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Category: Jersey Shore

Young GOP candidates build coalitions in blue towns

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

brekke voters

Rachael Brekke (center) enjoys a meal and a chat with Voorhees senior voters.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Save Jerseyans, but I’ve tried to highlight examples of Republicans doing good things in tough spots this cycle. Fresh sprouts breaking through the concrete if you get my meaning.

For starters, I wrote about the NJ GOP’s remarkably diverse 2014 House candidates; we also visited South Plainfield, a Middlesex County community where Republicans continue to produce majorities in the face of a large voter registration disadvantage.

Next up: meet millennial friends of mine running hard (and well) in blue Garden State municipalities.


What’s up with the Taj Mahal?

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

Save Jersyans, on Friday you read how the Press of Atlantic City reported that the Taj Mahal casino was now expected to stay open. I was happy, as that meant 2,800 jobs would not be lost.

Unfortunately, since that report, there has been a flurry of news about the Taj.

A quick recap:


VIDEO: Chris Brown Does AC with Save Jersey

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

chris brown interviewYes, one of the most hotly contested midterm elections in recent memory is only days away, Save Jerseyans, and our New Jersey Election 2014 coverage remains unmatched! Without question. And it’ll remain our focus over the next week-and-a-half. Count on it.

But this is the Save Jersey blog after all, so retaking Trenton in the name of the taxpayer will always remains our #1 focus. With that goal in mind, I dropped in on our friend 2nd term Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-2) last Friday to discuss, among other topics, his personal and progressional background (for the benefit of those of you tuning in for the first time), recent developments in Atlantic City which lies at the heart of his district, and the perennial battle against tax/spend/borrow insanity in Trenton.

Keep an eye on this guy! Not just because he’s a central figure in the next cycle’s political drama; he’s got a the intelligence, passion and communication skills to go places in N.J. politics…

Watch below the fold:


Good News for 2,800 Taj Mahal Employees

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

taj mahalGood news, Save Jerseyans:

As I was putting on the finishing touches of my ideas to keep the Taj Mahal open, The Press of Atlantic City reported that the Taj Mahal, which was in danger of closing on November 13, has no immediate plans to announce its closure (click here to read my last post if you’re not all caught up).


WATCH: Ocean County NJ-03 Debate

By Staff | The Save Jersey Blog

Republican candidate Tom MacArthur and Democrat Aimee Belgard, and Democratic-Republican Party of New Jersey candidate Fred Lavergne will face off in the next NJ-03 debate of 2014 tonight at Ocean County College in Toms River, Save Jerseyans.

Belgard badly needs a win after a rough 2nd debate and souring polls.

Radio station WOBM 1160 & 1310 AM is hosting the event which begins at 7 p.m. on Friday night. You can also watch below the fold via a YouTube livestream (click here if it’s not working) and tweet questions to @debateOCC:


Christie Signs Sport Wagering Legalization Bill

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

meadowlandsracetrackTaking another step beyond his September administrative action to stop prosecuting sports wagering in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation on Friday (S-2460) that removes prohibitions blocking sports wagering in the Garden State.

“As I’ve said all along, I am a strong proponent of legalized sports wagering in New Jersey,” said Gov. Christie in a press release. “But given earlier decisions by federal courts, it was critical that we follow a correct and appropriate path to curtail new court challenges and expensive litigation. I believe we have found that path in this bipartisan legislative effort.” 


Forget I Ever Said ‘Thank You’ Vince Mazzeo

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

Vincent Mazzeo

Vincent Mazzeo

Save Jerseyans, you may remember back in July, when I was one of the first to point out that the GOP was working to save Atlantic City while Democrats appeared to be ready to declare it dead, that I also noted that the sole Democratic exception was District 2’s Vince Mazzeo.

At the time, Mazzeo came out against North Jersey casinos, and I gave him credit for that. I even thanked him.

But now, I feel I must retract those sentiments.


Wheels Come Off Monmouth Dem Insurgency

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

monmouth freeholder mailerThis should have been a competitive year for the Monmouth County Democrats. And it still might be for all we know, Save Jerseyans, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way if you’ve been following along.

Let’s back up for a moment. For some time now, we’ve been reading about the efforts of the baby-faced Democrat county chairman, Vin Gopal, to turn the Garden State’s northernmost Shore county blue. The numbers superficially invite his ambition. Not unlike Somerset and Atlantic Counties, Monmouth Republicans continue to generate victories in the face of significant Democrat voting registration advantages (roughly 5,000 votes at present).

Democrats controlled the freeholder board as recently as 2009 and held seats on it until this year’s incumbents, Lillian Burry and Gary Rich, swept’em out back in 2011.

Republicans have been rolling ever since. Freeholders Arnone and DiMaso coasted to re-election in 2013 with a 20-point plus victory margin. Even in 2012, an “Obama year” where the President carried the Garden State by almost 20-points, Republican Freeholder John Curley won in Monmouth by just over 10 points and the President fell short countywide by almost 15.


What’s Going on With the Taj Mahal?

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

taj mahalThe Taj Mahal is on the verge of closing, Save Jerseyans, and 2,800 people may lose their jobs. But unlike the other casino closings this year, where the main focus was on trying to find buyers for the properties, the main focus on the Taj is trying to save it, as management and other stakeholders are actively trying to do.

Which makes this a much more complicated process than the other closings. Which means it can also be easy to lose track of what is happening with this process and why. This is a volatile process with no easy answers to help solve it. Thousands of livelihoods are at stake. 

So let’s go over the facts of what is happening with the Taj Mahal, to the best of my knowledge, so we will all be on the same page later when we analyze this situation:


Belgard (or NJDSC) Turns to Craigslist for Volunteers?

 By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

People go on Craigslist to find futons,Save Jerseyans, not political campaign volunteers. Unless you’re NJ-03 Democrat nominee Aimee Belgard? Or whoever posted this solicitation on Craiglist on Thursday evening?

belgard canvass notice

The best part? Hours later, someone changed the ad to something non-Belgard specific, and re-associated the solicitation with the state party, not her campaign:


Bringing Jobs to South Jersey: 20 Ways to Improve the Boardwalk Empire

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

atlantic cityAtlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties have, historically, had the highest unemployment in the state. And now things are likely going from bad to worse with casino closures in Atlantic City. That’s the situation on paper. On the ground, living here, it pains me, every time, when I hear people my age and younger refer to this area as “a black hole”, and whose plans for a prosperous future start with them moving out of the area. All this means that in South Jersey, we need to figure out how to bring jobs back to the area. By writing a series of posts full of concrete, actionable ideas for job growth in South Jersey, it is my hope to inspire and influence key decision makers, in both the public and private sectors, to turn this “black hole” into a shining beacon.

This is part seven of my “Bringing Jobs to South Jersey” series, Save Jerseyans. Read parts one (cutting taxes and red tape), two (natural gas), three (wind power unit production), four (aquaculture), five (veteran care reform) and six (cruise ship port) if you haven’t already.

Save Jerseyans, while doing my series on job creation, I’m sure you were all wondering why I haven’t mentioned the 800lb gorilla in the room: Atlantic City.

And you don’t take on an 800lb gorilla on a whim; you need a plan. I laid out a few big ideas to get things rolling back in July. The other night, I decided to take a deeper and much more comprehensive look at the problem and flesh some things out:


REPORT: Brookfield Wins Revel for $110M

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The Revel casino, slated to close at the end of the 2014 summer season.

Heads up:

Reuters reported on Wednesday morning that Brookfield Asset Management had won the auction for the Revel Casino with a $110 million, Save Jerseyans, paying a fraction of the $2.4 billion originally invested in the resort’s development and construction but offering some hope for a future for New Jersey’s most economically-challenged region.

Brookfield, a Canadian company with nearly $20 billion in annual revenues and an estimate $180+ billion in assets, owns the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The new owners reportedly plan to reopen Revel as a casino…


AG Moves to Avoid Another Shaneen Allen Debacle

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

AG Hoffman's directive will help hundreds - or more - law-abiding citizens.

AG Hoffman’s directive will help hundreds – or more – law-abiding citizens.

Philadelphia mom Shaneen Allen will participate in the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) and avoid jail time, Save Jerseyans, which is absolutely the right result for these facts given the state of the law. 

It’s a small but important victory for Second Amendment advocates in the Garden State; what transpired as a result of the case, however, is even more significant.

You can read the New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman’s 9/24 “clarification” directive here.

I’ll make it brief, but this is big…


Guardian Gets It. Why Can’t Trenton?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Don Guardian (R-Atlantic City)

Don Guardian (R-Atlantic City)

I spend a lot of time – more than I’d like to spend, truth be told – complaining about Trenton’s dominant tax, spend and borrow culture, Save Jerseyans. ‘Robin Hood budgeting‘ is how I’ve explained it in the past. But someone needs to say something, right? Factor in the NJ Supreme Court’s interference in education funding and you’ve identified MOST of what’s wrong with our state sitting on the table right in front of you.

Few under the State House’s dome seems to understand. Or care. Probably a little bit of both in most cases.

Others have simply given up.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian seems to get it.