A race that could change everything? Mailers, Big Labor invade Morris in final hours

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

I’m going to put together a more comprehensive “races to watch” list for you before next Tuesday, Save Jerseyans, but the civil war in Morris County is almost certain to top the list.

It’s all mail blitzs and labor muscle in these final frantic hours, the majority of the latter, not regular features of Republican GOTV politics, are lining up behind Team Cesaro. And “how” the win happens could prove as consequential as “who” wins at the county level.  

TOO LIBERAL? One of the Morris Conservative Team’s final mailers hitting mailboxes this week.

In case you missed it, the biggest non-IE shoe to drop down the home stretch amid a slew of party leader press releases was the endorsement of the GOP County Chairman John Sette; ordinarily a neutral figure in his county’s open primaries, Sette waded in to the muck this week to back Freeholder Dave Scapicchio, Freeholder John Krickus and Denville Councilwoman Deborah Smith in the freeholder contest after a wave Democrat-linked cash came into the county in support of Freeholder John Cesaro and his “Morris First” running mates: Christine Myers and Angelo Tedesco.

Sette’s apprehension is understandable even if you don’t agree with his decision.

The big question that EVERYONE is asking across the state: will Tuesday night’s Morris County results signal the official end of the “party era” in state politics as independent expenditures take over the process at the county/local levels, much as they did in the 2013 legislation elections? The down-ballot race in Parsippany, where Cesaro is strongest, will serve as a secondary litmus test.

Meanwhile, Krickus’s county slate is trying to narrow the gap with mail designed by veteran NJ GOP consultant Chris Russell (see right); after weeks of relative silence on the the topic, Cesaro’s team is now welcoming the Democrat/Labor backing with open arms and calling on Sette to recuse himself from Board of Elections-related primary election activities.

“Party by-laws clearly state that party officials cannot endorse in a Primary. They do not make a distinction between personally or as a party official,” said Morris First spokesman King Penna who has downplayed the support his team receiving from Democrat groups as evidence that the Cesaro team “represents the working men and women” in Morris County. “We are hopeful Bucco and Sette will do the right thing and step down from their positions in the Party, and in Sette’s case the Elections Commission, immediately.”

What’s clear: a Cesaro win, driven by outside spending, could signal a significant decrease in power for Sette and his party chair colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, in all 21-counties. Maybe you think that’s a good thing; perhaps you most definitely don’t. You can’t disagree, however, regardless of how you feel about IE spending and the candidates in this particular contest, that this apparent byproduct of the post-Citizens United represents a seismic change to our political system, one which won’t be easily reversed or tamed.


Matt Rooney
About Matt Rooney 8532 Articles
MATT ROONEY is SaveJersey.com's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.

1 Comment

  1. To All Our Friends and Supporters,

    We are pleased and proud to offer our support and endorsement to
    the Morris Conservative Team 2015

    We have always tried to follow President Ronald Reagan’s ‘Eleventh commandment’ uttered during his 1966 campaign for Governor of California: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” However, recent revelations make that impossible. In what can only be described as specious – and perhaps scandalous – events, Democratic super PACs and funding sources are backing a competing Republican, yes, REPUBLICAN team. Why you ask? This is strikingly similar to the Hillary Clinton scandal where many large contributors have been seen to benefit in what can only be described as ‘pay to play’ on a world scale!

    In an almost unprecedented move, pre-primary election endorsements were announced this past week. We are really proud of Morris County Republican Chairman John Sette, State Senator Tony Bucco, Republican “Chair of Chairs” Jose Arango (Hudson County), and State Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco. Instead of being politically correct, they set what we hope will be an example for Republicans throughout our state and, indeed, throughout the country. Collectively, they claimed the moral high ground by following their principles and doing what they each believed to be the right thing!

    In a statement addressing the opponents of the Morris Conservative Team 2015, e.g. the Morris First slate and their donations from labor unions and Democratic super PACS, Chairman John Sette opined:
    “I am against this intrusion. I don’t know what the paybacks are. It doesn’t make sense. I hope nobody is selling Morris County.”

    Here then is the Morris Conservative Team’s platform, as set out by independent news sources around Morris County:
    Morris budget has no tax levy increase for third consecutive year – NJ.com
    Morris freeholders bail out three-county, $88M solar project with 4-3 vote
    3 More Morris County Roads Set for Repaving During Summer Months


    Morris Conservative Team 2015
    Scapicchio, Krickus & Smith
    lines 8, 9 and 10 on your ballot!

    In order to counteract the Democratic Party incursion into Morris County we urge YOU to get out to vote this Tuesday, June 2.

    Yours, in the cause,

    Jeffrey M. “Jeff” Weingarten
    President, Morristown Tea Party Org

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Five key GOP races to watch on Primary Night 2015 | The Save Jersey Blog

Comments are closed.