Scott and Anna have jumped the shark

By Fred Lehlbach

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However, that disappointment has now been replaced by bewilderment.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.

“Fred Lehlbach” is a pseudonym for Central Jersey Republican

Posted: December 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Diane Gooch, Fred Lehlbach, Scott Sipprelle | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments »

17 Comments on “Scott and Anna have jumped the shark”

  1. brian said at 2:15 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Well said, someone should break it to them that most of us will be looking for some new
    candidates that might actually WIN.

  2. Harry Potter said at 2:31 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    I used to like Ron Wesley in the first movies, but he looks kinda creepy lately

  3. brian said at 2:33 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    But Hermoine is aging nicely!!

  4. Sean Connelly said at 2:37 pm on December 1st, 2010:


  5. Charles M said at 2:50 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    The person who told a reporter for the Two River Times, that Anna was running again “Whether your boss plans on running or not” was NOT the Campaign Manager.

  6. Dwight said at 3:34 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    As usual, right on the mark.
    I did not know that Scott had authored that letter. But clearly it came from inside. Not cool.
    While I don’t recall who made the comment about “running” again, I am certain it was not Anna’s campaign manager. But everything else, spot on.
    Art, thanks for your tireless work.

  7. Vic said at 3:55 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    These were two intriguing races against long time disapointing democratic powerhouses in an alley claimed by the democrats—it should have gotten some national media coverage—when the NY Post did not include these races among the close congressional races, I knew something was amiss—because they did seem close, and the conservatives had popular support—I think the lack of national media coverage did something.

    The democrats that won elections were long time democratic liberal incumbents in lockstep with an oppressive national media–clearly there is a connection between a status quo media, and status quo politicians

  8. Rick Ambrosia said at 4:15 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Who really cares about two losers? Old news. Move on.

  9. Tecumseh said at 5:03 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Anyone who saw easy victory in these 30% plus margin of victory Dem incumbent seats has obviously checked their IQ at the door and walked out without retrieving it. As far as I know Scott has said nothing publicly or in the press about his race since election night. And, if it is true that he is working behind the scenes to blow up the incompetent leadership of the Mercer GOP, I am even more positive about him. Scott won 4 out of 5 counties (excluding Mercer) by nearly 10,000 votes and would be the Congressman if not for the organizational chaos of the Mercer GOP.

  10. Huh? said at 5:41 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Scott would have been shellacked in Mercer no matter what. Christie didn’t win Mercer, and he didn’t go after Wesley.

    The manner and method of Scott’s actions show no class. I would have expected more from the son of a diplomat.

  11. ArtGallagher said at 5:42 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    @ Dwight and Charles. The TRT article quoted Larry Cirignano. Larry had been identified as the campaign manager in Anna Little press releases.

  12. Super Ego said at 6:42 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Like many politicians Anna did start believing her own press releases. She also craved affirmation from the Republicans who spurned her.
    When Christy did a fund raiser for her he stipulated no tea party people and she agreed.

  13. Anyway said at 7:49 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    If press reports are to be believed the letter was signed by 30 out of 38 executive (wesley appointed) committee people in Mercer and supported by most if not all elected officer holders in Mercer. Silly to lay this at the feet of only one person. Clearly the author is looking to “agitate” or “promote” comment.

  14. Pre-hunting breakfast an opening-day tradition | Ultimate Fishing and Hunting Blog said at 7:58 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    […] MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Scott and Anna have jumped the shark […]

  15. Ron Weasley said at 10:38 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    This is a silly argument to be having at this point. Of course they have jumped the shark, they lost the election. To their credit, they have stayed out of the public eye, which is appropriate.

    But, and it is a big but, for Scott to write this letter is in poor taste. Of course Wesley is a terrible chair, but he was fine when Scott sought his endorsement, and he wasn’t even challenged just four months ago when re-elected without challenge.

    What changed? Scott lost big in Mercer. Like I said, poor taste.

  16. Guess Who said at 8:57 am on December 3rd, 2010:

    In all fairness, which towns have not been taking a financial nosedive in this economy?

    Also, the “cold war” between Anna and Gooch didn’t start on election night. Gooch had many friends who wanted to give donations to Anna but didn’t for fear of the wrath of Gooch. Gooch never really supported Anna after the primary anyway.

    While I understand the disappointment of the tea parties in watching Anna “cozy up” to the RINO’s near the end of the campaign, she didn’t exactly kick out the tea partiers either. Unfortunately, politics is compromise.

  17. Gretel said at 2:19 pm on December 3rd, 2010:

    After thinking about this one for a bit, I have to say you may be jumping the shark with your remarks about Anna. At the risk of being disliked by my fellow tea party friends, here goes.

    As a tea party member, I too was a little disappointed to see the “tea party approved” removed from the campaign signs. But only because we in the tea party were working so hard to get Anna elected and I guess I wanted all those pounding the pavement each week to get credit for that. However, consider this: What is the goal?

    Is the goal to glorify the tea party? No. I contend that it is to get someone who believes in the principles of the tea party into office and get rid of a liberal representative who is ruining the country for our children and grandchildren.

    In a blue state like NJ, I don’t see anything wrong with using a smart strategy to win an election. Yes, I know she didn’t win but given the reputation of Pallone, it might not have been all that possible. He had plenty of street money to give away.

    If I thought for a second that Anna Little was abandoning the principles of the tea party: limited government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, free markets and most of all the belief that Congress should abide by the Constitution, I would agree with you. Note that she never once decided to abandon those principles and even clarified what the tea party stands for in her debate with Pallone. I think the reason that Anna is so well-liked by the tea party is that she did buck the system when principles mattered. Many of us believe that this was the reason the GOP wasn’t behind her in the primary.

    Call me crazy but I say – change your strategy, no problem; change your principles, big problem.