Winners and Losers of 2014


Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon led the effort to terminate New Jersey’s Red Light Camera Program.

O’Scanlon and Co. have been relentless in monitoring the Red Light Camera Program and telling the truth about it. They have hired independent experts to investigate complaints and document fraud within the program.  They have sorted through data that has regularly been obfuscated by the red light camera companies (and bureaucrats friendly to them) to reflect improved safety conditions at RCL intersections where in fact conditions had often worsened.   They have worked hard in getting the word out about the program’s failure and corruption. They have countered expensive advertising campaigns by the red light camera companies and countered expensive lobbyists working the halls of the Statehouse, without the benefit of the profits the red light camera companies stole from the motoring public to fund their efforts.

In thwarting the Red Light Camera Program’s renewal, O’Scanlon has proved himself to be “the real deal”….a leader who fights for the right thing because it is the right thing. He is an example of what a “public servant” should be.

Christine Giordano Hanlon 

Christine Hanlon croppedDubbed The Architect by Monmouth GOP Chairman Shaun Golden, Hanlon designed Golden’s defeat of John Bennett for leadership of the County Party, avenging her razor thin 3 vote defeat by Bennett in 2012.  By building a coalition of previous regional rivals and splitting Bennett’s 2012 coalition, which he failed to nourish, Hanlon demonstrated strategic leadership without seeking the limelight or accolades.

Hanlon has picked up where she left off during the Chairmanship of Joe Oxley as the behind the scenes glue of the Party.  As Regional Vice Chair and State Committeewoman, Hanlon has fostered a culture of teamwork that brings strong leaders together as partners instead of natural rivals.

Juan Malave

The Howell Republican Party is united and that is remarkable given the history of divisiveness.  Malave is the new Chairman and leader of the municipal party .  Along with County Vice Chair and Deputy Mayor Rob Nicastro, Malave has built a team that serves Howell very well and that has become a critical cog in the County GOP infrastructure.

Congressman Frank Pallone

Re-elected to his 14th term in the House of Representitives, Pallone also won a leadership battle to become the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, beating Nancy Pelosi’s favored candidate for the post.  Most remarkably, Pallone had two bills signed into law by President Obama this month.  Pallone’s legislative accomplishments are remarkable because 1) he is a harshly partisan member of the Democratic minority and 2) he’s only had 6 other bills signed into law in his 26 year career….two that named post offices.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty

When Belmar voters rejected a bonding referendum that Doherty supported last August, Belmar Republicans thought they had a change to unseat the popular mayor. Doherty prevailed with an 11% victory in November.   But that is not what puts Doherty on the winners list.  Dragged into the Bridgegate scandal by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegations against Governor Chris Christie, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable, Doherty deftly managed to defend the Christie Administration players without throwing Zimmer under the bus and without alienating his support within the Democratic Party.

Doherty managed to maintain his friendship with Christie without endorsing the Governor in 2013, unlike Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and without alienating Monmouth County Democrats, like Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long who left the Party over Chairman Vin Gopal’s reaction to her relationship with Christie.


Governor Chris Christie

The Governor ended 2013 with a 60% + reelection victory and as the front runner for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination.  The Bridgegate scandal, the sluggish New Jersey economy, and the federal bureaucracy’s choke hold on the purse strings to Superstorm Sandy recovery knocked the wheels off Christie’s first term accomplishments and the rationale for his 2016 candidacy. Despite his record breaking fund raising record and electoral victories as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Christie ends the year as a second tier candidate for the GOP nomination in most independent polls and daunting economic and fiscal challenges in New Jersey  threaten to derail his legacy in New Jersey and his presidential ambitions.

Vin Gopal

The Monmouth Democratic Chairman had the hardest working freeholder candidates in decades, hundreds of thousands in special interest and Trenton Democratic money and a rock star U.S. Senator on top of the ballot, but squandered the opportunity and resources with a negative and false message of GOP corruption that Monmouth County voters have been rejecting for years.

Three weeks after the polls closed, Gopal tried to re-litigate the election with an OpEd pitting Brookdale Community College against Monmouth County’s nursing homes.  A campaign based on those issues would have served Monmouth County much better than the nonsense Gopal put forward.

Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik

The popular Marlboro mayor put his name on the line for the Monmouth Democratic freeholder candidates with endorsement letters and attempted to export his brand of “New Democratic Leadership” that wins municipal offices in otherwise Republican towns to Manalapan and came up short on both counts.   Republican Freeholders Lillian Burry and Gary Rich prevailed in Marlboro and the GOP won big in Manalapan.


There were many more winners and losers in 2014, this list is far from comprehensive. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

MoreMonmouthMusings had a winning year, with an over 45% growth in traffic as measured by page views and a 56% growth in visits.

Thank you for making this site part of your routine and thank you to our advertisers for making it possible and keeping the lights on.

Happy New Year!

Art Gallagher

Posted: December 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

22 Comments on “Winners and Losers of 2014”

  1. Deez Nuts said at 11:48 am on December 31st, 2014:

    Christine Hanlon is mad hot.

  2. Middletowner said at 1:02 pm on December 31st, 2014:

    Losers – where is Bennett on the list?

  3. Declan can go from first to last said at 2:12 pm on December 31st, 2014:

    Declan can go from the top of the winners column to the bottom of the losers column in just 12 months. First of all Declan like all other Republican legislators of Monmouth County voted to make the Port Authority more accountable and transparent–who would vote against that right??

    However, our Governor, who is at the top of the loser column, has vetoed such measure.

    Lets see if Declan and others stand by their original vote to make the PA more accountable, instead of constantly hiking tolls and being used as a dumping ground for CC’s unqualified high school friends.

    We are watching you Declan, Beck, Kyrillos, Casagrande, etc.

    As for Judas…ahem Scanlon: You traitor!! You got what you wanted with the NJ Highway Authority and now I find out YOU are the architect. Shame on you!!!

  4. Barry said at 3:17 pm on December 31st, 2014:

    Honorable Mention for 2014 winner

    Jack McNaboe and Susan Cohen for weathering relentless attacks by the State Democrats and winning by a comfortable margin

    Dishonorable Mention for 2014 loser
    Andrew Lucas no need to recap the obvious

  5. dentss dunnigan said at 3:29 pm on December 31st, 2014:

    Declan is the architect of the new yearly property revalue system now in place .This yearly adjustment of property values will surely send retirees for the exits faster than a adult diaper shortage .Will it slow down Declan meteoric rise ,that Depends !

  6. Knight said at 5:41 pm on December 31st, 2014:

    Fair Haven LOST a republican seat in a heavy turnout year for repubs.

  7. @Knight said at 11:38 pm on December 31st, 2014:

    Republicans will lose more seats if they don’t override Christie’s veto regarding the Transparency and Accountability Bill he recently vetoed.

    EVERY Republican in both chambers voted for this bill. If they fail to override the Governor–they are complicit with an agency that is ripe with corruption and nepotisim; forget about the increase in tolls in order to pay CC’s unqualified high school chums.

    The above statement regarding this bill forgot to add: Rible, Angelini, and Keane.

    There votes will be watched!!!!!

  8. New year, s.o.s.: said at 10:38 am on January 1st, 2015:

    You got your wish and took Bennett out- yet you still have to grind the man down..Why?..so, ok, let’s go: what did we get, really? To date: late- scheduled events, poor fund-raising levels, a boring website that has inaccurate times for events,and very old content: one of the big promises, yet unfulfilled. You got an amateurish, poorly- planned and executed campaign: like deer in headlights, the responses were late, cheaply- done, and ineffective: in a banner GOP year nationally, we barely got past awful candidates with money and chutzpah. So, all in all, many believe some of the great new leaders did a mediocre job at best, while they got lots more work and made much more money- and, the obvious party divide continues-because the winners simply can’t be grown-up or gracious- they are pompous.There were little to no unity efforts made, because they don’t want to, or have to! So, while some preen and enrich themselves, others are left wanting better, kinder, smarter leadership, make no mistake. “Happy New Year, to all- ” there’s certainly much more to do, from the other point of view!

  9. So is this all about Hanlon's Revenge? said at 12:50 pm on January 1st, 2015:

    So, was Hanlon an architect to revive the Republican Party of Monmouth County, or was this all about petty revenge because she lost to Bennett by a razor thin margin???

    Sounds to me like the latter. The Republican Party of Monmouth County over the years has completely disgusts me and others I know.

    The moniker “Club Monmouth” is applicable today as it was years ago. It just seems so blatant and open now.

    Reading Art’s column (BTW Art, you should be up as a winner since your readership as increased dramatically) has brought to my attention things or shenanigans I would have never known.

    Lets see if I can recall:
    1. All the Operations associated with Bid Rig;
    2. Joe Kyrillos not vetting Joe Oxley for state judge, despite FBI reports of some “coziness: between the two. Keep in mind, Kyrillos did not demand to see those FBI files, nor did Oxley grant permission to the FBI for its release.
    3. Jennifer Beck getting her unqualified staffer a job with the Port Authority–similar to CC getting unqualified crony Wildstein a job.
    4. An unqualified Wall resident attempting to get the Public Works Directorship. Thanks to this column, I believe that was put to quashed.
    5. Shaun Golden with his “architect” to bring down John Bennet.
    6. Shaun Golden with his rewarding his friend at the Sheriff’s Office with a pension and salary (Did Shaun ever have that man pay back what he wasn’t entitled too??)
    7. Brookdale
    8. Hanlon getting a job at the Turnpike (will her law firm be scrutinized for work like Sampson at the PA?)

    Yep, Club Monmouth exists even to this day.
    And us citizens, taxpayers, and committee people keep drinking their Kool-aide.

    On that note: Happy New Year!! My resolution is not to make the same mistake twice, three-times, 4 times, etc.

    My fellow Republicans, you need to worry. People like me and others are not going to take this much longer.

  10. Jim Granelli said at 1:13 pm on January 1st, 2015:

    Here we go again with the same old attack meme which did not work; again by people who like to make cowardly and anonymous attacks guarded by the safety of a computer screen.

  11. @Jim Granelli said at 3:49 pm on January 1st, 2015:

    When are you ever going to learn that bad behavior is unacceptable!! Sheesh!

  12. @ @Jim Granelli said at 4:43 pm on January 1st, 2015:

    First of all, I don’t know who you are and that I don’t know who you are means that your comments are meaningless to me.

    Second, when you can prove bad behavior instead of making charges you might have something; instead of “drive by shootings” by cowards.

    Me, for 2015; I’m concentrating on positive things.

  13. We "positively" said at 8:06 pm on January 1st, 2015:

    need better planning, fundraising, professionalism and coordination. It’s not about accusations- in politics, ultimately, it’s numbers that count: no matter what side one may be on: read the ELEC reports, public information, and simply compare the latest fundraising and expenses. Go back and get the vote totals for the last several county-ticket elections: if you are so enthralled you can’t step back a look at it all with a jaundiced eye for facts, learn from them, and adjust your course, well, enjoy your two big years, because we’re headed for more problems. When the egos, ambitions,and personal agendas trump the good of the whole order, well, it’s only a matter of time, before the downslide and losses begin. History, facts, and numbers prove this point.Word to the more intelligent/ wise amongst us!

  14. @ We "Positively." said at 11:56 pm on January 1st, 2015:

    I wonder, do you your compatriot complainers ever put in one single, solitary hour of volunteer time?

    Just wondering….

  15. trouble in marlboro said at 9:38 am on January 2nd, 2015:

    i’m torn by this list first declan, he’s got his head so far up jon honik’s ass , trying to get one of his dem buddies a job on the marlboro sewer auth. de clan made phone calls to republicans trying to get the votes needed, to put this dem on the auth. you telling me that their are not any good republicans he could have made phone calls for. then he gets paid back by getting a cell tower put in in marlboro.. why wouldn’t de clan put the cell tower in manalapan, a good republican town, and help them with tax revenue. this is the problem with the republican party. we let dems do what they want and help them along the way and the dems would cut our throats if they get half a chance.. as far a jon hornik being a loser , i don’t have enough paper to put all that he has done to the taxpayers of marlboro. he has feed the law firms far and wide and put the marlboro taxpayer way in the hole. and as far a bennett goes, good riddance, he was another lawyer that only thought of how he could fill his and his law firms. pockets . he was doing deals with hornik as well. that’s how johnny stays so powerful, in marlboro at least, ( you saw that he doesn’t have any power out side of marlboro) the bennetts and declan’s of the party should be primaried and let them go be democrats if they love them so much.

  16. @ We "Positively." said at 9:56 am on January 2nd, 2015:

    Other than the sound of silence and the occasional cricket chirping in the background, I haven’t heard a response to my question.

    But then, we couldn’t know if you actually have volunteered to help because there is no proof since you are anonymous.

  17. @Trouble in Marlboro said at 10:22 am on January 2nd, 2015:

    Stop your sniveling. Marlboro Republicans shot themselves in the foot with the conviction of Mayor Scannapieco for giving the town away by downsizing everything for Spallerio. He was convicted and sent to prison.

    Tom Broderick, council vice president, was given a job with the Sheriff’s Office. He later was given a job he was not qualified for: Supervisory Traffic Engineer. He was arrested by the FBI in Operation Bid Rig.

    Your leader, Chris Dean is horrible. So much so, the members of the Republican Club fled in droves. That Club no longer exists.

    No wonder Republicans in Marlboro are flocking to Hornik like moths to a street light!

    Shame on you Marlboro!! The once proud and Republican bastion of Marlboro no longer exists.

  18. "We need to put egos and personal interests aside," said at 12:52 pm on January 2nd, 2015:

    Says the County employee making 6 figures per year. Pretty clear we weren’t watching the same campaign, @ “We Must Positively.”

  19. It's always fine said at 12:32 pm on January 3rd, 2015:

    to put on rose-colored glasses and not analyze positives and negatives of each campaign. If anyone thinks this was perfectly run, you are allowing your hero- worship and naivite’ to color your reasoning. And again, you make the point that the moment anyone criticizes YOU and you friends, you immediately resort to personal attacks and accusations. So predictable, one could bet big money on it. Many people who did not support this regime have donated countless hours of service and money to the party, over decades, not a few years, and continue to do so- with no personal agendas or fanfare. So go ahead and feel comfy in your self- importance and agendas: unlike you, many have done and continue to do good things in behalf of the candidates on all levels, with no agenda other than winning seats.- It is you that have much more to prove, in order to even begin to catch up. Hope you are still in charge ten years from now: so, let’s all get busy to increase that Rep. voter registration number in this county: the evil Dems are steadily creeping in, so the work is never done, is it?

  20. Back to the "List," said at 1:07 pm on January 3rd, 2015:

    Gary Rich needs to be on it: he faces a nomination challenge with professionalism and class, and wins by a good margin.. he faces a well- funded negative and nasty,low-class,fall campaign,in the same way: shows his knowledge, and articulates his county vision, shows up to humbly ask for support, raises much- lacking cash, and, absent a hard punch-back at the end, funds a positive mailer to get out the GOP vote for himself and his running- mate: we will be well- served this year, with him as Freeholder Director. He is a bright, sincere, and positive force for the taxpayers, a voice of sanity and reason: best of luck, Mr. Director, you have all our support.

  21. @ It's always fine said at 3:42 pm on January 3rd, 2015:

    I don’t think anyone is saying the race was perfectly run. However, Bennett people are still back biting and back stabbing. It’s time for that childishness to end.

    They are the ones that are criticizing their (supposedly) friends in the party. People like someone who makes a 6 figure salary and have been around for years.

    And, to call it a regime is pretty much insulting. Nobody is self important or irreplaceable. But, it is time for these kinds of antics to stop., Golden has done everything he could as far as I have seen to reach out and heal what rifts there are. But it seems there is still a small cadre of people who childishly, just can’t let it go.

    Now, about agendas. I thought the only agenda for the party was to win. What are you talking about?

  22. Don't kid yourself: said at 4:39 pm on January 3rd, 2015:

    there are a few highly-placed people who are still personally going after the family of the former chair, and are very greedy, county- wide: it is an obvious, non- secret,power- play to build empires and advance the few- look, you can apply for any job any time you want, but there are lots of people, and not so many slots-as it is with the elected slots, that some can’t wait to move up to. You can also be “childish,” and jealous of those who earned their slots all you want, and be blind to the”back-biting” that others have endured since June, as well. You can also ask how many”six-figure” employees, that you hate so much,actually give back to the organization,in both time and their own money: now there’s a place where maybe people can agree: the answer is, very few do! – perhaps some more time needs to be spent on the”giving- back” angle, rather than grabbing more up for themselves.. So, you can keep up your grousing and attacking-stance, it’s apparent the stalemate is there- differing views and opinions – to which all are entitled- a concept you can’t /won’t accept at all. If we all still want Rep. majorities everywhere, guess we’ll each just go about doing our support activities, in our own ways.