RINOS, Primaries, Social Media And The Role Of Tea Parties

Listen to a recording of this week’s LaRossa and Gallagher: Real Jersey Guys On The Radio Show here:

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Well this was an interesting show.

Our guest was Lon Hosford, a Tea Party activist who challenged Leonard Lance in the NJ CD7 GOP primary last year.

My partner/co-host former Senator Dick LaRossa shocked me when while introducing Hosford he referred to Lance as a RINO that is “unfortunately our 7th district congressman.” 

As much as I disagree with some of Lance’s votes, most notably his votes for “cap and trade” and “cash for clunkers,” I think the RINOplasties that much of the right wing of the NJ GOP and the Tea Parties often engage in is counter productive.   Especially while we are in a minority, conservatives damage our ultimate cause of reducing the size of government when we are aggressively intolerant of Republican office holders and candidates who are too moderate for our liking.

Many of us need to learn Politics 101 from the NJ Democrats.  Three weeks ago the NJ Democratic Party was deeply divided over the pension and benefits reform bills.   Their coalition of unions and progressives were enraged with the legislative leadership and those “turn coats” that joined with the Republican legislators to pass the bills.   There was some talk of leadership challenges to Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.

Less than ONE WEEK later they were united against their common “enemy,” Governor Christie and the Republicans.  Blue Jersey ran an anti-Sweeney ad, which is now gone from that site, urging progressive not to support Sweeney should he run for governor.  There was no movement to challenge Sweeney’s reelection to the Senate.

New Jersey Republicans, particularly ideological conservatives and Tea Partiersdon’t have that level of maturity and sophistication.  Many of us would rather purge those who don’t pass our ideological purity test and potentially lose an a “safe” seat to a Democrat than do the work required to educate and pursuade our friends, families and neighbors to vote for Republicans.

You can probably imagine that we had an interesting debate on the show.  You don’t have to imagine.  Listen to it:

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During the second half hour of the show Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews, MoreMonmouthMusings contributor, and Independent candidate for Assembly in the 11th legislative district called in.   Dan made some excellent points about the damage conservatives have done historically, particularly in 2006, by sitting out elections and letting Democrats take over.  Dan also had some surprisingly nice things to say about the Tea Party.
During the last 20 minutes of the show Hosford, LaRossa and I talked about the difference Tea Parties can make and the power of using social media to do so.

I hope you tune in next Tuesday from 5PM-6PM for the LaRossa and Gallagher: Real Jersey Guys On The Radio Show sponsored by Repatriot Radio.  The show is broadcast on WIFI 1460 AM  and on the Internet at wifiam1460.com

Posted: July 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: LaRossa and Gallagher | Tags: , , | 8 Comments »

8 Comments on “RINOS, Primaries, Social Media And The Role Of Tea Parties”

  1. Rhino Hunter said at 9:15 am on July 15th, 2011:

    Art, RINOs are Democrats. Jen Beck is a Democrat. It matters not one bit that she calls herself a Republican.

  2. ArtGallagher said at 9:37 am on July 15th, 2011:


    Ray Santiago is a Democrat. If he is in the Senate count on him to vote the way the Democratic leadership tells him to vote 100% of the time.

    Jen Beck is a Republican. She votes with the Republican caucus the vast majority of the time. There are two issues, planned parenthood funding and marriage equality, where she differs.

    Any so called conservative who would take action to help Ray Santiago get elected is really a RINO. Republican Indiot Not On the ball.

  3. brian said at 10:07 am on July 15th, 2011:

    Any conservative who compromises core values is what is commonly called a liberal–the one who stand for nothing, and as such cannot be trusted, period.

  4. ArtGallagher said at 10:14 am on July 15th, 2011:

    That’s right Brian!

    A “conservative” who compromises forwarding conservative government by helping an avowed liberal get elected is neither conservative or trustworthy.

  5. Kelly Nadwodny said at 2:04 pm on July 15th, 2011:

    Art, please think about the next generation longer than you think about the next general election.

    In the long run, it is better that Jennifer Beck loses and we, conservatives, come back a few years from now and try to put an actual conservative in that seat. Electing pro-abortion, pro-gay, anti-gun, tax & spend liberals like Jennifer Beck simply because they are the lesser of two evils only guarantees that we will never see very many conservative Republicans elected to the NJ Legislature. RINOs like Tom Kean and Jennifer Beck are the problem; they are not the solution.

  6. ArtGallagher said at 2:45 pm on July 15th, 2011:


    Thanks for chiming in.

    I do look beyond the next general election, in both directions…past and future.

    I remember what is now district 12 being lost to Democrats and how difficult it was to win it back. Jennifer Beck won it back. Would you really rather have Ellen Karcher, aka Dick Codey’s girl friday, in the Senate than Jennifer?

    I also remember what “miserable failures,” to quote candidate Chris Christie in my April 2009 interview of him, that the GOP was when it controlled both houses of the legislature and the Governor’s office in the 1990’s.

    The make up of the new 11th district, Beck’s new district, favors the Democrats on paper. Voters in the Democratic towns of Asbury Park, Long Branch and Neptune Township usually have very low turnouts in non-presidential years. Neptune to a lesser extent than Asbury Park and Long Branch which hold their municipal elections in May. If those towns started really turning out the district could easily go D and stay that way.

    As I look to the future, if Ray Santiago is elected Senator I see him serving as long as he wants to.

    Sacrificing a seat for what you think will be one term is a fool hardy and dangerous strategy. It brings the Senate one vote closer to having enough Democratic votes to override a veto.

    Conservatives would serve our cause much better by spending their considerable energy defeating Democrats before they drive moderates into the Democratic Party.

    Once conservatives have a “safe” majority, then clean house. Or, if you are going to take on a moderate Republican do so in a primary, but only with a candidate with the name recognition and money to WIN the general election.

    If you don’t win the general election, this one and the future ones, you are doing more harm than good. If your strategy is to defeat RINOs at any cost, you should have stayed on the couch.

  7. Kelly Nadwodny said at 3:10 pm on July 15th, 2011:

    I am glad you mentioned Ellen Karcher.

    Ellen Karcher served one term in the NJ Senate after beating John O. Bennett, a corrupt, liberal, self-serving, pension-padding RINO. Both New Jersey and what passes for the Republican party in this state are both better off because Ellen Karcher, a liberal Democrat, beat John Bennett — a liberal, RINO, career politician.

    Sadly, the Republicans dropped the ball and nominated Jennifer Beck as their nominee against Karcher. Beck is only slightly less offensive than is Bennett. That said, the conservatives are making progress. After Sentator Santiago serves one term, maybe we will actually see an actual conservative Republican run for a seat in the NJ Legislature. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  8. ArtGallagher said at 3:37 pm on July 15th, 2011:


    Governor Bennett has continued to do quite well since Karcher defeated him.

    Look at Beck’s record beyond women’s health and beyond her statement about marriage equality. She is much better than Karcher ever was.

    For conservatives to make progress they need to educate 1) themselves, 2) their apathletic families and friends, 3) their moderate families and friends, and 4) liberals who think conservatives are wing nuts because of how they behave towards those who disagree with them.

    Scortched earth righteousness doesn’t work to convert hearts and minds.

    It would not be nice to see an actual conservative run for a seat in the NJ Legislature against Senator Santiago if Santiago wins. Given the compostion of that district, it would take a lot more than Christmas trees to defeat an incument Santiago.

    There are mushrooms in that tea you are drinking if you think defeating an incumbent moderate in order to get the chance to defeat a liberal in four years is a good political strategy.

    Do the math. Think with your big head.