Entries in Steve Lonegan (35)

Friday
Jul132018

McCann has $6k to Gottheimer’s $4.5 MILLION

NorthJersey.com/The Record has reported that Republican John McCann has a little over $6,000 in his congressional campaign  account to the more than $4,500,000 amassed by Democrat incumbent Josh Gottheimer.  According to NorthJersey.com/The Record, Gottheimer has broken the record for money raised in a quarter:

“Freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer's campaign said Thursday that he raised more than $1.5 million from April to June, a total that sets a record for a New Jersey House candidate and exceeds what some U.S. Senate candidates are raising.

Gottheimer, D-Wyckoff, had $4.5 million left in his account on June 30, his campaign said. That compares with less than $6,500 in cash on hand reported Thursday by his opponent, attorney John McCann of Oakland, who also had $55,000 in debts to consultants and vendors.

The previous New Jersey House record appears to be the $1.1 million set in the first quarter of this year by Democrat Mikie Sherrill of Montclair, who is battling Assemblyman Jay Webber for the open seat in North Jersey's 11th District, where Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is retiring. Sherrill has not yet disclosed her second-quarter receipts, which have to be filed at the Federal Election Commission by Sunday night.”

NorthJersey.com/The Record continues:

“Since the 2016 election, Gottheimer has raised nearly $5.3 million. 

McCann beat former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan by about 6 percentage points in the June 5 primary, but he appears to have done little fundraising since then. A disclosure he filed Thursday shows just seven contributions after the primary, totaling $5,468. He put $204,000 of his own money in the campaign on May 22, bringing his total personal loans to almost $329,000.”

Now this next sentence should strike terror into the hearts of every Republican in New Jersey.  This is what every Republican should be worried about – congressional challengers, incumbent members of Congress, county and local candidates, and Assembly candidates next year

“If Gottheimer does not spend what he raises for his re-election this year, he can roll it over for future campaigns or contribute it to other candidates.” 

You can read the full article here…

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2018/07/12/josh-gottheimers-1-5-million-haul-breaks-nj-house-fundraising-record/778641002/

 

Monday
Jun182018

McCann: After victory… radio silence?

The primary over, most winning campaigns are asking supporters and potential supporters for money – to retire their debts from the primary as well as looking forward to the General Election in November.  But not John McCann.

His campaign has been silent.  Despite the fact that the McCann campaign is deeply in debt. 

According to the Federal Election Commission, as of May 16th, the McCann campaign had managed to raise just $61,155 in campaign contributions.  The rest of the campaign’s cash came from the candidate – who was convinced by his consultants to dump even more of his personal resources into the effort in the weeks and days leading up to the primary election.

So where is the effort to reach out to GOP donors who sat out this contentious primary?  And where is the effort to reach out to opponent Steve Lonegan and his donors?  After all, Lonegan was able to raise $429,803 in campaign contributions.  Even Jason Sarnoski – a Freeholder from Warren County who dropped out of the race – raised $75,998 before getting ending his campaign.

But rumors persist that many of McCann’s consultants and/or operatives were paid by sources outside his campaign.  This was a method used by former Essex County GOP boss Jim Treffinger in his abortive 2002 U.S. Senate race.  Treffinger’s race came to an end with his arrest and conviction on charges of political corruption.

That’s not the case with the Lonegan campaign.  Steve Lonegan’s General Consultants – former Ted Cruz political director Mark Campbell and Larry Weitzner (Jamestown Associates) – are clearly listed, as are a host of junior consultants, vendors, and operatives.  We are told that the law was followed in great detail.

One curious McCann connection that popped-up was with DC lobbyist Rosemary Becchi.  Becchi, who now resides in New Jersey, briefly considered challenging incumbent GOP Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ07).

Meanwhile, Democrat incumbent Congressman Josh Gottheimer had raised $4,444,660 by May 16th.  None of it loans from the candidate. 

With Democrat Gottheimer at +$4.4 million and McCann at -$260,000 is it any wonder that everyone who is anyone is downgrading this race, moving it off the board, and into the “safe Democrat” column.  Oh well… maybe next time?

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.

Friday
Jun012018

John McCann’s financial disclosure leaves unanswered questions

Congressional candidate John McCann finally got around to filing his required personal financial disclosure statement with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives after his failure to do so on time was brought to the public’s attention by the New Jersey media. True to the halting and uncertain style of his campaign, McCann filed his twice… on the same day.

Of interest is the odd way in which he reported his own income.  First, McCann confused his reporting requirements with those of his spouse – and filed as if she were the candidate:

Later that same day, he filed his already late disclosure statement, only this time he included his income:

Hey Republicans!  Look how much John McCann made working for the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County. Doesn’t it make you a little queasy? 

And what does “fees” mean?  How do you earn $498,545 in “fees” while working full-timeon the Bergen County payroll?  Is this going to be one of those deals where this guy bills for more hours than there are in a day?

Under the source of income, McCann simply writes “Practice”.  What does that mean?  And is he even following the law?  The law and the instructions that accompany the financial statement are very clear on how to report income:

So what’s the deal?  Why has John McCann failed to fully disclose the source of nearly $700,000 in income?

And if “practice” refers to McCann’s law practice, why is it that earlier in the disclosure statement he reports its value as so little?

And why does he report that his law practice had no income? 

None of it makes any sense, which is kind of the norm with John McCann. 

The madness continues…