MMM Predictions for Election 2012

By popular demand (from Matt Rooney and a Democratic operative who doesn’t want people to know he/she talks to me) your favorite blogger is shifting his focus away from the Sandy Aftermath and back to politics on this election eve.

Rooney said, “Let’s hear your projection, Gallagher.”  My response: “The power will be off at my house for the rest of the week.”

Here are my predictions:

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Posted: November 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, 2012 Predictions, 2012 Presidential Politics, 2012 U.S. Senate Race, Elections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Monmouth Democratic Freeholder Candidates Running to the Right of Republicans

Bill Shea, the young retired State Trooper with a disability pension who is challenging Freeholder Director John Curley for a seat on the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, called for a 20% across the board reduction in county government spending yesterday.  Shea’s running mate, former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan, said Shea’s proposal “is not out of the realm of possibility” and would depend on the results of a county audit.

Shea and Lavan were speaking yesterday to the Asbury Park Press Editorial Board where they appeared along side Curley and Freeholder Serena DiMaso.  DiMaso and Lavan are competing to complete the unexpired term of Assemblyman Rob Clifton who resigned in January upon taking office in Trenton.  DiMaso was elected by the GOP County Committee to serve in the seat until the general election results are certified.

Curley and DiMaso said such cuts would be impossible to achieve, according to APP.  They said such cuts would annihilate small county departments and cripple to county’s efforts to reduce municipal spending with shared services.


Posted: September 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Gopal launches county campaign with shot at Lillian Burry over Brookdale

Image credit: "Paula Priesse," clearglassproductions.com

While Republicans are settling in after their trip to Tampa for the Republican National Convention, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal launched the first salvo of the county race for two freeholder seats and county clerk with a column posted on Patch sites throughout Monmouth, before he heads of to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention.

Gopal blasts Freeholder Lillian Burry, her former campaign treasurer, John Cantalupo, and the mythical “Club Monmouth” for the Brookdale Community College scandal.

Gopal’s column did not mention the Republican candidates, Freeholders John Curley and Serena DiMaso and County Clerk M. Claire French, that he says that Monmouth County taxpayers should unite against.  Nor did he mention his Democratic challengers, Kevin Lavan and Bill Shea for freeholder and Michael Steinhorn for county clerk.

Oddly, the Monmouth Democrats website, which has been redesigned since Gopal became chairman, makes no mention of his county candidates. Their facebook page also makes no mention of the county Democratic team.  Both websites feature Gopal prominently.

Pretty funny coming from a guy who blasted Governor Christie’s keynote address at the GOP convention as “all about him” to NJ.com:

Vin Gopal, the Monmouth County Democratic Party chairman, took a dimmer view of Christie’s moment in the national spotlight.

“The governor sang a tune that is not at all what is really happening. He’s a Republican governor in a Democratic state, and he’s doing a horrible job,” said Gopal, of Long Branch, citing New Jersey’s high unemployment and property tax rates. “He beat an incumbent Democratic governor in 2009 who was incredibly unpopular – here in Monmouth County, Jon Corzine said two weeks before the election that he wanted to raise tolls for the third time. Whoever the Democratic gubernatorial nominee is in 2013, the 700,000 registered Democratic voter advantage in this state, and the 20,000 registered Democratic voter edge in this county, is going to haunt Gov. Christie.”

“Christie’s speech was all about him,” added Gopal. “I don’t know how his message could have connected well with a lot of people. We are working to build up our base of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public service workers here in Monmouth, as well as other Democratic constituency groups, that will turn out in 2013.”

Gopal says that Monmouth County taxpayers should unite against Club Monmouth, yet despite his overwhelming victory in the Democratic Chairman’s race, he does not seem to be uniting his party behind their own candidates.



Posted: September 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Monmouth Democrats 2ndQ ELEC report not filed. Missing?

Monmouth GOP Team reports $83,000 cash on to hand

The Monmouth Democratic Party’s second quarter campaign finance report, due July 15th, has not been posted on the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission’s website as of this afternoon.  Dem Chairman Vin Gopal told MMM that the report was filed with ELEC, along with the report designating him as the new chairman, on July 10th.  Gopal said he would contact ELEC resolve the problem.

At the end of the first quarter, the Monmouth Dems had $6,305.14 cash on hand and was $78,025 in debt.  Over $60K of the debt was owed to then County Chairman Victor Scudiery.  Gopal said that the second quarter report “was pretty much the same, less than $10,000 on hand.”

The Democratic county candidates, Kevin Lavan and Bill Shea for Freeholder and Michael Steinhorn for Clerk, have $64.14 between them as of their post-primary reports.  Lavan and Steinhorn each told ELEC that they were not raising or spending money for the primary race.  Shea raised over $20K, but spent all but $64.14 in the uncontested primary.

The Monmouth GOP appears to be in better shape.  The GOP committee reported $34,790.31 in cash as of June 30th.    In their post-primary reports, Freeholder Director John Curley reported $22,554.81 in cash; Freeholder Serena DiMaso reported $11,401.19 and County Clerk Claire French reported $14,673.21.

