Morris Freeholders: Checkmate Strategies vs. Checkmate Action

Will the sucking never end?  Does the media do any research anymore… or are they just in the business of being punked?

Yesterday, this popped up on a Left-leaning, Trenton-insider blog: 

One of the three candidates running on a slate against three incumbent Morris freeholders in the June Republican primary has spent $42,000 on consulting services with Checkmate Strategies LLC, which lists an address at 30 N.Gould Street in Sheridan, Wyo. That, according to an April 15 campaign financial statement filed with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission by candidate Donald Dinsmore.

Dinsmore is running on a slate with William Felegi and Cathy Winterfield against incumbents Doug Cabana, Kathy DeFillippo and Tom Mastrangelo. The ELEC filing by Dinsmore as an individual candidate lists the contribution as being made Feb. 4 of this year.

There is a New Jersey political consulting firm named Checkmate Strategies. Based in Jackson, it was co-founded by Chris Russell and has won numerous awards for its work. 

But Russell said in an email that his firm is not involved with the Dinsmore campaign…

So, there’s another Checkmate Strategies in Wyoming?


However, the address in question, 30 N. Gould Street, is actually a mail forwarding center. According to its website, Wyoming Mail Forwarding promises to open and scan all mail and deliver it to the recipient the day it arrives. All well and good, but who exactly is Checkmate Strategies. And why does it have the same name as a well-known New Jersey consultant?

Dinsmore said the expenditure was for “consulting services,” which is also how it’s described on the ELEC report. But he declined to elaborate further.

There are some obvious questions here. Besides who the consultant actually is, why is a candidate in Morris County using a mail forwarding outfit in Wyoming?

Well, if the blog in question had done just a little creative research – in this case, searching the term “checkmate” on the Wyoming Secretary of State’s business name search engine – they would have found that, in fact, there is a registered corporation (in good-standing) by that name, doing business from that address. 

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As for the question:  And why does it have the same name as a well-known New Jersey consultant?  Well the writer is betraying a rather naïve Jersey-centric world view here.  There are no border checkpoints preventing a firm in Wyoming from working in New Jersey.  Checkmate Strategies itself has worked on races as far away as Alaska.  And the firm handling Mr. Dinsmore’s opponents has clients even further afield, often necessitating filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. 

Added to this is the fact that Checkmate Strategies doesn’t own their own name in most of the country.  Even in neighboring Pennsylvania…

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Like Checkmate Action Group LLC, Checkmate Strategies LLC is a somewhat recent entity, formed in New Jersey on September 22, 2017.  Its partners are Chris Russell of Jackson, New Jersey, and Michael Lawler of Pearl River, New York.  So it got the jump on the Wyoming firm by just over a year. 

Is all this an issue?  Well, when you figure out who actually owns Checkmate Action Group LLC, perhaps it will be.  Enjoy your research…

Pastor Brad Winship: The World is Lying to You

Conservative media has been basking in the sunlight of the Mueller report, which exonerated the President of the unsubstantiated allegation that he colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 Election.  The larger story in all this is the fraudulent reporting of the media.  But this should be no surprise because this is the character of unregenerate humanity.  There is nothing reliable in what they say (Psalm 5:9).  Lies and not truth prevail in the land (Jeremiah 9:3).  This week’s Bible study is a reminder of how often the Scriptures refer to the lies of the wicked.

YouTube #70  The World is Lying to You

Pastor Winship can be heard at the following times:

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Liberal think-tank: NJ gets $9 Billion Fed Tax cut in 2019

While Democrat Congressman Josh Gottheimer has been engaging in histrionics of the most dubious kind, a liberal think-tank has been doing its research and calculations.  What it's come up with undermines the hysterics put out by Nancy Pelosi, Gottheimer, and his status-quo allies in the "problem keepers" caucus.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a liberal advocacy group, recently concluded that New Jersey would save nearly $9 billion in federal taxes in 2019, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Please review their findings yourself by clicking here for a spreadsheet with their analysis:

Contrary to what Nancy Pelosi, Gottheimer, and the "problem keepers" have been saying, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy concludes that New Jersey will pay less in federal taxes under the new tax reform and job creation legislation passed by Congress.  The study includes these key findings:

- New Jersey residents will save nearly $9 billion in federal taxes in 2019;

- 81% of New Jersey residents will receive a tax cut and a further 8% would see no change in their taxes at all;

- The vast majority of taxpayers in every personal income bracket will see a tax cut, with most receiving a substantial tax cut;

- The average taxpayer in New Jersey will get a tax cut of more than $2,000.

Along with 81% of taxpayers getting a tax cut, small businesses are going to pay much less.  It will be the lowest tax rate since World War II -- drawing in new investment for the expansion of existing enterprises, allowing new start-ups, creating thousands upon thousands of new jobs and opportunities.  With billions less going from New Jersey to Washington, that money will be freed up to spend in our communities.

Even before the new tax reform and job creation legislation was passed, there was a sustained positive reaction from companies with local employees -- like OceanFirst Bank, AT&T, Comcast, Wells Fargo, Boeing, and Bank of America -- providing bonuses and pay-hikes to their employees.  These businesses are already using their anticipated savings to invest in their employees for the future, and it is clear that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is going to put more money in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers in New Jersey.

The doom and gloom coming from Nancy Pelosi, Gottheimer, and the "problem keepers" only works if you distort the figures.  The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy study makes clear that the doom and gloomers make sense only if you allow them to erroneously assume that Congress will allow the tax cuts to expire -- and even then this is only true for tax years beginning in 2027. 

Nancy Pelosi, Gottheimer, and the "problem keepers" are arguing in the face of history, which has taught us consistently that politicians who want to be re-elected -- even liberal Democrats like President Obama -- do not end tax cuts when faced with the option, but rather, extend them.  And with the broad consensus being that middle-class tax cuts must be made permanent (even Bernie Sanders says so) there is little chance that the scenario upon which Pelosi, Gottheimer, and the "problem keepers" base their doom and gloom will, in fact, ever materialize.

Instead of the drunken hysterics and all the mental illness being shopped around by the media about this (when they are not focused on a royal wedding or the latest installment of who touched who) interested citizens should be doing their own research and soberly studying the changes and benefits in the new tax reform and job creation package.  It will be well worth the time spent.

Erickson: The Tea Party is Dead.

Erick Erickson is an author, former editor of Red State, a radio talk show host, and the editor of The Resurgent.

On February 19, 2009, CNBC editor Rick Santelli, stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and went on a tirade against the Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan, which bailed out individuals who had (mostly) knowingly entered terrible mortgages and could not pay them off. Santelli was so outraged he predicted a “Chicago Tea Party” would rise up.

His statement went viral within conservative media. Played over and over on talk radio and reposted on conservative websites, activists who already felt alienated by a Republican Party that had drifted toward corporatism and away from conservatism decided to mobilize. Local talk radio hosts around the country organized tea party protests on tax day. “Taxed Enough Already” signs sprouted up across conservative areas.

Those tea party groups organized and the Washington conservative apparatus stepped in to try to bring some focus, order, and assistance. Donors stepped up and helped fund other groups. Because of Citizens United, small dollar donors suddenly found themselves able to combine resources without a bunch of lawyers and compete against the big guys. Organized tea party groups sprang up, national tea party coalitions sprang up, other groups rose, and the C-Team and D-List celebrity consultants of the right decided to cash in.

Tea party activists were mad at both Republicans and Democrats. They were mad at Democrats for Obamacare and big government and keeping all their promises. They were mad at Republicans for TARP, the General Motors bail out, and breaking all their promises. Over the course of 2009, tea party activists became more and more organized and by 2010 decided to challenge long time Republicans they felt had broken promises while challenging Democrats as well in open seats.

The media portrayed them as racists. They were derisively called “tea baggers” by reporters and left-wing pundits. Republicans really did not know what to make of them. Democrats considered them a hate group. During the 2009 August recess, as Democrats sought to hide from voters, tea party activists showed up at townhall meetings and began embarrassing congressmen by proving these citizens actually knew what they were talking about. Union activists showed up to disrupt the recesses. While the media blamed tea partiers for violence, all but a handful of arrests made at the time were of union activists. Being beset by all sides fostered a lot of unity and solidarity. But then, after the 2010 election, the activists expected the GOP to actually use the power of the purse to hold the President accountable. It did not happen. In the minds of the activists, goal posts were moved by Republican leaders who’d promised action. Excuses were made. The activists got even angrier.

Tea Party activists learned, in the process, what pro-life activists had long known. Many Republicans would tell them they supported their cause, but behind the scenes would mock the tea party activists as hicks and rubes. Their checks were appreciated, but their opinions were not. Pro-life activists had long gotten used to this, but still pushed and cajoled and tried to work from within and without to incrementally advance their agenda. The anger built. Activists began to suspect Republican leaders had no willingness to act and Republican leaders concluded the activists did not understand how the system worked.

As the anger grew within the tea party activists, something vital to their cause never did — discernment. Some activists decided they could make a quick buck. Some consultants learned quickly they could profit off scamPACs and take advantage of tea party activists. The activists could never discern the good from the bad. Sometimes it was because of friendships, but not all the time. It started to become a real problem though and when some began calling out the con-artists and charlatans, they were branded as too Washington friendly. The grassroots tea party activists grew more cynical and distrustful.

The national tea party groups started fighting internally and with each other. The local groups felt like the national groups were of no help. That distrust, over the next few years, would poison the well. With a lack of trust in any group from Washington, no matter the bona fides of the organization, and with a serious lack of discernment, tea party activists finally took a go-it-alone approach in recruitment. They began finding the most socially maladjusted candidates to run for office — people who showed up at all the rallies and who, frankly, had been the volunteers most candidates left in the back of the office putting stamps on envelopes. Now, suddenly, they were the candidates because they had put in the sweat equity and were true believers. In still other cases, candidates sprang up, bought tables at tea party events, threw red meat to the crowd, and got endorsements without ever really believing what they were saying.

Considerations of electability were set aside because these were the people the local activists could trust. When national groups stepped forward, whose core competencies were fielding grassroots conservatives candidates, the tea party activists chose to ignore their advice. Consequently, multiple true-believer conservatives started entering primaries against a conservative who could win and an establishment candidate. The true-believers attacked the conservative who could win as a poseur standing between the tea party and the establishment.

The damage became immense as the Republican establishment struck back. Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and Club For Growth were getting blamed for awful candidates running for office who they not only did not fund, but never actually supported and actively tried to dissuade from running.

As this confluence of malevolence, incompetence, and distrust built energy, the tea party began to fracture. Many of its members decided the only way to win was to adopt the tactics of the left.

Unfortunately, they defined those tactics as behaving like thugs and jackasses. The left won, they thought, by being nasty. So they would be nasty too. The face of grassroots conservatism became a face of anger.

When conservatives stepped forward to promote the idea of the happy warrior, the angry activists accused them of surrender and compromise. Eventually, conservatives began stepping back and the angry grew more suspicious of anyone and everyone within a few degrees of Washington, D.C. All the while, the ever more corporatist Republican establishment played on and off these divisions, smearing legitimate conservative organizations as profiteers while continually breaking promises. 

When Jeb Bush entered the Presidential race, the angry and suspicious became the angry and paranoid. They rallied to Donald Trump, not so much because they agreed with him, but because they were desperate. They had become convinced there was no hope, 2016 could mean the end of America, and they must take drastic measures to turn the tide. Drastic measures meant Trump. The conservatives, like Paul, Rubio and Cruz, could not be trusted because they were of Washington. That they had opposed Washington to varying degrees made no difference. The angry and paranoid concluded they were infected by establishmentarianism.

This all finally came to a head on Tuesday night. The angry and paranoid put forward Kelli Ward in Arizona, who believed in chem trails, and Carlos Beruff in Florida. Both reflected the bleak black hearts of the remains of a movement no longer driven by shared believe in limited government and instead driven by crazy town. Both were defeated and deservedly so. A tea party movement that stopped listening to sound advice and turned inward and tribal needed to lose.

After Trump’s loss in November, the angry-paranoid remnant of the tea party movement will not go away. It will still fester and troll. But those who developed the discernment to realize our ways are not the left’s ways and we do not have to proceed as they proceed will be the ones to help pick up the pieces. The others will, for the most part, be ignored.

The tea party began through common cause and it died because too many of its members failed at discernment and, as a result, were betrayed from within and from without only then to grow too angry for anyone to ever want to join their cause except the fringe. One silver lining of the movement was that it found a Republican Party of old white men and left it with younger, more diverse officials. The old white men did not back Allen West, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tim Scott, and others. But the tea party movement did in its early days. Because of the tea party, for the first time since the Civil War, the congressional district wherein Fort Sumter resides had a black congressman and an Indian-American Governor. That congressman is now South Carolina’s Senator and that Governor may be a future Presidential contender. The group portrayed as racist by the media in 2009 and 2010 broadened the color spectrum of the GOP. That is worth remembering.