There are few things more satisfying than knowing you were right when everyone insisted you were wrong. Case in point concerns NJ State Senator Mike Doherty, a man considered by many to be a paragon of Movement Conservatism: early last year two of Doherty’s henchmen – Bill Winkler and GOP State Committeeman Rob Eichmann – commenced a brutally vicious campaign of lies, innuendo and personal destruction against the Bayshore Tea Party because they refused to become a pawn of Steve Lonegan (NJ director of Americans for Prosperity) who was trying mighty hard to turn the Garden State Tea Party movement into his own political handmaidens.
The political website Conservative New Jersey served as the Internet megaphone for this concerted effort and stepped up to the plate repeatedly to express its support for Doherty – going so far as to publicize Doherty’s Fair School Funding meetings in a regularly appearing feature.
I called on Doherty to publicly distance himself from the attacks on the Bayshore group and denounce what Eichmann and Winkler were doing; he refused and insisted that “You are asking me to choose between two flavors of ice cream, and I won’t because I like them both,” thereby unmasking himself as a political weasel with no personal integrity.
It’s worth noting that, as early as February of 2010, Doherty endorsed establishment RINO Leonard Lance in the upcoming Republican primary, snubbing Lance’s Movement Conservative challenger, David Larsen.
“You can’t get involved in every local race,” Doherty told PolitickerNJ.com. “I’m coming off a bruising 2009 myself, and for me, there are better targets to go after. Democrats, for instance. Rush Holt is a guy who immediately comes to mind. Listen, at some point you have to consolidate your gains. I do not think Leonard Lance can be beaten in a Republican Primary. Even if David Larsen won, he would be cut out in redistricting in 2012.”
Here is how Doherty rationalized his decision to plunge a dagger in the back of Movement Conservatism:
“The fact that Steve [Lonegan] is staying out of the race for Congress (in the 7th District) speaks volumes,” he said. “If Steve is not getting involved, then I don’t think he or his supporters can turn around and be angry at me for supporting Leonard.
Steve Lonegan is content to feather his bed as the NJ director of AFP. He knows perfectly well that, thanks largely to my sustained expose last year, he has no hope of ever attaining higher elective office again.
In October of 2011, Doherty formally endorsed the presidential candidacy of libertarian loon Ron Paul, thereby lending weight to my assessment of him as an opportunistic hack desperate to garner the support of a Tea Party movement that he mistakenly believed was squarely behind Dr. Paul.
Last month, Doherty decided against running for the U.S. Senate seat currently sullied by Robert Menendez and instead endorsed establishment RINO Joe Kyrillos. Conservative New Jersey – which is on record has having lambasted “Good Old Joe” while singing the praises of Mike Doherty – was and remains curiously silent on Doherty’s endorsement, even as it continues to run the Fair School Funding feature.
Even more curious is CNJ’s silence in the wake of Congressman Leonard Lance’s re-election campaign announcement on March 13:
Leonard Lance … announced that Senator Michael Doherty has agreed to be a chairman of the Lance for Congress reelection campaign.
“I am very pleased to be here to support and endorse Congressman Leonard Lance for reelection,” said Senator Doherty. “Over the years Leonard Lance has stood for honor, integrity and always doing the right thing on behalf of New Jersey’s taxpayers. Congressman Lance has done a great job in Congress and deserves our overwhelming support.”
Mind you, this is the same Leonard Lance who CNJ blogger Rich Zeundt dubbed “Liberal Lenny” in an article he posted just over a year ago:
Liberal Lenny Lance, Representative from the 7th district in New Jersey has been assigned to the House Committee on Energy! What a joke this is.
For those with short term memory loss, Liberal Lenny was one of eight Republicans who voted for Cap and Trade in the House. Just for the record, two other supposed Republicans from New Jersey also voted in favor of this job killing bill. After a vote like that Liberal Lenny is the last person in the world you would want on a committee that’s purpose is to ensure low cost energy supplies to American citizens. But there is even worse news about how Liberal Lenny votes when it comes to energy.
Liberal Lenny Lance has co-sponsored H.R. 2439, a bill to limit off-shore drilling for oil
Liberal Lenny Lance voted for H.R. 1310, a bill that severely limits the mining of coal.
Liberal Lenny Lance voted to continue the moratorium on deep water drilling for oil when he voted no on H.R. 3534.
Finally, Liberal Lenny Lance believes that American Energy Policy should be set by India and China. Don’t believe me? Well, check out the video I made last year. Go to the 5:30 mark to hear his thoughts on energy and how foreign countries should set American energy policy.
Between then and today, CNJ’s silence is as revealing as the announcement itself. Not a word has been written about Doherty’s portentous decision to help re-elect an Establishment RINO. Notably absent is any expression of outrage at this betrayal by Richard Zeundt or hit pieces on Doherty by Eichmann or Winkler…oh wait…they worked as henchmen for Doherty.
Is it possible they are still engaged in that capacity?
It would certainly explain Eichmann’s unusually intensive effort to destroy Bader Qarmout – the only candidate currently challenging Joe Kyrillos for the primary for U.S. Senate. Qarmout is a total unknown who would likely have lost to Kyrillos in a landslide even without Eichmann’s hit pieces. So why did he go to such great lengths to dig up dirt and baggage on Qarmout and why does he continue to harp on the fact that Qarmout had once fallen delinquent in tax payments on his investment properties? Is it possible that Eichmann is laying the groundwork for a future political and personal assault on David Larsen – Lance’s nemesis in the upcoming primary – who, like Qarmout, fell delinquent in property tax payments after the collapse of the real estate market? It wouldn’t surprise me.
As for Winkler – an unctuous mediocrity with zero integrity – not much has been heard from him directly and for all anyone knows, he could very well be employed as an oppo researcher for Leonard Lance. It wouldn’t surprise me.
All of which leads us back to CNJ, which spent the better part of 2011 thumping its collective chest as the lone trumpet of Movement Conservatism and the sole arbiter of who is and is not a true Conservative. Was it not CNJ that gave Eichmann and Winkler a platform to launch their various campaigns of personal destruction and went to bat for the likes of Mike Doherty to defend him against the likes of me?
Apparently, CNJ is going to bat for Doherty once more – this time by turning a blind eye to the fact that he sold out to the RINO establishment and will be doing his level best to defeat GOP primary challenger David Larsen, arguably the most prominent Movement Conservative in New Jersey at this time.
It will be fascinating to see what Richard Zeundt does as the primary battle between Larsen and Lance shifts into full campaign mode in the coming weeks. Will he stand firm with Movement Conservatism, endorse David Larsen and defend him against attacks by the Lance campaign? If so, whatever will Eichmann do? Will he do an about-face and join in the defense or will he conduct a campaign of personal destruction?
Or will Zeundt throw principled consistency to the wind and endorse Leonard Lance?
Hopefully, he won’t take a cue from the West Point Weasel and decline to endorse either candidate, insisting that “You are asking me to choose between two flavors of ice cream, and I won’t because I like them both.“
It looks like we’ll be living in some pretty interesting times.