Over the objections of citizens who urged them not to restrict their 1st Amendment Rights and to avoid expensive litigation, the Marlboro Township Council unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits the placement of temporary political signs on public property and rights of way, limits the time before and after an election that signs may appear on private property and rights of way adjacent to private property, and regulates the size of signs and the distance they may appear from each other on private property.
At the request of Councilman Frank LaRocca, the ordinance was amended to eliminate the imposition of a 90 day jail sentence for violating the ordinance. Candidates, Committee Chairmen, Campaign Treasurers and private property owners now face fines ranging from $100 to $1250 if signs appear more than 45 days before an election, 7 days after an election or if signs promoting the same candidate are posted within 50 feet of each other on the same property. The total square footage of all political signs on any one tax lot must not exceed 16 square feet.
Matthew Rasmussen, an attorney representing the Marlboro Republican Committee told the council during the public hearing prior to the adoption of the ordinance that it contained numerous “constitutional infirmities, some of them fatal” and urged the governing body to defeat the ordinance in order to avoid expensive litigation that they would certainly lose.
Yard signs are often as controversial as the politicians that they advertise, Save Jerseyans. Yes, they’re one of the clearest physical manifestations of free speech, but many residents also view them as indistinguishable from litter when they’re left to clutter intersections and bypass ramps for months after the voting ceases.
Is one Jersey Shore town going too far in seeking to control yard signs? To the point of limiting the right of opposition groups to oppose the majority party?
That’s the contention of some Marlboro Republicans who oppose an ordinance slated for consideration by town council on July 17th. The comprehensive amendment to the municipal code reportedly backed by oft-mentioned higher office aspirant and occasional Christiecrat Jon Hornik (I’ve re-posted it below for reading at your leisure) heavily regulates the placement of “temporary” yard signs ahead of elections (e.g. Christie/Guadagno 2013), and some detractors say a broad reading could impact free speech in the borough by design.
It may be tourist season, Save Jerseyans, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also an election year at the Jersey Shore. Still, it’s no small feat to draw a large crowd for a political rally at any Shore point between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
They pulled it off. Over 200 Monmouth County elected officials, County Committee members, and Party supporters were on hand at the Monmouth County Republican Party Headquarters on Saturday morning for a General Election kickoff rally. It was the first such large-scale event in Monmouth since Sheriff Shaun Golden was elected as the new Chairman on June 10th.
Freeholders Director and Deputy-Director Lillian Burry and Gary Rich (respectively), this year’s Freeholder Candidates, each gave speeches touting their accomplishments: specifically, passing four consecutive budgets with a 0% tax increase, all while maintaining the county’s enviable AAA bond rating.
There are runoff municipal elections today in Bayonne, Newark and Trenton on Tuesday, Save Jerseyans, but no matter who ultimately prevails, the end result will be the same:
The election of a liberal Democrat. Whoopie!
So whatever. Republican leaders in Monmouth County are voting today; it’s a more interesting contest to me in terms of actual statewide implications given the importance of Monmouth as a lean-right swing county, and this race happens to be a county committee brawl for the chairmanship between the incumbent – former Governor John Bennett – and his challenger Sheriff Shaun Golden.
There’s also plenty of coin on the line as proxies affiliated with large law firms advocate for their preferred champion. High stakes inevitably translates to extremely messy and also somewhat unpredictable due to the fog of war…
The Monmouth GOP county committee will bring a bloody battle for its chairmanship to a conclusion on Tuesday, Save Jerseyans, and either John Bennett or Shaun Golden will be left standing. It’s a post-primary treat for political junkies in an ordinarily sluggish time of the year for political news.
Almost everyone is choosing sides. A notable exception? The brand new county Young Republican leadership that assumed office on Friday afternoon.
The new chairman, Bryan Kuderna, is a young CFP residing in Schrewsbury who currently serves as the chairman of the board of the Red Bank YMCA. The other officers are no less engaged in the public arena including Matt Woolley who works as a legislative aide Monmouth Asm. Sean Kean…
Could New Jerseyans soon see toll booths on I-287 or I-295?
Quite possibly. The Obama Administration’s so-called ‘Grow America Act’ would, if implemented, eliminate “the prohibition on tolling existing free Interstate highways, subject to the approval of the Secretary, for purposes of reconstruction.” With New Jersey facing a $600+ million project deficit for FY 2016, Save Jerseyans, it’s easy to imagine that the state might seize upon this newly-discovered flexibility to bring in more cash.
GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rich Pezzullo dedicated time during his final spring to primary day to attempt to bring attention to the issue, hosting a press conference at the Monmouth Service Area at Garden State Parkway Milepost 100 situated between exits 98 and 100 as Shore-bound motorists flew by…
Any worthwhile county committee chairmanship contest revolves around winning the support of county committee members, Save Jerseyans. Hamlet-by-hamlet, door-to-door, 24/7. It’s retail politics at its purest level (even if the conversations themselves aren’t always substantively holy).
Sources in Monmouth County tell me that it’s going to be close - much closer than initially expected - when incumbent Chairman John Bennett and Sheriff Shaun Golden clash on June 10th to decide who will lead the organization forward in this year’s only competitive GOP chair battle.
New Jersey’s only competitive county party chairman’s challenge of 2014 is taking another dramatic turn this afternoon, Save Jerseyans, as both incumbent Chairman John O. Bennett and challenger Sheriff Shaun Golden trade correspondence and haggle over ethical precedents.
The latest? Bennett, a former governor and state legislator who isn’t backing down in the face of a robust insurgency, wants to debate one-on-one and put his open-ended proposal in his latest letter to Golden:
“Speaking of the issues, I believe the Party is best served by hearing directly from the candidates. I challenge you to a debate to which all County Committee members will be invited to. You name the time, and you name the place. I look forward to a vigorous discussion about the Party and our visions for the future.”
Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett said that the letter released to MMM by the municipal party chairmen of Manalapan and Freehold Township raising ethical concerns about Shaun Golden serving as both County Sheriff and the GOP County Chairman was not a negative attack on Golden. Rather, Bennett said, “They raised an legitimate issue that could very well impact that Party and the Freeholders. We may be giving the Democrats an issue that we don’t need to give them.”
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden has picked up the endorsements of the elected officials from a third large municipality in his quest to replace John O. Bennett III as the Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
Mayor Clint Hoffman, Deputy Mayor George Newberry and Township Committee Members Ann Marie Conte, Jeff Foster and Todd Luttman, the entire governing body of Wall Township, signed a letter on Wall Township Republican Organization letterhead and addressed to Monmouth County Republicans today, strongly endorsing Golden for Chairman. Their letter can be found here.
The Wall governing body joins the elected officials of Middletown and Howell in supporting Golden.
He’s facing the challenge of his political life from Sheriff Shaun Golden, Save Jerseyans, but incumbent Monmouth Republican Chairman John Bennett still has his supporters including county resident Rich Pezzullo, the Monmouth committee’s choice for the NJ GOP U.S. Senate nomination.
Pezzullo’s backing was full-throated.
“He is the Republican in Monmouth county who has known me as a political figure the longest – almost 20 years,” Pezzullo told Save Jersey on Thursday. “He’s set a good example for me as a professional, politician and organizer. I’ve seen him in his roles as a political opponent and political partner. I’ve known him as he grieved the loss of his father, gave his daughters off to marriage and celebrated the birth of his grandchildren. It would be hard to have so much respect for a person and entertain the thought of not supporting him when his record is full of committed service, personal sacrifice and genuine accomplishments.”
The committee will decide Bennett’s fate on June 10th.
John Bennett and Shaun Golden kicked off their respective campaigns for the Monmouth GOP Chairmanship last week on a positive note and each man said he wants a positive campaign.
Golden, the Monmouth County Sheriff, is challenging the incumbent Bennett for the opportunity to lead the Monmouth County Republican Committee for the next two years. The election will take place on June 10 at iPlayAmerica in Freehold.
Our friend Art Gallagher is reporting that Monmouth County’s GOP Sheriff Shaun Golden is intent upon seeking the Monmouth County Republican Chairmanship at the June 10th committee assembly, Save Jerseyans, a position currently held by former Governor John Bennett.
The two reportedly sat day to discuss it over breakfast. Whether it ends up being a battle or a transition remains to be seen. “Golden’s candidacy creates either a passing of the torch or a potential showdown with incumbent Chairman John O. Bennett III,” Art concludes. “Bennett has previously said he would seek a second term, but has yet to return phone calls about Golden’s candidacy.”
When Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal promised retribution and accused Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long of abandoning her principals by endorsing Governor Chris Christie for reelection, Long said, “Whether Vin likes it or not, I’m still a Democrat.”
Now she’s not a Democrat. Long quietly changed her registration to Unaffiliated in February. The Asbury Park Press was the first to report Long’s new status.
“I did this quietly and without fanfare,” Long told MMM, “to talk about why I did it would defeat the purpose.” Prodded, Long said, “its a long story, no pun intended.”
Political insiders in Sea Bright have been aware of Long’s new status for a few weeks. One insider said that something happened in the county Democratic Party that Long considered personally hurtful.
Six state Senators representing Monmouth and Oceans Counties have written to New Jersey’s U.S. Senators and Members of Congress asking for help in correcting inequities and inefficiencies in the federal government’s response to Superstorm Sanday.
In a letter dated March 31, Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County, Robert Singer, Christopher Connors and James Holzapfel of Ocean County and Sam Thompson of Middlesex raised six issues concerning Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Small Business Administration (SBA), FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grant program.
With all those agencies and initials, how could anything be going wrong?