Note To Insurgent Democrats: There’s No Whining In Politics

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This is probably the most boring Republican primary election season EVER in South Jersey. Because it’s so boring I’ve been watching the insurgent (“progressive”) Democrats in South Jersey, specifically Camden County. I’ve blogged about them twice, here and here.

I didn’t plan on writing about these insurgent Democrats again, but I stumbled onto this gem on social media:

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The Facebook post links to a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article. It’s a good article and basically has a bunch of “he said, she said” regarding petition challenges. Reading the article, and the above snapshot of a social media post, I had to laugh when I came to this:

“In what country can you remove from the ballot your political opponents? Norcross Country,” Rena Margulis, a progressive candidate for county clerk, said in a recent interview.

Candidates get thrown off the ballot all the time in elections in New Jersey (and other states). Just last year Brian Fitzherbert was bounced from the GOP congressional primary ballot and given the facts that (a) Hirsh Singh’s campaign manager “was present for the court proceedings” to remove Fitzherbert from the ballot and (b) “filer Christopher Coleman, a Galloway Republican, said he reviewed the petitions of candidates Sam Fiocchi, Seth Grossman and Robert Turkavage,” according to New Jersey Globe I believe it had nothing to do with being in “Norcross Country.” Quite the opposite, it had everything to do with Hirsh Singh being afraid of competition.

Fitzherbert didn’t whine. He supported the eventual winner of the primary and worked hard to build the Atlantic County Young Republicans and continues to help build other YR organizations.

I can guarantee that back in 2012 when Gary Smith got thrown off the ballot in New Mexico’s GOP 1st congressional district primary that it had nothing to do with “Norcross Country.” Smith did whine, in fact, being removed from the ballot angered Smith so much he became a serial tire slasher (video at the end of this post). As I was the executive director of the Bernalillo County GOP at the time I remember this being quite a huge pain in the ass, as was replacing a couple of tires.

Having said all that maybe there might be a “Norcross Country” connection to the petition challenges filed against the GOP freeholder candidates in Gloucester County, but they aren’t whining about it and are working hard to ensure they get enough write-in votes to have their candidates on the ballot in November.

And, so I don’t sound like a hypocrite I will state again what I wrote in this blog previously:

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.

My intent is not to critique the Philadelphia Inquirer article nor is it to defend “Norcross Country.” Seriously, my only purpose here is to remind folks, especially challenger candidates, “There is no whining in politics!”

The Philadelphia Inquirer article is clear, there are many insurgent Democrats still on the ballot:

Most of the candidates on the progressive slate are running for a seat on the Democratic Committee, which is involved in party business and endorsements. About two dozen other candidates on the slate are running for Assembly, county clerk, and mayor or council in the county’s three biggest municipalities — Cherry Hill, Camden and Gloucester Township — and six other towns.

Rather than whining that your freeholder candidates were tossed from the ballot maybe you should get to work for all your other candidates. Be like Brian Fitzherbert or the Gloucester County Republicans and work. Don’t be a Gary Smith!

PRESS RELEASE: Fiocchi Says Testa Is Disingenuous At Best And Hypocritical At Worst On Rain Tax

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Today, via press release, Sam Fiocchi hit Michael Testa for “choosing to selectively look at the roll cal” on the rain tax vote and “ignore the fact that one of his supporters voted yes.” Fiocchi’s press release follows:

Fiocchi Says Testa Is Disingenuous At Best And Hypocritical At Worst On Rain Tax

Testa ignores the fact a state Senator who endorsed him voted yes on the rain tax.

VINELAND – Republican candidate for state Senate in the first legislative district, former Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, said today, “It appears Michael Testa, Jr. wants to have it both ways on the ‘rain tax.’”

At issue is, last week, hours after Fiocchi issued a statement calling on replacement state Senator Bob Andrzejczak to explain to South Jerseyans why he supports the ‘rain tax,’ Testa took to social media in an attempt to jump on the anti-rain tax bandwagon with a graphic that read “Bob Andrzejczak and Trenton Democrats soaking taxpayers again.”

Testa also wrote the following along with his graphic, “Trenton politicians have NEVER found a tax they didn't like. A ‘RAIN TAX’ is just wrong. Taxing rain is a laughable example of government gone wild. As your next State Senator, I'll always protect our taxpayers. I will stand up to those eager to find new ways of fleecing our families.”

Throughout his complaining about the ‘rain tax’ Testa failed to mention he is proud to have the endorsement of a state Senator who voted yes on bill S-1073 on January 31st after it passed the Assembly and went back to the Senate for concurrence.

“While I obviously agree a ‘rain tax’ is wrong, it’s equally wrong to call someone out over it while completely ignoring the fact that a state Senator, someone Testa is proud to have an endorsement from and happens to be a headliner for his upcoming fundraiser, voted for bill S-1073,” Sam Fiocchi said. “Some might even call it hypocritical.”

“To be clear, this is not about the Senator whose vote Testa chose to ignore, that’s why I haven’t mentioned the Senator’s name.” Fiocchi continued, “This is about Michael Testa choosing to selectively look at the roll call on the vote and ignore the fact that one of his supporters voted yes. It’s disingenuous at best and hypocritical at worst to simply ignore the way someone headlining a fundraiser for you voted on a bill you take issue with. It certainly shows a lack of  leadership.”

“Make no mistake, this primary election is about who is best prepared to campaign against and defeat replacement state Senator Bob Andrzejczak,” Sam Fiocchi said. “It’s going to boil down to leadership and this is one example that clearly shows a lack of leadership on Michael Testa’s part.”

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PRESS RELEASE: Fiocchi Calls On Andrejczak To Tell Voters Why He Supports The ‘Rain Tax’

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Republican candidate for state Senate in LD1 Sam Fiocchi called out state Senator Bob Andrzejczak on his support of the rain tax. Fiocchi’s press release follows:

VINELAND – Republican candidate for state Senate in the first legislative district, former Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, had planned on calling on Governor Phil Murphy not to sign the recently passed ‘Rain Tax,’ but upon realizing replacement state Senator Bob Andrzejczak voted yes on the final version of the bill last week Fiocchi now wants Andrzejczak to explain to South Jerseyans why he supports the tax.

Andrzejczak almost was able to skate by on the ‘Rain Tax.’ Obviously, he couldn’t have voted on it in June of 2018 because he was not yet a state Senator and he couldn’t join the Assemblymen from his district in voting no last week because he is no longer a member of that body. Then, when push came to shove and the Senate passed the final version of the bill in a 25-11 vote, Andrzejczak was there to cast his yes vote.

“On the issue of the ‘Rain Tax’ there is no free pass for replacement state Senator Bob Andrzejczak.” Sam Fiocchi said, “This is bad law that not only taxes New Jerseyans even more, but also gives municipalities the ability to create more debt through the issuance of bonds to create stormwater utilities. Naturally, that additional debt will lead to even higher taxes in one of the highest taxed states in the nation.”

Fiocchi continued, “While I absolutely believe Phil Murphy should not sign this bad bill into law, I also think Mr. Andrzejczak needs to explain to the voters of South Jersey why he believes they should pay even more to live in New Jersey simply because it rains.”

“As a Cumberland County Freeholder and as an Assemblyman I have always stood up for South Jersey.” Fiocchi said, “Mr. Andrzejczak’s decision to vote to add even more to the cost of living in New Jersey is one of many reasons why I look forward to putting my record up against his in the upcoming election.”

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