Friday, October 20, 2017

Video: Jen Beck is Wrong For "All of Us"

Jennifer Beck is wrong for Monmouth County and wrong for "All of Us"

LD-13 Senate Candidate O'Scanlon: You May Have to Vote for Someone Else

Candidate claims to be a "truth teller" and stands up for taxpayers with "real" solutions.

By Monmouth Watchdog

Declan O'Scanlon
When a politician has to stress in his online ads that he is a "straight shooter," or makes social media claims on Facebook like, "If your looking for someone to tell you what you want to hear rather than the truth you need to know, your going to have to vote for someone else." You know an embattled politician's campaign is floundering, and in need of a lifeline.

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, (R-Monmouth), whose office is located outside the district he represents, (Red Bank), wants to replace retiring state Senator Joe Kyrillos. O'Scanlon may have spoken words that prophetically may come true this November.

Lets look at the record:

O'Scanlon did not stand up for his constituents when he voted for the very unpopular 23-cent gallon gas tax. He sided with special interests that have donated thousands of dollars towards his political campaigns.

He was the only legislator in the Assembly---the only legislator--that voted against enhanced penalties against drunk drivers operating motor vehicles with minors as passengers. Is that standing up for taxpayers?? Ok, they're children-- so what? Who is looking out for the childrens' safety?? Certainly not Assemblyman O'Scanlon! Kudos to the 79 legislators that did in fact vote for this measure.

Law enforcement?? There's no standing up for those taxpayers! He was just one of four legislators in the Assembly that voted against a financial package that would protect unarmed, outnumbered correction officers, injured during a riot or other physical altercation with violent prisoners. I guess they're not taxpayers worthy of being "stood up" for.

Ok, perhaps half the population? Our hard working mothers, sisters, friends and daughters?? How can we not be supportive of this group? Well, with O'Scanlon's vote, there is no standing up for them either. Our hard working women--discounted and rendered insignificant with his vote. No support for this hard working group.

You didn't read or hear about that vote did you?? Of course not! That is one vote I am sure Mr. O'Scanlon would love to take back.

So much for standing up for our citizens--The Monmouth Watchdog sees a disturbing trend in O'Scanlon's voting record when it comes to the safety of our women, children, and law enforcement officers. Now Assemblyman O'Scanlon wants a promotion to a four-year term as a state senator representing LD-13, which is comprised of 16 municipalities within Monmouth County.

Lets try the truth: When O'Scanlon first ran for the Assembly in 2009, he became embroiled in an ethics controversy brought about by his Democratic rivals. His Democratic opponents at the time accused him of a conflict of interest regarding his business dealings with the town of Fair Haven. Shortly after his victory in the Assembly, O'Scanlon sponsored Bill A-2585. which would prohibit legislators from conducting business within their own legislative district. Unfortunately, the bill gained no traction; however, Mr. O'Scanlon was quoted in an online publication saying he would voluntarily impose the same standards on his own business activities.

There seems to be a little problem with Mr. O'Scanlon's "voluntary" imposition of the same standards in the bill he sponsored. In January of 2017, Mr. O'Scanlon was named "Cell Tower Consultant" in the Holmdel Township Re-Organization Minutes. And as recently as May 17, 2016, O'Scanlon's company was awarded a contract from Keyport (Resolution #166-16; For Cell Tower Contract Services). That contract called for payment of services not to be less than $500 dollars and not to exceed $3000 dollars. (see above for copy of Keyport Resolution).

A check of Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon's financial disclosures reveal since 2009, he inexplicably has not reported his income as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly. A requirement mandated under state financial disclosure rules.

District 13's women and children need support and an advocate from its representatives in the Assembly. O'Scanlon's votes are in total dichotomy of his running mate, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin. Ms. Handlin voted for women's equality; voted for enhanced penalties against drunken drivers with minors as passengers in their vehicles and has voted against the increase in the gas tax. And her office is located within the confines of the district she represents.

Perhaps its time to drain the swamp in Trenton.

The above is an opinion of the Monmouth Watchdog

Letter: Why I Oppose JCP&L's Power Line Project


Tom Giaimo
My name is Tom Giaimo and I have lived in Middletown all my life. While JCP&L’s proposed transmission line would not run next to my house, and would not affect me and my family directly, this project is one of the reasons I have decided to run for state office this November. Having long enjoyed the beauty of our parks, our historic districts and the overall quality of life of our communities, I am expressing my strong opposition to JCP&L’s Monmouth County Reliability Project (“MCRP”). JCP&L, with this proposed $111 million project, plans to install a 3rd 230 kV transmission line along NJ Transit’s railroad “right of way”, which runs from Aberdeen to Red Bank. This proposed transmission line is unnecessary, redundant, and will run through some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in our district. The proposed line would be placed over an active commuter rail line utilized by thousands every day. Moreover, it will run adjacent to schools, parks and homes, notwithstanding that studies have linked power line exposure to serious health risks such as cancer, childhood leukemia and Alzheimer’s. If installed, the project will negatively impact the health and safety of our citizens, including the most vulnerable, our youth and seniors. It will have a detrimental effect upon parks and schools adjacent to the rail line and will destroy the environmentally sensitive area known as the Navesink River Watershed. Without question, the homes next to or close to the proposed line will have their market value drastically reduced, in fact some properties will simply become unmarketable. Life in Middletown and in all the other impacted towns will be negatively changed to the detriment of its citizens and its taxpayers who would have to foot the bill for this project.

So with all these serious issues surrounding the proposed line, one wonders: why build it? And one should look no further than JCP&L’s parent company, First Energy’s earnings report, which states that “we continue to view the transmission business as our primary growth platform for many years to come.” It is reprehensible that JCP&L would even propose this project out of its need to increase its bottom line, at the clear expense of Monmouth County residents, and amid the mounting health, environmental and economic concerns.

As a NJ Assemblyman I will always advocate for policies that are future forward, environmentally conscious and most importantly, put people over profits.


Tom Giaimo
Middletown Resident
Assembly Candidate, District 13

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Really, Really, Sad

New Murphy for Governor Ad: Bridges

Newark - Murphy for Governor this morning began running a new television ad, “Bridges,” a 30-second spot which further delineates the choices facing voters in three weeks. The ad is running statewide and also is being backed by an aggressive online advertising and social media

It Wouldn't Be October Without Something Freaky; Mike The Headless Chicken


John McCain Speaks At 2017 Liberty Medal Ceremony

“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), in a speech at the 2017 Liberty Medal ceremony.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Letter: I Stand with Residents Against Giant Electric

Mariel DiDato, candidate for the General Assembly in Legislative District 13, stands with residents against giant electric (RAGE) in her letter that appeared in the Atlantic Highlands Herald and elsewhere.

Mariel DiDato
Living in Hazlet all my life, the issue with JCP&L’s proposed power line project is, quite literally, very close to home. After attending meetings, public updates, and speaking with members of RAGE (Residents Against Giant Electric), it has become clear that JCP&L’s $111 million project serves to benefit them financially more than it will benefit NJ’s residents practically. From their very installation, to having them tower over schools, homes, and NJ Transit railroads, this project introduces multiple dangers to citizens. Completion of the power lines will also result in a 54% increase to consumer electric bills; another rise in the cost of living is not what NJ residents need. Additionally, an electrical engineer hired by RAGE has proposed an updated solution to upgrade our current system, which does not include installing power lines emitting potentially dangerous radiation near our homes and our children. Given all of this information, it is clear that this project should not move forward.

I stand strongly and proudly with RAGE, and applaud them for their tireless work in stopping JCP&L from taking advantage of their customers. As a community advocate, and now as a candidate for the General Assembly in one of the affected Legislative Districts, I promise to stand with all citizens who will be impacted by these power lines. When elected, I will advocate for legislation that prohibits transmission projects in densely populated neighborhoods so that when RAGE wins this battle, it will be the last of its kind.


Mariel DiDato
Hazlet, NJ

SNL Spoofs "IT"

I just can't stop watching. Don't get me wrong, Alec Baldwin is pretty awesome parodying Donald Trump but this is one of the best SNL spoofs in a looong time.

Like It or Not, MiddletownMike Facebook Page

For quite a while now, I've found that I just haven't had the time or energy that I use to, to devote to blogging. When I started this blog nearly 10 years ago, life was different and I would spend hours each day keeping pace with the events that unfolded around me.

Blogging, which started out as a hobby allowed me to express my opinions on the world but it literally was becoming a full-time job, which took away quality time from my family and friends. So I started to pull back. As a result, I lost focus and the blog isn't quite what it was. I'm hoping to change that however, and get back to something that is fun to do and is informative for those that follow.

Like many people today, I've found myself constantly on social media; I'm on Facebook and have both a Twitter and Instagram account (which I have links to on the right hand sidebar of the blog). It seems that my "free" time that I used to spend stashed away, behind the office door and on the computer blogging, has been replaced by my various social media feeds, many of which became fodder for posts on the MiddletownMike blog.

Lately, I've been giving a lot of thought on what I can do to change things in order to get back on track. And I think I came up with an idea that will work!  For the past few days, I've been working on creating a MiddletownMike Facebook page (see the shiny new badge on the sidebar?).

Seeing how I'm spending so much time on social media anyway, the MiddletownMike Facebook page, I envision, will act as a companion to the MiddletownMike blog when I don't have the "free" time to write posts for the it. I can post stories and links to the Facebook page with  brief comments, when time is short. Then, when time allows, I can cross post to the MiddletownMike blog and vise versa to Facebook. This I think will free up time for me and as it will also allow me to keep my personal Facebook page personal and to myself, which is a good thing.

So to recap. I'm not giving up blogging, I have every intention of keeping this blog up to date and as relevant as it can be. To help do that, I've created a MiddletownMike Facebook page that I hope everyone who reads this will support by hitting the "Like" button to follow it and share it with others.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Register to Vote Today! Dead Line Oct. 17th

Your Vote is Your Voice!

This November, we have an incredibly important election that will determine the course of New Jersey for years to come. Register to vote now to make your voice heard before the registration deadline of October 17!

CLICK HERE to visit New Jersey's Voting Website for more information on the registration process and to print your own registration application at home. You can also visit the Monmouth County Board of Elections to fill out a copy in person.

Not sure if you're registered to vote? CLICK HERE to see if you're already registered as a voter in New Jersey.

Every vote matters, and we want your voice to be heard! Don't wait; register to vote today!

Paid Canvassing

The Monmouth County Democrats are offering paid canvassing opportunities. Earn $50 for a four hour shift! If you're looking for a little extra cash and want to get involved with this year's campaign, here's your opportunity.

Sign up HERE

Friday, October 13, 2017

Letter: Byrnes – The People Over Party Candidate

The following letter appeared on the Atlantic Highlands Herald:

What is a Republican or Democrat to do this November? Both parties have long ago forgotten middle-America in their chase for big money from their extremes? And now neither party is even able to define their own positions on the issues; while Republicans have elected a liberal president and now reels to define itself and Democrats have ‘descended into a tug of war between extreme and moderate’ for control of their own party (NY Times).

Sean Byrnes
The answer - We MUST vote for the candidate that is not beholden to party politics or special interests, one who possesses the values, ethics, and integrity that we demand of our leaders and who also has demonstrated positions on the issues that will drive our state economy, regardless of party affiliation.

For NJ Senate District 13, Sean Byrnes is this candidate. A veteran, he is smart, articulate, experienced with the Law, honest, ethical, and has a long resume of leadership at organizations that bolster the ‘little guy’.

And Byrnes has taken $0 from corporate backers!! He is not beholden to anybody but US, with no hidden agenda to prevent him from working to see our State the best it can be.

His slogan, People over Party, reflects his candidacy. Byrnes will enact laws to grow our economy and that allow US to participate in this growth, and that are reflective of our diverse population.

When the Parties don’t speak for you anymore, vote for the guy that does – Sean Byrnes!

Tim Watters
Hoffman Equipment Co.
Piscataway, NJ

The Middletown Friends of Different Learners Hosting Meet the Candidate Night on October 19th

Speaking of the Middletown Board of Education upcoming election.

The Middletown Friends of Different Learners will be hosting a meet the candidate night on October 19th, at the Middletown Library. This is a great opportunity to meet and learn about those seeking a seat on Middletown Board of Education.

The focus of this candidates's night will be on special education and I'm planning to show up and see what everyone has to say.

APP: Middletown school board: 8 fight for 3 seats

OK Middletown, It's time to meet your candidates for this year's Board of Education election. Russ Zimmer of the Asbury Park Press has posted an article today that gives a brief introduction of each of the 8 candidate and what they hope to accomplish if elected on Nov. 7th.

Here's a small snippet:
Pamela Rogers 
Bio: 42, lives in Fairview, part-time dance and music teacher, married with two children, including a son at River Plaza Elementary School. 
Qualifications: Rogers cited a variety of experiences — from teaching ballroom dance to public school students in New York City to owning her own dance studio — as reasons she's ready for the job. 
"Honestly though the thing that makes me most qualified to be on the school board is that I have two children in the public school system, and a little extra time on my hands. I have a vested interest in elevating the level of the school system to benefit my kids and all the children of Middletown. I am determined, relentless and I care." 
What do you see as the board's role in the community? 
"The role of the school board is to advocate for the students of Middletown. I feel very strongly that families from all areas of our township deserve access to all of the same opportunities, which include equity in the curriculum, structured special ed with sufficient resources, extra-curricular activities, honors programs, fields, and facilities." 
What's your plan for property taxes? 
"I would like the opportunity to discuss various money-saving options. I’d like to discuss the option of our district going paperless. I know that this has really helped save money in other New Jersey school districts. I am open to any change that can save Middletown money. I’m hoping we can use the money we save towards resources for students of all abilities, including our special needs students and our gifted students." 
What are your top three goals?
  • Don't raise taxes for the next two years.
  • Implement a new curriculum offering or expand an existing one, depending on what the community desires.
  • "We have 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. All activities, honors programs, fields, and facilities should be brought in line."
  • CRIME: Drugged Middletown woman crashed car with 4-year-old inside

Robin Stella 
Bio: 45, lives in Fairview, public school teacher and children's book author, married with a daughter at Thompson Middle School. Thirty-year resident of Middletown. 
Qualifications: Stella said her experiences as a teacher and as a consultant for a group of private schools for students with special needs establish her bonafides.
"However, it is my role as a mother and member of the community that compelled me to run for a Board of Ed seat," she said. 
What do you see as the board's role in the community? 
"I would serve as an advocate for all children and families in town. As I meet with members of the community, I have been hearing their concerns — taxes, busing, special education and curriculum. I want to be a voice for the community." 
What's your plan for property taxes? 
"As a Board of Ed member, I would look for ways to save money. For example, we should shop around for the best possible deal on employee benefits, without compromising the quality. Also, we should look into energy-saving measures, like LED lighting throughout the seventeen schools of Middletown, which could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long term."
What are your top three goals?
  • Don't raise taxes.
  • Clubs and facilities should be uniform so all students have the same opportunities.
  • "Enhance the curriculum and programs in the district, including an emphasis on STEM and possibly offering a few more foreign language choices at the high schools."
  • GIRLS SOCCER: Cook is Middletown South’s ‘Super Woman’ in net

Nicholas DiFranco 
Bio: 43, River Plaza homeowner, senior manager at Ernst &Young, married with a daughter at Thompson Middle School, Eagle Scout, Christian Brothers Academy graduate. 
Qualifications: "My role at (Ernst & Young) requires me to lead diverse teams of people in order to achieve a common purpose, and the projects I work on are complex enough that no one person is the expert on everything. I think this translates very well to the role of a school board member." 
What do you see as the board's role in the community? 
"My role as a board member would also be to influence the direction of our educational policy by identifying and advocating for what’s important to our community. For example, I believe that success in the modern world requires a better appreciation of world cultures. Our surrounding districts — Holmdel, Red Bank — support this by offering language education beyond the usual French and Spanish." 
What's your plan for property taxes? 
"We all want to see our taxes go down, but I’m not sure it’s possible to lessen the burden, especially given the district’s settlement with the state and resulting $217-per-household impact. It seems much more reasonable and achievable to be aggressive within the confines of the current budget and look for ways to lower costs while maintaining the same level of services." 
What are your top three goals?
  • Don't raise taxes.
  • Implement or expand an in-demand curriculum, like STEM or foreign languages.
  • "We have 12 elementary schools and three middle schools, and the activities, honors programs, fields and facilities at each should be brought to a level par."

Head on over to the Asbury Park Press to finish reading the article and learn about the other candidates who are running this year candidates; Adam Gentile, Frank Higgins, Sue Griffin, Andrew Nicholes and Ernest Donnelly