Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Questions For Scott Sipprelle

The Middlesex County GOP screening committee meets tonight at the George Bush Senior Center in Old Bridge from 7-10 to interview candidates for CD 6 & 12, Middlesex County Sheriff and Middlesex County Freeholder.

Three hours is not a long time to interview all of those candidates, so I thought I assist any members of the committee who are readers by sharing a small sample of the questions I've been preparing to ask CD 12 candidate Scott Sipprelle should he have a sudden change of heart and accept my invitation to an on camera interview.


Question 1: When did you register as a Republican voter in the State of New Jersey? Be prepared with the obvious follow ups.

Question 2: Why do you want to be a congressman. Not the stump speech answer, please, rather what's in it for you?

Question 3: You've stated that if elected you would only serve 3 terms, 6 years. What have you thought about doing after 2016? Something else in politics or government? Philanthropy? Academia? Return to the private sector?


Question 1: Scott, you have proposed a "flat tax" that exempts millions of Americans from paying federal income taxes, and taxes the rest of the earners at a flat rate. 20% had been mentioned. Your plan would allow taxpayers to choose between the current tax system and your flat tax system.
1a:. Isn't your plan really a tax cap, given that tax payers will have a choice between the current system and the flat tax system?

1b: The current IRS code is amended frequently. Would your plan end future tinkering of the "current tax law?"

1c: How would your plan impact the federal deficit in a declining ecomony, a stagnant economy and a growing economy?

Question 2: You have proposed a "Super Regulator" for the financial system? How does your proposal differ from that of Congressman Barney Frank? Did you reference Frank's legislation when drafting your own proposal?

Question 3: You have proposed "merit pay" for house members and senators. How will that work? What will the criteria for bonuses be? Who will decide who gets bonuses? Under your proposed system, would it be possible that members of congress will earn multiple millions of dollars in any given year? Would there be a cap? How do you think your proposed compensation system would be received by members of congress? How would it impact their willingness to create term limits? Are you trying to transform congressional pay into Wall Street style compensation? If you are successful in passing such legislation, would you keep your pledge to serve only 3 terms?

Question 4: How will your self-imposed 6 year term limit impact your ability to be influential and effective in congress, given the current seniority system?

Donations to Democrats?

You stated that you donated to Chuck Schumer because your Senior Partner at Morgan Stanley put pressure on you to do so, and that you left Morgan Stanley as a result.

Yet, you donated to Schumer four years after you left Morgan Stanley. Please explain this discrepancy. (Be prepared with obvious follow ups.)

Wall Street Career

Question 1: You have described yourself as a "senior level" Wall Street executive. Is that an accurate assessment of the status you achieved on Wall Street? Would other Wall Street executives agree?

Question 2: Why did you leave Morgan Stanley in 1998?

Question 3: You have described yourself as a "bona fide Wall Street reformer." Please describe reforms that you have implemented that have transformed Wall Street?

Question 4: Were you an essential player in the change of leadership at Morgan Stanley in 2005? Please elaborate.

Question 5: Why did you close the Copper Arch hedge fund in 2007? How did Copper Arch perform vis a vis most hedge funds in 2007?

Question 6: Within a few months of closing Copper Arch you were appointed to the board of a Morgan Stanley subsidiary.
6a: What does that company do?
6b: How did you come to be appointed to the board?
6c: When that company went public, who received the proceeds of the initial public offering? How much money was that?
6d: What is that company's stock trading at today? What did it trade at when it first went public?
6e: Did the company benefit, directly or indirectly, from TARP or any other taxpayer bail out?

As of the most recent public filing by the company, you were still a member of the board and the beneficial owner of over 100,000 shares. 6f: Did you buy those shares? Were they awarded as compensation? What are they worth today? What other compensation do you receive from sitting on that board?

I have more questions but these are probably too many for the Middlesex screeners to cover in such a short meeting.

Scott Sipprelle has a legitimate shot at gaining the GOP nomination in CD 12. I truly hope that he answers these questions, and others, himself rather than leave me to my research and conclusions or worse, leave them to Rush Holt's opposition researchers and subsequent spin during the general election.


Anonymous said...

What is the purpose of the Middlesex County Screening Committee if the party line is awarded based on the outcome of voting at their convention? Or is that not the case?

Anonymous said...

What is this a contest between Halfacre campaign and Art as to which one can look the most childish. I mean really this is starting to look like to toddlers stamping their feet because they can not get their binky. Save this nonsense for the ignorant most of us are not so feeble minded we don't see right through the propoganda.

Anonymous said...

Art, you repeat as fact the story recounted by John Menello (a vicious Halfacre partisan) about Scott's Democrat campaign donation. Cite any evidence other than the Menello blog posting that this statement was ever uttered by Sipprelle. If you can't do that, you should do the decent thing and retract the statement. That is, if you are honest yourself.

Art Gallagher said...

Art, you repeat as fact the story recounted by John Menello (a vicious Halfacre partisan) about Scott's Democrat campaign donation. Cite any evidence other than the Menello blog posting that this statement was ever uttered by Sipprelle. If you can't do that, you should do the decent thing and retract the statement. That is, if you are honest yourself.

Or...Scott could answer the question.

Menello is a law enforcement officer and candidate for Middlesex County Sheriff. He may favor Halfacre, but there is nothing "vicious" about him.

Anonymous said...

I think the answer than John Menella got was an impulsive answer, without thinking too much about it. Sipprelle didn't uphold that response afterwards. Even more, he dodged the question at least 3 times. Maybe there's no explanation, he just donated to Chuck because he liked him back in 2002.

After all (to answer Art's first question), Sipprelle hasn't been a registered Republican until 2007.

Anonymous said...

Law enforcement officers have been exposed for corruption, spouse abuse and violence many times just like any other vocation. The fact that a politician like Mennello is a "law enforcement officer" does not make him more or less truthful. (If he is running for sheriff he is a politician). His blog like most or Art's and Halfacre's press release by its very tenor call into question the truthfulness of the content. The reek of zealotry makes doubtful the varacity of their content. Fact is neither Sipprelle or Halfacre are all that impressive. The koolaid mantra of the Halfacre crew has to make one question the goals and intent of that camp. Only people looking to profit would run such a slash and burn campaign against someone like Sipprelle who seems to be an okay candidate.

Anonymous said...

I think the screening committee in Middlesex is just a recomendation.

Anonymous said...

And "Law Enforcement Officers never lie"


Art Gallagher said...

Anonymous 5:40pm who wrote about John Menella...

Your post has an aire or credibility. The only thing missing is your identity. Repost it with your name and I'll post it and delete this comment.

I have found Menella to be credible in my conversations with him

ambrosiajr said...

These are some tough questions Art. I would really like to see if he answers any of them, or if he just keeps on ignoring you. I have said before that I like Mayor Mike. Some of his posts have been on the money and I like the way that he has not had a tax increase in recent years, despite the economy. I am in Chris Smith's district, so I couldn't vote for him anyway.I don't really care for Sipprelle's attitude. He seems very full of himself and his money. Not that I would be voting for Mayor Mike. I like Rush Holt also. I like the fact that he was voted most liberal. But I can tell you, I'm voting for Chris Smith this year because of what he did in Georgia and because of Sean Goldman. Whether he was grandstanding, or not, it doesn't matter. He got all of those children out and with their respective family. I don't care what his stand is on other issues ...he did the absolute right thing by those families, and that has to count for something.

Anonymous said...

According to, some of Halfacre's biggest contributors gave to Democrats like Chris Dodd, Carolyn McCarthy, Bill White and even Frank Pallone as recently as a few months ago! Why isn't Halfacre returning their money if it bothers him so much? Why isn't he condemning them? Yet Halfacre himself only found it necessary to donate to one candidate.... former St. Senator John Bennett. Very interesting.

Art Gallagher said...

Thanks for stopping by Dwight

Art Gallagher said...

A 5:40...

I'll look into it further. The truth could be other than you have concluded. Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to discuss.

Anonymous said...

How awesome is it that we have hedge fund millionaires dropping by to post anonymously! Too funny.

Hey Dwight...should we get into your contribution history? As per newsmeat:

2000-Al Gore $2,000
2002- Anne Sumers $2,000
2004- Frank Lautenberg $1,000
1997-1998 Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee $4,000

Apparently the "Of course I'm a Republican, my parents are the GOP chairs in Princeton" defense doesnt hold for Dwight either.