Former N.J. Gov. Kean to Trump: Don’t pick Christie as VP

assetContentTRENTON — Former Gov. Tom Kean has some political advice for Donald Trump: Don’t pick Gov. Chris Christie as your running mate if you hope to become president, and start surrounding yourself with better advisers. “If I were to advise him politically, it’s not the way to win the election,” said Kean of talk about a… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 27th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, New Jersey | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

At 80, former N.J. Gov. Tom Kean is still a force to reckon with

assetContent (76)TRENTON — You could almost hear the gasps in Trenton when former Gov. Tom Kean criticized Gov. Chris Christie. “You assume that if the governor wins by 20 points or more you’d have coattails,” Kean said in November 2013, a week after Christie had won re-election by a landslide. “No governor I know in any state… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, Tom Kean Sr | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Christie Appoints Codey/Byrne Administrations Veteran to run the Department of Community Affairs


Governor Chris Christie has consistently thumbed his nose at New Jersey Republicans

Governor Chris Christie continued the transition of the Executive Branch of New Jersey’s State Government back to the Democratic Party today with his announcement that Charles A. Richman will become Acting Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs on Friday when current Commissioner, Richard Constable, leaves government service after 13 years. Christie’s announcement said that Richman will be formally nominated to succeed Constable in the Commissioner’s post.

Richman, a career New Jersey bureaucrat with 40 years experience, served in the cabinets of Governor Brendan Byrne and Governor Richard Codey, on a acting basis.

Throughout his second term as Governor, Christie has appointed high profile Democrats to fill cabinet level and other important goverment positions when vacancies have occurred.

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Posted: March 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Former Gov. Tom Kean to replace Condoleezza Rice as Rutgers commencement speaker

Former Gov. Tom Kean to replace Condoleezza Rice as Rutgers commencement speaker (via NJ.com)

NEW BRUNSWICK — Former Gov. Tom Kean will replace Condoleezza Rice as Rutgers University’s commencement speaker, the school announced today. Kean will deliver the address at the May 18 ceremony at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway. Rice,…

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Posted: May 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Rutgers, Tom Kean Sr, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

Winners and Losers of 2013, Part Two


Congressman Frank J. Pallone, Jr. Since losing the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate to Cory Booker in a special primary, New Jersey’s longest serving Democratic Member of Congress has gone off the rails with bizarre rants is defense of ObamaCare.  As the healthcare plan proves to be increasingly unworkable and unpopular, Pallone’s credibility will tank.

Pallone’s once formidable campaign war chest of roughly $4 million is down to $1.2 million after the special primary, as of the September 30th FEC reports.   That $1.2 million is not as high as it might seem, as the congressman historically burns through about $1 million per year in “campaign” expenses during years when he doesn’t have to face the voters.  Given that his seat is considered “safe,” he’ll have a tough time competing for campaign dollars with candidates who are in districts considered “competitive.”

There is a talk of an Asian-American from Middlesex County who is willing to spend $1 million of his own money to unseat Pallone.   It will take a guy like that to exploit Pallone’s obvious vulnerability.


Tom Kean Jr. Kean overplayed the best hand dealt to New Jersey Republicans since Jim Florio’s toilet paper tax, Chris Christie’s overwhelming popularity, and lost.  He picked a fight with Senate President Steve Sweeney and thought he knew better than Christie’s strategists how the Republican legislative campaign should be waged.  His only winning option was to defeat Sweeney’s reelection bid and pick up at least another two state Senate seats.  He failed on all counts, not winning even one Senate seat.

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Posted: December 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Frank Pallone, Tom Kean JR | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Lautenberg ailing…..what if he retires early?

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg missed work, on doctors orders, for the entire month of March.  On Friday he released a statement saying he will not return to Washington on Monday as the Senate convenes after a two week recess, according to reports in The Star Ledger and Politico.

“I regret that I will not be returning to Washington next week as I continue  treatment for, and recuperate from, muscle weakness and fatigue. My physician  continues to advise me to work from home and not travel at this time,”  Lautenberg said in a statement issued by his office.

Lautenberg added: “I am disappointed I will not be present for the opening of  the debate on gun legislation in the Senate. It is an issue I am deeply  passionate about, and my victories over the gun lobby are among my proudest  accomplishments. I am, however, gratified that my legislation to ban  high-capacity ammunition magazines will be one of the key amendments offered to  this bill.”

Lautenberg will also miss the confirmation of U.S. Magistrate Patty Shwartz to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a nomination that was initially blocked by New Jersey’s junior senator, Bob Menendez.

“I have worked hard since Judge Shwartz’s nomination by President Obama toward her confirmation, and I am confident that she will be confirmed by a strong majority of my colleagues,” Lautenberg said.

Lautenberg, 89, announced in February that he would not seek reelection in 2014.

Should the senate seat become vacant on or before August 27, New Jersey’s election law requires that a successor be elected in the November general election.   If a vacancy occurs after August 27,  the next election for the seat would be on schedule in November of 2014, unless the governor calls for a special election sooner.  Governor Christie could appoint a temporary senator or leave the seat vacant.

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Posted: April 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

John Kaye is President of the Monmouth Republican Affiliated Club

By Art Gallagher

john kayeFormer Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye is the new president of the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club.

Kaye takes over from Wayne Pomanowski who served as president for the maximum two years allowed by the club’s bylaws.  1st Vice President Gerri Popkin and 2nd Vice President Bob Burlew were unable to step up to the presidency due to other obligations.  Howell Chairman John Costigan, the club Sergeant-At-Arms, declined the post because he is running to replace Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett on the GOP State Committee. Pomanowski said he suggested Kaye to Bennett.

Bennett said that Kaye was the unanimous choice of the club’s trustees at their January meeting.  All other officers, except Pomanowski, retained their previous club offices. Pomanowski remains on the board.

The choice struck me as odd given 1) the wealth of up and coming talent in the Monmouth GOP and 2) Kaye’s rocky historical relationship with Govenor Chris Christie including the controversy surrounding Kaye towards the end of his distinguished 23 year career as Monmouth County Prosecutor.

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Posted: January 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Prosecutor, Monmouth GOP, Monmouth GOP Affiliated Club | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Irish Americans Should Support Thomas Nast’s Induction Into The NJ Hall of Fame

So should the Assemblymen who are opposed to his nomination

Thomas Nast, the 19th century political cartoonist who gave Harper’s Weekly enough political influence to topple Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall and to sway the election of two presidents, Grant and Cleveland, has been nominated for the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s class of 2012.

santa_claus50Nast, who popularized the image of Santa Claus and the partisan symbols of Donkeys and Elephants for Democrats and Republicans had an undeniable and enduring impact on American culture.

Nast lived in Morristown for over 20 years, starting in 1872.

His nomination to the NJ Hall of Fame has generated controversy from the Irish Catholic community who contend the artist was a anti-Irish/anti-Catholic bigot because he frequently depicted the Irish as drunken apes and Catholic bishops as crocodiles.  Neil Cosgrove of New City, NY wrote in a Letter to the Editor in The Star Ledger that Nast is “the father of hateful and negative anti-Irish stereotypes that Irish-Americans continue to struggle against today.”

This Irish-American Catholic hasn’t struggled against stereotypes today, or any other day that I can remember.

Three New Jersey Assemblymen have jumped on the anti-Nast bandwagon.  NorthJersey.com reports that Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer) and Dave Rible (R-Monmouth) have called on the NJ Hall of Fame to withdraw the nomination.  Scott Rumana (R-Passaic) issued a press release echoing DeAngelo.

Pardon. Franchise. Columbia.-"Shall I trust these men, and not this man?" ~ Haper's Weekly, August 5, 1865

Pardon. Franchise. Columbia.-"Shall I trust these men, and not this man?" ~ Harper's Weekly, August 5, 1865

The Assemblymen and the Ancient Order of Hibernians have it wrong. Nast was not a bigot.  Far from it.  His political art, starting during the Civil War and through Reconstruction was fervently pro-equality for Blacks and other minorities.

'"The Chinese Question.' Columbia- "Hands off, gentleman! American means fair play for all men."' ~ Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1871

'"The Chinese Question.' Columbia- "Hands off, gentleman! American means fair play for all men."' ~ Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1871

Nast’s anti-Irish and anti-Catholic cartoons were political, not ethnic or religious.

Morton Keller, Professor of History at Brandies University addressed Nast’s anti-Irish, anti-Catholic work on the centennial of the cartoonist death:

It may be asked why Nast’s sympathy for blacks, Indians, and Chinese did not extend to the Irish and Catholicism. Mid-nineteenth century liberals—and Nast certainly was one of them—regarded the Catholic church as the fount of anti-modernism and fanaticism. (See fig. 16.) This attitude was reinforced by the commitment of many Irish-Americans to the Democratic party, hostility to abolition, and Negrophobia. The intertwining of his hostility to the Church, the Irish, and the Tweed Ring suggest that for him this was another chapter in the ongoing struggle to preserve the American Union, and Lincoln’s new birth of freedom, from its enemies. In this sense the Confederates, the anti-Reconstruction, pro-Johnson Democrats, and the Tweed Ring and the Catholic church were parts of a collective whole. It stirred in Nast the peak of his distinctive mix of artistic inventiveness and political passion. (See figs. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.)

These drawings spoke to the political and social concerns of the core urban constituency of wartime and postwar Republicanism: Protestant farmers, professional and businessmen, shopkeepers, artisans.

This is Nast’s third year as a nominee for the New Jersey Hall of Fame.  He’s up against tough competition in the “General” category.  If not for the controversy, I would have chosen between Milton Friedman, Joyce Carol Oates or Governor Tom Kean.

But I voted for Nast and hope you do too.  My fellow Irishmen from the Ancient Order of Hibernians should have researched Nast before making a PC stink and acting like Tommy DeSeno with his rants about how Italian-Americans are depicted in the movies.   If the controversy the Hibernians created over Nast puts him over the top of the voting and into The Hall, it will be just comeuppance.

Vote here.

Posted: December 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Todd Chrisite: Governor Is Not Running For President

Governor Chris Christie’s brother Todd told the Star Ledger that the governor has not changed his mind about not running for president in 2012.

Christie’s brother, a well-connected Republican fundraiser, said the governor hasn’t changed his mind.

“I’m sure that he’s not going to run,” Todd Christie said. “If he’s lying to me, I’ll be as stunned as I’ve ever been in my life.”

The on again off again Christie for President buzz reached a fever pitch in the last twenty four hours after former Governor Tom Kean, a Christie mentor since childhood, told the National Review that the governor was seriously considering entering the race.

Posted: September 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

Former Governor Kean Says Christie Seriously Considering Presidential Bid

Former Governor Thomas Kean told the National Review that Governor Chris Christie is seriously considering a run for President.

Former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, who has known Chris Christie since he was a teenager and remains an informal adviser, tells National Review Online that the governor is “very seriously” considering a presidential bid.

“It’s real,” Kean says. “He’s giving it a lot of thought. I think the odds are a lot better now than they were a couple weeks ago.”

Christie remains undecided, Kean says, but is listening closely to pleas from party leaders. The chance for a “Jersey guy” to rise, Kean says, is not something Christie has sought. But now, with the field up for grabs, he is actively mulling a late entry.

“More and more people are talking to him,” Kean says. “He’s getting appeals from major figures around the country.” Kean, for his part, is also encouraging the first-term Republican to jump in. “He is the best speaker I may have ever heard in politics,” he tells me.

“In an era when most people suspect that politicians read polls and then tell you what they think, people don’t believe he’s that kind of a fellow,” Kean says. “He tells you what he thinks, period. We like that around here.”

“A lot of people are not satisfied with the field,” Kean says. “I know he’s getting advice from all sides.” In coming days, “he’s not going to tease anybody.” If circumstances do change — and Kean makes no predictions — “he’s not going to hide it.”

Christie is on a multi-state fund raising tour this week, raising money for the NJ GOP and other state parties.  He is speaking at the Reagan Presidential Libray tonight.

The New York Post is reporting that former First Lady Barbara Bush has reached out to Christie’s wife, Mary Pat , to assure her that the Christie children and family could thrive in the White House.

The Post said that appeals from major figures around the county for  Christie to get into the race stepped up during the GOP debate in Florida last week.

In New Jersey, Christie’s approval ratings are strong, according to a FDU Public Mind poll released this morning. The governor’s approval ratings are positive 54%-36%.  The gender gap has narrowed on Christie who is now favored by women by 46%-42%.

Posted: September 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »