Like many of you, I had hoped for victory in our two local Congressional races on November 2nd. I thought that we had captured lightning in a bottle, with the Tea Party carrying Anna to success over Frank Pallone and Scott’s millions carrying him to success over Rush Holt. Like many of you, I was sorely disappointed.
However, that disappointment has now been replaced by bewilderment.
Who are these people?
It all started on Election Night, when Anna announced the creation of not one, not two, but three new Political Action Committees. Really, three PACs? How will she raise money for three new PACs? What purpose will they serve? That same night, her Campaign Manager told a reporter for the Two River Times, owned by Diane Gooch, that Anna was running again “Whether your boss plans on running or not”. This comment has sparked a “cold War” between Anna’s camp and Diane’s camp. Just plain dumb.
But perhaps it really started with Anna prior to Election Night, during the waning days of the campaign, when she alienated many of Anna’s Army by cozying up to the establishment hacks that began courting her only when it looked like she had a chance. Some thought she had abandoned the Tea Party supporters that had put her in the position to have a chance. There was talk of the Tea Party supporters “crashing” the stage when she claimed victory and had only establishment types on stage with her.
Meanwhile, back in Highlands, the Borough that has had “Little Government” for a few years, is in a fiscal nosedive. A massive budget deficit, layoffs, and talk of simply giving up and merging with Middletown or Atlantic Highlands are issues that have been left in the bag being held by the new Mayor. Is it any wonder that her hometown broke for Pallone?
Scott Sipprelle on the other hand, has now found someone besides Jamestown Associates and demographics to blame for his loss. He has been sourced as the writer of a letter sent to Mercer County GOP Chair Roy Wesley advising of a “no confidence” vote by the Mercer County Committee. (Let’s get one thing straight: Roy Wesley may very well be an incompetent Chairman. But that’s not the point)
You may recall that last Spring, Roy Wesley was the only one of five County Chairs that came out prior to any conventions and endorsed Scott Sipprelle over his opponents. Dale Florio in Somerset, Henry Kuhl in Hunterdon, Joe Leo in Middlesex and Joe Oxley in Monmouth all at least pretended to be neutral. It was only Roy Wesley, Chair in Mercer that publicly stuck his neck out for his hometown candidate.
How is he thanked? By Scott Sipprelle authoring a letter and airing Mercer County GOP dirty laundry all over the Trentonian and Politickernj. The letter clearly lays out an undercurrent of fault for Scott Sipprelle’s embarrassment in Mercer County. What the letter doesn’t mention is whether Roy Wesley was responsible for the decision to have Scott spend the last two weeks of the campaign defending himself from Rush Holt’s use of the property tax issue, instead of attacking Holt, or whether Roy Wesley was responsible for the “How do you pronounce my name” media campaign, or whether Roy Wesley was the one who told Scott to spend significant time and resources in Trenton, when he should have been increasing his lead in the suburbs.
Who are these people?
Is Scott Sipprelle a self-made millionaire with loyal Republican convictions? Or is he an ungrateful child who blames others for his short-comings?
Is Anna Little a Tea Party darling with all the right moves? Or is she an at-best average Mayor who believes her own press releases?
I remain bewildered.