Thursday, March 6, 2008

Kyrillos may get in the U.S. Senate race after all

From In The Lobby:

March 6, 2008

Think national Republicans aren't interested in defeating Sen. Frank Lautenberg this November? Think again.

We understand that Sen. Joe Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, was seen in Washington D.C. yesterday meeting with the Republican National Committee in Washington D.C.

Kyrillos, as you know, had been the subject of a mini-boomlet to try to get him to enter the U.S. Senate race. He took himself out of the running. But national GOP leaders, who no doubt sees the same polls that say that New Jerseyans think Lautenberg's age could be an issue, may well be trying to woo him back in the race.

Anne Evans Estabrook's sudden departure from the race has also gotten a few other Republicans thinking about going for the seat. We hear that state Sens. Bill Baroni, R-Mercer, and Kip Bateman, R-Somerset, are also mulling whether to throw their hats into the ring.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio and college professor Murray Sabrin have already declared for the seat.

From MoreMonmouthMusings:

Kyrillos may get in the U.S. Senate race after all

In the Lobby is reporting that State Senator Joe Kyrillos was spotted in Washington yesterday meeting with the Republican National Committee.

I'm told that yesterday while Adam Puharic was trying to organize a county chairs conference call to draft Rudy, that NJ GOP chair Tom Wilson was on a RNC conference call.

Posted by Art Gallagher at 12:18 PM

Estabrook drops U.S. Senate bid

Estabrook drops U.S. Senate bid
By Max Pizarro

Tags: withdrawal, withdraw, U.S. Senate race, Murray Sabrin, Joseph Pennacchio, Joseph Kyrillos, Frank Lautenberg, Estabrook withdraws, Estabrook drop out, drop out, Anne Estabrook

Citing health reasons, Anne Evans Estabrook is dropping her bid for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. That leaves a two-way contest to challenge four-term Democrat Frank Lautenberg between State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris) and Murray Sabrin, a Ramapo College Professor and the leader of Ron Paul's New Jersey campaign.

Estabrook, 61, was making her first bid for public office after a career as a real estate developer, philanthropist, and Chairman of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. She had won key endorsements by the Burlington, Camden and Monmouth Republican organizations, and based on her endorsements and money, had been viewed as the front runner in the race to challenge Lautenberg. Pennacchio has won county endorsement contests in Hunterdon and Union counties.

Republicans had embraced Estabrook as their standard bearer after she agreed to self-finance her Senate bid. She loaned her campaign nearly $1.7 million,and raised another $150,000. Lautenberg has about $4.3 million cash on hand; Pennacchio and Sabrin have not yet reported their fundraising efforts.

With the April 7 filing deadline fast approaching, it is possible that another Republican could enter the race. State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, 47, mulled a late entrance into the race last month, but decided against a statewide bid. Kyrillos said this morning that he had no plans to reconsider a run against Lautenberg.

"I am surprised to hear Anne’s news but I appreciate the fact she has a health concern she needs to deal with, which a tough and competitive senate race wouldn’t have helped," Kyrillos said.

Another potential self-funder, businessman Joseph Plumeri, could also emerge as a candidate.
The 84-year-old Lautenberg is seeking a fifth term in the Senate, which would make him the longest serving Senator in New Jersey history. He served from 1982 to 2001, and again when he replaced Robert Torricelli as the Democratic nominee in 2002.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Prominent Republicans Aren’t Exactly Happy About Their U.S. Senate Choices"

"You can’t get anyone on the record about it, but some prominent Republicans aren’t exactly happy about their U.S. Senate choices."

“'Ambivalent is probably the most charitable word you can use for what people say about the choices,' said one Republican elected official who wished to remain anonymous."

"Multiple Republican sources also say that some county chairs are continuing the search and calling around to find new candidates."

On Estabrook and Pennacchio: "...Some in the party feel that neither has the combination of deep pockets, name recognition and charisma that it will take to beat U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg in 2008."

-From PolitickerNJ, 12/10/07

Monday, February 11, 2008

PolitickerNJ poll shows Kyrillos should run for U.S. Senate

As of 7:05 PM, 38% of users voting on say that Joe Kyrillos should get into the race for U.S. Senate.

Watch Joe on the Senate floor discussing New Jersey's broken state government and rising property taxes:

FLASHBACK: Kyrillos was ahead of the curve on new job growth in New Jersey

October 30, 2005

New governor faces task of luring private-sector jobs

Jobs, well-paying jobs, must be job one for whoever is elected governor next month.

The candidates' promises - to ease property taxes, safeguard vulnerable children, fund our schools and protect the air and water - will never become reality if New Jersey remains 41st in the nation in private-sector job creation. The rapid increase in government jobs is not going to sustain our prosperity.

