As a young married man, just starting a family, Steve Oroho got involved in public policy by going to March for Life walks and as a numbers-cruncher for W. R. Grace and Company -- who fed those numbers into something called the Grace Commission, set up President Ronald Reagan to find ways to make government run efficiently. Steve's son was Senator Bob Littell's paper boy, and it was through him that he met Bob and became the Senator's campaign treasurer.
Alison Littell McHose urged Steve to get involved in local government in Franklin Borough. He started with the economic development committee and then was elected to borough council. He helped the town manage its debt and brought in new procedures to monitor spending. Steve was elected to the freeholder board in 2004, where he worked with Hal Wirths and Gary Chiusano to overhaul Sussex County's budget process and establish fiscal restraint.
In 2007, he stood for State Senate after Senator Bob Littell became too ill to run for re-election. Steve was the underdog. Nobody in Trenton thought he could win and none of the usual sources of fundraising were open to him. But Steve had been asked by leaders in the Sussex County community to run anyway, to try to keep the Senate seat in Sussex County. His opponent was a Morris County resident and Morris County was crowded with Senate seats. Sussex County only had one.
So Steve put his own money up. It was a hardship for him and his growing family, but he did it anyway, because he listened and understood that Sussex County needed its own Senator. That counties without proper representation become orphans in Trenton and got short shrift. Running with an all-Sussex team of Alison Littell McHose, Gary Chiusano, Hal Wirths, and Jeff Parrott -- Steve and the whole team won.
Since then, Steve has served Sussex County, Northwest New Jersey, and the 24th Legislative District. Whenever a Republican candidate has needed resources, Steve has been there, putting his hand in his pocket or raising it. Whenever the county GOP was broke and needed money, Steve has seen them through. When the state party and Republican legislative candidates needed money, Steve has given it or raised it for them. Conservative organizations have turned to Steve and he has never let them down. Christian charities, places where young women can have their babies instead of being financially pressed into abortion, have turned to Steve -- and he has never turned them away.
When Americans for Prosperity (AFP) put up a candidate for Governor, Steve Oroho incurred the wrath of Chris Christie but Steve would not go against AFP's candidate. And when that man said that he would be a candidate for the United States Senate against Cory Booker, Steve was among the first to rally to his side.
As Senator, Steve has worked with conservative think tanks to fashion model conservative legislation. Steve serves as chairman of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and he's carried legislation for the NRA and other Second Amendment groups. He is the prime sponsor of the Pro-Life community's most important piece of legislation. He has championed the cause of religious liberty and traditional values.
The business community -- small and large -- has relied on Steve Oroho to protect them from big government and over-regulation. And he has protected both the job creators and the taxpayers. Against great odds and with both chambers controlled by the Democrats, Steve has the best record of passing tax cuts in Trenton. In fact, the Star-Ledger tracked the legislative success of legislators and found that of the top ten, only one was a Republican -- Steve Oroho.
It's true that Steve Oroho doesn't sound like Donald Trump. He doesn't talk trash about those he disagrees with. Instead, Steve engages in a policy discussion with them. He comes armed with facts not curse words. He is patient, courteous, and kind to those with whom he disagrees. And that's why he gets other legislators, even Democrats, to see his way.
In 2011, the Tea Party got mad at Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose because she wouldn't support a liberal for the Republican nomination for United States Senate. That liberal was Dick LaRossa, a former State Senator who the NRA had walked away from in 1996. The Tea Party had been sweet-talked by Dick. They liked Dick and thought he was the next big thing. That all came to nothing. So, seeking revenge, the Tea Party ran two candidates in District 24 against McHose and Gary Chiusano. One Tea Party candidate got 5 percent of the vote. The other got 2 percent.
Now they want to do it again. And it's all over the appointment of a liberal judge to the Superior Court. Senator Steve Oroho won't do it. But a Senator Gail Phoebus would.
The Tea Party has chosen as its issue the gas tax portion of the tax restructuring package. The one tax in a five-tax-cuts package. They have been attacking Steve Oroho for weeks using the most graphic violent and pornographic language. The vicious rumors have been spread by people who once turned to him in their need. Why do some people feel the need to damage someone they called "friend" and spread filth just because they disagree over a single policy? These are people who claim to believe in God -- but what Creator would license this type of behavior towards that which is His?
We don't believe that the Tea Party will be any more successful this time than it was in 2011. But one day, Steve Oroho will leave the scene. And who will fill his shoes? Then the Tea Party will be singing a different tune: