Bayshore Tea Party Group, 38 Registered Voters, File Suit To Overturn New Legislative Map

Lawsuit challenges the validity of the New Jersey Legislative District Map



Red Bank, NJ – The Bayshore Tea Party group along with 38 Plaintiffs, representing all 21 counties in New Jersey, filed a civil action today against the Democrat members of the New Jersey Apportionment Commission, the 11th Member, Alan Rosenthal, Kim Guadagno, in her official capacity as Secretary of State of New Jersey, Paula Dow, Attorney General and Robert F. Giles, Director of the Division of Elections of the State of New Jersey, in Superior Court, Chancery Division, Ocean County.


The action claims the Legislative district map approved by the commission on April 3, 2011, is in violation of the Federal and New Jersey Constitutions. It is further stated that other federal and state laws were violated against the interests of the registered voters of New Jersey.


According to the preliminary statement filed today in court, the Commission Map in its current construction dilutes or nullifies the voice of the voters in the southern half of the state and in the state’s two largest municipalities, Newark and Jersey City. The lawsuit claims the Commission Map over-packed the southern half of the state causing an unconstitutional 18% deviation, which is 8% higher than the 10% deviation permitted by US Supreme Court precedent. Also, alleged in this suit are illegal splits of Newark and Jersey City from three districts each to two. These splits dilute the representation of these urban municipalities by reducing the number of elected legislators from 9 representatives to 6 in violation of New Jersey Supreme Court precedent.


Barbara Gonzalez, founder of Bayshore Tea Party Group and a Plaintiff in the suit said “After reviewing the commission map, I noticed several violations affecting the voter’s integrity. This lawsuit is crucial to protect the longstanding ‘one person, one vote’ principle. I hope our diligence will raise voter awareness of the voters of New Jersey to recognize the value of their vote.”

The 42 page complaint can be viewed and downloaded here.



Posted: April 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Bayshore Tea Party Group, Reapportionment, Redistricting | Tags: , , | 24 Comments »

24 Comments on “Bayshore Tea Party Group, 38 Registered Voters, File Suit To Overturn New Legislative Map”

  1. anna4congress12 said at 8:04 am on April 23rd, 2011:

    This site is getting stale. I miss the old days of MMM.

  2. anonymous said at 10:56 am on April 23rd, 2011:

    Gotta stroke the tea party to keep the page views up

  3. James Hogan said at 11:22 am on April 23rd, 2011:

    I wasn’t going to add my pesky 2 cent contribution but:

    1) If I were going to file such a serious lawsuit, I’d probably want someone other than Russ Cote to be my high-powered attorney arguing my case. I mean I like Russ’ enthusiasm and think he’s generally well-intentioned (in the big picture) but he kind of comes off as a bit unprofessional and rash, not sure he’s the guy who would be capable or best at presenting and arguing the merits, or maybe I just haven’t seen Russ at his best/on the job.

    2) How much $$$s is this legal battle going to cost me… I mean the State Of New Jersey… and will we really elect “better” people, under a different map, who over the next 10 years will “save” me that money?

    I have to say, I really don’t know what exactly I expect from government, but I expect “better”, I guess.

  4. anonymous said at 12:26 pm on April 23rd, 2011:

    This is not about winning or losing, it’s about getting attention for their group, which seems to be the motivation behind most of what they do—remember, they won a primary by 60 votes which has made them a legend in their own minds.

  5. Freespeaker1976 said at 3:53 pm on April 23rd, 2011:

    I second Jim Hogan

  6. Legal man said at 4:54 pm on April 23rd, 2011:

    This was filed in Ocean County?
    All actions against the state government need to be filed in Mercer County.

  7. Jgirl said at 8:44 pm on April 23rd, 2011:

    James Hogan and the second anonymous post hit the nail on the head.
    The BTP (and Anna Little for that matter) should really this desperate bid for attention. Get a job people!

  8. Jgirl said at 8:44 pm on April 23rd, 2011:

    James Hogan and the second anonymous post hit the nail on the head.
    The BTP (and Anna Little for that matter) should really stop this desperate bid for attention. Get a job people!

  9. Stop the Socialist Democrats said at 10:26 am on April 24th, 2011:

    God Bless the Bayshore Tea Party! They are the only ones who refuse to roll over and let the Democrats steamroll over the voters of this state. Good luck Tea Party, you are true patriots!

  10. TR said at 10:41 am on April 24th, 2011:

    Define a “better” map.
    I would suggest that a better map is one that is drawn in accordance with constitutional requirements. A map that is drawn to protect incumbents as this one was or that in some cases was drawn to punish or reward a particular politician as this one was or is gerrymandered in any respect is not a “good map” . If the Tea party is correct that the map is constitutionally defecient ( and that remains to be seen) then any amount of money spent to fix it is worth the cost.

    If the TP turns out to be wrong perhaps the suit will shine some light on a byzantine procedure. That in and of itself might be a good thing.

  11. James Hogan said at 9:26 pm on April 24th, 2011:

    TR, I put “better” in quotes because what the BSTP thinks is “better” probably isn’t what many people think is “better”, as if many people even know what a district map is supposed to look like or why we have them or that they have even changed.

    The BSTP map might be closer to their (or your?) interpretation of the state constitution requirements and it might not be close to someone else’s interpretation. I agree, it’ll be interesting to see if Russ or whoever can convince anyone that the new map is unconstitutional, and if so be able to resolve the discrepancies. Even if someone says the current/new map doesn’t meet the requirements, there is no reason to think that the BSTP group map will become the new map, nor is there a reason to think that the next 10 (or 11) people to make up a map will somehow do any “better” than this last effort. For that matter there would need to be some way to get new candidates/petitions around after many have already filed and spent money on their campaigns.

    Either way, I suppose what I was getting at is just that it seems kind of silly to think that a different map is really going to change the way Trenton works or the way New Jersey voters consistently fail to hold their local elected representatives to higher standards and that certain towns/demographics are going to blindly vote one way or the other. For that matter, it’s not going to change that I can go knock on 100 random doors and ask those people who their local Assemblyman is and most (I’d venture a guess above 75%) just won’t know, worse yet, they won’t care and I’ll be bothering them for knocking on their door and asking. I bet most people don’t know who their local mayor or council people are either and I’d also wage a small bet that most would not describe themselves as “happy” with anything or anyone in any office, even though they won’t know who is in that office or even what the person in some office is responsible for or how long their terms are, etc. And it’s also not going to change that the same couple of dozen volunteers come out from either side and most people are going to go RoboArm the R or D side based on some almost religious belief that isn’t going to change no matter how much information/propaganda anyone from either side provides and that no map is going to offer a third party or an independent candidate a chance; not that I think there is a 3rd party or independent who is going to somehow get elected and do a “better” job anyway.

    So “better” just seems to be relative at best and I’m just not convinced that crying and spending the money and resources over a map makes sense. The same circus act will continue, most people won’t care and will continue to sit and watch the show.

  12. lois said at 11:41 pm on April 24th, 2011:

    i cannot leave some of these comments out there without adding my 2 bits. Re Russ Cote, i have now worked closely with Russ for a year, from the get-go on the Anna Little campaign and more recently for the weeks (months?) it took to construct “The People’s Map.” During this time i have seen him in full “lawyer mode” performing most competently and professionally—this is a far different side of Russ than the one one usually experiences talking with him–believe you me, this is a person with many sides and great capabilities. Please know that the truly successful part of the Little campaign was the ground game, and that was Russ’ brainchild–and its success was due to HIS leadership. The folks taking potshots at the BTPG would do well to come to headquarters and see what goes on there, and interact with Russ, Barbara, Bob and others, before putting forth an opinion that the only reason we do what we do/Art publishes what he does is for personal aggrandizement.
    Regarding Mr. Hogan’s remarks regarding the woeful state of affairs in New Jersey—hey, you have to start someplace/every journey starts with the first step/if nothing changes nothing changes. Tea Party people happen to believe in the wisdom/merit/importance of adhering to the Constitutional guidelines. Our lawyers proceeded on that basis. Involved was an ENORMOUS amount of research, data collection, and attention to detail. Will this effort succeed? Time will tell. But gerrymandering is WRONG; following the Constitution is the RIGHT way to go. Someone has to do SOMETHING. CHANGE must come. If not us, who? At least we are willing to try—and willing to put in an enormous amount to time, energy and talent for the good of our citizens and our state.

  13. TwoSense said at 10:07 am on April 25th, 2011:

    James, I think of what you said “how much $$$$ is this legal battle going to cost me”, and I am amazed. Do you not care about your vote counting? There is so much money being wasted and you pick on the thing that is what most think of as our most precious right. At least they are doing something about it. Everyone else whines and complains or worse yet, ignores everything or is misinformed. Anyway, that is only one thing that you said that I find troublesome, so I will not comment anymore. Somethings are just a waste of time and energy.

  14. Jerryw45 said at 10:53 am on April 25th, 2011:

    Lois, you must be wearing sunglasses or blinders when standing next to Cote. Most people consider him to be an arrogant little arse. He is extremely difficult to get along with at best

  15. TR said at 11:35 am on April 25th, 2011:

    WOW, James I was not thet cynical untill I was (almost) twice your age.

  16. TwoSense said at 11:40 am on April 25th, 2011:

    Let me leave with this…. someone just sent this to me:
    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  17. WeRegret said at 11:41 am on April 25th, 2011:

    Mr Hogan,

    Have you considered suicide? You seem to have given up on everything.

    Does the BTPG state in their suit that they have a “Better”map? Did they state that they wanted their map to be the “New Redistricting Map” for the next 10 years?
    While the BTPG map may or may not be chosen, or someone may or may not create a truly appropriate constituional map in the view of the BTPG, the people are entitled to a map that ensures that their vote fully counts. The constitution does not make exceptions for couch potatos or for that matter ill informed voters, just that their rights are there and are protected.
    Should we subject ourselves to another 10 years of vote statewide to save money? One has to wonder what you value most, your precious money or your obviously poor regard for your rights.
    Perhaps nothing changes because people, like you, cannot grasp the importance of having the right to have your vote count.
    The Commission map dilutes votes across NJ just to ensure the “Continuation of Representation” (READ – PROTECT THE INCUMBENTS).
    So let’s get this in perspective; A CONSTITUTIONALLY APPROPRIATE MAP does not guarantee an outcome. It guarantees your right to vote and expect that vote to be counted. It is your duty to work to correct what is wrong about our system and the malaise of the voting public, not just whine about it on blogs.
    What will you do to protect your rights?
    Is the last line of your post self descriptive?
    Looks that way!

  18. James Hogan said at 2:28 pm on April 25th, 2011:

    TR, I’m going to take that as the nicest and greatest compliment any anonymous being has ever said about me. Thanks. 🙂

    Otherwise, true story*. A long time ago, I was down in Point Pleasant and saw this hopeful child put $2.00 into one of these “crane machines” at an arcade. The poor fella lost, andcried. Another time, I saw this little girl put $2.00 into a similar machine to win a plush animal, and she lost, and cried. In fact, I’ve made this same observation at the arcade every time I’ve been there, children making a valiant effort, and falling short, and then crying. So just this past weekend I was in my local shopping mall, a whole new place and I saw a similar machine. I watched as another child dropped his $2.00s into the machine…. same result… he lost, and cried. As another child approached, I ran over, gave fair warning and the child insisted, “they moved the machine from Pt. Pleasant to Eatontown. Surely I can win here in this new town!” I felt terrible when the child had to walk away with his head down, defeated, and crying. His mother screamed and yelled rather incoherency at the store owner who simply said “this is my house and these are my rules!”. Moral of this story, when dealing with those money sucking machines, you can move them around all you want, in the end, the machine is always going to win and people aren’t going to listen to your warnings.
    * – parts of this true story may be fabricated to demonstrate a point making it less than true. 🙂

