The Plot Thickens In Gloucester Township BOE Election; This Isn’t The First Time Porn Shop Venus Video Has Been Involved In Political Controversy

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I confess, I always enjoyed watching Gloucester Township politics as a casual observer. It’s fun, with all the rumors about the lifestyle of Mayor David Mayer, or that time Mayor Mayer had a plaque dedicated in his honor.

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There’s just never a dull moment in New Jersey’s 19th largest municipality. People in Gloucester Township even got excited when Mayer shaved off his mustache.

Now, we have the recently completed school board election and folks are starting to draw connections to the mayor’s office.

Just yesterday The Bob & Steve Show reported Gloucester Township’s Communications Director, Regina Caristo, secured the domain name for the campaign website used by Brian Reagan and his running mates.

Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out how this young lady went from being the Assistant Store Manager at a retail store in the Deptford Mall to being the Communications Director of Camden County’s 3rd largest municipality. That’s the experience listed on her LinkedIn profile:

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Based on voting records I’ve been able to access it doesn’t appear Caristo has been participating in the electoral process in Gloucester Township for too long, only since 2016. Based on a quick search on ELEC it doesn’t appear she, or any family member are big political donors.

The only connection Carsito has to politics is the fact she used the address of the Venus Adult Superstore in Southwest Philly as the registrant address for the domain of the campaign website used three school board candidates.

Well, it’s just my luck that I discovered the owner of the Venus group of adult stores, Joe Caristo, is likely the communications director’s father. He’s the right age and the two share the same voter registration address in Gloucester Township.

And, it turns out this isn’t the first time a Venus adult store has been involved in a political scandal.

An April 4, 2014 Philadelphia Inquirer article posted to Philly.com with the headline, “Porn may play role in Traffic Court-related case” happened to include the elder Caristo and a Venus location.

Here’s part of the Philadelphia Inquirer story:

It was Alfano's lawyers who opted to bare all.

Their motion Wednesday identified them for the first time as pornographic and named the shop where they came from - Venus Video, an Essington Avenue storefront owned by Alfano and leased to the business' owner, Joe Caristo.

Caristo and Alfano discussed the videos Perri requested in a February 2010 conversation caught by an FBI wiretap, the motion states.

Alfano's lawyers have also asked U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly to bar that recording from court.

"The conversation, with its derogatory remarks toward women and the references to the adult nature of the DVD videos, is extremely inflammatory and prejudicial toward the defendant," their motion says.

As for what titles the judge favored, no one is willing to say. Not Perri, not Alfano, not their attorneys.

None of the men returned calls for comment Thursday.

Caristo, Venus' owner, however, was hardly so circumspect when reached at his shop.

"I lent the DVDs to Mr. Alfano," he said. "Who he gave them to, I couldn't say. I can't remember which ones, but it was normal boy-girl stuff. Nothing weird."

Who knows, maybe the elder Caristo is still lending videos.

Like I said, Gloucester Township politics can be fun to watch. I can’t wait to see what Monday brings.

PRESS RELEASE: NJGOP Chairman calls for Legislative Hearings on Governor's Murphy's Storm Preparedness Failures

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Sorry for the delay in posting this morning’s NJGOP press release. Obviously, the party chairman, like many of us are pretty pissed off at Governor Phil Murphy’s handling of yesterday’s winter storm. The NJGOP press release follows:

NJGOP Chairman calls for Legislative Hearings on Governor's Murphy's Storm Preparedness Failures

For Immediate Release

Trenton, New Jersey - After reports of N.J. kids stranded in schools, on buses late into the night and Troopers responding to at least 555 vehicle crashes as of late Thursday along with impassable roads across New Jersey NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt offered the following comment: 

"The NJGOP thanks the men and women of NJ's Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Public Works, & countless service providers who were forced unnecessarily into emergency mode, yesterday, because Governor Phil Murphy was unprepared for what didn't have to be a crippling storm. Instead of the Governor asking NJ to be patient, we must demand that our leaders are prepared. If the Governor was prepared, everyone would have been home safe and sound, instead of just wishing it were so.

Although Murphy downplayed his failures by suggesting the State was “going through the reps" of snowstorm response for the first time in nine months, he should have appreciated that this is New Jersey, and we have Winter every year. On behalf of the scores of tired, cold, disgusted, angry, and in some cases, still stranded NJ commuters, students, parents and workers, we call on the NJ Legislature to conduct hearings into how this was allowed to happen and what steps the Governor will take to prevent it from happening again.  At the very least, we should expect efficient services from our government. Last night's response was shameful."

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Questions About School Board Election Winner’s Residency And Why The Township’s Communication Director Is the Registrant Of Campaign Website

 Brian Reagan

Brian Reagan

Yesterday, shortly after posting about how newly elected Gloucester Township school board member Brian Reagan has some explaining to do, my cell phone blew up with people swearing he doesn’t live in Gloucester Township.

One caller even suggested that he allegedly lives in Philadelphia with his girlfriend and has an office in Gloucester Township that he uses as his “residence.” Another source said, “Yeah, he lives with his girlfriend in Philly. She’s a dentist or something.”

Other sources texted and emailed. One sent this picture with Reagan and his significant other:

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The picture proves nothing, but before blocking out her name I looked her up on social media and sure enough, in the left sidebar in the “Intro” it says she’s from Blackwood, lives in Philadelphia and there are multiple pictures of her and Reagan.

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And, scrolling through the same social media account I discovered that she works at a dentist, or at least she did in 2015, which gives credibility to the above mentioned “She works at a dentist or something” comment:

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Again, the above picture doesn’t “prove” Reagan lives in Philly with his girlfriend, but all this together adds up to a bunch of questions that have to be asked of Gloucester Township’s newly elected school board member about his residency.

I was going to reach out to Reagan through the contact feature on his campaign website and ask. Unfortunately, the site was taken down shortly after my post about the election yesterday.

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Now with no way to contact Reagan I decided to do a WHOIS search to see if he used his name to register his campaign website and then contact him that way. Nope! No way to contact Reagan there. But the registrant name was very interesting:

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The registrant of the Reagan campaign website is none other than Regina Caristo, the Gloucester Township Communications Director.

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If a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough then click here to read an article on NJ.com in which she is quoted as the communications director.

Now, I cannot explain why the Gloucester Township Communications Director would list the town she lives in as Sicklerville on her LinkedIn profile and the “Registrant street” as 6301 Passyunk Avenue or the “Registrant city” as Philadelphia for the campaign website of Reagan and his running mates.

Curious, I looked up 6301 Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia and it happens to be the Southwest Philly location of the Venus Adult Superstore. Don’t take my word for it, go to their website and click on locations.

I sent Venus Adult Superstore an email asking them, “Is there any reason you can think of that a campaign website for a school board race would list the address of your Southwest Philly location as their registrant address?” I’ll update you when and if I get a reply.

Until then, I’m going to try and figure out why the communications director of Gloucester Township would be the registrant of a campaign website for a group of school board candidates, where candidate Reagan actually lives, why stuff from my first post on this race was scrubbed from social media and why the campaign website was suddenly taken down.

Stay tuned!