"Corporate America is expanding briskly; however, they are doing this largely outside of New Jersey," economist James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, said last week.

The policies of the past four years have damaged New Jersey's economy. We have seen taxes increased by $3.2 billion a year, mostly on employers and investors, deterring economic expansion. We have heard state officials publicly berate business leaders.

These policies were aimed at settling scores and gaining short-term political advantage, with little regard for the long-term economic consequences.

I'm not predicting a calamity. Instead, I worry our state's economy will slowly shrivel, almost imperceptibly, until it is ruined.

Defenders of tax increases and anti-business tirades are sure to say I exaggerate. They point out that New Jersey has historically prospered despite being an expensive place to do business. They will point to the recent labor report that showed New Jersey added 7,100 jobs last month.

Upon closer inspection, the report provides plenty of evidence that New Jersey's prosperity is endangered.

The report shows New Jersey continues to add low-paying jobs, such as those in the leisure and hospitality industries, while losing high-paying jobs, such as those in the telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries.

Of the 7,100 "new" jobs reported in September, 4,000 were school bus drivers returning from summer layoff. Another 2,000 jobs represented growing government payrolls. During September, the number of high-salaried, private-sector jobs shrank by 600.

Unfortunately, September wasn't an anomaly, but part of a trend. Last year, government at all levels was the leading sector for job growth in New Jersey, accounting for 1-in-3 jobs created. The national average was 1-in-16 jobs. Meanwhile, New Jersey ranked 41st among the states in private-sector job growth.

Rutgers University economist Joseph Seneca, who chairs the New Jersey Council of Economic Advisers, sees trouble on the horizon.

He was recently quoted saying that New Jersey's sluggish economic growth and loss of high-wage jobs "are very serious warning signals that should alert policy makers that we need to redirect some our resources at the state level to growing the economy and ensuring a competitive business climate."

The next governor must embrace Seneca's advice and restore New Jersey's brand. There needs to be a shift in policy and style that changes our state's image as being tax-happy, anti-business and hopelessly corrupt.

Given what has happened in the last few years, why would a corporate leader want to do business in New Jersey?

New Jersey has imposed new and much higher business taxes. Supporters of the succession of cigarette tax hikes have argued the increases would drastically reduce cigarette consumption. The same principle applies to business investment and job creation: the more you tax it, the less there will be.

Two years ago, a "half-millionaires'" tax was imposed, which steeply raised income tax rates for high earners such as top corporate executives. It's naive to think those executives don't consider their own income tax bill when they decide whether to locate or expand in New Jersey.

New Jersey's business recruitment efforts have declined. We have failed to match our neighbors - all of which have been experiencing stronger job growth - in the competition for companies by providing a wide range of support programs. The vast majority of businesses in this state, including manufacturing enterprises, employ fewer than 100 people. This is the sector that has the greatest potential to grow and create new, high-quality jobs.

The scandal epidemic is also a deterrence, creating the perception that doing business in New Jersey involves handing "bags of cash" to officials and political warlords. We need new leaders in Trenton bent on changing the current political culture rather than enabling it.

Our families and state common welfare depend on businesses offering high-quality jobs coming to or expanding in New Jersey. Making sure that conditions are favorable and resources are available must be at the center of our next governor's agenda.

Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr. is a state senator from the 13th District, which includes parts of Monmouth and Middlesex counties.

Frank Lautenberg's Promise

Thursday, February 7, 2008

FLASHBACK: Asbury Park Press, 2004

Asbury Park Press (Neptune, NJ)
December 5, 2004

GOP taps momentum for real government reform
Author: Reader

Section: C
Page: 03

FEW could have imagined the tumultuous years ahead when I became chairman of the state Republican Party in 2001. Through skewed redistricting, a 2002 Senate ballot-switch and endless gubernatorial scandal, we strove to regroup as a party. And I am proud that Republicans are promoting an optimistic agenda of reform and put New Jersey back on the map with a strong presidential showing in November.

Over the past three-and-a-half years, optimists have had their work cut out for them in Trenton. It reminds me of President Reagan's favorite joke about the guy in the horse stable, who waded through the bad in search of the good. When he was found digging into a pile of manure, he explained, "With all this manure, there's gotta be a pony in here somewhere."

Amid the stench of corruption, many New Jersey voters have been searching for the pony in the pile. And I think we found it - the good that has come out of the bad. It is the unprecedented opportunity for lasting change now before us. Never in recent memory has the people's will and political momentum been so aligned to reform New Jersey from top to bottom.

A blueprint for reform of ethical standards, campaign laws and fiscal policy is taking shape. It begins with money - both the amount and the source. One of my chief responsibilities as party chairman was fund raising to keep our party strong. I know that viable campaigns are vital to the democratic process. I also know the current system is broken.

