Negative Campaigning: The Monmouth County GOP Chair’s race, Part 5

As the Monmouth County GOP Chair’s race  crescendos on its way to a close tomorrow, several Republicans, mostly Bennett supporters, are bemoaning the negative nature the campaign.

Those who think this campaign was negative have limited experience in competitive campaigns.   Many, perhaps most, Monmouth County Republicans have limited experience in competitive campaigns.  If you want to experience competitive campaigns, spend some time in Bergen County.

John Bennett said he would run a positive campaign. He didn’t and he never intended to.  He ran a clever campaign designed to turn his substantial negatives around on his opponent.   Attempt to make his negative history out of bounds to talk about because he has a letter saying he didn’t do anything wrong and make his opponent’s government work a “conflict of interest”  to deflect attention away from his own piggish career.

That might have worked in the old 12th district against hapless Democrats .  It could never work in a competitive race.

John Bennett doesn’t know how to win a competitive race.  He’s never won one, unless you consider his 2003 primary against an unknown conservative by the name of Richard Pezzullo a competitive race.  Whenever John ventured out of his comfort zone in the old 12th, he lost.  

When Bennett was a “Chairman” as Leader of the Senate Republicans in 2003, he lost badly. Before that loss he fought back calls from fellow Republicans in Trenton to give up the Senate Co-Presidency and he fought back Chairman Bill Dowd’s call to step aside in his own race.  John knew better than everyone else.  Except he didn’t and he caused the loss of not only his own seat in the old 12th, but the Assembly seats too.  Worse, and something New Jersey has yet to recover from, he lost the Senate.

It’s not negative to say this.  It is just what is so. 

What would be negative is to not say it loud enough, like John’s friends didn’t say it loud enough in 2003.

Whoever the next Chairs of the major parties are on Wednesday morning, Monmouth County is going to become a more competitive county.  Those who rationalize that this year is a presidential year and next year is a gubernatorial year, so we’ll do well anyway are short term thinkers who don’t know how to build an organization.  That’s the kind of thinking that lead to the loss of Republican dominance in Trenton.

The two men who are competing for the Monmouth Democratic Chair both have a great deal of respect for the organization that Joe Oxley and Christine Hanlon have rebuilt over the last four years.  Both men are preparing and thinking long term.

Ultimately the job of the county chair is to win elections.  The Chair is not a position to give as reward, an act of friendship or because someone’s earned it as a “capstone” to a career.  It is not a ceremonial post that someone can coast in for two easy years.  Not unless you’re willing to let the competition catch up during those two years


Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »

5 Comments on “Negative Campaigning: The Monmouth County GOP Chair’s race, Part 5”

  1. If Only said at 9:32 am on June 11th, 2012:

    My chair would get the message of the last paragraph. Sadly, it’s just about personal power for that person.

    Now, back to the subject…

    I have always said it is NOT negative campaigning, especially if the record is true. It’s about talking about the 900 lb Gorilla in the room that people are afraid to talk about because we have been sissified into this “politically correct” mindset.


    Who cares if Christine has only been involved in politics for 6 years. DID SHE GET THE JOB DONE?

    And yes, those that are commenting that it’s Brian Nelson pulling the strings; you are indeed being sexist. IMHO, he may be a great lawyer, but he is a wussy politician and strategist.

    Christine works in the trenches with us regular people, John has been busy in the “smoke filled rooms” making deals with the “Good Old Boys.” And, I have experienced some of his negative campaigning, relayed by his surrogates. NOT Cool John, NOT cool.

    Those that “live by the sword” usually die by it. Look at the stuff from the Cullari campaign and you see what I mean.

  2. A few words to the wise,that we all really do know said at 11:31 am on June 11th, 2012:

    Trash talking on either side eventually gets back to the person(s) they talk about. Remember, if they are talking about someone else to you, they are also talking about you to someone else.

    Usually the people they talk about are those who they feel are a threat to their climb to the top; sometmes you just sit back,take it as a compliment, and hope people know better.
    If it’s false negative information and spreads as rumor, for the most part, Some people are smarter than to listen to rumor. It takes a person with character to let the other person know what is being said behind their back giving them the opportunity to defend themselves. Questions is: How many people with true character are our there?

    The old saying watch who you step on on the way up, they maybe be the same people who step on you on your way down.

    If you think your are too big for your britches, watch out, there is always someone else with bigger britches, brighter & wiser.

  3. By "Gerri C. Popkin" June 10 on "Rage" thread said at 1:16 pm on June 11th, 2012:

    Found this interesting, an opinion on the contest, negative campaigning and and potential conflicts (portion of post copied)

    “…..here is my major point, and a major crux of this issue: if you, or anyone else, does not honestly in your heart and mind believe, that a person appointed to a paid, statutory job, [Hanlon, member of Board of Elections] who counts, votes on, and certifies results of people who may, in a few days, potentially cast votes for THEM- people who, suddenly got a knock at their door, and/or a piece of negative, INaccurate trash in their mailbox, DAYS before everyone ELSE could receive the complete and certified list of winners, is NOT a “conflict of interest” at best, or a derelection of duty, or potential malfiesance in that office, at worst, then they must be blinded, dumb, and/or without scruples or conscience-period… the fact is, John Bennett ran a positive, decent,truthful campaign, simply comparing the actual qualifications and experience of two people, and offering up a platform for progress that many people feel has been sorely lacking in the organization, for years….NONE of his volunteers ever expected to be personally attacked and reviled, nor did they expect the level of inaccuracies, and desperate lengths, to which his opponents would go , or see perpetrated, during this process: it was pretty stunning,even for us seasoned,”old” people, whom some of course,want to eliminate,asap, we get that, kids….John’s folks got together over many days and nights, as long-time friends and GOP volunteers/ supporters, had a few meals and laughs together, hand-addressed, stuffed, stamped and personally mailed envelopes, personally called friends and neighbors, basically had some campaign- fun along the way, in support of “their guy”- the way politics always was accomplished, before all the automation and “technologies” took most of the “people” part out of the process….now, at the close of this particular inter-party race,many have, and do believe, that much of the other group’s behavior was/is a disservice to the people, an embarassment to the party, and, frankly, an abuse of some people’s titles and public trust, which just winds up being a shame, too..look, whatever the results wind up being on Tuesday, many feel we have been painfully weakened and cheapened as an organization,and that the outside world, going forward, will need to be reassured that the county, (and yes, this is supposed to be first about, our COUNTY, Republican party),is still worthy of their trust and votes, in the fall, and beyond..some are also saddened that a few elitists will seem to obviously and apparently stop at nothing witin thr relm of decency, in their overly-ambitious quest for rapid ascension to supremacy, power and”glory”, along with personally very lucrative, future business..”

  4. TR said at 2:36 pm on June 11th, 2012:

    This rambling run on stream of consciousness makes even less sense the secongd time it is posted

  5. Oh, I get it now! said at 3:01 pm on June 11th, 2012:

    If you play it backwards, it says,
    “rrrwwwrrrerr…Paul is dead…rrrrwwrrerr…Paul is dead…”