    As for working to correct what is wrong about our system and not just whining about it on blogs… ohh ok… thanks for the tip… I’ll think about your anonymous, ill-informed comments and get to work years ago. Let me know if you ever decide to try the same Mr. IHideBehindAnonymousKeyboardWarriorComments.

  19. TR said at 2:43 pm on April 25th, 2011:

    Your welcome James.

    I do hope however that someday some anonymous person says something even nicer about you. 😉

  20. WeRegret said at 7:19 pm on April 25th, 2011:

    Tell me Mr Hogan, how whether I’m anonymous or not has anything to do with the subject at hand.

    I may be ill-informed about your past efforts at creating change, but it seems as though you have given up, or at least expect others to do so because in your opinion it is an impossible task.

    I take it that you cannot find any merit in discussing the Commission map, or any others, but are content to hide behind my anonymity. Is that an example of your “and get to work years ago” death grip on solving the States nonchalance towards its voting and political responsibilities.

    I commend you on your County Committee involvement. Still your comments concern me. It seems defeatist to me.

  21. Christopher said at 7:23 pm on April 25th, 2011:

    I don’t which is sillier. That the GOP recommended Alan Rosenthal as a tie-breaking member and thought that he would vote for their plan, or…the Tea Party bringing a lawsuit on behalf of Democratic urban districts to increase their representation.

    Note to Tea Party: Plainfield gave Pallone 7950 votes. Plainfield gave Little 667 votes.

    What will likely happen as a result of this lawsuit is that the court will say to the Tea Party your claims about southern NJ have no merit, but we will reverse the plan in the urban areas and increase their representation from 6 to 9.

    Paul Mulshine is right. GOP and the Tea Party stop wasting your time with this fantasy “urban stategy” and concentrate on the rural, suburban and small towns of NJ.

  22. James Hogan said at 9:37 pm on April 25th, 2011:

    My point on anonymity is always the same, Jane, you aren’t willing to put your real name beside your comments and I’m not willing to believe that people who aren’t willing and able to stand by their words, with their real identity, are doing anything more than being keyboard warriors; and thus are doing nothing to communicate about the importance of voting with their own neighbors. Let me ask, do both of your neighbors know just how important voting is (to you) … and, seriously, do you speak to them with a bag over your head, so they don’t know who you are, and tell them how important voting is, while wearing said bag over your head, the way you are telling me how important voting is, with a bag over your head, as if I don’t already know? Would it be acceptable if Frank Pallone voted in anonymity, with a bag over his head? I’m sure he’d like to, it’d be much easier for him.

    * – I make an exception to my general disdain for anonymous posts here for the anonymous types like TR and Freespeaker for two reasons. 1) TR is consistently TR and Freespeaker is consistently Freespeaker. and 2) I don’t know who TR and Freespeaker might truly be but I can tell that TR and Freespeaker are both well-informed, and two different people, and it would take someones who are quite active and involved to be so informed. I suspect they are people using pseudonymous because they are, or were, elected representatives at some point, and might not be free to comment the way they do otherwise; I’ll gladly accept their pseudonymous for their knowledge.

    As for being defeatist, let me go back to my analogy. Some liberals decided that the kids crying over being losers, of $2.00, at the “crane machine” was wrong and thus “Everyone is a winner” is now the sticker on the “crane machine”. And everyone really does win something. If you peak inside there is a real 24K gold ring sitting right there against the front glass of the machine, no bull – it’s a real 24K gold ring and you COULD win it, for $2.00. Surrounding it are junk toys and fools gold, “everyone wins!” that. No one in Point Pleasant ever plucked that 24K gold ring. They moved the machine to my local mall, no one will ever win the 24K gold ring there — the machine is designed as such. Play the game all you want, you aren’t going to win. If you understand the rules of the game going in, you won’t be disappointed and you’ll have more fun playing; drink all of the scotch you want and scream in your raspy voice as much as you can, the rules won’t be changed and if the rules are changed, they won’t be changed in your favor anyhow, it doesn’t mean the game can’t be fun to play, just understand how the machine works.

    So call my attitude what you will – I was out collecting ballot petition signatures from my neighbors for my local candidates (Jen Beck, Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande); you sat home crying over a map. I believe that my candidates stand for the right ideals and principles for New Jersey and Long Branch and work hard to see those principles applied in Trenton; Jim Sage, and maybe you, believes they are RINOs who’ve abandoned the people. I gave my neighbors the news that the map has changed, gave them the names and contact information for the new candidates and encouraged them to come out to vote; you made up a fake name and suggested I should consider suicide. I have a follow up reminder postcard for the June primary that I already used my own money from my private personal income to have printed and that I’ll hand deliver on my own time in mid-May, and I’ll beg and plead with my neighbors to come out to vote in support of good representatives as I try to break the 75% turnout in a primary mark; you’ll sit home and cry when Shelia Oliver, Steve Sweeney and the other Democrats get re-elected in November and then complain that only 10% of the population voted — and you’ll hide from your neighbors, with a bag on your head never having suggested to them that they get involved and vote. You call me a defeatist? Stone thrower.

    As I said, change the map all you want, my question is the same – how much is this going to cost me and will we really elect “better” people? And add to that, will I still have to beg my neighbors to show up to vote?

    Let’s take the bags off of our heads and go support the good candidates that the Republican party is running, out-GOTV the Democrat’s own GOTV efforts, and then those little lines on the little map won’t matter so much, regardless of where they are drawn.

  23. TR said at 9:33 am on April 26th, 2011:

    Here is what I find admirable about what the Tea Party is doing.

    They are saying they do not care if the map hurts or helps a particular party or hurts or helps a particulat candidate.

    They don’t care. They just want one thing. A map that is constitutional. A map that adheres to the law.
    I admire their adherence to a principle. That is something sorely lacking in society today.

    James as to annonimity let me say this. when I originally started writing as TR it was to protect certain business arrangments from retaliation. That is probably not needed any longer but I like to imagine that by keeping my more sarcastic commentary confined to TR my real persona is able to maintain some influence within the party and with people I occasionally trash. But as I have said in the past I do not discount the fact that I may just be a coward.

    I appreciate that you find me consistant. That is one of the nicest things a real persona has ever said about me. 😉

  24. Freespeaker1976 said at 11:20 am on April 26th, 2011:

    Gee TR, while you’re lauding Jim Hogan with appreciative comments; I guess I should too.

    Thanks Mr. Hogan for understanding our need for anonymity. TR, you need not take the mantle of coward. Perhaps we prefer to stay anonymous so that we can indeed say what needs to be said without fear of recriminations upon our families as well.

    But, that is sad in that people we genuinely need to criticize refuse to see the forest for the trees, and would prefer to attack the “truth sayers.” Such is part of the reason I prefer to remain anonymous. I can get more done without people being distracted by who I am.

    What I feel is much more important.

    Well informed, though; I wish I were MUCH more informed; so that I could be MUCH MORE consistent 🙂

    Those that criticize Mr. Hogan’s comments however, “just don’t get it.” Not that I will compare Hogan to Rush Limbaugh, but you have to listen to Rush for weeks to fully get where he is going. Hogan is much like that.

    You can’t just look at one of Hogan’s comments and think that he is disillusioned as someone here said. You need to understand Hogan “in context.”