8 things we know about the Jersey Shore’s nasty new jellyfish

assetContentA new and dangerous type of jellyfish has made its first appearance in New Jersey over the past couple weeks. The clinging jellyfish is most likely the creature that stung a Middletown man while he was swimming in the Shrewsbury River in Oceanport on June 11, scientists surmise, based on his response to the sting. He… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 18th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Christie to return to Asbury Park Convention Hall

“I sought a second term to finish the job – now watch me do it.”

~ Governor Chris Christie, November 5, 2013

Asbury Park 110513

Governor Chris Christie is bringing his “Telling it like it is” presidential campaign to the Asbury Park Convention Hall for a high dollar fundraiser on August 4.   Here’s a copy of the invitation if you would like to go.  Tickets are $250 per person for the reception. For $2,700 per person or $5,400 per couple you get a photo and a reception ticket.

Christie ends his first presidential commercial with a clip from his announcement speech where he emphatically declares “I mean what I say say and I say what I mean, and that’s what America needs right now.”

Here are some highlights of what Christie said the last time he held a big event at the Asbury Park Convention Hall—his victory speech on the occasion of his reelection in 2013:

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Posted: July 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2016 Presidential Politics, Asbury Park, Chris Christie, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bellew’s Campaign Manager Indicted For Identity Theft

townhall.com photo

townhall.com photo

Dwayne Horner of Little Elm, Texas was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury yesterday.  Horner was the campaign manager for Leigh-Ann Bellew of Union Beach in the 2013 Republican Primary challenge to State Senator Joe Kyrillos.

A copy of the indictment can be found here.

At 4am on June 4, 2013, Republican voters in the 13th legislative district of New Jersey were awakened by a robo call purporting to be from the campaign of Kyrillos and his running mates, Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon.   The caller, allegedly Horner, said they were reminding voters that they still had four hours to get to the polls, as if the call was being make at 4pm.

A recording of the call can be heard here.  Horner’s voice can be heard on the voice mail greeting of the Bellew campaign here.

The indictment charges that Horner impersonated another person or organization for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or for the purpose of injuring or defrauding another.   The fourth degree crime has a potential sentence of 18 months in state prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

MMM could not find a current phone number for Horner.  Bellew could not be reached for comment.

O’Scanlon said,“I’m glad to see that this matter was taken seriously and did not slip through the cracks. Those who would play these types of desperate games during campaigns need to know that there are consequences and they will be mete.  It is hard enough to get eligible candidates interested in running without the threat of these juvenile type pranks. This indictment will hopefully be a message to anyone who would attempt it in the future –  grow up.”

Kyrillos declined to comment.


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Posted: August 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2013 Election, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Joe Kyrillos, LD 13, Leigh-Ann Bellew, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Winners and Losers of 2013, Part 3

Monmouth County’s Biggest Losers

Vin SmugVin Gopal. When you’re twenty-eight years old and the most popular governor in the nation singles you out as a practitioner of the “politics of yesterday,” twice in four months, you’re having a bad year.

Worse for the Monmouth County Democratic Chairman, he doesn’t have the juice to enforce the retribution he promised to Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long and Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider, two Monmouth County Democrats who endorsed Governor Chris Christie’s reelection.

When you’re a twenty-eight year old County Chairman and the elite statewide power players of your party convene for dinner in your county, twice, and you’re not invited, you’re having a bad year.

When, after a devastating county-wide electoral loss, a member of your party leaks your declaration of victory taking credit for wins in races you lost and for a victory in a non-partisan election you weren’t involved in, you’re having a bad year.

But none of those things are what landed Vin Gopal on MMM’s biggest loser list.

Gopal in on this list because of his reckless, mean-spirited and false attempted character assassination of a Republican candidate for Red Bank Borough Council.

Gopal launched his inaccurate attack against Sean DiSomma in a press release late on a Friday afternoon in October.   He encouraged reporters to print his allegations on over the weekend and do their fact checking on Monday, after the story had legs.  Some did, to their own detriment.

In his desperate zeal to win in a Democratic town where he was losing, Gopal ruined his credibility with members of the media who had come to rely upon him as a reliable source.

The Bayshore Tea Party GroupOnce respected as a powerful and principled political force, Barbara Gonzalez , Bob Gordon and their shrunken band of zealots traded their welcome at Republican power tables where they could have made a difference for the road less taken of self-righteous irrelevancy.

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Posted: December 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Winners and Losers of 2013, Part Two


Congressman Frank J. Pallone, Jr. Since losing the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate to Cory Booker in a special primary, New Jersey’s longest serving Democratic Member of Congress has gone off the rails with bizarre rants is defense of ObamaCare.  As the healthcare plan proves to be increasingly unworkable and unpopular, Pallone’s credibility will tank.

Pallone’s once formidable campaign war chest of roughly $4 million is down to $1.2 million after the special primary, as of the September 30th FEC reports.   That $1.2 million is not as high as it might seem, as the congressman historically burns through about $1 million per year in “campaign” expenses during years when he doesn’t have to face the voters.  Given that his seat is considered “safe,” he’ll have a tough time competing for campaign dollars with candidates who are in districts considered “competitive.”

There is a talk of an Asian-American from Middlesex County who is willing to spend $1 million of his own money to unseat Pallone.   It will take a guy like that to exploit Pallone’s obvious vulnerability.


Tom Kean Jr. Kean overplayed the best hand dealt to New Jersey Republicans since Jim Florio’s toilet paper tax, Chris Christie’s overwhelming popularity, and lost.  He picked a fight with Senate President Steve Sweeney and thought he knew better than Christie’s strategists how the Republican legislative campaign should be waged.  His only winning option was to defeat Sweeney’s reelection bid and pick up at least another two state Senate seats.  He failed on all counts, not winning even one Senate seat.

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Posted: December 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Frank Pallone, Tom Kean JR | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Governor Christie Press Conference At 11 AM

There will be ‘Bridgegate’ questions

Governor Chris Christie has called a press conference for 11am this morning to announce personnel changes in his administration.

‘Bridgegate’, the controversy over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge last September, will likely be the hot topic the press corps wants to talk about, unless Christie declares the press conference ‘on topic’ or restricted to questions about his new appointments or nominations.  Christie has done this on occasion and then lambasted reporters who asked off topic questions.  Any reporter who lets him get away with that today, if he tries it, will deserve to be called an idiot.

Democrats are alleging that the lane closures were political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, for failing to endorse Christie’s reelection.

At his press conference on December 2 announcing Kevin O’Dowd’s nomination to be State Attorney General, Christie blew off questions about the GWB lane closures by joking that he was incognito, moving the cones to close the lanes.  But his joke did not satisfy Assemblyman John Wisniewski who is acting as if he finally has an issue with which to take down Christie, politically.

Christie’s men at the Port Authority, the bi-state agency that manages the GWB, said the lane closures were part of a traffic study. David Wildstein ordered the closure/study and has resigned.  Bill Baroni gave testimony to Wisniewski’s Assembly Transportation Committee justifying the study.  Wisniewski called Baroni’s testimony “less than truthful.”   New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s guy at the Port Authority, Executive Director Patrick Foye, threw Wildstein and Barnoni under a bus in his testimony before Wisniewski’s committee.  Wisniewski has called for Baroni’s resignation and has subpoenaed emails and memos from Port Authority.

The issue is beginning to get legs in the national political press as a possible threat to Christie’s 2016 presidential prospects.  A pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC is producing ads on the issue.

Tune in at 11 to see if Christie can put this issue behind him before it becomes a distraction to his second term, his chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association and to his 2016 presidential prospects.



Watch live streaming video from governorchrischristie at livestream.com
Posted: December 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The five best political campaigns of 2013

The five best political campaigns of 2013 (via NJ.com)

If you’re a political junkie or even someone with just a passing affinity for the sport, this year was a goldmine.  It featured several terrific campaigns at every level of government and included some truly virtuoso performances.  Whittling to our…

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Posted: December 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Opinion | Tags: | Comments Off on The five best political campaigns of 2013

Christie-Kean Rift Was Over Differing Strategies

Governor Chris Christie’s post-election attempt to replace Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr with Senator Kevin O’Toole was not a matter of Christie doing Senate President Steve Sweeney’s bidding, as has been widely perceived, but the culmination of a months long battle over differing strategies over how to wage the legislative campaign.

That Christie was unable to persuade Senate Republicans to dump Kean as their leader in favor of O’Toole was viewed by the media and political observers as a shocking act of defiance of the governor by the caucus viewed as obedient followers.  But insiders say the united Republican front portrayed to the public masked an ongoing dispute between Kean’s and Christie’s political teams that resulted in Christie’s landslide reelection yielding no pick up of seats in the Senate.

Early on in the campaign, the Christie campaign concluded winning a majority in the State Senate, picking up 5 seats, was unlikely given the legislative map and the resources that South Jersey Democrats and their Independent Expenditure supporters were known to be deploying to defend their turf.  Team Christie devised a strategy of winning a “functional majority,” by winning three Senate seats…District 14 (Middlesex and Mercer Counties)  where former Senator Peter Inverso came out of retirement in an attempt to unseat Democrat Linda Greenstein, District 18 (Middlesex County), gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono’s district where East Brunswick Mayor David Stahl switched parties to run as a Republican against Assemblyman Peter Barnes, and District 38 (Bergen County) where businessman/educator Fernando Alonso was out to defeat Democratic Senator Bob Gordon…and courting policy friendly Democrats…Senators Brian Stack and Sandra Cunningham of Hudson County…to deliver the 20th and 21st votes for a majority when needed during Christie’s second term.

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Posted: December 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, NJ Senate Republicans | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Kean-Christie Wounds Are Festering

While Trenton Democrats are planning their aggressive “lame -duck” agenda with an eye on making Governor Chris Christie’s 2016 prospects more difficult, New Jersey’s two most popular Republicans, Christie and former Governor Tom Kean, are letting hurt feelings over the attempted ouster of Tom Kean, JR as Senate Minority Leader dominate the news on the Republican side of the aisle.

In case you missed it or didn’t care, on the heels of his landslide reelection with no coattails, Christie made it known that he wanted Senator Kevin O’Toole to replace Kean, JR as the Republican leader in the upper house of the legislature.  Junior got wind of the coup attempt and rallied the majority of the caucus to stick with him.  The day after the election, Christie publicly expressed his commitment to continue working with Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney and declined to comment on who the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate should be.  Junior released a letter signed by 11 of the 16 Republican Senators that expressed their support of him.  The following morning, prior to the Republican caucus meeting to elect their leader, Christie summoned Junior and Republican Senators to his Statehouse office, in view of the press corps, to lobby for O’Toole taking over the minority leadership.

Junior fought back and 9 other Republican Senators stuck with him, giving him a 10-6 victory over O’Toole and giving Christie the first act of defiance from Republicans in four years.

Why did Christie want to oust Junior?  He’s not saying.  Speculation centers on two reasons; 1) Christie was doing Sweeney’s bidding in the Senate President’s ongoing feud with Junior for having the gall to try and win his seat in the Senate and 2) Christie wanted Junior to take the fall for Republicans not picking up any seats in the legislature.

After Junior retained his leadership post, he and O’Toole emerged together from the caucus meeting and put on happy faces to the press, pledging unity and to get to work on the people’s business.  That should have been the end of it.

But then Kean, SR started talking to reporters, expressing his frustration and disappointment with his mentee, Christie.  Kean SR’s comments were “tinged with bitterness” toward Christie, The Record’s Charles Stile wrote on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Kean, SR kept his disappointment with Christie in the news by granting an interview to The Star Ledger’s Matt Friedman wherein he placed the blame for the Democrats retaining the legislature squarely with the Governor.

“You assume that if the governor wins by 20 points or more you’d have coattails,” Kean said. “No governor I know in any state has won by 20 points and not had coattails.”

By Friday, the Kean-Christie story had seemed to blow over. But it had not.

Yesterday, The Associated Press’s Angela Delli Santi posted a story quoting Kean SR as being “as surprised as I’ve ever been in my life in politics,” and how disappointed he is that Christie has yet to call him or Junior, to mend fences.

None of this reflects well on Christie, the Keans or the NJ GOP.

And none of it will help Republicans, Christie and members of the legislature, continue to “turn Trenton upside down.”


Posted: November 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2016 Presidential Politics, NJ SAFE Task Force | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Opinion: What Happened to Long Coattails in Gubernatorial Elections?

To a legislator, the difference between being in the majority and being in the minority is as consequential as the difference between being in office and being out of office. That is why my political life was transformed in November 1985 when, as a…

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Posted: November 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Dick Zimmer, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »