Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said the Bayshore Tea Party Group backed challenge of the 13th Legislative District incumbents and the Monmouth GOP county-wide incumbents, is inspired by nothing more than the need for attention and the desire for relevance on the part of the challenging candidates and of Barbara Gonzalez, co-founder of BTPG. O’Scanlon flat out challenged the group’s integrity.
O’Scanlon made his charge directly to the faces of the challenging candidates who showed up last night, Leigh-Ann Bellew for Senate, Edna Walsh and Steve Boracchia running for Assembly, BTPG co-founder Barbara Gonzalez, along with approximately 30 other Republican primary voters at a Meet the Candidates Night hosted by the Two Rivers Republican of Fair Haven.
O’Scanlon was representing himself and his running mates, Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin at the gathering. Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Sheriff Shaun Golden spoke on behalf of themselves and Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso. All three men defended the conservative records of the incumbents and called out the challengers for running against the wrong candidates, dividing the party, and distorting their records to the Republican primary voters.
O’Scanlon went after the challengers aggressively on the content of their campaign, without personal attacks.
“Is this what we’re here for?” Gonzalez shouted out as O’Scanlon defended his conservative bona fides, that of his running mates and accused his challengers of distorting the incumbents record. “We were invited here on false pretenses,” Walsh objected. Bellew prepared to walk out, but stayed at Walsh’s behest.
“Joe Kyrillos has more integrity in his pinky finger than all of our challengers combined,” declared O’Scanlon, “he will look you in the eye and tell you where he stands. These people(the challengers and BTPG) are distorting our records. They are lying to voters at a time when we should be united to defeat Democrats and take control of the legislature.”
“We have not attacked you and we’re not lying,” Walsh retorted. “You’re trying to get me fired,” O’Scanlon snapped back, “Let’s look at your literature,” he said as he took a campaign piece out of a folder, “Did you review it before it went out?” Walsh sat silently, dumbfounded.
In his three minute presentation to the group, Boracchia spoke of the need for smaller government and local control. “I’m from Atlantic Highlands, a small town where I can talk to the mayor in the coffee shop and tell him what’s going on.” “I talked to your mayor, Fred Rast, two hours ago,” O’Scanlon replied, “he doesn’t know you. Fred said you’re not involved in anything in the town.” Borachhia sat silently, dumbfounded.
“When you ran two years ago, ” O’Scanlon addressed Borachhia who ran for Senate as an Independent in 2011, “your tax reform proposal would have sent income taxes skyrocketing. Your numbers don’t make sense. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Borachhia sat silently, dumbfounded.
O’Scanlon read aloud a text message that Bellew sent Kyrillos on November 9, 2012, three days after the general election that Kyrillos lost to U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. Bellew was shaking her head and fidgeting like a ragdoll as O’Scanlon read.
“Joe you should have no regret about running. You were clearly the better choice. But the voters were blinded for lack of knowledge. Our job is to change that. You ran we’ll (sic) my friend and I am proud that I can still call you Senator Kyrillos 🙂 (emphasis added)
O’Scanlon followed the reading of Bellew’s glowing text message by showing a photograph of Gonzalez presenting a Gadsden Don’t Tread On Me pin to Kyrillos .
Bellew got up to defend the text. “Kyrillos was a better choice than Mendenez, but he doesn’t defend life and he doesn’t defend our liberty.”
“Joe Kyrillos’ record hasn’t changed since you sent that text,” retorted O’Scanlon, “proud to call you Senator!”
“What about that bill, S1901, clone and kill,” said Walsh trying to bail Bellew out, “that’s current.” “That was in 2003,” O’Scanlon snapped back, and you all have supported Kyrillos since!” Walsh sat silently, dumbfounded.
When it was all over, Gonzalez said to MMM, “This is what happens when regular people get absorbed into the machine. They (O’Scanlon, Arone and Golden) are too polished. I should run. I should really run.”
For Gonzalez’s perspective on the evening where she calls O’Scanlon “Chuckie” the small doll from the horror movie, complements Arone and calls Golden a liar, click here.