Monthly Archives: April 2009

Middletown Republicans Put Politics Front and Center, Adopt NJ State Republican Party Resolution Condemning Corzine Budget

Contact: Joe Caliendo, Chairman, Middletown Democrats

8 Daniel Drive, Middletown, NJ 07748
Tel: 732-299-6470

Press Release

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ: Middletown committeemen Sean Byrnes and Patrick Short decided not to cooperate with the politics of parties over people at the April 20th session of that governing body.

The Middletown Committee’s Republican Majority adopted, by a vote of 3 to 2, a resolution they received from the New Jersey Assembly’s Republican Office that did not constructively criticize the governor’s spending plan – the resolution was just politics as usual.

“I’m not a fan of the governor’s budget, but this resolution was created for clearly political reasons,” said Byrnes, who is also running for a 3-year seat on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders this year.

Byrnes noted that the proclamation adopted by the Middletown Committee did not offer any actual recommendations. Instead, it sought no tax increases, program cuts, personnel cuts or any other belt-tightening measures. In addition, the document was filled with partisan references geared to an election season instead of the kind of work government should be accomplishing when convened. “I expected a comment about a magic wand somewhere,” Byrnes said.

Byrnes faulted Gov. Corzine for not making the tough choices that should have been made in the spending plan this year, especially in the current economic environment. Some of the ways that Byrnes recommended should have been explored on the state level included: reigning in high-paying salaries for top state officials, examining ways to fundamentally revisit the organization of state government and the way it offers services, and exploring consolidation of services.

Otherwise, without this kind of thoughtful approach to critiquing the state budget, complaints about the spending plan lack real seriousness where it involves a subject that warrants it.

Short similarly criticized the language of the resolution, noting that state spending has to be examined in the context of the plan and government spending has to be reined in realistically. He stressed that much more work could be to improve the lot of state taxpayers, but noted that political posturing isn’t the way to achieve it.

Rather than engage this line of discussion, committee Republicans offered criticism without anything constructive in their arguments. Republican Committeeman Anthony Fiore criticized the financial subsidies that cities like Camden, Newark and Jersey City receive. He offered that more of an emphasis should be placed on suburban towns by the state.

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger defended adopting the Assembly GOP resolution through his criticism of universal preschool in New Jersey.

Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo noted, “If Republicans either in Trenton or Middletown want to make a change to give taxpayers a better break, they are going to need to have actual ideas of their own – not just criticisms. Democrats do not need to change parties to say what they think – because party lines aren’t what is going to change things for the better.”

Caliendo explained that it is not enough for Scharfenberger or anyone else to point to Trenton and say that the state government is the sole problem with what is wrong in Middletown. “When someone is usually wrong they look to shift blame from themselves. The Middletown Committee has been Republican controlled for 28 years and if there is a problem in this town with the budget and its oversight it isn’t Trenton’s fault. It is the fault of the people in charge of the town, and they happen to be Republicans,” Caliendo said.

He added that, where it involves Trenton, it was not Jon Corzine that created the state’s fiscal crisis. Rather, Caliendo noted that it was former Gov. Christine Todd-Whitman who did more to place the Garden State into the red than all of New Jersey’s governor’s combined, and she happened to be Republican. “If the Republican Party could stop lying, then Democrats wouldn’t have to keep telling the truth about them. There are things that could have been done better in this year’s state budget but it takes real recommendations to make changes and not just posturing by the GOP,” Caliendo concluded.

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Filed under budget resolution, Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Jon Corzine, Joe Caliendo, Middletown, Middletown GOP, Middletown Township Committee, Monmouth County, Patrick Short, Republican Majority, Sean F. Byrnes

Two Shore Boys Taken During 1st Round Of NFL Draft

It was a big day for two Monmouth County shore boys, Knowshon Moreno and Donald Brown, both were drafted earlier today during the 1st round of the NFL’s annual players draft.

Local Middletown legend Knowshon Moreno, who played football for Middletown High School South before moving onto the University of Georgia was the 12th selection in the draft, being taken by the Denver Broncos.

Here is what the scouting report had to say about Moreno:

Knowshon Moreno has the speed, strength, and ability to finish a run through, and gets up right away to get to his next touch. He is the top RB prospect this year and will make an immediate impact on the league next year. Projected to be taken some where in the teens but will instantly have a positive effect on whatever team takes him.

Atlantic Highlands native Donald Brown, played his high school ball for Red Bank Catholic before going on to star for the University of Connecticut. Brown was selected #27 by the Indianapolis Colts.

Here is what the scouting report had to say about Brown:

A solid all-around back who has shown he can be effective running inside or outside, Brown is more quick than he is strong and would be best used on counters, misdirections and in space. However, he has shown he can do everything well and has clear starter potential. Could really excel in a zone-blocking scheme.
Borderline first-round talent

Congratulations to both Moreno and Brown, from what I have heard about both of them they are each upstanding and level headed kids who are great citizens and individuals. Both should excel in the NFL for their new teams. 

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Filed under 1st round selection, Denver Broncos, Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts, Knowshon Moreno, NFL Draft

President Obama’s Weekly Address: 4/25/09

This week the President reiterates a theme that has been a hallmark of his career, namely that “old habits and stale thinking” will simply not help us solve the new and immense problems our country faces. Listing off several specific changes he intends to bring, he describes his guiding principle: “To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative.”

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Filed under Budget, effective government, government reform, President Obama, weekly address

NFL Draft Today 3 Jersey Guys Hoping To Hit the Big Time

The NFL draft takes place later today at Radio City Music Hall. I haven’t had time to really study the the kids available for the NFL’s annual meat market that will start at 4:00 pm but I will be tuned in none the less.

The following is the the NY. Daily News’s mock draft for today’s event:
1. LIONS: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Here’s the beauty of going 0-16: Pick a player, any player, and it’s an upgrade. Roger Goodell should provide bailout picks for the Lions so they will be competitive instead of ruining Thanksgiving every year for football fans. Stafford had better not be Joey Harrington.
2. RAMS: Jason Smith, T, Baylor
When the game of musical chairs stopped, all that was left for Steve Spagnuolo was the Rams. At least he got his Super Bowl ring with the Giants. Rams are five-to-10 years away from winning. Rams and Chiefs (with combined 11-53 record last two years) have made Missouri proud.
3. CHIEFS: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Bill Belichick gave his buddy Scott Pioli a nice gift to jump-start his program: Matt Cassel. Now all he needs is 52 more players. Pioli imported Mike Vrabel and Zach Thomas, who can teach Curry about life as a linebacker in the NFL. It’s just not the same in K.C. without Herm.
4. SEAHAWKS: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
The Redskins want Mark Sanchez and are hot for this pick. The Seahawks say they won’t take a QB and believe Matt Hasselbeck, Elisabeth’s brother-in-law, has enough left. In two seasons in college, Crabtree had 231 catches and 41 TDs. Those are Madden video game numbers.
5. BROWNS: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Eric Mangini gets run out of New York and winds up with more power when owner Randy Lerner confuses him with Vince Lombardi. The former Mangenius has already traded Kellen Winslow; Braylon Edwards to the Giants and Brady Quinn to the Jets could be next.
6. BENGALS: Eugene Monroe, T, Virginia
Free Ocho Cinco. Mike Brown needs to show he has a heart and let him go. Ocho Cinco has spent ocho years in Cincy, but it must feel like ocho cinco years to him. Who complains more this year: Ocho Cinco or Laveranues Coles?
7. RAIDERS: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Al Davis has always been obsessed with speed and Maclin has it. He also had 182 catches and 22 TDs in the last two years. But can JaMarcus Russell deliver the pigskin? Don’t worry about the Raiders. Davis brought back Tom Cable as coach.
8. JAGUARS: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
The hot spot for a trade if Sanchez is still around. The Redskins and Jets will be bidding to get him. Jags would take RB Beanie Wells if they move down or Raji if they stay here.
9. PACKERS: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
Important year coming up for Aaron Rodgers. Pack was 6-10 with him after 13-3 with Brett Favre, although Green Bay played virtually no defense last season, which makes it harder to win.
10. 49ERS: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
When the coach is the most entertaining portion of the program, that’s trouble. But it’s hard to top Mike Singletary dropping his drawers during his first halftime speech to illustrate how poorly his guys played. Singletary, a defensive guy, goes for a defensive guy.
11. BILLS: Andre Smith, T, Alabama
They had time and money invested in OT Jason Peters, but didn’t want to invest any more of either, so they traded him to Philly for the 28th pick.
12. BRONCOS: Robert Ayers, DE-LB, Tennessee
The Broncos had the best young quarterback in the league, but boy genius Josh McDaniels wrote the manual on how to run the franchise QB out of town.
13. REDSKINS: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
Dan Snyder got shut out on Jay Cutler. Now his new infatuation is Mark Sanchez, but without a second-round pick to move up, he will have to give up next year’s No. 1.
14. SAINTS: Malcolm Jenkins, CB-S, Ohio State
The Saints could go for a running back here (Beanie Wells or Knowshon Moreno) because Reggie Bush is not an every-down player. But at some point, even a pass-happy coach like Sean Payton knows you have to stop the pass.
15. TEXANS: Brian Cushing, LB, USC
Can definitely see one of the three USC linebackers going here: Cushing, Clay Matthews (uncle Bruce is on the Texans staff) or Rey Maualuga
16. CHARGERS: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
LT is in his ninth year and he’s slowing down. Darren Sproles was outstanding vs. Colts in playoffs, but he’s a situational back. Moreno may be a luxury today, but a necessity tomorrow.
17. JETS: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
If Mark Sanchez falls to No. 8, Jags want to deal and Jets will make a run at moving up. If Browns take Sanchez, then the Jets could trade for Brady Quinn. If the Redskins get Sanchez, then the Jets could trade for Jason Campbell. Otherwise, it’s Heyward-Bey, the player the Giants love.
18. BRONCOS: Clay Matthews, LB, USC
Instead of Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler, they have Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton. Bad trade. The Broncos could take Kansas State QB Josh Freeman here in what was the Bears’ spot.
19. BUCS: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
They missed on Brett Favre in ’08 and Jay Cutler in ’09. They signed Byron Leftwich to compete with future Hall of Famers Luke McCown, Brian Griese and Josh Johnson. That’s quite a foursome.
20. LIONS: Michael Oher, T, Mississippi
In an attempt to reverse the heist from the Vikings in ’89 in exchange for Herschel Walker, Dallas owner Jerry Jones sent this pick and his third- and sixth-round selections to the Lions for WR Roy Williams and a seventh-rounder last year.
(Page 3 of 3)
21. EAGLES: Beanie Wells, RB, Ohio State
We know Tiki Barber, and Brian Westbrook is no Tiki Barber. That’s false advertising by the Birds. Westbrook is dynamic, he just gets hurt too much. With Correll Buckhalter now in Denver, Beanie shares the load. We sure hope that makes Donovan McNabb happy.
22. VIKINGS: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Back in ’98, there were character questions about Randy Moss and he fell all the way to the Vikes at No. 21. Harvin may be the most talented player in the draft and teams don’t worry that he reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the combine.
23. PATRIOTS: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
Bill Parcells has never won a playoff game without Bill Belichick. Can Belichick pick players without Scott Pioli? Just who was responsible for finding Tom Brady in the sixth round?
24. FALCONS: Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia
Right up until they were on the clock a year ago, it looked like the Falcons were going to compound the Michael Vick disaster by passing on QB Matt Ryan and taking DT Glenn Dorsey.
25. DOLPHINS: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
The Tuna has not won a playoff game since the Jets beat the Jags in the ’98 divisional round. But he’s got the quick turnaround down pretty good, helped in Miami by the Chad Pennington gift from the Jets. As much as Pennington needs more weapons, Parcells loves linebackers.
26. RAVENS: Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State
The son of Terry Robiskie, the Falcons’ WR coach and former Redskins head coach, is ready to contribute right now. That’s what the Ravens need for Joe Flacco.
27. COLTS: Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
Now that Marvin Harrison is gone, I can see Bill Polian finding one more weapon for Peyton Manning on the outside.
28. BILLS: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
Imagine this: It’s Dec. 20 and the the Bills are 2-11 and trailing 27-0 in the second quarter. T.O. is standing by himself in a blizzard on the sidelines, an inch of ice on his helmet and the popcorn machine frozen. He will get misty-eyed recalling Tony and Jessica.
29. GIANTS: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Jerry Reese wants to move up for WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, a big guy with lots of speed to replace Plax. If they can’t get him, then it’s Nicks. Giants wouldn’t give up Osi Umenyiora in Eli Manning deal five years ago. No shot they’ll give up Mathias Kiwanuka for Braylon Edwards.
30. TITANS: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
Since the Titans chose not to include the Grand Ole Opry in their offer, they had no shot to keep Albert Haynesworth, especially when Dan Snyder decided to be a one-man federal stimulus package. Whatever happened to Vince Young?
31. CARDINALS: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
Anquan Boldin has two years left on his contract and figures there might be some loose change hanging around after the Cards gave Larry Fitzgerald $10 million a year last year with $30 million guaranteed. No way they should trade him, but if they do Kurt Warner will make Britt a star.
32. STEELERS: Alex Mack, C, Cal
Not exactly the pick that makes the Steelers favorites to repeat, but the O-line allowed Big Ben to get hit just a little bit too much last season – he was sacked 46 times 

