Category Archives: Sam Thompson

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

LD-12 Senate candidate Brown racks up Public Safety Endorsements

Old Bridge – State Senate candidate Bob Brown has received the endorsement of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ) and Firefighters’ Mutual Benefit Association (FMBA) in his campaign against Assemblyman Sam Thompson for senate seat in the newly-former 12th district. Himself a former policeman who was shot in the line of duty, Brown is committed to providing public safety personnel with the necessary resources to keep all of us safe.

“My opponent voted to gut collective bargaining, leaving the police and firefighters who protect us every day vulnerable to pay cuts and benefit losses,” said Brown. “Meanwhile, he leaches off the system by receiving a public pension and public salary at the same time, totaling over $100,000. Voters need to know that I stand for their safety and protection, while all Thompson stands for is his own fat bank account.”

State PBA President Anthony F. Weiners has sent a letter to all police households in the district praising Brown and urging members to vote for him. In the letter he says: “[Brown] is a passionate voice that law enforcement should be promoted and defended, not scapegoated by politicians who follow party bosses.”

Thompson is not only a “double dipper,” he is also a party boss – the Chairman of the Middlesex County Republican Party. Last month, he made offensive remarks about police officers who seek a second career after retirement, equating it to his own “double dipping” and has refused to issue an apology.

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Filed under 12th Legislative District, Bob Brown, Democratic Candidate, double dipping, fraternal order of police, NJ State Senate, Sam Thompson

LD-12 candidate Brown to Christie: ‘Now that you’re staying in NJ, join me in denouncing Sam Thompson’s double dipping’

NEWS RELEASE
October 5, 2011

Old Bridge – Now that Governor Chris Christie has decided not to pursue the Republican nomination for President, District 12 State Senate candidate Bob Brown is calling on him to join in calling for Assemblyman Sam Thompson to stop double dipping. Thompson is collecting both a pension from a state government job he retired from and a salary as a state legislator, totaling over $100,000.

“Governor Christie has been very clear on double dipping in the past – he’s totally against it and so am I,” said Brown, a retired police officer who was shot in the line of duty and later became an attorney. “Now that the Governor has decided to stay in New Jersey, I hope he’ll join me in telling Sam Thompson to stop abusing taxpayers by taking both a state pension and salary.”

Christie famously said that reporters should “take the bat out” on State Senator Loretta Weinberg earlier this year after it became clear that she was double dipping, and has also criticized Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, an ally of his, for the same practice. Brown currently receives a government disability pension but has pledged to stop receiving it if he’s elected to the state senate.

When asked by a reporter from PolitickerNJ about his double dipping, Thompson tried to turn the question around on police officers who take up a second career after retirement. Brown called on Thompson to apologize for these offensive comments about law enforcement but Thompson has refused.

For any additional information, please contact Philip Swibinski, campaign spokesman, at 201-978-8651 or philip.swibinski@vmmi.net.

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Filed under Bob Brown, double dipping, Gov. Chris Christie, PolitickerNJ, press release, Sam Thompson

LD12 Senate Candidate Bob Brown invites opponent to "Snack Summit" to discuss Double Dipping

Old Bridge, NJ – State Senate candidate Bob Brown is inviting his opponent in the November election, Assemblyman Sam Thompson, to join him in a “Snack Summit” at the Bagel Boy Deli in Old Bridge. Brown, a former N.J. police officer shot in the line of duty, has called for Thompson to stop receiving a public pension while also drawing a legislative salary, a practice known as “double dipping.” He is inviting Thompson to “snack” together to speak publicly and candidly about the issue.

“Voters need to hear what Sam Thompson has to say about double dipping,” said Brown, who receives a disability pension but has pledged to give it up if he is elected to the Senate. “I’m a Jets Season Ticketholder and a big fan of Jets Coach Rex Ryan. One of Coach Ryan’s famous sayings is ‘Let’s go get a snack.’ I’m saying the same thing today to Sam – let’s sit down, eat a snack and talk about the issues. I just hope that he doesn’t double dip his chips with the onion dip – it’s not ok while eating, and it’s definitely not ok to continue to ‘double dip’ with taxpayers’ money.”

Brown is willing to meet with Thompson any day, Monday through Friday, as long as it’s after 2:00 pm. – to avoid the Bagel Boy Deli lunchtime rush. Thompson thus far in the campaign has refused to explain why he’s double dipping, has failed to apologize for offensive comments he made about retired police officers and will not agree to a public debate.

For any additional information, please contact:
Philip Swibinski, campaign spokesman, at 201-978-8651

or philip.swibinski@vmmi.net.

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Filed under 12th Legislative District, Bob Brown, debate, double dipping, press release, Sam Thompson

LD12 Senate candidate Brown calls on opponent Thompson to apologize for anti-police comments

NEWS RELEASE
September 13, 2011



Old Bridge – State Senate candidate Bob Brown, a retired police officer who was shot in the line of duty, is calling on his opponent in the November election to apologize to law enforcement officials for a disparaging comment he made last week about retired police. Assemblyman Sam Thompson, the Republican nominee for Senate in Legislative District 12, was replying to a call from Brown to forgo his public pension while he accrues a salary as a legislator, a practice known as “double dipping.”

In reference to Brown’s criticism of Thompson’s double dipping, the Assemblyman said to PolitickerNJ.com that Brown should “look at all his fellow law enforcement officers who retire and take a second career. Is he bothered by that?” (Source: PolitickerNJ)

“First Sam Thompson refuses to stop abusing New Jersey taxpayers by double dipping, taking both a public pension and public salary. Now, he has insulted police officers everywhere by comparing his selfish actions to their struggle to put food on their families’ tables,” said Brown, who went to law school after becoming permanently disabled because of a gunshot wound. “Police officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us all safe. Thompson owes all of them an apology.”

Thompson continues to receive both his salary and pension, totaling over $100,000 per year, despite calls from Brown to stop collecting one of the other. Brown currently receives a disability pension and has pledged not to collect it if he is elected to the State Senate.

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Filed under 12th Legislative District, Bob Brown, double dipping, NJ State Senate, Old Bridge NJ, police pensions, PolitickerNJ, press release, Sam Thompson

The Shameless Republicans who Refuse to Denounce Sam Thompson’s Double Dipping: Just Another Reason Why New Jersey Property Taxes Are So High.

For nearly two weeks now, I’ve tried to contact New Jersey Republicans, New Jersey Tea Parties, and New Jersey blogs that claim to be conservative. I’ve asked them to denounce Sam Thompson’s double dipping. Thompson has been double dipping since 1998 as an Assemblyman, and plans continue double dipping if elected State Senator in District 12. Despite this, he claims to be a fiscal conservative. I call him a fiscal phony. Regardless of whether or not I get elected, I want my campaign to at least stop one of the many New Jersey politicians from double dipping. I think it would be an important symbolic victory for New Jersey taxpayers.

I wasn’t sure why conservatives haven’t been able to pressure Thompson to stop double dipping. I first thought that many groups that are trying to eliminate fiscal waste simply did not know Thompson was a double dipper, so I’ve reached out to groups around the state through Twitter and Facebook and told them about Thompson’s double dipping. I then asked them to join me and other taxpayers in denouncing Thompson’s actions.

I contacted Tea Parties in New Jersey on Twitter. Thus far, the Ocean County Tea Party and The Northern New Jersey Tea Party have stood by in deafening silence. Neither of these organizations have joined me in asking Thompson to stop double dipping. Why do groups that claim to be “taxed enough already” refuse to denounce a guy’s actions that create government waste and cause high taxes? I’m still awaiting Bayshore Tea Party’s response, and will update you with their decision.

The New Jersey Tea Party had an interesting, if not paranoid, reply. After not replying to my first request, I asked them why they refused to denounce Thompson, and they stated that their party “does not refuse to do that”. This got my hopes up, as I thought it would lead to a clear denunciation of Thompson. I was wrong. They followed with a rather curious claim, “We are obligated to do nothing you like”. It gets better, as they then told me if I “Attempt to dictate what We must say” and “We may claim that You are an enemy of freedom”. Amazing. Only in New Jersey. A guy asks a Tea Party group to denounce a double dipper, and I’m considered an enemy of freedom.

After having no luck with Tea Parties, I thought I’d contact some conservative Blogs. Save Jersey claimed to be against all double dipping, but have refused to publicly denounce Thompson. Rather than doing that, they questioned how a candidate with a union endorsement (in this case, NJEA) could question another candidate for “waste & greed”. Of course, Thompson was endorsed by the AFL-CIO in 2009, but that doesn’t seem to bother them. The larger problem here is their rather pedestrian slight of hand technique to divert attention from the issue of Thompson double dipping. They have yet to publicly denounce Thompson. I’m not holding my breath.

This leads me to Art Gallagher of More Monmouth Musings. Similar to the reply of the New Jersey Tea Party, Art’s initial response got my hopes up. He informed me that “conservatives already denounced that months ago before I was a candidate”, and asked “where were you then”? I was in Old Bridge, but I also denounced Sam’s double dipping back in 2009. I have tried to find out which conservatives he was talking about, and assumed he was claiming to be one of them. However, I haven’t found anything that Art has written to suggest he opposes Thompson’s double dipping. I also asked him if he could provide me a link. He has yet to do so. Instead, he has questioned the pension I received after I was shot in the line of duty. The Old Bridge GOP and a Republican consulting firm were quick to “retweet” this question,
but less quick to answer my questions about Thompson’s antics. As I have previously stated in my last campaign and this one, I will give up my pension if elected to office. This has been published on the Star Ledger website. However, Art isn’t really interested in this. He has more interest in maintaining his relationship with cozy relationship with elected Republicans, regardless of their pension antics. Asking about my pension is the same tactic Save Jersey pursued when they asked about one of my endorsements.

Of course, I’ve tried to contact the GOP and get a few answers. Funnily enough, I expected the least from them in all of this, but the Old Bridge GOP gave me the most entertaining answers. After first asking for a source to my claim about Thompson’s double dipping (Did they really not know?), they then told me that Thompson is not “ACTUALLY” double dipping. How did they reach that conclusion? They stated: “Sam retired after 25+ years of service to the State and collects a pension from that. He was then elected to the legislature, a different job, where he receives a salary”. Amazing. How is that not double dipping? He continues to receive a pension despite holding a job in the legislature.

It actually gets even better. Old Bridge GOP wrote “Sam’s decision to retire saved taxpayers money Bob and you know this. It’s easy math.” How on earth do they reach this conclusion? It’s bad enough to avoid denouncing a double dipper, but now the GOP is claiming that double dipping saves NJ taxpayers money?! Only in New Jersey. And, it wasn’t just them. The person running “Frank Pallone is not for New Jersey”, who claims to be conservative, also stated that Thompson’s double dipping has saved us money. How on earth does anyone let Republicans near their money?!

The only other defense by the Old Bridge GOP is to claim that there are Democratic double dippers. As I’ve previously stated, I believe double dipping by any politician in any party is wrong. Both sides need to give it up. However, my experience with “conservative” voices in New Jersey tells me that Republican double dippers like Thompson face no pressure to end this practice. As funny as the defenses of Thompson have been to read, it is Thompson and other double dippers that have the last laugh, and they do so at the taxpayer’s expense.

Only in New Jersey.

Bob Brown
Democratic Candidate for State Senate in District 12

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Filed under 12th Legislative District, AFL-CIO, Bayshore Tea Party, Bob Brown, double dipping, NJ Tea Party, NJEA, Old Bridge GOP, pension reform, Sam Thompson, Twitter

>Mulshine Talks Up His Favorite Democrat, Bob Brown, In Today’s Column

>Paul Mulshine’s talks about favorite Democrat,Bob Brown,in his column today over at NJ.com.

Brown, as anyone who reads this blog knows, has become a friend of mine over the past few years. Brown after losing State Assmebly races in 2007& 2009 in the old 13th district to Sam Thompson, vowed that he wouldn’t seek office again, that was until Democratic State Chairman Steve Wisniewski contacted him.

Wisniewski wanted to know if Brown would be interested in taking on his old nemesis Sam Thompson for the vacant State Senate seat in the new 12th district. After hearing how Thompson is has been “double-dipping” (collecting both a state pension and salary), Brown couldn’t refuse.
Here’s what Mulshine has to say about Brown today:

You might recall that upon the release of the new legislative map last week, I put in a call to a guy from Middlesex County named Bob Brown and asked about whether he’d run in the gerrymandered district into which his town had been inserted.

There was no way he’d run again after his town got stuck in a district that runs from the Raritan Bay almost to the Delaware River. That was laughable, he said.

Brown’s not laughing anymore. He’s running.

Brown is a Democrat, but he’s more conservative than most Republicans. He’s a colorful ex-cop from Old Bridge who was shot in the line of duty and decided he’d be better off pursuing law. At Seton Hall School of Law, he often ran into an affable guy from Livingston who even then “seemed like he was running for office,” Brown recalls.

Chris Christie is now running New Jersey. As for Brown, he lost a run for the state Assembly in 2009. That’s when I first wrote about him. It was unusual to hear a Democrat saying things about school funding like, “We gotta send that money back to the suburbs,” at a time when Christie was tiptoeing around the issue.

At the time he and I spoke, any Democratic run in the largely suburban 12th District seemed doomed. Right after my column ran, however, the Republicans announced the name of their nominee for the Senate seat in the new district, Sam Thompson, who is currently an assemblyman and who also hails from Old Bridge.

On the same day, Thompson’s name appeared in an article in this newspaper because he and another Republican assemblyman are “double-dipping,” collecting state pensions while also collecting legislative salaries.

The day after that article ran, Brown got a call from state Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski. “The Wiz,” as the assemblyman from Middlesex County is known, asked Brown if he might want to take that Senate run seriously after all. Brown did, and yesterday he filed the signatures. Brown said he’ll base his campaign on the pension issue. Brown himself gets $14,000 a year as a result of his retirement following that shootout, which he won, by the way. But “I will not double-dip,” Brown promised. “If I get elected, I will not take my pension.”….

Read more >>> Here

This race between Brown and Thompson will be closely watched by many, Brown has more than an excellent chance at winning it even though the newly drawn district leans republican.

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Filed under 12th district, Bob Brown, Democratic Candidate, NJ.com, Paul Mulshine, Sam Thompson

Assemblyman Thomspon’s Attempt At A Smackdown Results In A Returned Jab

Below is an email exchange that was sent to me, between 13th District Assemblyman Republican Sam Thompson and former Independent Candidate Sean Dunne.

Dunne ran as an Independent for the State Assembly this year and took exception with how Thompson presented himself during interviews with the Asbury Park Press and the local Independent and the subsequent endorsements by those papers of Sam Thompson and his running mate Amy Handlin.
Mr. Dunne wrote a scathing letter to the Asbury Park Press (which I posted) that addressed their overtly biased favortism for Mr. Thompson’s candidacy in the 13th District. The letter went on to say how Thompson supported the construction and delpoyment of Liquid Natural Gass (LNG) terminals along the bayshore and how one of Thompson’s secrataries, Lucille Panos, is a classic pension fund double dipper.

Mrs. Panos is an elected Councilwoman in Old Bridge who earns a $6,000 stipen for that position and as a member of Sam Thompson’s staff earns another $27,500 a year towards her State pension.
On a personal note, it is also an affirmation of this blog’s influence and readership. The MiddeltownMike blog was the only place that Mr. Dunne’s letter was published.
I feel that the email is very telling, it show the level of entitlement in which Sam Thompson feels is owed to him as an assemblyman:
November 7, 2009

Dear Mr. Dunn:

A blog that you had posted and a flyer that you had distributed in the campaign has been brought to my attention.

Sir, if you choose to attack in any way, that is your prerogative and I rarely bother with responding to opponents’ distortions relative to myself. However, I will not tolerate statements that print distorted pictures of my employees in and attempt to take a shot at me.

Your inferences with regards to Lucille Panos are totally unjustified and border on defamatory.

It is true Lucille Panos is employed by my office, but at a rate of $27,500. She is not employed for “Special Services.” I assume you use this term to suggest this may be a no show job. Ms. Panos is one of three Legislative Aides employed by my office as well as one full-time unpaid, volunteer aide. She is a full-time employee and you will find her in my office from 9-5 Monday thru Friday, the same as all State employees. She is not entitled to “Special Projects.” Nor is anyone else in this office. Instead, she and all staff members devote all of their time to providing constituent services, responding to correspondence, telephone calls and working one-on-one with constituents to resolve their problems which run the gamut of homestead rebates, property tax freeze, enrollment in prescription drug plans, ascertaining the most suitable Medicare Part D plan, resolving disputes with healthcare plans, assistance with utilities, etc.

Ms. Panos, as well as al of my staff members, do an outstanding job of providing all of these services, far and above the level you will find in any other legislative office in the State.

As for her salary, it is actually $27,500 not $29,500. As none of my employees had received any raise for several years due to unavailability of funds, this year I was able to persuade leadership to provide and additional $5,000 on a one time basis to distribute to my staff but this did not increase their base salary and there is no guarantee that I will be able to get it again next year.

As you had this information, you obviously have access to the State payroll data, probably from the APP web-site. If you will check it further, you will find she is the lowest paid of my threes employees – not because of the quality of her work but simply because she was hired years after the other two and that was all the salary funds I had left. I assure you, her performance merits a much higher pay. If you go further and compare her salary with that of staffers in other legislative offices, I have no doubt it will be among the lowest.

As for the “handsome pension” at taxpayer expense that she is in line for, if she continued in government employment until she reached 27 ½ years of service her $29,500” State salary plus her gigantic $6,000 council stipend would entitle her to a “handsome” pension of $17, 750/year. WOW!

Should you doubt the above statements about her work, we do have a database some 17,000 constituents we have serviced one–on–one. Further, I would be delighted to take you to any of several locations where you can wander around on your own and inquire relative to the quality of the services of Lucille Panos and my office. If interested, let me know.

You owe Ms. Panos an apology.

Sam Thompson

Dunne’s reply:

Dear Sam,

I do not know of the blog you are referring to, as I don’t run a blog. My campaign did include a website and a Facebook profile, but we didn’t use a blog. However, perhaps someone has taken information I have sent out and published it on their own blog.

Just to be clear, I have no doubt your office fills out forms and provides other advice to consituents. NJ runs confused government services that many people are very frustrated with. Many taxpayers want this improved, because accessible services are the least they should get for their money. Instead, we have offices like yours that have three full-time employees that must decipher forms for people. This is very symbolic of New Jersey fiscal policy. Why save money and make government services easy to access, when we can instead pay three full-time people in one District office to translate the confusion?

As for the other information that you discuss in your email to me. I would suggest you examine the Data Universe section of the Asbury Park Press site. If you feel that the information is a distortion, you should immediately contact them. Go to the section and conduct a search for Lucille Panos.


It states the following:
PANOS, LUCILLE THE LEGISLATURE LEGISLATIVE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS, STAFF SERVICES SPECIAL SERVICES $0.00 $0.00 $29,500.00

This does not appear to include the bonus you obtained for her, as it refers only the year 2008, so as you said, her earnings from your office are actually $32,500. If you do not like the work she provides for your office to be defined as “Special Services”, then I would once again advise you to contact the Asbury Park Press. Perhaps you feel that readers of the website will think that the title, “Special Services”, implies a no-show job. If so, you might be able to persuade them to change that label.

I do not follow your claim regarding Lucille Panos and Special Projects, so I am unable to comment on it. I don’t even understand what “Special Projects” are. I can only say that I have never mentioned anything regarding “Special Projects”.

You have made it clear in your email that you would like Panos to have a much higher pension, as you want to increase her salary even more. I’ll therefore wait, along with other taxpayers, to see how handsome her pension might become.

Your claim that I make distortions regarding your own positions is totally false, and I consider that an insult. You stated in our meeting with the Asbury Park Press that you have no problem receiving nearly $50,000 a year. You also called yourself a full-time legislator in the Independent. I wish this were a distortion, but unfortunately for taxpayers, it is not. I cannot think of one other area of employment where someone would say with a straight face that they deserve a full-time salary for a part-time job because they consider their work a full-time job. But again, this is New Jersey.

You told me twice that you supported the construction of Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals off the Jersey Coast. First at Hazlet Day, and second at the meeting with the Asbury Park Press when others were present. Again, I wish this were a distortion, but unfortunately it is not. I hope you reconsider this position on this project, because it is a terrible plan.

To claim that I distort your positions on any of the above is an outright lie, and you now owe me an explanation.

I do not take lightly an accusation that I lie, which is why I immediately responded to your unfounded claims. It’s amazing that providing information to voters is considered an “attack”, but I guess that’s one more part of the problem in New Jersey politics.

I have no doubt that you could take me to places where people are pleased with the services your office has provided. I’d be more than happy to take the tour you suggest, as I am always eager to learn. However, this should be a two-stop tour. First, we’ll have a meeting with people your office has helped. Second, we’ll meet with taxpayers that I’ve met who are absolutely sick of this kind of politics. I’m sure we both could learn something from that tour.

I look forward to hearing your explanation of how I have distorted anything about your positions or political beliefs. When you realize that your claim is unfounded, you can then issue your apology.

Yours sincerely,
Sean Dunne

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Sam Thompson, Sean Dunne, state pension system, the Independent

13th District Assembly Race Up For Grabs; Poll Shows Brown Up On Thompson, Within Striking Distance of Handlin

It seems as though an upset is in the making in the 13th legislative district, according to a recent poll.

According to this poll, Democratic challenger Robert “Bob” Brown, has opened a commanding lead over Republican incumbent Sam Thompson and it has the Thompson/Handlin campaign scrambling for last minute cash to flood mailboxes throughout the district with campaign literature. Thompson/Handlin campaign signs have also been flooding the area within the past 24 hours since the results of the poll has been know to the campaign.

Both men, Brown and Thompson reside in Middlessex’s Old Bridge Township, and it is in Old Bridge where Thompson has lost a significant portion of his base to Bob Brown.

Brown in the mean time, has also been polling very strong throughout the rest of the district, thanks inpart to two major endorsments by the Newark Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine and NJ 101.5 Morning Show host Jim Gearhart:

Paul Mulshine said…. “Bob Brown is the sole democrat worth a damn in this state…..” (October 19, 2009)

Jim Gearhart added “I endorse Bob Brown completely” (Oct. 22,2009)
Thanks to these endorsements Brown is also within striking distance of the other incumbant in the race, Amy Handlin. And what makes this poll even more eye opening is that Brown’s coattails seem to be extending towards his running mate Jim Grenafege, who is also within striking distance of Thompson.
You can learn more about both Bob Brown and Jim Grenafege by watching their campaign video’s (below) or by logging onto their website assembly13.org

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Filed under 13th Assembly District, Bob Brown, Democratic Candidate, Jim Grenafege, Monmouth County, opinion poll, Paul Mulshine, Republican Candidate, Sam Thompson

Sean Dunne, Independent Candidate for NJ State Assembly District 13, Answers 10 Questions

Sean Dunne is the Independent Candidate for the NJ State Assembly District 13, and since he reached out to me a few weeks ago, I decided to send him a copy of the 10 questions that I had written and sent to other State Assembly candidates from Monmouth County.
I thought that it would be interesting to hear what he had to say and see if his answers would differ much from the other respondents once their questionnaire’s were returned.
The one response that I found interesting was his answer to question 4. Sam Thompson and Amy Handlin have received the endorsement from the environmental group, The Sierra Club eventhough Sam Thompson supports Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminals off the coast of Monmouth County and Amy Handlin had no position on it because she didn’t have a clue about it!
Sean Dunne opposes these terminals as does his Democratic oppennents Jim Grenafege and Bob Brown.

Since Sean was the second to respond, so he gets his answers published today:

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


I was first interested in volunteering for someone else’s campaign, but I did not find any Independent candidates in the District. After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I could dedicate enough time and recruit enough volunteers to launch my own campaign.

I grew up in the area. I graduated from Holmdel High School, and I went on to attend James Madison University in Virginia. After graduation, I moved to Ireland where I lived for approximately ten years. I was involved in postgraduate studies, college lecturing and Irish agriculture. I obtained a Master’s Degree in Sociology at University College Dublin, and a PhD in Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. I was also involved in the running of a family farm, which I was able to integrate into the European Union’s Rural Environmental Protection Scheme. I moved back to New Jersey last year.

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?


Property tax is a major concern. This needs to be addressed by implementing the necessary laws to reduce the very costly corruption problem in the state, and by cutting through the entrenched waste that taxpayers have to fund each year.

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

I want to put forward many of the “common sense” bills that many people want implemented. Both parties have refused to do this, and it’s time we get an Independent candidate in the Assembly to force the parties to take action or to admit they simply will not. If they take no action, then the voters will know who to vote out in the next elections.

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

If District 13 does not help to protect the Jersey Shore, who will? We need to oppose the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals proposed off the Jersey coastline. The Democratic candidates also oppose them, but Sam Thompson supports them, and Amy Handlin has stated that she “is still looking into them”.

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

I would draw upon my experience in Irish politics to suggest alternatives to certain practices that exist in government here. I also aim to incorporate insights from my own studies (environmental sociology) to policies that I would like to suggest here in New Jersey.

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


We need to break down the superfluous hierarchies found in areas that range from education to policing. This is critical. We need to abandon the placement of high-ranking officials in every area of government in every small town in New Jersey.

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


The number one priority is cutting back various agencies of state government. This must be done first, as New Jersey simply cannot afford any more growth of state government. After this is done, we can examine areas that might need further aid.

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


I am not involved in a political party that has had other members brought to prison for corrupt politics. Both Democrats and Republicans have. My campaign has received no donation of over $250 from anyone other than myself. I therefore answer only to my supporters, which lets me sleep well every night.

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


I’m an Independent because I feel that both parties haven’t done enough, and I feel the current electoral system is undemocratic. Both established parties benefit from their duopoly, and this needs to be attacked at its very base.

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

-We need to cut salaries and benefits for this position. It is a part-time job that pays $48,000 a year with benefits. I’d slash the benefits and reduce the pay to $35,000 a year.
-We need mandatory minimum sentences for corrupt politicians and we need term limits.
-We need to review all of the undemocratic policies and structures that both Republicans and Democrats enforce that keep smaller parties and Independents out of office.

To learn more about Sean Dunne visit his website @ www.votedunne.org

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Filed under 13th Assembly District, Amy Handlin, Bob Brown, Holmdel NJ, Independent Candidate, Jim Grenafege, Monmouth County, Sam Thompson, Sean Dunne