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Category: Monmouth County

Monmouth And Ocean Senators Ask Congressional Delegation For Sandy Help

By Art Gallagher |

Jennifer Beck

Jennifer Beck

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?

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Christie: “War On Drugs Has Failed”

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

This isn’t the first time that Chris Christie declared defeat in the so-called War on Drugs, Save Jerseyans, saying something very similar back in 2012 at the Brookings Institution. Since that time, Governor Christie has signed a controversial “Good Samaritan” law immunizing people reporting overdoses from prosecution for possession and pushed for sentencing reforms but refused to consider decriminalization of pot for non-medicinal purposes.

Next on the list? Boosting a pilot program in Monmouth and Ocean counties whereby local law enforcement will be armed with a drug capable of saving the lives of heroin overdosers, a problem that’s reaching epidemic levels in the Garden State:


Pezzullo Feels Buoyed by Monmouth Victory

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Brian Goldberg may have won 5 of the last 8 county lines awarded in this year’s GOP Senate primary, Save Jerseyans, but after taking a second county of his own on Saturday (vote-rich Monmouth), Rich Pezzullo told me at Middlesex’s convention that he isn’t in any mood for surrender: 

Have you voted in our online poll? Click here.

Monmouth: Pezzullo Wins, Sabrin 2nd

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog


Rich Pezzullo and Murray Sabrin ended the first ballot in a runoff, Save Jerseyans; Pezzullo won the second 153 to 101 for Sabrin. Exciting stuff!

Meanwhile, the incumbent Monmouth County Freeholders Lillian G. Burry and Gary J. Rich Sr. won renomination. 

Rep. Chris Smith got the CD4 nod by acclamation; Anthony Wilkinson won an uncontested CD6 vote.

Keep checking here for Middlesex results, too, live from Edison…


Beck Backs Pezzullo

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Jennifer Beck

Jennifer Beck

Add state Senator Jennifer Beck to the list of Rich Pezzullo’s Monmouth supporters, Save Jerseyans.

The campaign tells me that the Monmouth legislator will “second” his nomination at Saturday morning’s county convention. Pezzullo’s wife is slated to voice the initial nomination from the floor as Monmouth County committee members decide who to endorse for the right to face Cory Booker in November. Pezzullo has already won the backing of Asm. Declan O’Scanlon

I can’t speak to the convention bylaws (I’m no expert), but Pezzullo looks strong 12 hours out. Rich is also doing quite well right now in our online #NJSen poll, too. It isn’t scientific but it’s fun! Click here to cast your ballot.


Dem Donor Seeks CD6 GOP Nod

MMM: Candidate For GOP Nomination Against Pallone Is Democratic Fundraiser/Donor

By Art Gallagher |

Hari Eppanapally with Cory Booker and Upendra Chivukula

Hari Eppanapally with Cory Booker and Upendra Chivukula

Hari Eppanapally of Livingston will be seeking the Republican nomination for congress in the 6th congressional district next Saturday at the Monmouth and Middlesex nominating conventions.  His prior political experience is as an active fundraiser for Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula’s 2012 congressional run against Republican Congressman Leonard Lance in the 7th congressional district.

Eppanapply contributed $2500 to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign

MMM hereby endorses Eppanapally for the Democratic nomination for congress in CD-6.

Really. Eppanapally has a better chance of beating Frank Pallone in the Democratic primary than he does of beating Pallone in the general election.

The Vice President and member of the Board of The Financial Policy Council, a free market oriented non-profit think tank and policy advocate, Eppanapally would be a much better congressman than Pallone.

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A New Shore “Situation”

Scharfenberger ‘officially’ welcomes “The Situation” to Middletown

By Art Gallagher |

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of MTV’s Jersey Shore fame, and his family opened a tanning salon in Middletown yesterday.

MMM is not in the habit of giving free advertising to people who drive Lamborghinis, and the company did not respond to our ad pitch, so we did not cover the ribbon cutting.

But and USA Today-Monmouth/Ocean edition couldn’t resist the spectacle.

Gerry Scharfenberger is the only member of Middletown’s Township Committee of non-Italian American descent.  Gerry did the honors at the ribbon cutting and said the right things.

“The goal is always to fill vacant storefronts, so whenever that happens it is a positive thing,” he said. “And if the star power they have is able to help them and the other businesses here, that’s even better.”

But the expressions on Gerry’s face in the pictures at tell another story, which prompted MMM to look further into the situation.

Why wasn’t Mayor Stephanie Murray presiding on the high profile ribbon cutting?  She finds the situation offensive.

“While I wish the business  success for the sake of the existing businesses in the shopping center, I don’t personally support Mr. Sorrentino as his insensitivity and disrespect toward women (calling women “grenades” for example), is appalling and offensive, Murray said, “Additionally, as an Italian-American who loves and lives at the Jersey shore, the image Mr. Sorrentino projects is equally offensive.”

Committeeman Tony Fiore is also not happy with the situation.

“While Mr. Sorrentino has the right to open a business anywhere he chooses, Mr. Sorrentino has done nothing to help promote a positive image of the Jersey shore or Italians who live or visit the Jersey shore,” Fiore said,  ”In my view no self respecting Italian who grew up in NJ, lives at or loves the Jersey shore would help promote his business. While I wish him like any other business in Middletown success, he shouldn’t expect Middletown to embrace the circus that he is bringing to the Middletown.”

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DiBella Passes On Pallone Fight

By Art Gallagher |

Joe DiBella

Joe DiBella

Former Howell Mayor Joe DiBella issued the following statement this morning:

Over the past week I have received numerous calls and inquires related to my challenging Frank Pallone for the 6th Congressional District seat. I’d like to first thank the many people who called and encouraged me to challenge Congressman Pallone. The outpouring of support and encouragement was sincerely appreciated and I put considerable time into evaluating a run for Congress.

Continue Reading…

Golden Not Running Against Pallone

By Art Gallagher |

Shaun Golden

Shaun Golden

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden told MMM that he will not be a candidate for Congress this year.

Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett has been urging Golden to take on Congressman Frank Pallone due to the sheriff’s strong record of accomplishment and his popularity at the polls.

“I would love to see Shaun Golden run for Congress, ” Bennett said earlier this month, ‘Not only is popular and a demonstrated vote getter, he has an outstanding record with a documented ability to get things done.”

Golden said that it is just not the right time for him to take on a congressional campaign.

Former Howell Mayor Joe DiBella said last week that he “would love to run against Pallone” if Golden doesn’t. Bennett told MMM that he received a message from DiBella expressing his interest. DiBella has not returned several phone calls inquiring about his candidacy from MMM this week.

Continue Reading…

A New Christie For A New Normal

By Art Gallagher |

chris christieIf Governor Chris Christie’s presidential prospects have been damaged by the Bridgegate scandal and associated investigations, you wouldn’t know it by the amount of television cameras at the Town Hall Meeting in Port Monmouth this morning.  Middletown officials estimate the crowd was about 500 people. There was easily 50 members of the media including reporters, photographers and videographers.

There was no swagger from the Governor today.  No fist pumps, no snazzy introductory video, no in your face insults to hostile questioners.  Christie dodged the only hostile question he heard.  The Youtube moment came not from an idiot or thin skinned reporter, but from a three year old girl who said her house is still broken.

Bridgegate, the controversy over the September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that has spurred investigations by the U.S. Attorney and a Special Legislative Committee never came up.  The people who came to today’s meeting would gladly trade places with the Bergen County residents who were inconvenienced by traffic jams for four days.  They been without their homes for 16 months.

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Democracy in Middletown

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Say what you want about Governor Christie in the wake of today’s Middletown town hall meeting, Save Jerseyans.

As we pointed out after last month’s marathon Bridgegate presser, unlike President Obama, he’s willing to stand in front of constituents for extended periods of time and take the heat… and now he’s doing it with zero media cover:

The suffering residents of Kiev can only dream about this level of freedom today, folks. Enjoy it, even when the people exercising it are off base….


Christie Needs to Throw Down in Middletown

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The official cake at Governor Christie's Election Night 2013 party in Asbury Park.

The official cake at Governor Christie’s Election Night 2013 party in Asbury Park.

When Speaker of the House John Boehner’s caucus didn’t immediately sign off on a massive, bloated Superstorm Sandy relief package in early 2013, Save Jerseyans, Chris Christie’s outrage could be heard at all ends of the earth

“We respond as Americans,” Christie bellowed following a congressional adjournment which occurred without a vote, “at least we did until last night… it was disgusting to watch.” 

A majority of conservatives were of a decidedly different opinion, ranging from disinterest to feelings of betrayal. Their disgust was reserved for an event that occurred approximately two months earlier, before the Mitt Train officially derailed, when the rockstar GOP Governor embraced President Obama on Garden State soil, a move which public exit polling suggested could’ve helped move the needle in the incumbent’s direction in key 2012 battleground states like Virginia and Ohio. Base political calculation at its worst? Or simply emotions getting the best of an emotional guy?

My take at the time was as balanced as anyone could expect from a conservative blogger: it was foolish to fault Christie for refusing to leave his storm-ravaged state for a political rally, or even for hosting the Commander-in-Chief upon the White House’s request, but I also argued that the Republican Governor’s overly-effusive praise of an as-of-yet-untested federal response was premature at best and would likely prove to be the real mistake with the passage of time.

I genuinely, sincerely hate to say “I told you so,” folks, but I most certainly did. Now look at the mess in which our Governor finds himself heading into Thursday’s much-anticipated Middletown town hall meeting, the first such gathering since Bridgegate and Sandygate changed everything for the inhabitants of Christie World…

It’s ugly. Real ugly. But there’s still a way out.


Foiled Again in Middletown

Christie’s Town Hall Postponed Due To Weather

By Art Gallagher |

SnowFor the second time in a week the weather has caused Governor Chris Christie to postpone his first Town Hall Meeting since June of last year.

The Town Hall scheduled for Tuesday February 18th at the VFW Hall in Port Monmouth in postponed due to anticipated inclement weather.

Details of the rescheduled meeting will be released on Tuesday, the governor’s office said in a press release.

Continue Reading…

His Toughest Performance Yet?

Christie Town Hall tomorrow expected to be “A cross between the Jerry Springer and Maury Povich shows”

By Art Gallagher |

Christie Voorhees town hallGovernor Chris Christie will likely be tan and relaxed after a holiday weekend in Puerto Rico when he arrives in Middletown for his first Town Hall Meeting since last June tomorrow.

He should be ready for bear.

Christie could get RREM’d tomorrow.

Bayshore residents who overwhelming voted for Christie in 2009 and again last November are ready to give up on giving Christie the benefit of the doubt. The politically connected feel he’s taken Republican Monmouth and Ocean Counties for granted.  Those still suffering from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy feel like Christie has ridden their suffering to national prominence while neglecting his self professed “mission” to rebuild the shore.

The powder keg of frustration with Christie was building before the election and certainly before Bridgegate.   Sandy victims brutalized by the storm feel further violated by the red tape and false starts peddled by all levels of government, banks and insurance companies.

Continue Reading…

A-Rod’s transgressions don’t make The Yankees dirty

By Art Gallagher |

Andrew Lucas, center, then the Republican mayor of Manalapan, with then Freeholder John D’Amico and Amy Mallet, both Democrats, in September of 2010, seven months after Lucas purchased Burke Farm.

Andrew Lucas, center, then the Republican mayor of Manalapan, with then Freeholder John D’Amico and Amy Mallet, both Democrats, in September of 2010, seven months after Lucas purchased Burke Farm.

Former future Hall of Famer Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuits against MLB last week and accepted his 162 game suspensions for doping with performance enhancing drugs.

The suspension will cost A-Rod $25 million and very likely his induction to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

No one from the Red Sox Nation, not even a fan, has called for the Yankees to be banned from playoff contention in 2014 due to A-Rod’s transgressions. No sports writer has suggested Derek Jeter is dirty because A-Rod cheated or called for asterisks to be placed next to Mariano Rivera’s records.

Rightly so.

Too often in politics when a member of one team is accused or convicted or wrongdoing, the rivals attempt to paint the entire team as dirty.  Too often journalists hungry for content cooperate with the slander.

Thus is the case in Monmouth County were former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, a Republican, was indicted last week on charges of wire fraud, identity theft, bank fraud and providing false statements to the IRS and FBI.   A private equity manager, Lucas is accused of deploying a complex and fraudulent scheme to come up with the funds to purchase a farm in Manalapan which he then immediately tried to sell the development rights on to New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program.  The Farmland Preservation Program is funded by the state, county and municipal governments.

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Christie Resumes Town Halls

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie in SeasideGovernor Chris Christie will try to regain some sense of normalcy on Thursday (2/13), Save Jerseyans, by holding his 110th town hall in Port Monmouth. It’s his first town hall since reelection and the nationalization of the ongoing Bridgegate scandal saga.

Thursday’s planned focus is Sandy aid, days after Governor Christie told a Keansburg audience that federal Sandy aid is expected to fall roughly $19 billion short. Whether allegations concerning the politicization of Sandy funds comes up is anyone’s guess.

The Governor’s official entourage includes Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable, Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, and Economic Development Authority CEO Michele Brown.

11:00 a.m. is the start time at VFW Post 2179, located at 1 Veterans Lane. Residents can RSVP to Doors open at 10:00 a.m. A “Mobile Recovery Cabinet” will commence immediately following the town hall (around approximately 12:30 p.m.).