Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of the Gilmore Comeback

Ocean County Republicans try to make sense of what happened and what to do next after the conviction of GOP Chairman George Gilmore on three counts of federal tax evasion.

UP

George Gilmore 

From Jersey Shore Online: “George Gilmore will once again head the Ocean County Republican Organization after he was voted back in tonight. He beat Sheriff Michael Mastronardy 333 to 320. Gilmore had previously held the chairman spot for 23 years from 1996 to 2019 before federal tax related charges led to his resignation.” President Donald J. Trump pardoned Gilmore prior to departing office.

Donald J. Trump

Obdurately transactional New Jersey is the gift that keeps on giving for the disgraced former President, who now has bragging rights on a presidentially pardoned ally occupying what has historically been the most powerful, kingmaking Republican chairmanship in New Jersey.

From the InsiderNJ archives:

“President Trump Tuesday  issued a full Presidential Pardon of George Gilmore, who was convicted on ancillary charges of failing to pay payroll taxes on two occasions and omitting existing debts from a mortgage loan application. The jury rejected most of the Government’s case against Gilmore, failing to return a verdict of tax evasion and acquitting him of filing false tax returns. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison but remained free on bail at the time he was pardoned.”

Jack Zisa

The incumbent Bergen County Republican Organization chairman on Thursday night defeated his challenger by a 2-1 avalanche.

Lamonica McIver

The Central Ward Councilwoman on a 9-0 vote last Friday formally became president of the Newark City Council.

Wayne Richardson

Along with co-founder John Blyden and instructor Japhis Lampkins, the Essex County Commission President (and prez of Laborers’ Local 55), oversaw the graduation of New Jersey’s inaugural Pathways to Apprenticeship program.

Mike Testa 

Unchallenged on Thursday night, the Republican state Senator from LD-1 won another term as chairman of the Cumberland County GOP organization.

DOWN

Michael Mastronardy

In a noble try, the Ocean County Sheriff came up just short in his bid to block the return of former veteran Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore (see above).

Raymond Herr

Seeking to dethrone GOP County Chairman Zisa in Bergen County, Herr did not come close, losing 391 to 192.

Democracy

This week from the Monmouth Poll:

“Only a little more than 1 in 3 Americans currently believe our system of government is sound, a view that has declined significantly over the past few years. The Monmouth University Poll finds that the House select committee to investigate January 6 has not changed many minds about what happened that day, in part because few Republicans are following the hearings. In fact, Republicans are less inclined than they were a year ago to describe the violence at the U.S. Capitol as either a riot or an insurrection. In the poll – conducted before Cassidy Hutchinson’s public testimony on June 28 – 4 in 10 Americans said former President Donald Trump was directly responsible for the incident.”

New Jersey State Parks

The New Jersey Legislature’s devious little 11th-hour pass-through of the Orwellian-named “Liberty State Park Conservation, Recreation, and Community Inclusion Act” sets a ravenous pace for the wholly diabolical development of our public green spaces.

“Piece by piece, the park will be cut into revenue-generating private initiatives for the economically privileged at the expense of the local residents who need open space,” according to Dr. Frank Gallagher, a former assistant director of the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, who serves as the director of the Environmental Planning Program as an associate professor of Professional Practice at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers The State University.

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Fund

From NJ Spotlight:

In the ratified 2023 budget, “Once again, the Legislature and Murphy administration diverted money away from the Clean Energy Fund to pay for other government operations, angering advocates who noted that the raids continued even as the state expects record high tax collections and is flush with billions in unspent federal aid.

“The fund, supported by utility customers who pay a surcharge on their monthly bills, is designed to help New Jersey achieve its ambitious climate policy goals and quicken the state’s transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

 

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