A Strong Cup of Tea, Part 1: The Drumthwackit Blues

On February 24, 2011 a post appeared on the CNJ website that effectively rattled the conservative blogosphere in the Garden State. It was a reaction to a breakfast meeting that took place earlier in the day at Drumthwackit, the official gubernatorial residence, between Gov. Chris Christie and fourteen or so representatives of Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations. Among those invited by the governor’s office were Jim Lefkowitz of the Somerset County Tea Party and Barbara Gonzalez of the Bayshore Tea Party.

The purpose of the meeting was not made fully clear to the invitees until they were seated with the governor: he wanted to get their feedback on his budget and other issues. Barbara recounted the meeting on her BTP blog later that afternoon:

He wanted to go over his budget and hear what we thought. We were able to ask questions and we did, with him answering every one of them in great detail.

He has a great plan and asked us to understand how living in a blue State makes it necessary to do things in a certain way in order to achieve what needs to be done.

His budget had the top priority issues that he felt could be tackled, while he understands there are other issues to deal with. RGGI, and the ObamaCare lawsuit being two of those issues.  He was very clear in telling us about his opposition to RGGI and ObamaCare.

A couple of hours later, CNJ blogger Rich Zuendt shared his thoughts:

Today approximately 20 Tea Party leaders were invited to Drumthwacket for some refreshments and to have their picture taken with Governor Christie.  Why would Governor Christie invite these self-proclaimed leaders to his home away from home?  Why would he now associate with the Tea Party groups that he did everything possible to avoid during the last elections?  Why would he bring these leaders together today?  The following flyer should give you the answer:

Zuendt posted an image of an e-flyer sent out by the Independence Hall Tea Party advertising a rally to be held in Trenton on Feb. 25. Here is the text of the image, courtesy of Anna Little’s Facebook page:

As many of you know, the AFL-CIO and SEIU are mobilizing protests in Philadelphia and Trenton during the next two days.

While we think it’s tempting to greet them at Love Park (in Philly) today, we believe it would be smarter to travel to Trenton on Friday and attend an Association sponsored Press Conference being hosted by State Senator Michael Doherty:

A Call for Taxpayer Relief  Press Conference (in support of Gov. Christie’s 2012 Budget)

When:  Friday, February 25, 11-11:45 AM

Where:  Room 103, State House, 125 West State Street–across from Senate Chamber, Trenton, NJ

Sponsored by:  Independence Hall Tea Party Association in cooperation with several New Jersey Tea Party groups and American Majority.

Confirmed Speakers: State Senator Michael Doherty (R-23); Assemblywoman Alison McHose (R-24); the Honorable Anna Little; Ned Ryun, President, Americans Majority; and 4 Tea Party Leaders representing North, Central, and South Jersey–Jim Lefkowitz, Somerset County Tea Party; Russell Cote, Bayshore Tea Party; Mark Falzon, Jersey Shore Tea Party; and Barbara Davis, Cherry Hill Area Tea Party.

Invited Speaker: Rosa Perez Lionetti, New Jersey Chapter, Smart Girl Politics.

At 12 noon (immediately following the Press Conference), a “Taxpayer United” rally, sponsored by AFP and several New Jersey Tea Party groups, will be held at the State House.

Note that the list of confirmed speakers for this presser “in support of Gov. Christie’s 2012 budget” includes none other than State Senator Mike Doherty. More about that in a bit.

Shifting into paranoid overdrive, Zuendt concluded that the Drumthwackit meeting was somehow nefariously linked with the Trenton press conference and that the Tea Party and other conservative leaders were somehow co-opted by Christie as pawns in his sinister plot to transform New Jersey into RINO Heaven. Or something.

For a couple of minutes with the Governor, the leaders of Tea Party Groups across the state have sold their members out, whether they know it or not.  Now, the “leaders” of the Tea Party groups will tell the press how they (and their members) support the supposed conservative Governor Christie and his new state budget.

 Note in the flyer how the lead in to what had been a rally to show support for Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and his fight to bring fiscal sanity to his state will now be this:

A Call for Tax Payer Relief Press Conference

(IN SUPPORT OF GOV. CHRISTIE’S 2012 BUDGET)

And who are some of the featured speakers?

Jim Lefkowitz            Somerset County Tea Party

Russell Cote                Bayshore Tea Party

Mark Falzon                Jersey Shore Tea Party

Barbara Davis            Cherry Hill Area Tea Party

Tomorrow night, the mass media will be telling the world that the Tea Party groups in New Jersey are 100% behind Governor Chris Christie and his 2012 budget.  They will not hear about a rally to support the efforts of another governor to try and stop public worker unions in his state.  No, they will tell how a budget that continues to shortchange suburban towns is being supported by Tea Party members.  The talking heads that support Chris Christie will tell how the Tea Party has seen the light and now stands with the Governor of New Jersey; even though that same Governor still supports Cap and Trade, green energy and the denial of a citizen’s right to free speech if it involves the burning of a Quran.  Tomorrow night it will be all over the news that the new De Facto leader of the Tea Party movement in New Jersey is [Chris Christie]

Zuendt failed to mention Sen. Doherty in his Hall of Shame rascal list.  In light of the video below, released by the Indy Hall folks, I can see why.

Sen. Doherty (who was joined by Anna Little and Jim Lefkowitz) announced that he was present “to support  Gov. Christie’s effort to reform New Jersey’s pension and health benefits system.” For those of you in Garfield, that “effort” is the central focus of the 2012 budget.

Holy Co-Opt, Batman! Sen. Doherty, Anna Little and Jim Lefkowitz have been brainwashed by Gov. Zeppelin! Quick…to the Zuendtmobile!

Good call, Boy Blunder. Russell Cote – not to be confused with Wile E. Coyote – must have fed them enchanted donuts  (spiked with magical Christie Co-opt Fairy Dust  cleverly disguised to look like powdered sugar) sneaked out of the Drumthwackit breakfast meeting by none other than Middletown Barbie, Queen of the Tea Party Quislings.

As conspiracy theories go, it makes about as much sense as anything else written by Zuendt, whose February 24 article was met with dozens of comments – including responses from Barbara Gonzalez, who wrote:

You call a 2 hour meeting about the NJ State budget a few minutes photo op? Really? Wow. I only read this senseless crap because someone sent it to me.

In another comment responding to a skeptical fellow commenter, she replied:

Let me answer a few of those questions:
- The meeting was set up by his staff
- There was no formal agenda..the Governor came in, sat down and discussed the Budget and went around the room and took questions and gave answers.
- There were questions regarding specific items in the budget. They were addressed.
- The Governor wanted it to be a small group and this first initial meeting was selected from Tea Party groups that were most effective in NJ.
- We had the ability to question the Governor on his budget and other issues that concern the Tea Parties and were promised nothing.
- As I am the one that attended the meeting representing the Bayshore Group, my personal opinion is not relevant  here and I made no statements to that affect (sic). I bring back the information where we, as a group, put it up for discussion
- I have no idea who’s prompted the Press Conference and was not involved in any preparations of a Press Conference
- I was not involved in anything regarding the ASW or the Senator. These questions should be put to Indy Hall.
- I answered the other questions truthfully, and I personally don’t care whether you believe me or not.
- If you think for one minute that anyone at that table could be played like a violin you have no idea who we are. No idea …that is obvious by some of the comments and questions here.

It is my opinion that being invited to sit with the Governor, and knowing most of the people that were in attendance can only be seen as a step in the right direction.

Barbara Gonzalez has assiduously ignored CNJ ever since.

A commenter who identified herself as Missy wrote:

Why weren’t those at the meeting spoken to BEFORE the article was written? It’s an opinion piece and not truely (sic) reflective of what occured (sic) because those at the meeting weren’t contacted prior.

Jim Lefkowitz perfectly summarized this ridiculous burlesque:

Rich:  Never heard of you before, but your facts are surprisingly incorrect. Bad “reporting”. I must have missed your call when you were fact gathering.

It’s worth noting that among the attendees present at the Drumthwackit meeting were CNJ contributors Rob Eichmann and Dr. Gayle Kesselman. Curiously, not a word from either of these people regarding Breakfast with Bluto ever made its way to the pages of CNJ. I wonder why.

Fittingly, La Gonzalez (together with fellow Tea Partier Bob Gordon) has the last word:

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17 Responses to A Strong Cup of Tea, Part 1: The Drumthwackit Blues

  1. TP109 says:

    Since Eichman and Winkler both authored some of the most paranoid articles attacking the Tea Party Movement, and since they both work (er…”volunteer”) for Doherty and McHose, the question arises why did the latter two legislators stand silent about the attacks when they could have at least countered those arguments and supported the efforts of the Tea Parties. What’s up with that? Eichman, Winkler, Doherty, McHose, and CNJ, “Perfect Together?” What’s the connection?

    Time to unleash another interview similar to the one above with BG.

    • Bill Winkler says:

      Paranoid? Do you have a degree in psychology to go with that false name?

      Why did they remain silent? Let me guess.

      Well, I worked in Dick LaRossa’s campaigns in 1993, 1996, and 1997. I told him to end his 1996 campaign because he wasn’t up for it. In 2008, he came to me asking for my help to “get back in politics”. I talked him into working for Steve Lonegan for Governor even though he was a liberal when he was in the State Senate. I helped him with his writing (I still have the drafts if anyone wants to see them) and helped him when he went looking for money from SPN. Maybe, just maybe, I know Dick LaRossa a little better than do any of you.

      If you recall, the discussion was all about Dick’s record and whether or not he was the appropriate “face” of the Tea Party movement in New Jersey. You might not care for what I have to say and Dick LaRossa could be a personal friend of yours (he was once my friend too, and I defended him too, so I get that), but I do bring a history and a perspective to the discussion that all of you lack.

      Think about that before claiming to know all the whys.

  2. Gene Hoyas says:

    Winkler: “Think about that before claiming to know all the whys.”

    The question is a legitimate one. Why didn’t Doherty and McHose distance themselves from CNJ in the wake of not one but several defamatory articles that I am in the process of debunking? Why didn’t either of them contact Barbara Gonzalez to confirm the patently absurd reasoning, conclusions and accusations made against her and her organization in these articles?

    These are legitimate questions begging for answers.

  3. Bill Winkler says:

    Gene, the name is Bill. That’s what I go by and that’s what you can call me.

    Are you sure that Mike and Alison even read CNJ? Have you ever asked them? Did Barbara ask them?

    I heard that someone called Mike’s legislative office, which was highly inappropriate, and I know that someone called Alison’s chief of staff and attempted to blackmail them into firing me, even though I don’t work there. That’s pretty darn hardcore. I think some of these people learned politics from the Hudson County machine.

    As for Barbara. I don’t know of a time when I ever had a bad word to say about her or about the Bayshore Tea Party organization. I liked her when we were introduced and found her very charming and knowledgeable. I like Russ too and have recommended him for work.

    Tell you what Gene. You don’t know me and I don’t know you. I sent you some things during the Lonegan campaign and directed Dick to contact you, which he did, and that is probably the source of your relationship with him. As I said, we don’t know each other.

    Maybe the two of us should have a quiet chat and you could tell me all the bad things I’m said to have done and if I recognize any of them, I’ll try to explain my reasons. We see things from different angles. I’ll try to understand yours. Maybe you can give mine a shot too.

    You have my e-mail address. Let’s talk.

  4. Gene Hoyas says:

    “Gene, the name is Bill. That’s what I go by and that’s what you can call me.”

    Fair enough, Bill.

    “Are you sure that Mike and Alison even read CNJ?”

    No, I am not. If TP109′s assertion is correct – if you and Eichmann have an association of any kind with either Mr. Doherty or Ms. McHose – then it would be nothing short of ludicrous to assume that neither one of them ever visited the CNJ site. Moreover, Mr. Doherty consented to an interview with Ed Mazlish a few days ago; if he did not vett CNJ before doing so, then he is careless. My questions still hold.

