Timing is everything

Monmouth County Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon is making statewide waves and generating statewide headlines in his quest to prove that red light cameras are not safety devices, but revenue generating ripoffs.

O’Scanlon makes a compelling case, backed up with engineering, that yellow lights should be timed for actual speeds that motorists are driving, rather than by the posted speed limits.  He convinced MMM that’s he’s right on the issue, and that might be the subject of a future post.  Read one of these articles if you want to bone up on that issue now.  What prompted my call to O’Scanlon was politics, not policy.

There are no red light cameras in O’Scanlon’s legislative district, the 13th in Northern Monmouth County.

As the Assembly Republican Budget Officer, O’Scanlon has one of the highest, if not the highest, statewide profile of his fellow Republicans in the Assembly.

The last time O’Scanlon made statewide headlines on a issue not related to the budget he was speaking out in favor of medical marijuana and against towns that were using zoning laws to keep happy medicine dispensaries and farms outside of their boundaries.  MMM’s unscientific poll indicated that his position on 420 could cause a 180 among his supporters in the 13th.

I wondered if O’Scanlon might have political ambitions that, in addition to his commitment to doing the right thing, are motivating his activities outside of his district.

“The red light camera issue does impact my district,” said O’Scanlon, “my constituents drive outside of the district.”

“If my career ends with my current office, I will be perfectly content,” he said, denying that personal ambition is a motivating factor for his recent efforts, ‘if another opportunity comes up, I would consider it but I’m not looking for higher office.”

There could be another opportunity, soon.  If State Senator Joe Kyrillos is elected to the U.S. Senate in November, his 13th district Senate seat will become vacant in January.  O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin would be the obvious candidates to move up to the Senate.

I doubt that Handlin and O’Scanlon would have a contested Title 19 convention for the Senate seat.  They would probably work it out between themselves.  Unless Anna Little, who resides in the 13th, decides to get into that race, there will probably not be a contest.

In the unlikely event there is a head to head contest between Handlin and O’Scanlon for Senate, the numbers favor Handlin.  O’Scanlon was originally elected to represent the old 12th district.  He was essentially written into the new 13th which is predominately the old 13th with a few small towns from the old 12th and the old 11th thrown in to make the numbers work.  Handlin, from Middletown, the largest town in the district, is much better known throughout the district.

If Kyrillos goes to Washington and either Handlin or O’Scanlon graduate to the State Senate, there will be a competitive race for the resulting 13th district Assembly vacancy.  That will be fun if it happens. Anna Little, Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore, Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle, Middletown Prosecutor Gerry Massell, Union Beach Councilman Charile Cocuzza could all be players.  Add Middletown Committeeman Gerry Scharfenberger, and Selika Josiah Gore of Marlboro if either of them return to the private sector.

O’Scanlon is taking on statewide issues that extend well beyond the 13th in Monmouth County.   If what he says about his lack of ambition for higher office is true, he probably doesn’t have the fire in his belly to seek statewide office.  New Jersey has four statewide elective offices….2 U.S. Senate seats, Governor and Lt. Governor.   The gubernatorial nominee of each party selects the Lt. Governor candidate, so that’s not an office that one runs for in the traditional sense.

Earlier this week Politickernj ran a piece about possible Republican gubernatorial candidates in 2013 should Governor Christie not seek a second term.  O’Scanlon is not on that list.  If he keeps doing what he is doing, he is sure to be on future lists of potential candidates for statewide office, fire in his belly or not.




Posted: August 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

8 Comments on “Timing is everything”

  1. Screwtape said at 10:20 am on August 4th, 2012:

    “If State Senator Joe Kyrillos is elected to the U.S. Senate in November…”

    “…should Governor Christie not seek a second term….”

    Put down the pipe, Art.

  2. TR said at 11:04 am on August 4th, 2012:

    Screwtape is a fictional devil in a book The Screwtape Letters (1942) and its sequel short fiction Screwtape Proposes a Toast (1959), both written by the Christian author C. S. Lewis. Screwtape is also the title of the stage adaptation of the Letters by James Forsyth (originally Dear Wormwood, 1961).

    Screwtape is a Senior Tempter and the Undersecretary of his department. The Letters are his side of the correspondence with his nephew Wormwood, as mentor to the young devil who is charged with the guidance of one man. The Toast is Screwtape’s after-dinner speech at the Tempters’ Training College and is a satire on American and British or English public education.

    Screwtape appears to understand very well the nature of human minds and weaknesses, although nothing about love. He also has a way with words and a fondness for sarcasm.
    Courtesy of Wikipedia.

    Interesting pseudonym

  3. TheDigger said at 1:17 pm on August 4th, 2012:


    Maybe people would stop using that to celebrate mary jane day if they understood 420 was the celebration of Hitler’s birthday (April 20).

  4. James Giannell said at 1:31 pm on August 4th, 2012:

    Its refreshing to see that we have a legislator who is standing up to big government and its fraudulent behavior.
    Little by litte we allow the “New Authoritarians” in Trenton, Washington, and many Municipalities to excessively control the general public at the cost of our rights and freedoms.
    Hopefully, Declans efforts to expose this form of governmental corruption is only the begining !

  5. Helene Henkel said at 1:41 pm on August 4th, 2012:

    All this time, effort & money spent on 85 red light cameras. Why doesn’t Assemblyman O’Scanlon work to have Trenton return the municipal revenue it has confiscated? Maybe then the cameras will no longer be needed to raise revenue.

  6. It's not all for nothing said at 4:04 pm on August 4th, 2012:

    O’scanlon was on the right side of the chairmanship fight, and well liked by most. I take him over handlin if they ever went toe to toe.

  7. speedkillsu said at 5:15 am on August 5th, 2012:

    Red light cameras are the least of our worries While the partisan fighting rages on, the Rulers are openly upping the ante and speed in developing and creating their next Authoritarian System, this time for the American people. A recent NY Times article reported on Drone “operators”, the guys that cowardly sit in a secluded computer terminal watching in predator fashion their next victim (thousands of miles away) that they zap dead with a click of the mouse: “A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away”.

    This article let the cat out of the bag, albeit inadvertently. The drone operators said they watch their victims for sometimes weeks before killing them. They can see right inside their houses, viewing the most intimate moments a person has. They said openly that they “watch them go to bed at night”, and “watch them get up in the morning”, and see everthing they do. They said (how kind of them?) they wait for the man’s wife and children to go to town or somewhere before they kill him.

    A federal court ruled that Drones can be used in the surveillance and assistance to catch “criminals” in North Dakota (related to this farmer that the authorities used a drone on). Within a few years they will have 30,000 drones over America, watching you….AND DON’T THINK FOR MOMENT they are not seeing inside your house. They will be watching it all.

    The NSA employes almost One Million people, currently….but that will increase when their Utah plant opens in 2013. That is only ONE “intelligence” spy agency of 16 in the U.S. (These minions in the several millions is why America is going to become the most extreme form of Authoritarianism the world has ever seen….because they are (smartly) going to make sure that a large layer of people will benefit…even though they are not the Rulers…but will remain above the serfs.

    But YOU won’t be one of the “lucky” ones selected by the Rulers to administer their System. And Americans are doing nothing about this, if they were they would have already.

    Even ORWELL’S world was better than what is planned for here, because even Winston had a small enclave he could retreat to where he was not watched.
    Does it really matter which party stole more money?…Oh wait lets get those red light cameras taken down !

  8. the Marlboro man said at 5:40 pm on August 6th, 2012:

    The dynamic of the 13th has changed so let me offer up another Republican for the assembly vacancy if it happens. Captain Shital Rajan of Marlboro. The new 13th district now goes onto western Monmouth (Marlboro) and Marlboro (the 2nd largest town in the district after Middletown) should get a voice on the assembly delegation. Captain Rajan offers a unique perspective, one that we need in Trenton.