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Category: Monmouth County

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.


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.


Christie: ‘No’ to Open Space Question

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Plenty of his fellow Republicans voted YEA and, so I’m told, the addition of a costly open space preservation question to this year’s ballot was critical to winning liberal legislative votes for bail reform, a top administration priority. All the same, Governor Chris Christie took a break from celebrating Sandy recovery efforts in Sea Bright on Thursday to answer a number of press inquiries ranging from pension management allegations to his opposition to the latest open space scheme:

Preventing Ferguson From Happening Here

By Charlie Barr | The Save Jersey Blog

An increasingly-common armored police vehicle (Photo: Dakota County Sheriff's Office)

An increasingly-common armored police vehicle (Photo: Dakota County Sheriff’s Office)

“Weapons of war have no place on our streets.”

President Obama said it in early February 2013 attending an anti-gun rally. While Obama and I have some staunch differences about the definition of “weapons of war,” I would sum it up by looking at recent pictures out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Vietnam.

Military vehicles roaming the streets supplied by the President’s Pentagon.

Tear gas being thrown in the middle of the night.

Explosives being thrown at citizens and police all the same.

They have no place on our streets.


Unaccompanied Central American Children Showing Up In Freehold

By Art Gallagher |

welcome chalk drawing childBetween 5 and 10 Central American children, ages 11-16, who have crossed our borders without adults have found their way to Freehold Borough, according to a statement by Rita Dentino, Director of Casa Freehold, an immigrants rights organization that helps newly arrived immigrants integrate into the community.

Dentino said that more children are arriving everyday, according to a report in the Sentinal.

State Senator Jennifer Beck issued a statement today saying she is working with federal and state officials to secure funding to deal with the situation and to evaluate New Jersey’s legal options and obligations.

Continue Reading…

Marlboro Council Passes Political Sign Restrictions

By Art Gallagher |

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Marlboro’s Yard Sign Flap

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

yard signsYard 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. 


200+ Rally for Monmouth GOP Ticket

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

monmouth gop hq

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.


Golden Bests Bennett in Monmouth

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Shaun Golden

Shaun Golden

Our friend Art Gallagher reported the final tally as 335 votes for Golden to 282 for Bennett, Save Jerseyans, in a contest for Monmouth GOP Chairman that tightened considerably down the stretch.


Monmouth Chairman’s Race Endgame

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

monmouth bennett goldenThere 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…


Monmouth YR’s Reboot Amidst Chairman Battle

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Bryan Kuderna

Bryan Kuderna

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…


Pezzullo Goes After Obama Toll Plan

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

I-295Could 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…


Manalapan Stands with Bennett

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Monmouth CountyAny 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.


Bennett Wants to Debate Golden

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

John O. Bennett

John O. Bennett

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.”

Click here to read the full letter.