Daily Archives: November 2, 2009

in Middletown Vote Sean Brynes and Patrick Short For Integrity, Ingenuity, Responsibility and Commitment

Election day in Middletown is tomorrow, just like it is throughout the state. Middletown residents have a great opportunity to elect two well qualified, upstanding individuals and fellow Middletowner into office tomorrow, those individuals are Sean Byrnes and Patrick Short.

Each have served Middletown well over the past two and a half years and it is time for their good work to continue. In Byrnes’s case that means electing him the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, where he can continue to work for more open and transparent government and keep a watchful eye over county finances just as he has done here in Middletown.

In the case of Patrick Short, no one could have more integrity,ingenuity,responsibility or commitment than he.

Patrick Short hasn’t made any friends down at Town Hall and that is a good thing! He has always looked out for the residents interests and never his own or party’s. He lead the fight to have resolutions and ordinances posted on the township website prior to public meeting, he fought to eliminated health benefits for part-time elected and appointed officials in Middletown and he has lead the fight in the alleviation of the flooding problem in the Port Monmouth section of town. And it should be noted that Short does not collect a salary, health benefits or is entered into the pension system, he is not compensated in any way for his service. Short very well may be the only elected official in the state that can boast of such a claim!

Both men have served our country well, Byrnes as a member of the US Coast Guard for 22 years retiring with the rank Commander and Short, who as a West Point graduated, served in the US Army retiring as a Lt. Colonel.
Both their backgrounds in management have proven invaluable in keeping taxes down, neither have ever voted for a tax increase while their Republican colleagues have increased taxes by 16% over the last 4 years.
Because of their opposition to township bonding over the past two years Middletown’s debt peaked at $85 million and is now on a downward slope of approx. $65 million.
This fact alone warrents your vote, I know it does mine. So when you enter that voting booth tomorrow remember what Sean Byrnes and Patrick Short have ment to our commuintiy over the past three years and vote for them: Byrnes for Freeholder and Short for Township Committee.

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Filed under Democratic Candidate, Middletown Township Committee, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Patrick Short, Sean F. Byrnes

Remember When Voting For Monmouth County Freeholder:Byrnes Best Bet For Freeholder

When residents of Monmouth County enter the voting booths tomorrow remember one thing before you pull that lever to vote for Freeholder: Byrnes Best Bet For Freeholder.

That was the headline of the Oct.18th editorial in the Asbury Park Press in which the APP endorsed Byrnes for Freeholder over last years retreat John Curley.

For those who would like to read again what the APP said about Sean Byrnes in it’s endorsmen, I’ve re-posted the editorial below:

Monmouth County voters are fortunate to have three well-qualified, civic-minded candidates to choose from in this year’s election for an open seat on the Board of Freeholders. But Democrat Sean Byrnes’ passion for cutting government spending and increasing transparency separate him from the field.

Byrnes, Republican John Curley and Independent Stan Rosenthal are seeking the seat being vacated by Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow, who opted not to seek re-election this year, citing health reasons. Curley, vice president of an auto dealership and a former Red Bank councilman, was narrowly defeated by Democrat Amy Mallet in last year’s election.

Byrnes, an attorney and Middletown township committeeman, is bright, articulate and has an uncommon grasp of issues affecting Monmouth County residents.

His review of the county budget has enabled him to pinpoint departments “ripe for cutting,” and he has identified specific positions within departments that have more personnel than needed to function well. He says he will push for across-the-board 10 percent budget cuts, as well as directing some department heads to find further cuts.

A proponent of openness in government, Byrnes said he would make sure all county budget data and other information of interest to residents would be posted online. He lamented the apathy he has seen about county government, and said having more information easily available would encourage residents to get involved and provide input on ways to make government more efficient and responsive.

Byrnes’ extensive volunteer and professional background have given him hands-on budget and management experience that would serve him well on the freeholder board.

A private-practice attorney with no public contracts, Byrnes has served on the Red Bank Board of Education and the boards of directors for the Community YMCA, the Parker Clinic and the Charter School. A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, he served in the Coast Guard for 22 years before recently retiring as a commander.

Control of the freeholder board, now in the hands of the Democrats after decades of all-Republican membership, is again on the line in this election. Curley raised concerns that a Democratic majority on the board would enable the state party leadership to gain control over jobs and contracts in Monmouth County.