Sweeping pay-to-play reform will end the pattern of charging campaign contributions as the price of admission for government contract-bidding. What's more, in a state where the appetite for campaign funding is insatiable, a pay-to-play ban will starve the beast. We will never eliminate money in politics, but we can curb this abuse.

Beyond campaign finance is the less discussed issue of our state's campaign calendar. New Jersey is one of few states that holds off-year elections, rather than electing our governor and state legislators in even-numbered years. Changing to even-year elections in New Jersey is worth serious consideration.

With hard-fought state or national elections every year, partisanship rarely takes a breather. Just as one set of tough races ends, candidates are already at the starting gates for the next November. Fund raising never abates and rhetoric rarely cools down.

As chairman, I have been in the trenches and seen the results. Ours is a caustic political culture that generates too much heat and too little light, making bipartisanship a rare phenomenon. All of us lose when politics trumps good public policy. The yearly election cycle contributes to that climate.

In addition to reconsidering the timing of state elections, there are some names that belong on the ballot and some that do not. To eliminate even the appearance of impropriety, we should end dual officeholding. While we're at it, nepotism in state jobs should be banned as well.

There is also now a growing consensus that New Jersey needs an elected lieutenant governor. We would be best served by a line of succession to the highest office in the state that begins with a man or woman elected statewide. Also on the ballot should be a state auditor. An elected fiscal watchdog will have both the independence and incentive to uproot abuse and inefficiency that costs taxpayers millions.

Ultimately, however, even the most aggressive auditor cannot restore fiscal responsibility. That will take a new commitment to economic freedom. A recent Pacific Research Institute study reported that Trenton's tax-and-spend addiction ranks as the 49th worst fiscal policy nationwide. It's more evidence of the urgent need for property tax reform, spending caps and voter approval of state borrowing.

Our fiscal policy, both revenue and spending, is a strain on family budgets and a drain on job creation. Any state constitutional convention on reform should address both sides of the ledger, including a school finance formula that shortchanges middle-income districts in need.

But even with the problems that need fixing, we cannot forget how much we have to be proud of as a state. We don't deserve to be viewed through the tarnished lens of corruption, because it doesn't reflect who we really are. Having served as chairman, one of the opportunities I'm most grateful for is traveling to every corner of the state. New Jersey is still among the best places to raise a family, with excellent local schools, strong neighborhoods and a great quality of life.

Over the years, my constituents' confidence has meant a great deal to me. As I move on from my post as chairman, I look forward to devoting even more of my energies as a state senator for Monmouth and Middlesex counties, to help lead the effort to restore economic freedom and people's faith in their own government.

State Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr., R-Monmouth and Middlesex, served as Republican Party state chairman from June 2001 through November 2004.

Copyright (c) Asbury Park Press. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: asb20041205048

Draft Kyrillos movement picks up steam, Respected GOP Chairman calls on Joe to run

Please see the remarks below from Monmouth County GOP Chairman Adam Puharic regarding this year's U.S. Senate race, as quoted by PolitickerNJ:

"If Joe Kyrillos got in the race, it would be a game-changing event for New Jersey politics," said Puharic, who served on Anne Evans Estabrook’s exploratory committee but has not endorsed a candidate in the race.

See the whole article here

The movement to draft State Senator Joe Kyrillos is starting to pick up some steam.

If you are an elected official who would like to sign on to our effort to Draft Kyrillos, please contact us at

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Jersey needs Joe Kyrillos to run for statewide office

New Jersey is in a state of fiscal crisis. State spending is out of control, and rising taxes are making New Jersey unaffordable. Washington is just as broken. We believe that State Senator Joe Kyrillos is a leader who can unite Republicans and Democrats and change the way our broken government does business.

New Jersey needs Joe Kyrillos to run for statewide office.

In the State Senate, Joe Kyrillos has been a leader on the issues most important to New Jerseyans. He has fought for lower taxes to ease the burden on middle class families and small businesses, he was a leading voice in the effort to keep Fort Monmouth open and operating, and he has led the charge on desperately needed ethics reform.

Joe would be a candidate who could bring the moderate and conservative wings of the Republican party together in a united effort to fix our broken government.

Taking into consideration both his principled record in the legislature and his chairmanship of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in New Jersey, Joe Kyrillos has proven himself to be the kind of hardworking, outside-the-box leader we need as U.S. Senator or New Jersey Governor.

This blog will be used to highlight Joe's record of leadership, and to encourage him to get into the race to change New Jersey.

Please share your thoughts and offer your encouragement.

If you are an elected official who would like to sign on to our effort to Draft Kyrillos, please contact us at