Entries in Skylands Victory PAC (4)


McCann adopts liberal Mario Cuomo's position on abortion

Candidate John McCann recently sent out one of the most dishonest letters in the recent history of the GOP in New Jersey.  This is the same guy who said he was running for Congress because Senator Gerry Cardinale and Scott Garrett were too conservative. 

McCann is the same guy who throughout his political career claimed to follow the policies and politics of liberal U.S. Senator Arlen Specter.  The same guy whose boss -- Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino -- campaigned for re-election on a ticket headed by Hillary Clinton.  

In McCann's undated, mass-produced letter, he appealed for support by using the cheap lawyer's device of parsing words so that they, on closer inspection, mean the opposite of what they appear to mean on first reading.  In other words, McCann tries to pull the wool over the eyes of the reader.

For instance, McCann writes:  "I am personally pro-life". 

This is the exact language used by liberal pro-abortionist Mario Cuomo, the former Democrat Governor of New York, and it's become known as  the "personally opposed, but" position on abortion.  As everyone who is Pro-Life knows, this is the pro-abortion position used by dishonest politicians trying to have it both ways.  Bill Clinton used it.  So did the Democrat running against Senator Steve Oroho last year in LD24.  It is total b.s.

And like Cuomo did in his famous speech at Notre Dame in 1984 -- "the Catholic Church is my spiritual home" -- John McCann references his Catholic faith in an attempt to appeal to those he will be voting against, should he ever hold elected office.  McCann is just a less eloquent version of Cuomo -- a less pretty veneer trying to cover over the same liberal crap.

When McCann attended a recent fundraiser hosted by the Skylands Victory PAC, he stunned those present with a weird talk about how his wife -- an ob-gyn doctor in New York City -- did not perform "late-term abortions."  What??? 

Why would a candidate running in a Republican primary in the Pro-Life 5th District even bring that up?  But there he was, assuring everyone present of that distinction.  Did McCann take temporary leave of his senses, or did someone coach him to say it? 

It's time for John McCann and his crew to just be honest about where they stand and stop playing bait-and-switch lawyer games.  


"Stumbling John" McCann tries to b.s. the Sussex GOP

There is something strange about "Stumbling John" McCann and the shambolic sideshow he calls his campaign.  A few weeks ago, he visited Sussex County to attend a fundraiser hosted by the Skylands Victory PAC.  At that event, he stunned those present with a weird talk about how his wife -- an ob-gyn doctor in New York City -- did not perform "late-term abortions."  What???


Why would a candidate running in a Republican primary in Pro-Life Sussex County even bring that up?  But there he was, assuring everyone present of that distinction.  Did McCann take temporary leave of his senses, or did someone coach him to say it? 


Last night McCann was back in Sussex County, at the GOP county committee's final meeting of the year, and once again he couldn't keep it together.  In contrast to the others present, McCann attacked his fellow Republicans, played the arrogant  bully, and made a general nuisance of himself -- speaking so long that he had to be asked to stop.


And what did "Stumbling John" McCann talk about?  He talked about how great "Stumbling John" McCann was.  Hey, it's the holiday season and we all encounter buttholes like this at work parties and such, going on and on and on about their favorite subject... which is them.


McCann used the Sussex GOP to further embellish his tall tale about how he killed the Clinton Healthcare Plan.  Apparently forgetting what his own campaign biography states, McCann claimed to have been called on by the Wharton School to save healthcare.  That's not what he wrote in his bio.  Memo to McCann:  If you are going to b.s. -- at least be consistent.


The truth is a lot less than the story McCann makes from it.  McCann was a college intern in liberal Senator Arlen Specter's office.  At the direction of his superiors, John McCann claims to have made a graph.  That's right.  A graph.  And just like the typical self-important, overblown junior academic, he takes credit for the hard work of all those Senators and Congressman and Rush Limbaugh and talk radio and the medical professionals and all those thousands of conservative activists and all the reams of studies and research and opinion pieces and thousands of graphs of all those conservative and libertarian think tanks -- not to mention the Republican legal staffs of both the House and the Senate.  No mention of all them... it was "me" says McCann.  "Me and my graph... saved not just New Jersey... but America!"  Yeah, sounds like he gazed into that mirror a bit too long.


McCann followed up this hooey with the claim that, in 1995, he was the first to propose a 2% tax cap on property taxes in New Jersey.  McCann claims he got the idea from reading about Proposition 2 1/2 in Massachusetts and Proposition 13 in California.  Now here is where his b.s. breaks down entirely.


Leaving aside the fact that John McCann was never in a position to actually propose anything (he didn't hold the necessary public office), consider this...


Proposition 2 1/2 was passed in Massachusetts in 1980 and went into effect in 1982. 


Proposition 13 was passed in California in 1978 and went into effect immediately.


And John McCann wants us to believe that in all those years between 1978 and 1995, nobody (let's say that again) nobody had the idea to try it in New Jersey???


In fact, there were a plethora of newspaper stories discussing proposed caps in New Jersey as low as 1 1/2 percent nearly a decade before McCann claims to have thought of it.  There was even a ballot question on the issue in Bergen County. 


This guy is too sloppy, too angry and thin-skinned to be a real candidate.  That's why so many people think he's been put up by the Democrats to screw with the Republican primary.  As the Bergen County Record noted recently, McCann is the longtime right-hand man to Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino. 


McCann's boss Saudino was on Hillary Clinton's Democrat ticket against the Republican ticket headed by Donald Trump in 2016.  The same ticket Josh Gottheimer was on.  That's too close for comfort in anyone's book.


Freeholder Crabb: Late again with ethics filing

The state's campaign finance laws are the primary means of transparency by which citizens can see who our elected officials are taking money from.  That doesn't matter to some elected officials in Sussex County who openly scoff at the law.  Freeholder Phil Crabb is Sussex County's poster boy when it comes to ignoring ethics rules.  He operated his campaign account for four years without filing timely reports in accordance with state campaign finance laws. 

Then in 2011, his GOP running mates put their foot down and wouldn't let him on the ballot with them until he straightened his act out and both filed his past due reports and started filing future reports on time.  Crabb got better, but still missed a lot of deadlines.  It looked like he had cleaned up his act for his re-election but now with the election behind him he missed his first filing deadline after the November election. 

In some counties, a wanton screw-up like Crabb would have been quietly asked to step aside.  Examples abound in other parts of the state.  Not in Sussex County.  Wantonly, purposefully, breaking the ethics rules doesn't matter.  Crabb's reward for breaking the law year in and year out was a fundraiser held in his honor at the wine cellar of the powerful Mulvihill corporate clan.

Speaking of fundraisers at the wine cellar, it looks like the secret is out.  A few weeks ago, the New Jersey Herald ran a story about the latest county incumbents to be feted at the wine cellar.  From the article, it looks like the vendors who made up the dormant Skylands Victory PAC now influence county officials by putting on fundraising events for them.  The way they do it is worth a look see, as the donations collected appear to fall under the reporting threshold.  Whether purposeful or not, the effect is the same, with voters left in the dark about who is underwriting the political campaigns of their elected county officials.  Too bad, because the voters should get to see who their elected officials are indebted to. 

Who said, "There are no Democrats or Republicans, only haves and have nots"?  While two dozen of the county's political and corporate elite were drinking fine wine and eating lobster and steak, the U.S. Census figures showed that New Jersey was one of just three states where both the number of people living in poverty and the poverty rate increased.  Who is advising these people? 

Have some common sense.  Economic hard times demand a show of humility.  Instead of rubbing voters faces in it by having a meal with a price tag most of them can't afford, why not hold a hot dog supper at a price everyone could afford?  In a democracy middle-class voters and fat cats all get just one vote each.  More is better.




Will the last person left at the Sussex GOP Please remember to turn off the lights.

Last Friday evening, the Sussex County Republican Committee ran its annual gala.  This is no longer the 300 person event that some of us remember.  The gala, a key fundraising event for the committee, now draws less than one hundred – far less.  And missing from the gala are some of the new factions that have come to life again since last year’s election battle between Surrogate Gary Chiusano and Glen Vetrano stand-in Alicia Ferrante.

In fact, Vetrano and much of what was once called the Littell faction didn’t participate in the gala or the party fundraising.  Same goes for the Skylands Victory PAC and its associates in the Vernon municipal government.  No shows to the gala. 

Is the county committee becoming irrelevant?  Don’t look for any answers from Tuesday’s primary election results. 

Republican turnout was an abysmal 14 percent in the county.  Low turnout usually means that the 500 or so connected GOP “insiders” and their friends and families will dominate the election, so you would expect a 70-30 or better win for an incumbent with all the money and all the support of the county GOP.   

That didn’t happen.  Instead we got a much closer 60-40 race between incumbent Freeholder Phil Crabb and challenger Wantage Committeeman Ron Bassani.  This despite the fact that Crabb spent significant money on his re-election campaign, including at least two direct mailers, radio ads, and other voter contact.  Bassani spent next to nothing and had no radio or direct mail.  Yet he managed 40 percent. 

Imagine what would have happened if he had a campaign?

Does this mean that 40 percent of the county’s Republican “super-voters” are unhappy with the people who are the faces of the Sussex GOP?  Maybe, but it could even be worse.

In a U.S. Senate race between four relative unknowns, one of these unknowns had the support of some of the county’s top elected officials:  Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, and Assemblyman Parker Space.   Despite this and the fact that they took out ads under their own names, the unknown with the support of the LD24 team managed less than 25 percent of the vote in Sussex County and lost Warren County too.  

At the Sussex GOP’s Election Night gathering Freeholder Crabb thanked former Freeholder Rich Zeoli for his help while all but ignoring Senator Oroho and Assemblywoman McHose. Both of whom were early financial and political supporters of Crabb’s re-election.  Does he consider them now to be irrelevant? 

One thing certain is that the big winner on election night in Sussex County was former Steve Lonegan protégé Rick Shaftan.  Shaftan managed to put together a Tea Party network that dominated Tuesday’s Senate primary in the county.  Despite having the county’s top Republicans out there for candidate Murray Sabrin, Shaftan’s candidate, Rich Pezzullo, took 44 percent of the vote in a four-way race.  This was a solid and impressive win.

Shaftan, who works for Hudson County Democrat State Senator/ Mayor/ School Superintendent Nick Sacco, was defeated just one year ago in a campaign for Republican State Committee.  With Tuesday’s win Shaftan is now the county’s “top dog” consultant.   We will all be waiting to see his next move.