Devoid of ideas of how to improve Monmouth County’s government and running on so called “issues” that have failed in the last few campaigns, the Monmouth County Democratic Freeholder candidates, Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo are apparently hoping they can win in November by mimicking Congressman Frank Pallone’s odd facial expressions. Even their campaign volunteers are doing it.
Luttrell and Grillo have been handing out literature that blame Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich for the misdeeds of Peter Burnham at Brookdale Community College and Andrew Lucas’s alleged misdeeds in the the sale of development rights to a farm that he owns to the farmland preservation program.
Senator Cory Booker is lending his star power and fund raising prowess to the Democratic Freeholder candidates who are looking to unseat Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Deputy Director Gary Rich in November.
Booker is headlining a July 25 fundraiser for Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo at the Wall Township home of Gary and Linda Faraci.
Former Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye, currently the President of the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club, wrote to the Republican County Committee members today to warn that Vin Gopal, the County Democrats and the press, will use Sheriff Shaun Golden’s “dual offices” as a campaign issue in the event he becomes Chairman. Here’s a copy of Kaye’s letter.
Just as important as what John has done, is what he has not done – and that’s gift wrap a campaign issue for Vin Gopal and the County Democrats to beat us all over the head with. Unfortunately, I am concerned that is exactly what electing Shaun Golden to the dual offices of County Sheriff and County Republican Chairman will do.
Chairman Bennett called me on the day Golden announced he was running for Chairman and asked if I was going to “be fair with him this time.” He felt my coverage of the 2012 Chairman’s race when I endorsed his opponent was unfair. I told him I would be and I believe I have been. Earlier this week I sat down separately with John and his daughter, Meghan Bennett Clark. They both acknowledged that MMM’s coverage of the Chairman’s race has been fair.
So, if fairness, I have to say, the argument Kaye raises today in his letter to the County Committee is the same argument I raised against John Bennett being Chairman two years ago. I argued that the Democrats and the press would have a field day with Bennett. I argued that they would use Bennett’s record, pension and multiple public jobs to beat Monmouth County Republicans over the head. It would be Club Monmouth all over again.
I was wrong. It didn’t happen.
I don’t think it will happen this time either. But if it does, both Bennett and Golden could both be vulnerable.
Democratic leaders in Trenton are working on increasing the only tax in New Jersey that is not one of the highest in the nation, the gasoline tax.
In a February meeting with The Star Ledger Editorial Board, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said he favored increasing the 14.5 cent gas tax and that he favored a tax on water consumption.
Senator Ray Lesniak proposed a 29% increase in the gasoline tax in March.
Former Monmouth Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery
Former Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Victor V. Scudiery wrote Lesniak to oppose an increase in the gasoline tax on March 25. Not having heard back from Lesinak, Scudiery sent his letter to all members of the legislature yesterday and released it to the press:
March 25, 2014
Senator Raymond J. Lesniak
985 Stuyvesant Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
Dear Senator Lesniak:
I was disappointed to read that you are proposing raising the tax on gasoline here in New Jersey to pay help for repairs to our roadways.
Have you considered taxing the oil companies I believe that the road repairs should be their responsibility; after all, it appears we have no control over the increase at the gas pumps each week. In 2008 gasoline was $1.89 per gallon, look what has happened in just six (6) short years. We continue to see a rise in gasoline prices weekly and the average person just cannot afford the current prices let alone another tax.
If the current taxes collected on gasoline were used solely to repair roads as was the original intent, instead of using it for other items in the state budget, it would not be necessary to add any new taxes. These taxes would be more than enough funds to repairs our roads, bridges and tunnels, which incidentally are one of the highest labor and material costs in the nation.
It is time for all our Elected Officials to look for ways to cut and control spending and keep our residents financial hardships at the forefront.
Their nominating convention is not until March 22 at the IBEW Local 400 union hall in Wall Township, but Monmouth County Democratic freeholder candidates Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo are off and running full speed ahead.
Luttrell, the Holmdel attorney who came in last against Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso, as well as his running mate Brian Froelich, after being endorsed by the Asbury Park Press last year, announced he was running again almost immediately after his sad showing.
Grillo is the former Executive Director of the Monmouth Democrats and the municipal chairman of the Asbury Park Democrats. Like Luttrell, he has never held elected office. Grillo was briefly a candidate for the Asbury Park City Council last year, withdrawing from the race prior to the filing deadline. Since leaving his position as ED of the Monmouth Dems, Grillo has worked for his family’s tile company in Howell.
Grillo stepped up his game over the weekend with a fundraising email blast that announced his candidacy. He raised $6,200 online through Sunday. A Democrat who does not want to be known for talking to a Republican leaning site told MMM that Grillo has raised over $20,000 for his campaign including checks collected offline. His stated goal is to raise $50,000 by the June 3rd primary.
Just as he did last October when he falsely accused a Republican candidate for Red Bank Council of being a fugitive, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is lying today in his attempt to make political hay over the arrest of former Manalapan Mayor Andew Lucas.
Lucas was indicted for alleged actions in connection with his purchase of Burke Farm.
The ever deceptive young chairman issued a statement to PoltickerNJ and other outlets that alleges a scandal regarding the sale of the development rights to the farm to the state/county and municipally funded Open Space program. Gopal say blatantly accuses the Republican members of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders of being involved in the scandal. The U.S. Attorney thoroughly investigated the sale of the farm, with the cooperation of Monmouth County officials. No charges have been filed regarding the sale of the development rights. No one other than Lucas has been charged with any wrong doing.
Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Cory Booker will be attending a private meeting of the Monmouth Democrats Chairman’s Club on Friday, August 30th at a yet to be determined location in eastern Monmouth County, according to a Democratic source familiar with Booker’s schedule.
The event is closed to the press and is open to Chairman’s Club members only, according to the source.
Chairman’s Club members donate $35 per month or $50 per couple (married or civil union) per month to the Monmouth County Democratic Organization.
Monmouth Dems will unanimously endorse Buono tomorrow
Responding to Democratic gubernatorial candidates Carl Bergmanson and Willie Araujo’s statements to MMM that they were not invited to the Monmouth Democratic Nominating Convention, Chairman Vin Gopal issued the following statement:
“We have one of the most open conventions in all of New Jersey. To date, I have only heard from one candidate seeking support for the Democratic Nomination for Governor – Senator Barbara Buono. We have sent several e-mails out to our database asking candidates who are interested in running for Governor, Legislature or County Offices to file a letter of intent. In addition, we had a public post on our Facebook Page on February 3rd asking potential candidates for Governor to get their paperwork in by February 9th, our deadline for candidates for candidates seeking our support. Any candidate who says they have reached out to us and we did not get back to them is just not true. We only heard from Senator Buono and that is who we will be unanimously endorsing tomorrow.”
In their first quarters as party chairmen, Democrat Vin Gopal bested Republican John Bennett in the fundraising battle by over $10,000.
According to their reports filed with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, the Monmouth County Democrats raised $38,647.50. and spent $28,096.01. The Democrats started the quarter with only $957 in cash. As of September 30th they had $11,509.
The Monmouth GOP ended the quarter with almost $2,000 less cash than it had when Bennett was elected. The GOP reported raising $28,296 and spending $30,284. Former Chairman Joe Oxley left Bennett with $34,790. Of the $28K Bennett raised, $6000 was donated by the Election Fund of Assemblyman Dave Rible and $3000 was donated by Senator Jennifer Beck’s campaign account.
Gopal’s large donors were Local Union 400 IBEW ($3500), the Middletown Democrats ($1850), Plumbers and Pipe fitters Local Union #9 ($1000) and the Uliano Law Firm of West Long Branch ($1500).
Gopal raised $20,710 in contributions of $300 or less. Bennett raised $9,802 in donations of $300 or less.
“The Monmouth County Democrats are organizing at a grassroots level because residents across the county are beginning to realize there is a very clear difference between the two political parties,” said Gopal, “At our convention last June, we had a turnout of over 90% of our county committee with hundreds of new county committee members entering the political process, many of them first time contributors to our party,”
” With party standard bearers like Barack Obama, Bob Menendez and Frank Pallone, people see that we are building and we are organizing. The Monmouth County Democratic Party is fighting for middle-class taxpayers, fighting for small business owners and working to protect our environment. There is a clear difference between the two county parties and our messages and people across the county are beginning to recognize these differences.”