Tag Archive: Chris Connors

What’s Happening Today Wed. 10/23/2013

Christie’s financial mismanagement: One of the lingering effects of the shutdown is a lack of access to current federal data. The Federal Election Commission’s website, for example, indicates, “We are working to bring this section back online as quickly as possible.” The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of now can only tell us unemployment rates in the states through August. Nonetheless, we don’t need current federal data to show that Christie’s financial stewardship has been a disaster.

We looked to NJ data where our state has reported on the revenue it has received. In September the State failed to meet its Revenue Budget of $2,557,400,000 by $(37,983,000). In the first three months of the new budget year (July-Sep) it likewise failed to meet its budget of $4,598,200,000 by $(62,040,000). One might think that with a gubernatorial election to be held on Nov 5, and September data to be available in late October the Governor’s officials might have budgeted cautiously in order to present a picture of meeting its budget at election time. Maybe they did, but their projection was flawed, and what we see now might be a harbinger of further failures in meeting their targets. We also know that the state saw a drop of 10,700 jobs in July, and 1,500 in August. Also, the most recent unemployment data we have for N. J. is for August at 8.5%, as compared to 8.1% for CT, 7.5% for DE, 7.6% for NY and 7.7% for PA.

Christie’s administration has been replete with failures in meeting budgets, lowering unemployment, and strengthening the economy. Today’s Rutgers/Eagleton poll concludes, “Voters remain persistently negative toward Christie’s efforts on what they perceive as the two most important issues facing the state, the economy and taxes.” It’s time for a new governor.


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: Due to a scheduling conflict, the press conference on gun violence at Ewing Cemetery has been postponed;  Milly Silva: 7:00pm, Cumberland County Democratic Leaders’ Reception, New Jersey Motorsports Park, 8000 Dividing Creek Rd., Millville.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 1100am, groundbreaking ceremony, the Keasbey redevelopment site for Competitive Power Ventures, Woodbridge Energy Center, Woodbridge;  Kim Guadagno: 6:30pm, speaks at the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, the Wildwood Convention.

9th LD Debate – Republican Incumbents vs. Democrats: 6:00pm, for Senate: Chris Connors (R) vs. Anthony Mazzella (D), and 7:00pm: for Assembly: Brian Rumpf (R) and Dianne Gove (R) vs Peter Ferwerda III (D) and Christopher McManus (D), both events at The Richard Stockton College, Campus Center Theatre, Galloway.

Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

Connors says he won’t attempt to challenge Adler

George Gilmore’s first choice to challenge Jon Runyan in a primary and John Adler in the general is out, according to a statement he released yesterday:

“The support and encouragement that I have received from friends, constituents and political leaders has been extremely flattering and very much appreciated; however, I must convey in the most definite terms, that I am not a candidate for Congress, nor will I seek my party’s nomination for that office,” Connors said in a press release.

That doesn’t mean the GOP is avoiding a primary though as Mo Hill, the Councilman from Toms River in Ocean County, Jon Runyan with the full support of Burlington County and Justin Murphy all have said they intend to run. The name of former lottery director Virginia Haines has also been mentioned as potentially having interest in the seat.

Just like sports, only politics

While Jon Runyan winds down his playing career in San Diego, he’s trying to get a crash course on politics and campaiging. He has decided that his new career path could be just like the prior one:

Runyan, meanwhile, says he’ll ramp up his campaign efforts after the Chargers’ season is done. He said he hopes he can concentrate on football until the Super Bowl in February.

He said he has learned already that pro sports and politics have one big thing in common: “Dealing with the scrutiny of everybody watching your every move all the time.”

I’m sure there are plenty more similarities we could find if we looked hard enough. He may be surprised to know that they go to take you out at the knees in politics too.

Civil War brewing for the GOP shot in the 3rd Congressional District

After going back and forth, Jon Runyan now says he’s in for 2010 and is ready to be the GOP candidate for Congress against John Adler:

“I’m definitely 100 percent in this race,” the Mount Laurel resident said from San Diego, where he plays for the NFL’s Chargers.

That approach and attitude s making Ocean County GOP Boss George Gilmore none to pleased:

“If he wants to announce that he’s running and is the candidate no matter what then he is sadly mistaken,” said George Gilmore, chairman of the Ocean County Republican Organization. “I expressed the fact that we were all going to try to take a deep breath and allow time to pass and try to reach a consensus on a candidate. To the extent that anyone disrupts that, I’m disappointed.”

He continued to express his displeasure about Runyan’s approach:

“There are three counties which award the line for the primary, and I would expect that anyone seeking to run to achieve a nomination from all three counties would be doing so in a manner that would try to bring all three counties together. So I’m a little disheartened about his comments,” Gilmore said.

And there are signals that Gilmore may stilll have a candidate of his own in mind even though Senator Connors has said he does not plan to run:

While Gilmore is unhappy that Runyan is making the media rounds before getting the county chairs’ nod, Toms River Councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill has been vocal about his intent to run.

“If it comes down to a primary and I’m supported by two of the county chairmen, that’s something to be determined,” he said of the prospect of an intraparty battle. “Having the support of two out of three counties is a different ballgame than one out of three.”

“Anyone who underestimates Mo Hill and his abilities is making a major mistake,” Gilmore said. “He presents himself very well, he knows the issues inside and out, and his military background is a plus. There’s a very large veterans population in Ocean County.”

And then there was this exchange from the county chairs, which unfortunately was buried deep at the end of the online article on page 5:

“I think Jon Runyan’s getting poor political advice about how to get the counties’ support,” said Gilmore, in a clear shot across the bow at Layton and Russell.

“We thought it was important for the public to hear from Jon directly,” said Russell, who also managed Chris Myers’ campaign. “I don’t see anything wrong about him communicating to the public how he feels about the issues, like heatlh care and taxes.”

“I had thought we were all going to work together to achieve common ground. Apparently there are some people who feel it’s either their candidate or no candidate,” Gilmore fumed. “Though I don’t want a primary, I’m not afraid of a primary.”

Don’t forget Justin Murphy who also ran in 2008 out of Burlington County. Primaries are not always a bad thing, but this doesn’t seem to be about the issues. We don’t even know where Runyan stands on many of the issues. This seems to be about who has the power for the Republicans. If this keeps going in the direction it’s moving, you can just get your popcorn ready for NJ3 GOP primary part 2 – the fight to make 08 look like a tea party.

Connors expected to announce he won’t run for Congress, but Runyan says he will again

There has been a good deal of talk and speculation about who will step up to challenge John Adler for his Congressional seat. Now it appears we have one name out and one name back in. First we have State Senator Chris Connors ready to take a pass:

State Sen. Christopher Connors (R-Lacey) is expected to announce — possibly as early as next week — that he will not seek the Republican nomination for Congress in District 3.  Connors was the first choice of Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, but has never seemed excited about the prospect of going to Washington.  That might leave retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Maurice “Mo” Hill, a Toms River Ward Councilman, as the Ocean County Republican organization candidate, unless Gilmore decides to go with ex-NFL player Jon Runyan.

We’ll have to see what Mo Hill and others have to say about their potential runs, but  then we also have Runyan jumping back in the Congressional candidate kiddie pool:

“Yup, as soon as this season is over. Hopefully, it’s a little bit later than sooner,” Runyan quipped in a telephone interview from the hometown of his newly adopted NFL team. Later than sooner, because Runyan hopes to get another crack at a Super Bowl ring this winter.

But come February, “I intend to retire from football and enter the Congressional race,” Runyan said.

As for whether he intends to finance his own campaign, “That’s something I have to sit down and discuss with my wife,” Runyan explained. “I haven’t really got there, I know it’s going to take some amount of money. … To win the race, it’s going to cost multiple millions of dollars.”

When Runyan first arrived in San Diego after being signed, he said he was just exploring his options and that he “hadn’t fully committed to that yet.” Whether or not he decides to self finance could play a big factor in if he gets the support of George Gilmore in Ocean County or if we see a primary for the seat. And then Republicans will still have to see where he stands on the issues too.

Is the GOP headed for a primary in NJ-3?

As Jon Runyan plays the I’m running, no I’m exploring game on whether he will mount a campaign for Congress, other potential candidates aren’t waiting for his answer:

Toms River Township Councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill, a retired Navy rear admiral and dentist, said he will run for Congress even if party leaders from the district’s three counties – Ocean, Burlington and Camden – are not unified.

“If I got the support of the Ocean County organization, then yes, I would move forward,” Hill said Friday.

Hill has already met with the chairmen in Burlington, Camden and Ocean Counties as has Runyan. While Republicans have said they want to avoid a primary this time around, Hill says if he gets the support of one county party he will run. For his part, Ocean County GOP boss George Gilmore has his own list of potentials:

Gilmore has his own short list of candidates, including state Sen. Christopher Connors (R-Lacey Twp), Toms River Councilman Moe Hill and former State Lottery Commissioner Virginia “Ginny Haines.”  Gilmore said there are also a couple other potential candidates who do not want their names floated publicly yet.  

“I’m not simply going to say ‘Oh yes, Jon Runyan is our guy.’  There are a lot of good people out there, including Moe Hill, Chris Connors and Ginny Haines. It doesn’t matter how many statements Jon Runyan puts out, it’s going to be the same answer: we have a process and we’re going to go through it.”

We’ll see whether the GOP is able to avoid a competitive primary this time around like they were unable to do in their last shot at the seat.

Looks like Runyan v. Adler in 3rd cd

It seems State Senator Chris Connors is leaning against a run in the 3rd district.  This leaves the door open for ex-Eagles football player Jon Runyan to become the nominee since there doesn’t seem to be any credible opposition.  

Connors offered the best hope for the GOP since he is very popular in Ocean County and would have likely gotten the same margin as Chris Christie.  It’s puzzling he wouldn’t take a shot at running for Congress since this is probably the best chance he’ll ever have.

I can’t see Runyan defeating Adler.  He’s a political novice who didn’t even register as a Republican until a few weeks ago.  He probably hasn’t even voted in many elections, and nobody seems to know anything about his views.

Women in politics reality check, it’s not 1950, right?

At the meeting where DiAnne Gove was selected to replace Van Pelt, she said

I thank you for your vote of confidence because this is a very important position. Yes, I’m a woman, which does bring a different . . . “That’s right!” Gove continued. “. . . A different perspective

The APP reported a member in the audience interrupted with applause and a drawn-out “Yeah,”

When it was Sen. Connors turn to speak, APP reports

And one more thing, he began. He knows there are some Republicans out there who are perhaps uncomfortable with her statement that as a woman she would bring “a different perspective” to the table.

“Brian [Rumpf] and I are used to a different perspective at least once every evening when we go home,” Connors quipped to laughs and applause.

I know there are Dem men who would acknowledge that some in the party are uncomfortable with women bringing a different perspective or with women just being women and allowed to hold higher office.  And some would try to diffuse it with old boys’ club type humor.  

Hardly seems worth the newsprint, except to remind some of us that we haven’t left the 1950’s that far behind.  

Rumpf, at least, acknowledged it had been a tough couple of weeks, referring to Van Pelt’s indictment and resignation.

Van Pelt removed from GOP Legislative website

He hasn’t resigned as many have requested, but it seems the GOP isn’t waiting for him to to start taking away the remnants of his time in office:

State Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt’s name has been removed from his legislative team’s Web site.

The site, http://district9.senatenj.com, had featured Van Pelt, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and state Sen. Chris Connors, all R-Ocean. But today the site contained only the names of and information for Rumpf and Connors.

They may have deleted his picture and tried to get rid of his existence, but all the news headlines before the call for him to resign contain Van Pelt’s name. There still has been no word from Van Pelt and Rumpf said he hadn’t spoken to him as of Friday. The Star Ledger had some fun with Van Pelt, sending out a before photo of the morning when he was being lead in to FBI HQ and after photo following the court hearing highlighting the wardrobe change, because of course that was the real news of the day. While there is still no comment from Van Pelt, some are busy getting rid of contributions he made and others are calling for him to be fired from municipal positions he holds as well.

Surprise! There were ethics questions before 2004.

The seven legislators named in the ethics complaints today are: Senator Joseph Kyrillos, Senator Peter Inverso, Senator Robert Singer, Assemblyman Chris Connors, Assemblyman David Wolfe, Assemblyman Kevin O’Toole and Assemblyman Richard Merkt.

We have a 15 page pdf including all the complaints (or in text format below the fold). I haven’t had time to browse through it carefully yet, but each complaint details specific budget items purported to be conflicts of interest.