Murphy’s Law: Businesses that cater to “Hippie Mother F**kers” not welcome in Red Bank

By Art Gallagher

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Red Bank Council President Art Murphy yesterday when RedBankGreen posted a video of his drunken vulgar rant with former patrons of the former Red Bank business, Lucky Break Billiards.

Before the morning was out, the Asbury Park Press had picked up the story and Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma was posting  memes of Murphy on facebook.  Murphy is a Democrat running for reelection this year.  If DiSomma’s GOP candidates beat Murphy and his running mate, Councilman Michael DuPont, Republicans will control the Red Bank municipal government for the first time in this millennium.

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Posted: August 5th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Sweeney coming to Red Bank to raise campaign cash for Murphy and Dupont

DiSomma says Dems fear losing control. Signals hard hitting campaign to come

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney, a contender the 2017 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, is coming to Red Bank on December 17 as the headliner for a $175 per head fundraiser for Red Bank Councilmen Arthur Murphy’s and Michael Dupont’s reelection campaign.

The soiree is being hosted by Mayor Pat Menna and former Mayor Ed McKenna at Buona Sera.

The invitation includes a questionnaire to assure compliance with the borough’s “pay to play” ordinance.  Contractors that do business with the borough, developers and “Alcoholic Licensees” must disclose their attendance and in certain circumstances limit their campaign contributions to $400.

Who would have guessed that Red Bank issues licenses to alcoholics?

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Posted: December 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Monmouth County, Red Bank, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Zipprich blames Republicans for his DUI becoming public

Red Bank Councilman likes to have it both ways

Zipprich arrestWhat do Ed McKenna and Ed Zipprich have in common besides the same first name and being Red Bank Democrats? They both have a record of driving the wrong way on the Garden State Parkway after consuming too much alcohol.

The Red Bank Police should put a DUI check on River Rd on Sunday afternoon as McKenna is holding a fundraiser for Zipprich and his running mates at his home from 4-6.  Red Bank Taxi and Red Bank Limo should make sure their drivers are on standby.  The State Police should increase patrols at Exit 109.

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Posted: October 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Ed Zipprich, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Neptune Nudniks, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

McKenna Convicted Of DWI

Ed McKenna, Red Bank Green photo

Ed McKenna, Red Bank Green photo

Monmouth County roads will be a little safer for the next seven months.

Former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna, a Democrat, was convicted of driving while intoxicated last week in Tinton Falls Municipal Court.   He received a seven month suspension to his drivers license and a $764 fine.

McKenna was arrested by a New Jersey State Trooper on May 13, 2013 after being involved in a one car accident at mile marker 108 of the Garden State Parkway. He scored nearly three times the legal limit in a breathalyzer test.

Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett did not issue a statement accusing all Democrats of being drunks who are unfit for office.  Bennett’s restraint stands in stark contrast to that of his Democratic counterpart, young Vin Gopal.  Gopal, 28, accused “local and County Republican politicians” of being corrupt last week after former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was indicted for allegedly fraudulent acts to secure the purchase of a farm.

Posted: February 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Lucas, John Bennett, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »


James Hertler, below, shut down Lucky Break Billiards in September, a month after police cracked down over BYOB issues. (Click to enlarge) By JOHN T. WARD How’s this for an auspicious start for a business?• In early 2011, in an effort to spice up…

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Posted: November 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, NJNewsCommons, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on RED BANK: LUCKY BREAK’S SHATTERED DREAM

Zipprich Has More Campaign Cash Than Angelini and Casagrande Combined

Assembly candidate Ed Zipprich and Senator Barbara Buono and NY's Gay Pride Parade, 6/30/13 facebook photo

Assembly candidate Ed Zipprich and Senator Barbara Buono and NY’s Gay Pride Parade, 6/30/13 facebook photo

Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich, a Democratic candidate for Assembly in the 11th legislative district, announced today that he has outraised his Republican opponents, Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande, over the last two fundraising periods and that he has more cash on hand than Angelini and Casagrande combined.

RED BANK–  Today, Ed Zipprich, candidate for New Jersey Assembly (NJ-11), announced that he has outraised his opponents, Mary  Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande, over the last two fundraising  periods.  Zipprich raised a total of $21,793 during the pre and  post-primary reporting periods while Angelini and Casagrande combined to raise a total of $12,200.  Additionally, Zipprich has $42,819 on hand  compared to Angelini and Casagrande’s combined $37,873–$23,966 on hand for  Angelini and 13,907 for Casagrande.”

“I am humbled by the amount of support I’ve received across the 11th district,” said Zipprich.  “It shows our campaign is building momentum  and that voters are starting to pay attention to the differences between myself and my opponents.  Whether it’s on raising the minimum wage,  ending special tax breaks for millionaires, or finally bringing marriage equality to New Jersey, the residents of the 11th  district know I will fight for them.”

MMM verified Zipprich’s numbers at the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission’s website.

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Posted: July 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, 2013 Election, Barbara Buono, Campaign Contributions, Campaign Finance, Caroline Casagrande, Ed Zipprich, ELEC, Elections, Mary Pat Angenlini, Monmouth Democrats, SEIU | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Former Red Bank Mayor Arrested, Charged With DWI

Ed McKenna, Red Bank Green photo

Ed McKenna, Red Bank Green photo

Edward McKenna, 63, of Red Bank was involved in a one car accident while traveling north in a 2012 black Mercedes-Benz sedan on the Garden State Parkway at 9:50 pm Monday night.  The accident occurred at mile marker 108 in Tinton Falls. He was arrested by the New Jersey State Police and charged with Driving While Intoxicated, according the Sgt. Adam Grossman of the NJSP Public Information Office.

Grossman said that McKenna submitted to a breathalyzer test, but would not disclose the results.  Another law enforcement official familiar with the case said McKenna “blew very high.”

McKenna was the mayor of Red Bank from 1991 through 2006.  He is currently chairman of the New Jersey State Planning Commission.

In March of 2009 McKenna’s car struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk outside of Riverview Medical Center, according to RedBankGreen.  He was cited by the Red Bank Police with failure to yield to a pedestrian.  In October of 2000 he was involved in an accident at mile marker 110 on the Parkway, leaving the scene before police arrived, according to RBG.   McKenna said at the time that he identified himself to the other driver and left after waiting awhile for the police.  Later, the State Police visited his home where his wife told the troopers he had taken a pain killer for his shoulder and was sleeping.

McKenna was not available when we called his law office for comment.  This story will be updated if he calls back.

Posted: May 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

The Monmouth Democratic Chairman’s Race

The balloting won’t be until mid-June 2012, but the candidates vying to replace Victor Scudiery as Monmouth County Democratic Chairman are running as if the race will be decided on January 14.

Marlboro Councilman Frank LaRocca and businessman Vin Gopal, an Assembly candidate from the 11th legislative district last month, are building their alliances and working the phones.   LaRocca is the law partner of Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornick.  Gopal, a business partner of Scudiery.  Hornick, considered a Democratic rising star statewide, is all in for his political and business partner as they seek to build an organization to propel the young mayor into higher office.  Scudiery is officially neutral.

During Scudiery’s two decade tenure as chairman he has fought against the state Democratic organization bringing “outsiders” in to fill appointments in the county.  Perhaps the most notable example is the Monmouth Prosecutor’s job in 2005.  Acting Governor Richard Codey nominated Essex County resident Luis Valentin to succeed Republican John Kaye who had held the job for 21 years.   Scudiery objected, wanting the job to go to Monmouth resident Allan Falk.  Scudiery asked State Senator Joe Palaia, a Republican, to block Valentin’s appointment via senatorial courtesy. Palaia stayed out of the Democratic family feud, but Trenton Democrats responded by sending U.S. Senator/gubernatorial candidate Jon Corzine and Congressman Frank Pallone to Airport Plaza to demand that Scudiery step down as chairman.  He didn’t.

LaRocca and Hornick, “LaHornicca,” are seen to be allied with the Trenton Democratic establishment.  They have strong ties to State Democratic Chairman John Wisniewski.  Democratic legal powerhouse, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick and Cole, of Teaneck, are the Marlboro borough attorneys.

Gopal, despite having a statewide network of his own, including a close alliance with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, is seen to represent local interests. During his Assembly campaign he expressed a commitment to building a homegrown Democratic organization.

Alliances in the chairman’s race are breaking along similar lines.   Middletown Democratic Chair Joe Caliendo is backing Gopal.  Caliendo and Howell Democratic Chair Steve Morlino often align their forces, creating an insurmountable voting block.  If that alliance stands, Gopal will likely win.

“LaHornicca” has the support of former Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna, who challenged Scudiery in 2000.  McKenna’s law partner, Michael DuPont is also in the “LaHornicca” camp.  DuPont is the treasurer of the New Jersey Turnpike AuthorityDeCotiis is the law firm for the Turnpike Authority.

However, the Red Bank Democrats are split.  Ed Zipprich, the municipal chairman and a councilman supports Gopal.

Democratic campaign and media consultants Pat Politano, of Union County, and Jon Evans of Morris County, famous in Monmouth County for running Brian Unger’s Long Branch mayoral campaign in 2010, are supporting “LaHornicca.”   Politano is closely aligned with former State Democratic Chairman Joe Cryan, a Union County Assemblyman and Undersheriff, and with Cryan’s running mate, Senator Ray Lesniak.

As hard as Gopal and “LaHornicca” are working on building their alliances with current municipal chairs and committee members, most of the voters may not yet be identified.  The entire county committee, of both parties, is up for election in the June 5, 2012 primary.  The current Monmouth County Democratic Committee has over 400 vacancies.   The team that gets candidates to run for those empty seats could control the Monmouth Democratic Organization through June of 2014.

Posted: December 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Scudiery To Retire As Monmouth Dem Chairman

Gopal and LaRocca Set to Battle For The Seat

By Art Gallagher

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vic Scudiery will announce his retirement next week.  He will complete his current term, which ends in June.  Scudiery will have served for 23 years.

Scudiery’s protoge, Vin Gopal, spent most of this week working the crowd at the League of Municipalities Convention in Atlantic City for support to take over for his mentor.  

According to Blue Jersey’s Jeff Gardner, Gopal is in for a fight.

MMM has learned that the fight will be with Marlboro Councilman Frank LaRocca.

Gopal is a business owner and Scudiery’s partner in Community Publications, the publisher of four monthly newspapers and a magazine serving Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Matawan, Middletown, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union Beach.  He was an Assembly candidate in the 11th legislative district this year.

LaRocca, along with his running mates, Mayor Jon Hornick and Council President Randi Marder were reelected in Marlboro earlier this month. LaRocca, Hornick and Marlboro Deputy Mayor Larry Rosen are law partners.

With the chairman’s election not until June, there is plenty of time for other players to enter the race. 

There has not been a contest for the Monmouth County Democratic chairmanship since 2000 when then Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna unsuccessfully challenged Scudiery for the post.

Posted: November 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 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 »