Monmouth Dems Protest Hot Mess Chicken Emoji, Remain Silent On Hateful Rhetoric Of Their Supporters

LGBT activist Sue Fulton, a former Monmouth County freeholder candidate outside Senator Jennifer Beck’s office. Middletown Committee candidate Tricia Maguire looks on.

Monmouth County Democrats, led by former freeholder candidate Sue Fulton, Middletown committeewoman candidate Tricia Maguire, Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich and Councilwoman Kathy Horgan took the the streets of Red Bank on Saturday to protest Ocean Township Deputy Mayor Rob Acerra’s alleged use of a hot mess chicken emoji on the campaign facebook page of LD 11 Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey.

Acerra is one of the Republicans running against Houghtaling and Downey, along with Red Bank Councilman Michael Whelan. The protest took place outside Senator Jennifer Beck’s legislative office on Monmouth Street.

Houghtaling and Downey, who would rather their reelection campaign be about facebook emojis than their records in the Assembly as special interest puppets, both shared photos of the protesters holding handmade signs and rubber chickens on their personal facebook pages.

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Posted: August 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 Elections, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Red Bank Republican Council Candidates Blast Dems on Taxes

Red Bank “Tax Queen” Admits She Will Continue to Raise Taxes 

Hanlon and O’Bosky Colwell Pledge to Step Down If They Don’t Deliver

14369864_184385955319344_4016470552767265332_nRED BANK, NJ – The slide into gutter politics and half-truths took a surprising turn from the Red Bank Democrats recently, as they chose to highlight Red Bank’s property taxes in a recent statement.

In an attempt to distance themselves from their party’s failed record on municipal taxes and spending, Democrats Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom stated, “It is very clear that the local Republicans are trying to distract from their failed record of increasing taxes as soon as they took the majority this past January.”

Horgan and Yngstrom’s statement failed to include the fact that Kathy Horgan voted for the recent budget, and that municipal spending has exploded during Kathy Horgan’s tenure on Council – skyrocketing from a $12 million annual budget to a $22 million annual budget. 

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Posted: November 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Press Release, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Zipprich denies sexual innuendo in his tweet about Pence’s prayer

Red Bank Councilman and local Democrat Chairman Ed Zipprich denied that his tweet during the Vice Presidential debate contained sexual innuendo.


Zipprich did not return MMM’s call for comment. In a statement to RedBankGreen he said,

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Posted: November 3rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Ed Zipprich, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Red Bank Republicans Pledge To Deliver Reforms Or Step Down


Kelli O’Bosky Colwell and Brian Hanlon

The Republican candidates for Borough Council in Red Bank today unveiled a plan of actions they pledge to take during their first six months in office and promised not to seek reelection if they failed to deliver on their promises.

Brian Hanlon and Kelli O’Bosky Colwell are both running for public office for the first time.  If they win, the Red Bank GOP will have a 5-1 super majority on the council and little justification not to deliver on its promises.  Hanlon and O’Bosky are seeking to unseat incumbents Kathy Horgan, a Democrat and Cindy Burnham, a Republican turned Independent after she was denied renomination by the GOP. Democrat newcomer Erik Yngstrom is also competing for one of the two seats on the Council that voters will choose on November 8.

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Posted: October 24th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Elections, Monmouth County News, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Red Bank Councilman calls for Zoning Board member’s resignation

Red Bank Councilman Mark Taylor was sworn into office by Sen Jennifer Beck in January

Red Bank Councilman Mark Taylor was sworn into office by Sen Jennifer Beck in January

Red Bank Councilman Mark Taylor today called for the resignation of Erik Yngstrom, a candidate for Borough Council, from the community’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Yngstrom spoke against the Mayor and Council’s action regarding a proposed development previously rejected by the Zoning Board at a council meeting on Wednesday night, according to a report on RedBankGreen.  Yngstrom said the council’s introduction of an ordinance authorizing the redevelopment of 55 West Front Street, “feels a little fishy to me,” according to RBG.  Taylor said that Yngstrom also said,  “someone must know someone” and “What good is the zoning board, if you can just go to the Council to override our decision?”

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Posted: September 30th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Red Bank Councilman calls for Zoning Board member’s resignation

Red Bank Republicans Hold On To Victory after Provisional Ballots Counted

6 RED BANK GOP (TY 2015)With the provisional ballots counted this morning by the Board of Elections in Freehold, Republican Council Candidate Michael Whelan has held on to his victory over incumbent Democratic Councilman Michael DuPont.

Whelan was leading DuPont by 4 votes on the voting machine ballots, 963-959. DuPont picked up 5 votes from provisional ballots.  Whelan picked up 4 votes.

Whelan’s running mate, Mark Taylor was the lead vote getter on the machine count with 1,029 votes.  Taylor picked up 4 votes from provisional ballots.

DuPonts running mate, School Board Member Michael Ballard had 925 machine ballot votes.  Ballard picked up 9 votes from provisional ballots.

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Posted: November 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Elections, Monmouth County News, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Democrats and Republicans split in Red Bank

With 6 of 9 voting districts reporting in Red Bank, Republican Cindy Burnham and incumbent Democrat Kathy Horgan appear to be headed to victory.

Republican candidate Sean DiSomma said that his count of all districts has him losing to Horgan by 80 votes, and Burnham winning.  Incumbent Councilwoman Sharon Lee appears to be losing.

Posted: November 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Red Bank | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Scudiery: Democratic County Candidates Should Resign

Former Monmouth Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery

Former Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery told MMM that he thinks his party’s nominees for freeholder and county surrogate should resign their candidacies and let the new Chairman, Vin Gopal, and the Democratic County Committee select new candidates.

The freeholder candidates, former Hazlet Mayor Kevin Lavan and former State Trooper William Shea, along with surrogate nominee Michael Steinhorn, all supported Gopal’s opponent, Marlboro Council President Frank LaRocca, in last month’s Chairman’s race.  Gopal won the chairmanship with over 70% of the vote, over 80% excluding Marlboro.

“I don’t know why they did that (took a position in the Chairman’s race),” said Scudiery, “LaRocca must have promised them something.  I don’t see how the rank and file supports them now.”

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Posted: July 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »


In “vote for two”  races, like Assembly, Council or Township Committee races, the percentages for each candidate are reported by the total of votes cast in that race, not by the number of voters who voted.

For example, in the 11th district Assembly race, Caroline Casagrande was the top vote getter with 18,679 votes.  There were 69,803 Assembly votes cast and 3799 under votes.  “Under votes” are voters who did not cast two votes in the Assembly race.  It could be voters who didn’t vote for Assembly at all or voters who cast one vote rather than two.   The County Clerk’s website reports that Casagrande received 26.76% of the vote.

The math is confusing. 

Fortunately we can look to the “vote for one” races, like the Senate races, to get a clearer picture of what happened.

In the 11th district Senate race there were 35,620 votes cast and 1240 under votes.  From this we can conclude that 36,860 people came out to vote in the district.  Jennifer Beck won handily with 56.59% of the Senate votes cast.  She earned the vote of 54.68% of the voters who came out.

Thus, Casagrande earned 50.68% of the votes of all voters who came out in the district, including those who skipped voting  in the Assembly race or only voted for one Assembly candidate rather than two.  Mary Pat Angelini got 49.97%, Vin Gopal got 41.60%, Kathy Horgan got 40.89% and Dan Jacobson received 6.35%.

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Showdown at the Press editorial board!

By Dan Jacobson, also published in the October 13th edition of the triCityNews

So I’m running as an Independent for the state Assembly. And there’s been one campaign appearance I’ve been anticipating above all others.

The interview with the Asbury Park Press editorial board for their endorsement!

Yup, for almost 13 years I’ve been trashing that paper for their hypocrisy, moving out of Asbury Park…you name it. So fireworks were expected.

The interview took place earlier this week. All the candidates for both state Assembly and Senate in the 11th District were there.

I don’t know who threw the first projectile. Maybe it was me. Maybe it wasn’t.

But I can swear to this: It wasn’t me who threw the chair. Fortunately, Senator Jennifer Beck is one hell of an athlete. She dove out of her seat like a third baseman snagging a line-drive to deflect the thing before it went crashing through the floor-to-ceiling window on one side of the conference room.

OK, OK. None of that happened. Dammit! You bet I’m disappointed it didn’t go down that way. I always envisioned the flying chair, the shouting. Denying I threw the first projectile. It would have been great.

But it was not to be.  Actually, it was quite a sedate affair. The seven candidates for Senate and Assembly only faced Press Editorial Page Editor Randy Bergmann and editorial writer Michael Riley. That’s it. Veteran reporter Larry Higgs was there to report on the discussions.

Bergmann is a surprisingly low-key guy, given how his paper’s editorials regularly infuriate me for their hypocrisy. Yeah, he was gracious. Big deal. I wanted fireworks.

As for Michael Riley, I know I blasted the shit out of him about ten years ago for some column he wrote. I’m sure he forgot about it – hell, I can’t even remember it at this point. So he was quite friendly. Screw him!

In addition, former Press food critic Andrea Clurfeld is now an editorial writer and board member. I’d been brutal with her in the past – for justifiable reason – about her food reviews. Never met her. Would have loved it. But she wasn’t there! I should have walked out right then.

Adding to the sedation is that the other candidates themselves are all very gracious and intelligent people. In fact, I like my opponents. It’s the whole Goddamn system that’s pissing me off. That’s what I’m running against.

(I face Republican Assembly incumbents Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande, as well as Democrats Vin Gopal and Kathy Horgan. There are two Assembly seats. Beck is running in a separate race for Senate against Democrat Ray Santiago.)

I did have one interesting observation at the editorial board, however. Way back in 1986, I worked as a reporter for about a year at the now defunct Daily Register in Shrewsbury. And I’ve always loved old newspapers and newsrooms – like the one in the old Asbury Park Press building in downtown Asbury.

Journalists have always been characters. The old newsrooms and buildings matched them perfectly. So I mean this as a compliment: Looking across the table at journalistic veterans Bergmann, Riley and Higgs reminded me of those old-time newspaper characters. There aren’t enough around like them anymore. Hypocritical editorials or not.

And as much as I welcome the demise of the Asbury Park Press – because they’ve been such a destructive force in our region – there was something poignant about seeing these three guys in that quiet and sullen building. It’s a metaphor for the whole newspaper industry.

That Asbury Park Press newsroom was opened back in 1985 when they moved out to Neptune. That was the advent of a long-ago era, just as newspapers were transitioning into soulless corporate cultures at full gale. The ensuing corporate conformity, and of course the internet, would decimate journalism as we know it – and the excitement and character that came with it.

I thought back to the first editorial board meeting I attended in that same conference room. It was 26 years ago – when the building had just opened. It was my first run for the Assembly at the age of 23. (I lost that one, but won the seat four years later and served a term.)

Back then, the paper was locally owned by Don Lass and Jules Plangere, who both ran the place. Present at that long ago meeting in 1985 were the four candidates for the two Assembly seats, as well as a room full of editors. Must have been about seven other people there, including several senior editors. Plus the reporter specifically assigned to the race. (That practice of assigning a reporter to each legislative race went by the wayside years ago.)

I remember tons of energy in that brand new state-of-the-art newsroom. And a brisk and confident manner of all the editors in the editorial board meeting. They knew they were a force in the community, and they didn’t have to answer to anyone else. The future was exceptionally bright in their gleaming new suburban headquarters 26 years ago – they had moved far beyond their beautiful little building in downtown Asbury Park, the then struggling city of their birth they had just abandoned.

Of course, the Plangere and Lass families sold the paper to the Gannett corporation at the right time well over a decade ago. Today, Gannett papers are sucking wind, collapsing as advertising revenue and circulation plummet. The Asbury Park Press is no exception. It’s a joke.

And those at the Press – including the three journalistic vets sitting across from me earlier this week – answer to much higher, and much more remote, authority. Specifically, Gannett corporate headquarters down in Virginia. Who in turn answer to Wall Street analysts and the stock market.

That’s a big difference from answering to the two owners who had their offices down the hall. When slow economic times came, those owners could hold off on cutting people. They had no fear of Wall Street analysts and earnings reports. They owned the place. And they could invest in the journalism however they wished. It was their money.

In the end, I still hate the Asbury Park Press. But I’m more than ever convinced that it’s the corporate takeover of journalism that’s responsible. Gannett doesn’t give a shit about those three guys who sat across from me in the editorial board meeting – they’d lay them off in an instant if that’s what it took to satisfy Wall Street. That’s the system, man.

At this point, working for the Press is like working for a pharmaceutical or insurance company. And Bergmann, Riley and Higgs are definitely not corporate cogs by nature. They’re clearly journalists. Caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t know how they do it. I couldn’t. 

In the end, I’ve got to say that Press writer Larry Higgs was more than fair with the story. I actually saw the words “triCityNews” on the front page of the Asbury Park Press for the first time ever. They had to say what I did. That was fun.

Now if they’d just endorse me. Not that it makes that much difference with the voters. Who cares what the Press says?

It only makes a difference to me – I’d have a ball with the headline in this paper! And I could have a field day mocking myself in the process. Hey, I’m not exempt from taking hits in this paper – even from myself.

Don’t expect an endorsement though. That’s asking way too much of these hypocrites.

(The 11th District where I’m running includes: Asbury Park, Long Branch, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Neptune, Neptune City, Interlaken, Deal, Allenhurst, Loch Arbour, West Long Branch, Eatontown, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, Colts Neck, Freehold Township and Freehold Borough.)

Posted: October 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »