John Kaye: Vin Gopal and the Monmouth Democrats will “beat us over the head” if Golden is Chairman

By Art Gallagher

John Kaye

John Kaye

Former Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye, currently the President of the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club, wrote to the Republican County Committee members today to warn that Vin Gopal, the County Democrats and the press, will use Sheriff Shaun Golden’s “dual offices” as a campaign issue in the event he becomes Chairman.  Here’s a copy of Kaye’s letter.

Just as important as what John has done, is what he has not done – and that’s gift wrap a campaign issue for Vin Gopal and the County Democrats to beat us all over the head with. Unfortunately, I am concerned that is exactly what electing Shaun Golden to the dual offices of County Sheriff and County Republican Chairman will do.

Chairman Bennett called me on the day Golden announced he was running for Chairman and asked if I was going to “be fair with him this time.”  He felt my coverage of the 2012 Chairman’s race when I endorsed his opponent was unfair.   I told him I would be and I believe I have been.  Earlier this week I sat down separately with John and his daughter, Meghan Bennett Clark.  They both acknowledged that MMM’s coverage of the Chairman’s race has been fair.

So, if fairness, I have to say, the argument Kaye raises today in his letter to the County Committee is the same argument I raised against John Bennett being Chairman two years ago.  I argued that the Democrats and the press would have a field day with Bennett.  I argued that they would use Bennett’s record, pension and multiple public jobs to beat Monmouth County Republicans over the head.  It would be Club Monmouth all over again.

I was wrong.  It didn’t happen.

I don’t think it will happen this time either.  But if it does, both Bennett and Golden could both be vulnerable.

And if Vin, the Democrats, or the press do go down that road against Golden, or Bennett, the GOP should celebrate.  It won’t work.  The Democrats have been running against Operation Bid Rig and the Lucas farm deal for years.  It hasn’t worked.

The Democrats know that running against Bennett or Golden won’t work for them.  Trust me.  I talk to more of them than you do.

Even if the Democrats thought it would work, they would have a hard time raising money from other counties where Democratic elected office holders and Party office holders have more serious conflicts, real or imagined, than either Bennett or Golden will have, whoever is GOP Chairman come next Tuesday night. If there were to be a Court or Local Finance Board ruling that an elected official, including a sheriff, could not serve as a party official (which there won’t be) there would be many unhappy Democrats throughout the State of New Jersey.

I’m sorry, John Kaye.  But this is a silly argument against Shaun Golden being GOP Chairman.  I’m not kidding myself.  I’m speaking as someone who used the same argument about John Bennett two years ago and was wrong.

Kaye continues in his letter:

Democrats will be able to charge our Freeholders with a politically damaging conflict of interest on nearly every vote they take providing funds for the Sheriff’s Department. This will NOT be fair to Republicans serving on the Board.

And let me be perfectly clear, I have no doubt that every decision made by this Board would be just and appropriate, but that will not prevent the attacks from the Democrats and the press if their Sheriff is also their campaign manager, in charge of their political funding and the ballot “line”. This dual role would open up an appearance of impropriety where none need exist.

One of the greatest things about the Monmouth GOP and by extension, the Monmouth County Government, is that our elected officials are not bossed by Party leaders.

They used to be.  But they haven’t been since Lillian Burry was elected Freeholder for the first time in 2005.

Since 2005, the Freeholder Board has changed faces multiple times, but partisan control shifted to the Democrats only for one year.  2005 through 2008 were tough years for the Monmouth GOP, and for Republicans nationally, but the Democrats never had a big year in Monmouth County.  They won one seat per year, three years in a row; 2006, 2007, and 2008.

The Party of Bill Dowd and Harry Larrison that John Kaye, Fred Niemann and John Bennett came up in is gone.  On the legislative, county and municipal levels, our elected officials are fresher, smarter and more independent than ever before in Monmouth County and probably more so , on all counts, than anywhere else in New Jersey.  On the legislative, county, and municipal levels, most of our elected officials in Monmouth County are not dependent on government jobs or political appointments for their livelihoods.  That’s a good thing.  A very good thing.

That wasn’t the case before 2005.

If a Chairman, Bennett, Golden, or any other “boss,”  tried to strong arm a freeholder or legislator over a vote, spending, or other matter of government policy or integrity today, that office holder has options.  They all have their own relationships with the press and the prosecutors.  I’ve taken a few of those calls over the last eight years.

Unlike in other counties, controlled by both Democrats and Republicans, where the elected officials are puppets of the Chairman, in Monmouth County our Republican elected official on every level are unbossed.

If Golden is elected Chairman, he and the freeholders will probably be under more scrutiny from the press, including me, and the Democrats, than they would have been if Shaun was only Sheriff.   I don’t think that’s a problem for Shaun or for the freeholders.  I think they would expect the scrutiny, even welcome it, from the press, including me, and even the Democrats.  If you don’t think I can independently cover a friend who goes astray, call Anna Little, or Lillian Burry, or John Bennett for that matter.

During my meeting with Meghan this week, I told her that I considered an important part of my job as publisher of MMM to be a bullshit detector.  John Kaye’s argument that Shaun Golden shouldn’t serve as both Sheriff and Chairman because of what Vin, the Democrats and the press will do is bullshit.

It’s only fair that I point that out.

John Bennett has been a successful Chairman.  Shaun Golden has proven to be an excellent leader and an accomplished executive.  All signs point to a successful Chairmanship should he win on Tuesday.

The Monmouth County Republican Committee members should vote for the man they think will do the best job for the next two years. Everything else is noise.


Posted: June 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: John Bennett, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

17 Comments on “John Kaye: Vin Gopal and the Monmouth Democrats will “beat us over the head” if Golden is Chairman”

  1. Another Voice of Reason; Golden Should Not Run said at 11:50 pm on June 6th, 2014:

    Well Art, you can add Mr. Kaye as another respected person who believes Shaun Golden SHOULD NOT run for chairman.

    Your first sentence in the second to last paragraph says it all: “John Bennett has been a successful Chairman…”

    Why won’t Shaun Golden debate John Bennett???

  2. The BS is really getting deep now said at 12:41 am on June 7th, 2014:

    It is amazing that you are not stumping for Golden to be the King of Monmouth County. Give us all a break.

  3. @ Mr. Kaye said at 4:38 am on June 7th, 2014:

    First, people will vote on the ISSUES that have made Monmouth County the best count in the state to live in. They know what the Monmouth County Republicans have delivered year after year.

    STOP with the fear tactics because that is all that Chairman Bennett seems to have as a campaign plank. We are tired of it.

    Now, do you condone the hateful attacks by Bennett supporters, attacks on Wayne Pomanowski, someone calling Ann Marie Howley a traitor, and now someone insinuating people are dying in Asbury Park because of Shaun Golden?

    We have not heard one word from Chairman Bennett criticizing such bogus and despicable attacks, so why should we care, because if this is the kind of campaigning Bennett allows; we don’t want him as chair.

  4. Dividers vs Uniters said at 5:34 am on June 7th, 2014:

    Kaye Should have remained neutral. His opinions cause a divide, how does that help the Party?
    How does “Bennent’s people”bashing a solid honest, hardworking, caring, loyal Republican as Golden surely is, help the Party ?

    Their words divide. It hurts and alieniates the Party. Chairmen should know better. Golden has not attack, he is the model of a good Republican we can look to with pride

    How can one conclude that is proper behavior coming from any Chairman?

    Golden is a uniter, that is the most important aspect of a Chairman’s job. You unite, the anility to raise money follows
    I implore the County Committee to vote for Golden
    Unite our Party for once.

  5. Michael Borg said at 8:50 am on June 7th, 2014:

    If you are going to endorse or criticize someone do it with your real name. If you do it anonymously it carries no weight!

  6. Who divided this party? said at 8:51 am on June 7th, 2014:

    Really? “Dividers vs Uniters” ? Shaun declares he is going to run against a Chairman who by everyone’s account, even Art’s, is a successful chairman. Shaun’s entire platform is based on the use of more social media. Perhaps a better decision for Shaun would have been to talk to John and collaboratively work for the good of the GOP. This is about ego, and only adds another issue for the democrats to attack us. Kaye like Wayne is entitled to express his opinion. He is the CURRENT president of the affiliated. You don’t like his opinion fine. But this unnecessary division was started by Shaun.

  7. @Dividers vs Uniters said at 9:08 am on June 7th, 2014:

    Kaye should have remained “neutral?” The man has a very valid opinion–one that you don’t obviously agree with.

    Seems like when people voice support for Bennett, the censors have to come out—unbelievable.

    As for Shaun being a “loyal, solid honest, caring, Republican (love that “solid” honest moniker)—don’t believe it. If he was so solidly honest, why did he put a friend in a position in the Sheriff’s Office that doesn’t exist? I think we know the answer to that. Because Shaun was “loyal,” and “caring,” for his good friend, Michael Donovan. Ask Shaun about that little dirty secret–see if you get a “solidly honest” answer about that little folly.

    Shaun has to depend and rely on social media, he can’t debate or won’t debate Bennett.

  8. Kaye Should Have Remained Neutral? Cut me a Break! said at 9:25 am on June 7th, 2014:

    The man has an opinion–a very VALID opinion!

  9. Art Gallagher said at 9:47 am on June 7th, 2014:

    @ @MrKaye.

    In fairness to Chairman Bennett, he did write to me, and Sheriff Golden, on Weds asking that we all work together to stop the personal attack here and on other social media.

    That’s one of the reasons I stopped posting the dueling endorsements. You can find those on each candidate’s facebook pages or website by clicking on their ads. It doesn’t cost more to click on MMM ads.

    I also considered shutting down the anonymous commenting, leaving commenters to facebook only. I still might do that , but for now I’m not.

  10. Bennett Accomplished Everything he Said He would said at 9:54 am on June 7th, 2014:

    Including getting Shaun elected. There has not been one criticism of Bennett from Shaun in the last 2 years. Understandable, as Bennett delivered and delivered big! This race was prompted by the 40 somethings in one law firm that want more and want it immediately. Kaye, Neimann, McEnery and Graziano have all gone on record stating that Shaun’s candidacy is not for the good of the party. You can’t dismiss all of them. And we all know Shaun is banking on delivering Middletown in lock-step- I think he might be surprised. Middletowners have the ability to read and think on their own. Why would we switch from a seasoned veteran with a proven record, to someone that has been in politics for only 5 years and brings with him the baggage of a heightened level of scrutiny for the Freeholders. He should have offered to work with Bennett if he thought social media was not being used enough, not put the Party through another inner battle.

  11. All Biz said at 10:30 am on June 7th, 2014:

    Chairman Bennett,
    Among other things, you gave the committee members, a voice again in this party again and for that I am giving you my support. You’re a man of your word and a man I trust.
    Thank you for the best 2 years Monmouth has had in a while and I look forward to 2 more.

  12. Bill Gates said at 10:30 am on June 7th, 2014:

    Shaun wants more use of social media? What about more use of this world wide web thingy? Looks like the county website went back to the ’90s

  13. Knight said at 11:47 am on June 7th, 2014:

    Lawyers supporting lawyers. What else is new?

  14. @ 8:51 /9:08 /9:26 said at 12:09 pm on June 7th, 2014:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Wayne P is not currently holding a Chairman position. His endorsements are absolutely warranted.

    Big difference

    The comment coming from a standing Chairman should have been “May the Best Man Win” in many committee members opinion.

    Any letters put out from aStanding Chairman or challenger should be of accomplishments nothing against his Republican opponent. It was wrong before, it is wrong now.

    Shaun was always positive and stated the improvements he would like to see.
    That speaks volumes.

    My vote is for Shaun Golden

    Voting for Shaun is nothing against Bennett, it’s a weighted decision one makes.
    Most vote for the person they feel, at this point in time, would best serve the Party. Nothing wrong with new ideas and energy added to improve a positive vision ,a plan is always needed for success. Shaun makes it a point to talk to everyone, not just a select few.

    May the Best Man Win -Good Luck unfortunately only 1 can win

  15. Middletowner said at 1:00 pm on June 7th, 2014:

    How can this be all about what Middletown wants when Wall and Howell are also firmly in Golden’s camp?

  16. @ Middletowner said at 5:27 pm on June 7th, 2014:

    It’s just crybaby tactics from a Bennett campaign that resorts to such stuff. Sad.

  17. The Other Middletowner said at 6:11 pm on June 7th, 2014:

    (yes, it’s two of us using the same nick)

    I’m proud that my town has such an important role in all these elections. Is Middletown the Ohio of Monmouth County?