Casagrande’s Cowardice

By Olivia Nuzzi

As noted here, six of LD11’s seven legislative candidates have come out in support of gay marriage. They include Democratic Senate candidate Ray Santiago, Democratic Assembly candidates Vin Gopal and Kathy Horgan, and independent Assembly candidate Dan Jacobson. 

Also on the list are Republicans Senator Jennifer “Romney” Beck and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, both of whom pledged – Angelini after significant hesitation – on September 18th during an interview with Garden State Equality at Monmouth University, to override Governor Christie’s veto of a same sex marriage bill should the opportunity arise in the next legislature. 

Conveniently, Caroline Casagrande, Beck and Angelini’s running mate, could not attend the event at Monmouth because she was busy with a “family commitment.” I suspect her family committed to travel far, far away from anyone asking her about gay marriage, an issue she has refused to take a stance on.

One of the many jobs of a public figure is to know a thing or two about public relations. Everybody, public figure or otherwise, knows that “no comment” is, more or less, always a confirmation. Evidently, no one forwarded that memo to Caroline Casagrande who has adopted a strict policy of “Don’t Ask me about gay marriage and I won’t Tell You a bunch of evasive nonsense.” 

Her refusal – while inexcusable – is understandable, given that without question, there are a significant number of voters in newly formed LD11 who are not going to agree with, accept or respect a politician who opposes gay marriage. However, no one can respect a coward. A coward, as it stands now, is precisely what Caroline Casagrande is.

If you want to be a social conservative, go ahead and be one – your base will revere you for it, and your ideological enemies will have no choice but to respectfully disagree. 

Instead of taking a stand, Ms. Casagrande has skirted around the issue of gay marriage, going as far as to employ Senator Sweeney’s regrettable history as a cop-out. 

By asking the “tough” questions that anybody who knows anything about the fight for marriage equality already knows the answer to, she is doing the best she can to make this seem complicated. “What about protections for religious institutions?” she challenged, as if the Big Bad Gays are planning to storm into Sunday mass to force the congregation to Vogue in unison. 

Ms. Casagrande is attempting to slide under the radar. She is hoping that this massive insult to the intelligence of those that she hopes to represent goes unnoticed. In adopting dishonesty as her policy, she has succeeded in fooling no one, she has merely made a fool of herself. 

You could call her running mate, Senator Jennifer “Romney” Beck, many things (a lobbyist or a liar, for instance), but a cowardly ideologue she is not. Ms. Beck at least had the guts to flip-flop as soon as LGBT-supportive Asbury Park and Ocean Grove became her problem. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer the audacious displays of dishonesty to the panicked whispers… I’m a romantic, what can I say? 

Beyond embarrassing herself with her stunning lack of bravery and admission (however fabricated) that she cannot comprehend a simple issue, Ms. Ummmmm? also managed to miss an opportunity to follow the wide path of Declare and Defend set by her Messiah, Governor Christie. Aw shucks, what a shame.

We elect people who we believe possess the skills necessary to handle the many issues that NJ faces at once. If Ms. Casagrande can only handle one issue at a time, perhaps it is time for us to reevaluate her competence to serve. I say this only because I care about her well-being. After all, it would be cruel to continue to overwhelm her with the many complex legislative responsibilities that rest on her shoulders in Trenton. 

Olivia Nuzzi is a student from Middletown and an intern for the District 11 Democratic campaign.  MMM welcomes her fair and biased contributions. 

Posted: September 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Olivia Nuzzi | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

20 Comments on “Casagrande’s Cowardice”

  1. Dan Jacobson said at 12:00 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Wow, that’s one hell of a writer!

    Sure, the triCityNews had Republican Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon as our food critic in our early years (and he was excellent). And we had Tommy DeSeno for years as our conservative columnist — which he then parlayed into a gig as a contributor to FoxNews.com, and other major websites. And Ernesto Cullari ably picks up as our house conservative from where DeSeno left off.

    Plus, of course, we have yours truly.

    But this kid (I’m assuming she’s a kid because she’s a student intern) writes better than all of us…with the exception of me.

    Bravo! From an editorial perspective, exceptionally well done. Issue wise, obviously on the mark.

    Olivia, please send me your resume. We also have slots for liberal columnists that open up at times. You obviously just passed the writing test!

    Dan Jacobson
    Independent Assembly candidate in District 11

  2. ArtGallagher said at 12:02 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Back off Dan, I found her first. 🙂

  3. James Hogan said at 12:15 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Does anyone know if or when the Democrats will start talking about how they will lower my property taxes, income taxes, payroll taxes, taxes on toilet paper, light bulbs, and eggs or if and when they will start talking about additional reforms to the public employment system to bring public employment labor rates and benefits inline with the economic reality seen in the private sector?

    Does anyone know if the Democrats have any plans to make government offices more efficient here in this Information Technology Age or if they intend to just keep the current slow, expensive and tedious paper processes in place because it keeps a high number of people employed on the taxpayer’s dollar as public union workers with better benefits than most of us private sector folks can even dream of?

    It sounds to me like these Democrats are trying to slide their tax and spend ways into Trenton on the one non-issue of gay marriage. I suspect, or hOpe, voters will see right through this distraction and consider the real issues and problems for which the Democrats have offered no solution.

    I also hOpe Caroline responds by simply stating what she has done, is currently doing and will continue to do to address the tax situation here in NJ, and refuses to engage a minute of her time in this non-sense. But don’t let my hOpes and dreams for a reasonable representative who focuses on cutting taxes, cutting spending and giving private sector taxpayers a fair shake get in the way of this malarkey, carry on…

  4. HR Dept said at 12:38 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Olivia, if you want to write for Art and Dan in the morning, and model for us in the evening, send us your resume! (Vin should know our address) 🙂

  5. Bob said at 12:44 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    James – elected officials should be able to discuss multiple issues. Christie Whitman was as bad a governor as Jon Corzine. Need to recognize both parties caused the problems we have today

  6. Olivia Nuzzi said at 12:46 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Thanks for the kind words Dan. I’d certainly like to speak to you about it, what’s your email address?

  7. Fordham said at 1:17 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Forgive me if I come across as a Grammar Nazi, but you should have capitalized the word Mass, Miss Nuzzi. Failing to do just that is not only offensive to Catholics, it might make people think you went to Georgetown.

  8. Dan Jacobson said at 1:17 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Sure Olivia,

    [email protected] is our paper’s email. Put it to attention: Dan.

    Sorry, Art.


    Dan Jacobson

  9. Freespeaker1976 said at 2:11 pm on September 25th, 2011:





  10. TR said at 2:15 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Come on Dan she wasn’t that good. “The courage to flip flop” George Orwell would like that one. actually I’m just jealous you never offered me a job.

    Caroline shut them all up. we know what you want to do and we know your running mates are stopping you. Tell them to screw off and stop worrying about Garden State Equality. They will have ZERO impact on this election.

  11. Dan Jacobson said at 2:49 pm on September 25th, 2011:


    You never asked for the job! If Tommy DeSeno still had our conservative column, I’d have tossed him overboard and brought you on quicker than DeSeno can type out one of his baby killer riffs. (DeSeno and I both have a good inkling of who you are, and you’re obviously funnier than him.)

    However, Ernesto Cullari is better than both of you. So he’s got a lock on the most powerful perch for a conservative in Monmouth County. (Easy there, Art.)


  12. Phil Perspective said at 3:05 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    James Hogan:
    Taxes are the price for a civilized society. It sounds like you’d rather live in Texas, or some other RWNJ cesspool.

  13. Amy Quinn said at 3:50 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Great piece! I couldn’t agree more. Rock on!

  14. Jim Sage said at 5:43 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Nicely written Olivia.

    Dan, don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers.

  15. Josolo76 said at 6:30 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    Truly a rising star in Monmouth County punditry!

  16. TR said at 7:43 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    I’ve read Cullari and even Tommy is better then him but hey thanks for the compliment. I try.

    I can promise you that niether of you have any idea who I am. I’d let you know who I am but after some of the things I have said I would probably have to go into a witness protection program.

  17. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » What if we held an election and nobody cared? Part 1, 11th district said at 11:12 pm on September 25th, 2011:

    […] rather than say she has yet to take a position.   This has resulted in attacks by Jacobson, Olivia Nuzzi and other Democrats who scoff at Casagrande’s insistence that the issue is not simple and […]

  18. Justified Right said at 12:52 am on September 26th, 2011:

    That’s not writing – it’s typing.

  19. one-hit wonders said at 5:11 pm on September 26th, 2011:

    and one-issue voters are rapidly becoming the bain of our collective existence: look, any candidate has the right to be for, or not for, or evade, any issue- and their voters will ultimately assess that decision, with their votes,period…what is getting more boring to many, is the constant assault and emphasis on alternate lifestyle choices: most people honestly think thus: do what you want, with whom you want, just get off the podium and out of everyone elses’ faces, for heaven’s sake: enough- you can openly serve in the military, you can’t be discriminated against in the workplace, you can get married in several states, you already get more rights than heterosexual unmarried couples doas a “protedted” class, so, give it a rest, for a while, please!…. with so many people out of work, losing homes,and starving out there today, we really need to focus most on the economy, and how these various candidates all propose to deal with that!..

  20. JerseyBob said at 2:00 am on September 29th, 2011:

    No @olivianuzzi, you are a cyberbully (at the very least) because of your history of postings on…





    …not just because I called you a cyberbully.

    You have a very long history of bullying for your relatively short time on this planet. Read your own posts. You mock Christians with a picture of Jesus dying on the cross carrying shopping bags because you have no respect for people or their beliefs. You only care that you don’t believe in God.

    You make fun of people who are overweight, you call people ugly, retarded and a host of other insults. All to belittle them to promote yourself or your friends.

    You are the worst kind of bully Olivia. I didn’t give you that title. You earned it.

    I think it has a lot to do with your age. You’re still quite young. It’s not surprising that so many young people kill themselves to escape the constant taunting that you and people like you promote online.

    It’s never to late to stop Olivia. Some bullies act this way because they too were bullied. Did that happen to you? It’s a viscous cycle, I guess. You should really meditate to release your anger. If you oppose a fact or opinion, use your mind to search for healthy topics to debate without personal attacks. Attacking can really dumb a person down.

    You are a beautiful young lady Olivia but your mind is very unattractive.