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Middlesex Dems endorse Lande and Guha to challenge Dancer and Clifton in LD 12

The Middlesex County Democrats endorsed Monmouth County residents David Lande of Millstone and Malini Guha of Matawan to be the Democrat nominees for Assembly in the 12th Legislative District at a convention on Monday night.  NewJerseyGlobe first reported the endorsements.

Malini Guha’s facebook profile picture.

Lande and Guha will hold the top Democrat spots on the June 4 primary ballot in Middlesex County.  The 12th district includes parts of Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington Counties, which have yet to endorse their candidates.  Gene Davis of Jackson (Ocean County) is also competing for the endorsements.

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Posted: March 13th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: 2019 elections, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Small-Business Advocate Endorses Thompson, Dancer and Clifton in LD 12

The NFIB/NJ PAC, the political arm of the National Federation of Independent Businesses in New Jersey, has endorsed Senator Sam Thompson, Assemblyman Ron Dancer and Assemblyman Rob Clifton for reelection in the 12th legislative district.

“Your election is not only critical to the small-business owners in your district, but also to protecting free enterprise across the state,” wrote State Director Laurie Ehlbeck in letters to the legislators.

“Small-business owners are the backbone of our economy and collectively provide most of the jobs in the New Jersey,” said Thompson. “It is my privilege to fight for them.  I am honored to have the support and partnership of the NFIB/NJPAC.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: September 28th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 Elections, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

LD 12 Assembly candidate attempted to bribe a primary opponent into withdrawing from council election

LD 12 Assembly candidate Gene Davis. LD 11 Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Phil Murphy are in the background. photo via @DavisforAssembly

Gene Davis, one the of LD 12 Democrat Assembly candidates, asked his opponent in the 2010 Democrat primary for Linden’s 5th ward council seat to withdraw from that election in exchange for his pledge to support her and “give” her his council seat when his plan to be appointed mayor came to fruition, according to NJTODAY.

Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling, Davis’s opponent, turned down the bribe, recorded the conversation, defeated Davis in the primary and went on the be elected the first African-Amerian woman elected to the Linden City Council, Ward 5.

Here’s Cosby-Hurling’s recording: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: September 7th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 Elections, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Haney’s LD 12 Senate Campaign Will Spend Less Than $14K, Campaign Manager Quits

Art Haney, Jack Ciattarelli, Debbie Walker and Alex Robotin. photo via the Haney, Robotin and Walker facebook page

With three weeks to go before the June 6 primary, the campaign to unseat Senator Sam Thompson, Assemblyman Rob Dancer and Assemblyman Rob Clifton as the Republican nominees in the 12th Legislative District appears to be on life support.

Art Haney, the Chairman of the Old Bridge Municipal Utilities Authority, Old Bridge Councilwoman Debbie Walker and former Chesterfield Councilman Alex Robotin swore to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) that they will be spending less that $14,000 on their joint campaign.  Haney is the Senate candidate challenging Thompson. Walker and Robotin are on the ballot against Dancer and Clifton.

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Posted: May 16th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 Elections, Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What is we held an election and nobody cared? Part 3, The 12th Legislative District

Part 1.  11th Legislative District

Part 2. Part 2a.   13th Legislative District

Prelude from Part 1:

In seven five weeks New Jersey voters will have the opportunity to elect an entirely new state legislature.

Patrick Murray’s Monmouth University/Neptune Nudniks poll conducted in August indicates that New Jersey voters disapprove of their legislature by a 48%-35% margin.  Democrats disapprove by 45%-38%.  Independents, the majority, disapprove by a whopping 50%-28%.  Surprisingly, Republicans approve of the legislature by a 45%-41% margin.  Public workers disapprove by 55%-26%.

Based solely on those poll results, one might expect that we’d be in the middle of a spirited campaign with Democrats and public workers rallying to throw the Republicans out of office.  Obviously that is not the case.  Democrats control the legislature that their base and Independents disapprove of strongly.

Due to Dr. Alan Rosenthal’s decision that New Jersey voters are better off being continuously represented by legislators they don’t know, there are only a handful of competitive legislative races.  The Democrats will continue to control the legislature for the next two years.  Probably the next ten years.

Part 3

Now that Governor Christie has put an end to the presidential speculation and passionately reitierated his commitment to fixing our broken state, one might think that an election with every seat in the legislature up for grabs coming up in five weeks would be an opportunity for Christie to foward his fixes by picking up support in the legislature.  Christie’s poll numbers are surging in New Jersey.  An FDU poll last week indicated that 54% of New Jersey voters approve of the job he is doing.  FDU also indicated that 47% of New Jersey voters disapprove of President Obama’s performance, down from dramatically from a May poll after Bin Laden was killed that indicated 56% of New Jerseyans approved of Obama.

Yet Christie apparently doesn’t see an opportunity.  During the Q&A of his press conference yesterday the Governor said that he doesn’t see the upcoming legislative election as a referendum on his performance “given the map.”  Once again the conventional wisdom is that the only vote that really mattered in this legislative election, and the next four, was the vote that Dr. Alan Rosenthal cast as the tie breaking member of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission adapting the Democratic gerrymandered map that assured “continuity of representation.”

Now that Christie is focused only on New Jersey maybe he will launched an unexpected campaign to defy conventional wisdom and the Rosenthal/Democratic map. During his fund raising trip last week the New Jersey GOP was one of the beneficiaries of his efforts.  Christie has moved the electorate in unexpected ways previously.  During the 2010 school board elections he called for New Jersey to defeat school budgets in towns where teachers would not agree to contribute to their healthcare.  Could that be done in a legislative general election against a gerrymandered map?  Its wishful thinking on my part.  I would love to see him try it but would be more surprised if he did than if he didn’t.

12th Legislative District

Like the 11th and 13th districts, the 12th has more registered Democratic voters than Republicans, according to Labels and Lists.   The district is compromised of the northern part of Burlington County (6,448 registered voters), Old Bridge in MiddlesexCounty (34,626 registered voters) Western Monmouth County (43,861 registered voters) and the Ocean County towns of Jackson and Plumsted (36,656 registered voters).

Despite a voter registration edge for the Democrats, 29,702 to 27,482 Republicans and 64,407 Independents, the district is considered among the safest of Republican districts.  On the September 14 Real Jersey Guys Radio Show political strategist Chris Kniesler called the district “deep red.”

The Republicans expected to cruise to victory on November 8th are Assemblyman Sam Thompson, Old Bridge in the old 13th district ,who is running for Senate, Assemblyman Rondal Dancer, Plumsted of the old 30th district, and Monmouth County Freeholder Director Rob Clifton, Matawan, running for Assembly.

I honestly didn’t know that names of the Democratic Assembly candidates before reading The Asbury ParkPress’s write up on the district.  They are Catherine Tinney Rome and William Spedding. The Asbury Park Press didn’t say where they are from.

The Democratic Senate candidate is Robert Brown of Old Bridge.  Politikernj describes Brown as a “veteran loser.” He ran against Thompson for Assembly in the old 13th in 2007 and in 2009.  In 07 his running mate was Middletown’s Patricia Walsh.  In 09 he ran with Middletown’s Jim Grenefage.

While Brown doesn’t stand a chance against Thompson, he is providing some comic entertainment to the campaign.  He has forsaken his liberal Democratic bonafides and is attempting to run to the right of Thompson.  He has a Republicans for Brown website and has attempted to use twitter to bait this website and Save Jersey into supporting his candidacy.

Brown wants the campaign to be about Thompson’s state pension.  He contends Thompson, 76 years old, is “double-dipping” because he is collecting his legislative salary and the pension he receives as a result of working for state health department for 22 years and the NJ Turnpike Authority for 3 years.   Brown says he will give up his $14K per year police disablity pension if elected to the Senate where he would earn a $49K salary.  He says Thompson should give up his $49K pension.   Thompson says he won’t.

Brown collects a disablity pension as the result of an 1981 incident where he was shot in his hand and shoulder. He killed the perp who shot him.  Brown recovered from his wounds and went back to work with the Old Bridge Police Department for five years when he requested a disability pension due to lingering physical and psychological disabilities.   He finally retired from the Old Bridge PD in 1988, seven years after the shooting, and litigated his pension for another 11 years before prevailing in the  NJ Superior Court Appellate Division.

In response to Brown’s numerous tweets trying to bait me into his nonsense, I tweeted back that he must not have recovered from his psychological disablities because he is crazy if he thinks I am going to help him get elected.  I have no doubt that if Brown were a Senator he would recover his Democratic roots and do whatever Steve Sweeney told him to do.

While Brown wants the election to be about Thompson’s pension and his own heroism which he has been trying to parlay into a political career for years, The Asbury Park Press decided the campaign is about the horse racing industry.

In reality, unless something very unexpected happens, the 12th district race is a campaign about nothing as the Republicans will win a low turnout election easily with no credible opposition.

Posted: October 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What if we held an election and nobody cared? Part 2, 13th Legislative District

Prelude from Part 1:

In seven weeks New Jersey voters will have the opportunity to elect an entirely new state legislature.

Patrick Murray’s Monmouth University/Neptune Nudniks poll conducted in August indicates that New Jersey voters disapprove of their legislature by a 48%-35% margin.  Democrats disapprove by 45%-38%.  Independents, the majority, disapprove by a whopping 50%-28%.  Surprisingly, Republicans approve of the legislature by a 45%-41% margin.  Public workers disapprove by 55%-26%.

Based solely on those poll results, one might expect that we’d be in the middle of a spirited campaign with Democrats and public workers rallying to throw the Republicans out of office.  Obviously that is not the case.  Democrats control the legislature that their base and Independents disapprove of strongly.

Due to Dr. Alan Rosenthal’s decision that New Jersey voters are better off being continuously represented by legislators they don’t know, there are only a handful of competitive legislative races.  The Democrats will continue to control the legislature for the next two years.  Probably the next ten years.

13th Legislative District

This district keeps the Bayshore towns of Aberdeen, Hazlet, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Middletown, and Union Beach from the old 13th, adds Atlantic Higlands, Highlands, Monmouth Beach,  Rumson and Sea Bright from the old 11th and Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport, Marlboro from the old 12th.

The Republican incumbents are Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. O’Scanlon previously represented the old 12th.

On paper this should be a competitive district.  Democrats actually have a voter registration edge.  According to Labels and Lists Inc there are 34,193 registered Democrats, 33,758 registered Republicans and 74,492 unaffiliated (Independent) voters in the district.

Despite the slight registration edge for Democrats, the district generally votes Republican.  John McCain won the district in 2008, Chris Christie beat Jon Corzine here by a wide margin, and Anna Little beat Frank Pallone here in 2010.

Of the 16 municipalities in the 13th, 9 of the are comfortably controlled by Republicans. 6 are competitive towns with a local governing body that shifts from R to D on occasion.   Aberdeen is the only reliably Democratic town on the municpal level.

With 31% of the registered voters in the district, Middletown dominates.  Even though their registration edge is less than 2000 voters, Republicans dominate Middletown.  Middletown voters love their hometown office holders, Joe Kyrillos and Amy Handlin who they have elected time after time over the last two decades plus; Kyrillos served two terms in the Assembly from 1988 through 1991 and has been a Senator since 1992.  Handlin was a Monmouth County Freeholder from 1990 through 2006 when she entered the Assembly.

Roughly 73% of the district is new for O’Scanlon.  Yet, that 27% from his old district, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Oceanport and Marlboro knows O’Scanlon well.  They elected him to two terms in the Assembly after he lost to Michael Panter by only 73 votes in 2005.

The Democrats are running two former Hazlet mayors and a former Middletown township committee member. 

Christopher Cullen is the former Hazlet Mayor challenging Kyrillos for Senate.  Cullen, who served one term on the Hazlet Township Committee, won the nomination for Senate as a write-in candidate in the primary after failing to submit his petitions after being tabbed at the nominating convention in the spring.  He is the director of facilities maintenance and custodial services at MAST High School.  He is a member of Operating Engineers Local 68 and was previously a member of the teamsters.

Hazlet’s Community Center is named for Cullen’s father, James J. Cullen, who served the community for many years as a Republican office holder.

Both Democratic Assembly candidates won their first municipal elections in the wake of Operation Bid Rig.  Lavan was elected to the Hazlet Township Committee in 2005 and served through 2010 when he lost his reelection bid.  Like Cullen, his union roots are deep.  He has been a member of the International Longshoreman’s Association for 46 years.  He is making his support of unions, and the Right to Work legislation that Handlin and O’Scanlon have sponsored, the center piece of his campaign.

Short, a former Republican and a West Point graduate was the first Democrat elected to the Middletown Township Committee in 2006 in the wake of Bid Rig. He was swept out of office with Jon Corzine in 2009 as Chris Christie and the GOP swept Middletownoverwhelmingly.  Short was ambivalent about seeking a second term, but ultimately ignored MMM’s advise that he take the plaque.

Based on the early inactivity of the campaign, I was wondering if the feisty Constitution Party slate of Steve Boracchia for Senate, Bill Lawton and Frank Cottone might actually garner more votes than the Democrats in this race.  However, a volunteer from the Democratic campaign reached out to me to optimistic declare that the Democrats will produce a shocking victory on election day.  The volunteer said that Cullen, Lavan and Short are going in 20 different directions knocking on doors and that they are marshalling their scare resources for a last minute sprint into office.

While the 13th districts candidates don’t have the state Democratic support that the 11th district candidates have enjoyed….a paid staff and high profile fund raisers hosted by Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Senate President Stephen Sweeney…the volunteer said that the campaign is expecting an influx of union money and that Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan is coming to the district next week to raise money for the slate.

Posted: September 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »