Monthly Archives: October 2011

APP: Lack Of Compelling Candidates Leads To Incumbent Endorsements In The 13th LD ??

The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board came up with some really scary reasoning as to why it decided to once again back incumbent Republicans as opposed to endorsing any of their opponents in the 13th Legislative District race this year.

In doing so they have attempted to dispel readership criticism of their obvious bias toward incumbent Republicans and the lack to follow through on their own rhetoric towards incumbency.

“…We often bemoan the power of incumbency and the lack of competitive legislative races in this state. A big part of the reason so many races are uncompetitive is that those who run against the incumbents are not compelling candidates….”

Not compelling candidates? Really? That one is a bit hard to believe.

How much more compelling candidates do you need than 2 former mayors of Hazlet and the first Democrat elected to the Middletown Township Committee in over 25 years, who have stressed the importance of maintaining the line on property taxes and getting hard hit middle-class families struck by the recession back on their feet and back to work?
Mayor Christopher Cullen who is running for the Senate against Joe Kyrillos was elected in 2000 to the Hazlet Township Committee. His focused was on preserving open space,preserving a record amount of open space and improved Hazlet’s quality of life. while stabilizing property taxes, and improving youth recreation. He served on the Planning and Zoning Boards and was liason to the Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, Recreation Commission. He is also a committed environmentalist.

Mayor Kevin M. Lavan who along with Patrick Short is running against incumbents Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scalon, served as committeeman, deputy mayor, and then mayor, during which time he increased transparency in local government, improved youth recreation, and delivered the lowest property tax increases in a generation. Prior to beginning his tenure on the Township Committee, Kevin served on the Planning and Zoning Boards as well as the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority.

Committeeman Patrick Short became the first Democrat elected to the Township Committee in nearly two decades. During his tenure, he voted to increase transparency, fought for fair and ethical bidding practices and against municipal tax hikes.

How much more compelling do these guys need to be? They all have a list of accomplishments which have shown that they have the voter’s best interests in mind first over their own or Party’s.
In the dismissal of Cullen and Short’s candidacy, the APP admits that they are credible but dismisses Cullen because they perceived his stance to protect district workers and families and speaks of the frustration faced by local officials who must deal with unfunded mandates and shrinking state aid as being in “lockstep with standard Democratic positions“.
In Short’s case before dismissing his candidacy, they actually say that he is “...a credible, well-spoken candidate who favors reducing property taxes by increasing income taxes and expanding the sales tax to other items.
And for no apparent reason at all Kevin Lavan wasn’t even considered.

Here is what a few readers of the APP had to say about the endorsements of Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scalon:

watchdoggg
5:42 AM on October 31, 2011

Kyrillos, Handlin and O’Scanlon.

These three stand out alright, as doing the LEAST as representatives.
All three are in lockstep with the Christie administration which has done absolutely NOTHING to curtail property tax increases which continue unabated, contrary to the claims of this self serving Gov.

Kyrillos has been with the Monmouth County “boys” for how many YEARS, and what noteable legislation has HE ever passed ?? Interesting how many officials were arrested by federal officials, and more importantly, HOW MANY WERE NOT (from the republican side). I wonder if Christie made a deal with the then GOP party chairman (Kyrillos).

Handlin. How many years did she sit in with the boys from Club Monmouth, and claim she never knew what was going on.

O’Scanlon. The right hand boy to then state senator John Bennett, whom Christie (then federal prosecutor) vilified as the biggest double dipper in NJ.

These three standout alright, for all the wrong reasons to be reelected.
GRIP,,,.Get Rid Incumbent Politicians.
NOPOLITICALPARTY
6:26 AM on October 31, 2011

Three more incumbents endorsed by the Press. And come the new year the Press will be writing editorials telling us the problems we have are because voters always re-elect incumbents. They will call for new blood later, but for now they are satisfied with the same old-same old. Go figure!

gaborbacchi
10:36 AM on October 31, 2011


Totally irresponsible journalism. Declaring some candidates as “no shot at winning”, “does not warrant serious consideration”, and “a wasted vote” WITHOUT ANY REASONS WHY is hack at its best. Why not list the stance of each and let voters decide. Sure the APP can endorse, but to DENOUNCE without any reason is journalistic treason that is insulting to readers who are not robots that need to be told who to vote for. We are looking for where candidates stand, idiots! Tell us!

bchbum
3:31 PM on October 31, 2011

the LAST thing this district needs is MORE of the same! UNELECT kyrillos, handlin and o’scanlon!

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Filed under 13th Legisaltive District, Amy Handlin, Asbury Park Press, Christopher Cullen, Declan O'Scanlon, endorsement, Joe Kyrillos, Kevin Lavan, Patrick Short

Trick-or-Treat with the President and First Lady

I don’t remember if past Presidents or First Ladies have ever passed out Trick-or-Treats at the White House before, but I suppose having children of their own small enough to enjoy the Halloween festivity is a good enough reason for doing so, especially since the children enjoying themselves are from military families.

The following was posted at the White House Blog and includes the recipes for the in-house made treats that were passed out by President Obama and his wife Michelle:

Last night, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome area students and the children of military families to the White House for trick-or-treating.

Check out the video of the President and First Lady handing out cookies, White House M&M’s and dried fruit mix to trick-or-treaters at the North Portico of the White House.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

The White House and the surrounding grounds are decorated in celebration of Halloween. As the trick-or-treaters made their way across the North Lawn to the North Portico they were entertained by the Marine Band playing Halloween music and spooked by in-costume actors from Washington-area theatres, brought together by theatreWashington.

Check out the White House Halloween recipes below.

The White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookie Recipe

1 lb Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla
2 lbs Butter 1 tsp Salt
3 Eggs 3 lbs All Purpose Flour

Mix the butter and sugar till soft and well beaten. Then add eggs, vanilla, salt and half the flour. Beat on slow speed till mixed, then add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated.

Push flat onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight. Roll out to one quarter inch thick and cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutter.

Bake at 350F for 14 minutes and then allow to cool.

Make Your Own Dried Fruit Mix

Dried Apples Dried Pineapple
Dried Apricots Dried Papayas
Dried Pears Dried Cherries
Dried Blueberries Banana Chips

Combine ingredients and serve.

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Filed under Halloween, Michelle Obama, President Obama, the White House Blog, Trick-or-Treat

A Halloween Treat – The Mystery of the Spy House

While looking for an interesting ghost story to post in honor of Halloween, I came across a real treat. I found a 2003 documentary posted on Youtube (posted in three parts and recently updated in 2010 ) that featured arguably one of the oldest, if not the oldest home in Monmouth County, the Whitlock/Seabrook House a.k.a The Spy House located in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown NJ. It is said that as many as 23 ghosts call the Spy House home.

The documentary features Psychic Consult Jane Doherty, who years ago use to give ghost tours of the Spy House during this time of year. I remember taking a tour of the old house years ago when Doherty was acting as our psychic tour guide. It was a fun night and enjoyable experience even though we didn’t meet any ghosts first hand that night.

I also remember meeting Gertrude Neidlinger on a few other visits to the house, she really was a special person she always made you feel at home, and boy could she tell a story! Neidlinger pasted away in 1998.

The 4th video below is a more recent, updated story of the Spy House. It was posted online this past August 17th and contains a brief summary of the house’s history (containing some clips from the original documentary) along with the results of a paranormal investigation that was performed at the site.

These video’s were posted on Youtube by The Paranormal Rangers, I hope you enjoy them.

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Filed under Gertrude Neidlinger, ghost stories, Hallowen, Jane Doherty, Monmouth County Parks System, Port Monmouth NJ, psychic consultant, Spy House, YouTube

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween
Here’s hoping that you have a ghoulishly frightful day

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Filed under Happy Halloween

Your 5 Minutes Are Up

(click to enlarge)

This is what takes place at a Middletown Township Committee meeting if you’re one of the brave who stand in front of the dais to ask a question. Just don’t go over the 5 minute time allotment otherwise you’ll not get an answer.

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Filed under 5 minute rule, Middletown Democratic Club, Middletown Township Committee, political cartoons, Tony Fiore

Bill Shea For Monmouth County Freeholder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 28, 2011

MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ – Howell resident and former New Jersey State Trooper Bill Shea is running for the Democratic position of Monmouth County Freeholder alongside Surrogate hopeful Michael Steinhorn and Freeholder encumbent Amy Mallet.

Shea states that he will bring a new energy and viewpoint to the Board of Chosen Freeholders, showing in-office fiscal responsibility while working to stimulate Monmouth County job growth.

“My career as a state trooper in New Jersey has been exceptionally rewarding and I will treasure all of the fine men and women I have befriended while serving New Jersey,” says Shea. “I take with me the experience and confidence the State Police has taught me and look forward to serving the State of New Jersey as a Monmouth County Freeholder.”

Shea served the people as a New Jersey State Trooper for ten years as a member of the Field Operations and Homeland Security Sections. His career ended when the Division of Law and Public Safety involuntarily retired him due to multiple injuries sustained during his career. Shea graduated from Keansburg High School and received his Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Monmouth University, later continuing to earn his Masters Degree in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson. Shea is supported by his loving wife Lori, a Certified Athletic Trainer at Lincoln High School in Jersey City.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders is empowered with a wide scope of authority mandated by the State of New Jersey. The board wears many hats and has legislative and executive functions including oversight and regulation of county property and finances. This entails three hundred and eighty miles of county roads, one thousand bridges, and maintenance of more that 14,500 acres of county parks.

Shea has been endorsed for Monmouth County Freeholder by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 30,The Monmouth and Ocean Counties Central Labor Council, The Monmouth County Education Association in conjunction with N.J.E.A. and 6th District Congressman Frank Pallone.

For more information visit www.votebillshea.com.

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Filed under Bill Shea, Democratic Candidate, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, NJ State Trooper

Another APP Endorsement That Leaves You Scratching Your Head; Take All The Incumbents In The 12th

After coming out in September, stating how ineffective the incumbent politicians that dominate Trenton are, the Asbury Park Press Editorial Board came out with its endorsements on Friday for the newly drawn 12th Legislative District candidates and has endorsed the incumbent politicians that are already serving in Trenton.

…None of the candidates seeking legislative seats in the newly redrawn 12th District served in the district previously. But the experienced Republican slate includes two incumbent lawmakers, one from the 13th District and another from the 30th, and a Monmouth County freeholder.

Two of the three Democrats have run for the Legislature, and lost, before. The other is a newcomer.

Our preference is for the three proven Republican candidates, Samuel Thompson for Senate and Ronald Dancer and Robert Clifton for the Assembly seats. All have served their constituents well in their respective political offices and deserve voters’ support….

Is that it, is this their reason for endorsing the incumbent? They have the proven experience?
It seems that this year the APP editorial board is just looking for excuses NOT to endorse Democrats as opposed to looking for reasons as to why they should endorse incumbent Republicans.
The editorial would lead us to believe that Democratic Senate Candidate Bob Brown,who went on disability 30 years ago after being shot in the line of duty as a police officer in Old Bridge, would have gotten the APP endorsement if only he would have agreed with the Governor’s overhaul of the health and pension benefits for public employees that was passed earlier this year.
To add some support to this argument, you only have to look at the endorsement of Democrat Vin Gopal in the 11th District Assembly race for confirmation. There the endorsement seemed to place greater weight behind the perception that Gopal’s willingness “to compromise in order to get much-needed work done.”. This endorsement also went on to say that “… an injection of fresh blood..”, was needed.
Why hasn’t the same reasoning been applied for the 12th district? Is compromising one’s principles now more important than standing by what one feels is the right thing to do? It would seem so for Democrats William Spedding of Jackson and Catherine Tinney Rome of Old Bridge in their race for the Assembly.
Reader comments left by posters to the online article would seem to agree:
watchdoggg
6:51 AM on October 29, 2011

Dancer, Clifton, and Thompson. Another name for them would be Three Blind Mice.
I’ve rubbed elbows with Thompson at socials, and ALL he ever talks about is what a great job he’s done. In 14 years in office I ask, WHAT JOB, what have you done ??
Clifton, a leftover of the Club Monmouth wrecking crew, still endorsing the “Clubs” mantra by taking care of it’s members.
Dancer, just another incumbent for the party sake.
All three endorse Christie, so I’ll be voting for their opponents.
Signed,….Monmouth County Republican.

BigBlue86
10:35 AM on October 29, 2011

Hey, APP – Why not save some space and time and just put one editorial stating “Just Vote Republican”? You really don’t endorse anyone else anyway. Why bother with the dog and pony show of days of editorials? I’ll vote against anyone you endorse anyway.

HerbWhiteside
12:47 PM on October 29, 2011


TALK ABOUT HYPOCRISY. You couldn’t endorse Brown because he WOULD HAVE voted against Christies Pension reform YET you endorse a proud double dipper(GOP Party boss)Sam Thompson, (not including his Social Security which makes him a triple dipper). Obviously this endorsement is about access to the GOP statehouse and elitist cocktail parties and has nothing to do with whats best for NJ.

VinnieRomano
1:00 PM on October 29, 2011


The APP endorses Christies 3 Stooges. They would have a shred more of credibility if they endorsed “none of the above” Lets be real here the Democrats in this case at least have some fresh ideas and clean backgrounds.
If it wasn’t for a Republican administration Dancer would be under serious investigation. Sam Thompson is just liberal republican party hack with a dubious double pension dipping scandal lurking in the background and Clifton is not qualified to hold any public office. At least if we got rid of the incumbents gave the other guys a shot and voted them out if they let us down. But No you endorse the status quo. I hope the overtaxed, under represented voters in the 12th district put aside party and at least take a shot at some new blood in Trenton.

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Filed under 12th Legislative District, Asbury Park Press, Bob Brown, Democrats, endorsement, reader comments, republican incumbents, Sam Thompson, Trenton

APP Endorses Gopal For Assembly While Backing GOP Incumbents

This past Thursday the Asbury Park Press’s Editorial Board came out with its endorsements for the new 11th Legislative District, in so doing the board once again has recommend that voters split their votes in the district, which leaves some to scratch their heads.

After reeling against incumbents all year long in their editorials, the APP has chosen to endorse two of them in Jen Beck and Caroline Casagrande, both Republicans that have shown that they will do or say anything to get reelected. They have both flipped-flopped on many issues that directly relate to their new district this year, gay marriage, women’s health care issues and the funding of Planned Parenthood, just to name a few. It seems as though the only reason why the APP has chosen to endorse these two is because they seem to “tow the party line” on most, if not all the other issues that don’t seem to have a direct impact on their reelection bids.
On the flip side of these endorsements the APP has decided to endorse Democrat Vin Gopal for one of the other Assembly seats up for grabs over Casagrande’s running mate, Mary Pat Angelini.
In it’s endorsement the APP had this to say about Gopal, “… we believe Gopal, who owns several small businesses including a group of community newspapers, would offer a fresh, perceptive set of eyes on the continuing set of problems plaguing New Jersey. In addition, he seems to be a candidate willing to compromise in order to get much-needed work done….
Gopal, who was born in Neptune and grew up in Freehold currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce and was elected to a three year term as President of the Hazlet Business Owners Association in January of 2010. Vin Gopal also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Monmouth County where he is a member of their Finance Committee. Gopal also serves on the Advisory Board of New Leaders Council – New Jersey, is clearly the right choice for the State Assembly in the 11th district.
The same can’t be said for Beck who is running against Ray Santiago in the for the open State Senate seat. She received a number of negative reader comments left by posters on the APP website.
Here are a few:
PoorBob
8:03 AM on October 28, 2011

It seems the APP glossed over Jennifer Beck’s record. She IS NOT an ally of Chris Christie (have you seen the governor endorse her?). Beck attempted to override Christie’s defunding of Planned Parenthood–the largest provider of abortions. She was one of two Republicans that attempted that ghastly deed. Thank god Chris Christie prevailed on that issue.

Jennifer Beck also received campaign contributions from Solomon Dwek. When it was exposed, Beck claims she “donated” it to charity; however, she refuses to be transparent and show proof of such donation. Isn’t she the one that wants others to be transparent??

She is now for gay marriage. In her old district, she was against it. Gee, you think the large population of gay and lesbians in her new district had something to do with her flip-flopping??

Read below, and decide if you want Jennifer Beck around (again).

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dump-State-Senator-Jennifer-Beck/181295051917672

sir99
11:35 AM on October 28, 2011


Beck is nothing more than a shill for her special interest contributors. When the Freehold Regional district wash awash with the Call me Doctor Wasser issue, she refused to get involved. That is up until it became the story of the year in the APP. Only then did she say a single word. Beck had the opportunity to go to bat for all the school districts that feed the regional but chose to only speak up for the regional who was fronted by one of her major contributors.

fraudfinder
7:05 PM on October 28, 2011


Are you kidding me?? Beck received money from Solomon Dwek??? What was she supposed to do..do what the other politicians did–vote for something and get something in return???

I read that “Dump Beck Site” I just can’t believe her driver’s license got suspended so many times. What a hypocrite, she likes to make laws, but not obey them.

It seems the people in Tinton Falls are angry with her for the same reason the people in the Freehold Regional HS District are angry–she did not go to an important Board meeting regarding the Fort Monmouth (non-military) kids going to their schools and costing them a huge amount. They reside within the jurisdiction of Colts Neck–why haven’t they accepted them??? Where is Casagrande on this???

I can’t believe they were endorsed by the APP—It is indeed time for a change!!!

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Filed under 11th Legislative District, Asbury Park Press, Caroline Cassagrande, endorsement, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angelini, Ray Santiago, reader comments, small business owner, Vin Gopal

President Obama’s Weekly Address 10/29/11: "We Can’t Wait" to Strengthen the Economy and Create Jobs

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that we can’t wait for Congress to take action to grow the economy and create jobs, and highlighted the executive actions he took this week to help families save thousands of dollars by refinancing their mortgages, put veterans to work, and lower the cost of student loans. The President continued to urge Congress to do its part and pass the American Jobs Act now, which will put more money in the pockets of middle class families, create jobs and strengthen our economy right away.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under American Jobs Act, Congress, Democrats, Job creation, middle-class families, mortage crisis, President Obama, Republicans, student loans, weekly address

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

This is no trick, here’s a real treat for you guys, a full length Garfield cartoon for your Halloween watching pleasure. Get the kids and sit them down for a real classic from days gone by.

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Filed under Garfield, Halloween, Saturday morning cartoons