Sanctuary State issue drives turnout in Sussex County

In April, the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted to place an advisory question on the November ballot.  It asks county voters whether they want to direct their Sheriff (who is paid for by their property taxes) to (1) abide by the Murphy administration’s Sanctuary State directive or (2) respect the primacy of the Constitution of the United States of America and follow federal law on matters related to national borders, immigration, and citizenship.  

The Murphy administration has already acted to block this exercise in direct, advisory democracy.  They don’t want the people to have the opportunity to voice their opinion on this important issue – about an office for which they pay entirely from taxes imposed on them.  

Governor Phil Murphy is telling voters:  You pay, but you don’t have a say.  

In defense of his Governor, Murphy appointee Gurbir Grewal has embraced the woke practice of philosophical inversion.  It’s the same practice that eliminates free speech in the name of “freedom” and that eliminates a diversity of opinion in the name of “diversity”. We see it at work in government, academia, and – increasingly – in corporate and work environments.  It is George Orwell’s nightmare come true.

 

It is sad to see the state’s top law enforcement official – the Attorney General, no less – repeat the political lies he’s been taught by his master. Everyone knows that the very first victims of any immigrant community are the immigrants themselves.  If Gurbir Grewal had been Attorney General early in the last century, would he have used these same excuses to come to an accommodation with La Cosa Nostra rather than enforce the law?  And where would we be today if organized crime hadn’t been driven out of the labor unions, the ports, the trucking industry, the gaming industry, loan sharking, and such?  

Of course, all this will feature in any future confirmation process for a certain Gurbir Grewal, acting as his Governor’s hatchet man against democracy. The Senator from Nebraska will question Grewal closely about this at some future federal confirmation hearing… about this and his somewhat murky family business.  

The day will come when Gurbir Grewal faces a confirmation hearing made up of Senators very different from those on offer from the One Party State he currently serves. Grewal will come before America, and answer for the outrages perpetrated by the authoritarian he now unquestioningly serves.  Unless he retrieves his soul, he will surely answer for it.  We pray that Gurbir Singh Grewal obtain mukti– that he find his liberation from the undemocratic authoritarianism of his Governor.

As a measure of just how important this issue is – and how eagerly people want to have a say about it – you need only look at the jump in turnout in Sussex County, where the Murphy administration’s attempt to block the vote was served up just weeks before the primary election.  Responding to a June 7th deadline by Murphy to muzzle democracy, county Sheriff Mike Strada stood up to Murphy and rallied county Freeholders to do the same. They flipped Murphy the collective “bird” and – along with County Clerk Jeff Parrott – said they will allow his June 7th “deadline” to pass.

Sheriff Strada has written to United States Attorney General William Barr to request his advice and direction on the matter.  And he reserved the option to himself request a public question be placed on the ballot.  

While the Sheriff’s race was the only contested primary on the ballot in Sussex County, Tuesday's Republican turnout was higher in raw numbers than in 2017 with hotly contested primaries for Governor, State Senate, Assembly, and Freeholder.  It was higher than in 2018 with a contested primary for United States Senate, hotly contested primaries for both Congressional seats (CD05 and CD11), and hotly contested primaries for two Freeholder seats (two incumbents were ousted). And it was higher than in 2015 with primaries for Assembly (open seat) and Freeholder (one incumbent ousted).  Only the 2016 Presidential primary saw higher turnout for Republicans. 

Has Governor Murphy inadvertently pointed the way to driving up Republican turnout?  

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Perhaps other Republican organizations in other counties should take note?

Why did Andy Kim funder shut down a Sikh Temple?

Remember back on April 18th, when Andy Kim held a fundraiser at a big-deal law firm in Cherry Hill.  It looks like he tried to hide what he was doing.  He didn't put it on his campaign's Facebook page.  No pictures, no report on who the host committee was or what fat cats showed up with their checkbooks.  But here's the invitation below.  Note who it is paid by...

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Now it turns out that one of the hosts at this big-deal campaign cash event was none other than Gregg A. Shivers.  This guy is a very big-deal trial attorney who has brought in some pretty good settlements for his firm.  That said, members of the Sikh community were not at all happy with his actions a few years back. 

We found this in the Sikh Times (www.sikhtimes.com) which covers "noteworthy news and analysis from around the world" and "in-depth coverage of issues concerning the global Sikh community including self-determination, democracy, human rights, civil liberties, antiracism, religion, and South Asian geopolitics."  The story cites "dlevinsky@phillyburbs.com and mmathis@phillyburbs.com" and the Courier-Post of April 26, 2005.  This is what it states:

A judge has temporarily closed a Sikh temple in Springfield at which several members were stabbed during a dispute over church leadership.

Superior Court Judge Ronald E. Bookbinder shut down the temple pending a hearing this week in a civil lawsuit the Sikh organization filed last year.

Issues in the ongoing civil case apparently led to the melee Friday night inside the Gurdwara Sahib Temple at 1040 Old York Road.

Five members were slashed with kirpans, or crescent-shaped ceremonial knives worn in a belt.

Two members - K. Singh Sandhu, 40, of Yardley, Pa., and Alamjit Singh Gill, 39, of the first block of Chambord Lane in Voorhees - were charged with aggravated assault.

Bookbinder has jurisdiction over the civil case but not the criminal charges.


Khalsa Darbar of South Jersey, Inc., the organization that operates the temple, had sought a temporary restraining order in December against what it said were dissident, disruptive members.

Bookbinder issued the order but has continued to work with both sides over the past four months to reach a resolution.

The stabbings occurred two days after the two sides had agreed to appoint a mediator to settle their differences.

The judge closed the temple on the recommendation of Gregg A. Shivers, a security custodian Bookbinder appointed on Saturday after learning of the stabbings.

Bookbinder decided there was an imminent danger based on the findings of Shivers, a former assistant Burlington County prosecutor.

Now not everyone will agree with us, but we feel it is a very slippery slope to allow judges to close down houses of worship.  And according to the Burlington County Times (October 28, 2005) the temple was still closed six months later...

MOUNT HOLLY -- Six months after a judge closed a Sikh temple in Springfield following a brawl among members, the factions in the dispute are no closer to resolving their differences.

A court-appointed attorney said yesterday the disagreement over the future of Gurdwara Khalsa Darbar temple on Old York Road might not be settled until next year, following a trial.

One faction filed a lawsuit against the other last year involving finances and control of the board of directors

Superior Court Judge Ronald E. Bookbinder ordered the temple closed April 21, a day after a legal dispute involving two factions seeking control of the temple erupted into violence.

The two factions have said the disagreement centers on whether members of the temple's governing body need to make payments to repay construction loans for the temple and religious matters related to Friday evening ceremonies.

The plaintiffs recently asked Bookbinder to reopen the temple but later withdrew the request, said Gregg Shivers, a court-appointed attorney. Bookbinder appointed Shivers to take temporary control of temple finances and to devise a security plan in advance of the reopening.

Shivers and attorneys for both factions spoke with Bookbinder via telephone yesterday to discuss whether the temple could be reopened, but no agreement was reached, Shivers said.

Bookbinder scheduled another conference in the case for Nov. 9, but Shivers said it was unlikely the dispute would be settled.

Several mediation attempts to settle the disagreement with a former appeals court judge and a Superior Court Assignment Judge in Atlantic County were unsuccessful.

"The temple is going to remain closed until the trial," Shivers said.

Leaders from both factions have said they would worship in the interim at private homes or other Sikh temples in the area. Sikhs typically attend services Friday and Sunday nights.

When the dispute erupted in violence in April, five people suffered minor wounds inflicted by crescent-shaped ceremonial knives, called kirpans, part of the religious dress of some Sikhs. More than 100 people were involved in the fight.

The Sikh religion was founded more than 500 years ago in the Punjab region of India. Based on the teachings of 10 gurus, its principles include belief in God, equality of mankind, elimination of social inequality and the value of family and honest work.

The temple opened in December 2002 with about 150 members.

On January 2, 2007, the Burlington County Times reported:

MOUNT HOLLY -- A dispute involving a Sikh temple in Springfield shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

It's been almost two years since a judge ordered Gurdwara Khalsa Darbar temple on Old York Road closed, and the two sides involved in the disagreement appear as far apart as ever and no closer to resolving their differences.

The house of worship remained closed until July 20, 2007 -- two and a half years.

Of course, we invite Mr. Shivers to provide us with his perspective on this issue.  We will publish it in full.  But here are three questions we think it worth considering:

(1) Have such actions been taken against more "established" or less "exotic" faiths in New Jersey?  Have churches been shut down under similar protective orders?

(2) Depriving a people of their house of worship for 2 1/2 years seems extreme to us.  Was there no way to allow for the safe conduct of services, at separate times,  by both disputing parties?  

(3) In the future, could we see judges -- for the best apparent reasons -- using such precedents to build cases to close down other houses of worship?  To prevent "bullying", perhaps?  To mediate "perceived" harm or "potential" harm?

As it was his fundraiser, maybe candidate Andy Kim would like to comment?  Then perhaps we could hear from the incumbent?

A curious note:  Democrat Governor Phil Murphy designated April as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month.  The state's attorney general is a Sikh.  Gurbir Grewal is the first Sikh-American Attorney General in United States history.   

He was formerly the county prosecutor of Bergen County, where he was the first Sikh American to be named a county prosecutor in the United States.  It does make one wonder if the same sanctions would be imposed today, as in 2005-07.

DiGaetano: Is CD05 a choice between two bigots and the PR Firm from Hell?

The battle to represent the 5th congressional district has turned into a real shit show since candidate John McCann lost the favored ballot position in Bergen County and then followed up that bad news with the announcement that his campaign was in deep in debt.  For his latest attack on opponent Steve Lonegan, McCann dug up a twelve years old allegation by a Democrat candidate for Mayor in Lonegan's hometown of Bogota.  The Democrat is an avowed supporter of President Barack Obama and, like McCann, has campaigned against the Trump tax cuts.

The Democrat claims Lonegan called him a bad word in a heated exchange more than a decade ago.  This has led the McCann campaign to label Lonegan as the "Roy Moore of New Jersey" -- a reference to Alabama Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore.   But apparently someone on the McCann campaign didn't think this through because McCann's big fundraiser was built around a guest speaker who was one of Moore's main allies, a guy named Sebastian Gorka.  Take a look at the video below and note the fellow with the beard standing directly behind Moore:

McCann's attacks are taking place while his former boss and department -- the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County -- are being sued for laying-off and allegedly harassing police officers.  McCann was named by the Bergen Record as the Sheriff's "right hand man" and McCann openly takes credit for getting rid of the police.  We will let NJTV tell the rest of the story:

https://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/lawsuit-bergen-county-officials-ignored-gay-cops-harassment-allegations/

Andrew Kara was one of the dozens of Bergen County cops who lost their jobs followed the merger of the sheriff’s and county police forces that congressional candidate John McCann takes credit for making happen.

“Andrew was called a fag, a queer, a freak and a homo,” said Kara’s attorney, Matthew Peluso.

The abuse went on for years and, according to a suit, the County Executive Jim Tedesco, County Sheriff Michael Saudino and the county prosecutor, now state attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, ignored his complaints.

“Andrew reported this conduct up the chain of command and nothing ever happened,” Peluso said.

During this period, candidate John McCann was the lawyer for the Sheriff's office and the "right hand man" to Sheriff Saudino, according to the Bergen Record.

Peluso says the lawsuit is "about standing up for a gay officer who has been treated cruelly by his supposed colleagues and the county’s leadership structure."

The suit has 21 plaintiffs who allege a variety of harassment.  It calls for reinstatement of the officers, including Kara, back pay, as well as punitive damages for pain and suffering.

Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) Chairman Paulie "the hand" DiGaetano has written to all the other GOP county chairs of the 5th congressional district, threatening them and telling them to demand that any GOP candidate connected with bigotry be required to stand down.  Does this mean that DiGaetano intends to deliver the 5th District meekly into the hands of Democrat Josh Gottheimer? 

We certainly hope not.

Is DiGaetano -- the doyen of the brylcreem set -- forgetting the kind of pissbag Josh Gottheimer is?  Doesn't he know the record of Josh "the breath monster" Gottheimer?  Well thank goodness someone does and she has his number.  Her name is Rachel Maddow, perhaps you've heard of her?

Before getting elected to Congress in 2016, Josh Gottheimer followed his buddy Mark Penn, the Clintons' polling guy, to take over an international public relations/lobbying corporation called Burson-Marsteller.  These people are real turds. 

Hey, don't take our word for it.  Here's what MSNBC's Rachel Maddow had to say about the firm where Josh Gottheimer held the number two position as International Vice President (his buddy Mark Penn was International President):

Yep, Josh Gottheimer and his pal Mark Penn ran the "PR Firm from Hell"!  So now we know what kind of shithouse Paulie is shilling for.