Monmouth County  Republican Chairman John O. Bennett III has instructed all county and state elected officials, with the exception of this year’s candidates, to suspend raising money as of August 1 so as to not compete with his fundraising activities for the coming county campaign.  Bennett promised Curley, DiMaso and French that he would raise the funds necessary for the fall campaign.

Posted: July 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Campaign Contributions, Campaign Finance, ELEC, Elections, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Steinhorn: “I’m waiting for Gopal to step up”

Democratic Monmouth County Clerk candidate Michael Steinhorn told MMM that he has not heard from Vin Gopal, the new Democratic County Chairman, since Tuesday night’s convention.  “I’m waiting anxiously for my running mates and I to be summoned so that Mr. Gopal can show us how to win,” said the Rumson Democrat, “I hope he doesn’t wait until two months before election day and then say he really doesn’t have enough time.”

Steinhorn, along with Democratic Freeholder candidates Bill Shea and Kevin Lavan, openly supported Gopal’s opponent, Marlboro Council President Frank LaRocca for Democratic Chairman. “I wish my running mates had staid out of the race, but after they endorsed Frank I felt like I was between LaRocca and a hard place,” Steinhorn quipped,  “I didn’t want to split the ticket.  I felt to was important that the three of us stay united for fundraising and the campaign.”

When asked if he has spoken to the members of his county slate, Gopal declined to comment.

Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Party Unity

Based upon the voting results of the two Monmouth County political conventions that occurred on Tuesday evening, it would appear that the Monmouth Democratic Organization is united and the Monmouth Republican Organization is divided.

Vin Gopal’s margin of victory in the Democratic Chairman’s race was 73%-27%.  John Bennett scored a 50.24%-49.75% victory in the Republican race.

Both parties had extraordinarily high turnouts with over 600 committee members voting.  For a county party that has had no electoral success in recent years, the record turnout for the Democrats was an impressive showing. 

But all is not rosy for the Democrats.  Among Gopal’s minority opponents are his 3 county level candidates, Michael Steinhorn running for County Clerk and Freeholder candidates Bill Shea and Kevin Lavan.  Gopal, Steinhorn, Shea and Lavan were all general election candidates last year.  Gopal was an Assembly candidate in the 11th district.  Steinhorn and Shea were county level candidates, and Lavan was an Assembly candidate in the 13th district.  The divide is reportedly over Gopal’s relative (they all lost) success.  He raised more money, got more press and came closer to winning than Steinhorn, Shea and Lavan did in 2011.

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Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 73 Comments »

Shea Loses County Committee Race

Democratic Freeholder Candidate Bill Shea, right. Photo credit Andrea Tarr

Monmouth County Democratic Freeholder candidate William Shea was defeated yesterday in his quest to become a member of the Monmouth County Democratic County Committee.

Running in Howell’s 9th district, Shea lost to Aiman El-Tochamy.

Shea’s wife, Lori, defeated El-Tochamy’s wife, Roseann, for the female committee seat in the district.

Shea is running against Freeholder Director John Curley in the November general election.

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , | 5 Comments »

Caption Contest

Monmouth County Democratic Freeholder candidate Bill Shea, former Governor Jim Florio and Red Bank Councilman Michael DuPont:



Write your own caption in the comments, please.

Posted: April 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , | 27 Comments »

Monmouth Democratic Nominating Convention Preview

The Monmouth County Democrats are holding their nominating convention on Thursday, March 22 at the Bayshore Senior Center, 6:30 PM.

Michael Steinhorn of Rumson is the only candidate who has filed to run for County Clerk.  He is expected to be nominated to run against Republican incumbent M.Claire French. Steinhorn was the nominee for County Surrogate last year.

Former State Trooper Bill Shea, a candidate last year, and former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan, a candidate for Assembly last year from the 13th district , will be freeholder candidates. 

There are two freeholder seats up this year;  a full term that is being defended by incumbent Republican Freeholder Director John Curley and an unexpired term that will be defended by Freeholder Serena DiMaso.  DiMaso was elected by the Monmouth Republican Committee to fill the vacancy created by Rob Clifton’s election to the State Assembly.

The Democrats have yet to determine which seats Shea and Lavan will challenge.

Former Freeholder Amy Mallet has not ruled out re-seeking the office that she lost last November.  Asked repeatedly by MMM if she was going to make an run for freeholder either at the convention or in the primary, Mallet said, “no, not at this time,” and “I am not running as of now.”   Asked to give a definitive answer, she declined.

Two candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the nomination to take on Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th congressional district. Former Monmouth County Surrogate Patricia Bennett, now an elder law attorney in Red Bank and Spring Lake businessman Brian Froelich will compete for the Democratic endorsement on Thrusday night.  

Froelich has a website and says he’s filed with the FEC to be a candidate. He would not rule out a primary challenge should he lose to Bennett on Thursday, saying, “I intend to win at the convention and have not thought beyond that.”

Bennett could not be reach for comment.

Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, Chris Smith, Congress, Democrats, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Meet Bill Shea

He Wants To Be A Monmouth County Freeholder
Democratic Freeholder Candidate Bill Shea, right.  Photo credit Andrea Tarr

Democratic Freeholder Candidate Bill Shea, right. Photo credit Andrea Tarr

 What ever happened to kissing babies?

Posted: September 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Bill Shea, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , | 36 Comments »