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Don’t Blame Trump for Last Tuesday’s Republican Thrashing in NJ

NJ Swamp Republicans united behind a candidate who never had a chance. Conservatives could not play Big League ball.

Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Kim Guadagno for Governor by 280,000 votes statewide, 6,000 votes in Atlantic County. Guadagno never had a chance. She was the hand-picked Lieutenant to the most unpopular Governor in NJ history.

A good Republican candidate could have won. Murphy was unpopular within the Democratic Party. Last June, he spent huge amounts of money to win the primary, and still ended up with less than half the vote. Murphy offended many voters with his support for higher taxes and “sanctuary” states. However, it did not matter.

Most NJ voters were so sick of Chris Christie that they would not even think of voting for Kim Guadagno. (Photo of Phil Murphy below by Aristide Economopoulos of NJ Advance Media for

The following Republican candidates lost in Atlantic County lost by much smaller margins.

  • Jack Glasser, candidate for Sheriff lost by 1,519 votes
  • Tony Pietro, candidate for Freeholder lost by 87 votes
  • John Carman, candidate for Freeholder lost by 499 votes
  • Don Guardian, candidate for Mayor of Atlantic City lost by 79 votes

Good Republican candidates in every county lost close elections because Kim Guadagno was at the top of their ticket.

During the County Republican conventions and club meetings last February and March, many Republican leaders privately admitted that Jack Ciattarelli was a much better candidate. In public, they viciously attacked Ciattarelli and used their power and money to nominate Guadagno. Four “conservatives” also nominated Guadagno. Three ran as spoilers to divide and distract conservatives, without making any attempt to organize a serious statewide campaign. One was busy getting signatures so he could run as an independent in November. Donald Trump had nothing to do with this.

Democrat Frank Gilliam defeated Atlantic City Republican Mayor Don Guardian: Four years ago, Guardian shocked NJ by defeating incumbent Democratic Mayor Lorenzo Langford in a city that was overwhelmingly black, Hispanic, and Democratic.

Many Democrats were angry at Langford for refusing to cut City Hall spending when casino business declined. Langford, the previous Democratic mayor raised property taxes year after year. Many Democrats supported Republican Guardian because Guardian vowed to be a “one term mayor” who would make “hard and unpopular decisions”.

Most voters wanted and expected big cuts in City Hall spending and taxes when Guardian won four years ago. However, once elected Guardian did the opposite. Guardian refused to lay anybody off–not even last minute political hires by his predecessor. Guardian undermined efforts to cut back spending at City Hall by beginning his term with lavish inauguration parties paid for by NJ’s top “pay-to-play” power brokers.

During his first week in office, Guardian openly talked about switching parties to win re-election four years later. Guardian (with approval of state officials) ignored the state’s Local Budget Law. He failed to introduce balanced budgets at the beginning of the year and used “emergency appropriations” to spend roughly $80 million more than the City took in during each of his four years in office. Guardian and his allies on council raised taxes even more. They added roughly $300 million to the City’s debt. Losing and being a one term mayor was the only campaign promise Guardian kept. Donald Trump had nothing to do with this Republican defeat.

Both State Ballot Questions were approved. It was just as we and Vilfredo Pareto predicted. Question #1 to borrow $125 million, secured by all taxable real estate in NJ, was approved my more than 310,000 votes. There were 945,691 “Yes” votes and 634,616 “No” votes. Question #2 to amend NJ Constitution to set up special slush and shakedown fund for Department of Environmental Protection passed by almost 600,000 votes. It was 1,065,703 “Yes” to 481,621 “No”.

We were the only group in the State to publicly oppose either question. However, we did not have money or people to run a statewide campaign by ourselves–just as Vilfredo Pareto observed in 1906!

We can survive these votes. However, New Jersey can NOT survive a “Yes” vote on the next Ballot Question. The next ballot question will amend the NJ Constitution to mandate massive tax hikes every year to bail out NJ’s dishonest and mismanaged pension system. It is not too soon to prepare for that Ballot Question next November.

Democrat Senate President Steve Sweeney survived the NJEA hit attempt. The NJEA Teacher’s Union wanted that on the ballot yesterday as a third ballot question. However Democratic Senate President Sweeney used his power as Senate President to block it. The NJEA teacher’s union vowed revenge. It spent more than $4.5 million on Sweeney’s unknown Republican opponent to defeat Sweeney in his Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland County Legislative District #3. Sweeney raised $7.5 million from the building trades unions and contractors, and from power brokers like George Norcross to stop them. Sweeney was re-elected Tuesday by more than 9,000 votes.

Spending $5 million on one State Senate election is no big deal for the NJEA Teacher’s Union. NJ state law forces all 103,000 public school teachers to either join the NJSA Teacher’s Union, or pay 85% of its dues. Dues are roughly $1,000 per year. That gives the NJEA $103 million each year. This is more than enough to buy or bully politicians all over the country–not just in New Jersey.

Republican Assemblyman Chris Brown upgraded to State Senate in Legislative District #2 in Atlantic County. Keith Davis, the Atlantic County Republican Chairman said this was “the bright spot” for NJ Republicans last Tuesday. (Republicans lost two other State Senate seats). This was a bright spot for Establishment Republican leaders in Atlantic County. Because of “Senatorial Courtesy” they will be appointed as judges and to other plum positions in Atlantic County. But will Brown benefit conservatives or other Republicans? Chris Brown was endorsed and supported by the NJEA teacher’s union.

Throughout the campaign, he called himself “independent”, bashed Republicans , and repeatedly used the rhetoric of the left to damage Republicans and conservatives. When he constantly says he supports “hard working families”, who does he imply is working against them? Chris Brown’s opponent was Democrat Colin Bell, an Atlantic County Freeholder and classic Obama/Clinton Democrat.

Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo announces retirement — after 24 years in office. LoBiondo was first elected in 1994. LoBiondo was elected with the “Contract with America” that gave Republicans a majority in Congress for first time since 1946. They promised 12 year term limits, which LoBiondo broke in 2006. They also promised balanced federal budgets. Republicans increased the Federal debt from $4.7 trillion when they won their majority in 1994, to $22 trillion when LoBiondo leaves. Can conservatives get together behind one qualified candidate with enough money, discipline, and skill to replace him? Are we ready for Big League ball this year? Any candidate who is serious about winning a primary next June, needs to start organizing now.

We need to present evidence that non-casino businesses in Atlantic City also need “tax stabilization”. Can you help us?

On November 30, Superior Court Assignment Judgment Julio Mendez will hear arguments on the lawsuit challenging the “Casino PILOT Law”. That law limits tax increases for Atlantic City casinos to 2% per year for the next nine years. Everyone other home and business owner in Atlantic County would make up the difference. The lawyers were instructed to file all papers with the court in Atlantic City by this Friday, November 10. Details of the lawsuit are posted on our website at

Can you help us present evidence that non-casino businesses in Atlantic City also need “tax stabilization”?


If you own a hotel, motel, shop, restaurant, or bar in Atlantic City, please submit a certification to the court. The lawyers for Atlantic County and the six towns are doing an excellent job of presenting our legal arguments. However, we need non-casino business owners in Atlantic City to present the facts. We need to show that non-casino businesses need “tax stabilization” just as much as the eight Atlantic City casinos.

The casinos claim they cannot remain in business if they are forced to pay higher taxes during the next nine years. Help us argue that non-casino businesses would also be forced out of business if they had to pay double their share of tax hikes for the next nine years. However, we cannot argue that point unless we have evidence. That is why we need signed certifications from owners of non- businesses in Atlantic City.

Please look at a sample certification posted on our website at

If you would like to submit a certification for your business, please contact me at (609) 927-7333 or at The papers must be filed with the court by this Friday, November 10. Thank you for your consideration.

Join us for breakfast and let’s talk about this. Because the election was yesterday, these opinions are my own. Our organization does not take a position on any issue until we talk about it at one or more breakfast discussions. We meet for breakfast at 9:30 am every Saturday morning at the Shore Diner 6710 Tilton Road (By Fire Road and Garden State Parkway Exit 36) in Egg Harbor

There are no obligations other than to pay for your own breakfast and tip your server. However, the second Saturday of each month, including this Saturday, November 11 is a business meeting. Only members and invited guests may attend our business meetings. Unless some sensitive topic is being discussed, we often invite to business meetings anyone who shows a good faith interest in joining our group.

Thank you.

Seth Grossman, Executive Director
Liberty and Prosperity 1776, Inc.
453 Shore Road
Somers Point, NJ 08244
(609) 927-7333

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