Belgard Stumbles, Fumbles Through NJ-03 Forum

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

macarthur belgard debate
Tom MacArthur (left) lands another verbal haymaker on Aimee Belgard (right) during Thursday evening’s candidate forum in Moorestown.

Mea culpa: we don’t pretend to be unbiased here at Save Jersey. We’re conservative Republicans who want conservative Republicans to win because we know conservative Republican ideas are best for the country.

We are honest. And even though I strongly disagreed with the late John Adler (NJ-03) and former Rep. Rob Andrews (NJ-01) on most major issues, I never doubted that either South Jersey legislator had the chops for Congress.

Can I say the same of Aimee Belgard? Eh… not after what I witnessed firsthand at last night’s debate.

She was thoroughly unimpressive at Thursday night’s NJ Third District Congressional Candidate Forum at Moorestown’s William Allen Middle School hosted by the League of Women Voters. Seriously.

I didn’t just disagree with her, Save Jerseyans.

I sincerely wondered whether she belonged on the same stage as Tom MacArthur.

There’s too much to type. The biggest example?

200+ attendees watch the NJ-03 candidates debate.
200+ attendees watch the NJ-03 candidates debate.

In-state tuition for little illegal alien. Tom MacArthur asked Aimee Beglard twice – directly – whether she supported allowing the illegal alien children to be eligible for in-state tuition rates. She refused to answer… twice… the first time simply declining her opportunity to rebut per the forum’s rules, and the second time rambling on, and on, and on about the need to help the “victims” of illegal immigration.

MacArthur pounced. “I have my position on my website,” MacArthur shot back. “Aimee does not. She has yet to take a stance on the issue. What she just gave you was from my website.”

The crowd stirred, snickering and whispering audibly, for the first and only time that evening. Devastating… awkward for those in attendance and pretty straight-up pathetic if we’re being honest.

She flopped around on the stage several other times, too, responding to pointed questions from the moderator, opponent and panelists by either (1) providing no real response at all or (2) substituting anecdotes for substance (e.g. bringing up her veteran father’s ordeal with Agent Orange instead of answering a question about the VA scandal, and bringing up her husband’s business when criticized for having none of her own).

When questioned about the health of Medicare, Belgard proposed unspecified “tweaks” to the program, failing to address the hundreds of billions of dollars cut from the program by her party’s president.

Honest people can disagree, Save Jerseyans. But you have to be on the level.

This candidate is not.

It was kind of like watching a senior class president debate an experienced corporate CEO on global finance. No contest!

In fact, I left Moorestown convinced that this race wouldn’t be close to competitive were it not for the DCCC cash used to smear Tom throughout the summer months. However, as Michael Barone noted in his new piece about a building GOP “wave” at the national level, I strongly suspect that MacArthur will begin to pull away now that he’s on TV continuously. Belgard simply can’t survive the direct comparison. I saw it with my own eyes.

59 thoughts on “Belgard Stumbles, Fumbles Through NJ-03 Forum

  1. Call me crazy, but as a good government type of person, I notice there was a missing chair in this picture. There are three viable candidates on the ballot. Why weren’t all of them there? We keep talking about how much we hate our choices and wish we had an alternative, so why would the League omit a choice for the voters? These debates and forums are a very good way for the people to make informed decisions about the people they will vote for. If Amy or Tom won’t confront an additional candidate now, what makes me think they will stand up to anyone in Congress and be just another silent quack quack waddle waddle vote in their party’s block?

  2. @ Matt Rooney – He’s talking about someone who calls himself a Democrat-Republican, doesn’t have any positions; doesn’t have a website and tosses people off of his Facebook page when they criticize him. His only campaign is to attack Belgard and MacArthur. I don’t even want to name him so that I can give the jokester free advertising, but he runs his campaign by trolling on other pages trying to get attention for his whining.

  3. Yup, nailed it. If President Obama wants to know what JV actually looks like, he should watch Aimee Belgard’s debate performance.

  4. So do you think they should invite every Third Party candidate that manages to get on the ballot? Because that is an absolutely terrible idea.

  5. She’s an embarrassment. I wouldn’t trust her to a run a lemonade stand let alone a congressional office. Her time on the freeholder board hasn’t exactly been illustrious. Time to go to a machine-affiliated law firm and hang it up, Aimee.

  6. Matt Rooney the viable 3rd party candidate is Frederick John LaVergne. Smart, informed person who isn’t in the pocket of either major party. And he is the only other person on the CD3 ballot. I’m surprised that you haven’t taken the time learn more about ALL of the canidates.

  7. His name is Frederick John LaVergne. According to his Facebook posts he was there in the front row of the audience. If you listen to his speeches and read his analysis, he is extremely intelligent and knowledgeable on the issues that a Congressional candidate should. The “party” might view him as a spoiler or siphon of votes but he is exactly the type of person we want running: intelligent and without the financial ties to the party.

  8. I’m a supporter of the two-party system. That aside, unless the 3rd party candidate in question can bring serious $$$ to the contest, then I don’t think they’re much of a “siphon” or spoiler. More of a non-factor. That’s just reality.

  9. Sadly LaVergne is only running because he is NOT Tom or Aimee. Those who buy his junk are so misled. Why? The only reason why he is running is because he HATES GOP party bosses. To me he is NOT smart or articulate and I don’t want to support someone just because they maintain they are not in anyone’s pocket. I say he will get 2 maybe 3 percent if he is lucky.

  10. Never underestimate the amount of money that is wasted on commercials and consultants, and the number of ground troops the party establishment pisses off. In many towns there is no “ground game” because the people hate the local party. A compelling third party candidate that embraces volunteer boots on the ground can accomplish a lot with very little budget.

  11. @Matt Not saying it isn’t possible but I can’t think of any recent examples.

  12. Don’t you think we should encourage people to do a grassroots style campaign so they are not compromised by being beholden to the party bosses? Even if you think the odds are tough to beat a major party candidate without dollars, these debates and forums give a lot of free exposure

  13. Joshua because most of us are not DUMB enough to fall for fake candidates like LaVergne. Yes he is fake; he is only running on a personal agenda of he hates party bosses and that is why he is running. To me he is a joke and cannot hold a candle to TMAC.

  14. Matt, you certainly know who I am, and Allen Cannon and I laughted as you scuttled across the street rather than acknowledge me on Monday. Lisa knows our message is comprehensive, but she continues to troll.

  15. Matt’s sold Tom a lot of ad space, Josh…he has to stay neutral – ish. He was following us until he made a comment about the mentally handicapped that I called him out on…we have mutual acquaintances – my friends, his acquaintances, thanks to his unrelenting support of CC, right or wrong.

  16. I am not saying TMac isn’t “worthy”. I am saying that I should be able to see all of the candidates on one stage so I can compare them and pick the BEST candidate. Are you saying that Party Boss George Norcross is a good thing? Shouldn’t any Republican be against the crony system of party bosses that have grown like a cancer in our state to the point of near collapse? Why is someone who wants to end the system of unelected party bosses controlling now considered having an “agenda”?

    If you do not like Mr. Lavergne or any other independent candidate it is your absolute right to vote for whomever. That said I am disappointed that people representing the Republican party would deny the people a chance to make up their own mind instead of being told how to vote.

  17. Matt does provide a valid service, however – his reporting of local issues not related to the election generally holds to a high standard.

  18. Let Lisa troll, Josh – people read her on the phony Belgard website – they know who and what she is.

  19. They’re campaigning, while I’m working for the district like I already have the job. Looks like I should.

  20. Once again, the Carpetbagger MacArthur who’s wife can’t even vote for him since she doesn’t live in the district di nothing but attack as he did with Mr. Lonegan. Shame people like this (Macarthur) have to buy their way into office

  21. Look for yourselves, and see what an unencumbered candidate can do for you.

  22. Norcross and his cronies are just as much on our radar. I know the R’s hate what’s happening – don’t worry, it’s the D’s turn, too. Watch Willingboro.

    Aimee should have never blown off the Scheduled debate at the VFW.

  23. Frederick John LaVergne Matt, you certainly know who I am, and Allen Cannon and I laughted as you scuttled across the street rather than acknowledge me on Monday. Lisa knows our message is comprehensive, but she continues to troll.
    14 mins · Like

    Frederick John LaVergne Matt’s sold Tom a lot of ad space, Josh…he has to stay neutral – ish. He was following us until he made a comment about the mentally handicapped that I called him out on…we have mutual acquaintances – my friends, his acquaintances, thanks to his unrelenting support of CC, right or wrong.
    12 mins · Like

    Joshua Berry I am not saying TMac isn’t “worthy”. I am saying that I should be able to see all of the candidates on one stage so I can compare them and pick the BEST candidate. Are you saying that Party Boss George Norcross is a good thing? Shouldn’t any Republi…See More
    12 mins · Like

    Frederick John LaVergne Matt does provide a valid service, however – his reporting of local issues not related to the election generally holds to a high standard.
    11 mins · Like

    Frederick John LaVergne Let Lisa troll, Josh – people read her on the phony Belgard website – they know who and what she is.
    10 mins · Like

    Frederick John LaVergne They’re campaigning, while I’m working for the district like I already have the job. Looks like I should.

  24. Actually Lisa, Frederick John LaVergne hasnt said anything like “vote for me because Im not the other two”. What he has done is show that you don’t have to vote for whatever person has enough cash to buy the party line. TMac paid millions to Ocean and Burlington Counties GOP’s for the ability to run. Fred has managed to contrast himself against the establishments candidates, and in my opinion, both fall short of the standard Fred sets.

    I know you will disagree Lisa, and I know you will be vocal in that disagreement. But if you could find some facts or logic to back up your opinion it would go a lot further with me.

  25. Your best reasons for voting third party in the Third District are
    the two POOR CHOICES placed before you on November 4th by the so-called
    MAJOR parties.

    Think about this….IN District three, your
    choices are Tom and Aimee, who have spent literally MILLIONS sniping at
    each other while scrambling to raise more money to flood your mailboxes
    and your television and radio with negative ads…

    OR

    You
    could vote for Frederick LaVergne, the independent who has been
    criss-crossing the District, and the STATE, fighting for you like he
    already had the job –

    Demanding debates in each race, to insure
    that the voters know where each candidate stands – real answers on real
    issues, not exclusive “pillow fights”.

    Participating in the
    discourse on Fisheries Management and in the fight to prevent the
    gutting of Pinelands protections by the Christie/Norcross/Gilmore
    machines

    Fighting corruption town by town – exposing fraud and nepotism and Patronage

    Standing up for Constitutional rights of townspeople bullied by their own elected officials

    Promoting cost-cutting measures in State, County, and Local government – just like he will in Washington

    LISTENING to the constituents, rather than spouting talking points and labels.

    Researching the illegal acts of past officials to determine patterns of
    lawlessness that may be identified in present administrations

    Fighting for equal ballot access FOR HIS OPPONENTS

    Organizing the Independent Candidates and Unaffiliated voters to give them their voice in Congress.

    EXPOSING FRAUD, including STOLEN VALOR, among elected party machine officials.

    Disproving false claims of his opponents about each other, and about their own records.

    Do you want a congressman who has changed his church three times in as
    many years to pander to different constituencies, or who takes credit
    for the financial acumen of others, or their charitable works?
    (Charity, done publicly, is ADVERTISING) A “Yes” vote for whatever the
    bosses tell him to do? How is he going to “fight Nancy Pelosi”, as he
    puts it, if he hasn’t the courage to stand up to ME? COWARD.

    Do
    you want a congresswoman who’s only job is to hold the seat so her
    puppet-master can control one more decision-maker? A candidate selected
    to gracefully lose…a “throw-away” in the crooked detente between
    Norcross and Gilmore, the Democrat and Republican Machine Puppet
    masters? (as is Garry Cobb?). Who ACTUALLY TURNED HER BACK ON THE
    VETERANS IN WILLINGBORO rather than face me in debate? COWARD.

    OR…

    Do you want someone who has YOUR INTERESTS as his agenda?

    THIS IS ADULT SWIM, folks. Kiddies, out of the pool!

    I’ve been called many things in my life – some truthfully, many, less so.

    COWARD is not among them.

    “Stand for what’s right, or settle for what’s left” – FJL

    The clerks have violated the law…

    They’re trying to bury us on the ballot, and I have been illegally
    separated from the other candidates in our party organization.

    We’re already in court. There are also some shenanigans going on with unrequested mail-in ballots being sent out.

  26. I have actually now been called a coward by Jim Granelli, but you have to consider the source. 😉

  27. I’m not quite sure what for…other than not letting him urinate all over my page…

  28. PLEASE Freddy, you are such a COWARD you block people from your page who openly disagree with you

  29. Richard I do not go out of my way of making waves either. I DID do a lot of reading on Fred and I found him to be very full of himself and yet can only talk about his dislike for party bosses and anyone aparently who disagrees with him. The true character of any person is not to block those who openly question and provide an alternate opinion. For that matter he looks like a coward

  30. And as someone who was on the fence about Fred said after reading his site that he comes off a whiner because he does not get his way. People pick up on that stuff

  31. Lisa Threston I don’t consider Frederick John LaVergne full if himself. I have spent alot of time talking to him about politics and other issues. He is a good man. I find myseelf questioning why Tom MacArthur would spend $3MILLION. of his own money for a congressional sear. As a smart businessman he has to be looking for a return on his investment in excess of that $3million. That’s going to take alot of years at $175k a year.

  32. As a smart businessman, MacArthur has already made enough money. He certainly isn’t seeking a Congressional seat for the salary. If that’s what he was after, he could find much better-paying jobs quicker than Belgard could answer a tough debate question. Is it so hard to believe that after a successful career, he might be interested in public service to actually make a positive difference and help create jobs for OTHER people?

  33. Lisa trolls under several monickers, and then argues in support of her own posts – THAT is why I blocked her…that and her foul language. She is blocked on a great many conservative sites, also, because of her nastiness over Steve Lonegan…who does NOT support MacArthur 😉 . She doesn’t even live in CD3, but rather lives in NORCRAT Country in CD1, and her husband is a County Attorney in Burlington. She is rabidly and vociferously against anyone who stands against Layton and Paulsen – or even George “JUNIOR” – because Gilmore STILL has to kiss Norcross’ ring. She is also: “Rivka Ilene Joseph”, “Sadie Rosen”, “Tabitha Rosen”, “Lily Hersch”, “Claire Grace”, and just “Claire”. Doesn’t ANYONE know you can “ping” their ISP? She’s upset because I am against the patronage pensions, and that hits her family in the wallet. As Christine has heard me say, if I were vain, I would dress nicer 😉

  34. She is financially dependent on the machine. We’re taking that away. Of course she’s upset. 60k in new graft found today in Camden City, and a lovely tale of pension pigginess involving a W’Boro Councilperson and a no-show job in Cape May. All the folks out there actually working for a living in the Counties and Municipalities are coming too us – the leads are almost too many to handle. It’s like my niece said when she was six, and helping us pick up bricks to re-lay a patio. “There’s more bugs and worms and grubs under everyone I turn over”. Every town we walk into, we’re finding good people doing the best they can under the circumstances, and others who think nothing of picking their neighbors’ pockets. The bullying that goes on is nothing more than thuggery – and, as you know, I can’t abide a bully.

  35. I love how, on my screen right now, I have the quote from Lisa “comes off as a whiner” level with the gap between two right-column ads – “http://DenyMacArthur.com” and “http://FreeholderBelgard.com”

  36. Christine you have been advocating for him for a LONG time and that is your right nowever i have never heard a candidate WHINE as much as he does.

  37. I have no tolerance and respect for whiners and the proof that he is trying (uncessfully) to insult me because I dare not support him only shows what I have been saying; he is more concerend about a hand full of people here instead of the big picture

  38. Frederick I will PROUDLY stand by calling you a coward because that is what you are. URINATING, that’s the kind of language a potential member of Congress should use? Shameful. BTW, I have told you why “a thousand times.” But since you seem to be”Stuck On Stupid,” let me tell you again. FIRST, who’s the troll here sprouting dribble when they can’t even afford a campaign website? Ah, that would be you sir. SECOND, cowards are people who block others from making critical comments on their positions and ways of campaigning. Again, that would be you sir. You see Fredrick, if you can’t handle criticism; how are you going to handle being in Congress. WHAT? Are you going to block every email and phone message critical of your positions and decisions? You live in a fantasy world. . . NEXT, cowards are people who call themselves a Democrat – Republican because they can’t decide what they are or what set of principles they operate under. FINALLY, cowards are people who don’t have a platform to explain what they are for and what they would do if they got to Congress. All you are doing is whining about perceived injustices, as exhibited by your rants above. YES FREDERICK, you are indeed a whiner. And you lose. AGAIN. You want to rail against the system? FINE, that is your right. Start a blog and start a Political Action Committee to get your message out and get people to donate to your cause. Acting silly in a Congressional race is not the way to go son.

  39. Lisa, you give him too much credit as to percentage of vote total. Who would vote for an empty suit that no one knows. Frederick is like the “Man Behind The Curtain” in The Wizard Of Oz.

  40. Jim – another non CD3 voice heard from, like the Norristown Union boys from PA that did the photo opp for Tom in Burlington, because the LOCAL LOCAL wouldn’t.

    “Union Locals” doesn’t always mean “Local Unions”

  41. Poor LaVergne – must suck to be him. He can bloviate all he wants to about WINNING this seat which in itself is a JOKE but at the end of the day this clown can only keep ;posting his little snipits from his ONE AND ONLY gimme debate thinking he won. Oh and how many endorsements has he gotten??? Please list BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  42. Hahahahaha. You’re a moron. You know why he wants to BUY this seat? POWER. That is why so many millionaires enter politics. POWER.

    Romney? Pelosi? Issa? I could go on. When you’re rich and don’t have to worry about a salary, you then go for power.

    It’s like rich kids who take crap internships and low paying jobs in sexy fields (sports, fashion, entertainment and politics) — they have their Daddy’s money to supplement their lifestyle- all the while making connections.

    POWER honey. That’s why he’s in this race. Don’t be naieve.

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