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?

NBC “hit job” questions military-style training

Sarah Wallace attended college in the leftist hotbed of Berkeley, California, at a time of protest against the war in Vietnam.  She started her career in West Coast radio back during the era of “Governor Moonbeam” (AKA Jerry Brown).  She’s now out of New York City, where she pursues a relentlessly anti-law enforcement, anti-Republican, anti-Trump agenda. 

Berkeley hates the military and has consistently protested against military recruitment on campus – most recently in 2007.  So it comes as no surprise that Sarah Wallace looks down on traditional military training methods embodied in what is known as “boot camp”. 

Wallace has inserted herself into the race between Republican Sheriff Mike Strada and Jail Guard Andy Boden – acting as a kind of media consultant to the Boden campaign.  Wallace’s husband is, in fact, a Democrat and media consultant (more on this later). 

From her New York City offices at NBC, Wallace is attempting to choose the next Sheriff of Sussex County.  Her beef with Strada?  Sarah Wallace is pro-Sanctuary State, pro-abortion, and anti-Second Amendment.  Mike Strada opposes Governor Murphy’s Sanctuary State scheme, is pro-life, and pro-Second Amendment. 

Sarah Wallace is a Bergen County Democrat.  She is what’s called a “hard” Democrat – totally loyal to her party, never missing an election, always supporting whatever Clinton or Murphy that appears on the ballot.  And she is proud of it.

Complicating matters is Sheriff Strada’s central role in opposing Democrat Governor Phil Murphy’s Sanctuary State scheme.  In the past, Sarah Wallace has done interviews that were very favorable to illegals and against members of law enforcement.  In fact, Sarah Wallace is currently being sued by a police officer for her conduct and behavior.

Last November, a New York judge accused someone championed by Sarah Wallace – named Manny Gomez – of “coercing a witness to a gang slaying not to testify.”  According to the New York Daily News (November 3, 2018), police have suggested that Sarah Wallace and Manny Gomez have “an apparent relationship” and that Wallace does stories that favor Gomez. 

Given Wallace’s political and ideological biases, we were surprised when we learned that NBC chose her to do a segment on the primary campaign between Sheriff Mike Strada and opponent Andy Boden.  NBC and Sarah Wallace appear to have coordinated the attack on Sheriff Strada with Andy Boden and his campaign.  

A week before the Wallace attack aired on NBC, Boden himself bragged to local Sussex County media that the interview was going to be a “hit job” on Sheriff Strada.  And Wallace herself appears to have promoted her “hit job” to leftist blogs who oppose Republican Sheriff Strada over the Sanctuary State issue.

The coordination was so severe, that members of Boden’s campaign were promoting Wallace’s follow-up “hit job” in advance of it even being hinted at by NBC.  Some observers have suggested that this constitutes an illegal corporate campaign contribution by NBC on behalf of Andy Boden.

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Wallace’s political and ideological agenda aside, and her manipulation of people on both sides of this race, this might come down to a simple case of a military culture vs. a union culture.  As anyone who has been through basic training knows, military culture is harsh and purposely demeaning – seeking to tear down a recruit in order to build him or her back up.

The culture in a labor union is more protective and coddling.  There is nothing especially wrong in this, but it does present a different perspective.  A real journalist, someone tuned in to more than fashion statements, might have written about this difference in perspective.  But that would be way beyond the blow-dried world that Sarah Wallace inhabits.

Police departments and Sheriff’s offices are para-military organizations, with the military and union cultures existing uneasily, side by side.  First rate military powers – like America, Russia, and China – do not have unionized armed forces.  Unions are only found in the armed forces of places like the Netherlands – whose plan of defense is essentially a telephone call to whomever is invading and the words “We Surrender” in the appropriate language.  That or getting America to defend them and American taxpayers to pay for it. 

Yes, in the American military there is no equivalent to the Dutch AFMP – the General Federation of Military Personnel.  Of course, the para-military police and sheriffs are unionized, which often makes for a clash of cultures.  Some leaders in law enforcement seek to impose military-style training and discipline, while others look on their organizations as unionized workers (except that they carry guns, have badges, and have power over civilians). 

And just to remind everyone of what military training and discipline is like, we turn you over to Gunny Hartmann…

Is this demeaning?  Is it the end of the world?  Or have Americans become a bunch of snowflakes?  If so, we shouldn’t look forward to tangling with North Korea, let alone Russia or China.  War aint beanbag.

There is a choice to be made here.  Do we want the people to whom we hand guns and badges to be informed by a disciplined, military outlook?  Or do we want them to merely be civilians with guns and badges?  Can we reach a happy medium?

So far as the complaints of individual employees go.  This is why Sussex County needs an Ethics Committee – a real committee, not one made up of hand-picked insiders.  The last Freeholder Board failed to create such a committee.  Jonathan Rose promised, but failed to deliver.  That’s a pity.

Employees – whether PBA, FOP, CWA, or anyone else – should be able to report problems and they need to be taken seriously.  In the same way that the Office of the Inspector General works in the military.  So let’s resolve to ask the Freeholder Board to take action on this soon.  Form an Ethics Committee, so these issues don’t need to be fought out in a political campaign – with bottom feeders like Sarah Wallace using one and all for her own political and ideological purposes.

Phil Murphy tries to suppress voting in Sussex County

In a move that is rich in hypocrisy, the Murphy administration has “ordered” the Sussex County Clerk, Jeff Parrott, not to place on the ballot a public question that allows voters in that county to instruct their Sheriff on the Sanctuary State directive issued by Governor Murphy’s attorney general.  The ballot question gives voters a choice to instruct their county Sheriff to (1) obey the state directive or (2) follow the laws passed by the Congress of the United States of America, signed by successive Presidents of both parties, and upheld by the United States Supreme Court. 

So Phil Murphy is telling Sussex County that they must obey him – and join him in disobeying the laws of the United States of America.  And he is attempting to suppress the rights of voters to have a say in the matter.

The “order” was issued by Murphy ally Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who Murphy appointed in January of 2018.  The Attorney General is the scion of a very wealthy but controversial family of developers.  And it is no secret that Grewal is angling for a spot in some future Democrat administration in Washington, DC, if he can get past the confirmation hearings (which are a whole lot tougher in Washington than they are in Trenton).  That controversial family of developers thing again (it’ll get you every time).

The “order” to deprive the voters of their right to voice their opinions on a ballot question pits Murphy and Grewal against Sussex County’s Sheriff, Mike Strada, who has strongly supported the ballot question and opposed Murphy’s Sanctuary State plan every step of the way. Strada, a career law enforcement officer who led a U.S. Army platoon in Iraq (Desert Storm), has no time for federal law breakers like Murphy and Grewal.

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Murphy & Grewal vs. Sheriff Mike Strada


New Jersey Herald reporter Bruce Scruton did a good job of covering this breaking story, which appeared on that newspaper’s website late last night.  It can be accessed here:

Reactions from the Freeholders have been mixed, with some clearly in the mood to stand up for the rights of voters and others a bit tepid.  Four of the five member freeholder board cast votes in support of the ballot question earlier this year, but there is a long history in Sussex County of elected officials taking the advice of “go-along-to-get-along” establishment types.  This is what lured them into the solar debacle that cost taxpayers $26 million but has yet to identify a guilty party (despite nearly $600,000 in “studies” to find out what went wrong and who done it).

You can’t put a cost on doing the right thing – and the right thing is standing up for the right to vote and the primacy of the Constitution of the United States of America.  Too often doing the right thing is dismissed on grounds of cost (unless it can be monetized, as with the $600,000 in “studies” into the solar debacle). 

This is a moment of truth for Sussex County Republicans.  We’ve heard a lot about the “walk away” movement among the Democrats.  Republicans should understand the frustrations of their own base – at least enough to prevent a “walk away” movement of their own.

Thugs attempt to shut down discussion of candidate Boden’s record

Yesterday, the New Jersey Herald reported that Andy Boden, a challenger to Republican Sheriff Mike Strada, was suspended from duty in January, per a determination by Undersheriff John Tomasula and Dr. Matthew Guller of the Institute of Forensic Psychology, and is awaiting a "fitness-for-duty evaluation”.  You can read the full story here:

Again and again we have publicly asked Candidate Boden for his side of things and offered the use of this website for that purpose.  We have invited Boden and his campaign to provide documentation that would dispute the documentation provided by Boden’s own attorney, which is the basis of the Herald story.  On at least a dozen occasions we have published requests for this and have assured him that will publish whatever he sends, unedited.

Instead of taking us up on the offer, those around Andy Boden have resorted to the tactic, used by Antifa and other far-left advocates, of silencing any opinion they happen to disagree with.  Instead of free and open discourse about a candidate who wants to be the top law enforcement officer in Sussex County, we have received threats and thuggery of the most Neanderthal variety.

The message of the thugs who surround Andy Boden is clear:  If you attempt to bring up why Candidate Boden was suspended by a police psychiatrist, the Boden team will hurt you and will personally attack anyone they believe might be against their candidate.  Frenzied, aimless attacks, in the manner of a mad dog.

One Boden insider, who is himself an elected official in Sussex Borough, went so far as to attack Senator Steve Oroho over this, apparently unaware that Boden is a supporter of the Senator.  Again, these are frenzied, aimless attacks that fail to take reality into account.  Another Boden-backer took time from his work at a real estate office in Vernon to attack Senator Oroho’s consultant from his 2017 campaign… simply because the Boden-backer “believed” he was involved.

This is crazy, shoot-first-ask-questions-later behavior.  Which, in a way, is the whole worry in the first place. 

So let’s recap.  The New Jersey Herald ran a balanced story on the case of Andy Boden, who is now running for office against the head of the department that suspended him – Sheriff Mike Strada.  Citing a letter written by Boden’s attorney to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, here’s what the Herald wrote:

The letter begins by saying the law firm has been retained "with respect to his (Boden's) suspension as a result of a Jan. 16, determination by Undersheriff John Tomasula and Dr. Matthew Guller of the Institute of Forensic Psychology."

The letter then asked that the document be accepted in lieu of a more formal petition for interim relief "as Lieutenant Boden has been orally advised that as of Monday, March 4, 2019, he is no longer on paid leave status and he is being required to use his own time while he undergoes counseling with a licensed mental health professional."

The Institute for Forensic Psychology was founded in 1972 and built a reputation for providing services for police applicants, recruits and on-duty officers throughout northern New Jersey as well as several federal law enforcement and other agencies, according to its webpage and other newspaper stories.

That is what Boden’s attorney wrote.

That’s right, a prison officer who carries a loaded firearm at work was suspended “while he undergoes counseling with a licensed mental health professional.”  That sounds to us like the right move by Sheriff Strada.  Why take chances when you have an employee who carries a firearm suffering from what could be a serious psychological issue?  Let him get the help he needs to get back on his feet, then re-evaluate him to see if he is fit for duty.  Don’t brush it under the rug and hope that the problem attends to itself.

Unfortunately, the Antifa-like thugs who surround Candidate Boden don’t think the voters should be allowed to know any of this.  Instead, they go mad dog on anyone they even believe dares to think about it.   They attack Sheriff Strada, accusing Strada of suspending Boden, when Boden’s own attorney clearly admits that it was a police psychiatrist who suspended Boden.  Haven’t we had too many deadly incidents concerning firearms to simply ignore the concerns of a police psychiatrist?  Don’t we have the right to ask questions?  Or should we expect to be bullied and threatened just for asking?

Once again, we invite Andy Boden to present any documentation he has to correct the record that his own attorney provided.  We invite candidate Boden the use of this website to provide us with his perspective.  We will publish what he sends us.

Poll: Oroho strong re-elect, Phoebus upside-down

A recent survey of 425 likely Republican Primary election voters in New Jersey's 24th Legislative District throws cold-water on the attempt by certain political insiders to promote the candidacy of Gail Phoebus.  The poll, which was conducted before Phoebus announced that she was challenging incumbent Steve Oroho for the Senate seat, indicates that Oroho is in a strong position to be re-elected, while Phoebus would have work to do to hold on to her Assembly seat.

Here are snapshots taken directly from the poll's "toplines":


Phoebus is under water:

The poll was conducted by Magellan Strategies of Colorado, a nationally recognized polling firm that has conducted thousands of surveys for national and statewide candidates, congressional and legislative candidates, state and national party organizations, and business interest groups.  Legislative District 24 is made up of all of Sussex County, eleven towns in Warren County, and one town in Morris County.  Some of the other details in the survey include:

And in the Sussex County portion of the district, which makes up about 70 percent of the electorate, the survey indicates that the most popular local elected official by far is Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada.

While the least popular elected official in Sussex County is the outgoing Freeholder Director, George Graham:

Phoebus' supporters -- primarily cabal of lawyers associated with the Morris County Improvement Authority's Sussex solar scam -- will have a difficult time selling her candidacy with numbers like these.  Jersey Conservative will be releasing more data as we receive it.