Category Archives: 11th Assembly District

APP Editorial "Decency absent in GOP mailing" Slams 11th District GOP Candidates For Smear Against Rival Gopal

Today’s edition of the Asbury Park Press contains an editorial slaming 11th District GOP Assmebly candidates Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini for the over the top and deceitful campaign mailer sent to district residents attempting to smear their Democratic opponent Vin Gopal, by insinuating that he is corrupt because he once worked as a campaign manager for former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas, as a 20year old college intern.

Vas and another campaign aid Raymond Geneske, were convicted and sent to jail for various campaign offenses which Gopal had nothing to do with.

The recent campaign flier approved by Republicans Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini in the 11th District Assembly race seeking to smear Democrat Vin Gopal was beyond the pale — even by New Jersey standards.

It used reckless innuendo in attempting to portray Gopal as corrupt because he once was campaign manager for disgraced former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas.

Although the ad was produced by the Republican State Committee, Casagrande and Angelini both signed off on it. And, on Friday, both said they stood by it. That’s almost as disturbing as the mailer itself, which tried through deliberate misdirection to suggest that Gopal was mixed up in a campaign money laundering and fraud scheme.

Gopal was campaign manager for Vas in 2006 as a 20-year-old political science major at Penn State University, for which he received course credit and a modest salary. His chief job was organizing volunteers and answering phones. He had nothing to do with any illegal money.

On one side of the mailer, which showed dollar bills swirling in a clothes drier, it read, “To you, this might look like someone illegally laundering money. To Vin Gopal, it looks like pay day.”

On the flip side, it said, “Corrupt Political Bosses. Money Laundering. Fraud. It’s just another day at the office for Vin Gopal.”

Further down, it had an April 2011 newspaper headline proclaiming, “Aide to former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas pleads guilty to money laundering.” The text of the story, which was covered with another headline, would have identified the aide as Raymond Geneske. The mailing implied it was Gopal.

“We didn’t say he went to jail. He was the campaign manager of a corrupt campaign,” said Tom Fitzsimmons, District 11 GOP campaign spokesman. “Everything in the mailer is 100 percent true.”

Maybe so. But it was a clear attempt to portray him as corrupt.

While the Gopal campaign has sent out some hard-ball negative mailings of its own, none of them have been in the same league as what the state Republican committee created and the candidates approved.

The mailer lacked a complete sense of decency and fair play, further contributing to voters’ cynicism and disgust with politicians who will do anything to win election.

The Republicans do not seem to care. Voters should when it comes to weighing their options for the Assembly seats at the polls on Tuesday.

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Filed under 11th Assembly District, Asbury Park Press, campaign mailer, Caroline Cassagrande, editorial, Mary Pat Angelini, Vin Gopal

APP: Schlossbach drops out of 11th District race for Assembly

The Asbury Park Press as well as other news agency’s have reported that Democratic Candidate Marilyn Schlossbach Has pulled out of the 11th District race for Assembly. Her reason for doing so was based on the damage sustained to her numerous shore area restaurants as a result of Hurricane Irene:

…“It is with great regret that I must withdraw my candidacy for Assembly. My efforts at this time must be focused on the health of my business, and protecting the jobs,” Schlossbach said Wednesday….

…She said she was sad about having to drop out of the race. However, she said she would consider running again in two years.

She said she wanted to put her employees ahead of everything else….

Campaign Manager, Vlad Gutman is quoted as saying that the decision was made on Wednesday, after Schlossbach had a chance to assess the impact of the storm damage on her businesses.

“I think as time went on, it became clear to her that she could not continue in the race,” Gutman said. “Her employees were her first priority.”

Her running mate Vin Gopal has left the following statement on his Facebook page concerning the departure of Scholssbach from the ticket.

I made a lifetime friend in Marilyn Schlossbach – a smart businesswoman filled with integrity and compassion. Although she has exited the race to focus on her businesses, she will be involved in helping our team in Asbury Park. Over 100 committee members will meet next week to pick my new runningmate, I will continue to work hard, knocking on doors & raising money and we will win on November 8th.

This is a stunning turn of events for the race in the 11th Assembly District were many felt that Gopal and Schlossbach had a extremely good chance to knock off their Republican incumbent opponents Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande.

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Filed under 11th Assembly District, Asbury Park Press, Hurricane Irene, Marilyn Schlossbach, Vin Gopal

>Vin Gopal: My Candidacy For The State Assembly In The 11th District

>Originally posted over at Blue Jersey

When I saw the new 11th District Map, I decided after years of working behind the scenes, I wanted to place my name on the ballot. The new 11th Legislative District has 36,643 registered Democrats, 26,405 registered Republicans and 68,899 registered unaffiliated voters. The district is home to Asbury Park, Long Branch, Neptune, Red Bank, Freehold Borough, Tinton Falls and many other beautiful Monmouth County municipalities. Of the 18 towns in the district, 11 of those towns have 4,000 or more registered voters. Out of those 11 towns, 9 of them have more registered Democrats than Republicans, most of them overwhelmingly. 9 of the 11 big towns in the district have more registered Democrats than Republicans.

Get where I’m going with this? It is a Democratic district. Basically all the strong Democratic towns in Districts 11 and 12 got merged while all the strong Republican towns, including Wall (goodbye Sean Kean!), Rumson, Millstone, Brielle, Avon, Monmouth Beach, Sea Girt, Englishtown, Fair Haven, Little Silver (sorry Declan O’Scanlon), Manalapan, and Oceanport all got thrown into other legislative districts. It really is remarkable what happened here!

This district is for Democrats to win. It will be about raising the funds necessary to compete and turning out our base. It will be about turning out voters from nonpartisan towns like Asbury Park and Long Branch, giving them a reason to vote in November.
The incumbents are Senator Jen Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Cassagrande and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelni. Three good people who are gravely out of touch with this new 11th District. Poor Caroline, I don’t think even if I gave her a GPS she would know how to get to Asbury Park. You see, the challenge for Assemblywoman Cassagrande and Senator Beck is they are unknown in a big chunk of the district, which basically puts us at even playing field.

Some of you on Blue Jersey know me as an activist, somewhat of a troublemaker but may not know my background. It wasn’t long ago I stirred the pot by organizing a petition with the help of this website to make sure Senators Buono and Vitale weren’t pitted against each other. I admit, I do have a history of mixing things up, but I’m proud of that and I think that is what will be make me an effective legislator in Trenton.

I’m a small business owner – I have a chain of community magazines and newspapers covering different areas of Monmouth County. I also own a retail store in Hazlet which does embroidery, t-shirts, banners and personalized gifts. I serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce and as President of the Hazlet Business Owners Association. I also serve on the Board of Trustees for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties. That is my day job. My assembly runningmate Marilyn Schlossbach is a talented restauranteur. She owns and operates several restaurants in Asbury Park, Normandy Beach and Shrewsbury, including the popular Langosta Lounge on the Asbury boardwalk. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, she opens the doors of her restaurant to feed anyone and everyone in Asbury Park. Her philanthropy has won her recognition among her peers and customers. Marilyn also serves as the Board of Directors for the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of the Asbury Park Urban Enterprise Zone. She is also very active with Clean Action Ocean and the Surfriders Foundation. Our Senate runningmate, Ray Santiago, is a former New York City prosecutor who has been a Freehold Borough attorney for the past 8 years, operating a small business that serves clients throughout Monmouth County. He is very involved in the Monmouth County Bar Association, the cub scouts and other organizations in our community.

The three of us are business owners, not politicians and we share a sense of values that will shake New Jersey government up.

In the upcoming weeks, we will launch a website and formally launch our campaign. In the mean time, we are aggressively fundraising to put out strong numbers for the quarter.

We will be welcoming Congressman Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected to Congress, to our district on May 26th. The three of us stand united behind our brothers and sisters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Unlike the incumbent, Senator Jennifer Beck, who voted against marriage equality, who probably never realized she would ever be representing communities like Ocean Grove and Asbury Park now (regretting that vote yet Jen?) – we stand for values of equality for all New Jerseyians.

Imagine what happens to Governor Christie when halfway through his term, Democrats once again get elected to the legislature from Monmouth County – the same county he stomped all over 2 years ago. If we get in, we will build to make sure Chris Christie does not walk all over us again in 2013.

During the next several weeks and months, we will be updating you on our race and our campaign to stand up for Democratic principles. We hope you will join us! We can’t win this race without you!


Note: This is a re-post from yesterday. Blogger was experiencing technical difficulty after a system upgrade and wiped out all posts after the 5/11

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Filed under 11th Assembly District, Blue Jersey, Caroline Cassagrande, Democratic Candidate, GLBT, Gov. Chris Christie, Jennifer Beck, Marilyn Schlossbach, Monmouth County, Vin Gopal

>District 11 Assembly Candidate Schlossbach NY Times Profile; "From a Waitress to the Owner of a Mini-Empire"

>Back on June 8th of last year, the New York Times printed a profile piece on Marilyn Schlossbach, the chef/restaurateur from Asbury Park that will be seeking the a seat in the NJ State Assembly this fall as a Democrat in the new 11th legislative district. The piece profiled Schlossbauch’s rise as a waitress in her brother’s Avon resturant, to her becoming the chef owner of several resturants along the Jersey shore. It’s a good read for those that are not familar with Schlossberg and want to get to know her a little:

MARILYN SCHLOSSBACH may run a mini-empire of restaurants on the Jersey Shore now, but her career did not begin brilliantly. Not at all.

Back in 1985, on her first weekend as floor manager of a restaurant in Avon owned by her brother, Richard Schlossbach, the chef quit.

Ms. Schlossbach, 45, had never cooked anything, she recalled recently. She had been a waitress before her promotion at the restaurant, named Oshin and since closed.

“I was in the kitchen on this huge portable phone with my brother,” she said. “I’m going, ‘What’s the tuna supposed to look like? When are you supposed to turn it over?’I knew how it was supposed to look on the plate, but I didn’t know how to get it there.

” Somehow, she got it there. Now Ms. Schlossbach is executive chef at the five restaurants she co-owns; she and her husband, Scott Szegeski, 35, plan to open two more by the end of the year.

Their restaurants have 200 employees, and last year they rang up more than $3 million in business. Within their domain are Trinity and the Pope, with a Creole and Cajun theme, which opened in Asbury Park last month; Langosta Lounge, which opened in 2008 and serves what Ms. Schlossbach calls “vacation food — a mix of Mexican, Caribbean and Asian,” including sushi; two seasonal casual Mexican spots called Pop’s Garage, one in Normandy Beach that opened in 2008 and one in Asbury Park that came a year later (a third, which will be open year round, is planned for Shrewsbury this fall); and Labrador Lounge, in Normandy Beach, which opened in 2005 and has a menu similar to Langosta’s. (Richard Schlossbach is a third co-owner of Trinity and the Pope and Langosta Lounge.) ….

For those that wish to learn more about Schlossbach, she has a facebook page that can be access. Based on what I have heard so far about Marilyn Schlossbach thus far, I think she will be a credible candidate that will have considerable resources at her disposal to help run, organize and fund her campaign. I think her Republican opponents in the district need to be worried!

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Filed under 11th Assembly District, blogging, Democratic Candidate, Facebook, Jersey Shore, Marilyn Schlossbach, NY Times, restaurateur

Dump Sean Kean In 2011 Website Up and Running

A new website has just been launched by the Blue Monmouth Political Action Committee.
The website Dump Sean Kean in 2011, was launched in reponse to the Kean’s patronizing, offensive and insulting speech that he gave on floor of the NJ Senate on January 7th 2010, explaining why he was going to vote against the Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act, denying thousands of his constituents from GLBT community their basic civil rights in the 11th Legislative district.
According to the website:
“We are looking for individuals to help us organize various districts in towns throughout the 11th District. We will also be reaching out to and organizing GLBT voters in the 11th District so they are aware of Sean Kean’s vote against equality. Can you help us in any of these towns? During the next several months, we will be organizing lit drops, newspaper advertisements, phonebanks etc. Please e-mail info@dumpseankean.com

Let Sean Kean know that you are unhappy with him by supporting the Blue Monmouth Political Action Committee in their efforts to unseat him!!

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Filed under 11th Assembly District, Dump Sean Kean, GLBT

Garden State Equality Snubs Bishop By Donating To Opponents

Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s only LGBTI-rights advocacy organization with an office in District 11’s Asbury Park, has contributed $1,500 to Republican Mary Pat Angelini.

Angelini reported the contribution on her 29-day pre-election general campaign report on October 1, 2009.

Of note, Angelini’s running mate David Rible, stated during last weeks candidate round table with the Asbury Park Press that he would not vote in support of same-sex marriage. He would prefer a referendum on the issue, but if a vote were taken, he would not vote for marriage equality.

Democrats Randy Bishop and his running mate Rick Bolger did not receive a contribution from Garden State Equality.

Bishop was elected to the Neptune Township Committee in 2004 and re-elected to his second term in 2007. He served as mayor in 2008, the third openly gay mayor in New Jersey’s history. The lack of support by Garden State Equality to the Bishop & Bolger campaign is surprising, but their support of their opponents is disturbing.

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Filed under 11th Assembly District, Candidates, Randy Bishop, Rick Bolger

Rick Bolger Candidate for NJ State Assembly District 11, Answers 10 Questions

Last week I sent out a questionnaire to the Democratic State Assembly Candidates for districts 11,12 and 13 to answer. The questionnaire contained 10 questions about themselves and the districts that they wish to serve. The only criteria that I had was that they keep their answers short and to the point, 3- 4 sentences or less due to space.

The first to respond was Brielle Councilman Rick Bolger who along with his running mate Randy Bishop, is seeking an assembly seat in the 11th district.

His answers I think, are very informative and insightful. They turned out to be better than what I had been expecting, but to be honest I really did know what to expect.
If other candidates would like to answer these questions, feel free to forward me your answers and I will gladly post them here.
Below are the questions with Candidate Bolger’s responses:

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

My motivation is to make a difference. Four years ago, I nearly lost my life to a rare hepatic disease. I was granted a second chance through a life-saving liver transplant. Since then, I have devoted myself to public service, first as a Brielle Councilman and now, hopefully as an Assemblyman

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?

Anger and Apathy. These emotions are the result of a lack of confidence in our elected officials and the overall cost of living in New Jersey.

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

I will bring a large spotlight and a loud voice to Trenton. My realistic goal is to establish a meaningful dialogue and good faith effort to change the partisan political climate in our government.

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

Twenty-five unique municipalities and the Atlantic Ocean. The preservation and promotion of our greatest natural resource is a significant factor in the economic welfare of the 11th District. As a life-long resident of the District, I appreciate the special character and history all 25 towns. I want to preserve the individual identity of each town yet I am a strong advocate of consolidating services wherever possible.

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

I have been a lawyer for 31 years. I am proud to be a lawyer, proud of an unblemished ethical record and proud of my success as a trial attorney. My focus has now shifted to serving my community and I will take the same successful work ethic, character, reason and advocacy to Trenton.

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

Strong scrutiny of all existing governmental entities. Establish a policy prohibiting the creation of any new positions, committees, etc. without the elimination of at least two others.

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

No.

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

Any resident of the 11th district who takes the time to visit my website and read my position papers will know they can trust me to be different and to do exactly what I promise to do. I will approach my first term without regard for re-election.

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

Frankly, I’d like to think that my personal political philosophy incorporates the best principles of all three. (D, R, & I) Yet, I am a Democrat at heart, and proud to be associated with the ideals of the Democratic Party.

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

The concept of property taxes, and the state’s role in establishing and collecting property taxes is largely misunderstood by most people. We need clarification. We also need a frank discussion about the individual taxpayers’ role in property tax control.


I think Rick Bolger set the bar rather high here and I hope that when the other candidates send me their responses, they will be as insightful as Rick has been.
If you would like to learn more about Rick Bolger visit his website, it is put together very well and is extremely informative.

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Filed under 11th Assembly District, Democratic Candidate, Rick Bolger