Category Archives: Democrat

>Sign Of The Times…


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Filed under bumper sticker, Democrat, Osama bin Laden, President Obama

Raw Story Exclusive: ‘Ellie Light’ regrets damage done to Obama, blasts right-wing ‘conspiracy theorists’

WASHINGTON — In an interview with Raw Story, prolific Obama supporter and letter-writer “Ellie Light” slammed conservatives claiming the published writings were part of a White House “astroturf” operation, and regretted the “damage” they’ve done to the president.

The interview was conducted before the Cleveland Plain Dealer revealed that the deep, husky-voiced “woman” publicly calling herself “Ellie Light” was actually a man named Winston Steward. Most initially believed he was a woman, probably due to his mannerisms and tone, including this reporter.

Steward, 51, is a traveling health care worker based in Frazier Park, California. He admitted to being the author of letters published in dozens of newspapers across the country — sent with fake addresses from a variety of locations — under the name “Ellie Light.”

“The damage has been done,” Steward told Raw Story, “with blog posts and YouTube videos. I don’t think anything can undo that.”

He ripped conservatives for their unsubstantiated allegations about his ostensible affiliations with the White House.

hey are conspiracy theorists, there’s no doubt. Apparently I’m a space alien, that’s the newest thing on one Web site, so it just goes on and on. The Michelle Malkin people — they’re clowns. We know they’re clowns.”

Steward’s alias, Ellie Light, became the subject of widespread conservative fascination after one letter he wrote in defense of President Obama, first published by Politico’s Ben Smith, subsequently appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country.

The story about his letter’s numerous appearances with different addresses was first broken on Friday, January 22 by Sabrina Eaton of The Plain Dealer newspaper before catching the attention of conservative Web sites such as Michelle Malkin’s blog, Patterico’s Pontifications and the National Review.

Following allegations that he wasn’t a real person and merely a ghost-name for an Obama official, Steward posed as a woman and claimed his name was “Ellie Light” in a radio interview on Tuesday, claiming that name was real but admitting he was “wrong” for “giving false address” while submitting the letter to various regional newspapers.

A flurry of conservative bloggers have since suggested — and outright accused — Steward of being an Obama administration plant. Many of them, including Michelle Malkin, declared he was part of White House “astroturf” activities to deceptively burnish its credentials.

He told Raw Story he believed the whole issue had been blown far out of proportion.

No evidence has been unearthed linking Steward to the Obama administration or the Democratic Party. He said he is not and has never been a activist for a political advocacy group.

“Affiliated with an organized group? No,” he said bluntly. “I’ve never been affiliated with anyone like that.”

Steward, who for a brief period after Obama got elected wrote diaries for the Daily Kos, said he hopes people will take the time to understand the situation rather than jump to conclusions.

“For those who pay attention a little longer, it could end up being good, but for the people who are only going to pay attention for the ‘Balloon Boy’ period it’ll be ‘oh, another one of those Obama things’.”

He said if he could go back in time, he “probably would have written the letter and told them all I was in the Los Angeles area.”

Criticizes Democrats: ‘not as loyal’ as Republicans

Steward declined to criticize Obama, calling him “the most remarkable elected official,” and criticized Democrats and progressives for allegedly wanting instant gratification of their wishes.

“Democrats have abandoned the president that they practically worshiped such a short time ago because he couldn’t tend to their needs in the first twelve months of office. And they’re behaving like a bunch of babies,” he said.

“They need to show that there’s a groundswell of support for the president so that the yahoos have nothing to talk about.”

Though he accepted that there are genuine critics of Obama on the left, he criticized Democrats for not being as loyal to Obama as Republicans were to former President George W. Bush.

“Think about the Republicans that had to suck it in in 2003 and 2004 when Bush was caught lying over and over and over again,” he said. “All the Republicans stood there and said ‘the president has his reasons, we trust the president.'”

“And we laughed at them, because they were all liars. But at least they were loyal.”

Steward said he will continue writing letters to newspapers in support of Obama and hoped more Democrats will do the same.

(Editor’s Note: Article originally confused Winston Steward’s last name. Thanks to the multiple readers who noticed the mistake. Raw Story regrets the error, and hopes Eric Arthur Blair’s estate will not mind.)

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Filed under Cleveland Plain Dealer, Daily Kos, Democrat, Ellie Light, health care reform, National Review,, President Obama, Raw Story, Republicans, Winston Steward

Solomeno First To Throw His Hat In The Ring For Dems In Monmouth County Freeholders Race

Hazlet Resident Vincent Solomeno, has become the first Monmouth County Democrat to officiall announce his intentions to seek the Party nod to run along side Freeholder John D’Amico.

Solomeno made his announcement with a brief posting on his Facebook page that simply stated “Vincent Solomeno is running for monmouth county freeholder.” this afternoon after posting earlier in the week that he had a big announcement to make on Friday.

Last night he posted the following Youtube video:

For those of you who do not know Vincent, he was named one of “50 Rising Stars in New Jersey Politics” by Politicker New Jersey, he has managed or worked on local, state, and national campaigns. He has worked for Congressman Frank Pallone.

In 2006, Vincent became a Truman Scholar and in 2007, he was selected as a J. William Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands where he earned a Master of Arts in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. A Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG), he is a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve and is training to become a Combat Engineer.

So when Vincent has an opinion about something it’s worth listening to, he is not some loony liberal trying to push mandates down our throats. He is an extremely intelligent and distinguished member of the Monmouth County community who’s thoughts and ideas should be considered.


Filed under Democrat, Freeholder Candidate, Hazlet, Vincent Solomeno

Scharfenberger Admits "… a budget shortfall of several million dollars in the coming year."

Not many surprises happened yesterday at Re-Organization day in Middletown other than re-appointed mayor Gerry Scharfenberger admitted during his address that the Township was facing “… a budget shortfall of several million dollars in the coming year.”

This statement is really quite out of character for our mayor because for the past couple of months Committeeman Sean Byrnes and former Committeeman Patrick Short have been warning everyone about this on coming problem,while Scharfenberger and his fellow GOPer’s have accused the Democrats of playing “Chicken Little” .

Last months workshop meeting received a lot of headlines in local papers because Byrnes and Short would not vote for borrowing money from 2010 ‘s budget for an emergency appropriation to pay for medical claims in 2009 without first seeing a plan on how the township planned on closing, in Byrnes’s estimation, a $5 million budget shortfall 2010. Byrnes stated during the workshop meeting that layoffs throughout all departments would be necessary without some type spending plan for the coming new year.

They ultimately voted to approve $800,000 of the emergency appropriation to pay the medical claims and deferred the remainder to discuss at the next meeting with the stipulation that the township needed to come up with some sort of spending plan before than.

At the December 21st Township Committee meeting Byrnes and Short once again refused to borrow money from 2010 to pay for the outstanding claims because nothing was presented during the two week period since the previous meeting to show them that the township was taking seriously the looming budget crisis.
Now upon his re-appointment as mayor he admits that there is a looming crisis and wants to assure everyone that he will do everything in his power to make the best of it by “…a continued freeze on all township salaries, the potential sale of unneeded township assets, increased worker contributions to health benefits, new interlocal agreements and the sale of the township swim club.”
We’ve heard all this before from Scharfenberger and his GOP buddies, the only new proposal here is to sell the swim club and that was proposed 3 years ago by Patrick Short.
Last February Patrick Short and Sean Brynes submitted budget cutting ideas to the Township Administrator and the CFO and many if not all were rejected out of hand.
Last week Sean Byrnes issued a press release to highlight some additional proposals that he believes would save the township money for 2010 and years to come. They are practical and make sense. Maybe the Committee can use these proposals as a starting point when they begin to formulate the 2010 budget and not let partisan politics get in the way of doing what’s right for the residents of Middletown.


Filed under Asbury Park Press, Budget Battle, budget cuts, Budget Shortfall, Democrat, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Middletown Republicans, Sean F. Byrnes, tax increase, the Independent

Letter: Brady and Tinker Kick-Off "Silly Season" In Hazlet

I know October is the silly season of local politics, but Republicans Jim Brady and Dave Tinker are playing fast and loose with the facts in their campaign for Hazlet Township Committee. They recently dropped a flier on my doorstep which — in addition to attacking Democratic Mayor Kevin Lavan and Deputy Mayor Joe Belasco — sets forth their so-called “mission” for Hazlet.

A laundry list of banal generalizations, in it they promise to “lower taxes, less government spending, stop overdevelopment, preserve open space, promote green technologies,” and “promote government reform.” All important issues. So important in fact, that Mayor Lavan and Deputy Mayor Belasco have been working on them since their election three years ago.

After three years of Republican mismanagement that saw double-digit increases in municipal taxes, Lavan and Belasco stabilized them. As a result, homeowners saw the lowest municipal tax growth in a decade.

And while Republicans talk about reducing spending, Lavan and Belasco have actually done it. By aggressively pursuing shared service agreements, they saved over $200,000 through the elimination of the Hazlet Sewerage Authority, outsourced the health department to Monmouth County for a savings of $260,000 annually, and reduced salary and utility costs by shortening the township workweek from five to four days.

Lavan and Belasco also put the brakes on overdevelopment. They took builders to court to protect quality of life and secured record amounts of grant funding to preserve what little is left of Hazlet’s precious open space. They did more than simply list these issues in a flier around election time, they delivered results and improved the life of our community.

Unfortunately, Mr. Tinker and Mr. Brady are recycled candidates touting a recycled way of doing business. When Republicans last controlled the Township Committee, they raised taxes, increased spending, sold open space, recklessly borrowed millions for the new town hall, and most damning, found themselves ensnared in an FBI investigation that led to the arrest of their hand-picked mayor on charges of corruption.

Every time they run for an office, Tinker and Brady say anything to get elected. It comes as no surprise that their recent flier is consistent with that track record. Which is a shame, because a lot remains to be done for the people of Hazlet. Mayor Kevin Lavan and Deputy Mayor Joe Belasco are working to stabilize property taxes, preserve open space, and improve recreation for young people. They deserve three more years to complete what they set out to do.

Vincent Solomeno

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Filed under Democrat, Hazlet, Opinion letter, Vincent Solomeno

Bob Brown,Democratic Assembly Candidate for Distrct 13, Recently Appeared ON NJ12 News and Politics And Is Making Some Noise

Bob Brown the Democratic candidated for State Assembly in the 13th district is making a lot of noise and is being heard.Last weekend he appeared on New Jersey NJ12 News Power and Politics program where he discussed his campaign and gave some personal background.

Yesterday morning, if you were tuned into NJ 101.5, he was interviewed by radio host Jim Gearhart. Bob impressed him so much that Gearhart gave him his personnel endorsment and invited back onto the show!

From what I hear Democrats in Trenton have taken notice of the publicity Bob is getting from the media and are ready to drop some last minute cash into the race for the 13th Distrct. They now believe that Republicans incumbents Handlin and Thompson, are extremely beatible and that the 13th district can once again, after a long hiatus, find itself in democratic hands.

Here’s a video of Bob Brown’s appearence on NJ12’s Power & Politics:

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Filed under 13th Assembly District, Assembly Candidate, Bob Brown, Democrat, YouTube

Patrick Short: Why This Election In Middletown Is So Important

In this video, Middletown Democratic Committeeman Patrick Short, discuss why this years election in Middletown is so important for everyone.

If Short were to loss this election, the two party system of checks and balances will be no more after just 2 years.
The Middletown GOP will go back to its old ways, that is a super majority Republicans will once again reign over the township.
During the past 2 years with Democrats Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes presiding on the Township Committee, township government has become more open and transparent, bonding and spending has decreased and there has been no more rubber stamping of pet projects that only benefits a few.

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Filed under Democrat, Election, Middletown, Middletown GOP, New Jersey, Patrick Short, Taxes

Middletown Democrat For Township Committee, Patrick Short: Video

Middletown Democratic Committeeman Patrick Short has recorded a series of videos that will be released over the next few weeks, as he seeks re-election to the Middletown Township Committee.

The video series was assembled from video shot while Patrick Short meet with a group of 10 concerned residents of Middletown, who wished to know where Mr. Short stood on issue that effect the town.

In the first video Mr. Short simply states who he is:

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Filed under campaign video, Democrat, Middletown Township Committee, Patrick Short

Byrnes Supports and Adopts Democratic Ethics Plan: Will Implement Reforms as a Freeholder

September 10, 2009

FREEHOLD, NJ – Today, Democratic Candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder Sean F. Byrnes issued a statement of support for the ethics plan laid our by Democratic Freeholder John D’Amico at today’s Freeholder meeting:

“The people must have trust in their government,” said Byrnes, “This plan for ethics reform goes a long way to restoring that public trust. I look forward to helping to implement these plans next year if I’m elected Freeholder.”

The Democratic Ethics Plan call for numerous reforms including:
1. The creation and implementation of a Monmouth County Code of Ethics to address:

a. Conflicts of interest
b. Activity that gives the appearance of impropriety
c. Gifts
d. Disclosure and Disqualification
e. Lobbying of local officials
f. Procurement process
g. Permanent Ethics Board or Commission
h. Incompatible employment
i. Unauthorized disclosure of confidential county information
j. Private use of county property
k. Representation of third parties against the county
l. Nepotism
m. Restrictions on employees or officials after they leave county service
n. Penalties
o. Ethics education
p. Financial disclosures

2. The establishment of a Monmouth County Ethics Board to:

a. Receive complaints and hold hearings as to violations of the code or financial disclosure requirements
b. Issue subpoenas
c. Forward appropriate information to law enforcement authorities
d. Render Advisory Opinions as to facts and circumstances that would or would not constitute a violation of any provisions of the County Code of Financial Disclosure requirements
e. Enforce the Code and to impose or recommend penalties for violations
f. Adopt necessary rules and regulations necessary to implement the code

“These fundamental changes in the way the County does business are sorely needed after 23 years of one-party rule,” said Byrnes. “This is just one step in the process of reforming county government after decades of complacency on the issue of ethics.”


Filed under Democrat, Ethics Plan, Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate, press release, Sean F. Byrnes

Why The Public Health Insurance Option Is Worth Fighting For

Gov. Howard Dean, former chairman of the DNC and the author of Howard Dean’s Prescription For Real Health Care Reform.

In today’s Washington Post, Steven Pearlstein argues that Democrats should just give up on the public option. “Enough already with the public option!,” he writes. Steven thinks we should drop one of the most popular and effective aspects of health care reform simply because the fight is too politically difficult in Congress. I think such an approach would ruin health care reform and devastate the Democratic party.

Steven is confusing health insurance reform with health care reform. If we only get reform that requires insurance companies to provide coverage to everyone who applies, charge everyone the same premiums, and end their discriminatory practices, that would be great insurance reform, but it’s not, as Steven writes, health care reform.

Real health care reform that includes a new public health insurance option would give Americans a real choice and not reward for-profit health insurers with 47 milllion new customers. Real health care reform that includes a new public health insurance option would cut out the administrative waste of private insurers and begin changing the way health care is delivered. Real health care reform that includes a new public health insurance option could adopt the kind of payment reforms that would start to “hold down long-term growth in health spending” and encourage providers to deliver care more efficiently. We know that premiums in the public option would be about 10 percent lower and that a real robust plan that piggy backs off of Medicare’s infrastructure could save us somewhere between $75 billion and $150 billion over 10 years.

Just because the public health insurance option is “new,” moreover, does not mean it’s not worth fighting for. Steven points out that I did not propose a robust public option in 2004 election. The measure of good politics and policy is the ability to accept and identify new ideas. My 2004 plan may not have included a new stand-alone program, but it did allow Americans over 55 to enroll in Medicare and everyone under 25 would have been eligible for Medicaid.

I believed that government could help expand coverage and control costs then, and the overwhelming majority of Americans believe it today. If the August recess has taught us one thing, it’s that Republicans have ended all serious conversations about reform and will oppose reform whether it includes a public option or not. They want to make the choice for the American people instead of letting Americans have their own choice of coverage. And if Democrats follow their lead, they will have to face the voters’ choice come November.

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Filed under Democrat, health care reform, Howard Dean, public option