Mickey and Diane Gooch are too thin skinned for politics at the level they are buying into.
The Gooches recently found out about opposition research.
Frank Pallone sent an opposition researcher to Rumson Borough Hall in CD-12 to make Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests for any and all records of police calls to the Gooch estate on the Navesink River.
This is true! I read it in Dan Jacobson's triCityNews. Dan read it in Diane Gooch's Two River Times! You read it on Art Gallagher's blog.
I'd link you to Dan's triCityNews piece, but he doesn't publish on the Internet.
I'd link you to the front page Two River Times story, and Mickey's "Beside the Point" column about it, but I don't want to spend the $22.95 to subscribe to their archives and then give you a link that would require you to spend $22.95 to read it. Here's a link to a TRT search page with the front page article on the top and the "Besides the Point" column listed just underneath. It's free.
According to Dan, Mickey wrote in his column:
Like Captain Renault in the movie Cassablanca, I am "shocked, shocked" that the Democratic sleaze machine working on Frank Pallone's behalf has pulled police reports on my family at our home...I conclude that Pallone feels threatened by Diane Gooch's campaign and that he wants to find some dirt on her or me or my children.
Mickey's conclusion is half right.
Pallone wants to find dirt on Diane, Mickey, their children, and anyone associated with them. Pallone has $4 million. He'll probably spend $100K digging into the Gooch's lives. He'll research Mickey's firm, and every business deal, corporation, LLC, land deal, oil deal, etc that Mickey was every involved in. The "Democratic sleaze machine" will be prepared to spin legitimate deals into nefarious schemes that threaten the universe. Remember what they did with Chris Christie's driving record and loan to an employee last year? Pallone figures that the Gooches are easier targets than the former U.S Attorney.
The Democratic sleaze machine will investigate every charity the Gooches support. They will investigate Diane's youth in Queens and Long Island. They will talk to her school classmates, friends and enemies. If Diane got drunk or high at her prom, cheated on a test in community college, or made out under the Coney Island board walk, Frank will know about it and be prepared to spin it terribly.
They will talk to every disgruntled former employee of Mickey's firm and every woman Mickey ever smiled at, looking to expose or manufacture a scandal.
But they are not affraid of Gooch and they won't use what they find....not unless Gooch is the GOP nominee challenging Pallone and if they have polling data suggesting they need to drag her, and her family, through the mud in order to win. Pallone is not threatened by Diane's campaign yet. Pallone is getting prepared for the possibility of the Gooch campaign getting traction. He must. With no record of public service to attack, the Gooch's businesses, backgrounds and personal lives will be fair game.
If Diane is the nominee and she polls within 10% of Pallone, the October airwaves will be filled with unflattering black and white photos of Mickey and Diane smiling accompanied by scary music. Mickey will be portrayed as a heartless robber barron who made billions on the collapse of the economy while regular people lost their jobs and homes and who decided to buy his wife a seat on Congress in order to get her out of his hair.
That is the way it is and that is the way it is likely to be. That Mickey and Diane are "shocked, shocked," and think it is front page news is both disappointing and alarming. Yes, Captain Renault was feigning shock in Cassablanca, as Mickey probably is now. I guess it has been so long since there was a competitive congressional campaign in the area that they don't remember the "twinkle, twinkle Kenneth Star" ads that Rush Holt ran in his race against Mike Pappas. That was nothing. Frank Pallone will do what ever he thinks he needs to to save his job.
That they were not adequately forewarned by the GOP leaders who recruited them into the race is not all that surprising. One of those GOP leaders told me this week, "all I care about is that Pallone spends all of his money."
Diane and Mickey have no idea what is going to hit them in October, should Diane be the nominee and wage a competitive race.
It is a shame. They seem like nice people.