FEMA Makes A Deal With Russian Emergency Ministry

By Art Gallagher

Photo courtesy of The Ministry of Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Consequences of Natural Disasters

Photo courtesy of The Ministry of Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Consequences of Natural Disasters

During the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, it gave me and my neighbors great comfort when we were greeted by State Police Officers from Mississippi and Illinois when were coming back to Highlands.  It felt good to know that fellow Americans from far away were here for us in our time of need;  that trained police and other first responders were here to protect our lives and property along side our local police and first responders.

I’m not sure I would have felt as comforted if I had to pass through a checkpoint manned by armed Russian soldiers or police to get to my home.

That could happen in future disasters under an agreement that FEMA signed with the Russian Emergency Ministry last week, according to a press release by EMERCOM of Russian.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art Gallagher, Bob Menendez, Department of Homland Security, Emergency Management, FEMA, Hurricane Sandy, Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Robert Menendez, Russia, Russian Federation, Super Bowl, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Lautenberg Recommends Schumer’s Brother-in-law For Federal Bench

New Jersey is “stunned”

menendez-schumer-and-lautenbergNew Jersey was stunned that U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg recommended U.S Senator Chuck Schumer’s brother-in-law to be a federal judge, according to a headline in the NYPost.

I live in New Jersey and I’m not stunned.  Are you stunned?

Lautenberg  and Senator Robert Menendez recommended Kevin McNulty of Short Hills for a federal judgeship in October.  President Obama nominated McNulty for a seat on the New Jersey District bench on December 16th.

McNulty, a Director of the Newark firm, Gibbons, PC is married to Schumer’s sister Fran.

The Post says that McNulty was a last minute choice of Lautenberg who had been actively considering other candidates and that the choice was made to keep New Jersey’s senior citizen senator in the good graces of Schumer who will help him stave off a movement within the Democratic party to challenge his nomination for reelection in 2014.

Lautenberg will be 88 years old in January.  He’ll be 90 on election day 2014.  96 at the end of another term, should he be reelected and survive.

Lautenberg’s staff denied that politics was involved with the McNulty appointment.  The senator didn’t even know McNulty was related to Schumer when his name first came up for a judicial appointment in 2009.  Maybe he forgot.

Schumer’s staff denied that he had anything to do with the nomination.

The point of the story seems to be that Lautenberg is running for another term.  Not even Frank Pallone is stunned by that news. 

The other point would be that a candidate for the bench other than McNulty was stunned. Oh well.

The good news is the McNulty appears to be qualified to be a federal judge.  The Schumer-McNulty’s do not appear to have bought political influence.  McNulty has made on $2000 in federal campaign contributionssince 2000; $500 to Jon Corzine’s senatorial election campaign and $1500 to his firms PAC.  Fran Schumer gave another $500 to Corzine in 2000.

Posted: December 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Suddenly Somebody Cares About LD 13

New Jersey Democrats are suddenly taking an interest in the 13th legislative district according to a normally reliable source familiar with the state wide campaign.

Word is that U.S. Senator Bob Menendezis feeling a bit vulnerable with his weak showing in the FDU poll  released this morning and with the possibility that Governor Chris Christie could be the Presidential candidate next year when  needs Obama coattails to get reelected.  He wants the Monmouth Democrats to rough up Senator Joe Kyrillos and make him spend some money.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan want to take a run at Declan O’Scanlon, if not to beat him this time, to at least weaken him for a future contest against Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornick.  Cryan will be in the district raising money twice in the next two weeks.

Unless I’ve been fed misinformation, which usually doesn’t start until the last two weeks of the campaign, expect 2 or 3 negative mailers on behalf of the 13th district Democrats.

Posted: September 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Declan O'Scanlon, Joe Cryan, Joe Kyrillos, Robert Menendez | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Quinnipiac Poll: Christie Up, Obama, Sweeney and Oliver Down

New Jersey Has A Huge Gender Gap

By Art Gallagher

A Quinnipiac poll released this morning indicates that Governor Chris Christie’s approval numbers have rebounded since their June 21 poll. Today New Jersey narrowly approves of the Governor’s performance, 47%-46%.  In June Christies’s approval rating was upside down, 44%-47%.

“By a 50-35 percent margin, New Jersey voters like Gov. Christie as a person,”  said the Quinnipiac release.  

As opposed to what?  An alien? A pet? A superhero?   Christie did not have to provide a copy of his birth certificate to earn that popularity.

Obama in trouble

President Obama’s approval ratings have taken a huge 10 point negative swing in New Jersey since the June 21 Quinnipiac poll. 

In June New Jersey voters approved of the President’s performance, 50-46 percent.  Today New Jersey voters disapprove of how the President is doing his job by 52-44 percent.  These are Obama’s worst numbers ever in New Jersey.

Unless Obama’s New Jersey numbers improve, Senator Robert Menendez’s reelection prospects are in jeopardy.  Menendez’s numbers have been anemic and are declining.   In June only 45% of NJ voters approved of Menendez vs 38% who disapproved.  Today 39% approve vs 42% who disapprove.  Only 41% say Menendez deserves to be reelected vs 43% say he does not.  Yet, by a 45-39 percent margin voters say they would back him over an unnamed Republican.   Republicans need to nominate a named candidate.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver should thank the Lord that their positions are not subject to a statewide ballot.

Sweeney’s numbers are 23% approve to 40% disapprove.  He has suffered a 10 point drop since June.

Oliver fares better only because 54% of New Jersey voters don’t know who she is.  21% of voters approve of the Speaker’s performance and 25% disapprove.  Oliver has suffered a 6 point drop since June.

Gender Gap

Men approve of Christie 58-36 percent while woman disapprove of him 55-37 percent.

Women approve of Obama 51-44 percent. Men disapprove 60-37 percent.

MMM accepts responsibility for the gender gap.  According to the web tracking site alexa.com, MMM’s audience is overwhelmingly men with children and graduate degrees.   We need a female writer or two.


Posted: August 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Chris Christie, Robert Menendez | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Quinnipiac Poll: Christie Up, Obama, Sweeney and Oliver Down

Independence Hall Tea Party PAC Plugs Anna Little For U.S. Senate

In an email to “Members and Friends,” Don Adams, President of the Independence Hall Tea Party PAC, declared that the PAC’s favorite candidate to challenge U.S. Senator Robert Menendez is Anna Little:

Independence Hall Tea Party PAC             


 July 25, 2011



Dear Members and Friends,


Not surprisingly, all five of the region’s Democrat US Senators voted against the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act this past Friday.


The real surprise is that we let them get away with it.  Three of the five are up for

re-election in 2012–Bob Casey (D-PA), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). 


In New Jersey, several strong candidates have been mentioned as possible opponents to the tax loving, spendaholic Bob Menendez.


Our favorite is Anna Little.  As a PAC endorsed candidate, Anna won an upset primary victory in the 2012 New Jersey 6th Congressional District race.  She then narrowly lost the General Election to incumbent Democrat Frank Pallone in a district where Democrats largely outnumber Republicans.


Anna has been planning a rematch against Pallone, but PAC members have been discussing a Draft Anna Little for US Senate campaign.


Anna is an ideal senate candidate.  She is articulate, charismatic, knowledgeable, and conservative.  She has prior elective experience, serving as a Monmouth County Freeholder and Mayor of Highlands, NJ.  She speaks fluent Spanish, and, if elected, would become the state’s first female US Senator.


If you agree with the draft Anna Little campaign, you’ll have an opportunity to tell Anna, yourself, at a luncheon withGrover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform.


Lunch with Grover Norquist

When:  Tuesday, July 26, 12 Noon-2 PM

Where:  Iberia Restaurant, Iberia Peninsular, 63-69 Ferry Street, Newark, NJ 07105
Host:  Anna Little


Also, meet Bruce Gardner and Beverly Elliott of TEA for Education, a national organization.



Costs: You are responsible for your ala carte meal.  Anna Little Campaign  
              Contribution strongly recommended.





On behalf of the PAC Board of Delegates,
Don Adams, President




If you are unable to make lunch in Newark tomorrow, feel free to express your thoughts on the idea of Little running for U.S. Senate next year here in the comments.  I’m sure the word will get back to her.

Personally, I think Little should hold out for the Vice Presidential nomination.  If elected, she would be the first female Vice President of the United States that speaks fluent Spanish, was a Monmouth County Freeholder, Mayor of Highlands, and who lost to Frank Pallone.

Posted: July 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Robert Menendez, U. S. Senate Races | Tags: , , , | 20 Comments »

Kyrillos Testing The U.S. Senate Waters

By Art Gallagher

State Senator Joe Kyrillos has set up an exploratory committee for a possible U.S. Senate run in 2012 against Robert Menendez or 2014 against Frank Lautenberg, an unnamed source told Politickernj.

An exploratory committee, or “testing the waters fund” may raise and spend over the $5,000 threshold that requires candidate reporting on polling, travel and other activities designed to gauge the level of support for a candidate for federal office, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Kyrillos has yet to respond to a message from MMM to comment on the Politickernj story.

A source with knowledge of Kyrillos’ plans confirmed that Monmouth County’s senior legislator will issue a statement announcing the exploratory committee today.

Posted: June 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Frank Lautenberg, Joe Kyrillos, Robert Menendez | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Could Pallone Be A Redistricting Target?

By Art Gallagher

The Star Ledger’s Auditor  is raising the question. 

The members of the Redistricting Commission must be appointed by June 15.   The Auditor says he/she was told that Democratic State Chairman John Wisniewski plans to void the appointment of Belmar resident Maggie Moran to the commission.  Moran, former Governor Corzine’s deputy chief of staff and campaign manager, was appointed to the commission by former Chairman Joe Cryan, at Pallone’s urging, as one of Cryan’s last acts before turning the chairmanship over to Wisniewski.

Moran, who is the wife of Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, is supposed to be Pallone’s eyes and ears on the commission.   Her removal would be a blow to Pallone, according to The Auditor, this year in particular as New Jersey is losing a congressional district.  One incumbent congressman will lose his job regardless of the electoral outcome.  The Auditor implies that Democratic boss George Norcross and Republican Governor Chris Christie would like that incumbent to be Pallone.

How would that work?

220px-nj_109th_congressional_districts_shaded_by_partyPallone’s 6th district borders the 4th, 7th, 12th and 13th districts.  He resides in Long Branch which is in the south east coastal part of the district.

While it is entirely possible in New Jersey that a gerrymandered district that includes Long Branch of Monmouth County could be combined with Clinton Township in Hunterdon County, home of 7th district Republican Congressman Leonard Lance or West New York, Hudson County, home of 13th district Democratic Congressman Albio Sires, neither scenario is likely.

Combining Pallone’s 6th with Rush Holt’s 12th would make sense based on geography as the 12th shares the largest border with the 6th.  Even though neither Pallone or Holt is particularly well liked by Democratic leaders in New Jersey or Washington, it is unlikely that the Democrats would surrender a district without a fight. 

Which would leave a match up between New Jersey’s two most senior congressmen, Pallone who has been in Congress since 1988 and 4th district Congressman Republican Chris Smith who has served since 1981.  While it would be unusual that seniority be discarded as an incumbent protection consideration during a redistricting battle, an argument could be made along the lines of “continuity of representation.”  Pallone first went to Congress as the representative of the 3rd district after the death of Congressman James Howard.  Much of the pre-1992 3rd district is now part of the 4th.

Even with his $4 million war chest, it is hard to imagine Pallone beating Smith in a combined district that includes southeast Monmouth and portions of Republican Ocean and Burlington counties.  Smith would dominate in his Mercer home turf.

Pallone vs. Smith would be a great race.  It probably won’t happen.  I’ll explain why at the end of this piece.  But first let’s have some fun speculating about the fallout of such a district.

If Long Branch and Pallone are moved south into a district combined with portions of Smith’s (of Hamilton in Mercer County) 4th district,  it would make sense that the Northern Monmouth portions of the present 6th district would be folded into the Rush Holt’s 12th district.  

That would create an interesting race for the GOP nomination in the 12th.  Diane Gooch, Mike Halfacre, Anna Little, and Scott Sipprelle could all be contenders for that nomination.

Little beat Gooch for the 6th district nomination primary by 83 votes before losing to Pallone by 11% in the 2010 general election.  She declared that a loss of only 11% was a victory and launched her 2012 race against Pallone in the weirdest election night concession speech ever.   Since election night 2010 Little has alienated herself from both her local Tea Party and establishment GOP supporters.  She’s chomping at the bit for a rematch with both Gooch and Pallone, but she’s referred to as a “coo coo bird” by former supporters.  A Pallone-Smith match up would wreck havoc on her delusions.   Only Little, her family and Larry Cirignano, her escort/handler/manager/driver/tenant, believe Anna Little will ever be nominated for congress again.

Halfacre, the Mayor of Fair Haven, has been kicking himself for bowing out of the race for the 12th district nomination since Tea Party candidate David Corsi beat Sipprelle in Monmouth County in the 2010 primary.  Sipprelle won the nomination by virtue of his margin of victory in Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon before losing to Holt by 7% in the general. 

Halfacre was the Tea Party favorite during his contentious race against Sipprelle for the party lines in 2010. Sipprelle won all the county party lines and Halfacre correctly concluded that a primary against Sipprelle without at least the Monmouth or Middlesex lines was not winnable.  Corsi’s Monmouth victory naturally lead to “what ifs?”  Little’s narrow victory over Gooch created additional “what ifs?”

But the self funding Sipprelle did not spend any money to defeat Corsi.   Gooch took victory over Little for granted in the primary.   Given how contentious the Sipprelle-Halfacre county conventions/screenings were, it is likely that a primary between to two would have been bloody and expensive.  Halfacre couldn’t have matched Sipprelle’s money.

Halfacre would have a heavy lift to regain his Tea Party support.  If either Gooch or Sipprelle seek the nomination, he would have a heavier lift to raise the money necessary to compete.  After Little’s victory in the 2010 primary, it will be a long time before any candidate or county party organization takes a Tea Party challenge for granted.  Halfacre’s best hope for a nomination against Holt is for both Gooch and Sipprelle to conclude that 2012, a presidential year with Obama leading the ticket, is not the year to take on Holt.   

Both Gooch and Sipprelle are staying in front of the party faithful.  Gooch with Strong New Jersey and Sipprelle with the Lincoln Club of New Jersey, organizations each has founded since losing their respective races.  Gooch has been open about wanting to run for congress again, depending on how the districts are drawn.  Sipprelle has been coy about a future candidacy.

A Gooch-Sipprelle primary defies imagination.  Given the money both could spend on such a race, a deal would likely be brokered by the state and county party chairmen before it would occur.  But if ego got the better of either of them, it would be quite a race.   A more sensible sceanario would be for one of the millionaires to take on U.S . Senator Robert Menendez while the other takes on Holt.  

So while redistricting Pallone and Smith into the same district could make the Republican nomination contest in the Holt’s district more interesting, a Pallone-Smith battle is unlikely even should a district be drawn that way.  Should such a district be drawn look for Pallone to retire from the House and use his hefty war chest as a down payment for a statewide race for Governor in 2013.

Pallone’s $4 million war chest would clear the field of Democratic candidates for Governor, unless Chris Christie isn’t a candidate or has anemic poll numbers, neither of which is likely.  Christie would love to defeat Pallone, which he would but it would probably be a close race.  Pallone would then run for U.S. Senate in 2014, assuming Frank Lautenberg finally retires.

Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Chris Christie, Chris Smith, Diane Gooch, Frank Pallone, Lincoln Club, Mike Halfacre, Pallone, Redistricting, Robert Menendez, Rush Holt, Scott Sipprelle, Strong New Jersey, Tea Party | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Anna Little For Senate?

By Art Gallagher

Anna Little told NJ.com’s The Auditor that she is thinking of challenging U.S. Senator Robert Menendez rather than Congressman Frank Pallone in 2012:

Tea party darling Anna Little has made no secret that she wants to challenge U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) again in 2012. But Little told The Auditor she is thinking about setting her sights even higher by going after Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez next year.

“There are a lot of people pushing me to do it,” said Little, who upset a millionaire Republican in last year’s 6th District congressional primary, but lost the general election to Pallone. “It’s has been suggested I consider a statewide Senate race. I have not ruled that out, but right now I’m just focused on Pallone,” she said.

” A lot of people” include Independence Hall Tea Party President Teri Adams of Cheltenham Pennsylvania, according to The Auditor and and RoseAnn Salanitri of the Sussex County Tea Party, according to Terry Hurlbut at Examiner.com.

It is telling that there are no 6th district Tea Party activists quoted by either The Auditor or Hurlbut.   Those who know Little best in the Tea Party movement don’t consider her a darling.  Disappointment, distraction and destructive is how Little is considered by many local Tea Party leaders and activists now.   What is left of “Anna’s Army” is little more than a platoon.

It doesn’t matter what office Little seeks in 2012.  The only way she gets nominated next year for any office higher than Councilwoman in Highlands is if no one else wants the nomination.   The Monmouth and Union County GOP leadership are not happy with her.  The local Tea Parties say she will have no leg up over any other candidate in 2012 as they will consider all candidates before granting the Tea Party seal of approval.

Posted: March 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Frank Pallone, Robert Menendez | Tags: , , | 12 Comments »

Little mentioned as U.S. Senate candidate

Maybe that explains her irrational behavior in Highlands

By Art Gallagher

Hat tip to InTheLobby for this tidbit.

TheHill.com’s Shane D’Aprile mentioned Anna Little as a possible challenger to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in his article, New Jersey GOP lacking a name to face a more vulnerable Menedez.

I can imagine Menendez and Frank Pallone sharing a laugh over a latte about this one.

Also mentioned on what D’Aprile described as the NJ GOP’s “thin bench” are Monmouth County Senators Joe Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, NJ Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr, and former Senator Bill Baroni, now a Port Authority executive.

Scott Sipprelle and Diane Gooch should be on the list of potential Menendez challengers, especially given the NJ GOP’s historical preference for U.S. Senate candidates with the ability to self-fund their campaigns. 

Sipprelle should be on the top of the list, if he would do it.   His temperment and policy ambitions are more suited for the Senate than the House.  Politically, Sipprelle could compete well with Menendez in Bergen County, Western Essex and much of Passaic.   Menendez’s stategy would be to dominate Hudson, Bergen, Essex and Passiac, according to Democratic strategist Tony Bawidamann as quoted by D’Aprile.  Sipprelle, who lived in Bergen prior to moving to Princeton, is better suited to suppress Menendez’s support in the north than the other names on the list.  With a strong showing in Monmouth and Ocean combined with a competitive north, Sipprelle might actually win.

A lot can, and probably will, change in two years. If President Obama’s popularity recovers with the economy and he’s poised to win New Jersey by 15% again, Little could be the GOP nominee because no one else on the bench would want the slot and if there are no millionaires like Gooch or John Crowley willing to wage a vanity campaign.

Posted: December 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Diane Gooch, Robert Menendez, Scott Sipprelle | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments »

Pallone, Rothman, Menendez and Lautenberg, the Menaflex Four!

 By Susan Christopher, Asbury Park

An article published in the New York Times on Thursday, October 14th shows conclusively that Frank Pallone, Steve Rothman, Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, are political villains! The four pushed to approve a device known as Menaflex after extensive FDA research found the knee implant to be defective. The FDA was adamantly against releasing the device to the public, but political pressure from Pallone, Rothman, Menendez and Lautenberg superseded their decision because the manufacturer of Menaflex, ReGen Biologics were shtuping these democrats with political donations. This is corruption at its best! These politicians have proven that they care nothing for people. More important are the “special interest” groups who give these charlatans money. What happens to all the innocent, unknowing people who trusted their doctors and have had this device implanted in their bodies? This should enrage every American! Why are politicians allowed to have a say in the medical profession? Why is there no protection against this? Perhaps Pallone thinks since he wrote Pallonecare this makes him a doctor. There should be laws protecting us from these egotistical maniacs. Isn’t it enough that Americans face threats of terrorism? Must we also worry about our legislators trying to kill us, by pushing for unsafe medical procedures because campaign contributions hold greater importance than Americans do?


Please America think about this when you go to the polls on November 2nd.

Posted: October 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, Robert Menendez, Steven Rothman | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »