Insurgent Democrats Excite Some South Jersey Republicans And Put Machine Democrat Hypocrisy On Display

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It’s no secret, much to the dismay of many of my Republican friends, I love a good primary election fight. Unfortunately, for me, there’s only one GOP primary (LD8) for me to write about and it’s kind of boring.

But at least the Democrats in Camden County are giving me something fun to watch, and it appears some Republicans are getting excited about it.

Things started heating up last week thanks to a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial, “The machine age of politics should be over in N.J., Philadelphia” and a piece in Politico by the great Matt Friedman, “Anti-machine Democrats in Camden County complain of ‘phantom candidates’.” Even the folks over at Blue Jersey got into the act.

I take no issue with any of those pieces, but they all had one name in them: George Norcross. And, whenever Norcross’ name is mentioned, Republicans seem to get excited.

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I’ve written before in this blog that “For some reason South Jersey Republicans get excited when they hear the name George Norcross. Well, here’s a newsflash for you. Voters don’t care! His name is not on the ballot.”

Yet, it doesn’t matter, still folks get excited at the mention of the Norcross name. Every time I say something like that I am accused of being pro-Norcross and/or the South Jersey Democrat machine. For the record, I’m not. Frankly, I’m not a fan of machines, period. That said, I do admit to being jealous that Norcross was able to build such a well-oiled machine.

This is not to say that I don’t work to beat that machine. I have and I continue to do so. The machine can be defeated. My co-host Bob Greco and I proved that. Back in 2009 when Greco became chairman of the Cumberland County Republicans he asked me to come work with him. We met a year earlier when I was working on state Senator Joe Pennacchio’s U.S. Senate campaign. Greco told me I could go at the Democrats as hard as I wanted – no leash – naturally I agreed since he promised not to put a leash on me. Together, along with quality mail by Chris Russell, we won and won enough that in only a few years flipped a 7 – 0 Democrat controlled freeholder board to 4 – 3 Republican. We did it with very little money and without mentioning the name Norcross.

Anyway, thanks to another Politico piece this week in the New Jersey Playbook even more people got excited over the insurgent Democrats challenge to the Norcross machine.

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I had never heard of GGCNJ before someone sent me a link to their social media post. Apparently, it stands for Good Government Coalition New Jersey and according to Facebook their page was created on June 4, 2017. They even have a website on which they claim to be a “nonpartisan, grassroots group whose mission is to strengthen democracy by working with residents across our state to bring greater transparency, accountability, and participation to our state and local governments.”

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Unfortunately, immediately after the line about being “nonpartisan” is the question “Want to build a progressive party from within?” Of course, that makes me wonder exactly how “nonpartisan” the group truly is.

So basically, it appears to me this whole anti-machine thing in Camden County is the progressives versus the establishment. I don’t quite understand why Republicans are getting excited over it – other than it’s fun to watch.

Now, if Republicans really want to make any kind of issue about all this Democratic Party infighting I would suggest they key on a letter penned by Camden County Democratic Committee Chairman state Senator Jim Beach in which he attacks many of the progressive (or are they insurgent) Democrats as “Trump Republicans.”

One glaring example is Jen O’Donnell. From the letter posted on CamdenCountyProgressiveDems.com.

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True O’Donnell once ran for office with Republicans, I know, I designed the palm card, she might have been registered as a Republican for all I know, but she was never a “Trump Republican.” The palm card was clear, she and her running mates were “Republicans and Independent Democrats.” Trump wasn’t even a candidate when I designed the palm card. Or at the very least not one I was paying attention to. So, to call O’Donnell a “Trump Republican” is a stretch at best.

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Another thing I would take issue within Beach’s letter is that he points out the criminal histories of several of the insurgent candidates.

Another thing I would take issue within Beach’s letter is that he points out the criminal histories of several of the insurgent candidates.

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I’m fairly certain the histories listed by Beach are true, but why speak out about these particular Democrats when he completely ignored the arrest of former Assemblyman Arthur Barclay and only after Republicans discovered the arrest did Beach say anything, and when he did speak, not a word about the arrest, only that Barclay resigned for “health reasons.”

And, that’s not the only time the Camden County Democratic Committee chairman sat silent when one of his own was in legal trouble. I still don’t think Beach has uttered a word about former Haddon Township Commissioner Paul Dougherty, the guy who was involved in a hit and run and tried to blame it on his wife and eventually pleaded guilty on an unrelated charge.

And when the Deputy Mayor in Voorhees was outed for getting into bar brawls Beach had nothing to say.

Considering he didn’t care when his own people ran afoul of the law, it’s obvious Beach’s letter has nothing to do with concerns about the past actions of the insurgent Democrats.

The bottom line here is there might be a reason to be excited by the insurgent Democrats challenge to the establishment Democrats in Camden County, but it’s not because the insurgents have a chance at winning. It is because it appears the hypocrisy of the establishment machine Democrats oozes out when the heat is turned up on them.

Keep it up insurgents! We’re all watching.

OPINION: Just Another Hypocritical Democrat Trying To Score Cheap Political Points

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I love following politics, both fact and opinion, and even though I put a lot of time and effort into this blog and our weekly radio show I read InsiderNJ and the New Jersey Globe every day. I believe Max Pizzaro at InsiderNJ is one of the fairest and most balanced political reporters out there. New Jersey Globe founder David Wildstein hasn’t missed a step since getting back into publishing a political website, getting down to the super local stuff, love him or hate him he’s one of the best.

Both are different than The Bob & Steve Show, they are completely nonpartisan in their reporting while we freely admit, on the “About The Show” section of our website, to being unabashedly Republican, mostly conservative and extremely opinionated. While we admit to our right-leanings we will call out Republicans when they are wrong, just ask Vincent Squire.

One of the things I hate in politics is hypocrisy and at The Bob & Steve Show we are always quick to point it out when we see it. And, that’s what this post is about – hypocrisy.

On October 10 state Senator Joseph “Jersey Joe” Pennacchio wrote a column, “A Call to Traditional Democrats – Help Save Our Country, Before it is Too Late” and a day later, a Democratic consultant, Pat Politano wrote a response, “Hey, ‘Jersey Joe’: Wake Up; Your Party’s Over.” Both pieces can be found in the “Columnists” section of InsiderNJ.

In my opinion Pennacchio’s piece was well written. In my view I could find nothing Pennacchio wrote that was untrue. He did a good job pointing out how the Democratic party has been taken over by extremists.

I don’t know Politano, never met him, wouldn’t know him if I tripped over him, but his response to Jersey Joe’s column is a bunch of hypocritical BS.

To attack Pennacchio, a conservative who isn’t afraid to reach across the aisle for the greater good, is disingenuous. Pennacchio and Democratic state Senator Loretta Weinberg have been working together to bring more transparency to state government. And, this isn’t the first time the two have teamed up to try to make things more transparent in our state. A few years ago, Weinberg and Pennacchio agreed on the need to pass Port Authority reform legislation to protect all New Jerseyans.

To be clear, I am not picking on Politano. It’s the hypocrisy within his response I have an issue with. It’s the same hypocrisy I’ve written about from New Jersey Democrats repeatedly. He is just one more Democrat attacking Republicans over the party’s “treatment of women” while ignoring the same thing from his own party. To make matters worse, he decided to attack a Republican who isn’t afraid to work across the aisle.

This is just one more Democrat who has not said one word about the way women on Governor Phil Murphy’s soccer team have been treated. Has Politano ever said a word about the fact that Murphy’s soccer team forced women to live with an elderly man who repeatedly made inappropriate comments to the players and made them feel uncomfortable? Nope! And, let’s be clear, every person reading this knows what “inappropriate comments to the payers that made them feel uncomfortable” means, the elderly man was likely making sexually inappropriate comments. Has Politano ever said a word about Murphy likely paying women soccer players less than $15 per hour while campaigning on a $15 per hour minimum wage? Nope!

How about the fact that U.S. Senator Bob Menendez helped secure visas for young women to come to the country to be with their Sugar Daddy, Salomon Melgen? Not a word! Maybe he believes, like Hillary Clinton, that since these women were young adults that sexually inappropriate behavior couldn’t have taken place? Say what you want about Menendez’s alleged involvement with hookers, the visa thing, Menendez’s lawyers “conceded that the senator intervened on his pal’s behalf” when it came to the young women getting into the country.

How this Democratic consultant can have the nerve to attack Pennacchio and the Republican party over the party’s “treatment of women” while completely ignoring the two highest ranking Democrats in New Jersey and their treatment of women is beyond me.

Bottom line: The response to Pennacchio’s column is just another piece of Democrat hypocrisy used to score cheap political points.

Libertarian Turned Republican Is Tired Of Screwing Up GOP Primaries So He’s A Libertarian Again.

Murray Sabrin (from his campaign website)

Murray Sabrin (from his campaign website)

Recently some random guy sending an email to the radio station begging that Murray Sabrin get a little air time with The Bob & Steve Show got me thinking about how many times Murray Sabrin has screwed up an election for Republicans.

If Sabrin, or the aggressive campaign volunteer of his, reads this my guess is the Libertarian Party candidate will not be on our show. I have no issue with the Libertarian Party, I’m a small “L” libertarian who, a lifetime ago, ran for Philadelphia City Council as a Libertarian.

My issue is with the guy running under the Libertarian Party banner for U.S. Senate. Simply put, when it comes to the electoral process, Murray Sabrin has spent a political career screwing things up for Republicans.

I have to admit, I was hoping that email to the radio station that I did reply to would give me the opportunity to tell Sabrin on-the-air he’s a spoiler but two weeks later and not a word back.

So, back to the spoiler. Consider this, if not for Sabrin there likely would never have been a Governor Jim McGreevey. Think about it. 1997 McGreevey ran against incumbent Governor Christine Todd Whitman. Back then, we Republicans thought she was the best, she was widely considered a rising star in the national party. Sabrin was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor in that race and thanks to his 5% of the vote Whitman barely beat McGreevey 47%-46%. Losing that close essentially guaranteed McGreevey the Democrat’s nomination four years later.

In 2000 Sabrin was one of the four contestants in the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate, he finished last with 12.6% of the vote. Bob Franks was the winner over Bill Gormley by 4,360 votes. Jim Treffinger came in third. Gormley was the kind of guy we needed to defeat Jon Corzine. Sure, Corzine still would have spent the $63 million, but remember Franks lost by 3% spending only $6 million. Gormley was a far more dominant figure, the outcome could have been different. Without Sabrin in the primary it is possible it would have been a Corzine-Gormley fight.

Then, there’s the mess that was the 2008 Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Sabrin was in the contest as was Joe Pennacchio. The brain trust that ran the party at the time was enamored with Anne Evans Estabrook because of her ability to self-fund. Estabrook dropped out of the race shortly after a video titled “Anne Estabrook Flops on the 2nd Amendment” found its way to YouTube. To be fair, the official reason for her dropping out was a mini stroke.

Estabrook’s exit positioned Pennacchio as the frontrunner, the aforementioned brain trust wasn’t having that. First they went to Andy Unanue, his campaign lasted so long that he never made it back to New Jersey from his vacation in Colorado. Then there was a list of potential candidates before the party bosses settled on Dick Zimmer. Sabrin’s 13.8% of the vote, the bulk of which would likely have gone to Pennacchio, is what helped Zimmer garner 45.8% for the win. Zimmer then went on to get crushed by Frank Lautenberg.

Also, during that mess of a campaign Murray “I’m a fiscal conservative” Sabrin proved he’s not very conservative with other people’s money when he bet campaign funds on a horse in the Kentucky Derby.

Sabrin ran again as a Republican in the 2014 four-way U.S. Senate Primary. He finished dead last.

Now, tired of screwing up Republican primaries, he’s back running as a Libertarian. Don’t let Murray Sabrin screw up this election for Republicans like he has in the past. And, to the guy who emailed the radio station on Sabrin’s behalf, I’ll still let Sabrin come on The Bob & Steve Show and he can explain why he’s spent his entire political career screwing things up for Republicans.