Party Unity

Based upon the voting results of the two Monmouth County political conventions that occurred on Tuesday evening, it would appear that the Monmouth Democratic Organization is united and the Monmouth Republican Organization is divided.

Vin Gopal’s margin of victory in the Democratic Chairman’s race was 73%-27%.  John Bennett scored a 50.24%-49.75% victory in the Republican race.

Both parties had extraordinarily high turnouts with over 600 committee members voting.  For a county party that has had no electoral success in recent years, the record turnout for the Democrats was an impressive showing. 

But all is not rosy for the Democrats.  Among Gopal’s minority opponents are his 3 county level candidates, Michael Steinhorn running for County Clerk and Freeholder candidates Bill Shea and Kevin Lavan.  Gopal, Steinhorn, Shea and Lavan were all general election candidates last year.  Gopal was an Assembly candidate in the 11th district.  Steinhorn and Shea were county level candidates, and Lavan was an Assembly candidate in the 13th district.  The divide is reportedly over Gopal’s relative (they all lost) success.  He raised more money, got more press and came closer to winning than Steinhorn, Shea and Lavan did in 2011.

Bennett seemed to be tone deaf to the need for unity at the convention.  His speech and that of Freeholder Lillian Burry in placing his name into nomination continued the divisive nature of the campaign.  Christine Hanlon and Senator Jennifer Beck, in nominating Hanlon, were defensive.

His effusive praise of the Western Monmouth Republicans during his victory speech was met like a poke in the eye by many from the eastern and southern parts of the county.  His acknowledgment of Christine Hanlon was nice, but his announcement that Mayor Susan Cohen of the western Monmouth town of Manalapan was a signal that the lines had been drawn.  “If he was smart, the first thing we would have done was put Christine on the spot and publicly asked her to be Vice Chair,” more than one politico expressed to MMM in the aftermath of the convention.

But Tuesday night should be chalked up to enthusiasm after a hard fought razor thin victory.

Of more concern is the “Dear Monmouth County Republicans” email that Bennett sent out on Wednesday.   The content of the email was pretty good.  “I am aware of the fact that our County Party is deeply divided in some ways,” Bennet wrote, “It is clear that in order to continue the success of the Monmouth County Republican Organization, unification is paramount.”

The problem with Bennett’s email is not the content.  The problem is who didn’t receive it.  MMM’s unscientific survey of five  high profile Hanlon supporters, three of them county committee members,  two of them municipal elected officials, indicates that the email list was purged. None of them received it.

Hopefully the list wasn’t purged.  Hopefully a better and more complete list will be used for the next email. Because, “it is clear that in order to continue the success of the Monmouth County Republican Organization, unification is paramount.”


Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 73 Comments »

73 Comments on “Party Unity”

  1. Judico said at 11:01 am on June 15th, 2012:

    “All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.” ~Albert Einstein

  2. Patriot said at 11:49 am on June 15th, 2012:

    RE: Pilgrim said at 2:13 pm on June 14th, 2012:
    “Let’s be honest … Bennett was tried and executed in the court of public opinion thanks to” … BENNETT, not Norcross.

    You are not telling the WHOLE TRUTH.

    In fact, the entire article that outlined Norcross’ corrupt political vendetta against Bennett was published here.

    I cannot agree with you at all that it was Bennett’s fault.

    You can say what you want about Bennett — but he is certainly not the mafia-style business thug that Norcross is.

  3. Proud Republican said at 4:15 pm on June 15th, 2012:

    By sleazeballs I meant Democrats. I don’t call my fellow Republicans names. and want nothing more than for the East and West to unite. I just wanted to point out that the responsibility of uniting the party falls squarely on John’s shoulders. If he tries to ignore the East as punishment for their support of Christine, his tenure as chair will be a failure and a disaster. Everyone is watching John – don’t blow it.

  4. @Proud said at 5:11 pm on June 15th, 2012:

    Good. I agree , time will tell

  5. Mlaffey said at 5:26 pm on June 15th, 2012:

    @ Huh,
    I don’t know where you got that idea we were anti-Middletown. I grew up in Middletown. We supported Joe Oxely and he is from Middletown. I used to work for Peter Cartons brother and have always gotten along well with Peter. For many years I represented the Lincroft Senior Citizen Housing Authority. Do I sound like someone who would be anti- Middletown? We may have had one or two in the group who were anxious about the power of a number of large towns but that was certainly not in the forefront for most of the members.

  6. Show you care said at 5:59 pm on June 15th, 2012:

    About winning elections and everyone past, present and future should let down the apprehensions and attend the 1st meeting on June 30. Fresh start, look at the big picture.
    Nothing good comes from animosity

    Let’s not blow this chance to win important seats on all levels Locally, County, State and Nation! If splits within occur, every Republican suffers.

    Asking all to be amicable to each other is not asking much. Let’s all take the high road!

  7. 2012EMRO said at 6:54 pm on June 15th, 2012:

    So who has received an invitation to any unity meeting/breakfast/lunch/dinner?

    None of us have.

    Exclusion is not inclusion.

    Either all are welcome or there is no unity.

  8. Who said at 7:11 pm on June 15th, 2012:

    Are you. Not knowing makes it difficult,I’m sure. I have no say as to what is happening in HQ. but did receive an email.

    Why not sign up for the emails. If you know either Chair, directly contact them.

    Were you very involved prior?

    I really think if we individually do not try to
    reach out, we may regret it if we lose any seats to Democrats. Many many people have worked hard in the past to won the seats currently held.

    More importantly many many people support this Club and we all owe them our utmost respect by abiding by our promise as Republicans.
    Our fullest

  9. APluette said at 9:55 pm on June 15th, 2012:

    What happened to the post regarding the vote being illegal? Was it illegal to not allow a floor nomination? Wow, this could be interesting. That whole thing felt wrong to me to begin with, but it would be interesting to find out the vote was a sham! I know I saw one or two posts and now they’re gone. What gives?

  10. Astraea said at 10:32 am on June 16th, 2012:

    To APluette – Haven’t seen Monmouth GOP’s Bylaws, but Bergen County’s also have a requirement that candidates for Chair & others wanting the Party’s endorsement/line, must submit a “letter of intent”, several weeks before a County Committee Convention/vote.

  11. Joe Hadden said at 11:32 am on June 16th, 2012:

    First, if there was a purge of Hanlon supporters from the e-mail list, I wouldn’t have received the e-mail. I did. It has been my experience that maintaining e-mail lists is a pain in the ass.

    Second, I would even give a newly elected Democrat at least a week in a position before I started being critical.

    Third, I will not be at the unity breakfast. I am not boycotting, protesting or snubbing. I have to work. Otherwise I would attend.

    Fourth, I hate people who feel the need to number their thoughts.

  12. @Hogan said at 11:51 am on June 16th, 2012:

    I agree, MMM is another great vehicle for the party to have their words heard and message delivered?

    JB should take advantage of it.

    Most, indeed do log on and tune in to read here. A big Kudos, goes out to Art. whether you agree or disagree with all the posts, his opinion, or the opinions of other posters, He provides this valuable service that most enjoy. More importantly, Art or MMM, SHOULD NOT be used as anyone’s escape goat just because they may disagree and are frustrated with opinions of those who read and utilize this blog to vent, inform, state opinions etc. Don’t blame Art, it’s foolish.

    I’d like to see JB reach out to Art, clear the air, and keep the winning Republican Club momentum moving. This should be sooner than later. Making amends never hurts! It’s for the greater good of the Party.(Isn’t that what we are involved for, The Greater Good of the Party. That is the true purpose).

    Extend the handshake, you’ll both be able to concentrate on the important issues, keeping and winning more Republican seats.

    Strategy takes full concentration in order to Win and win BIG.

    Post it here first, let’s bury the hatchets and win elections.

  13. EMRO: One, or 310? said at 12:09 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    whomever you are, if you really want to form a rogue, opposition org., you sure are confirming the impression that you are a small, stealth, person, or small bunch of malcontent children who, when denied what YOU wanted, (in the words of a Freeholder who intends to join in and move forward), “go into the corner and suck your thumbs”, after crying and stomping your feet.. am told this will simply be a casual, continental-style, Unity Breakfast, at the existing Freehold HQ, to be held on Sat., June 30, from 9-11 am, hosted by Chairman Bennett and Vice Chair Cohen, to indicate the org. is alive, well, and going forward..it takes TIME in ANY transition, so have a measure of some respect and patience!.. all non-malcontents, and/or those who’ve decided to accept life and move forward, are more than welcome.. am told it will be advertised in a mailed flier,going to all new and curent c.c, all GOP electeds, all members of the Affiliated, Federation, and e-mailed to whomever’s been left on, and added to, the e-mail list, which is being re-done, since there are folks who aren’t getting things, with anybody being encouraged to re-submit, if they so choose.. when the website is fixed and up, then do it!..if you are off, or don’t get a mailer, maybe you weren’t really participating in any way, to begin with.. other than spending thousands of dollars to try and reach for every single one of the 80,000 registered R’s in this county, if you don’t get notified, than join, donate, get elected, be on a committee, or on a volunteer list of some kind, do SOMETHING, then perhaps some of this grousing and whining will subside: learn that, if you want to be “included”, you need to include yourself, too!

  14. Patriot said at 12:41 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    RE: “I did. It has been my experience that maintaining e-mail lists is a pain in the ass.”

    Perfectly put!

    That is why the Monmouth County GOP will be improving its online outreach.

    If anyone has been following the Senate race, Joe Kyrillos has an EXCELLENT email system in place.

    You get news, updates, requests for donations; etc. in a regularly “mailing” — it’s very clean in it’s presentation.

    –BUT I am sure the maintenance is what our previous poster said. 😉

    If Monmouth County’s GOP will surely follow that Senator K.’s example, they’ll do just fine.

  15. Agree Patriot said at 1:35 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    JK’s campaign is top notch. Run by the best, they win elections, are always professional,
    And FOCUSED on the task at hand, never losing site of the ball. If you take their lead, you will be successful! Many would be proud to be part of any organization that follows JK’s Example and lead.

  16. APluette said at 1:39 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    Astraea, there ARE NO bylaws. That’s the problem. The floor was opened to nominations. Someone nominated Mr. Gordon, a CC member seconded it, and Oxley refused to recognize it. Without bylaws, he had no right to do that. The reason, as told to me, for not giving 2 weeks notice, is because several tea party members were called on the phone by a GOP person and told not to run. Perhaps a “heads up” was not a good idea in their opinion. This is all about who is who’s buddy, not who should have a chance to run. Oxley said that if anyone wanted to vote for Gordon, they should write him in. There was NO place to write anyone in. I saw that for myself. I do believe that this should be further investigated. I would imagine that the tea party people that protested Oxley’s decision would be following up.

  17. MLaffey said at 1:45 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    I am glad John has pledged to open the convention system. That is a great way to encourage participation. I beleive an open and transparent process will make us a stronger more unified party. The more people involved and the more transparent the process the less reason people have to complain their candidate lost.
    However it must be bigger then just the County Committee.
    N.J.S.A. § 19:34-52. Indorsement of candidate by party committee before primary states:

    ” No state, county or municipal committee of any political party shall prior to any primary election indorse the candidacy of any candidate for a party nomination or position.”

    That does not mean the committee members can not be part of a larger group which includes certified members of the Republican Club, Young Republicans and the Federation of Republican Women. This would encourage many more people to become dues paying members of these great organizations.

  18. 2012EMRO said at 4:04 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    @EMRO: One, or 310?

    For your information, everyone of us involved in EMRO are elected members of the County Committee in Monmouth, and so far we are from four different municipalities. We have had many inquiries and will respond to all as soon as possible.

    We have been disturbed, not by the convention choice (one will win, one will lose); but rather by the apparent lack of outreach to include ALL County Committee – the so-called unity email missed so many that this Blog (MMM) highlighted this concern:

    ““Dear Monmouth County Republicans” email that Bennett sent out on Wednesday….The problem with Bennett’s email is not the content. The problem is who didn’t receive it.”

    The failure to include all in that email was the immediate cause, as stated previously, for the creation of EMRO.

    After our meeting today, and having spoken to several others this past week, we understand that the new chair was not the cause of this exclusionary email. However, we are continuing to organize to make sure that all GOP voices are heard by the leadership and no areas left out of this campaign.

    Our intention is not to compete with the county organization, but rather to complement and coordinate activities. It will be critical that ALL areas of Monmouth County, in particular the entire Bayshore Area, are energized and actively supporting ALL the GOP candidates selected in the primaries.

    Our biggest concern is that too many Republican workers, the actual backbone of any organization, will sit on their hands based upon the comments we have heard (some of which have been expressed in this Blog). This year’s presidential election is the most critical we have faced for many decades. We cannot afford splinter groups going their own way and supporting third party candidates or writing in candidates … a surefire way to defeat every GOP candidate from top of the ticket to the bottom of the ticket.

    Make no mistake …we are supporting every GOP candidate in this election and we encourage every Republican to do likewise.

  19. left out said at 4:22 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    I don’t know about this. Question: what towns are running this? I did not receive an email from your group.So already you are not practicing what you preach. Obviously, it’s selective not inclusive.

    What towns? Why the big secret,
    don’t we fight for transparency.

    Your quote:
    “For your information, everyone of us involved in EMRO are elected members of the County Committee in Monmouth, and so far we are from four different municipalities. We have had many inquiries and will respond to all as soon as possible.”

    Your quote from above:
    “We cannot afford splinter groups going their own way and supporting third party candidates or writing in candidates … a surefire way to defeat every GOP candidate from top of the ticket to the bottom of the ticket.”

    Isn’t your group a Splinter group????
    Let’s get real. Ending MCRC before it’s started, because your choice did not win. A bad sign when not even giving it a chance, regardless who who was your choice.

    NOT encouraging.

    What town are splintering. Tranparency please.

  20. Remember 3 votes said at 4:55 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    was the make or break point. That should not be takely lightly by either candidate. Room for improvement for both, I’d say.

  21. TR said at 8:24 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    I’ve been thinking about it and you know who one of the people I am most ticked at is
    Lillian Burry. I mean who the heck does she think she is ranting and raving about a mailing that Hanlon denied came from her camp. It was mailed from Trenton and could have been from any # of people who had it in for Bennett. Hell it could have been Norcross twisting the knife. All it was were pages photocopied FROM A BEST SELLING BOOK written by a well known newspaperman. Did they really think it wouldn’t come up.at some point. Does Burry believe the allegations even if unwarrented are not relevant. If she does she is stupid. Further where is the indignation about the misogynistic attacks Bennetts minions launched against Hanlon. “she won’t have time to do the job with all those children” Her male partner not her is the one who will be running the show” A point Bennett re-inforced in his last piece of s–t where he showed a pictire of Hanlon and her partnner. WHY DON”T YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT LILLIAN! You are almost as big a drama queen as Curley. To bad you are to clueless to know when to use it.

    There I feel better now that I got that off my chest. I can move on now. I can’t wait for tha unity breakfast. I hope they have flapjacks and real maple syrup not the maple flavored corn syrup and bacon too. lots of bacon.

  22. Knight in Shinning Armor said at 10:30 pm on June 16th, 2012:

    @TR-Right on! Lillian proved herself to be a not-so-smart a politician after all. Many of us knew Bennett was feigning outrage over Hanlons “supposed” conflicts. Lillian couldn’t figure this out???… that Bennett was pulling our collective chains??? If Lillian and Moe..I mean Larry..no I mean Curley had backed Hanlon she’d have won. The split Freeholder board was an embarrasment. The sane Freeholders backed Hanlon..the insane backed Bennett. Gee..who should I vote for??? I knew something was up with Lillian when I notice her left eyebrow was penciled in longer than the right one!! OMG!! And I ask again, why wasn’t the Senator from Middletown at the convention standing with Jen Beck to support Christine?? JK needed Christine to win.

  23. Proud Republican said at 9:52 am on June 17th, 2012:

    Completely agree TR. Lillian has overstayed her welcome in elected office by at least two terms. She is clueless and out of touch, and for her to attack Christine the way she did was not only wrong and uncalled for, it saddled the new chair with more damage to try and undo. She has zero political sense and is one of the most divisive figures in Monmouth County. I saw her berate several people with Hanlon stickers before the vote. Who the hell is she to question anyone’s choice? If John wants unity, the first thing he should do is put a muzzle on Lillian until she becomes a full time real estate broker again.