    “Have you ever asked them?”

    I intend to. Unfortunately, I work long hours during the day and have only evenings and weekends to write and publish.

    “Did Barbara ask them?”

    Ask Barbara.

    “I heard that someone called Mike’s legislative office, which was highly inappropriate”

    How so? Was the call of a threatening or profane nature? If not, what is inappropriate about a taxpayer directly contacting a state legislator?

    “and I know that someone called Alison’s chief of staff and attempted to blackmail them into firing me, even though I don’t work there. That’s pretty darn hardcore. I think some of these people learned politics from the Hudson County machine.”

    Meh…par for the course in the Garden State, which is precisely why I despise politics, politicians and the fools who put anything but a highly qualified faith in either.

    “As for Barbara. I don’t know of a time when I ever had a bad word to say about her or about the Bayshore Tea Party organization.”

    In that case, now is as good a time as ever to have a tete-a-tete with Zuendt and Eichmann on the importance of ethics and journalistic best practices (while you’re at it, a lesson or two on grammar, spelling and punctuation couldn’t hurt). Going Hannibal Lector on innocent fellow conservatives is not a winning strategy for unifying the cause.

    Their screeds were published at a time when I was in no position to respond. Things have changed since then.

    “Maybe the two of us should have a quiet chat and you could tell me all the bad things I’m said to have done and if I recognize any of them, I’ll try to explain my reasons. We see things from different angles. I’ll try to understand yours. Maybe you can give mine a shot too.”

    Thus far, I have no quarrel with you, Bill. Thus far.

    “You have my e-mail address. Let’s talk.”

    Will do.

  5. Bill Winkler says:

    “Are you sure that Mike and Alison even read CNJ?”

    No, I am not. If TP109′s assertion is correct – if you and Eichmann have an association of any kind with either Mr. Doherty or Ms. McHose – then it would be nothing short of ludicrous to assume that neither one of them ever visited the CNJ site. Moreover, Mr. Doherty consented to an interview with Ed Mazlish a few days ago; if he did not vett CNJ before doing so, then he is careless. My questions still hold.

    OF COURSE I HAVE AN ASSOCIATION WITH BOTH THESE LEGISLATORS. I MANAGED THEIR WINNING CAMPAIGNS IN 2007 AND 2009, RESPECTIVELY, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY READ ANYTHING I WRITE OTHER THAN WHAT I WRITE TO THEM.

    YOU COMPLAIN HERE THAT YOU WORK TOO MUCH. I UNDERSTAND. NOW YOU SHOULD TRY TO UNDERSTAND HOW HARD A LEGISLATOR/MOTHER WITH 3 YOUNG CHILDREN AND A LEGISLATOR/INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY WORK. I WRITE A LOT OF STUFF, AS MUCH OF IT ABOUT ART AND POETRY AS ABOUT POLITICS. I DOUBT THEY HAVE READ ANY OF THE FORMER AND ONLY A FRACTION OF THE LATTER — AND ONLY THEN IF I SEND IT TO THEM.

    AS FOR CNJ. LIKE YOU ED MAZLISH IS A LONEGANISTA. THAT IS PROBABLY ALL MIKE NEEDED TO KNOW, BUT I WOULDN’T KNOW FOR SURE BECAUSE I DON’T WORK FOR HIM.

    “Have you ever asked them?”

    I intend to. Unfortunately, I work long hours during the day and have only evenings and weekends to write and publish.

    I FEEL YOUR PAIN.

    “Did Barbara ask them?”

    Ask Barbara.

    WELL THE CHARGE WAS MADE ON YOUR BLOG, SO YOU SHOULD ASK HER.

    “I heard that someone called Mike’s legislative office, which was highly inappropriate”

    How so? Was the call of a threatening or profane nature? If not, what is inappropriate about a taxpayer directly contacting a state legislator?

    I HEARD THAT IS WAS THREATENING, YES.

    FURTHER, LEGISLATIVE OFFICES ARE FOR POLICY AND CONSTITUENT SERVICE ISSUES ONLY. THEY ARE NOT FOR POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS. THAT IS THE LAW AND THE CALLER PLACES THE LEGISLATIVE AIDE IN A DIFFICULT POSITION WHEN HE OR SHE INSISTS ON TALKING POLITICS.

    LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR CHAT.

  6. Bill Winkler says:

    Sorry Gene, got something wrong there. It was 2007 for Alison and 2009 for Mike. You remember the Doherty-Karrow race in 2009. He ran on Lonegan’s ticket. You helped I remember.

  7. Gene Hoyas says:

    “BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY READ ANYTHING I WRITE OTHER THAN WHAT I WRITE TO THEM.”

    Then perhaps you should have been a little more proactive and advised them of the minefield, no? Because when this series is finished, it will come back to haunt them, with the lead question being: How do you justify your close association with a self-proclaimed conservative blog that all but slandered one of New Jersey’s most hard-working and influential Tea Party organizations?

    “AS FOR CNJ. LIKE YOU ED MAZLISH IS A LONEGANISTA. THAT IS PROBABLY ALL MIKE NEEDED TO KNOW, BUT I WOULDN’T KNOW FOR SURE BECAUSE I DON’T WORK FOR HIM.”

    Firstly: Consider shooting a quick e-mail to advise Mike that Ed Mazlish is a pro-choice atheist and that, thanks to his insistence, CNJ has fully embraced the Mitch Daniels strategy of eschewing the noisome “social issues” such as abortion and religion in favor of “fiscal conservatism.” I’m sure this policy positioning will play delightfully well with the conservative base of the electorate.

    Secondly: I am not a “Loneganista.” If anything, I’m a Reaganite – although these days I prefer to call myself a conservative. Period.

    “YOU COMPLAIN HERE THAT YOU WORK TOO MUCH.”

    I don’t recall ever making any such complaint. Care to quote me?

    “I FEEL YOUR PAIN.”

    I detect your idiotic Clintonian sarcasm and already I’m beginning to suspect that I probably wouldn’t like you very much.

    “WELL THE CHARGE WAS MADE ON YOUR BLOG, SO YOU SHOULD ASK [Barbara].

    I made the charge, not Barbara. To my knowledge, she never demanded to know if Doherty and McHose were familiar with CNJ’s scurrilous attacks on her. If you want to know how she feels about it, then contact her yourself. Honestly, Bill, you’ve been hanging out too long with Dick Zuendt: the logic portion of your brain has been compromised.

    “FURTHER, LEGISLATIVE OFFICES ARE FOR POLICY AND CONSTITUENT SERVICE ISSUES ONLY. THEY ARE NOT FOR POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS. THAT IS THE LAW…”

    Kindly define “policy,” Bill. I think you will find that much of the definition encompasses what we colloquially refer to as “politics” and, as we all know, political discussions – unless, of course, the law means something entirely different. If so, kindly furnish us with the relevant citation from the NJSA.

    If I’m wrong, I will hang my head in shame with my tail between my legs.

    If I’m right, I will savagely ridicule you.

    “LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR CHAT.”

    It appears we’ve already had our chat.

    You need to understand something, Bill: while I talk politics here, mine is not necessarily a political blog and I advocate for no cause other than Conservatism – in all its forms – and the Truth – wherever it leads me. If it means making a conservative legislator look like a grandstanding dope on the issue of state nullification, then so be it.

    I fully expect to make enemies of the idiots on both sides of the socio/politico/cultural divide, Bill and frankly, I don’t give a fiddler’s f*ck if I do. I’m not in this to make friends or cultivate political alliances – and I suspect that fact alone will make me doubly dangerous to everyone who’s a player. So much the better.

    Now run back home to CNJ.

    • TP109 says:

      Doherty and McHose both knew about the Eichman-Winkler attacks. They were told about them and did not need to read them on CNJ to learn of them, even though they might have after they were told of the attacks.

      • Gene Hoyas says:

        TP109: Doherty and McHose both knew about the Eichman-Winkler attacks.

        Proof, please.

    • Bill Winkler says:

      Gene, you are not “dangerous” to anyone but yourself. As a writer, you are overly fond of stringing too many theories about the behavior of individuals who you have no real knowledge of. Your stories become more about you than the people you are trying to write about.

      Your anger doesn’t help either. I wrote that you complained that you worked too much. You replied: “I don’t recall ever making any such complaint. Care to quote me?” Did you forget writing this tonight: “Unfortunately, I work long hours during the day and have only evenings and weekends to write and publish.”

      If you were a more charitable man, you would have understood what I meant when I then wrote: “I feel your pain.” Instead, you replied with: “I detect your idiotic Clintonian sarcasm and already I’m beginning to suspect that I probably wouldn’t like you very much.”

      Where is this anger coming from? You then slowly work yourself up into a lather:
      “the logic portion of your brain has been compromised”; “I will savagely ridicule you”; and “It appears we’ve already had our chat”. Then you end it with a little profanity: “I don’t give a fiddler’s f*ck if I do.”

      After this, does Barbara really need or want you to defend her?

      Gene, you asked me this question:

      “Then perhaps you should have been a little more proactive and advised them of the minefield, no? Because when this series is finished, it will come back to haunt them, with the lead question being: How do you justify your close association with a self-proclaimed conservative blog that all but slandered one of New Jersey’s most hard-working and influential Tea Party organizations?”

      Gene, I’m a private citizen. You don’t pay me, so please keep your suggests about how I spend my time to yourself. Your series will haunt you and everyone who you are trying to defend because the central issue is not CNJ’s “slander” of “one of New Jersey’s most hard-working and influential Tea Party organizations” but rather your attacks on two of the three most conservative legislators in New Jersey.

      See Gene, legislators actually get elected. Mike and Alison have run on conservative platforms in their districts and have been elected and re-elected. That means something in America. People like them enough to vote for them. Many thousands of people. This equals standing or as you call it, influence.

      Any number of people can get together and call themselves a “tea party”. I respect the good work Barbara has done, but I don’t think she has passed any legislation or even blocked any yet. If she stands with you and you keep fighting with the only possible conservative allies she has in the legislature, she won’t.

      Now she could have her group embrace some of the more moderate legislators down her way, but they are not really conservatives and we all know that. Given their records an association with them will, over time, clearly label her group as a moderate-leaning one. And that’s fine, nothing wrong with that, but I don’t think she really wants to be the head of a “moderate tea party” group, do you?

      See Gene, who you support and who you oppose defines you. When you support liberals like Dick LaRossa (and he has a demonstrably liberal voting record) and oppose conservatives like Mike Doherty and Alison McHose, it becomes very easy to define who you are. You may say you are conservative, but I’ve had lots of opponents try to argue that without success.

      Pretend it is 1980 and you are supporting John Anderson and attacking Ronald Reagan. That’s what you are doing here and now. It’s just too easy to define you because everybody knows the liberal from the conservative.

      And when you attack a conservative legislator as “a grandstanding dope on the issue of state nullification” you only define yourself specifically, because conservatives all across America and the broad base of conservative elected officials, leaders, and activists — including Tea Party members — will simply think you are crazy. A crazy liberal.

      So step back and think a moment Gene. You haven’t e-mailed me yet and maybe you don’t want to, but we should have that chat anyway. I have extended my hand to you. What follows is entirely up to you.

  8. TP109 says:

    Ask them first. But they were definitely told.

    • Gene Hoyas says:

      Ask them first. But they were definitely told.

      YOU made the assertion. The burden of proof is on YOU. If you cannot substantiate the claim, then please don’t waste my time.

  9. Bill Winkler says:

    Good morning Gene,

    It occurs to me that I didn’t answer a question you posed. In response to this statement:

    “FURTHER, LEGISLATIVE OFFICES ARE FOR POLICY AND CONSTITUENT SERVICE ISSUES ONLY. THEY ARE NOT FOR POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS. THAT IS THE LAW…”

    You wrote:

    Kindly define “policy,” Bill. I think you will find that much of the definition encompasses what we colloquially refer to as “politics” and, as we all know, political discussions – unless, of course, the law means something entirely different. If so, kindly furnish us with the relevant citation from the NJSA.
    If I’m wrong, I will hang my head in shame with my tail between my legs.
    If I’m right, I will savagely ridicule you.

    This is a good time to critique what I will call your “certainty” about all things. You really believe you are right and are possessed by a kind of pathological self-confidence.
    Now here is the answer:

    The law is only the first part of it. The law states that each chamber of the legislature is to fashion rules. That is the second part, and it changes from session to session. Now comes the third part. Part of those rules calls for ethics guidelines on everything from workplace harassment to conflicts of interest. It also calls for an ethics officer (an attorney who specializes in these matters) to determine on an individual basis what is and is not ethical for a legislator to do. This ethics officer advises on how “policy” is defined and if you go against her advice, and then end up before the ethics committee, it will not be good.

    Any legislator will tell you that someone calling a state legislative office about a supposed campaign worker for a supposed campaign for federal office, is making a mistake and that this mistake would be compounded if the legislative aide answering the call (on state time in a state funded office) didn’t end the conversation as quickly as possible.

    Such calls should go to a campaign office, if one exists, or to the legislator’s private office, if one exists, or to his home.

    Most legislators are careful about ethics rules because when they are not, they end up like poor Assemblyman Scott Rumana. If you visited the April 16th convention, you will know him because he was the only legislator who attended.

    Gene, you like to arrange things in your mind so that the world fits and is easier for you to understand. But things are never so cut and dry. I’m thinking that you were never a soldier. The world is chaos. The baddies do not wear black hats and your friends are not always your friends.

    Have a good weekend. I look forward to hearing from you.

  10. Barb says:

    I promised myself that I would not get involved with any more of this blog bashing of me and the BTPG, but I thought about it a lot and decided that one more ought ta do it.

    After reading what has been posted here, I only want to say this;

    I started a Tea Party group because I love our country, our freedom, our military and my family. I never professed to be a political scholar, nor do I desire to run for office. ESPECIALLY since I see what goes on since my Tea Party adventures.

    I listen to anyone who wants to talk to me and I will be heard by anyone willing to listen. Well, not everyone, but mostly.

    I am not Sarah Palin nor am I Michele Bachmann with a “titanium spine”.

    I am just me. I think I am a strong woman with morals and principles, but I must admit… I do get a little upset when I see people attacking me for things without real cause. For instance:

    – I know who Allison McHose is, and that she is a Conservative Republican. That’s it. I am trying to follow the nullification issue. I like to know all the different sides of an issue. I am not a “party” person. I am a registered Republican, but recently had an epiphany and now know that Republicans and Conservatives are different. Regardless of what anyone has said about me, I am a Conservative. Very much so.

    – If I have stated support of a person or issue and later found out that that person or issue was not what I thought…oh well, I learn a lesson. I am human. Every day of this Tea Party adventure is a learning experience. I have made mistakes and will very likely make more.

    – I THINK I have met the people involved in the Barbara and BTPG bashing, but I am not even sure about that. I never meant them any harm so I am puzzled as to why they try to criticize me at every chance.

    – I feel that it’s important to get to know everyone I possibly can because I prefer to make my own judgments and not listen to someone else’s opinion of another. I don’t like to burn bridges. We can learn something from EVERYONE!! We should be comfortable enough with who we are to be able to welcome anyone into our lives and listen, learn, regard and disregard.

    – Again, I am sure I made mistakes and will make more, but I only mean well. I want to help contribute towards making this country what our Founding Fathers intended it to be. It’s really quite that simple. The people I have met along the way, good or bad, are all part of what I think will help me achieve that goal.

    So, while these “bashings” do bother me some, they will not knock me off my game. I have no intention of giving up the fight for this country so I must thicken my skin and be ready for whatever comes my way. My disappointment lies in seeing that I thought my only enemy was the progressives…the liberals that want to change our country. Now, I feel that I have to protect myself from those that I thought were “friendly”.

    I am tempted to ask you to cease and desist all of this name calling and criticizing and work together to fight the real enemy. I don’t know if you are willing to do that.

    Anyone who is willing to do that…to sit and talk with me……well, you know how to contact me. I will not be reading it on these blog sites, because I don’t think it’s productive or healthy for me. Talking ….. It would be a good thing indeed.

    Barbara

    Barbara Gonzalez
    Bayshore Tea Party Group

    “The secret is this: Strength lies solely in tenacity”~ Louis Pasteur

  11. Bill Winkler says:

    Thank you Barbara, I will be in touch with you and promise to work with you to tamp down this internecine warfare. I agree that we need to stay focused for 2012.

    Thank you again.

    Now I would like to address Gene:

    Gene, you must learn that you cannot have it both ways. You cannot play the journalist while acting as a hostile combatant, and it is clear from our exchange that you are the latter where these legislators are concerned. Yes, Gene, it is clear that you want to harm the two most conservative legislators we have in New Jersey.

    Why is that? Perhaps it is just a shrewd business move and you are looking to become the next SAVEJERSEY and wish to collect some financial backers? It’s not an accusation, I’m just posing the question, but I hope you can see just how the Hoyas method of assigning motive can haunt you and how unfair it is.

    You claim to be defending the Bayshore Tea Party group, but don’t believe that they support you in your attacks on these conservatives. All of the “evidence” you use to justify your attacks is based on happenstance. This legislator knows so and so, therefore…

    I heard somewhere that you want to be a fiction writer. Allow me to suggest this course to you, because you appear to lack the intellectual curiosity necessary to good journalism.
    Throughout your writing, you take a piece of information and then inject your thoughts into the characters’ minds to provide motives for their actions. But they are not characters are they? They are real people, and you don’t know why they do things, do you? In fact, you never even ask them.

    If you need to play God so much, I suggest your medium should be the historical novel. Then you can combine a little piece of history (fact) and then fill your characters’ minds with whatever you wish, give them the motives that you think they should have, and go at it. But what you do now isn’t journalism, so don’t pretend that it is.

    Let’s leave all that to one side now because I have a favor to ask of you.

    I’ve been working with a few people on a book about the Tea Party movement and this New Jersey controversy has fascinated them. They compare it to when tea party people ran against Congressman Ron Paul. They define it as the “Year One Disorder”, after the French Revolution. They see it as the need by some to hate everyone who was politically active before 2009 – conservatives included. They tell me that in no other place in America is the “Year One Disorder” so far advanced as it is in New Jersey.

    So the favor I ask is this: Would you agree to sit for an interview?

    Of course, I won’t be the person conducting it, because we now have a history. If you agree, I will have someone contact you. Please send me an e-mail and let me know.

    Thank you.

  12. Gene Hoyas says:

    Thank you Barbara, I will be in touch with you and promise to work with you to tamp down this internecine warfare. I agree that we need to stay focused for 2012.

    Interesting that only now you profess concern that “internecine warfare” has broken out. Where were you when CNJ was savaging Bayshore? Or was that somehow NOT an instance of internecine warfare?

    You cannot play the journalist while acting as a hostile combatant, and it is clear from our exchange that you are the latter where these legislators are concerned.

    I never claimed to be a journalist, Bill. That you view me as an enemy of conservatism for daring to break ranks and criticize our own while at the same time blithely ignoring the unprovoked and unfounded savagery your buddies at CNJ wreaked upon Bayshore tells me all I need to know about you.

    Yes, Gene, it is clear that you want to harm the two most conservative legislators we have in New Jersey.

    No, Bill…it is not. And the rest of your comment isn’t worth my time. For that matter, neither are you.