Why I am voting against Leigh-Ann Bellew on June 4

Art headshot 2012By Art Gallagher

Yesterday I was interviewed by The Star Ledger and went on the record saying that I would be voting for Joe Kyrillos for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District Republican primary on June 4th.   Consistent with my slogan of being fair and biased, it is appropriate that I tell you, my readers and the reason my opinion matters to The Star Ledger, that MMM is now part of the story and that I have made a decision that can’t help but color my coverage of the rest of the campaign.

MMM is part of the LD 13 story, instead of just covering the story, because we’ve provided the bulk of the media coverage of the primary campaign to date and because Kyrillos’ challenger, Leigh-Ann Bellew, attacked this site in a press release, according to The Star Ledger.

On many important issues, Life and The Right to Bear Arms in particular, I am in more philosophical agreement with Bellew than I am with Kyrillos.   Despite my philosophical differences with Kyrillos, the choice between him and Bellew has become a very easy one.  Kyrillos is a very good State Senator.  Bellew is a deeply flawed candidate.  She never should have exposed herself, her family, and friends who care about her deeply to the rigors and vetting of this campaign.

I first met Bellew when she was a candidate for Congress in 2006.  I was not really impressed with her, yet I was impressed by her willingness to take one for the team by running a futile race against Frank Pallone.  We owe a debt of gratitude to those who are willing to disrupt their lives to take on the quixotic but necessary endeavor of running against an entrenched incumbent.

In 2010 Bellew and I became acquainted again as part of Anna Little’s ‘inner circle’ in the primary race for the Republican nomination for Congress from the 6th NJ district.  I was now impressed with how versed she had become with the nuts and bolts of politics.  I became very impressed with her work ethic and commitment.   There were a handful of people who were responsible for Little winning the 2010 primary.  Bellew was one of them.

Bellew made me aware of the lifesaving good works of the Solutions Pregnancy & Health Center.  If the free ad I have given Solutions since Leigh-Ann made me aware of the center saved one life or made a difference in the life of one young women in crisis, I will be forever grateful to Bellew for the opportunity to contribute, however modestly.

During the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Bellew, a Union Beach resident, called me frequently to help coordinate the delivery of supplies and the deployment of Christian volunteers from throughout the country to Highlands and other areas of Monmouth County that were devastated by the storm.  No one would have expected Leigh-Ann to give generously of herself during the storm, or noticed if she didn’t.  But she gave generously of her time and talents and did so very well.

I admire and deeply respect Leigh-Ann Bellew.

I am also deeply disappointed in her.

It has become apparent that Bellew has inflated her educational and professional credentials throughout her political career. Why, I don’t understand.  I know Leigh-Ann Bellew makes significant contributions to society regardless of her credentials.   Some of the most accomplished people I know do not have college degrees, graduate degrees or professional degrees.

When questions about Bellew’s credentials started being raised, before they became public, I asked her about her education.  She told me she graduated from law school and did not take the bar exam.  When PoltickerNJ raised those questions publicly, I called her again.  She hasn’t returned that call or any since.  I am left to conclude that he has inflated her resume.  That is a fatal flaw for any employment application, especially a public service, elected position.

But that is not my biggest disappointment.  My biggest disappointment in Bellew is how she has distorted Joe Kyrillos’ record and that of Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon.

Bellew has virtually no philosophical disagreement with O’Scanlon on Life or The Right to Bear Arms.  Her differences with Handlin are negligible and politically insignificant.  Yet Bellew has misinformed her gullible running mates and supporters. She has distorted Handlin’s and O’Scanlon’s positions and records.  Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon are social and fiscal conservatives who should be supported by social conservatives and Tea Party groups.

Bellew has legitimate differences with Kyrillos over the Life, The Right to Bear Arms, and other issues.  Yet, rather than wage an honest campaign on those differences, Bellew has distorted Kyrillos’ record and positions in order to mislead her gullible supporters and running mates into believing Kyrillos is a liberal to the left, or as far left as President Obama.   Why?  I can’t imagine.  A skilled politician and communicator as Bellew purports to be (she’s claimed she worked with Roger Ailes of FoxNews) could simply confront Kyrillos with his multiple contradictory positions over the years on many issues and force him to explain himself.  Bob Menendez did it brilliantly last year when he dubbed Kyrillos “multiple choice” on the Life issue. Whatever chance Kyrillos had to gain traction in his uphill battle to unseat the U.S. Senator last year was over when the Menendez dubbed Kyrillos with the “multiple choice” label.

But Bellew had to go overboard and tell people that Kyrillos supports partial birth and late term birth abortions.  He does not.  On that the record is clear.

Rather than exploit Kyrillos’ weaknesses, Bellew surrendered the high ground and allowed her opponent to accurately label her “silly and foolish.”

Bellew’s political track record, from embellishing her own credentials to distorting her opponents’ records, suggests that she believes that in order to win an election, she needs to fool the voters.  Either she believes she is unworthy of the office she seeks, or she believes the voters are stupid.  In that regard, she has a lot more in common with President Obama than Joe Kyrillos does.

That’s why I am voting against Leigh-Ann Bellew on June 4th, and why I am so very disappointed in her.

Sometime between now and June 4, Why am I am voting for Joe Kyrillos.  There is a litany of good reasons for conservatives to vote for Joe Kyrillos.  I’ll tell you why I am voting for Joe Kyrillos after the hubbub over this post dies down.


Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Amy Handlin, Art Gallagher, Declan O'Scanlon, Joe Kyrillos, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Monmouth GOP, Primary Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 65 Comments »

65 Comments on “Why I am voting against Leigh-Ann Bellew on June 4”

  1. Helene said at 8:37 pm on May 26th, 2013:

    Who knows where rabbits will be running in spring.

  2. Typical Answer said at 8:41 pm on May 26th, 2013:

    From Helene.

    I ask a serious question to understand what kind of candidates Tea Party people would support for President and we get a smart ass answer from her.

    Come on Helene. Is it a Paul Ryan, a Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, someone else who would make a good conservative president, someone that fits your needs as a candidate? Even if that person doesn’t run, I truly want to know who fits the bill.

    Be courageous. Pick one of them.


  3. Shlomo said at 8:45 pm on May 26th, 2013:

    I supported Michelle Bachmann last year, and will support her again if she chooses to run. Otherwise I’ll consider Sarah Palin, or maybe Ted Cruz. If Chris Christie steals the GOP nomination, I’ll vote third party as I suspect all the other Citizen Patriots will do as well.

  4. Helene said at 9:13 pm on May 26th, 2013:

    You really have to lighten up. My response meant I am not prepared to answer your question. There far to many years between now & 2016 & anything can happen. Bedsides, my focus right now is June 4.

  5. Helene said at 9:17 pm on May 26th, 2013:

    Picking one of those names or another helps me try and understand your thinking is so that maybe I can learn something here.

    Sure, anything can happen and it always does. But what you feel about one of these people tells me how hard a conservative the Tea Party wants.

    No one is tying you down to it and forcing your hand in the voting booth. It’s just an exercise in what kind of candidate do you like.

    Oh well, I tried. At least Shlomo was honest.


  6. Helene said at 9:37 pm on May 26th, 2013:

    If I was to choose someone, that would be my choice. What you don’t seem to understand is that the Tea Party is a group of individuals. We are similat but we are not the same. Shlomo & I may or may not agree on who to support, but we will not attack each other for our individual choice. It is too bad that you did not consider my answer honest. Oh well.

  7. Who Said Anything About Attacking said at 9:45 pm on May 26th, 2013:

    Each other Helene?

    “Now there you go again,” off on a tangent. All I was asking for was an idea of who YOU would support, not Shlomo. I wasn’t asking for the Tea Party line about it being a group of individuals.

    All I was asking for were opinions and feelings and you have to make it difficult. That you have no idea who you would pull the lever for at this point, but you gotta like someone or a couple or none at all of the above.

    I am not asking who the Tea Party would “approve.” Geeze. Why do you people have to make it so difficult.

    Forget it. All I was trying to do was learn something and change the tone of the conversation here.


  8. Helene said at 10:02 pm on May 26th, 2013:

    What is wrong with you? You asked a question & I answered. If you don’t like the way I answer a question, don’t ask me anything.

  9. @Helene said at 7:33 am on May 27th, 2013:

    you sure are one cranky and unhappy person, aren’t you?

  10. Helene said at 8:08 am on May 27th, 2013:


  11. Mark/Monmouth said at 1:36 pm on May 27th, 2013:

    The comments here are some of the more interesting & insightful on the ‘net.
    L-A-B has never claimed to be an attorney in the many events I have hosted or witnessed her speaking. She may have declared bankruptcy but I would rather an honest citizen activist suffering in this miserable economy (she is not alone) than a professional politician. We all see where the “professionals” have taken us. Also, one evening last year JK was at Bayshore TP doing a Q & A. He was asked about Sharia Law and whether it had its place in an American Constitutional Republic. His reply “What’s Sharia Law?” This man, who ran for US Senate and who could have been voting on the major issues of the day either was ignorant of, or feigned ignorance of Sharia. After that event, I could never, would never, vote for such a person. Ask LAB about Sharia law and she will give you a loooong comment. How could any 21st century westerner with a modicum of awareness not know about Sharia Law? Something is not right with Kyrillos.

  12. Pro-Life for Kyrillos said at 11:39 am on May 29th, 2013:


  13. Pro-Life for Kyrillos said at 11:43 am on May 29th, 2013:

    Question for Leigh-Ann Bellew: If Joe Kyrillos supports Partial-Birth Abortion, then why would he co-sponsor and then vote to override a veto of a bill that banned the practice?

  14. Vote Column 3: Republicans for Conservative Leadership - The true Tea Party Patriots said at 1:29 am on May 31st, 2013:

    You aren’t electing personalities and things get misunderstood easily.

    I’ve met all the candidates. Some of the “establishment” Republicans have blatantly disrespected the Tea Party. I overheard Amy Handlin once refer to the Tea Party Patriots as “Those Tea Party Loons”.

    Look at how bad Joe Kyrillos did in the debate against Menendez in 2012. And why has he voted to support abortion and gun control? I’ll never vote for him again. If it comes to the general election I’ll vote 3rd party.

    Leigh-Ann Bellew is a smart, genuine woman. She has agreed to the common sense solutions, protecting our Constitutional rights, never increasing taxes.

    You say Joe Kyrillos is a “good” State Senator. I don’t know what you define as good. But I’m going to vote for the candidates who I know won’t just go along with the establishment, but will rather defend our freedom and never vote to increase taxes.

  15. Ellie Hernan said at 12:05 am on June 1st, 2013:

    I have perused all the comments that have been made on this site – the bickering, the name calling, and have decided that I will cast my vote for the Tea Party endorsed candidates. You all sound much like high-school kids . I once went on a “blog” site in my home town and it became a very vitriolic exchange of words. The host of the site exemplified the definition precisely. I soon found out that it was a very “liberal/left” group that opposed & insulted anything a Conservative expressed. I met Leigh Ann at a God Save America rally type of event in Farmingdale. I had never heard of her, but then again, my political emergence did not occur until my later years so I was not “up to par” with all the political celebs. I did not feel that way about LAB. The mud-slinging has to stop. We all have our opinions based upon the facts and how a person performs and what they truly believe in. Politics is not an easy field to jump into. No matter how many skeletons come out of one’s closet, there are always more hiding in the attic.
    We are not perfect. But we care and we want the same from our candidates. That is all I wanted to say.