Where’s Their Outrage Now?

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Remember that time Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones, and Camden County Freeholders Carmen Rodriguez and Susan Shin-Angulo were “outraged” when then U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin was “silent as allegations of sexual assault mount against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh?”

At the time, Camden County Republicans wanted to know why Lampitt, Egan Jones, Rodriguez and Shin-Angulo weren’t outraged over then Assemblyman Arthur Barclay admitting to punching his girlfriend.

Here we are more than a year later and these same women, Lampitt up for re-election, Rodriguez up for re-election and Shin-Angulo running for Mayor in Cherry Hill all remain silent that former Assemblyman Arthur Barclay, who admitted to punching his girlfriend during a domestic incident, still has a $60,000-a-year job with Camden County. (I didn’t mention Egan Jones because she’s decided not to run for re-election).

Over a year ago these South Jersey “women leaders” were outraged a man was silent about allegations of mistreatment of women. Today, they’re silent about a man who actually admitted to violence toward a woman who still has a job with the government run by the same political machine that helped them get elected. These women aren’t leaders – they’re hypocrites.

But, hypocrites or not, what will the “progressive” Democrats do? Will they vote for them anyway? Will the “progressive” Democrats in Camden County continue to be part of the problem and do as they’ve always done and vote for the machine Democrats on Election Day?

It’s time for the “progressive” Democrats to step up and show their outrage. Let’s see if they do.

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

Gloucester County Democrats Fear Competition At The Polls

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I get it, challenging the signatures on nominating petitions is a part of political campaigns in New Jersey (and elsewhere). It’s a part of campaigns I dislike. No campaign I managed has ever challenged nominating petitions – that’s how much I despise the practice. I believe working to remove a candidate who meets the requirements to run for an office from the ballot is a gutless move that proves the person challenging signatures on a nominating petition has very little faith in their chosen candidate to win on ideas.

From my observations, over the years, it appears that more often than not challenges to nominating petitions are intra-party affairs (or is it inter, I always get the two confused) with challenges filed against competitors in a primary election like last year when a supporter of a certain someone who may or may not have led folks to believe he had access to $2 million for a congressional run got Brian Fitzherbert tossed from the primary election ballot.

But that’s not the case in Gloucester County where the County Democrats decided to attempt to deprive voters of a choice for freeholder in November. On April 3, 2019 John Alice, Counsel to the Gloucester County Democratic Committee, challenged the nominating petition of Republicans Diane M. King and Andrea K. Sammons. The challenge left King and Sammons with only 94 valid signatures removing the two from June’s primary election ballot.

So why get the Republican candidates removed from the ballot? Are the Gloucester County Democrats freeholder candidates so weak they don’t want any competition in November? I don’t even know who they’re running and don’t care because there is no way I’m voting for them.

It is possible for Republicans to win in Gloucester County? It’s happened before, remember Larry Wallace and Vince Nestore? And it can happen again. Especially against weak Democratic party candidates. Looking at some historical data one can see it can happen. In the 2014 U.S. Senate race Jeff Bell lost the county to Cory Booker, but Bell was a weak candidate with little money and still managed to earn 45% of the county-wide vote against the well-funded Booker. That same year in the CD1 Garry Cobb managed 44.78% of the vote against Congressman Donald Norcross, and Cobb, like him or not, was a horrible candidate. In 2016, President Donald Trump squeaked by Hillary Clinton county-wide 47.82% - 47.34%. Last year Bob Hugin beat U.S. Senator Bob Menendez 49.72% - 46.37% while the Republican candidates for sheriff and surrogate both received slightly more than 42% of the county-wide vote.

Trump and Hugin both won county-wide in Gloucester County and the other numbers show Republicans have a base of 42% in the county. With a little money and a solid message Republicans can win in Gloucester County. The addition of the new energy brought to the party by Chairwoman Jacci Vigilante helps too.

Diane King has run before and is popular among Republicans in Gloucester County. The addition of the Gloucester County Young Republicans Chair Andrea “Andy” Sammons as King’s running mate brings extra excitement to the ticket. So, yeah, the reason the Gloucester County Democrats decided to have the Republicans bounced from the primary election ballot is that they are afraid of competition.

All is not lost. King and Sammons can still appear on the November ballot. It’s going to require a write-in campaign in June. It’ll be a good test for Vigilante and the candidates and success can build momentum going into November.

The growing popularity of King, the excitement of a young Republican in Sammons on the ticket and the work of Vigilante in building the party in Gloucester County can only lead to good things. I have no doubt King and Sammons will appear on the ballot in November and will do my part to ensure it happens.

Gloucester County Republicans – pay attention as information will be coming soon on how to PROPERLY write-in your vote.