But Byrnes does not appear to be beholden to his party’s political bosses. In fact, he has been critical of some of the patronage appointments and contracts handed out with little or no oversight during the past year. Byrnes said he was pleased with the current freeholder board’s decisions to have in-house legal and engineering services and “doing away with a system that allowed handouts.”

In Red Bank, Curley successfully fought machine politics and helped keep a helipad, a patronage-job visitors center and a solid waste station from being built in the borough.

Rosenthal, a retired financial analyst with Merrill Lynch, has been active with several volunteer programs and is passionate about helping people in need, especially during these tough economic times. He says his presence on the freeholder board would make it truly bipartisan, and he promised greater oversight in the budget process.

Curley and Rosenthal both have strong credentials. But Byrnes is exceptional, the best choice in a field of three worthy candidates.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Middletown, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, Sean F. Byrnes

MEMO: Does America really want a GOP comeback?

Nov. 2, 2009

From: Nathan Daschle, Executive Director, Democratic Governors Association

Twenty-four years. That’s how long it’s been since the party in power won either the New Jersey or Virginia governorships. Even more striking – the last time the party in power won the Virginia governorship was 1973.

And after losing the White House, Congress and every targeted Governors race since 2007, national Republicans desperately need a victory. They’re eyeing – and hyping – these two governors’ races as the start of their comeback. In their favor: history, political conditions, record-breaking spending and a tough economic climate.

If Republicans can’t win both races with the wind at their backs, their top recruits on the ballot, multi-million dollar investments and history in their corner, that will tell us a lot about whether Americans really want a Republican comeback.

In fact, if today’s Republicans can’t win both of these races, they will be the first opposition party in a generation to break the 2-and-0 winning streak.

So the biggest question for observers of these races is not what these races mean for Democrats but what they tell us about the GOP.

We’ve known from the beginning of this year that Democrats had an uphill battle to victory. Not only is it a challenge to break a five-cycle winless streak, but Democrats are also defending two seats in the midst of the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Despite all those difficulties and with just days left until Election Day, Democrats are in a stronger than expected position to break the streak. In Virginia, the Democratic nominee remains within striking distance, with more than half a million newly registered Democrats on the table. After months of observers calling it a foregone conclusion that Republicans were bound to win New Jersey, the race is a dead heat.

Below is a briefsummary of DGA activities in 2009, as well as a collection of insights from GOP leaders about what winning Virginia and New Jersey means to their party.

In their own words

From the moment they lost the Presidential election, Republicans have been hyping the off-year governors’ races as the dawn of their comeback. They’ve poured record-breaking resources into both races, outspending national Democrats because they desperately need a victory to energize their base after years of losses.

Republicans have been trumpeting their prospects in Virginia and New Jersey for a year, with the GOP’s leaders making the case that these races will set the stage for a conservative revival. On the eve of Election Day, a few of their statements stand out:

“Governors are again key to our comeback.”

— Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, RGA Chairman
RGA Website

“The RGA is helping lead the conservative comeback beginning this year, and its involvement in the East Coast races is significant.”

– Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Facebook, Oct. 27, 2009

New Jersey “is a bellwether in so many ways for the future of our party.”

–Michael Steele, RNC Chairman
The Washington Times, 8/23/2009

We already are seeing the Republican resurgence in this country, but it is going to be affirmed and we are going to get great momentum from the victories we’re going to have in New Jersey and Virginia this fall.”

— Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, RGA Vice-Chairman
Politico, 8/16/2009

DGA 2009

The DGA began the year understanding the difficulty of the 2009 landscape and made strategic decisions to boost critical election infrastructure and challenge Republicans. While the DGA spent more in Virginia and New Jersey than ever before in the committee’s history, the Republican Governors Association still outspent the DGA nearly 2-to-1, spending $13 million.

New Jersey

The global economic downturn hurt New Jersey, but Gov. Jon Corzine is campaigning on his record as a leader who is willing to make the right decisions when it matters most. Gov. Corzine has expanded health care to 100,000 children, invested in new schools and trimmed the size of government.

His opponent, GOP darling Chris Christie, tried to run on an ethics platform but a laundry list of controversies unmasked him as a candidate who had one set of rules for himself and another for everyone else. Christie, a Bush Republican who embraces the failed economic policies of the past, refused to release any specific plan for governing.

To help even the playing the field, the DGA spent $3.3 million in New Jersey – more than ever before in the state – with major contributions to candidates and party committees to help them build an effective, statewide, Get-Out-the-Vote effort that can make the difference in a close election. The DGA also made contributions to independent progressive organizations such as New Jersey Progress and the Mid-Atlantic Leadership Fund that spent $4 million on issue ads about government ethics and Chris Christie’s health care plan that allows insurance companies to cut benefits for New Jersey women and children.

For months during the summer and into the fall, pundits all but declared the race over, saying that Christie would win in a walk and give the thirsty GOP base a shot in the arm. After educating voters about his record and Christie’s stance on the issues, Gov. Corzine has turned the race into a dead heat. Analysts such as the Cook Political Report have even described his campaign as what appears to be a “remarkable comeback.”


Voters in the Commonwealth have long rejected the party in power in the White House when they vote for governor. As a red-tinged purple state where Democrats have only recently had success, the landscape in the Commonwealth is tilted heavily in favor of Republicans.

The DGA set out to accomplish a titanic task – occupy GOP nominee Bob McDonnell during a contested Democratic primary to give the party’s nominee the best possible start in the general election. The DGA served as Republican Bob McDonnell’s general election opposition during the contested Democratic primary during the spring, earning kudos for “stalking and bedeviling” the unopposed GOP nominee, according to the Associated Press. The DGA contributed $3 million to Common Sense Virginia, an independent Virginia state pac to educate voters about McDonnell’s real record on jobs and the economy, tripling voters’ negative perceptions of him and forcing him to spend more than $2 million before his uncontested primary in June.

National observers, such as Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, commented that DGA was “filling a critical role – ensuring that McDonnell isn’t allowed to make a positive imprint with the state’s voters while its own candidates bash each other relentlessly.” Cillizza added on May 29:

DGA Keeps McDonnell Honest: [Common Sense Virginia] has launched a new ad — its third — hammering Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R) as a job killer…Says the ad’s narrator: “Bob McDonnell: A Jobs Governor? You’ve got to be kidding.” The ad is part of a continuing attempt by the DGA to ensure that McDonnell doesn’t get a free pass on introducing himself to Virginia voters while the three Democratic candidates…bash one another…. Polling suggests McDonnell would start the general election with a lead over any of the trio of Democrats.
As Cillizza notes, before the DGA’s efforts began, all the Democratic contenders were losing to McDonnell by double digits. When the DGA’s successful primary opposition campaign ended, Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds was beating McDonnell by several points in head-to-head polling.

The DGA also contributed more than $1 million directly to Deeds, who has been endorsed by the Washington Post and McDonnell’s hometown newspapers for offering realistic, pragmatic leadership, not bogus plans.

Virginians face a stark choice Tuesday between moving the state forward and going backward, especially on issues like creating jobs, strengthening the economy, investing in schools, improving transportation and standing up for women’s rights. Deeds remains within striking distance of victory and can still tap into more than half a million new Democratic voters who went to the polls to cast a ballot for President Obama.

Looking ahead to 2010

The 2010 cycle is the most important election in a generation, as it could reshape the political landscape for decades to come. Nearly 4 in 5 Americans will vote for a Governor, most of whom will have a say in Congressional redistricting. Republicans are targeting these Governors races in the hope of redrawing the district lines and gerrymandering their way into 30 House seats.

To fight back, nearly four years ago the DGA launched Project 2010, a strategic operation to lay the foundation for success in the 37 governors’ races this year. Under the disciplined plan, the DGA is breaking our all-time fundraising records so we can spend substantially more per race than ever before in our history. We are recruiting top-tier candidates in key states. We are contributing early and strategically in battleground states.

Although the landscape remains uphill as Democrats prepare to defend 19 governorships in 2010, the DGA is in a better position than ever before to protect our incumbents, expand our ranks and ensure a fair redistricting process.

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Filed under Democractic Governors Association (DGA), GOP Leaders, Gov. Jon Corzine, New Jersey, President Obama, the GOP, Virginian

Christie Going After The "Crazy Conservatives"

It looks as if Chris Christie is trying to fly under the radar to snatch up crazy conservative voters without moderates and independents seeing it.

PolitickerNJ’s Max Pizzaro explains what I and talking about:

Lonegan amplifies support for Christie

Putting the punctuation mark on his weekend of stumping for GOP candidate Chris Christie, movement conservative leader Steve Lonegan issued an email blast to his supporters this morning citing a quote from President Barack Obama’s rallies for incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.

“He said that Corzine was ‘one of the best partners I have in the White House…we work together. We know our work is far from over.’

“That’s right,” Lonegan added. “The radical national agenda of Barack Obama is hoping to get a boost from the election for Governor of New Jersey. You know what that means. Last week, the most left-wing Speaker in the history of Congress unpacked her plan to take over health care – and with it 18% of the American economy. Coupled with the Obama ‘cap & tax’ scheme, both these bills will destroy American competitiveness, drive-up costs, and amount to the largest collective tax increase ever.

“It is time to say no to Obama’s plans to Socialize Medicine and the way to say no is by defeating Jon Corzine this Tuesday.”

Lonegan endorsed Christie on the night of the Republican Primary, but has been mostly subdued on the campaign trail until now.

He welcomed U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to New Jersey yesterday to campaign for Christie. Wilson shouted “You lie!” at Obama during the President’s State of the Union speech earlier this year.

Lonegan’s chief Warren County ally, Assemblyman Mike Doherty (D-Washington Twp.), a lock to win election to the state senate in the 23rd district tomorrow, said New Jersey Right to Life robocalls yesterday urged voters to vote for the only pro-life candidate in the race, Christie, and pointing out that both Corzine and independent candidate Chris Daggett are pro-abortion.

Lonegan, who beat Christie in Warren and Hunterdon counties last June, also did a robocall last night stating his strong support for Christie and urging a vote for Christie.

Moreover, “There are unprecedented call center operations at Republican HQs,” Doherty said.

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Filed under Chris Christie, Max Pizzaro, PolitickerNJ, Steve Lonegan

A Message From The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)

I recieved the following in my inbox this morning and thought it was interesting enough to passing along if anyone has been following what has been going on up in New York State:

Late yesterday news broke that the moderate Republican Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, candidate in the hard-fought special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional district, had been driven out and the Republican party was throwing their weight behind the Palin/Limbaugh/Glen Beck endorsed radical tea party candidate instead.

Today, the moderate Republican threw her support behind our proud Democratic candidate Bill Owens.

It has never been clearer that the Republican Party has been hijacked by extreme right wing ideologues with a radical agenda that would effectively dismantle Social Security and Medicare, and are out of step with a vast majority of Americans.

Eight extreme right wing groups spent more than $1 million on this campaign including the Minute Men, Club for Growth and the Family Research Council.

This means your work and your continued support and dedication have never been more critical as we face our one-year-out reporting deadline and this election on Tuesday.

We are up against a well-funded extremist GOP who will stop at nothing to win and whose agenda could quite literally take us backwards to the days of Bush-Cheney.

But, you and I can’t let that happen. I will continue to keep you posted on news of this race continues and thank you again for standing with us. We will need you now more than ever.


Jon Vogel
DCCC Executive Director

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Filed under Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)

NJPP Monday Minute: 11/2/09 Secession Shenanigans End November 3

Election Day tomorrow brings something new to the state – the election of New Jersey’s first lieutenant governor.

In most states (42 to be exact), the lieutenant governor takes over when the governor resigns, leaves the state or is incapacitated. In three states, the secretary of state or the attorney general takes over; in five states it is the state Senate president.

Until the state’s recent law change, New Jersey was one of those states where the Senate president became the acting governor when the governor could no longer serve. In New Jersey this has led to some bizarre circumstances–one where the state had six governors in just under a year and five governors who served during one week in 2002.

For those who don’t remember, that one week period was a curious one. Five people were governor of New Jersey between January 8 and January 15 in 2002.

Here’s the story:

  • Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco was governor until January 8, 2002. When Christine Todd Whitman resigned as governor on January 31, 2001 to become head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency under President Bush, Mr. DiFrancesco served as both Senate president and governor from that date until January 8, 2002.
  • James E. McGreevey had been elected governor and was to take office on January 15, 2002.
  • On January 8, 2002, Donald T. DiFrancesco was replaced as Senate president by two senators–Senator John O. Bennett (a Republican) and Senator Richard J. Codey (a Democrat). The office was shared because the Senate was evenly divided, 20-20 between Republicans and Democrats.
  • For the one hour period separating the end of Mr. DiFrancesco’s Senate term and the appointment of the two new Senate presidents, the state’s Emergency Succession Act required Attorney General John J. Farmer, Jr. to serve as governor.
  • Once the two senators were appointed co-presidents of the Senate, a determination had to be made about who would serve as governor before the newly elected governor was officially sworn in. As co-Senate presidents, it was decided that Senator Bennett would be governor from January 8 until January 12 and Senator Cody from January 12 until January 15, when the newly elected Governor James McGreevey took office.
  • What New Jersey had was a bad system, as NJPP noted back in a 2004 commentary. The Senate president was elected to the Legislature to represent one of 40 legislative districts–not a state of more than 8 million. His colleagues in the Senate elected him president in a vote that required at most 21 votes. No one elected him to run the state. Further, as governor and Senate president, the person holding that office was the head of the executive branch and head of the Senate–clearly a violation of the separation of powers and a situation ripe with potential conflicts of interest.

And this is how and why New Jersey came into compliance with the majority practice in the nation. And why Tuesday November 3 will mark a new era in New Jersey history.

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Filed under election day, Lt. Governor, New Jersey Policy Perspective

Video From The Obama – Corzine Rally In Newark: Obama’s Speech In 3 Parts

Yesterday, I attended the big campaign rally in Newark for Governor Corzine. The 3 videos below are of President Obama’s speech to all of those in attendance.

As I stated in a post last night, the crowd was loud and boisterous. Obama really whipped them up into a frenzy, you really needed to be there to get the true feel of the event. The energy in the Prudential Center was electric and Obama did not disappoint.
As you may be able to tell from the videos, I was seated in a luxury suite above and to the back of the President and all of the festivities and had a very good view of all the was around. When I tell you that the place was jumping, believe me it was!
On the way out of the building, I was also very impressed at how united and excited the crowd was to be fully behind the Governor’s re-election efforts. I overheard a few in the crowd expressing their desired to get out there and “knock down” doors in the neighborhoods to get out the vote tomorrow.
It seems that President Obama efforts on behalf of the Governor has paid off. Hopefully those efforts pay off at the polls tomorrow.

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Filed under campaign rally, Gov. Jon Corzine, Newark NJ, President Obama

Listen to Bob Brown, Democratic Candidate For NJ State Assembly District 13, In the Morning On NJ 101.5, Then Watch On The Strategy Room

Tomorrow is the last big day of campaigning for candidates and the two Democratic challengers for the State Assmebly out of district 13 are no exception.

Bob Brown will once again be featured on the NJ 101.5 radio station in the morning with host Jim Gearhart sometime between the hours 8am and 10am. Bob Brown, as some of you will recall, was a guest of Jim Gearhart 2 weeks ago and made such an impression on him, that Jim Gearhart endorsed him for State Assembly.
At 1 pm, Bob Brown will be making yet another appearence on Fox News’s “Stragey Room”. He will be sitting in on the segment ” News W/A View” hosted by Brian Kilmeade. Bob will be joined by guests Mike Baker-Former CIA Operative and President of Dilligence LLC and Bill Daly-Former FBI, Sr. VP of Control-Risks.
In the meantime Jim Grenafege, Bob Browns running mate in the 13th district, will be hitting up the local trian stations in the morning, meeting some hungry customers in a few local diners and then start knocking on doors throughout the district in a last minute push for votes.

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Filed under 13th Assembly District, Bob Brown, Jim Gearhart, Jim Grenafege, Strategy Room

Video From The Obama – Corzine Rally In Newark

I have the first two video clips that I have been able to put together so far from todays Corzine campaign rally at the Prudential Center in Newark. I hope to have the Presidents remarks ready in the morning.

The first video features Newark Mayor Cory Booker rocking the house, next to President Obama I can’t think of any other public speaker that can stir-up a crowd like Booker can, so it is a little unfortunate that I missed recording the first 30 -40 seconds of his address. I thought I had started to record but realized the camera was on stand-by:

This piece of video is of Governor Corzine’s speech to the crowd before he introduced President Obama. OverallI thought Corzine did a good job at addressing the crowd and making his case for 4 more years. It is up to the voters now however:

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Filed under campaign event, Cory Booker, Gov. Jon Corzine, Newark NJ, President Obama

Corzine Rally in Newark

I attended the big Obama/Corzine rally at the Prudential Center in Newark earlier today, It really was a sight to see. It topped the the rally held in Holmdel back in July.
The “Rock” was packed to the rafters with Corzine supporter and the build was rocked to its foundation once the President took the stage.
I am working on some video from the event which I hope to have up before the end of the night, If not than by tomorrow afternoon.
Max Pizzaro over at PolitickerNJ has put together a couple of good columns about what went on today in Newark.
Read about it >>> Here and Here

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Filed under Gov. Jon Corzine, Newark NJ, PolitickerNJ, President Obama