Entries in Senator Steve Oroho (84)

Friday
Jun082018

Sarnoski hosts group that trashed Lonegan, attacked Oroho

Just hours before the June 5th Republican primary, NJ Family First – a wholly owned subsidiary of the New Jersey Family Policy Council – did something it has never done before.  It instructed Republican primary voters on how to vote, explicitly telling them to vote for one candidate and against another.

Mind you, they had never done so against a Democrat.  Even the most liberal of far-left, anti-traditional values, pro-abortion Democrats have been spared this kind of treatment.  NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council saved this kind of trashing for a Republican.

Guess which Republican?

Yep, the most consistently Pro-Life/Pro-Traditional Values Republican in New Jersey.

The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to defeat the 2007 ballot question to use taxpayer money to fund embryonic stem-cell research in New Jersey.

The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to defeat Garden State Equality’s same-sex marriage legislative push in 2009-10.

The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to stop the nomination of left-wing sexologist Janet Rosenzweig as the State’s Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families. 

This is who NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council decided to single out for the most grotesque treatment:  A conservative Republican who was ENDORSED by the New Jersey Right to Life PAC, the National Right to Life PAC, United States Senator Ted Cruz, United States Senator Rand Paul, State Senator Mike Doherty, State Senator Gerry Cardinale, State Senator Joe Pennacchio, State Senator Steve Oroho, and every other Pro-Life Legislator in the State…

Yep, NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council trashed Steve Lonegan.

The NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council then went on to pimp for pro-abortion candidate John McCann, who had challenged Scott Garrett and Gerry Cardinale for the 5th District Congressional seat in 2002 on the grounds that they were “Pro-Life” and “too conservative.”

Just days before this mailer hit, McCann was quoted in the Bergen Record (June 1, 2018):

“Lonegan is staunchly pro-life, and recently told an audience at the Knights of Columbus in Fair Lawn that he'd support every anti-abortion bill that came before him. He's tried to tag McCann as being pro-choice, but McCann says the label doesn't fit.  

‘I believe that life begins at conception,’ McCann said.

But when asked whether he would support any future bill to further limit abortion, McCann indicated he would not.

‘The law is what is,’ he said.”

Year in and year out, the New Jersey Family Policy Council pleads for money from good traditional values conservatives.  They give… and this is how NJFPC uses it?

Maybe not.  We have been reliably informed that the money for this mailer came from an outside source with connections to both establishment Republicans and Democrat Party interests.  So perhaps it wasn’t so much the donations of conservatives going to trash a conservative, as it was the name of what was once a traditional values organization being used to that end.

Complicating matters for NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council, is that sources tell us that the same political consulting firm that did candidate John McCann’s direct mail program, incorporated this mailer as part of it.  That firm was the subject of a recent FBI raid and is currently under scrutiny by the United States Justice Department for its role in creating what are described as “scam PACS”. 

Complicating matters even further, this firm was complicit in an advertising campaign that attacked Senator Steve Oroho, who supported Lonegan.  The attacks on Oroho, who is the prime sponsor of New Jersey’s Pro-Life legislative agenda (the 20-20 bill, etc.), were advocated by the McCann campaign’s co-chair, a source with first-hand knowledge confirmed for us.

***

Now NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council is trying to make in-roads into conservative Northwest New Jersey.  There are certain monied interests that require a “traditional values looking” front group that will pimp for anyone.  With this latest mailer, NJ Family First/New Jersey Family Policy Council has proven its “flexibility” on such things.  And its first move in this regard is to host a “training event” for potential candidates and activists. 

To this end, they have asked Warren County Freeholder Jason Sarnoski to host the event for them, scheduled for next week. 

Perhaps Freeholder Sarnoski is unaware of the role played by his new-found friends in trashing conservative Lonegan, who was endorsed by BOTH State Senators who represent Warren County.  What will Senator Oroho, who was himself trashed by these people, make of it?  What will Senator Doherty, Lonegan’s closest political ally, make of it?

As for Freeholder Sarnoski’s involvement with the NJFPC pimp operation, we offer this observation.  Whether aware or unaware of what occurred, Sarnoski always was somewhat ambivalent on certain issues near and dear to social conservatives, and was never really comfortable around movement conservatives.  Perhaps he is a good fit after all? 

More later…


 

 

 

Wednesday
Jun062018

Was Lonegan’s defeat an inside job?

Well, at least Jay Webber won… and Seth Grossman.

Bob Hugin won’t totally have his way in wrapping the State’s Republican brand in a plain brown paper.  He’s going to have a Reagan conservative and an eccentric libertarian to provide some color to the package – not to mention the incumbents, starting with the staunchly Pro-Life Chris Smith.  

What Hugin won’t have is a genuine Trump-style populist bouncing around in the orchestra, stealing the stage of an election that he plainly believes he is paying for.  Like Grossman, Steve Lonegan is decidedly his own article, but enough in the Trump mold to easily wear the costume.

McCann you say?  The most baldly dishonest campaign in memory will now be set aside, and with it, all the Trumpian rhetoric.  No, John McCann was not endorsed by President Trump, even though his campaign communications led you to believe he was.  More on this later. 

It is enough for now to compare the post-truth campaigning style of a certain southern political consultant to the rather insufficient counter-measures of the Lonegan team, whose messaging was done by a consultant shared with the Hugin team.  Although completely false, McCann’s consultant had the discipline to dominate his candidate, confine him to those tasks of which he was capable, and to run the kind of sharp, focused, MESSAGE-driven campaign that we don’t often see here in New Jersey. 

If McCann’s consultant survives the recent raid on his office by the FBI, the inquires by the United States Justice Department and such, he could become a formidable presence on the field in New Jersey.  It takes a certain toughness to come up with a message so at variance with a candidate, to bully the candidate into silence, and then to brazenly run with it to victory.

Unfortunately, now the candidate will think the victory his… he will start to talk again.  Like he did last week when, in an unguarded moment, he let slip his true feelings about abortion (he won’t vote for ANY Pro-Life legislation if elected to Congress) and guns (he opposes the NRA and supports universal background checks).  Did the New Jersey Family Policy Council know this when its (c)4 lobbying arm was induced into doing an openly political mailer that buttered the Pro-Choice candidate but trashed the Pro-Lifer?  Or did they know and did they not care?  More on this later. 

Not to worry though.  John McCann has served his purpose.  The candidate with the money lost (and now that candidate is a wounded, angry animal, sitting on a million dollar war chest).  But John McCann is broke.  He has eaten his seed corn.  Don’t look for him to trouble Josh Gottheimer.  And there might even be a reward in it for him.  Another lucrative patronage job perhaps?  He might end up a judge. 

So the money that would have been spent in the 5th fighting off the visceral attacks of a Lonegan candidacy will now be heading… where?  Which Democrat will be the beneficiary of yesterday… perhaps they will all share in a piece of it? 

Among the other lessons learned… 

The party potentates who opened the bottle  of a Tony Ghee candidacy did so before its time.  They gave the newcomer no time to breathe.  It’s a solid vintage that will hopefully be available again. 

And speaking of which.  We learn from the former Wally Edge that Peter Murphy is about to assume the throne of the GOP in Passaic County – the place he occupied before a certain United States Attorney, named Chris Christie, sent him away.  It’s a bad business – especially for Bob Hugin, who has made political corruption his ONLY issue.  Lonegan’s polling showed Murphy’s support to be the strongest negative against McCann.  More than 80 percent of Republicans were less likely to vote for a candidate who had his support… that’s REPUBLICANS.  You would have hardly guessed it from Lonegan’s campaign communications, but there you have it.

Surprisingly enough, Lonegan did have coattails of a sort.  In Sussex County, Lonegan-backed challengers to two incumbent Freeholders annihilated the incumbents.  It is the first time in living memory that a ticket with two incumbents was defeated in Sussex County.

Dawn Fantasia is the principal at a charter school.  Josh Hertzberg is an administrator with the ILA union.  These are what Republican candidates look like in our populist era.  Fantasia supported Senator Steve Oroho’s negotiations over the refinancing of the Transportation Trust Fund.  She learned about it and patiently explained the details to others – and ended up cutting a radio spot to that end. People warned that it would hurt her politically, because the final deal raised the gas tax, while cutting or eliminating a host of taxes (including the estate tax) and providing property tax relief.  Another lesson learned? 

John McCann injected himself into the Freeholder race, on behalf of the incumbents, who supported him.  He ran a radio spot that attacked Senator Oroho by name on the gas tax.  Former Congressman Scott Garrett came out in support of the incumbents and ran a robo-call on their behalf.  More lessons?

Lonegan won Sussex County, but by a much smaller margin – about 500 votes.  Why the difference?  Well, in Sussex, the Lonegan freeholder ticket had a strong message that they pursued relentlessly – and were quick and sharp with their counterattacks.  The Lonegan campaign proper lacked this, especially the quick counterpunches.  Fantasia and Hertzberg also had the full attentions of Kelly Hart, who had been “let go” by the Lonegan campaign in April.  She had been field director for Sussex County. 

Curiously enough though, when the dust settles after the General Election, the only big changes to the line-up of elected officials in CD05 will be the election of Lonegan’s running mates in Sussex County.  Everyone else… McCann and all his running mates in Bergen and Passaic will have lost. 

A few years ago, Ralph Nadar wrote a book called “Unstoppable” – in which he predicted the rise of populist movements on both the Left and the Right in response to the disconnect with the mainstream political parties.  He suggested that Left and Right reformers had much in common and therefore, the basis of a genuine “resistance” movement.

How will this translate with Dr. Murray Sabrin on the Libertarian Party ticket for U.S. Senate is anyone’s guess, but there are Libertarian candidates in Districts 5 and 11, and a Constitution party in District 3.  A Center-Left populist, Wendy Goetz, is also running in the 5th. 

And finally, election night parties.  The people you meet at such things are not average Republican voters.  Many earn a living from politics – whether as a lobbyist or a vendor, a job holder or a consultant.  They are in the business of politics – even those that just secure from it a certain status, as a member of a local government perhaps, or a school board.

That is not the case with 99 percent of Republican voters.  All they get out of voting is the idea that they are checking the box for someone who thinks like they do.  Most have a general idea of what the Republican Party stands for and that they stand for that too.  That “general idea” is provided to them, largely, by the mainstream media.  And yes, it includes the points that Republicans are Pro-Life and pro-Second Amendment.  

New Jersey’s Republican political class needs to learn to live with this.  Bring to a close their 40 years war with Reagan and their contempt for our base.  Trying to pretend that you are something else or “a different kind of Republican” is not a message, it is a deflection.  For all his money spent on advertising, Bob Hugin was able to convince just 52 percent of Republicans in Sussex County to vote for him.  He will need to do a great deal better. 

Let the political class make its money… but leave average GOP voters someone they can vote for. 

Sadly, the party took a step back yesterday.  They took away someone who meant something to a great many average Republicans – and they did so by telling voters that McCann was just a newer Lonegan, only more conservative, and that Donald Trump endorsed him.  We all know that isn’t true.  

And on that note, we begin the General Election.

Monday
Jun042018

John McCann’s FAKE endorsements (starting with Trump)!

Over the weekend, many of you received a mailer from the campaign of congressional candidate John McCann.  The mailer was professionally designed and carried out by a well-known, national Democrat campaign consultant.

Democrats have been a feature of the McCann campaign.  John McCann was recruited from a Democrat office to run in the Republican primary for Congress.  McCann was a $151,000 a year (plus benefits) Bergen County patronage employee – working for a Democrat office holder in a Democrat-controlled county – when he was plucked from obscurity to challenge long time conservative Steve Lonegan. 

McCann, an attorney, had a deal with his Democrat employers that was so good that they allowed him to collect $498,000 in “fees” in one year – that’s in addition to his full-time salary (with benefits).  That’s right, he owes the Democrats a lot.

John McCann is the hand-picked candidate of a party boss who was convicted on public corruption charges and sent to prison.  McCann’s campaign chair is a liberal pro-abortion campaigner.  McCann’s campaign manager holds contracts from Democrat politicians

Photoshopped image of Trump?

The mailer used a controversial image of President Donald Trump.  The image is controversial, because it has been obviously photoshopped to suit the needs of the campaign. 

Unwinding a Scam

This brings us back to the mailer the McCann campaign sent out over the weekend.  The mailer used the words, “Guess Who Is Endorsing John McCann?”

And then it used the same suspect photograph that had been clearly photoshopped above.  But this is a clear lie.  Donald Trump has not made an endorsement.

To make matters worse, on the reverse of the mailer, the McCann campaign listed several endorsements that also turned out to be lies.

Sussex County Freeholder Herb Yardley was listed and he felt so strongly about it that he paid for a call to Sussex County residents and a radio ad that set the record straight:

“This is Freeholder Herb Yardley.  Some of you may have received a mailer from candidate John McCann claiming that I endorsed him.  That is not true, I endorsed Steve Lonegan for Congress.

Now McCann is running a radio ad that lies about our Senator, Steve Oroho.  In fact Steve Oroho and Mike Doherty are the two most conservative Senators in New Jersey, according to the American Conservative Union.

On June 5th, say NO to John McCann’s lies.”

Former Congressman Scott Garrett also issued a statement claiming that Sussex County Freeholder Carl Lazzaro had also not endorsed John McCann, despite being listed as an endorsee on the McCann mailer.

See, this is how Democrats do it.  They lie.  With so many Democrats around him, McCann can’t help it.  He lies too.

UPDATE

We learned that Sussex County Freeholder Jonathan Rose did endorse John McCann for Congress, although he is not listed on the mailer.  The reason for that is probably a reluctance by McCann to list a public official who supports Governor Phil Murphy’s position on the legalization of marijuana.

That’s right, Jonathan Rose backs legalizing pot!  He says so here…

Hey, McCann is a liberal, but he’s not that liberal.  In supporting McCann, Freeholder Rose apparently takes a liberal stand on abortion and gun control.

Last Friday, candidate John McCann outed himself in an interview with the Bergen Record.  Here, read it for yourself…

Lonegan is staunchly pro-life, and recently told an audience at the Knights of Columbus in Fair Lawn that he'd support every anti-abortion bill that came before him. He's tried to tag McCann as being pro-choice, but McCann says the label doesn't fit.  

"I believe that life begins at conception," McCann said.

But when asked whether he would support any future bill to further limit abortion, McCann indicated he would not.

"The law is what is," he said. 

Hey, that’s NOT Pro-Life.  That is pro-status quo, which equals, pro-abortion.

Now on guns:

Both candidates wrap themselves in the Second Amendment right to bear arms. McCann favors requiring universal background checks perspective gun buyers but Lonegan opposes them they would  just "add another layer of bureaucracy."

Ditto on the Second Amendment.

Here read the whole article for yourselves:

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/politics/2018/06/01/nj-election-2018-john-mccann-steve-lonegan-congress-candidates-play-trump-card-primary/659599002/

Wednesday
May162018

How Steve Oroho finished what Jay Webber started

In the Legislature, you can be a conservative in one of two ways... broadly speaking.  One way is to be a conscience, sit above it all, and vote accordingly.  You could not find a more perfect example of this than Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, who negotiates the prickly halls of Trenton with a Zen assuredness.  He always knows the right thing to do... and he always does it.  Instead of the wilting figure of John McCann, the YR's and CR's could do no better than to adopt Assemblyman Carroll as their Sensei. 

The other way is to wade into the muck in an attempt to climb aboard the ship of state and steer it in a more desirable direction.  Sometimes the engine isn't even working and you might need to get down into the boiler room -- knee deep in waste -- and grapple with the machinery of government, just to get it sputtering in some direction.

Assemblyman Jay Webber takes this course... to a point.  He seems well enough suited to steer, but when it comes to the engine room, he doesn't want to get his hands dirty.  That's where he differs from Senator Steve Oroho.  Oroho accepts that he will have to endure the heat and muck in order to get the machine running -- and he doesn't mind busting a knuckle or two while grabbling with a boiler wrench. 

A prime example are their differing approaches to preventing the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) from going bankrupt and ending the Estate Tax.  Two very conservative causes.  The TTF, funded by a gas tax, was right out of the Reagan mantra of using user taxes to fund public infrastructure.  Those who use the roads should pay for them, said Reagan, no free rides!  While the death tax -- which is what an Estate Tax is -- has been identified by conservatives for years as the destroyer of small businesses and the ruination of family farms.

Jay Webber waded into the issue assuredly enough.  On October 14, 2014, the Star-Ledger published a column by the Assemblyman.  It's title was "Fixing transportation and taxes together."  Webber was writing about how to raise the gas tax to re-fund the nearly bankrupt TTF, while offsetting that tax increase with cuts to other taxes.  He zeroed in on the Estate Tax: 

"NEW JERSEY leaders are grappling with three major problems: First, New Jersey has the worst tax burden in the nation. Two, New Jersey's economy suffers from sluggish growth. And third, our state's Transportation Trust Fund is out of money. There is a potential principled compromise that can help solve all of them.

Of the three problems, the Transportation Trust Fund has been getting the most attention lately, and for good reason: It's broke. There is just no money in it to maintain and improve our vital infrastructure. Without finding a solution, we risk watching our roads and bridges grow unsafe and unusable and hinder movement of people and goods throughout the state. That, of course, will exacerbate our state's slow economic growth.

...we should insist that if any tax is raised to restore the TTF, it be coupled with the elimination of a tax that is one of our state's biggest obstacles to economic growth: the death tax. By any measure, New Jersey is the most extreme outlier on the death tax, with worst-in-the-nation status... 

New Jersey's death tax is not a concern for the wealthy alone, as many misperceive. We are one of only two states with both an estate and inheritance tax. New Jersey's estate-tax threshold of $675,000, combined with a tax rate as high as 16 percent, means that middle-class families with average-sized homes and small retirement savings are hit hard by the tax. 

It also means the tax affects small businesses or family farms of virtually any size, discouraging investment and growth among our private-sector job creators. Compounding the inequity is that government already has taxed the assets subject to the death tax when the money was earned. Because of our onerous estate and inheritance taxes, Forbes magazine lists New Jersey as a place "Not to Die" in 2014. 

That's a problem, and it's one our sister states are trying hard not to duplicate. A recent study by Connecticut determined that states with no estate tax created twice as many jobs and saw their economies grow 50 percent more than states with estate taxes. That research prompted Connecticut and many states to reform their death taxes. New York just lowered its death tax, and several other states have eliminated theirs. 

The good news is that New Jersey's leaders finally are realizing that our confiscatory death tax is a big deal. A bipartisan coalition of legislators has shown its support for reforming New Jersey's death tax..." 

Taking Webber's lead, Senator Steve Oroho got to work and began the painstakingly long process of negotiation with the majority Democrats.  Oroho was animated by the basic unfairness that New Jersey taxpayers were under-writing out-of-state drivers to the tune of a half-billion dollars a year.  He understood that if the TTF went bankrupt, the cost would flip to county and local governments... resulting in an average $500 property tax increase.  Oroho went to battle to prevent this disaster and even had to stand up to Governor Chris Christie, who wanted to end negotiations too soon and accept a weaker deal from the Democrats.

Unfortunately, Assemblyman Webber didn't stick with it.  When the time came for Jay Webber to be counted as part of that bipartisan coalition, he couldn't be counted on.  Jay got scared off by the lobbyist arm of the petroleum industry and what's worse is that he started attacking those who did what he advocated doing only a short time before.  

Remember that it was Webber who wrote these words in that column more than three years ago:  "Any gas-tax increase should be accompanied by measures that will help alleviate, or at least not increase, the overall tax burden on New Jerseyans." Jay Webber wrote those words, setting the direction.  Steve Oroho was left on his own to get the job done -- to do the negotiating.  The helmsman had abandoned the engineer.  

Webber said at the time that he believed the bipartisan tax restructuring package worked out by the legislative leaders (minus Senator Tom Kean Jr.) and the Governor would result in a net tax increase.  Oroho and others disagreed with him.  Webber is by all accounts a good lawyer, but Oroho is the numbers man.  He's a certified financial planner and CPA.  Before beginning his career of public service, Steve Oroho was a senior financial officer for S&P 500 companies like W. R. Grace and  Young & Rubicam.  It was this knowledge that enabled him to fashion the compromise that he did -- one that turned out to be the largest tax cut in New Jersey's history. 

In the end, the Democrats' 40-cent increase on the gas tax was paired down to 23-cents.  The gas tax, the proceeds from which funds the TTF, had not been adjusted for inflation in 28 years, had not provided enough funding to cover annual operations in 25 years, and wasn't even bringing in enough money to pay the interest on the borrowing that was done to keep operations going (in 2015, the state collected just $750 million from the gas tax while incurring an annual debt cost of $1.1 billion).  Even so, Senator Oroho knew exactly where to draw the line... at the minimalist 23 cents and not the 40 cents the Democrats plausibly argued for. 

In the end, the engineer got the job done.  Senator Steve Oroho emerged from the boiler room triumphant.  He ended the Estate Tax and secured tax cuts for retirees, veterans, small businesses, farmers, consumers, and low-income workers.  He secured property tax relief by doubling the TTF's local financial aid to towns and counties -- and prevented a $500 per household property tax hike.  He made out-of-state drivers pay for using New Jersey's roads -- and ensured that New Jerseyans will continue to have safe roads and bridges to drive on.

Oroho's tax cuts were praised by conservative groups like Americans for Tax Reform and conservative publications like Forbes, which called his tax cuts "one of the 5 best state and local tax policy changes in 2016 nationwide." 

That's getting something done.   

Monday
Apr092018

Fantasia & Hertzberg for Sussex County Freeholder Kick Off Their 2018 Campaign With More than 200 Supporters

info@dawnandjoshforfreeholder.com

Sparta, NJ – Dawn Fantasia and Josh Hertzberg kicked off their Freeholder campaign last night at the Mohawk House in Sparta with over 200 supporters in attendance!

Among those in attendance were Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, Assemblyman Hal Wirths, Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce, Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada, Freeholder Herb Yardley,  Congressional Candidate Steve Lonegan, CD 5  and  Congressional Candidate Antony Ghee, CD 11, Sussex County Surrogate Gary Chiusano, Franklin Mayor Nick Giordano, Franklin Councilman Stephen Skellenger, Sparta Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn, Sparta Councilwoman Molly Whilesmith, Sparta Councilman Jerry Murphy, Sparta Councilman Gilbert Gibbs as well as many other Sussex County town and county leaders. 

 

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