Friday, October 28, 2005

Scratching my head...

I'm really scratching my head on the Asbury Park Press' series of endorsements. If you've noticed, every assembly endorsement has been for Republicans. And I totally understood that -- all the endorsed Republicans have been incumbents -- until today.

In today's issue, Republicans Beck and O'Scanlon received the APP endorsement over Democrat incumbents Panter and Morgan. I've heard grumbling from many a Democrat campaign about the APP -- the county's only daily newspaper -- not giving them a fair shot. I'm starting to see some truth in that.

I've said before that anyone who underestimates Republican 12th District Assembly candidate Jen Beck will get a lesson coming to them very quickly. She's smart, she's savvy and she's a force to be reckoned with. She's stood up to the so-called Red Bank "McKennacrats" as the borough's only Republican council member (until John Curley switched parties) with integrity and a sharp eye on the bottom line. Republicans at the Monmouth County GOP Convention last April made a smart choice. (And, by the way, Beck winning the party nod was unexpected - it was the forceful speech she made at the convention that got her nomination. No one "made" Jen Beck except for Jen Beck.)

But, what leaves me scratching my head is this whole "Panter & Morgan are the tools of the Democrat machine" idea. Yes, they have gotten a ton of money from the state legislative. (Is it any big shocker that state Democrats want to desperately keep a seat that had been a solid Republican district for years?) But does anyone forget the fit state party bosses threw in not wanting Panter and Morgan (selected to run by Mon. Cty. Democrat Chairman Vic Scudiery) to get the party nod? Does anyone remember all the money thrown at Gemma by state party bosses when he challenged Sen. Karcher for the Democratic nomination?

And Panter and Morgan have made their own roads in Trenton -- this, of course, is also pragmatic: no Democrat aligning themselves with state party bosses will likely last long in Republican-dominated Monmouth. (And that's why Beck and O'Scanlon are fighting forcefully to prove them as such) But NPIRG, a state public interest group, gave them a 100% rating. And David Rebovich, a non-partisan, sharp observer of New Jersey politics, gave them a raving column.

So, I'm supposed to believe that Morgan is a Trenton insider because he's advised the state Department of Health about young kids who might have SARs or been exposed to anthrax or whatever rare diseases his medical expertise is in and Beck, who was a lobbyist for a number of years as well as an aide to Assemblyman Azzolina, is not? The logic feels pretty tortured to me.

Come on, Asbury Park Press.

Next stop, the 13th District in which Dasaro and Flynn -- both of whom have received little money from the state Democrat PAC, partly because of Dasaro's refusal to step down from the party line late in the game when state Democrat leaders tried to replace him on the ticket -- are those evil Democrat-machine insiders...

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