And here is the latest Video from CBS Sports that talks about the Running backs availabe today, of note Georgia Bull Dog and Middletown South graduate Knowshon Moreno, is expected to be selected in the 1st round. Two other New Jersey natives Donald Brown of Red Bank Catholic and Shawn Greene

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Filed under CBS Sports, Donald Brown, Knowshon Moreno, Mock Draft, NFL Draft, NY Daily News, Phil Simms, Shawn Greene

Thanks to GOP, Middletown Has Become Unaffordable

Check out Pat Walsh’s post “Thank you Middletown GOP for making it completely unaffordable to live in Middletown!” over at her blog, Middletown Musings, she has some very good (and I don’t mean in a nice way) things to say about the 9.2% budget increase that Pam, Gerry and Tony are pushing on to the residents of Middletown.

Democrats have been warning Middletown for years now about the reckless spending habits of the Middletown GOP.  
We’re all having a rough time balancing our own checkbooks and have had to cut expenses in this current economic enviroment the country is in, unfortunately the Republicans in town fell otherwise and refuse to cut spending and are increasing the size the  local government by going on a hiring binge again, word has it that the township is looking to fill several positions within Parks & Rec. and Public Works. 
If you are looking for a nice cushy job send your resumes now! 

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Filed under Budget Battle, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Middletown GOP, Pamela Brightbill, tax increase, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

Middletown GOP Push 9.2% Tax Increase Onto Residents

Can you believe it Middletown? The Republican controlled township committee will be pushing through a 9.2 % property tax increase to balance township finances. It will be one of the largest tax increases in township history.
When you add on top of last years tax increase of 7.3 % and the 8.7 % increase over the prior two years, the Middletown GOP has been responsible for local property tax increases of 25% in the past 4 years! 
What have we gotten for all of this? 
We have a beautiful Arts Center that was built on contaminated soil that cost over $8 million  to bulid and costs the tax payers over $240,000 a year just in utility costs. We have 2 Township Attorneys that can bill the township for over $600,000 a year combined and local GOP fiathful that sit on the Sewage Authority that just gave themselves a raise for 12 hours of work a year.
It’s time for people to wake up and see what is going on here. It is time to stop blaming Trenton for what happens here in Middletown like Pam Brightbill, Gerry Scharfenberger and now Tony Fiore have been doing for the past few years! 
Our local GOP are fat bastards that need to go on a diet.
You can’t blame this one on the Democrats, Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes have been warning residents about this for 3 years now! Why do you think Short has been ridiculed for the past 3 years for reading the bill list each month and pointing out wasteful spending? It’s because the Republican majority that runs Middletown is hungry for our tax dollars, to many of them rely on the township for their livelihood. If they cut spending they will go hungry it is as simple as that!
I’d like to hear where this years Middletown GOP golden boy Steve Massell stands on this tax increase?
 I wonder if he was let in on this dirty little secret before Monday’s township committee meeting, because like much of what the GOP majority does, it kept Short and Byrnes and the public in the dark about the 9.2% increase until the night of the meeting so that they could not properly respond and ask questions

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Filed under Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Middletown Democrats, Middletown GOP, Pamela Brightbill, Patrick Short, property taxes, Sean F. Byrnes, tax increase, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

Fox New’s Shepard Smith: "We are American, We Do No Torture!", Then Drops F* Bomb

Fox News Anchorman Shepard Smith has been on a roll the last few days as details from the “Torture Memos” have been discussed and dissected by various members of the media.

Yesterday, Fox News viewers were treated to anchorman Shepard Smith and former New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s repeated and passionate condemnation of torture, at one point Smith declared, “We are America, we don’t torture! And the moment that is not the case, I want off the train! This government is of, by, and for the people — that means it’s mine. That means — I’m not saying what is torture, and what is not torture, but I’m saying, whatever it is, you don’t do it for me! I want off the train when the government starts — I want off, next stop, now!”

Later in the day, while Smith was anchoring the’s “Strategy Room”, Shepard Smith let loose the F* bomb when reporter Trace Gallagher suggested harsh interrogation tactics might be an effective tool to use to gather information.

I don’t watch Fox News that often but when I do, I generally find myself tuning in when Shepard Smith is on the air. I find him to be more level headed and moderate than many other of his colleagues on the channel, so it is refreshing to see him act this way and I applaud him for his stance, even though he is non committal on what constitutes torture.

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Filed under F* bomb, Fox News, Judith Miller, Shepard Smith, Strategy Room, The New York Times, torture memos, Trace Gallagher