Daily Archives: October 30, 2009

Trick-or-Treating at the White House

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports:

DC area children: get your costumes ready.

On Saturday, the President and the First Lady will host a Halloween party at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for 2,000 lucky children from D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Specific schools were chosen by the White House and the Department of Education to be guests of the First family at their first Halloween bash.

School children and their families will be able to trick-or-treat at the front door of the White House at the North Portico.

The health-conscious First Lady will be providing healthy treats as well as some good old fashioned candy.

In the evening there will be a Halloween reception for military families and children of White House and Residence Staff hosted by the President, First Lady, Vice President, and Dr. Biden.

The President and the First Lady are not expected to come in costume, but it’s anyone’s guess what costumes first tweens Malia and Sasha will wear.

“You need security clearance for that,” First Lady Michelle Obama joked about her daughters’ “top secret” costumes.

-Sunlen Miller

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Filed under ABC News, Halloween, President Obama, the White House, Trick-or-Treat

County Clerk opens election offices for Saturday voting Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. is the deadline; Nov. 3 is Election Day

For Immediate Release:
October 28, 2009

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ – The Monmouth County election offices at 300 Halls Mills Rd. will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 for registered Monmouth County voters who would like to vote in person.

“There is no reason for a registered voter to miss out on voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 election” Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French said. “If you know who you want to vote for and don’t want to take a chance on missing out on voting in your home district, you can vote in person at the county’s election offices.”

Voters may also vote in person up to 3 p.m. on Nov. 2, the day before the election, at the county election office. The regular election office hours are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The County Clerk’s election office and the Board of Elections’ office work in tandem to coordinate walk-in voters prior to Election Day.

The deadline to request a Vote By Mail ballot was Oct. 27. The Vote By Mail ballot has replaced the absentee ballot.

Election information can be found on the County Clerk’s page of the Monmouth County Web site at http://www.visitmonmouth.com. Contact the Monmouth County Clerks’ Election Office at 732-431-7790 for additional information.

French also reminds people that elections’ rules now allow voters to vote prior to the election for any reason.
“In the past, absentee voting was restricted to individuals with disabilities, those who were out of town on Election Day or unable to vote because work hours kept them from the polls,” French said.

“That is not the case any more. Any registered voter can come to the county’s election offices and vote prior to Election Day.”

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Filed under early voting, Freehold NJ, Monmouth County, Vote by Mail

New Jersey Governor: Going Down to the Wire

CQ Politics – Poll Tracker

The latest Fairleigh Dickinson University poll, conducted Oct. 22 through 28, finds the race for New Jersey governor where it’s been for most of the month: deadlocked.

In a three-way race, Republican challenger Chris Christie leads Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine 41 percent to 39 among likely voters, including those leaning one way or the other. Independent Chris Daggett takes 14 percent of the vote. The margin of error is 4 percent.

Christie continues to lead among independent voters, at 37 percent, with Daggett at 27 percent and Corzine at 22 percent. Daggett receives the support of 13 percent each of Democrats and Republican likely voters.

The vast majority of respondents have now heard of Daggett, the Fairleigh Dickinson poll finds, but 31 percent have no opinion of him. His favorable and unfavorable ratings have both risen — to 28 percent favorable and 23 percent unfavorable.

Both Christie and Corzine continue to have a net unfavorable rating among likely voters. Christie’s rating is 44 to 41 percent unfavorable-favorable, compared to 42 to 35 percent in the FDU poll released Oct. 6. Corzine is at 54 to 39 percent, almost identical to where he was at the beginning of the month.

CQ Politics currently rates the race a Tossup.

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Filed under Chris Christie, Chris Dagget, CQ politics, Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, opinion poll

Even Loud Mouths Vote !

Late last night I received and email from District 13 Assembly Candidate Bob Brown. He wanted to pass along a funny little story about what had happened to him earlier in day while putting out campaign signs.

The several people that he copied this email to also thought that it was very funny, including Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine, who included Bob Brown’s email as part of his column today.
Here’s what Brown’s email said:
You may like this short story about putting out those political signs along the roadway.

After 4 hours of placing signs along the roads, I had this guy yell out his window, “Take Downs Those Signs!!!”. I told him to “Go F*&K Yourself”.

He stops the car and gets out yelling. “What did you say to me!”, I told you did you have a hard time hearing, I told you to “Go F^#K Yourself!”.

Then he yells “Are those signs for your friend or for you?”. I told him that I was the top name on that sign. He then backs down and says “Finally a politician with some backbone” and then
adds “That anyone that stands up to me, deserves my vote and my family’s vote”

I gave him my card directing him to my website and he was on his way.

The moral to the story, even loudmouths have a vote. The trick is to get them to vote for you.

Robert “Bob” Brown
Democratic Candidate
13th Leg. Dist, NJ State Assembly

P.S. I might be a Candidate and an Attorney but that old police attitude sometime gets out to settle matters and right to the point.

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Filed under 13th Assembly District, Bob Brown, Paul Mulshine, the Star-Ledger

Michelle Roth, Candidate For NJ State Assembly District 12: Answers 10 Questions

Michelle Roth has sat on the Manalapan Township committee for the past 5 years, last year she served the town as Mayor. She is currently seeking 1 of 2 seats that are up for grabs in the State’s 12th Assembly District.

She was kind enough to return my 10 question questionnaire that I sent to candidates seeking assembly seats for Monmouth County. In doing so, Michelle Roth has become the 5th candidate to respond to my questionnaire.
While going over her responses I was struck by her business background and the fact that she earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University. I also impressed by her ideas on how to control property taxes. She believes that if the emphasis for school funding was switch from property taxes to income taxes and school administration was centralized through the counties then savings could be realized through eliminating school districts and the consolidation of purchasing.
Read her reponses and decide for yourselves:

1. What is your motivation for seeking a seat in the NJ State Assembly and can you tell us a little about yourself?

I would like to change the way business is done in Trenton so we can get our spending under control and shift the funding of education away from property taxes and over to the State income tax system, where it belongs.

I earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and own a small consulting firm that does no business within the State of New Jersey. I have served on the Manalapan Township Committee for 5 years and was Mayor in 2008. I am married with three daughters.

2. As you meet residents throughout your district what seems to be the greatest concerns they are expressing and how do you plan to address them?

The only thing on everyone’s mind is the high cost of property taxes in New Jersey. There are several ways we can address this:

  • – Shift the funding source for education from property taxes to the State Income Tax.
  • – Shift school administration to the County level. This ensures greater economies of scale on purchasing, eliminates redundancies and centralizes management and hiring. This is done successfully elsewhere in our country without sacrificing quality in the classrooms. It will also be easier for budgeting oversight if there are only 21 school budgets to review Statewide instead of over 600.
  • – Keep all police patrol functions local, but centralize administration at the County level. This works effectively in other states.

3. What do you hope to accomplish once you are elected to the State Assembly?

Make government more efficient.

4. What is it that makes your district unique and how does that uniqueness impact your campaign?

Our district is similar to other suburban districts. We have several small municipalities surrounded by larger ones.

5. If elected, how would your professional background enhance your ability to be an effective State Assembly representative?

My business background will be extremely valuable when dissecting the State’s budget. I have also had the opportunity to travel extensively within the US and internationally, which has allowed me to see how different ideas utilized by other governmental entities succeed elsewhere and then scrutinize what can be transplanted here.

6. Do you have any thoughts on how to contain the growth of state government?

Invest in infrastructure and technology to make government leaner and more efficient and less reliant on manpower.

7. Is there any aspect of state government that you believe there is a need to be expanded upon?


8. Why should residents of your district trust you to represent them in the legislature ?

The challenges that face us are both great and grave. We need to make sure that we have the right people in office making the tough decisions. As the Mayor of Manalapan, I made local government more transparent by televising all meetings and improving access to public records online. I prevented urban sprawl by purchasing open space and supporting farmland preservation programs. I also reduced the size of government while making it more efficient. I will work to do the same in Trenton.

Since I do not do business within the State of New Jersey, there is nothing I want from the Trenton machine. That means I will always do what is in the best interest of all the residents of the 12th district.

9. Why do you identify yourself as a Democrat as opposed to a Republican or Independent?

Although I am very fiscally conservative, I align socially with Democrats on issues such as women’s rights and civil rights.

10. Is there anything that is important to you that I hasn’t been asked, that you would like to address?

I believe we should institute campaign finance reform.

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Filed under 10 questions, 12th district, Michele Roth

Support Sean Byrnes For Monmouth County Freeholder

For readers of this blog who do not know, I write a column that appears in the Monitor Newspapers called “Take it from me”. I have contributed several articles to the Monitor over the past few months, the lastest is in this weeks special election coverage edition and can be read below. It is my take on why you should elect Middletown Committeeman Sean F. Byrnes the next Monmouth County Freeholder.

I hope you find it interesting and informative enough to persaude your vote towards Sean Byrnes this coming Tuesday, Nov. 3rd :

With so much attention being paid to this year’s NJ Governors race between Jon Corzine and Chris Christie, other important races for political office throughout the state are being overshadowed, ignored and all but forgotten about by all except those who are seeking office. One such race happens to be for Monmouth County Freeholder.

In 2006, Barbara McMorrow was able to break the stranglehold that Republicans held in the county by becoming the first Democrat elected to the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders in over 20 years. Those of John D’Amico and Amy Mallet followed her election in 2007 & 2008, which turned over control of the county to democrats for the first time since 1986.

It looked as if Monmouth County would remain a “Blue” county for the foreseeable future, McMorrow was extremely popular and she was up for re-election this year. Republicans throughout the county did not want to run against her, due in part to her popularity. Then came news in late March that Freeholder McMorrow would not seek re-election this year due to illness. Democratic hearts sank while Republican hopes at recapturing the county swelled: the search for viable candidates on both sides started in earnest.

The best that the Monmouth GOP could come up with was republican retread John Curley, who lost last year’s election to Amy Mallet and who, as a councilman in Red Bank, resigned suddenly to move to Middletown citing high property taxes in Red Bank as one of his reasons.

Monmouth County Democrats chose a fresh, young face in Middletown’s Sean F. Byrnes to run against John Curley. And, as far as I’m concerned they made an excellent choice.

Byrnes grew up in Red Bank and graduated from Red Bank Regional High School before attending the US Coast Guard Academy, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Government. He retired from the Coast Guard after 22 years of service to our country as a Commander. While serving in the Coast Guard, Sean Byrnes went to night school and earned his Law Degree from Georgetown University.

Sean Byrnes has always had a strong believed in public service and throughout his life has placed a high priority on it. He has served as a member of the Red Bank board of education, Red Bank River Center and as a founding Board Trustee with the Parker Clinic. He served five years as Chairman of the Board of the Red Bank Branch of the YMCA, and two years as their Chief Volunteer Officer. He also serves as a minister and lector at the Church of St. Leo the Great, Lincroft.

In 2007, Sean garnered broad bipartisan support when he was elected to the Middletown Township Committee. In doing so, he became only the second Democratic elected in 18 years.

Since his election, Sean has focused on transparency in government, fiscal accountability and improved municipal governance. He drafted and secured passage of a resolution requiring all resolutions and ordinances to be posted on the Township website in advance of public meetings. He also voted against an ordinance that placed restrictions on the videotaping of Township meetings. Byrnes has repeatedly proposed resolutions to create a Finance Committee to begin the budget process well in advance of budget approval. And, introduced an ordinance to eliminate health benefits to Sewerage Authority Commissioners. To improve municipal governance in Middletown, Sean secured passage of a resolution establishing a Strategic Planning Committee and a Committee to implement the recently completed Recreation Master Plan.

Sean Byrnes is clearly the most qualified and best candidate to succeed Barbra McMorrow for Freeholder. His years of public service to our country, as well as our community, has prepared him well to represent the residents of Monmouth County as our next Freeholder.

Middletown’s loss will be Monmouth County’s gain.

If anyone is interested in receiving the Monitor Newspaper free by mail, you can email your information to monitornewpapers@gmail.com

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Filed under Middletown, Monitor Newspaper, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Sean F. Byrnes

Letter: It Was Patrick Short Who Resolved Flooding Issue In Port Monmouth

I would like to express the appreciation that all of my neighbors have toward Committeeman Patrick Short for reaching out to us and working to resolve the flooding issue that has been present here for more than 40 years, It has grown progressively worse with all the development in the area.

As a resident of Monmouth Avenue who has participated in township meetings and meetings with Rep. Frank Pallone regarding this issue many years ago, working more recently with Short has proven to be the most beneficial. It was he who first embraced the idea of a solution to our problem and reached out to the residents of Monmouth/Brainard/Wilson Avenues of Port Monmouth. His was the first suggestion of the pump station and other possible avenues that he wished to propose to the committee. His idea was quickly endorsed by Committeeman Sean Byrnes and then Anthony Fiore. With that support in place, the mayor and deputy mayor then joined in support.

The committee has just introduced an ordinance funding the first phase construction and engineering work for phase two. Short’s support is what got us where we are today regarding a solution. And now, thankfully, it is finally being realized.

Jeanette Wronka

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Filed under flooding, Middletown, Patrick Short, Port Monmouth

Letter:Michelle Roth, Democratic Candidate Adresses the 12th Assembly District

Dear Neighbor,

My name is Michelle Roth. I am running for Assemblywoman in District 12.

Like many women in Monmouth County I wear various hats. I am a working mother (of three daughters), wife and public servant. I have dedicated my time since my children were young to creating solutions that improve the future for all our children. I understand the challenges modern families face. I also understand that government needs to do a better job providing essential services and a lower tax bill so that our children and our parents can afford to stay in New Jersey. I worry about the future our children will inherit.

Because the challenges that face us are both great and grave, we need to make sure that we have the right people in office making the tough decisions. As the Mayor of Manalapan, I made local government more transparent by televising all meetings and improving access to public records online. I prevented urban sprawl by purchasing open space and supporting farmland preservation programs. I also reduced the size of government while making it more efficient. I will work to do the same in Trenton.

I am not the usual candidate for public office. I earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and own a small consulting firm that does no business within the State of New Jersey. There is nothing I want from the Trenton machine. Instead, I would like to change the way business is done in Trenton so we can get our spending under control and shift the funding of education away from property taxes and over to the State income tax system, where it belongs.

The Women’s Political Caucus of NJ recently endorsed me. They said that women elected to public office make a difference in our quality of life and change the political environment for the better by helping to restore the public’s trust in government. Women elected to public office waste no time in rolling up their sleeves to get the job done. I have also been endorsed by Planned Parenthood as I stand in defense of women’s rights.

Along with my running mate John Amberg, I have run a grassroots campaign, walking door to door and trying to speak with as many of the 141,000 voters in our district as possible. If we missed your door, I do apologize. You’ll notice that we had no fancy literature and did not bombard you with mailing after mailing. Nor have we said anything negative about our opponents. We’ve run a clean campaign based upon our ideas that we would enact when elected.

I know I can begin to fix the problems in Trenton but I need your help. On November 3rd, when you go out to vote, please vote for Michelle Roth and John Amberg. Let our voice be your voice in Trenton. Let us put your family first.

With warm regards,

Michelle Roth, Candidate
12th Assmebly District


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Filed under 12th district, John Amberg, Michele Roth, open letter