qualified for a necessary position but one would add substantial pension costs if hired, those costs should be carefully considered in a hiring decision.

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Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

D’Amico Exposed As Pay To Play Hack

Freeholder John D’Amico has spent his three years in office trying to get his fellow members of the board to go along with creating a new level of bureaucracy, a County Inspector Generals office, and a county Ethics Board.

D’Amico attempted to revive a five year old scandal for his own political gain.  He’s consistently held himself up as a paragon of virtue and implied, or charged,that Republicans are corrupt and doing favors for their friends and campaign contributors.

Turns out that John D’Amico is a hypocritical poltical hack.

MoreMonmouthMusings has obtained an email that D’Amico sent to then Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow on December 16, 2009 requesting her support in appointing one of his 2007 campaign contributors with a lucrative legal contract for the Monmouth County Reclamation Center.

Here’s the email:

 

From:                          John D’Amico [jdamic juno.com]
> Sent:                           Wednesday, December 16, 2009 4:26 PM
> To:                               Barbara McMorrow [Gmail]
> Subject:                      Reclamation Center Attorney
>  
>  
> Barbara:          Charles Fallon called today to advise that it would be very helpful to him (and to me, from a campaign standpoint) if we were to designate the Wilentz firm as the exclusive attorney for the Reclamation Center legal matters. Right now there are two firms: Haskins Delafield (an out of state firm that does the bulk of the work) and Wilentz (which only got $6,000 worth of work this year). The Wilentz firm gave Steve Schueler and me a very good fund raiser in 2007, and indications are that they will repeat the favor. Can you support a request to Jim Gray that the appointment go to Wilentz only on the agenda for the 12/22 meeting? Thanks. John

McMorrow did not support the request.

Nor did McMorrow cooperate with MMM for this story.

MoreMonmouthMusings wishes John D’Amico a happy retirement at the taxpayers expense and a  bit part in The Soprano State, Part 2

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Posted: October 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County | Tags: | 6 Comments »

D’Amico: Cops are too lazy to do their jobs

By Art Gallagher

Freeholder John D’Amico told the Asbury Park Press Editorial board that should the Democrats win control of Monmouth County government on November 2 that the county will reopen the Youth Detention Center which the Republicans closed this year, saving the taxpayers $2.5 million annually.

D’Amico, who collects a $70,500 state pension in addition to his Freeholder salary, said that the YDC should be reopened because some police officers are not executing warrants because they don’t want to make the trip to the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center in North Brunswick which houses Monmouth’s juveniledelinquents under a shared services agreement.  D’Amico also reasoned the Monmouth YDC should be reopened because family, social workers and lawyers might be unable or unwilling to make the trip to North Brunswick.

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Posted: October 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: John D'Amico | Tags: | 1 Comment »

Flippy May Get His Wish

freeholderdamicocopy1Freeholder John D’Amico may have something to show for during his term in office, thanks to his close ties to Trenton Democrats.

Flippy, as he is affectionately referred to behind his back by everyone at the Hall of Records and on Republican leaning blogs, because of his ever changing positions, really doesn’t have much to run on as he asks voters for another three year term this fall.  His attempt to transform Monmouth County into Bergen County with beaches and to increase the size of Monmouth County government so that he could hire friends of Joe Cryan to high paid low responsibility jobs was thwarted during the one year the Democrats had the majority in Freehold because former Freeholder Barbara McMorrow was more interested in doing the right thing for the taxpayers than she was in doing what she was told by the bosses.

D’Amico’s signature issues for his term as Freeholder were to be creating the office of County Inspector General, a new level of bureaucracy to do what the Freeholders and the Prosecutors office should already be doing and changing the name “Freeholder” to “County Commissioner.”

Fortunately, the Inspector General idea didn’t go anywhere.  But now, thanks to Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Flippy might get his wish for a business card that says “County Commissioner” instead of “Freeholder.”

Sweeney is sponsoring legislation that would change “board of chosen freeholders” to “board of county commissioners” and “chosen freeholder” to “county commissioner” in new sections of law and revisions to current law.  The proposed legislation would also require counties to change the terms on their websites.

Won’t that improve the quality of your life?  Won’t that make New Jersey a better place to live?   I wonder how much it will cost for this legislation to make its way through the legislature to the Governor’s desk.  I wonder how much it would cost to implement should it become law.  Hold off on ordering new stationary.

New Jersey is the only state with the office called Freeholder.  D’Amico wants it changed so that when he travels on the taxpayers dime to national and regional conferences of county office holders he doesn’t have to explain what a Freeholder is.   Democrats have said that they want to retire the name because it is antiquated and hearkens back to a day when only white men who owned land free and clear, Freeholders, could be elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

While we’re at it maybe we should reconsider the names of other offices too.

Depending on their form of government, municipalities either have councils or committees.  It should really be one or the other or another name all together.  Another name is probably better because there are councils and committees in government that are not governing bodies of towns. In Chicago these office holders are called Aldermen.  That doesn’t work any more than Freeholder does, maybe its worse because it is gender specific.

The office of Senator dates back to the Roman Empire.  Thanks to the Star Wars movies we know the office will endure for many millenniums into the future, so it would really be a waste of time to change that one.

What about “Vice?”   We have a Vice President.  The Navy has Vice Admirals.  But “vice” means activity that is immoral or degrading, like you would find people seeking in the Adult Services section. Clearly we should change the name of those offices.  I mean if we can’t use the terms “idiot” or “retarded” in our laws, certainly we should not be calling such powerful people Vice.   What should call them instead?

Chris Christie is the first Governor that I can remember that actually governs.  Let’s leave that one alone until he becomes President.

This could go on and on and on. I don’t see the point in changing the names of these offices.  What difference does it really make? After all is said and done, we are still going to call D’Amico “Flippy.”

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Posted: September 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: County Commissioner, Flippy, Freeholder, John D'Amico | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »