Ernesto Cullari: Shooting Straight

“To think of shadows is a serious thing.” ~ Victor Hugo

Introducing Marguerite Zohni, MUA and Model. – Makeup provided by Hynt Beauty – the lux vegan organics-based cosmetic and skincare line, based in Monmouth County.

Image by Ernesto Cullari – commercial photographer, writer and director of social marketing at iconsmarketingmedia.com
Posted: January 17th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Art, Ernesto Cullari, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ernesto Cullari: Shooting Straight

An Open Letter to Democrats in New Jersey

Ernesto CullariBy Ernesto Cullari

Dear Democrats,

We want you. That’s right; we in the Monmouth, Ocean & Middlesex County GOP organizations want you to vote for our candidates on Tuesday November 3rd. The reason? Your own self interest.

Half of you want to leave New Jersey at some point, according to a poll conducted by Monmouth University and the Asbury Park Press. New Jersey actually leads the nation in families fleeing their home state to more affordable places like Florida and North Carolina. For every family that moves to the Garden State two families pick up and leave.

Elections have consequences. It’s no longer my team versus your team, families in New Jersey are hurting. For the last 15 to 20 years Democrats have ruled the State Senate and the State Assembly; with the exception of the Republican Governors we’ve had, we’ve had no reprieve from higher taxes and higher spending. It’s taken a toll on all our families.

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Posted: October 31st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Elections, 2015 Legislative Races, Ernesto Cullari, Monmouth County News, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Will Freeholders Curley, Rich and Arnone turn their backs on the handicapped?

By Ernesto Cullari

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1In the pursuit of trimming Monmouth County’s bottom line Freeholders Tom Arnone, Gary Rich and John Curley, Curley who faces the voters in November, are about to turn their back on several handicapped and indigent patients living at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, despite a viable, fiscally responsible and compassionate alternative being proposed by Freeholders Lillian Burry and Serena DiMaso. The Burry-DiMaso plan both trims the budget and saves the facility, which serves some of the county’s most needy families.


Life is wondrous, beautiful and vital, until it’s not. Many of us have watched a grandparent, so active and so engaged from the earliest moments of our youth, suddenly decline and descend into illness and death. It’s even harder when it’s a parent or a child. My dad recently fell ill. As I write this he lays in intensive care, holding on to his relatively young life via prayers and the constant attention of family and medical professionals. If he survives this dangerous chapter, he may have a lifetime of respiratory, physical and occupational therapy ahead of him. A wondrous beautiful life is all at once fragile and uncertain.

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Posted: March 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Broken Promises

By Ernesto Cullari

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1If Republican Congressmen Chris Smith and Tom MacArthur vote for John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be the Speaker of the 114th Congress then they will both be breaking two foundational campaign promises: the first to defeat Obamacare and the second to end Obama’s policy of Executive Amnesty for Illegal Aliens. If they break either campaign promise both are certain face a mutiny at home by voters in two years.

On the issues of Amnesty and Obamacare, Speaker John Boehner has given Obama’s policies the Congressional stamp of approval. In the $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill that Boehner fought for and passed in December 2014, there were provisions that provided short term funding of Obama’s amnesty program.

Prior to the Republican Congress’s financial support, Obama was on shaky legal ground; however by providing funding for Executive Amnesty Boehner breathed new life into Obama’s strategy. The U.S. Supreme Court in Youngstown, a case dealing with the executive seizure of private property in the absence of congressional approval, established that, “Presidential authority is strongest when acting with the expressed or implied consent of Congress.” Through Boehner Congress has shown consent.

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Posted: January 5th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Ernesto Cullari, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Proceed with caution

By Ernesto Cullari

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1I’m not an expert on suicide and chances are neither are you –that’s okay. But if you read the news, or if you’ve logged onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter recently, nearly everyone has something to say about suicide and actor Robin Williams’s death.

Be careful what you say and what you write, because it is likely that the person sleeping next to you; the guy that delivers your mail or the person sitting near you on the train has thought about suicide at least once before.

Nearly 1 in 20 people have thought about suicide. Suicidal thoughts are more common than we realize. What we say to our friends, family and colleagues and what we write about suicide on social media will certainly have an impact on those around us. Many are more vulnerable to past and current suicidal thoughts, because Robin William’s death has made their feelings of suicide very raw.

Being able to talk to someone about suicidal thoughts is very important. There are people specially trained to help those in need of someone to listen. Share this number on your social media, it is operational 24 hours a day, from everywhere in the country: 1-800-273-TALK

There is a stigma surrounding mental health issues that should not exist. That stigma is an impediment to people who should be seeking help but are reluctant to do so for fear of being judged by others. What you say about Robin Williams, you’re really saying about them. I’ve thought about suicide on more than one occasion, depression runs in my family and it is something that I wont be ashamed of.

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Posted: August 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Ernesto Cullari, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Proceed with caution

Play for a Patriot

By Ernesto Cullari

MHA-SlideshowTemplate-TeeOff-750x330Once a day an active member of the military commits suicide. Before today is over 22 more Veterans: men and women, who have survived long deployments and possible combat, will die by suicide.
Like with every column I write, I try my best to understand the subject that I am writing about. I research, I read, I ponder the evidence and I draw conclusions. I’ve never found something so challenging as writing about Veterans and the mental health issues that they face.
It’s not that there isn’t enough information on the topic that makes writing about Veterans challenging, it is relating to a group of people whose experiences, thoughts and emotions can only be understood by those who have been to war. No movie, no book, no first hand account can make a deep enough of an impression upon the uninitiated so as to make us understand their thoughts, their struggles and the ongoing battle that is peacetime living.
For many Veterans peace is harder than the chaos of war. In a war you move from mission to mission from task to task –your training and instincts take over. Long after the buzz and the noise of war are gone, there is a lingering and lonely silence. Silence does not leave clues as to which direction a soldier should take or what comes next after the noise has died down.
For peacetime a soldier receives no training.  War wipes away all those so-called normal instincts their old self once had. Upon returning home a hero’s life can become completely unmanageable.
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Posted: July 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Ernesto Cullari, Veterans | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1By Ernesto Cullari


What are the odds that after spending 15 years in prison for robbing a shoe store in Toms River, parolee Christopher Miller, by coincidence, would end up back in that same store hours after being released -attempting to rob it again?

The answer is 43%. Except for the fact that he walked into the same place looking to rob it all over again, it should be no surprise at all that Mr. Miller was sent back to prison just hours after being released. Writer Gary Buiso details in the New York Post, Christopher Miller’s journey from juvenile delinquent to serial criminal, an interview that Buiso describes as ranging “from humorous to hopeless.”

Ever since I read about Miller’s pathetic trip from a troubled childhood to jail, from jail to freedom and from freedom back to jail again -I can’t stop thinking about it. Christopher Miller and I are the same age. He and I went to the same high school at nearly the same time. Miller graduated two years after I would have if I didn’t drop out. He didn’t meet his father until he was an adult. I didn’t meet mine until I was 16.

While Christopher Miller was breaking into lockers at our high school, I was working part time as a janitor in the school cafeteria. It’s likely that our paths have crossed many times. Growing up our lives had been headed in the same direction, as well. By the time he was shoplifting and breaking into neighbor’s homes, I too was making my way into bigger crimes. But suddenly and abruptly this is where our paths diverge.

When I was arrested as a teenager by the same police department that just rearrested Miller, the detectives were very kind to me, despite my brazenness. They were kind to me and didn’t press the prosecution as hard as they might have, because unlike Miller, I had a big family at home that passionately advocated for me.

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Posted: May 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment, Ernesto Cullari | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Cullari will not challenge Pallone

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1He had pledges for the $30,ooo he wanted to raise in thirty days and said Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett reacted enthusiastically to his potential candidacy, but at the moment of choice his heart was not in it.  Ernesto Cullari, a GOP primary candidate for the CD-6 nomination in 2012 told MMM he will not seek the nomination to challenge Frank Pallone this year.

Cullari said he recently signed a deal to author a series of novellas, the first of which will be released later this year, and that his commitment to that project and his partners was the major stumbling block to mounting his second campaign for public office.

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Ernesto Cullari, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

Cullari Considering Congressional Bid

cullariErnesto Cullari of Asbury Park said that if he can raise $30,000 in thirty days he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Congressman Frank Pallone at the Monmouth and Middlesex Republican nominating conventions on March 22.

The conservative Justified Right columnist for the triCityNews was the Monmouth GOP endorsed candidate in the 2012 6th district primary which he lost for former Highlands Mayor Anna Little who was tabbed by the Middlesex GOP.

Cullari said that he had hoped that Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden had run against Pallone. “Shaun is a great elected official and public servant. He was the candidate who could really have taken it to Pallone, ” Cullari said, “now that Shaun has said he is not running, I am taking a serious look at doing it. If I can raise $1000 per day for a month, I’m in.”

“I want to fight for my county.  I’m too old for military service, but I would run against Pallone as if I were protecting our freedom, because I believe that ultimately that is what is a stake given what is going on in Washington.”

Cullari said he would file a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission this week and start calling his supporters for donations.

Posted: February 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, Ernesto Cullari, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Salamat po

By Ernesto Cullari

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1Over 5,000 people were killed and nearly 2,000 are still missing since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in early November. We can easily recall the devastation and the loss that occurred on the Jersey Shore following Hurricane Sandy. Many of us are still rebuilding lives, homes and businesses. Haiyan was the most violent storm to ever make landfall and only you can begin to imagine their suffering. On behalf of my mother Lee, my step dad Matt and the 27 orphans living under their care in Bohol, the Philippines, I thank you for recently coming to their aid in such a desperate time of need. Street Kids Philippine Missions will continue to meet the needs of these children because of your generosity.


Even before the storm, the Philippines was a place of both beauty and squalor. The Philippine Islands are home to many of the world’s most alluring beaches. Yet not far from the tourist attractions and the luxurious hotels are some of the filthiest shantytowns on earth.StrKids Top300x250


Imagine a neighborhood constructed of trash and debris; with walls and roofs made of cardboard, tin and sheetrock. Pirated electricity from neighboring gated enclaves lights the dark and dingy nights, for the few foolish enough to reroute the current into their hand patched shack. Fires often ravage and raze shantytowns.


Not everyone who is poor or destitute lives in shantytowns. Entire families live on doorsteps, street benches, inside cardboard boxes erected on sidewalks. Many of these are former sales clerks, teachers or small business owners. In the Philippines, there are only rich and poor. Corruption, addiction, cronyism and the mindset of those who have lived under multi-generational poverty have seen to it that the middle-class does not grow roots and flourish.

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Posted: December 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Ernesto Cullari, Typhoon Haiyan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »