A-Team disenfranchises hundreds?

Asbury Park ballot applications wrong again

Dan Jacobson

Dan Jacobson

By Dan Jacobson

ASBURY PARK — For weeks, I’ve been blasting the A-Team slate for taking custody and control of hundreds of vote-by-mail/absentee ballots, with their supporters and paid operatives delivering them to voters. The voter then completes the ballot and mails it back for counting — or the A-Team delivery person can even take them back. It’s absurd.

The A-Team led by Mayoral candidate Remond Palmer is on track to deliver 500 of these ballots, known as vote-by-mail [VBM] ballots. That’s the election right there. Of course, this law was originally for invalids or shut-ins who had trouble getting their mail and wanted an absentee ballot. The A-Team is trying to drive hundreds of votes through that loophole.

I’ve consistently said they’re doing it wrong. In fact, we went down this road last year, with the Board of Elections disqualifying 250 ballots the A-Team organization delivered to voters in the 2013 election. A Judge agreed and said the applications for the ballots were flawed and the ballots can’t be counted.

Guess what.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: October 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Asbury Park, Dan Jacobson, Monmouth County, Olivia Nuzzi, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Jacobson has his eye on Beck’s Senate seat

Dan Jacobson

Dan Jacobson

Former Assemlyman Dan Jacobson, publisher of the triCityNews weekly newspaper and AsburyParkSun hyper-local news website, launched his campaign to return to the legislature last week with his tCN column urging Senate Jennifer Beck to run for governor.

Jacobson served one term in the General Assembly, 1990-1991.  He was swept out of office, along with the Democratic majority in the 1991 election over Governor Florio’s $2 billion tax increase, including sales taxes on toilet paper and food.  In 2011 Jacobson registered as a Republican in order to challenge then Senator Sean Kean for the 11th district Senate nomination in the GOP primary.  But the legislative redistricting commission foiled Jacobson’s plans by moving Kean’s hometown of Wall out of the 11th district into the 30th, and moving Red Bank, Beck’s hometown into the 11th.

Jacobson didn’t want to run against Beck.  They’re friends and agree on most issues. And Beck’s political stardom is one of Jacobson’s major journalistic accomplishments. Just ask him.  Jen Beck never even would have been elected to the Red Bank Borough Council if not for Dan Jacobson pumping her up in the triCityNews.

So Jacobson ran a pax-on-both houses Independent race for Assembly in 2011 to make a point.  2304 voters, 3%, got the point and have long since forgotten it.  Obviously his heart wasn’t in the Assembly race.  He really wants to be in the Senate, but he doesn’t want to run against Beck.

The obvious solution is for Beck to step up and run for governor.  Jacobson rightly argues that the NJ GOP doesn’t have a viable alternative for a post-Christie candidate.   The NJGOP is actually weaker now than it was before Christie was elected in 2009.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, Dan Jacobson, Jennifer Beck | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Shooting Epidemic In Asbury Park, Community Resignation Setting In

Monmouth County Needs Regional Law Enforcement

There were three shootings in Asbury Park this afternoon, according to a report at NJ.com.

The shooting happened around noon on Mattison Avenue, near Langford Street, Detective Lt. David DeSane said. As of around 2 p.m., DeSane said he did not know the extent of the injuries.

Two people in the area, who asked not to be identified, said they heard four or five shots, but did not know what happened.

AsburyParkSun photo

AsburyParkSun photo

In the triCityNews last week, publisher Dan Jacobson said there have been four fatal shootings in the city, population 16,132, so far this year.

In their award winning series, Gripped by violence, published last October, four days before Superstorm Sandy, the Asbury Park Press said there had been an average of one shooting per week in Asbury Park through October 25, 2012 and that the city was second only to Camden in terms of violent crimes in New Jersey.  That’s right, Asbury Park is more dangerous than Newark, Trenton and Jersey City, where there were also three shootings today.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: August 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Dan Jacobson, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Prosecutor, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Jacobson Launches Asbury Park Sun

triCityNews publishers Dan Jacobson has launched a hyper-local news site, The Asbury Park Sun, which will cover local events in Asbury Park, Allenhurst, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Ocean Grove and Wanamassa.

Molly Mulshine, the very talented Stimulus Girl, has signed on as the site’s editor.

MMM welcomes our friends to Al Gore’s greatest invention and is pleased to be the first to get them listed on google.

Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Sun, Dan Jacobson, Media, NJ Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Vin’s Next Move

By Dan Jacobson, also published in the November 17, 2011 edition of the triCityNews

Out of the boredom of last week’s elections – pathetically few were even close – came an interesting development.

It’s the rise of twenty-six year old Vin Gopal as the most promising new Democrat in Monmouth County.

In fact, we’d say Gopal is the most promising Democrat in a generation, ever since Congressman Frank Pallone burst on the scene as a thirty-one year old Long Branch Councilman almost 30 years ago.

We’re not saying Gopal will go as far as Pallone. And I know them both. I worked with Frank for several years in the very beginning, starting from when I was in college. Although I’ve grown to disagree with Pallone’s politics, the guy remains among my favorite people. Frank is probably the smartest, most self-effacing and fun person with whom I’ve ever worked. That doesn’t excuse his bullshit votes on issues like health care reform, of course. I’m just making an observation about the man’s political talents, and great personality.

Gopal is not at that level. Who is? But Gopal has made his own mark. I’ve also observed him quite closely the past few months. He was the Democratic candidate for state Assembly in the 11th District. I ran as a pox-on-both-their houses Independent.

Gopal built his own organization led by campaign manager Vlad Gutman and field director Joe Grillo of Asbury Park. It was a great campaign for a first-time candidate. Gopal lost by about 3,000 votes out of 35,000 cast. That was the closest of any of the legislative races in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

I’d like to see Vin become the next Monmouth County Democratic Chairman. The sooner, the better. Not that I’m a Democrat. I left the party because interest groups in its political base make demands on economic issues that are way too much for me to accept. It’s a joke.

Yet I’ve always advocated for more competitive elections in Monmouth County. I don’t like an all-Republican county Board of Freeholders any more than an all-Democratic Red Bank Borough Council. Above all, it’s boring to cover.

It’s also not good for the public. Because it’s either political party making decisions for the rest of us. They put their candidate on the ballot, and they just win. That’s why Gopal should rise quickly in the Democratic Party, and put his energy to work in reinvigorating the party and making it more competitive.

Gopal is close with current Democratic Party Chairman Victor Scudiery. He’s always refused to discuss that position while Vic holds it. Hopefully, Scudiery sees what we see and is planning to hand the reins over to Vin. It’s a no-brainer.

Gopal responded well under fire as a candidate. And he learned a lot about campaigns as a result. Gopal was the target of a barrage of negative mail by the Republicans, some of which was downright defamatory. And Vin showed enough promise that the Asbury Park Press endorsed him – the only Democrat they endorsed for a legislative seat in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

So we thought it time to check in with Gopal and see what he’s thinking about the future, as well as his thoughts on the Assembly campaign. Our first question, of course, is his reaction now to those attack mailings sent by Republican incumbents Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande. The mailings inferred he was involved with money laundering while a 20 year old college student working on a campaign. Even the Asbury Park Press couldn’t take it – they blasted the Republicans in an editorial for their tactics.

“I thought the mailings were incredibly unfair,” he said. “But Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini are politicians. They do what they gotta do to get reelected. It amazes me that as incumbents that they couldn’t focus on what they had done in office, but instead focused on Joe Vas.” (Vas was the former Mayor of Perth Amboy on whose campaign Gopal worked. Vas has since gone to jail on various corruption charges.)

“It was also an interesting experience in it showed how important money is in politics,” said Gopal, who claims the Democrats were outspent by 4-1. “We got hit with mailings every day, and some voters would get two in one day. They really got their message out. They had a great get out the vote operation. I learned essentially how strong the Monmouth County Republicans are.”

And from the sounds of Gopal’s future plans, leading the Democratic Party to competitiveness – or at least trying to – is a natural one.

“I’m going to go back and focus on my businesses,” said Gopal who publishes a group of monthly community magazines and also runs a specialty marketing firm.

“I’ll also be active and support people who are good in politics,” he said. “I just love the organizational part of politics, in particular building the organization itself.”

Sounds good to us. Someone has got to rebuild the Democratic Party in Monmouth County. This one party rule bullshit is downright boring.

Posted: November 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Dan Jacobson, Monmouth Democrats, Vin Gopal | Tags: , | 7 Comments »

A Message to Dan Jacobson from Tommy DeSeno:

In the words of Teddy Roosevelt,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Dan Jacobson | Tags: | 6 Comments »

Kiss Your Own Damn Baby! And How To Garner 11% Of The Vote

By Tommy DeSeno, also published at ricochet.com

danwebadbaby1An old friend of mine is running for state Assembly in New Jersey.   He is an independent, and has one of the more interesting campaigns you will see.

Dan Jacobson served one term in the Assembly over 20 years ago when he was in his 20s – as a Democrat.

As a more mature adult today, he has thrown off the barbed reins of the Democratic dark side.  He now sees himself as fiscally conservative as the rest of us, ranting in his weekly newspaper (disclaimer – I used to rant in columns for it) about the problems with unions and politics, among other issues Republicans would like.  

On social issues he is a Libertarian, though a bit libertine for some tastes.  The only thing left of his old Democrat ways as far as I can tell is that Dan doesn’t seem to know what a baby is or where one hangs out the first 9 months of his or her life.

Which is probably why he won’t kiss yours.

What truly makes his campaign interesting is the way he runs it:  He takes no donations.   He seeks no endorsements.   He holds no rallies.  He has no staff.  He networks with no one. 

Truly independent!    His goal seems to be a campaign that isn’t one, by a candidate who refuses to be one; thus his refusal to honor the political tradition of kissing your baby. He wants to go to Trenton not owing anyone anything.  Good luck with that, Dan.

I once ran a political experiment and found that a truly independent candidate who runs only on issues and seeks no endorsements gets 11% of the vote.  That’s important  – every campaign manager in America should know that issues will garner 11% of the vote.  I predict Dan will get 11% of the vote. 

In the meantime, check out more of his funny newspaper ads that he has run about his campaign.  They are different, and it will make you smile that this campaign is real:


Posted: November 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Dan Jacobson | Tags: , , | 12 Comments »

Casagrande Strikes Back!

casagrande-cropBy Caroline Casagrande, also published in the October 6, 2011 edition of the triCityNews

Elections are about choices. And this year you have a clear choice: do you want to continue the new path of fiscal responsibility that started in 2009 with the election of Chris Christie, or go back to the bad old days?

My name is Caroline Casagrande and I’m running for the Assembly in the 11th Legislative District, along with my friends Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini. I’ve served parts of Monmouth County in the Legislature since 2008.

I believe we are the best candidates to represent you and keep us on the path to fiscal responsibility. Making New Jersey affordable for families and businesses, creating jobs,  and restoring faith in a government which had become a punchline for late-night comedians is something that affects everyone, regardless of your gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

Those are the things I’ve been focused on since being elected four years ago and those are things I will focus on if I am re-elected.

Dan has given me this space to introduce myself to you. I thought I’d use the opportunity to set the record straight, then tell you a little about myself in my own words, rather than you hearing about me from someone who’s constantly hyperventilating.

Dan had been attacking me lately for, in his view, not taking a position on gay marriage. What I’ve said is I’m not going to speculate on hypothetical legislation. On issues like this, it’s easy to be for or against something in theory, but the details are the difference. That’s the approach I take on every bill I vote on- show me the details.  Unfortunately, in the black and white, Keith Olbermann- Sean Hannity world we live in, this approach is now seen as a moral failing.

Of course, being lectured on political cowardice by Dan is the ultimate irony. This is the same person who was voted out of office after only one term after voting for the massive $2.8 billion Florio tax hikes in 1990, because he caved when pressure was put on him by the Trenton Democrats.  It’s easy to understand why Dan would want to talk about other issues with that hanging around his neck.

In this difficult economic environment, people want leaders with the courage to cut spending, reduce the size of government, and get out of the pockets of businesses and families who can’t afford to pay any more. On those issues, the differences between us are clear: I’ve been a fierce advocate for them, and Dan voted for the largest tax increase in state history.

Let me explain a little about myself and why I’m so concerned about the direction of our state. I was born and raised in Monmouth County and I am currently raising my own family here with my husband Steve and our two young sons, Harrison and Teddy. I graduated from Red Bank Catholic, Penn State University and received my law degree from Rutgers. I am on the Board of Trustees of the Girl Scouts of Monmouth County and the Visiting Nurses Association.

In 2007, I  decided to run for the General Assembly because runaway property tax increases (and tax increases of every other kind) were making New Jersey unaffordable for many families and businesses.

I come from a close-knit family. I want my parents to stay in New Jersey. I want my brothers and sisters to be able to afford to live here so my kids can hang out with their cousins. Government shouldn’t be taxing and spending to the point of breaking up families, but that’s what was happening. New Jersey was on the brink of financial disaster and no one seemed to care.

For example, in 2007 the Democrat controlled Legislature passed a $33.5 billion budget, capping a five year span where they raised the budget, $10 BILLION. That’s 50%! In just 5 years! Rather than do something crazy, like maybe spend less money, Governor Corzine was considering selling the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike.

Since 2009 with the election of Governor Christie, we have been able to start to undo the bad economic policies of the past that lead to tens of thousands of people and jobs fleeing our state. We have begun to restore fiscal sanity to our state and create private-sector jobs.

Last spring I voted for bi-partisan reform of the state’s pension and benefits system that will save taxpayers $120 billion over the next 30 years, and preserved the retirements for thousands of workers.

I voted to enact the 2% municipal cap legislation that forces local governments to live within its means and helps stabilize property taxes.

I have made it a point to root out arrogant and wasteful spending of your tax dollars.  I’m leading the fight to forbid public employees from cashing in any unused sick and vacation time. I changed the law this year to increase penalties on people committing Medicaid fraud.

I created a web site www.stopgovernmentwastenj.com,  for public workers to report waste, such as the fact the state used to waste $3.2 million per year on unused phone lines.

I will continue to fight for taxpayers and look for more ways to reduce the size and cost of government. Unlike my opponents, I will never support job-killing tax increases and will work to find bi-partisan solutions to the challenges facing our state. I hope I have earned your support on the issues that matter most to working families.

 To learn more about our campaign, please visit www.team11nj.com


Posted: October 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, Dan Jacobson, Legislature, NJ State Legislature, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 27 Comments »

The immaturity of Caroline Casagrande

By Dan Jacobson, also published in the September 29, 2011 issue of the triCityNews


It’s well known that I’ll blast any politician for perpetrating all manners of bullshit. These are people who should know better.

But there’s a difference with Republican Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande. She likes to tout her status of one of the youngest members of the state legislature. And it’s suddenly showing.

It would be overkill to blast her. So I’ll go relatively easy. Quite frankly, I don’t know if she can take it.

For Casagrande is there by accident. Her Republican running mates in her old district – Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon – carried her in. Same is likely true this year in her new district: she’s with Beck and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini. No one knows Casagrande. Voters will likely just go down the Republican column like lemmings as they always do. What a way to run a country.

Obviously, the biggest challenges we face are economic. But even bigger is whether we’re going to continue to elect the same mediocre clowns who give us the same awful results. Our state’s massive economic mess will never be addressed until we start electing people with the maturity and seriousness to address them.

I’m running for one of the two Assembly seats as an Independent in the 11th District. That makes me one of Casagrande’s opponents.

Here’s the problem. If a politician will bullshit you on any major issue, they could bullshit you on every major issue. To my surprise, Caroline Casagrande suddenly proved herself one of the bullshitters. That I can’t stand.

The controversy involves same-sex marriage, but the real problem is her sudden refusal to take a stand. That surprised everyone who thought she was opposed. (I favor marriage equality.) When asked last week by powerful Republican blogger Art Gallagher her position, Casagrande said she would not take one. Her initial reason? Too busy dealing with fiscal issues. Like anyone buys that.

With the redistricting earlier this year, Casagrande’s new district has a sizeable gay and lesbian population – as well as a group of conservative Republicans on the other side who oppose same-sex marriage. So Casagrande just ducks the issue. Why not? Most likely she’ll cruise to reelection without voters knowing any of this.

But I can’t stand a politician who won’t take a stand. That type of nonsense is what’s gotten us into our economic mess. And I can’t keep quiet when I see it. Like me, Casagrande has a big mouth – which is why I liked her – but I confused that with a mature self-confidence and independence that doesn’t exist.

In the end, all the Assemblywoman has got is a big mouth. At least I use mine to take a stand and take the heat.

Of course, Casagrande is welcome to equal time by taking this column for a week. She won’t. Why rock the boat? Why not just keep going to those friendly audiences and acting like a hero – and getting reelected by simply putting your name on the ballot? Wow, what a rewarding way to spend one’s life.

Then again, who the hell appointed me God?

So I’ll let you make the call. Below is how Republican blogger Gallagher reported Casagrande’s actions on his More Monmouth Musings site last week. I’ll also reprint what I posted on Art’s site in response.

This all exploded when the gay and lesbian advocacy group Garden State Equality asked the 11th District candidates their position on same sex marriage – certainly a reasonable request if you’re seeking office.  Here’s Art Gallagher’s take:

Republican Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande has corrected the widely held perception that she would vote against gay marriage by saying only that she hasn’t publicly taken a position on the issue. She said her focus has been on fiscal issues and that she would need to study the civil union law before taking a stand on gay marriage.

Casagrande’s refusal to take a position on the politically expedient schedule of Garden State Equality has drawn criticism from her opponent Dan Jacobson and others. Jacobson said the issue has already been hotly debated and the issue should be simple.

Casagrande says it’s not so simple, “I haven’t seen a bill,” said Casagrande, “What about protections for religious institutions? If the issue is so simple, why did (Democratic Senate President) Steve Sweeney vote no and then change his mind later?”

Here’s how I responded on Gallagher’s blog:

Respectfully, I’m not accepting Caroline Casagrande’s explanation. Her running mates have taken a stand. Everyone else in the 11th District race has taken a stand. Governor Christie has taken a stand. Steve Sweeney has taken a stand – after apologizing for initially taking a political stand on this moral issue. That’s why Sweeney reversed his position. Not because of its complexity…

As a supporter of same sex marriage, I should be praising Caroline for seeming to move off a position that most people thought she held. But I’m not. I’d rather have her just decisively say she opposes it than engage in this bullshit.


Because there’s a bigger principle here – whether someone has the maturity and seriousness to hold this office. Saying that you can’t take a stand on this bill because you’ve been busy with fiscal affairs, as Caroline said a couple days ago, is nonsense. And everyone knows it.

Marriage equality is a major issue, but it’s certainly not the biggest one facing voters. The biggest problems are economic. But even bigger than that is whether we are going to stop electing people who are just playing games. That’s my objection to what Caroline is saying.

That’s what she’s doing here. And it’s what makes me go ballistic about politicians.

I’m actually a bit stunned by Caroline’s gamesmanship. After all, last week I wrote that I’d likely vote for her if I wasn’t running because we seem to share similar economic views, even if I disagree – or at least I thought I disagreed – with her on social issues like abortion and same sex marriage.

My advice to Caroline is simple. Stop this nonsense. Take a position like everyone else is able to do. And let’s all move on, and forget this ever happened. Otherwise, your failure to take a stand will become a major issue in your new district.

And I assure you it will become a major issue between the two of us in my capacity as an editorialist and candidate. Sure, I will always generously give you equal time in an equally prominent place in my newspaper. But I would rather not have us in such an adversarial relationship. I don’t know how much friendlier and more respectfully I can put it.

Hey, what can I say?

After all, we’re the triCityNews. We’re here to help – especially a frankly immature elected official who needs to learn a lesson and cut the crap.

(The 11th District where I’m running includes: Asbury Park, Long Branch, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Neptune, Neptune City, Interlaken, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbour, West Long Branch, Eatontown, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, Colts Neck, Freehold Township and Freehold Borough.)


Posted: September 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, Dan Jacobson, Monmouth County, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments »

An endorsement from Jennifer Beck?

By Dan Jacobson, also published in the September 15th edition of the triCityNews


This is a column I’ve been itching to write.


I’m running as an Independent for the state Assembly in the 11th District. While the odds of winning are tough, it’s not impossible.


And I’m quite serious about holding the office. I’d be great at it. Mostly because I can’t stomach bullshit. Visit my campaign website at danjacobson.net. You’ll see.


But I never take myself too seriously. And since politics these days is pretty much a cheesy joke, I’m also having fun with the campaign.


Like with this column. Oh man, I’d love to be there when Republican State Senator Jennifer Beck sees the headline – she has no idea what to expect! Don’t anyone tell her!

Here’s the deal.  Everyone knows that Jennifer and I have been close friends since this newspaper started almost 13 years ago. As a result of redistricting, she’s now in the new11th District where I’m running for the Assembly. So will she endorse me?


“Dan Jacobson is a great friend, and I think he’d make a great Assemblyman – if he were running as a Republican,” Beck said. “I wish he’d join our party already. I would do everything I could to get him elected if he ever ran as a Republican – no matter what office he was seeking.”


“The best thing for our state right now is to elect Republicans to the Senate and Assembly, and I am fully supporting my running mates, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini,” she said. “They are both excellent legislators, and I work extremely well with them.”


Of course, Jennifer didn’t say any of that. I just made it up. I’m 100 percent serious! I do that every so often with Jen in the paper, and it’s hilarious. What’s so funny is that it’s always what she would have said! No doubt I nailed it here once again. Guaranteed.


The reason Jen would stress out over the headline? She’d wonder if I was about to cause havoc with her running-mates or with the Republican Party by somehow making it seem like we’re in cahoots in this election, or that she may endorse me. (Beck wouldn’t freak out about the phony quotes. She’s used to those by now. Bet she burst out in laughter when she reads them.)


But here’s the fun part for me. I get to make my point about the absurdity of party politics. Plus, I get to tease my friend Jennifer Beck.


After all, why can’t Beck say that I’d be a great Assemblyman and suggest a vote for me or her two running mates?  I’m an Independent, not a Democrat. Why not just say she supports all three of us, and let the voters pick two? Everyone gets two votes.


Even better, Jennifer and I are almost identical in our views on social and economic issues – even closer than her two running mates! Surely, that should merit some type of endorsement!


(Admittedly, Beck’s running mates – Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande – along with Jennifer and I, pretty much agree on economic issues. The difference comes in on social issues: Jen and I are both pro-choice and favor same sex marriage. Mary Pat is with us on same-sex marriage, but is pro-life. Caroline is a true social conservative: both against same-sex marriage and pro-life.)


But my point remains: I’m still closest with Beck on the issues!


“All the more reason to join me in the Republican Party, and run as a Republican,” Beck responded, in another quote that I just made up.


Anyway, isn’t this all so silly? Who gives a shit about parties these days? People are sick of the partisan bullshit. In fact, I’ve never heard so many people say they don’t care about a candidate’s party. They’ve had it.


Meanwhile, with the recent redistricting, Beck just picked up a ton of new territory that she never represented before – which happens to be exactly where the triCityNews circulates!


Yup, once again this newspaper has made her. For almost thirteen years, Beck has been heavily covered in the triCity region of eastern Monmouth County – a big reason she’s going to kick ass in November. Now she represents this region! And this all started because she was a great story way back in 1999, when as an unknown thirty-two year old Republican she beat the Ed McKenna Democratic machine up in Red Bank to win a Council seat.


TriCity went all out for Beck in that election. We thought Red Bank needed to be shaken up. Our push culminated with a huge front page headline the week before the election stating: “We back Beck!”


The triCityNews – still less than a year old – caught a lot of shit for that. Like we cared. We then predicted Beck’s rise – accurately stating she’d make it to the state Assembly and Senate. We also predicted she’d go higher, such as to Congress or Lieutenant Governor. I still say that will happen. 


Although Beck’s coverage in the triCityNews has been overwhelmingly positive, we did have two problems in the past 13 years. Hey, at the triCityNews we always call it like we see it!


The first was about ten years ago when I completely blasted Jennifer for not having the balls – as it were – to challenge Ed McKenna for Mayor of Red Bank. Man, we hammered her. Jen didn’t talk to me for a year. And about three years ago, I again completely blasted her for voting against same-sex marriage. Jen took that one better: she didn’t talk to me for only six months.


(Beck reversed her position on same sex marriage a few months ago – a story first reported in this newspaper. And, yes, the quotes we printed in that article were really from her.)


So, yeah, Jen and I are still great friends. In fact, whenever I speak to her these days, the first thing I ask is what colors she’d prefer for the legislative office I tell her we’ll share when I win.


But all joking aside, let me make something clear: When I declared my candidacy, I told Jennifer that we would have no discussions about campaign activities. She immediately agreed. And that’s what we’ve done. I have no idea what the Republicans are doing, and Beck has no idea of what I’m doing. I insisted on that so Jennifer would have no problems with the Republican Party or her running mates.


And while I’m having a good time here, let me say some kind words about those in the Assembly race from both parties. After all, I like my opponents – it’s the whole Goddamned system that’s pissing me off. That’s what I’m targeting by running.


I voted for Mary Pat Angelini last time for Assembly. I’d vote for her again this year if I wasn’t running. I love Mary Pat. She’s one of the few normal people I know in politics. (This year I’m “bullet voting” for just myself. It’s the best way to send a message.)


And, if I weren’t running, my second vote would likely go to Caroline Casagrande. More than anyone else on the ballot, I sense Caroline shares my gut libertarian instincts on economic issues. And those issue are most important this year.


But that second vote would be a tough choice: The other remaining candidate is Democrat Vin Gopal, with whom I’m in total agreement on social issues. He’s a young guy in his mid-20s who’s also in the publishing business. Vin puts out a community newspaper and magazines in Northern Monmouth. I got to love that! Plus Vin reminds me of a young Dan Jacobson when I served a term in the state Assembly in my 20s. Vin is just a lot nicer. Great guy.


(As of the deadline for this column, Democrat Marilyn Schlossbach, an Asbury Park restaurant owner, had dropped out of the race, and no replacement had been named. If I hadn’t run this year  – and Marilyn had stayed in – she’d have gotten my second vote. We’ve known each other for over 25 years, and I love what Marilyn has done for Asbury Park. She too has received extensive coverage since 1999 in the triCityNews for her various activities.)


So there you go. Jennifer Beck is now breathing a sigh of relief. I’ve caused her no trouble with the Republicans in this column. And I’ve been able to say only the nicest things about my opponents. It’s like the fantasy campaign.


Wouldn’t it be wild if lightning struck and I actually won this election? Who runs a campaign like this?

Posted: September 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Dan Jacobson, NJ State Legislature, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »