Tag Archive: Andy Unanue

Sabrin: investigate Unanue

In a press release issued this afternoon, Republican Senate candidate Murray Sabrin called on US Attorney Chris Christie and NY and NJ insurance departments to investigate “Andrew Unanue’s possible violations of Federal Voter Laws and State Auto Insurance Laws” after admitting he lives in New York, but votes and pay for auto insurance in New Jersey:

“Voter fraud is a serious violation and if Andy Unanue committed such violations he should be held accountable. I call upon United States Attorney Chris Christie to investigate these severe revelations of Andy Unanue living in New York City while voting in New Jersey.”

“New York and New Jersey have the highest auto insurance rates in the nation because of fraud. Andy Unanue’s recent comments about having a New Jersey driver’s license while living in New York City are extremely disturbing. I am calling upon the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor in New Jersey and the New York State Insurance Department Fraud Bureau to investigate these troubling disclosures by Andy immediately.”

Bookends for Chris Christie?

Chris Christie has made a lot of hay over his bi-partisan political convictions, a record that is largely reliant on his early indictment of Republican Jim Treffinger in spring 2002.  At the time, Treffinger was the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for US Senate.

Now Christie has an opportunity to bookend his career as a US Attorney — even if McCain wins it is very unusual for a US Attorney to continue after eight years — by investigating and indicting another leading candidate for the Republican nomination for US Senate: Andy Unanue.

Mr. Unanue appears to have committed voter fraud by maintaining and exercising his voting rights at his parent’s house in Alpine while admittedly living on Central Park West in Manhattan.  According to Unanue’s campaign manager, Unanue “votes in New Jersey.”

That is a clear and almost admitted case of voter fraud, something that the Department of Justice — the folks Christie works for — has made a priority over the years.  All Christie has to do is get the voter files from Bergen County, see if Unanue voted in the 2006 congressional elections or the 2007 legislative elections, and then impanel a grand jury for the indictment.  It’s not a heavy lift.

Think this is a minor thing that is beneath the interest of a United States Attorney?  The Department of Justice doesn’t think so:

Department officials defend their record. “The Department of Justice is not attempting to make a statement about the scale of the problem,” a spokesman, Bryan Sierra, said. “But we are obligated to investigate allegations when they come to our attention and prosecute when appropriate.”

And the man who hired Christie (and received a no-bid sweetheart contract worth up to $52 million), John Ashcroft, also considered this a priority:

Combating voter fraud, Mr. Ashcroft announced, would be high on his agenda. But in taking up the fight, he promised that he would also be vigilant in attacking discriminatory practices that made it harder for minorities to vote.

“American voters should neither be disenfranchised nor defrauded,” he said at a news conference in March 2001.

Christie is most likely aware of all this, since US Attorney’s went through special training.

At the same time, the department encouraged United States attorneys to bring charges in voter fraud cases, not a priority in prior administrations. The prosecutors attended training seminars, were required to meet regularly with state or local officials to identify possible cases and were expected to follow up accusations aggressively.

Well, Mr. Christie.  Your job is clear, and you can demonstrate your commitment to non-partisan justice by investigating and prosecuting this already admitted case of voter fraud.

Unanue committing voter fraud?

Republican Senate candidate Andy Unanue’s campaign manager:

“Andy Unanue lives in New Jersey, he votes in New Jersey, his car is registered in New Jersey, he pays New Jersey auto insurance, and his business is in New Jersey. Andy Unanue is New Jersey.”

Andy Unanue:

“For the past few years I’ve lived in New York. I’m in the process of moving back to New Jersey.”

So if he votes in New Jersey but doesn’t live here, isn’t that voter fraud?

NJ GOP Recruits Only The Best

Today we learned from Herb Jackson — one of my absolute favorite writers on politics, BTW — that Senate candidate and NJ GOP savior Andy Unanue allowed Goya Foods to pay for a political consultant when he was considering a run for Congress a couple years back.  This is a serious no-no, because corporations are not allowed to fund political campaigns.  That’s why they set up PACs.

So that’s one count of campaign finance violation.

Now we learn from PoliticsNJ.com PolitickerNJ.com that Unanue doesn’t even live in New Jersey, but in New  York City.

But that’s not the real news, which is buried under the headline and lead.  Apparently Unanue is engaging in a little voter fraud in that he is registered to vote at his parent’s house, but doesn’t live there.

Voting records show Unanue listed at an Alpine residence. A search of tax records for that home, however, shows that it is owned by his parents, Joseph and Carmine Unanue. The housekeeper confirmed that the home does not belong to Andy Unanue and he does not live there.

But wait, it turns out that Unanue is living in New Jersey, because, you see, he is New Jersey.

“Andy Unanue lives in New Jersey, he votes in New Jersey, his car is registered in New Jersey, he pays New Jersey auto insurance, and his business is in New Jersey,” said Unanue Campaign Manager Mark Duffy. “Andy Unanue is New Jersey.?

So now he shows up to work hung over, misuses corporate funds to pay for campaign expenses, and is registered to vote at an address where he doesn’t live.

Great recruit, Tom Wilson.  Please, give us some more!

QOTD: Sure, Yes

This is a transcript of Andy Unanue, the current savior of the NJ Republican Party’s effort to win a statewide race, where he defends himself against the charge of being drunk on the job by saying he was just hung over.

Q: Did you hear some testimony regarding your drinking alcohol [on the job]?

A: Yeah.

Q: Were you ever drunk in the office at GFI’s [Goya Foods] headquarters?

A: No

Q: Were you ever drunk in any other offices where you worked?

A: No.

Q: Were you ever hung over in the office?

A: Sure, yes.

“Sure, yes.” he says.  As if this were a normal occurrence for an officer of a major corporation to show up to the office hung over.

If that’s what he did while managing the family business, imagine what he would do in the US Senate.

Does Andy Unanue approve this message?

New Jersey Republicans have been freaking out for the past few weeks about the prospect of running either Joe Pennacchio or Murray Sabrin against Senator Lautenberg.

Sabrin is the Ron Paul libertarian type (though not really: he’s for a constitutional ban on abortion, a national language, etc): 1/3 good ideas, 1/3 “interesting” ideas and 1/3 absolutely crazy ideas.

Pennacchio wrote a manifesto in 1991 (that just got unearthed) that actually had a lot of good ideas in it (which Republicans hate), but he’s since renounced most of those anyway. But it also had controversial stuff about how women are equal (but not really) to men and about putting homeless people onto military bases. And the whole thing overcompensates a bit on the issue of race. My favorite line reminds me of Joe Biden: “Shelby Steele, a black English professor at San Jose’ State has written eloquently on American race relations.”

Since Anne Estabrook dropped out of the race, Republicans have been throwing out all kinds of names as potential third options. Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Al Leiter and lately, Andy Unanue – former COO of Goya Foods.

The last one stuck and he threw his hat in the ring yesterday. And it’s funny how giddy Republicans are about him. NJ GOP chair Tom Wilson:

“The opportunity to put a different face on the Republican Party and have a candidate who is young, Hispanic and so dynamic excites a lot of the party leaders right now.”

That is quite a different face. They’re going from running a disgusting, racist campaign against Senator Menendez in 2006 to running a Hispanic of their own less than two years later.

The GOP still doesn’t get it. You don’t automatically win over Hispanics or blacks or any other group just by running them for office. You start by not being so racist and scapegoating them for all of the country’s problems.

I don’t know very much yet about Unanue, but I do wonder how it must feel to be drafted by and agree to run with the party that used your ethnicity to scare voters in the prior election.

Does Andy Unanue approve this message?

NJ GOP Easter prayers answered

New Jersey GOP leaders had their Easter prayers answered today as a

political news site is reporting multi-millionaire businessman Andy Unanue will seek the nomination to take on Frank Lautenberg for the US Senate.  After multi-millionairess Anne Estabrook withdrew after suffering a stroke, the GOP’s country club establishment went about frantically trying to find a replacement to prevent the nomination from going to one of the two reactionary wingnuts vying for the seat.  

Unanue is heir to the Goya Foods family fortune, the largest Hispanic-owned business in the country.  As such, he can finance his own campaign.  He can also appeal to New Jersey’s considerably influential Hispanic community.  

NJ GOP prays this Easter for a savior

This Easter weekend New Jersey’s Republican leaders are praying desperately in their country club hangouts as they anxiously await a decision next week by a potential messiah who will deliver them from the yoke of having to choose between the lesser of two clowns to run against Frank Lautenberg.  Andy Unanue is young, articulate, moderate and most important, as heir to the largest Hispanic-owned business in the US (Goya Foods), fabulously wealthy and willing to finance his own campaign.  

The real challenge for the chablis-and-brie country club set will be getting their chosen savior passed the gauntlet of reactionary Pharisees who seem to be coalescing around “Ron Paul wannabee” Murray Sabrin.

The small but potent group of Pharisee wingnuts in the NJGOP is alreadygearing up to politically crucify Andy Unanue should he have the temerity to defy their aspiration to win the primary for Sabrin.  Expect the mud-slinging (mostly in one direction) to be fast and furious.