Entries in Election 2018 (24)

Tuesday
May222018

FACT CHECK: McCann campaign spins tales about candidate’s past

John McCann has brought up that silly claim again.  About him and his chart and how it saved America. 

He first did it last summer, while he was still directly employed by the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County.  John McCann shopped around a tale about how he stopped HillaryCare and saved America. Here is a transcript of a video recording of McCann telling his tall tale to the Sussex County Republican Committee on December 27, 2017.   

"I'm the only candidate with an actual proven record of doing things... I was gone (sic) to the United States Senate to take on the Clinton Health Care Plan.  I designed a chart, it was presented to the country, and the chart was credited -- by others, not by me -- with saving the United States from 16 years of government controlled healthcare." (Candidate John McCann, on video) 

Many people familiar with the long battle to stop the Clinton Health Care Plan disputed John McCann's story.  They said they never heard of him and accused him of taking credit for the work of dozens of others.  They noted that there was a plethora of graphs and charts but that only one got national coverage.  It wasn't John McCann's.

The Clinton Health Care Plan began with a speech by President Bill Clinton in September 1993.  Legislation was introduced in November 1993.  Hearings were held and the debate went into 1994.  In January 1994, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) unveiled his famous chart that detailed the bureaucratic morass that was the Clinton Health Care Plan. As the legislation was amended, dozens of subsequent charts were built off this one, noting those changes and updates. 

Earlier this year, we published a link to a C-Span video of the United States Senate Floor on January 27, 1994.  The video is 11 hours long and unedited.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?54084-1/senate-session

At two hours and thirty minutes (2:30) into it, Senator Specter speaks on the issue and appears with his famous chart. About six minutes into his speech, he explains that staffer Sharon Helfant was responsible for creating it. He goes on to explain how the Washington Posthad a story a day earlier mentioning Helfant and her role in developing the chart.  Numerous national newspapers covered it, and in each story, Sharon Helfant is credited with creating the chart.  John McCann is not mentioned.

C-Span caught the whole thing and it is now part of history.  Numerous newspapers wrote about it.  The campaign of candidate John McCann has disputed that history.  Presumably with their candidate's approval, they issued a media statement that made this boast by the candidate:  "Yes, I authored the chart that killed Hillarycare."

The statement by John McCann's campaign continues:  "A conservative blogger made an accusation regarding my involvement in stopping Hillary Clinton’s healthcare proposal back in the early 90s when I was a fellow in former Senator Arlen Specter’s office (R-PA), insisting that I have overstated my role and plagiarized a graph used to stop Hillarycare.

The basis of these accusations stems from a CSPAN video in January 1994 where my boss at the time, former Senator Specter, credited Sharon Helfant (whom I never worked with) for creating a chart (I never saw) to help explain how bad Hillarycare was for American taxpayers."

The McCann campaign included a paragraph from the Congressional Record for August 10, 1994, at the tail end of the battle to stop the Clinton Health Care Plan.  By this time, it had been amended and re-amended.  The legislation went through more than 130 permutations and, in the end, was scrapped when the Democrats lost control of Congress in November 1994, and were unable to bring the bill up in 1995, as they had planned.  Here is that snippet from the Record:

 

Read it carefully.  "John McCann, an internon my staff who helpedme prepare the chart on the Mitchellhealth care bill." 

Thousands of names of individuals and groups are read into the Congressional Record each year for everything from boy scout troops to the winners of fishing tournaments.  It is a  small favor, often bestowed by members of Congress.  Rarely does it become the centerpiece of someone's candidacy for Congress. 

The McCann campaign also included a paragraph from a letter from Senator Specter's office to John McCann's professor at the Fels Center of Government, where he was a student:  "In the summer of 1994, the Senate rejected the Clinton proposal to take over one-seventh of the entire U.S. economy in large measure because of John McCann’s charts and graphs which clearly showed the flaws and weakness of the proposal." 

Again, read it carefully: "John McCann’s charts and graphs..."  

Plural.  As an intern, John McCann obviously worked on many updates and permutations of the original chart (which he now claims not to have seen, despite the news coverage of it, or Ms. Helfant, who he claims not to have known, despite her prominence on the Specter staff and her preeminence within that staff on matters related to health care).   

Of course, it is a grandiloquent letter of recommendation, which either means that Senator Specter's office was prone to that sort of thing or that they liked and appreciated John McCann's work as a college intern.  Neither alters the record, which is clear.

When he is not outright fibbing, John McCann is prone to puffing himself up to make himself look like more than he is.  Pity.

Monday
May212018

Pro-Abortion all his career, McCann has been frightened into claiming he's Pro-Life

It is a testament to the power of ideas.  A recognition that the voter base of the Republican Party -- those loyal souls who come out in primaries -- are solidly conservative on SOCIAL issues, solidly PRO-LIFE.

Despite all the nonsense spouted by the GOP establishment about big tents and new technology it is MESSAGE that decides who self-describe as members of a party and who show up on election day.  And so long as the NJGOP uses the word "Republican" in its title, that message is a NATIONAL one.  It does not flow from 150 West State Street in Trenton, but rather it exists in the national ether -- in the brain impulses of every sentient being with a reaction, one way or the other, to the word "Republican".  

The job of state and local leaders is to find a way to sell it.  You don't get to remake the brand. 

A case in point:  John McCann. 

The cabal of local operators who were part of the deal that resulted in the McCann candidacy were out and about last summer telling anyone who would listen that Steve Lonegan was TOO CONSERVATIVE. In particular, they targeted those pesky social issues, like abortion, which they claimed were "holding us (the NJGOP) back" and preventing them from winning. 

Look, the only Republican candidate to win statewide in New Jersey since 1997 was both solidly Pro-Life and Pro-Second Amendment.  Now we're not saying that Chris Christie wanted to be.  We're not saying that he liked it.  What we're saying is that he knew better than to not to be anything but a social conservative.  That is what "Republican" means, dummy.  You can't wash it off.

Argue until you are blue in the face but you are stuck with it.  All a Republican gets when he or she sucks up to the opposition or its allies is their justifiable contempt and the anger of people who would otherwise turnout out for you because they have been, once again, betrayed. Keep doing what you are doing and you are on a one way course to extinction.  

So the people who brought you John McCann have put their candidate out there for nine months -- since before McCann left the employ of that pro-Sanctuary State darling, the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County, the hand of hands... Mikey Saudino. And in all that time, John McCann has preached a message of how "moderate" he was on abortion. 

Oh, he'd tell some crowds that he was "Pro-Choice" but most of the time he'd say things like how he was "personally opposed" to abortion and a "moderate" on "abortion rights".  After all, this is the same guy who predicated his 2002 campaign for Congress against conservatives Scott Garrett and Gerry Cardinale on his view that they were both "too conservative" on social issues to win a General Election.  McCann is the same candidate who called himself an "Arlen Specter Republican" a few years before Specter ended his career as an Obama Democrat.

Now, over the last ten days, voters in the 5th congressional district have been receiving mailers claiming that John McCann is a Pro-Life conservative.  And not only that, McCann now claims to believe that "life begins at conception".  

Yep, it is late in the campaign.  McCann wants to have a shot at winning.  McCann did a poll and it became obvious that not even having the party "line" in over 70% of the district was going to save him.  Social conservatism trumps county party lines.  Needs must.

Sure enough... the light bulb went on and with it the recognition that you need to be a social conservative to have a chance at attracting a great many Republican voters -- whether you are running in the primary or the General Election. Take a look at these mailers...

 

 Of course, this is John McCann and being who he is, he's not going to play it straight. In McCann's not-quite-right brain, he probably believes that avoiding the word "Pro-Life" provides him with an out if he should win the primary and face Democrat Josh Gottheimer in November. 

No. It's not going to work that way. 

First, McCann is a Republican.  For most people, that makes him Pro-Life whether he is or he isn't.  All he does by squawking about it is to piss-off people who might have voted for him because they are Pro-Life. 

If you believe in abortion, a pro-abortion Democrat is always better than a pro-abortion Republican, because a pro-abortion Democrat votes for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.  End of story.

Second, McCann is now on record as claiming that he believes a human life is ended if it is interfered with at any time from conceptiononwards.  For a start, he should check with his wife, an OB-GYN doctor in New York City, to see if any of the offices or hospitals she's been affiliated with hand-out the morning after pill.

How does he think he can walk that back?  

Will he tell voters that yes, he believes that human life begins at conception but that he also believes in women's rights to abortion?  That will make him a worse monster than any pro-abortion Democrat because at least they dispute that they are taking a life.  McCann will end up saying that it is human life but that he doesn't mind if it is being exterminated.  That's quite a place to be.

But these are the kinds of conundrums Republicans place themselves in when they refuse to live up to the values and principles of the political party to which they freely affiliate themselves.  Instead of honesty... you get people like John McCann.

Of course, this is John McCann and being who he is, he's not going to play it straight. In McCann's not-quite-right brain, he probably believes that avoiding the word "Pro-Life" provides him with an out if he should win the primary and face Democrat Josh Gottheimer in November.

No. It's not going to work that way.

Sunday
May202018

QUIZ: Which is more stupid? (1) Handing out raises when you are in the middle of contract negotiations...

The Freeholder Board majority who run Sussex County government is made up of Freeholder Boss George Graham, Freeholder Jonathan Rose, and Freeholder Carl Lazzaro.  In our opinion, they have done a lot of stupid things while running the county and they've let us down.  Heck, we once supported them, so we are really disappointed in their antics. 

Below are just a few of the stupid pranks they've pulled since taking over.  So here's our quiz for today:  Which do you think is the most stupid? 

(1) Handing out raises when you are in the middle of contract negotiations. 

On May 9, 2018, smack dab in the middle of negotiations with unions representing most of Sussex County's employees, these three knuckleheads pushed through pay raises for 50 employees -- some already earning six figures. 

(2) Hiring the same lawyer who signed-off on the solar project to "study" what went wrong with the solar project, in order to assign blame and take appropriate legal action. 

In 2016, one of the first things the three Freeholders (Graham-Rose-Lazzaro) did was to hand out a no-bid contract to the law firm that employed the former State Comptroller, whose office did the final approval and gave the go-ahead for the failed solar project that has cost Sussex County taxpayers over $23 million so far.  

To make matters worse, they said nothing when the former Comptroller himself conducted the interviews, wrote the report, and whitewashed his former office and everyone else.  

End result:  The "study" cost more than $8,000 a page (over $500,000 total).  No harm, no foul, no money back. 

(3) Taking a $2,000 campaign contribution from the bond attorney who failed to blow the whistle on the solar project and then hiring him back.  

It was the job of the bond attorney to protect Sussex County taxpayers and he didn't.  But after getting a $2,000 contribution from his law firm, the three knuckleheads hired him back. 

So which is the stupidest to you?

Send your responses to: info@sussexcountywatchdog.com 

Tuesday
May152018

The return of Dave Fanale and the anti-police wing of the GOP

We all remember the sorry episode of Dave Fanale.  He was an up-and-coming Sussex County politician in the orbit of Freeholder boss George Graham.  He was elected to the GOP county committee and to the Franklin Borough Council.  Some had him marked for bigger and better things.

And then it all started to come unraveled.  It turned out that Fanale didn't like law enforcement very much.  He had a problem with cops and started posting weird stuff on Facebook in this regard...

Yep, GOP Councilman Fanale posted a cartoon of a kid pissing on the thin blue line (representing the police) while giving them the finger.  The cartoon above was just one shot in a series of verbal and written attacks on the police.  Councilman Fanale's anti-police campaign got particularly disturbing, as it stretched on for months.

There was a huge backlash amongst the conservative, pro-police residents of Franklin... and Dave Fanale quit the Council.  For a time, Fanale moved in with Freeholder Jonathan Rose, another member of Freeholder boss George Graham's entourage. 


And now he's back. 

Among those present at Freeholder Jonathan Rose's fundraiser last month, was former Franklin Councilman Dave Fanale... the same controversial figure who resigned from the Council after leading his anti-police campaign.  Freeholder Rose shares a somewhat libertarian political philosophy with Fanale and the former Franklin Councilman is pushing for his re-election. 

At the same fundraising event for Freeholder Rose, attended by former Councilman Fanale, Rose formally threw his support to John McCann, formerly of the Democrat Bergen County Sheriff's office, and now a GOP candidate for Congress. 

Yes, that's Sheriff Michael Saudino -- the Bergen County Sheriff who was elected as a Republican, then switched to Democrat in order to destroy the Republican Party in that county, and then who ran for re-election on a ticket with Hillary Clinton and Josh Gottheimer. 

The Bergen Record has identified McCann as the "right hand man" to Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino.  It was Saudino's feud with the Republican County Executive that undermined and ultimately lost Republicans control of Bergen County.  The coup de grace came when Saudino, a one-time Republican, joined Hillary Clinton and Josh Gottheimer on a ticket that crushed Republicans in Bergen County. 

John McCann remained Sheriff Saudino's consigliore through it all and ran for Congress (as a Republican) with Saudino's blessing and while still on the Democrat's payroll.  Sheriff Saudino has formally endorsed fellow Democrat Josh Gottheimer for re-election this year. 

The media has recently reported on 22 Bergen County police officers who claimed they were wrongly terminated or mistreated.  In a class action suit, the officers accuse Sheriff Saudino of demoting or firing qualified officers out of spite or for political retaliation.  Saudino, who supported Gottheimer for his stance on LGBT issues, is accused of allowing the "despicable and dehumanizing treatment" of a gay police officer.

A federal lawsuit filed last year contains the personal testimony of dozens of veteran law enforcement officers who fell victim to a power play by the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County.  Here are a few of their stories:

"In 2014 my wife and I decided to have our 2nd child even though there were talks of merging The Bergen County Police with the Sheriff's Department.  we both agreed that we could afford to make this life changing decision based on the fact that the merger specifically stated there would be no layoffs, and no decrease in pay.

We had purchased a smaller home, which needed improvements... We are not going to be able to make these improvements or expand our home due to the impending layoff or pay decrease.  In fact we may lose our home if these changes take place.

My wife and I were discussing the possibility of having a third child as recently as February of this year.  However this will not happen now because of these layoffs."

***

"In 2015, I got engaged.  In 2016, I got married and purchased a home.  In 2017, I welcomed another child into my family... I have a wife and two children, ages 6 and 3 months.  Now with the threat of a potential layoff, not only will my life be affected, but my family will be negatively affected as well."

***

"I have been employed by Bergen County as a Police Officer since July, 2004.  I have recently re-financed my 30 year mortgage to a 15 year mortgage due to the promise that the Sheriff, County Executive, and Freeholder Board made that my job was safe when they merged us.  I am also the caregiver to my elderly parents... If I am demoted, I will not be able to afford the extra payments that a 15 year mortgage brings as well as care for my parents in a way that they deserve."

***

"I can personally say the moral and pride I had as a County Police Officer has been stripped away and this entire process has affected me personally.  I never knew what it was like to go to work and be unhappy.  I've always loved my career and the organization I worked for.  There are often times I get sick to my stomach thinking of how the politicians have destroyed this place and everything it represented.  My mind is consumed with thoughts of whether or not I will be able to retire..."

***

"I am a single father of two children.  I have full custody of my children... I had financial plans in place to send my oldest daughter who is currently in high school to attend specific colleges she had picked out.  With this demotion I will no longer be able to pay for my daughter's college education..."

***

"In August of 1996 I joined what I believed was a dedicated profession and well known department... I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1982... I was activated in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm... I retired with 20 years of service in 2003.

...I have made many life choices on the promises and assurance my family and I would be able to live without the threat of losing our home or not being able to afford the basic simple lifestyle we have had in our lives.  Upon the assurance of the County of Bergen, the politicians and the Bergen County Sheriff my family committed to providing an education for my son that now involves the payment of an incredible amount of education loans."

***

"I am currently a Police Officer with the Bergen County Sheriff's Department... I am also a United States Disabled Combat Veteran.  I served four and a half years with the 82nd Airborne Division, with a fifteen-month deployment to Iraq as an Infantryman... With the promise of job security, I continued my life as any other reasonable person would have.  I recently purchased a home and have plans to marry my longtime girlfriend, whom this layoff also affects tremendously..."

***

Rose-Fanale-McCann... It's amazing how these people found each other.  That you have, in the same room and supporting the same candidate, an avowed cop-hater and the guy who destroyed Bergen County's police department.  Small world.

 

Tuesday
May152018

Transparency? Freeholder Lazzaro failed to file Election Law report

According to the website of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Freeholder Carl Lazzaro has failed to file his "Certificate of Organization and Designation of Campaign Treasurer and Depository" -- also known as an NJELEC Form D-1.  This is an important document, because it provides basic details to the public about who is taking money on behalf of the campaign and where that money is going.

Not only did Freeholder Lazzaro fail to file a Form D-1.  He also failed to have his campaign Treasurer sign his latest accounting of his expenditures and campaign contribution collections (an NJELEC Form R-1). 

Freeholder Lazzaro's boss -- Freeholder George Graham -- is currently being investigated by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJELEC).  The New Jersey Herald reported (March 4, 2018): 

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission has filed a five-count complaint against Sussex County Freeholder George Graham for allegedly failing to comply with state law regarding campaign contributions during the 2013 election season.

The complaint, filed on Feb. 14 and publicly released one week later, alleges that Graham and his campaign treasurer, Gail Graham, failed to report accurate contributor information, to report certain contributions, to complete payee addresses for certain expenditures, to report the correct amount for certain expenditures and reported an incorrect sum of small contributions in the 2013 primary election. The complaint further alleges that Graham's campaign filed a required form for the general election almost two years after it was due.

...Each count in the complaint carries a maximum penalty of $7,600 for each transaction not reported in the manner or time prescribed by the state Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act or ELEC regulations. 

For more on the story, readers can visit the New Jersey Herald:

http://www.njherald.com/20180304/freeholder-hit-with-election-commission-complaint#//