Guadagno Disavows Bennett Mailer

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno says she did not authorize the use of her photo in mailer that John Bennett sent to Monmouth Republican County Committee members seeking support for his candidacy for County Chair.

“I did not authorize the use of my picture,” Guadagno said in an email to a supporter of Bennett’s opponent for County Chair, Christine Hanlon,  which was shared with MMM with the Lt. Governor’s permission, “In fact, I did not even know about the use of this picture unti you brought it to my attention.”

Brain Nelson said that he did not authorize the use of his picture either.

Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, John Bennett, Kim Guadagno, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments »

Bennett’s Baggage: The Monmouth GOP Chair’s Race, Part 2

Ultimately the job of a county chairman is to win elections.

Unfortunately, one of the candidates for Monmouth County GOP Chair is blinded to the fact that that his record will become a major issue in the next two general elections, should his revisionist history campaign successfully result in his chairmanship.

If John Bennett and his supporters think The Asbury Park Press and the new Monmouth County Democratic Chairman, whoever that ends up being, are not rooting for Bennett to be the next Monmouth GOP Chair, they truly have their heads in the sand.

Bennett has been promoting his early legislative career and electoral successes as a reason to elect him chairman as if the unceremonious and embarrassing end to his legislative career didn’t happen.  He even implored MMM not to write about the damage he has done, not just to Monmouth County, the Monmouth GOP, but to the entire State of New Jersey and the New Jersey GOP.  “Don’t write bad things about me!” Bennett exclaimed when we met for almost three hours early last month.  We hoped he would realize the obvious himself and that we wouldn’t have to write the truth about him.   Unfortunately that has turned out not to be the case. 

Just as he did in 2003 when he ignored then County Chairman Bill Dowd’s call to abandon his unwinnable reelection bid, Bennett has his head in the sand now.  Just as he didn’t see that his continued candidacy in 2003 would not only cost Republicans the 12th legislative district but control of the State Senate where he was Co-President, Bennett doesn’t see now that his being Chairman could very well cost the Monmouth GOP control of the county government which we have worked so hard to win back over the last four years.

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Posted: June 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Monmouth GOP Chair’s Race, Part 1: The way the game is played

Ultimately the job of a county chair is to win elections.

Unfortunately, much of the current campaign for Monmouth GOP chair has been focused on the spoils of victory—which lawyer would be a hungrier pig if he/she got elected.

That issue is a red herring.

John Bennett’s pledge that he, his daughter and his firm will forsake doing legal work for the county should he be elected chair would be impressive if he also pledged to forsake municipal work and pledged not to trade legal work at the county and municipal levels with chairs from other counties.  That will never happen.

Bennett has demonstrated over his thirty year career that he is a master of working the system for the benefit of himself and his family.  There can be no  little doubt that before he pledged that he and his daughter would not do legal work for Monmouth County should he be elected GOP County Chair, that he already had made a deal to replace and expand those billable hours and retainers in other counties.  To put it bluntly, if Bennett becomes Chair, his income will increase from Ocean County and Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore’s income will increase in Monmouth County. 

“That’s the way the game is played,” one Bennett supporter recently told MMM in defense of the obvious.

John Bennett’s career is a case study in “the way the game is played.”   From the high five figure state pension, plus lifetime health benefits, he is collecting from tacking together part time jobs, a practice that is no longer legal, to the jobs he has secured for himself and his family members on the state, county and municipal levels, to making the government work that his opponent in the Chair’s race, Christine Hanlon and her partners, do an issue in this race, Bennett is the maestro.

Talk to me about the potential conflicts of interest of your opponent after you’ve pledged to give up all government work for yourself and your family.  Short of that, please stop insulting our intelligence.

Posted: June 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments »

Western Monmouth Mayors Endorse Bennett for Monmouth GOP Chair

Freehold Township Mayor Anthony J. Ammiano, Colts Neck Mayor Jarrett R. Engel, Howell Mayor Robert F. Walsh, Farmingdale Mayor John P. Morgan, and Manalapan Mayor Susan Cohen, have sent the following letter to the County Committee members from their communities:

We are writing to request your support for Senator John Bennett as our next Republican County Chair on Tuesday, June 12th at 7:00 P.M. at the Colts Neck High School.

            Senator Bennett was born and raised in Western Monmouth County and graduated from Freehold High School.  During his twenty-four years in the legislature he represented our interests and remains well aware of our concerns.

            Dedicated to the acquisition of Open Space, Senator Bennett wrote the legislation which allows counties and municipalities to dedicate a portion of their tax revenue to acquire Open Space with voter approval.  Included among his many accomplishments in our area, is the toxic waste site clean-up in the Townships of Howell and Freehold, and his effective block of the proposed incinerator in the Township of Millstone. 

            Senator Bennett is a leader: he has served our State, our County, and our municipalities well.  His leadership roles in the State Legislature, including his tenure as Senate President, provide him with the experience and skill set necessary to unite factions within our Party, raise necessary funding, and both recruit and get Republican candidates elected.  

            We have a great opportunity to get someone like Senator Bennett who is willing to serve as our County Chair and we ask you to join us in supporting him as our next Chairman.  We need a strong turn out from Western Monmouth to make this happen and urge you to show up and vote for Senator Bennett.  Thank you for your attention and support.

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Current, Former Legislators Endorse Bennett for Monmouth GOP Chair

Senator Robert Singer, Assemblymen Sean Kean and Declan O’Scanlon as well as former Assembly members Clare Farragher, Michael Arnone, and Marie Muhler (also former Surrogate) have endorsed John Bennett for Monmouth GOP Chair in a letter to County Committee members that reads as follows:

We are writing to request your support for our friend, former colleague and State Committeeman Senator John Bennett as the next Chair of the Monmouth County Republican Party.

Senator Bennett, as a member of the Monmouth County legislative delegation for over twenty-four years, has always put the interests of the people of Monmouth County first.  Whether it was improving the environment, cutting taxes, bringing home State dollars or fighting for our seniors, John was in the forefront and got the job done.

Besides his excellent legislative record, Senator Bennett has time and time again demonstrated his leadership ability.  For years he served as Chairman of the Assembly Environmental Committee and championed some of the most effective environmental legislation in the history of our State.

Upon being elected to the New Jersey Senate, Senator Bennett was soon selected by his legislative colleagues to become he Deputy Majority Leader and thereafter the Senate Majority Leader.  In January 2002, Senator Bennett became the Senate President and was sworn in on the same day as Acting Governor of New Jersey.

Senator Bennett has proposed a Ten-Point-Plan for this platform as our Chairman which includes: returning the County Convention System for candidate selection, developing and implementing a set of by-laws within sixty (60) days and establishing a Board of Directors with regional representatives.  He has also pledged that his law firm will not accept any County work or any County job during his tenure as County Chair to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.

Senator Bennett is a proven leader who unites factions and can maitain our party as a strong and inclusive one,  his experience and leadership will serve our Coutny origanization well and we urge you to supoort him at the convention on Tuesday June 12 at 7:00 P.M. at the Colts Neck High School for Monmouth Republican Chair.


Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Curley: “None of the above!”

Freeholder Director John Curley told MMM that he does not support either former Senate President John Bennett or State Committeewoman Christine Hanlon becoming the next chair of the Monmouth County Republican Committee.

“If I had a vote I wouldn’t vote for either one of them,” said Curley, “The chair should not be someone who is hussling for government contracts.”

Posted: May 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments »

Clifton will endorse Hanlon for Monmouth County GOP Chair

Assemblyman Rob Clifton will join Senators Joe Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck, and his Assembly colleagues Mary Pat Angelini, Amy Handlin, and Dave Rible in endorsing GOP State Committeewoman Christine Hanlon as the next Monmouth County GOP Chair.

A formal announcement is expected later today or tomorrow.

Clifton’s endorsement will give Hanlon the formal support of 6 of the 9 member of the Monmouth County Legislative Delegation.  Assembly members Sean Kean, Declan O’Scanlon and Caroline Casagrande have yet to express a preference for either Hanlon or her opponent, former Senate President John Bennett.

Posted: May 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Bennett Announces For Monmouth GOP Chair

John Bennett

Former Senate President John O. Bennett, III announced his candidacy for Monmouth County Republican Chairman this afternoon.   The following letter is being mailed to members of the Monmouth County Republican Committee:

I wanted to reach all of you as soon as possible after the Governor’s nomination of our County Chair, Joseph Oxley, to the Monmouth County Superior Court.  Joe has served our County and Party well and will be an excellent Judge.  As a result of his appointment, a new County Chair will need to be elected at our County Reorganization Meeting to be held on June 12, 2012, at the Colts Neck High School at 7:00 pm.  I would like you to support me to fill that vacancy.  I would consider the position of County Chair to be both an honor and a capstone to a very fulfilling political career. 

I have been in public service for over 30 years, and I believe my extensive experience and background will serve the County Committee well.  You will find a short resume enclosed that highlights my political life from Chairman of the Young Republicans of Monmouth County to my current position of Treasurer of the New Jersey Republican State Committee.

A few points that I wanted to share with you which I feel are important for our party.

            1)         I believe in the County Convention System for candidate selection.

            2)         Every effort should be made to fill as many county Committee slots as possible.

3)         A working set of bylaws will be established within 60 days of my becoming County Chair.

4)         I pledge to forego all County legal work during my term as chair.  My daughter, Meghan Bennett Clark, Esq., is currently the First Assistant County Counsel, and  has agreed to resign immediately upon my selection as Chair.

5)         Neither I, nor any member of my law firm, will take any paid appointments from the County during my term as Chair.  The perception of any conflicts must be removed, and no County chair should be employed by the County in any capacity.

6)         There needs to be improved communication between the County party and the local parties.  I will establish a working Board of Directors from throughout the County to report back to the Chair regarding issues and events and  regular meetings will  be held.

7)         Headquarters in Freehold should be open and available to all Monmouth County GOP groups.

8)         Our  website, www.monmouthrepublican.org, must be updated and kept current.

9)         Every effort should be made to value differences of opinion and have internal disputes resolved privately.

10)       Last, but certainly not least,  the County Party must refocus on raising money.  During my tenure as Senate President I raised more money than any other Republican in that time except for a sitting Governor.  The Chair needs to participate, while also abiding by all pay-to-play rules and negotiations.

I am asking for your support as County Chair in order to implement this platform and keep Monmouth County strong and Republican.  Together we can make a difference. 

                                    Very truly yours,

                                    John O. Bennett                                 

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , | 21 Comments »


Christine Hanlon today released a list of municipal chairs and party leaders supporting her in the upcoming election for Monmouth County Republican Chair. The chairs who have pledged their support to Hanlon represent 394 county committee members, more than half of the 768 total committee membership.

 “I am grateful and humbled by the support I’ve gotten from so many people across Monmouth County since I announced my candidacy for Monmouth County Republican Chair,” said Hanlon. “The leadership of our party understands that we must keep moving forward and know that I am the choice to keep our party stable and to lead us into the future. People are happy at the direction the party has taken in the last four years and they want to keep moving forward. We’ve improved our fundraising efforts, expanded our grassroots network and volunteer support, improved communication with our base and most importantly, won elections. I’ve been involved in all of those efforts, and if I’m elected Chair, people know those efforts will continue.”

The list of Municipal Chairs and party leaders supporting Hanlon include:

MonmouthCounty Republican Committee Vice-Chair Diane Gooch

Aberdeen Chair- Sheilah Balavram

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Posted: May 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , | 16 Comments »

Strange Bedfellows

Unverified rumors fresh off the grapevine point to previously unthinkable alliances forming in the Monmouth GOP chair’s race.

The Howell GOP appears to be united behind John Bennett for Chairman.  John Costigan, Bob Walsh, Joe DiBella and Sue Veitengruber are all lining up behind the former Acting Governor, according to a Bennett supporter who added that Western Monmouth is “locked up” for Bennett.


Posted: May 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »