Monday, April 05, 2010

Middlesex GOP Leader Thwarts Unity

The aftermath of a contentious intra-party battle is a delicate period that New Jersey Republicans need to learn how to manage. With emotions running high on all sides of a contest, victors run the risk of hardening divisions if they continue to fight a battle already won when they should be fostering reconciliation and team building for the general election battle.

To his credit, Scott Sipprelle has been a gracious victor in the CD 12 race. He has offered a hand of friendship to Mike Halfacre and reached out to his supporters. Sipprelle's magnanimity is a trait that those with more experience in the political trenches should learn and adapt.

Sipprelle's efforts have been complicated by a message from the Middlesex GOP hierarchy. In an email to "Middlesex Republicans and Friends" state committeeman and Middlesex GOP counsel Don Katz delivered an "11th Commandment" lecture that went too far:


The so-called 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” came out of Ronald Reagan's campaign for governor in 1966. Too many people are forgetting this commandment and are forgetting who the real opposition is: the Democrats, liberals, etc., take your choice.

There are some people out there who apparently feel that “good politics” consists of calling fellow Republicans names, stretching - or even breaking - the truth. Often these people have never elected anyone to office or even actually worked in the trenches to help Republicans get elected to office.

This style of “good politics” does nothing to advance the Republican cause - or the conservative cause - and often does exactly the opposite, harming the cause and backfiring against the candidate who embraces such tactics.

I would suggest that, in almost all circumstances, at the state and federal level, the Republican cause, and the issues most Republicans espouse, is better served by a Republican elected official rather than a Democrat elected official. Even the least conservative Republican elected official is likely to be more in sync with Republican/Conservative issues than the most conservative Democrat - especially in the North East. Do the math. Without a majority in the US Senate or House or the NJ Senate or Assembly, the party does not control the committee chairmanships or the legislative process. Like it or not, there are legislative districts where a more conservative Republican will not get elected and that so-called “RINO” will, if replaced, be replaced by a more liberal Democrat. A Republican who is less conservative than you would like, but who allows Republicans to organize the US Senate, by getting us to 51 or the NJ Senate, by getting us to 21, certainly is a step forward for the Republican/conservative cause, no matter how un-conservative they may otherwise be.

One can call someone names for not being “ideologically pure” but it does nothing for the cause. If you don't have a majority in a legislature and you want to accomplish something legislatively, you can only do so by trying to work with or influence the Democrats you need to get to a majority. By calling a candidate a “RINO” or other names, when he or she may have a long history of making 95% of his or her political contributions to Republican and Conservative causes and 5% to Democrats - either to try to influence the so-called Blue Dog Democrats or for business purposes, gets you no-where fast. (Emphasis added)

Its time to remember the 11th Commandment. Stop calling fellow Republicans names and spend your time actually doing the hard work necessary to elect Republicans to office. Actions speak louder than words.

Katz's message would have been on the mark had he omitted the highlighted line, which raised the ire of Halfacre supporters with cries of "you guys did it too" with specifics I won't go into here.

Both sides should treat Katz's message as an indelicate slip and move on towards reconciliation. As Halfacre said on the stump about his competitors, "Even those guys are better than Rush Holt." Sipprelle should, and I suspect will, redouble his efforts to bring Halfacre's enthusiastic supporters into his team.


Anonymous said...

I think it's funny on so many levels that that you refer to Katz as a "Middlesex GOP Leader".

Sycophant, sucking up to Sam Thompson so his wife can keep her jo9b is more like it.

"Middlesex GOP Leadership" is inherently contradictory, as well. There is no leadership there.

Anonymous said...

Katz’ wife probably broke the law with her campaigning for Sipprelle from Thompson’s legislative office. Someone should OPRA those phone records and time sheets. Check out the time her emails were being sent, they were sent on state time, as I recall. Political activity on state time, from a legislative office. The Middlesex County Prosecutor should look into that.

Anonymous said...

Well Katz has a point but how come he did not refer to all those sipperelle supporters who attacked halfacre for the public jobs he has held?

good for the Goose good for the gander

Anonymous said...

I put in an OPRA for Thompson’s legislative office and it was denied citing: "case law, OPRA (NJSA 47:1A-1.1 definition of government record) and privileges including, but not limited to, legislative privilege."

Anonymous said...

We know Sam Thompson reads the blogs, so Art should challenge him right here:

Provide the time sheets showing hours worked in the Legislative office for his staff for the two weeks leading up to the Middlesex County Convention.

Cross-reference that against the emails and cell phones of the people who got emails and calls, and see what you come up with.

If Slammin' Sammy and his sycophants didn't do anything wrong, then no big deal.

Anonymous said...

Katz and his wife don't fart without Thompson's permission. What a disgrace. This guy is supposed to be an Assemblyman and an elder statesman?

His behavior at the convention, and this mass email show why Middlesex GOP is so small time.

Grow up already, grumpy old man.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's nice to visit this blog now that Sipprelle's goons have been redeployed!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:20:00: Sipprelle's supporters are not goons. We've moved on to getting rid of Rush Holt, while you are apparently still whining about water under the bridge and phantasy conspiracies. Geez!! Where are your priorities??

Anonymous said...

Here's an email I got from Sam Thompson:

Subject: RE: Congressional races
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 15:07:44 -0400
From: Thompson, Asm. D.O.

I have endorsed Scott Sipprelle for Congress in the 12th
Congressional District because I believe he is the candidate that has the best chance to defeat Rush Holt.

It's from a State email account, during business hours. Is it OK?

Anonymous said...

not very bright,bad start as a new chair...taking time and the focus off what we're supposed to be about: beating the Dems..this year requires all our leaders to actually, well, LEAD!!!..between this here and with RNC chair Steele wasting contributions on go-go dancers and other nonsense, one can see how discouraged rank-and-file Rep's can get..c'mon, people,get smarter!!

Anonymous said...

"Well Katz has a point but how come he did not refer to all those sipperelle supporters who attacked halfacre for the public jobs he has held?

good for the Goose good for the gander"

Okay we will go really slow. #1. Sipp did not raise that issue he dealt with the issues we voters cared about. #2 Only Halfacre's doppy campaign wasted their time and effort of ignorant attacks like to non-issue couple of grand to some dems(which is why he got smoked accross the board. #3 The fact voters raised the living off the public dole issue is not Sipp's fault. #4 Problem with the entrenched political hacks running Monmouth is they do not understand the rank and file does not support their good ole boy game, that is why the voters tend to back the outsiders against the party players.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that someone from the Middlesex County Republican Organization is condecendingly lecturing some people because they've never gotten candidates elected?

Because you know, they're doing such a bang up job of it themselves.