Report: Gopal Considering Another Run For Assembly

What will Dan Jacobson do?

Vin Gopal

Vin Gopal

Ever the optimist and desperate for relevancy, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is floating his name as a candidate for Assembly in 11th District.

The district’s Assembly seats are currently held by Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande.  Gopal and Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan lost to Angelini and Casagrande by over 3000 votes (out of 37,093 cast) in 2011.  Former Democratic Assemblyman Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews and AsburyParkSun earned 2358 votes as an Independent candidate that year.

MoreMonmouthMusings hereby endorses Gopal for one of the Democratic Assembly nominations in the 11th.

We were worried that 2015 would be a boring year politically in Monmouth County and that we’d have to start covering restaurant openings to keep our traffic up next year.  With Gopal on the ballot, MMM’s political focus would be assured for another year.

Another reason we like Gopal as a candidate for Assembly is that it takes an issue of the table for Sheriff Shaun Golden’s reelection in 2016.

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Posted: December 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, 2015 Legislative Races, Caroline Casagrande, Mary Pat Angenlini, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Is LD 11 in play?

Giuseppe "Joe" Grillo, a Democratic candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder, was arrested in Neptune Twp on an outstanding warrant  from Asbury Park last April

Giuseppe “Joe” Grillo

Poor Joe Grillo.

In his triCityNews column this week, the scofflaw former freeholder candidate blamed his defeat last month on President Obama.  After outspending Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich 4-1, Grillo celebrated that he and lunging Larry Luttrell lost by ‘only’ 6% while Senator Cory Booker lost Monmouth County to “a no-name crazy” by 10%.

Grillo also recounted a story about how a “guy in a NASCAR hat and an oversized white t-shirt” pointed a .45 at him as he was knocking on doors in a Bayshore town while celebrating that he and Luttrell won more towns than any other Democratic Freeholder slate since Amy Mallet defeated John Curley in 2008.

Those were the entertaining items in Grillo’s column.  The substance that Grillo reported with potential political impact in 2015 is the fact that he and Luttrell won the 11th legislative district by 3000 votes.  I hadn’t noticed that prior to reading Joe’s column.  I checked the numbers.  Joe can add.

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Posted: December 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, 2015 Legislative Races, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Republican Assemblywomen Call for NFL Commissioner’s Resignation

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande

Republican Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande, Nancy F. Muñoz, Mary Pat Angelini, Amy Handlin, Alison McHose, Holly Schepisi, DiAnne Gove, BettyLou DeCroce, Donna Simon and Maria Rodriguez-Gregg today called for the resignation of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over his handling on domestic violence issues on the part of NFL players.

The legislators jointly issued the following statement:

“When someone sucker punches an innocent woman or takes a switch to his son, something is terribly wrong. The league either delays disciplinary action or issues a slap on the wrist of the offender. The victims are vulnerable to the power of these men. Commissioner Goodell is unsuccessfully trying to appease the fans and advertisers that the league takes these actions seriously. If he were truly serious, he would apologize and submit his resignation over his failure to take immediate steps to prevent these kinds of assaults. The NFL should send a message to society that it will not tolerate these actions, and implement a no-tolerance policy with severe repercussions.”

 

Posted: September 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Vin Gopal Threatens Legal Action Against MoreMonmouthMusings

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, not Devender Singh

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, not Devender Singh

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal has threatened the owner of this website, Gallco Media, LLC, with “all legal remedies under law” unless the post, Feds Charge Indian National With Abusive Sexual Contact, is removed from the site.  Gopal’s attorney, D. Sam Han, Esq. of Sobel Han, LLP of Englewood Cliffs, further demands that an apology and retraction be posted that clearly denotes the improper usage of Gopal’s picture on this site.  The photo in question is posted to the left.  Han’s letter can be viewed here.

On behalf of Gallco Media, I consulted with two attorneys to find out what these “legal remedies under law” might be. Both said there aren’t any and that Gopal does not have an actionable claim.  Bring it on, Han. Play it again, Sam. You’re not gonna win, Vin.

We really must have gotten under Gopal’s skin.  He didn’t threaten legal action against the campaign of Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini in the the 2011 legislative race when they sent the now infamous Joe Vas mailer out against Gopal who was running against them at the time.  The mailer was widely criticized in the media and even by many Republicans at the time.  MMM didn’t write about the mailer in 2011 because I was in jail on ginned up charges when the controversy broke. I’m particularly sensitive to the consequences of exaggerated allegations made in the media.

Gopal’s gotten a small taste of his own medicine.  We hope he’ll alter his conduct, and lead members of party to do the same.  It’s not looking too good, so far, but that is what we’re after in our “Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett did not issue a statement…” posts and our posts calling Gopal on his duplicity.

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Posted: March 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Winners and Losers of 2013, Part One

Winners

January 2013 seems like a long time ago.

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.

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Posted: December 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider Endorses Republicans Beck, Angelini and Casagrande

Guv Chris Christie accepting Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider's endorsement. Photo by Art Gallagher.

Guv Chris Christie accepting Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider’s endorsement. Photo by Art Gallagher.

Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider, a Democrat, today endorsed the all female Republican team of legislators in New Jersey’s 11th district, Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande.

“I have a worked closely with our legislators on a variety of issues,” said Schneider in a statement issued by the Republican legislators, “They always have the best interests of Long Branch in mind and have gone out of their way to help our residents.  Senator Beck, Assemblywoman Angelini and Assemblywoman Casagrande manage to keep partisan politics out of the picture and focus on the issue at hand. I am proud to work with them and offer them my endorsement.”

In addition to endorsing the Republican legislators from his district, Schneider is one of over 50 Democratic elected officials who have endorsed Governor Chris Christie.

“Oh, that was nice of him,” said Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich, a Democratic candidate challenging Angelini and Casagrande, when informed of Schneider’s endorsement.

Monmouth County Democratric Chairman Vin Gopal was surprised that Schneider endorse all three Republican women representing the 11th.  “He endorsed all three of them?” Gopal asked twice, “No, I have no comment.”

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Posted: October 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, 2013 Election, Caroline Casagrande, Ed Zipprich, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angenlini, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

N.J. legislators inching toward override of Christie’s gay marriage veto

N.J. legislators inching toward override of Christie’s gay marriage veto (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — Under the din of a bustling election season, there’s a quiet movement afoot to make gay marriage a reality in New Jersey by the end of the year. Advocates have been working to convince state lawmakers — including a number of Republicans…

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Posted: September 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Gay Marriage, marriage, Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act, News, NJNewsCommons, RePost | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »

O’Scanlon Reiterates His Support Of Gay Marriage

declan-oscanlon-budgetVarious news sources are reporting that Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) has “broken with Governor Christie” over the issue of same sex marriage.

The news reports are inaccurate.

O’Scanlon was never “with” Governor Christie on the same sex marriage issue. He’s been on the record as favoring the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act since February of 2012 when the bill passed both houses of the legislature and was vetoed by Christie.

O’Scanlon was absent from the February 2012 vote because he was attending Senator Jennifer Beck’s wedding in Jamaica.   Upon his return to New Jersey, he told triCityNews that he would have voted for the bill had he been present and that he would vote to override Christie’s veto if it ever comes up for a vote.

triCityNews is not published online.  Publisher Dan Jacobson verified my recollection of O’Scanlon’s quotes on the phone this evening.

The issue is in the news again because marriage equality advocates have been in Trenton this week lobbying for an override of Christie’s veto before the end of the legislative session in January.

The Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act passed the Senate with a vote of 24-16 and the Assembly by 42-33, with 5 Assembly members, including O’Scanlon and Mary Pat Angelini not voting.   An override requires a 2/3 affirmative vote.  In order for an override to succeed, the bill needs three additional yes votes in the Senate and 12 yes votes in the Assembly. O’Scanlon and Angelini represent two of the needed yes votes. Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi of Bergen County also didn’t vote in 2012.  Schepisi said she would vote to override, leaving the bill needing 9 votes to pass in the Assembly.

If there is a override vote, it probably won’t occur until the “lame duck” session after the November election and before the new legislature takes office in January.

Posted: September 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Gay Marriage, Gender Equality, marriage, Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act, Mary Pat Angenlini, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Freeholders Raise Awareness For Pediatric Cancer and Suicide Prevention

 

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

By Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone

            The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders believes it is imperative to get the word out in an effort to raise awareness on two critical issues we face right here in our county.

            First is the growing problem of pediatric cancer. Because of this rising epidemic, Freeholder Serena DiMaso along with the support of The Board of Chosen Freeholders, Sheriff Shaun Golden and families of pediatric cancer victims in Monmouth County joined together at the last Freeholder’s meeting to proclaim September “Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.” Moreover, Monmouth County has the third highest rate of cancer in the state, and it is time to figure out why. The month of September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which was created to bring attention to the caregivers, charities and groups, who spotlight the importance of the need for research and awareness to aid in finding cures for pediatric cancer. As part of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders as well as the communities within will “go gold”, placing gold ribbons and wearing gold clothing to recognize the need for more research in the area of pediatric oncology. We must do everything we can to promote the awareness and research of this disease that is taking the lives of our children. Our hearts go out to the families affected by cancer, and we sincerely hope that by declaring September as “Go Gold Month”, we can start to raise awareness right here in Monmouth. County.

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Posted: August 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Health Care, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christie Order Allows Teenagers To Volunteer In Rebuilding Efforts

photo courtesy of Samaritanspurse.org

photo courtesy of Samaritanspurse.org

Teenagers are allowed to perform construction work as volunteers for non-profit organizations assisting New Jersey residents in rebuilding from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy thanks to an Executive Order signed by Governor Chris Christies yesterday.

Many of the young people assisting homeowners clean up and rebuild over the last 9 months have been doing so in violation of New Jersey’s Labor Law which prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from coming within 30 feet of construction work.   As the law became more common knowledge, charities were turning young volunteers away.

Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth) and Marlene Caride (D-Bergen and Passaic) proposed legislation last month that would permit youthful good works, but the bill could take a year or more to pass and become effective.

Christie’s order, which can be viewed here, permits minors between 14 and 17 years of age to volunteer for non-profits engaged in housing construction through the end of this year.

Posted: July 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: #STTS, Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »