Peters: If you think things are great in Monmouth County, DON’T VOTE–STAY HOME

Dan Peters: if you're happy and you know it, don't vote!

Dan Peters: if you’re happy and you know it, don’t vote!

If you think Monmouth County is a great place to live, Bayshore Tea Party backed Sheriff Candidate Dan Peters doesn’t want you to vote in the primary on June 4, a week from today.

In a bizarre blog post on Middletown Patch, Peters, a former Middlesex County police officer collecting a disability pension and a former salesman for a red light camera company, said,

“If you think things are great here in Monmouth County then don’t vote — stay home. If you KNOW things can be better and want better vote for line 3. We are tea party approved!”

Voter suppression is the new credo of the Tea Party?

Peters is making his third attempt to direct the Sheriff’s Office, since he moved to Monmouth County. He withdrew his 2007 candidacy because he did not qualify under the three year residency requirement. Maybe the next time he runs, the Black Panthers will support him.

Peters said that the “sheriff’s department” (it is actually called the “Sheriff’s Office”) has not had a change in leadership in 25 years.

“The sheriff’s department has had the same leadership for over twenty five years. As a matter of fact until recently there has not been a Sheriff in Monmouth County that had any police or public safety experience. In that time there has been no change in its direction or vision.”

When he withdrew his 2007 candidacy due to not meeting the residency requirement, Peters called the “department” a “premier law enforcement agency.”

Our vision is clear for safety and security here in Monmouth County and enabling the Sheriffs Department to continue being a premier law enforcement agency.

In fact, Monmouth County has had four sheriffs in the last 33 years. William Lanzaro was elected in 1980 and served through 1995 after being defeated by Joe Oxley in the Republican primary.  Oxley, a former prosecutor, declined to seek a fifth term in 2007 as a protest over the direction then Monmouth GOP Chairman Adam Puharic was leading the Party. Oxley went on to replace Puharic as chairman a year later.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, Monmouth GOP, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments »

Rible, Arnone Launch Initiative To Attract Super Bowl Visitors To Monmouth County

By Chris Fotache, Jersey Shore Vacations

Yesterday (April 8th) I attended a press conference at The Breakers in Spring Lake, organized by Assemblyman Dave Rible and Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, which addressed initiatives to bring 2014 Super Bowl travelers to the coastal Monmouth and Ocean Counties.Arnone Rible

Super Bowl XLVIII will take place on February 2nd, 2014, at the Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, which is within an hour of most of Monmouth County. “Monmouth and Ocean counties are closer to the Meadowlands than people realize,” said Dave Rible. “Our state’s excellent transportation network and first class hotels and dining facilities offer people a chance to take in a part of New Jersey that will play an important role in next February’s most watched event.  Our rebound from last year’s superstorm is well under way. The beach communities don’t close after Labor Day. The partners we have assembled will make sure visitors are aware of the Shore’s year-round attractions and are worth a visit during their stay leading up to the Super Bowl.”

Tom Arnone, who spearheads initiatives to strengthen Monmouth County’s economy and create jobs stressed the importance of tourism to the local economy: “A vibrant tourism industry is an integral part of our economy in Monmouth County and being involved with the Super Bowl will be a tremendous boost for our local businesses. I look forward to working with local merchants to use this historic event to bring more tourism and more business to Monmouth County.”

Rouson, Rible, KleckoThe event was attended by local politicians (also including Freeholders Serena DiMaso and John Curley, and Asbury Park Economic Development Director Tom Gilmour), business leaders (Evelyn Mars and Adam Puharic from the Southern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, Bob Hilton from the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chris Fotache from Jersey Shore Vacations) and tourism officials (NJ Tourism Director Grace Hanlon and Monmouth Tourism Director Jeannie De Young). Special guests were two-time Super Bowl winner with the NY Giants, Lee Rouson, and former NY Jets star Joe Klecko.

Posted: April 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, Jersey Shore, Monmouth County, Super Bowl | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Anna Little: “I just want to do the right thing”

In a remarkable interview with NJ.com, 6th district congressional challenger gives insight into her transformation from a rising GOP star to a fringe candidate.

“I had been a mainstream Republican candidate, but unfortunately I was not allowed to be myself. I am a traditional lady – I am pro-life, I am Catholic, and I am proud of it,” Little said. “Any political party, if it’s top-down driven, they want you to fit their mold. I don’t fit anybody’s mold. With the Tea Party people, I can be me. And I just want to do the right thing.”

Anna Little in her Woodbridge campaign office during her NJ.com interview. Photo credit: Mark Bonamo/NJ.com

The obvious implication is that those who didn’t “allow” her to be herself don’t want to do the right thing.  That’s her ethos.  On the wall next to her desk in her campaign office is her slogan,


Little was a mainstream candidate.  A good one at that.  In early 2006 the Monmouth GOP County Committee, suffering from the aftershocks of Operation Bid Rig, tabbed the little know Highlands Councilwoman and her “do the right thing” message to complete Amy Handlin’s seat on the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders when Handlin was sworn into the State Assembly.

During her fall campaign to defend the seat, then GOP County Chairman Adam Puharic, a proud pro-life Catholic, called Little “a Rock Star.”   Against an anti-war, anti-Bid Rig tide, Little was a rare Republican victor on election night of 2006. Within weeks the proud pro-life Catholic Puharic was plotting to get Little off the Republican ticket the following November.

Puharic and the Monmouth GOP did send Little packing from the Freeholder Board one year after she emerged like a Rock Star.  The Highlands GOP welcomed her home an nominated her for mayor after the incumbent unexpectedly resigned his candidacy.  The Highlands voters welcomed her home with a victory.  Three years later, rather than run for reelection Little ran for Congress.  She narrowly won the Monmouth County portion of the 6th district in a huge pro-Republican tide election.  But she lost Highlands.  Republicans swept every ballot position in Highlands in 2010, except the top one…Little’s.  Highlands voted for Frank Pallone in 2010 rather than their incumbent mayor.

Little responded by calling Highlands employees, council members and voters stupid.

If you don’t support Anna Little unconditionally and give her what she wants when she wants it, you’re either corrupt or stupid.  That’s her message.  Her lack of mainstream support has nothing to do with her being pro-life, Catholic or a traditional lady.  There are many pro-life, Catholic, traditional ladies thriving politically in the mainstream NJ/Monmouth GOP.

The list of former Little supporters who have mysteriously become corrupt or stupid is long and growing.   It is not an accident that those who know her best, the voters of Highlands and the Monmouth GOP who nominated an unknown political neophyte instead of Little in the congressional primary, have withdrawn their support.

And it’s not because they are corrupt or stupid.

It is, in large part, because she says they are corrupt and stupid when they dare to question her.


Posted: October 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, Anna Little | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Judge Oxley?

The worst kept secret in Monmouth County politics became news today when Politickernj reported that “Monmouth County GOP Chairman Joe Oxley is poised to leave his chairmanship for a superior court judgeship.”

Politickernj’s story is premature.

“If it happens, it won’t be during this legislative session,” said State Senator Joe Kyrillos, “Joe is an excellent chairman.  Monmouth County is important to the party statewide going into 2012 and 2013.”

State Senator Jennifer Beck said she’d heard rumblings about an Oxley judicial nomination but assumed it was a rumor.  “Joe has never mentioned an interest in being a judge,” said Beck, “there are three Republican and one Democratic vacancy on the Monmouth Court now.  The workload is significant. About 60 lawyers have expressed interest in those positions, but the Chairman is not one of them.”

Rumors of Oxley moving to the Monmouth Vicinage were rampant in the legal community and among GOP politicos the week before Thanksgiving as several people who received calls from the State Police performing a background check on the former sheriff spread the word.

Oxley passed the background check, according to sources.  The bar association and the Monmouth Senate delegation still need to give their blessings before Governor Chris Christie will announce the nomination, which must be confirmed by the Senate.

“Nothing is official until the Governor makes his nomination,” Oxley told MMM in November, “as of now, I am completing my term and running for reelection as Chairman.”

Speculation for Oxley’s successor as chairman has centered around State GOP Committeewoman Christine Hanlon, State GOP Treasurer and former Senate President John Bennett, and former Assemblyman Steve Corodemus.

A source close to the former Assemblyman told MMM that Corodemus does not want the position.

Bennett and Hanlon could not be reached for comment.

Jim Giannell, the Kingmaker without a portfolio, told MMM that he won’t be a candidate for chairman should Oxley get benched.  Giannell ran for chairman against Adam Puharic in 2006.

Howell Chairman John Costigan, who challenged Oxley in 2010, also said that he would not be seeking the office.

Posted: December 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Kingmaker without a portfolio

A strong argument could be made that the path to becoming a Monmouth County Freeholder goes through Red Bank realtor Jim Giannell’s office. 

Since 2005 when he backed Colts Neck Mayor Lillian Burry, Giannell has picked every non-incumbent Freeholder nominee except two.   One exception was Marlboro Councilman Jeff Cantor who replaced Freeholder Anna Little, a Giannell pick, on the ticket in 2007.  Cantor lost a close election to Democrat John D’Amico and then left the Republican party for Jon Hornick’s Democratic organization in Marlboro.  The other exception is John Curley.  Curley was Giannell’s pick over Serena DiMaso in 2008.  Curley narrowly lost to Amy Mallet in the Obama landslide.  In 2009 Giannell backed Kim Spatola, a former Atlantic Highlands councilwoman over Curley.  Curley prevailed at Joe Oxley’s first candidate selection screening and went on to defeat Sean Byrnes of Middletown in the 2009 Christie landslide in Monmouth. 

With the election of Gary Rich earlier this month, 3.5, counting Curley, of five Freeholders owe their offices to Jim Giannell.  If the former Red Bank municipal chairman’s pick in the current race to replace Assemblyman-elect Rob Clifton, Howell Mayor Bob Walsh, is elected on January 14, Giannell will have picked all five members of the board.

While the Freeholders may owe their careers to Giannell, there is little, if any, evidence that he is a boss, in the classic New Jersey sense of the word.  Once they take office, the Freeholders go their own way.  Burry is supporting Anne Marie Conte over Walsh in the current race.  Curley and Tom Arnone are staying out of the race for now. 

Here is a list of Giannell’s picks for non-incumbent Freeholders since 2005:

2005: Lillian Burry.  Burry ran with incumbent Bill Barham.  Barham was elected at a Republican convention earlier in 2005 to replace long time Freeholder Director Harry Larrison.  Even in the wake of the Operation Bid Rig scandal which tarnished the Republican brand, Barham and Burry defeated Democrats Barbara McMorrow and Rebecca Aaronson and Independent Brian Unger.  The Republican victory was in large measure do to the Asbury Park Press’s call for voters to bullet vote for Unger.  Back then the APP’s endorsement still had influence.  Unger garnered over 18,000 votes.  Burry’s margin of victory over McMorrow was only 1,792 votes. 

2006:  Anna Little and Andrew Lucas.  Little was elected, by one vote, over Howell Mayor Joe DiBella at a convention to replace Amy Handlin who had been elected to the Assembly.  Giannell managed Little’s campaign and her floor fight at the convention. A month later at a contentious multiple ballot nominating convention, Giannell and candidate Terrence Wall threw their support to Lucas in an anti-establishment move against DiBella and then Chairman Fred Neimann.   Little went on to win the rest of Handlin’s unexpired term in the general election.  Lucas lost to Barbara McMorrow. 

2007: Giannell did not have a candidate.  Little, his successful pick in 2006, spent a contentious year battling with Chairman Puharic and Freeholder Director Barham. Little declined to seek the nomination rather than submit to Puharic’s rules for screening and the convention.  Cantor was selected to join incumbent Rob Clifton on the ticket.  Clifton won.  Cantor lost to Democrat John D’Amico.

2008: John Curley was Giannell’s pick over Serena DiMaso who had the backing of Chairman Adam Puharic.  Burry was Curley’s running mate.  In a photo finish election dominated by Obamamania, Burry prevailed and Curley lost to Amy Mallet on the count of provisional ballots.  Democrats took control of the Freeholder Board for the first time in 20 years.

2009: Giannell backed Chairman Joe Oxley in supporting Atlantic Highlands former Councilwoman Kim Spatola over Curley.  McMorrow was up for reelection and was considered a lock to be reelected.  Nominating a woman, given the pro woman gender gap demonstrated by Burry and Mallet’s 2008 victories was considered the only hope of defeating McMorrow.    Just before the nominating meetings for both parties, McMorrow announced she would not seek another term.  Curley won a roll call vote at Oxley’s first screening selection.  The Democrats scrambled to find a candidate to replace McMorrow, settling on Byrnes from Middletown over Mike Beson of Neptune Township.  Curley defeated Byrnes and Republicans won back control of the Board.

2010:  Giannell’s pick, Tom Arnone, narrowly defeated former Middltown Committeeman Tom Wilkens and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich.  Arnone and incumbent Rob Clifton went on to defeat D’Amico and Spring Lake Councilwoman Janice Venables.

2011: Giannell backed Rich over Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, who had Burry’s support, Walsh, and Wall Township Committeeman George Newberry.  Rich won the nomination with 25 votes in the screening committee. Lucas has 23 votes and Newberry 22.  Walsh withdrew before the polling.   Rich and incumbent Burry went on the defeat Mallet and newcomer William Shea earlier this month.

2012?  Monmouth County Republicans have not had a nominating convention of all county committee members since 2008.  It remains to be seen if Giannell can pull off another close race.   Don’t bet the house against Bob Walsh.

Posted: November 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »