PRESS RELEASE: Fitzherbert Announces Another Cumberland Endorsement

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Announced Republican candidate for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District, Brian Fitzherbert, announced another endorsement this morning. His campaign’s press release follows:

Egg Harbor Township - Today, Brian T. Fitzherbert, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s Second Congressional District, announced the endorsement of Downe Township Mayor Bob Campbell.

"I’m pleased to have the endorsement of Mayor Campbell. He is a dedicated public servant who cares about the future of South Jersey. I look forward to working with Mayor Campbell to fight for the Delaware Bayshore Region in Washington D.C.,” Fitzherbert said.

Mayor Campbell voiced his support saying, “I've gotten to know Brian as a friend and he is a standup guy of impeccable character. He never waivers in expressing his interest in the Delaware Bayshore and working to fight for South Jersey. I see Brian in South Jersey more than any other Republican Congressional candidate. I am confident he will work with us side-by-side to support our community in Cumberland County. He is the committed, conservative leader we need representing the 2nd Congressional District in Washington D.C. That is why I am happy to endorse Brian Fitzherbert for Congress.”

New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District covers all of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties, as well as parts of Gloucester, Ocean, Burlington, and Camden Counties.

Please follow the campaign on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and visit the website at www.FitzherbertForCongress.com.

CD2: This Time The Self-Funder Really Can Self-Fund; Also, I Should Have Checked Before Telling Another Candidate He Couldn’t Afford Me

David Richter & Brian Fitzherbert

David Richter & Brian Fitzherbert

Long before he announced his congressional exploratory committee and before making his candidacy in CD2 official there was a lot of talk in GOP circles about David Richter having the ability to self-fund a run for congress.

I never really cared about how much money someone else earns, but when it comes to Republican candidates I do care about alleged self-funders simply because sometimes it appears, at least with some members of my party, the ability to self-fund is a prerequisite.

In CD2, specifically, I care about talk of a self-funding candidate because, as we all know, many folks talked about the ability of Hirsh Singh to self-fund a congressional campaign last year because they were too stupid to figure out that he couldn’t use his father’s money like he did when he ran for governor. There were many folks unhappy after learning Singh couldn’t self-fund.

Thanks to last year’s mess, now when I hear “a millionaire is getting into the race,” any race, I’m skeptical. Besides, sometimes in South Jersey the word millionaire is loosely defined by the Democrats. I’m old enough to remember the Democrat’s negative ads attacking former Cumberland County Freeholder, Prosecutor and Surrogate Art Marchand as “Millionaire Marchand.” He was a client back in 2009 when he and George Shivery lost the Assembly primary “after a split in the Gloucester County Republican Party” screwed up the entire election year. Trust me, Marchand was no self-funder!

So, mostly because of last year I decided to check and see if the newest of the announced candidates, David Richter, really can self-fund a campaign.

I had no doubt Richter has some money as his children and my client U.S. Senate candidate Tricia Flanagan’s kids attend the same private school where per child tuition is about the same as the MSRP on a new Ford Edge.

The first thing I did was went to the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives website to check financial disclosure forms. Unfortunately, Richter hasn’t filed yet, so off to Google I went.

Because I am not a total a$$hole I will not post the exact number I found, but I will say Richter is worth a lot more than the owner of my favorite diner and a lot less than multi-millionaire Bob Hugin. Granted, that’s a big range, but trust me, he ain’t hurting.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Richter was doing quite well, with a seven figure annual income, before leaving Hill International:

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Richter received some pretty decent “other” compensation at Hill International too, including more than a $56,000 car allowance and over $21,000 in country club fees.

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Not only did he earn a nice salary, but as recently as May 31, 2017, Richter, in a letter to the Board of Directors of Hill International, Inc. made it clear that he “…and certain other members of the Richter family. Collectively, we own approximately 10.6 million shares, or 20.4%, of the outstanding common stock of Hill International, Inc.” I don’t know exactly what 20.4% of Hill International is worth, but I do know it’s many millions of dollars.

When it comes to Richter, there is no doubt he can self-fund. In fact, if he comes into the studio to appear on The Bob & Steve Show we might suspend our practice of paying for our guest’s breakfast and make him pay for our breakfast.

And, speaking of paying for breakfast for our guests, next time another CD2 candidate, Brian Fitzherbert, does our show he can pay for his own breakfast.

After reviewing Fitzherbert’s Financial Disclosure Report as filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives I’m re-thinking the time he asked me how much I would charge to do a congressional campaign in CD2 and my answer of “more than you can afford.”

Fitzherbert doesn’t have Richter money, but he definitely has more than formerly alleged self-funder Singh. At 30 years old Fitzherbert owns three houses worth between $250,001 - $500,000 each, he’s also got a 401k, an IRA and earns more than $100,000 per year.

There is little doubt that Fitzherbert could come up with some cash for his campaign if he needed to.

The third announced candidate in the race, Robert “Bob” Patterson, according to his Financial Disclosure Form as filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives owns nothing, except for what appears to be a joint bank account worth between $100,001 - $250,000. I doubt he’ll be funding his campaign, especially considering he lists unemployment compensation of $8,600 as part of his income.

It’s clear the two frontrunners for next year’s GOP congressional primary will not be underfunded in their campaign to put the 2nd congressional district back in the Republican column.

Bob and I, which means mostly ,I will continue to research the candidates to help our fellow Republicans avoid getting stuck with a weak candidate next year.

Stay tuned!

Note: While Bob has endorsed Brian Fitzherbert for next year’s CD2 primary, Steve is completely neutral and making no endorsement

Cory Booker’s Kool-Aid Is Lead Flavored

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

"You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.” Remember when U.S. Senator Cory Booker said that?

Well, now we know the Kool-Aid is lead flavored and it’s Booker’s fault.

But how is the lead in Newark’s water Booker’s fault? He’s no longer mayor.

True, Booker is no longer mayor, but he was Newark’s mayor from 2006 – 2013 and part of being mayor also made him ex-officio chairman of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation (NWCDC).

The Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation, according to Politico:

The NWCDC was created in the 1970s initially to manage the 35,000 acres of forest and wetlands that Newark owned in the northern part of the state. It was classified as a nonprofit and its only client was the City of Newark. By the time Booker was elected in 2006, the agency was contracted to run virtually all of Newark's water infrastructure.

“The agency was contracted to run virtually all of Newark’s water infrastructure.” The problem is that while serving as ex-officio chairman of NWCDC Booker did nothing. Nothing might be an understatement because Booker did find a way, indirectly, to profit from NWCDC. According to the America’s Rising PAC:

Booker oversaw and strengthened the watershed while serving as mayor. Booker’s former employer, Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, profited over $200,000 from its work with the watershed while Booker’s former law partner, Elnardo Webster, “had been acting as the watershed’s counsel.” Booker was also personally receiving money from the law firm during that period as well. As the Daily Beast noted:

“[W]hile Booker was profiting from the firm, they were profiting from Newark: over $2 million in work for Newark’s Housing Authority, the Watershed Conservation Development Corporation, and a wastewater agency. ‘That’s almost like Sharpe James-type shit,’ one New Jersey Democratic operative offered.”

Not only wasn’t Booker attending meetings, but for at least three years he had no one attend meetings in his place. Again, according to the Washington Times:

Booker’s negligence was partly to blame for the corruption at the watershed. He tried to distance himself from the scandal with the excuse that he had not been paying attention or attending meetings:

“[T]he comptroller’s office noted in their report that the mayor did not attend a single meeting regarding the agency. He instead sent a business administrator in his place, and then when the administrator resigned, in 2010, Booker never replaced them. He had no time to go to the meetings, he said. Never mind that a dearth of free time never seemed to get in the way of a commencement address, or a talk-show appearance, or a social-media stunt.”

The corruption? Again, according to Politico

Multiple investigations eventually determined that a Booker ally and the agency's director, Linda Watkins Brashear, was running a patronage pit — awarding no-show contracts, playing the markets with agency funds, cooking the books, and pocketing close to $1 million in undeclared income.

We know Watkins Brashear was an ally because she was a Booker donor. According to the Star-Ledger, way back in 2014:

Brashear donated more than $5,000 to Booker and his political allies in Newark between 2008 and 2010, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, and shows up as a volunteer on several of Booker's filings. She donated $1,000 to Booker's Senate campaign last year, according to FEC filings.

But what about the lead, how is that Cory Booker’s fault?

The answer is in the previously linked Washington Times article:

A report from the engineering firm CDM Smith released in October said a decrease of pH levels in the system was likely a major contributing factor to the elevated lead levels in the city’s water supply in 2017 and 2018. The lower pH levels caused the pipes to start leaching.

The pH range was 8.5 to 9.0 during the 1990s, fell to a range of 8.0 to 8.3 until 2013 and then decreased to the recent average of about 7.1, the report said.

Mr. O’Flaherty said a decision to reduce the pH levels from about 8 to 7 would have been made at some point between 2012 and 2016 — a time frame that overlaps with Mr. Booker’s tenure as mayor.

“That’s the cause of everything,” he said. “I do not know when the decision was made. I do not know who made it.”

To be fair, the decision to lower pH levels could have been made after Booker left Newark City Hall, but these problems do not happen overnight. Years of mismanagement of NWCDC are to blame and it was Booker who allowed that mismanagement to happen.

I’m not the only one who says it’s Booker’s fault. According to Columbia University economics professor Brendan O’Flaherty in the Washington Times article: 

“Booker has no credibility, especially on water,” said Brendan O’Flaherty, an economics professor at Columbia University who put together a 2011 report on the commission. “He did not leave a legacy of a well-functioning water treatment plant and engineering corps. He left a mess.”

Enjoy your Kool-Aid Mr. Booker.