NJ Tea Party Caucus Endorsement
The NJ Tea Party Caucus (The Caucus) has announced their support of Mayor Steve Lonegan in his campaign for the seat vacated by Rep. Jon Runyan in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. The Caucus is a large coalition of New Jersey tea parties and conservative organizations and leaders throughout the Garden State. It is also the oldest organization of its kind in the state that is viable and has been continuously active. Members of the Caucus expressed great concern upon learning that an organization in Philadelphia, not a part of any New Jersey groups, claimed to represent NJ tea parties. Concern was escalated by the fact that this rogue organization, the Independence Hall “Tea Party”, endorsed Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur over Mayor Steven Lonegan.
In the 2013 election for the Senate seat vacated by Frank Lautenberg, the Caucus endorsed Mayor Lonegan after vetting him extensively, finding him to be a true conservative and a passionate constitutionalist. At that time, Mayor Lonegan had enjoyed super majority support from Burlington and Ocean Counties that comprise CD-3. Apparently the Independence Hall Tea Party that operates out of Pennsylvania, prefers a liberal like Randolph Mayor Tom Macarthur to a true conservative.
RoseAnn Salanitri, President of the Caucus, stated: “The questions regarding Mayor MacArthur’s support are troubling. Research has shown that he favors stricter gun control laws, supports continuing the Federal Reserve, raised taxes a whopping 3.69% in 2013, and is heavily involved with a pro-amnesty group. On the other hand, Mayor Lonegan’s record has proven that he is a strong fiscal conservative, a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and is strongly opposed to Common Core education that threatens to annihilate an educational system that is already on the verge of collapse. The obvious question here is why on earth would the Republicans and the carpetbaggers from Pennsylvania endorse such a liberal as Mayor MacArthur?”
The partial answer to Mrs. Salanitri’s question may be traced back to money. It has been reported that Mayor MacArthur donated $25,000 to his Republican supporters and also stipulated that he would fund his own campaign – not expecting them to draw down funds from their coffers. Another answer may be that the Republican Party has declared an all-out war on tea party and conservative candidates as well as members of any groups that oppose its failed policies. Mayor Lonegan is strongly associated with traditional conservative policies and values.
Dr. Al Frech, Vice President of the Caucus, attempted to answer part of Mrs. Salanitri’s question that referred to the Independence Hall Tea Party’s endorsement. Dr. Frech stated: “The Independence Hall Tea Party has a history of imposing itself into New Jersey politics. In the process they have managed to alienate themselves from most respected groups, which resent their uneducated and manipulative intrusions. Additionally, their history has shown that their ties to the entrenched Republican Party have trumped their allegiance to the tea party’s principles of limited government and the preservation of our Constitutional Republic. They have been considered by others as not independent of the Republican Party but more like its affiliate.”
Shelly Kennedy, NJ representative for several tea party and liberty-minded activist groups, and Secretary of the Caucus, also commented. Ms. Kennedy stated: “While IHTP’s so-called “endorsements” may make a sensational headline they have nothing to do with the tea party movement in New Jersey, which does not need or want their interference – especially since it is frequently uninformed and at odds with what we are trying to accomplish. Their intrusion is a continued annoyance, and their statements suit only those reporters looking for the sensational instead of facts.”
The Caucus issued this endorsement of Mayor Lonegan to be sure the good citizens of New Jersey were informed about the rogue Philadelphia group purporting to represent New Jersey tea parties.