Entries in NJ's 5th Congressional District (4)


Is Rendo endorsement the first shot in a GOP civil war?

We were thinking about that stupid statement by that fellow we thought we liked, Carlos Rendo, and who we were prepared to forgive for his anti-religious musings and his work as an immigration attorney.  The statement was made yesterday, by Rendo, in an attack on Republican Steve Lonegan, on behalf of John McCann.

Rendo told InsiderNJ that, of the two, McCann was the "only candidate with an actual record of putting taxpayers first."  

It's funny Rendo put it that way, because "Putting Taxpayers First" is the title of the 2007 book written by Steve Lonegan.  In it, Lonegan provides the blueprint for the conservative movement on how to address New Jersey's worst-in-America business climate and poor record of job creation, the state's highest-in-the-nation property taxes, subsidized COAH housing, the public employees union-dominated education system, and the activist judiciary -- among other things.

We can't expect the younger generation to remember what it was like after party liberals like Christie Whitman and Paulie DiGaetano lost Republicans our majorities in both chambers of the Legislature.  Under Democrats McGreevey and Corzine, the Democrats grew government with tax hikes and new regulations -- and always with Republican support.  Conservatives watched dismayed as the GOP provided the votes to end the death penalty for serial killers, child rapists/ murderers, cop-killers, and terrorists.  

While this was happening, John McCann was threatening to run for Congress, telling GOP leaders that Senator Gerry Cardinale and Assemblyman Scott Garrett were "too conservative" for the 5th District.  McCann's candidacies are cyclical.  Like the cicada, he surfaces from the mud about once a decade.  McCann called himself an "Arlen Specter Republican," going left on the issues, mimicking the Democrats' platform on such issues as abortion and gun-control.

Meanwhile, Steve Lonegan was organizing the modern conservative movement in New Jersey.  He led the fight against the Newark arena taxpayer rip-off, fought  state government borrowing without voter approval all the way to the Supreme Court, winning key concessions and transparency.  The Court's decisions in Lonegan I and Lonegan II paved the way for the (then Senator Leonard) Lance Amendment.  Lonegan organized conservatives to sue to stop eminent domain and taxpayer-funded elections.

Lonegan pulled off the unheard of accomplishment of defeating two statewide ballot questions -- stopping government-funded embryonic stem cell research and a sales tax increase.  Lonegan broke the back of the Corzine administration's plans to hike tolls on state roads and he successfully organized conservatives to stop the RGGI fuel tax.  Again, and again, and again, Steve Lonegan was the essential man -- leading the conservative movement forward, providing hope to the GOP in its darkest days.

Steve Lonegan became the glue that held the conservative movement together in New Jersey.  He took over the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and made it the premier chapter in the nation.  His fundraising prowess saw to it that conservative initiatives had resources.  When the GOP opposed same-sex marriage in 2009-10, it was Lonegan who made the calls to ensure they had the funding.

Because of Steve Lonegan, Chris Christie tacked right in his 2009 campaign for Governor, and New Jersey elected -- and re-elected -- a Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment Governor, something the Whitman/DiGaetano wing of the GOP had long held was an impossibility.  Lonegan held seminars, put together conventions, organized demonstrations and rallies -- a flurry of grassroots activity unheard of in the NJGOP.  He nurtured the careers and helped fund the campaigns of younger conservatives like Mike Doherty, Michael Patrick Carroll, and Alison Littell McHose.

Under Steve Lonegan, AFP became the thing that SRM and ARV have most desperately needed in the last few cycles -- a superPAC able to independently hit the Democrats and hold them to account.  Lonegan's relationships with national conservatives ensured that the efforts of groups like the General Majority PAC would not go unchallenged.  

All this ended abruptly when Steve Lonegan departed New Jersey to work on the national scene.  AFP became a shell of its former self.  Activism died overnight.

And the NJGOP, the SRM, the ARV?  Unprecedented losses over and over again.  You have to go back to the period after the Watergate Scandal (do any YR's or CR's even know what that is?) to find a time when New Jersey Republicans held this few seats in the Legislature.  Next up... the culling of the GOP's congressional delegation in New Jersey.

The Republican Party in New Jersey has been studiously ignoring its conservative base for years.  Meanwhile, its once dominant "country club" crowd has gone Democrat and is now fielding candidates from its ranks against GOP incumbents like Jon Bramnick.  In 2001 there were more so-called "wingers" than "country-clubbers" -- 17 years later, the country-club set is kidding itself if it still believes it counts for more than 20 percent of the party's registered voters. Now it is a discussion between populist "Trump" Republicans and their ideological comrades of the more traditional  "Reagan" right.  It's not your party anymore, Ms. Whitman.

Steve Lonegan's return to New Jersey politics could be a great shot-in-the-arm for the NJGOP, for SRM, and for ARV.  Lonegan has the relationships to bring national conservatives into New Jersey to take on groups like the General Majority PAC.  As we speak, a superPAC composed of medical professionals is forming -- the first of many.  

Unfortunately, there is this Rendo endorsement.  Normally, the endorsement of some moe from Hudson County who got elected mayor in Bergen County wouldn't count for much.  But this guy was the establishment's choice for Lt. Governor, so many conservatives are conflating his move with the establishment's wishes.  This misunderstanding could lead to conflict, which could become a very debilitating civil war at a time when resources are thin and the congressional delegation is at stake.

Right now, New Jersey Congressional Republicans are not speaking with a single voice on any issue and they are certainly not following the President in any collective fashion.  There are a lot of GOP messages out there.  Taking back CD05 is going to be a formidable challenge, with holding CD02 perhaps more difficult.  Congressman Frelinghuysen has been taking a terrific beating for months and faces a very attractive opponent.   If Josh Gottheimer doesn't wake up with a sore ass every morning, if Jeff Van Drew isn't sledge-hammered regularly, if Rodney doesn't learn how to punch back... the Democrats with all their money and all their superPACs are going to move on new opportunities.  It is time to stop them.

Does anyone really believe that a candidate like John McCann can even piss straight?  For years he's lived in the moist dirt of county patronage politics, sucking up what the boys -- Republicans and Democrats -- feed him.  McCann is where he is because he threatened to run in a primary against conservative Republican incumbent Gerry Cardinale.  That's right, this asswipe thought it was a good idea to primary Senator Cardinale and make SRM spend money it didn't have, so there would be less to spend fighting the Democrats in November.

Oh, and at the time, McCann was the patronage employee of Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino, who would have had to sign-off on his antics.  No conflict there, right?

At the time, Bergen County GOP boss Paulie DiGaetano was messing in a divisive primary of his own (one he couldn't raise money for) and dissuaded McCann by promising him the Congressional nomination.  Paulie got crushed in the primary and here we are now.  McCann thinks the nomination is his by gift from a party boss who couldn't raise the money required to fund his own legislative race!  Does anybody think Josh Gottheimer is going to take this clown seriously?  Josh will be able to campaign fulltime in CD11.

Steve Lonegan's presence on the ballot has given new life to the state's conservative movement.  It has energized the base, made them happy, and caused them to think well of the GOP.  Carlos Rendo's stupid move has jeopardized that and the conspiracy theories are already circulating.

John McCann can't raise the money, can't stir the troops, won't rally the base, and will only provide Josh Gottheimer with the leisure to make mischief in another district.  But maybe that's all beside the point.  Perhaps his loyalties are still with Democrat Saudino?  As has been suggested, perhaps he is one of them?


Pro-abort McCann attacks Cruz endorsement of Lonegan

Self-described "Arlen Specter Republican" John McCann has attacked conservative Steve Lonegan for picking-up the endorsement of United States Senator Ted Cruz. 


Through an anonymous "spokesperson", McCann -- who the Bergen Record calls "the right hand man" of Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino of Bergen County -- said that Lonegan was "out of touch" by accepting the endorsement of Senator Cruz. 


So let's see.  John McCann's model of a Republican office-holder is Arlen Specter, a RINO so extraordinary that he finally switched parties to Democrat because he believed he had become so distasteful to Republican primary voters.  A big government liberal who never met an abortion clinic that he didn't want to fund.


In contrast, Steve Lonegan has the strong support of one of the nation's top conservative leaders, Senator Ted Cruz.  The American Conservative Union rated Ted Cruz as voting the conservative position 100 percent of the time.  The National Taxpayers Union gave Cruz a 95 percent rating, while the Club for Growth rated Cruz at 96 percent.


When Arlen Specter was a Republican, before he embraced his "inner Obama" and became a Democrat in name as well as in practice, he didn't make it above 50 percent and some years flirted with zero.  This is who John McCann is modeling himself on.


You have to ask yourself... Don't we already have a liberal holding the seat?  And then the penny drops... McCann is a Democrat patronage employee put up by the Democrats to trash the Republican primary.  He isn't real.  Just a tool... for the Democrats.


The facts here are plain.  The Democrats (McCann included) know and respect the fundraising prowess of Senator Ted Cruz.  They know he will raise a half-million to a million dollars for the Republican in the race, Steve Lonegan.  They know that there are more than 2,000 Cruz donors who reside in New Jersey.


By attacking Ted Cruz, the spokesperson for "Stumbling John" McCann shows just how clearly out of touch he is.


Stumbling John McCann peddles his b.s. in Paramus

Candidate John McCann reminds us of a wax figure that's been in the sun too long.  The guy is limp, droopy.  He looks like he's melting.  Sleepy and shambolic is very uninspiring.

Before stopping by Sussex County a day after the election (he skipped the November 5th rally hosted by Sussex GOP Chairman Jerry Scanlan and Steve Lonegan) Democrat ex-pat McCann was at an event in Paramus, in Bergen County.  There he let loose with some major whoppers -- first and foremost that the NRCC (the National Republican Congressional Committee) was not supporting Steve Lonegan in his race to unseat incumbent Democrat Congressman Josh Gottheimer.

McCann apparently missed this press release from the NRCC:

There has been a lot of media coverage about this but McCann, who lacks even a Facebook page, seems to have missed it.  Either that or he was just bullshitting again.

Who is John McCann?

He is the brainstorm of what remains of GOP bossism in Bergen County.  The Bergen County GOP, fresh from their latest in a long string of losses in both primaries and general elections, have abjectly surrendered to the point that they now believe that the only way forward is to formally turn their county organization over to the Democrats, and to rest comfortably under the wing of the Democrat Party.  So they accept the Democrats' terms and lawyer John McCann, who was a patronage employee with the County's elected Democrat Sheriff, is their chosen candidate for Congress. 

With John McCann, the Bergen GOP will appear to have found a candidate to oppose incumbent Democrat Josh Gottheimer.  In reality, McCann's candidacy will be a hollow one, lacking financial resources or contrast with the Democrat.  It will serve the Democrats' will and cement Democrat Gottheimer into a district that no Democrat should hold.

John McCann is one of the Bergen GOP's "hollow men" -- having surfaced to run for the Assembly in 1995, he was crushed, fell to earth, and burrowed into the moist manure of crony politics.  Here he existed as a kind of chrysalis, without thought, ideology, or principles.  The money doesn't allow such things.  There are lots of "hollow men" about.  The Bergen GOP could not fill a room without them.

We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar
    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

    ...Behaving as the wind behaves

At the very beginning of conservative Scott Garrett's career in Congress, at the very beginning, John McCann attempted to go from pupa to butterfly.  But it was to oppose both Scott Garrett and Gerry Cardinale in the primary because, so John McCann said, they were "too conservative."

In that race, McCann -- a self-described follower of the ideology of Democrat-turned Republican-turned Democrat Arlen Specter -- assured anyone who cared to listen that the only way Republicans could hold on to CD05 was to nominate a "moderate".  McCann spelled that out as someone who was liberal on abortion, the social issues, and the Second Amendment.  McCann was wrong.  A solid conservative won -- while McCann's campaign collapsed because he couldn't raise the money or support to sustain it.  That was in 2002.  Does anyone really believe that the GOP has gone Left since then?

John McCann's candidacy is the end game of the Bergen County GOP.  Their intentions and his candidacy promise to end the game and to deliver New Jersey's 5th Congressional District into Democrat hands for what might as well be an eternity in politics.  And for what?  Perhaps the Bergen bosses will accrue some considerations, and one more piece will be removed from the already almost blank board.  One less contention to squabble over. 

This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

Well, not on our watch.


NRCC backs Lonegan in CD05 race against Gottheimer

Two recent happenings in the race to unseat Clintonista Democrat Congressman Josh Gottheimer.  On Friday, the NJ Observer reported:  "The National Republican Congressional Committee, a key fundraising group for House races, is throwing its support behind Steve Lonegan in New Jersey’s 5th congressional district, giving him an advantage in a GOP primary and possibly the 2018 midterms."


This report was followed by other newspaper and media coverage from across the state noting the NRCC's choice to take on the liberal Gottheimer next year.  The NRCC's action signals that the GOP Washington, DC money crowd are placing their bets on Steve Lonegan as their best chance of retaking the seat once held by conservative Congressman Scott Garrett.


Meanwhile, at an event in Sussex County at which Lonegan and two other "possible" GOP candidates attended, a couple of controversial figures were seen leading one of those "others" around.  Jack Zisa, a notorious figure from the underbelly of Bergen County politics had congressional wannabe John McCann by the hand, introducing him to those few ex-Trenton oldtimers at the event.  Zisa will be remembered for his role in electing corrupt liberal Democrat Bob Torricelli to the United States Senate in 1996.  Then the Republican Mayor of Hackensack, Zisa organized GOP turncoats for liberal Torricelli, who went on to become a particularly memorable dirtbag, even by New Jersey standards.  Now Zisa is part of McCann's brain trust (or brain fart, depending on how you look at it).


There was another creature slithering about -- an actual Democrat from the Bergen County Sheriff's office -- in attendance at the Republican event in conservative Sussex County.  Hey, shouldn't these guys be  at the Wicca rally down the street hosted by Blue Wash or I'm Blue and in Jersey or the Hand of Action or any one of a number of colorfully named leftist groups that go to rallies endlessly the way drunks head for the can.  It makes us wonder if Mr. McCann has actually ended his employment with the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County.


The other "possible" candidate, Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski, was bright-eyed and active throughout the event.  And no Democrats with him.


Speaking of his endorsement by the NRCC, Lonegan said:  "The 5th congressional district is a fundamentally conservative district... The people of North Jersey support lower taxes, job-creating policies, term limits, deregulation, smaller government, an end to Obamacare, and no funding for sanctuary cities or sanctuary states. Josh Gottheimer is on the wrong side of every one of these issues and that’s why he’s going to lose.”


The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was quick to label Lonegan a "Tea Party" Republican -- which is strange coming from a group of people who have routinely supported the activities of ANTIFA, Jihadist Linda Sarsour and her Women's March, and the Women's March organization's support for terrorist cop-killer Joanne Chesimard (AKA Assata Shakur).


At the event, Lonegan was basking in the glow of being named as part of the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program, which identifies candidates that could wage competitive races against Democrats.   An endorsement by the NRCC will mean an enormous financial edge for Lonegan in the June 2018 congressional primary.  Lonegan was one of 31 Republicans identified by the “Young Guns” program nationwide.  He is known as the "father of the conservative movement in New Jersey."