Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Proof That Frank Pallone Is Worried

By Tommy DeSeno, Southern Monmouth Correspondent

For years, Frank Pallone ignored Asbury Park – because he could. This reliable little City would traditionally give him enough of a victory margin to wipe out the Republican victory in several Monmouth County towns.

That meant while Asbury Park kept other towns at bay, all Pallone had to do was waltz through his other safe zones in Monmouth and cruise to victory.

Back when the current 6th Congressional District was in the 3rd District, Pallone didn’t have it so easy. Current Superior Court Judge Paul Kapalko came within a few thousand votes of picking him off.

But once the redistricting occurred, Pallone had some smooth Atlantic waters to sail. Since then most challengers haven’t gotten more than 36% against Frank, and because the Republican Party refused to spend money to defeat him, Pallone built up a $4.5 million war chest over the years from never having to spend it.

So Pallone took Asbury Park people for granted. He knew they would be there for him no matter how much he neglected them, and boy did he neglect them.

There was a stretch of years where Frank Pallone was invited to more than 10 City sponsored events in Asbury Park, such as the Mayor’s Ball, the Policeman’s Steakout Dinner, The High School Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner and others, and Frank Pallone was simply a no show.

Many of those events were to benefit the poorer children in Asbury Park, who are without a doubt the most impoverished in his District, but Frank wouldn’t come. He just didn’t care so long as the City adults robotically voted for him.

Frank Pallone skipped so many events in Asbury Park I wrote a column entitled “Dove Siete” in the triCityNews (meaning “Where are you?” in Italian), hoping to goad Frank into making an appearance in my fair little City by the Sea. But to no avail.

Frank Pallone ignored Asbury Park like a Ft. Monmouth closure hearing (which he also ignored).

If you think I’m overstating it, take Pallone’s word for it. When there was a rally occurring in Asbury Park by unions who were vying for work at the Beachfront Redevelopment zone, Frank went to California. When asked by a reporter why he wasn’t back in Asbury Park, Pallone asked, "Why should I go to bat for the people of Asbury Park if I don't have a relationship with the Mayor?" (The Mayor at the time was a Republican, although AP has non-partisan elections.)

So Frank admitted that he wouldn’t go to bat for Asbury Parkers, but most folks in the City never heard that because the Asbury Park Press refused to print it, despite my subtle encouragement to them.

Now this isn’t to say Pallone has never come to Asbury Park in the quarter century he’s been representing the City. Let me recount for you 4 times he did come to Asbury Park, and more importantly, why.

Whenever Congressman Barney Frank would make an appearance at Club Paradise, Asbury Park’s popular gay night club, Frank Pallone would come to kiss Barney’s…ring. He did so several times, while ignoring the functions Asbury Park threw for the City’s youth.

He came to the Stone Pony once for a benefit for a school… The Ranney School. In case you don’t know, Ranney is one of the most prestigious private schools in New Jersey, it isn’t in Pallone’s district, but it is where he sent his kids to school. But what the hell – Bruce Springsteen was playing at the benefit because his kids go to Ranney too, so Frank just had to be there, even though he skipped EVERY function Asbury Park threw to help their impoverished children.

I also saw Frank at the West Side Community Center…when Jon Corzine came there to speak.

Speaking of the West Side Community Center, the 4th time Pallone came to Asbury Park was in 2007 on Martin Luther King’s birthday. The WCC is a dilapidated building where Director after Director has tried to keep programs going for the good of Asbury Park’s west side children.

On MLK day 2007, Frank Pallone promised to “Bring funding to the West Side Community Center.” This brought great applause and wonderful coverage from the Asbury Park Press.

I, for one, knew he was lying. I went to every Asbury Park City Council meeting I could after that to take the microphone and ask if the WCC had yet received the money Pallone promised. When I couldn’t go I offered to pay people to go to the meeting and ask the question. The City Council and the City Manager would chuckle at the question. By my observation, they knew Frank was lying.

I tried my best to get the Asbury Park Press to do follow up stories about Frank and his broken promise to Asbury’s children, but for some odd, strange, unthinkable reason that I can’t determine, the Asbury Park Press just won’t ask him about it. I think his throwing out a promise to Asbury Park’s black community on MLK day for applause and pandering is kind of a news story.

Now imagine my surprise on this past July 4th when I went to the Asbury Park Independence Day parade, and lo and behold who did I see in it? Frank Pallone! I barely recognized him since it’s been so long since he was last here.

So what changed? Why would a congressman go from brashly admitting that he won’t go to bat for the people of Asbury Park to marching in their parade? Why after refusing every invite from Asbury Park to help their children, after 24 years of the City asking “Dove Siete,” would Frank Pallone suddenly choose this year to be in Asbury Park’s Parade?

Two words: Anna Little.

She’s got Frank Pallone worried about Asbury Park.


ambrosiajr said...

Damned if he does...damned if he doesn't. Tommy, I don't think it would matter if he LIVED in Asbury Park. You STILL wouldn't be supporting him, or voting for him. But hey, nicely written. You made me chuckle a few times. Thanks for that.

James Hogan said...

Who'd of thought the day would come that I would find myself leaning towards agreeing with Rick over TommyD? I mean, in fairness, I'm a bit sick with the amount of money that the state pumps into Asbury Park, for the children of course... it has nothing to do with paying school supers and admins, that doesn't happen, ever.

If Pallone was going to bat for Asbury Park, it just means that the Federal government would be subsidizing that dump with even more of my money too, and nothing would change.

But I would like to know... Rick, I'd be correct in saying that no matter what Tommy or anyone else suggests, you'll STILL be supporting Pallone, right? said...

Just to be clear James the 10 events we invited Pallone to didn't involve public money.

While they were "City" events we used only private donations to raise money for the kids.

Frank just wouldn't participate.

ambrosiajr said...

Sorry Jimmy...I don't live in his district. I'm in Chris Smith's district. But if I DID live in the district, I would be supporting him too. Hey, partisan is what partisan does. While I do like Anna Little, and I have voiced that right here on Art's blog, I don't like the Tea Partiers that back her. Now she owes the radical right. I had thought she was more of an independent minded person. At least, she was when she was on the Freeholder board. Times change I guess.

Freespeaker76 said...

If anyone thinks that Asbury Park holds the key to Anna Little winning, can I borrow some of that good grass you are smoking.

Deseno is delusional here.

Again, I like Anna;I realy do.But, the Tea Party people running the campaign have no clue how to get in the trenches and work for votes on a town by town basis. I was to a Tea Party meeting last week and found this to be true.

I have expressed my concerns it to many others, who believe the same. Until Anna finds REAL experienced Campaign Staff, which can only come from experienced Republican Operatives, Anna will have big problems. Yet, the Tea Party people thumb their noses at such an idea because they don't want to ally with the party. PENNY WISE, POUND FOOLISH.

As well, I found it disappointing, that while waiting for the Ocean Grove 4th of July Parade to start; Anna just sat in the car for nearly a half hour; instead of getting out, walking the streets and shaking hands. A REAL campaign manager, with experiance would have had her do just that.

I also wonder how the fundraising is going. A quick look at the FEC reports on line shows only $68,000 by June 30th. That's a far cry from the $1 million or so needed for a real challange.

I wonder how the $100,000 rasied by July 14th challange went, in order to earn another $100,000 in matching funds. Remmeber, Phoney Pallony still has $4.5 million.

Yes, I like Anna; but because of these things and others; I have great concerns about the ability to actually win it. The fall campaign is a far cry from edging Diane by 85 votes. said...

Freespeaker 76:

Let's not read more into my post than I said. No one said Asbury Park is "key" to Anna Little winning.

My only point was that Pallone hasn't campaigned there in 24 years of representing the City.

Even when we invited him and begged him to come he blew us off.

Suddenly this year he wants to show his face there.

That suggests to me that Frank thinks he has to do more this year than he's ever had to do in the past.

Thus the titled: He's worried.

Anonymous said...

Good points freespeaker76. The Tea Party has got to realize that they have to align themselves with other groups, including the GOP "establishment" who share a common ideology and goals. They also have to learn what it takes to win elections. Rallies, signs, slogans are all great, but there is a lot less visible work that goes into a successful campaign. A united effort (and money) will beat Pallone. A fractured effort is what Pallone is counting on. This is no time for amateur hour.

MLaffey said...

First Anna Little is one Politician who is owned by no- one. The tea party came to Anna because of her positions. Those positions have never changed and they never will. That is why I support her.

Of course Mr. Ambrosia does not like the Tea Party. The Tea Party believes the less government does the better.
Mr Ambrosia believes the more they do the better.

Fortunatly more and more people are waking up to the dangers of big government. That is why the Tea Party movement has taken off.

Anna Little believes in limited government and she has impeccable integrity.
That is why she will beat Frank Pallone.

As to the person who said " the campaign have no clue how to get in the trenches and work for votes on a town by town basis. I was to a Tea Party meeting last week and found this to be true"

That is nonsense. there are plenty of experienced Republicans who have run campaigns working with the Tea Party people on Anna's Campaign. I know I am one of them. The drive and entusiasm of the Tea Party Volunteers is the best I have ever seen on any campaign. That combined with the experience of the long time Republicans who back Anna is a winning combination. The ground game this campaign is putting together is going to be phenomenal. Plus their is not a politician in this state who is better then Anna little at a shoe leather campaign. said...

Anonymous 12:03:

If the Tea Party and the Republicans should be together, it's the Republicans that have to move toward the Tea Party, not the other way around.

It's the Tea Party Movement that's carrying the day.

Get on board or get out of the way.

Thats the way Anna Little has always won. No need for her to change.

Susan said...

Mr. DeSeno, thank you for writing the truth about Frank Pallone! Doesn't it matter to anyone that Pallone votes with Pelosi 99% of the time, or that his arrogance and blatant disregard for what his constituents think resinates throughout our communities? Wake up people! While it is true that Pallone has lots of money to run a campaign, keep in mind that money does not always buy quality goods. Sometimes you'll get a lemon!

ambrosiajr said...

You mean what SOME of his constituents think, don't you Susan? Apparently, not everyone thinks the way that you do, and that's what you have a problem with. Just like in my district where Chris Smith doesn't care what SOME of his constituents me. That's the way it goes in a republic.

Freespeaker76 said...


I know one of them running the campaign and she has NO capability of producing a winning campaign. The other person at the top? I experienced HIS lack of professionalism for some 20 minutes. It was painful. It alienated people.

The campaign has YET to have 5 requests for a phone conversation with Anna answered. FIVE!

That is NOT working with local organizations and getting down in the trenches.

Before I donate money to the campaign, I have to see tangible proof of a real chance to win. After all, people don't invest in businesses that are prone to failure. And the first sign of a possibility of winning is the appointment of a Campaign Manager with SERIOUS street credentials and capability. I have not seen that yet.

I know these things. I have been at the campaign level for years.

AGAIN...I like Anna. But she is being seriously let down by the people around her who are blind to the reality of the district and it's demographics.

A vote is a vote.. said...

people: all Frank wants, is to turnout his typical drones in 4 Monmouth towns: Asbury, Neptune, Long Branch, and Red Bank,( that's where the union knock- and- drag will happen, again!), not to mention good ol' Middlesex.. so whatever he can pretend he already "got" for them, or can lie and promise more giveaways to bribe them, he will do it..: it's a daunting task, but I believe one that Anna is more than up to, and that this is the year he gets found-out, and turned-out!!.. and, guys, PLEASE stop sorting out and differentiating WHO Anna's voters are: forget about whom is right,or who's from this or that tea party, vs. rank and file GOP: ANYone who votes for Anna in November, is doing so because they are sick and disgusted with this entire Obama/Reid/Pelosi/Pallone way of ramming stuff down the necks of the majority of Americans who don't WANT it, and especially don't want to PAY for all of it!!.. FOCUS: Frank and the whole ilk MUST GO,period- everyone gets one vote( unless you're in Hudson Cty., Atlantic City, or Minnesota),and each counts once.. it'll be tough, but I truly believe Anna will,with her message and ground-game, finally get by this windbag, once and for all!

MLaffey said...

It is difficult to discuss these alleged problems with you anonymously

As Anna's Chief of Staff I would be happy to address your concerns confidentially if you would like to contact me at

Rocky said...

People who complain about Anna Littles campaign manager not having experience are clueless.

She used to work for Roger Ailles.
She has recieved training from the national GOP. She also has a law degree. She obviously did a better job in the primary then "the proffesionals"

But thats OK being underestimated is a good thing.

Git on board, kids.. said...

you go, Rocky- absolutely!.. not her fault there was bad timing,few issues people were keyed into, and and zero dollars when she ran,working with her, she's very bright, gets the issues, hates Frank and all his bad votes, and knows where to find more votes for Anna in the district.. can't wait til the "Little engine" chugs on into DC!.. what a fun, seafood-from-the Bayshore-laden party there will be, in the new Cong. ofc.,on the day we take over that messed-up town!.. so many have been waiting so long for this to happen, let's do what we can to get it done!!

Anonymous said...

It's so funny to read this:

I know one of them running the campaign and she has NO capability of producing a winning campaign. The other person at the top? I experienced HIS lack of professionalism for some 20 minutes.

I wonder what his thoughts are about the professional campaign firms, from TX to NY, supported by our local professional outfits like Jamestown, that couldn't produce a winning campaign when their candidate had the party line in all 4 counties and the endorsements of virtually all elected officials.