Dissension in the Morris GOP?

One would think that everything would be splendid with Morris County Republicans. Think again. Notwithstanding the party’s dominance in Morris County, county chairman John Sette is being challenged for reelection.

Vincent Schindel of Parsippany sent out the following release a short time ago:

“With great pride and humility I am announcing my candidacy for Chairman of the Morris County Republican Committee. (MCRC) A lifelong Republican, my experience and involvement includes being an original organizer of the Morris County Republican Clubs Alliance many years ago. The Alliance meets regularly with 29 municipalities. Our goal is to foster communication and cooperation among the towns and to advance Republican values. We have divided the County into regions to sponsor group meetings in different venues and special activities to help our elected officials be in touch with their constituents and GOTV. (Get Out The Vote)

I pledge my administration will be inclusive and responsive to the grassroots of the Republican Party.”

The election takes place at a party convention in June.

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About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

40 Responses to Dissension in the Morris GOP?

  1. P says:

    Tempest in a Teapot. After last fall’s elections it will be hard to unseat Sette.

  2. Edward france says:

    Vince is a good guy. Very honest and hardworking. I have worked with him in the past. I like the way he runs a meeting. He is fairminded and a stright shooter.

  3. Bill Wilshaw says:

    I have worked as a volunteer on four Governors campaigns, four Senator campaigns a multitude of State Assembly and State Senate races as well as many of local races and I have never seen Vinny lick one stamp, stuff one envelope, or make one call on the behalf of a candidate. His clubs are made up of do nothing members. They claim that there is no communications in the Republican Party, because Chairman Sette does not call them everyday with a briefing. If this guy becomes chairman he will destroy the party. In the last fifteen years Vinny has given 22 hundred dollars to Republican candidates, and in that same time frame Sette has given ten of thousands of dollars and hundreds upon hundreds of hour of his time to Republican candidates. I guess you know who I will be voting for in June.

  4. Gee, Bill, Are you suggesting that the only thing that counts is how much money you give?

  5. stop-Gen-theft says:

    The entrenched political establishement has led us to where we are today.
    Both parties claim to have the solutions and yet they have both sold thier constituency’s up the river. Get the message loud and clear people. You have lost the publics trust and set the stage for a revolution. Thank you for your service and experience but we’ll do far better without it.

    Good Day Sirs!

  6. Time for a Change says:

    Bill Wilshaw must be on the Sette payroll. Sette holds two fundraisers each year for the Freeholders at the Grand Cafe — and that’s about it. He’s not friendly, does not encourage participation from new members, has not grown the party (it has been shrinking in Morris County) and is generally devisive and angry. Schindel is everything Sette is not and will be a breath of fresh air for the Morris GOP.

  7. John R. Sette says:

    Where has “Time for change ” been. Since my TEAM was elected in 2002 we have had many brunches with famous people like Curtis Sliwa (twice) and Dick Morris. For Dick 450 people attended in October. We have raised more. dollars and spent more of it in municipal races than ever in the history of MCRC.
    When WE took over there were 96,000 registered Republicans in Morris County. Today there are almost 112,000. This was garnerd through drives and direct mail pieces. Today there are more elected Republicans in Morris County than there were in 2002. In this last General election the Democrats lost twelve seats to Republicans. We did literature for 27 towns last November. We have been trying very hard and I believe that we have a solid record to run on. Of course, MCRC played a very important role in electing our new Governor, Chris Christie. In the last two Presidential races and Gov. race we had a Massive GOTV effort…That is why the last five Republican Chairpersons are supporting our TEAM. If we have made mistakes along the way, I appologize…but WE have all worked very hard and spent thousands of hour working for our Republican candidates.

  8. Kevin Nedd says:

    John,

    Nice to see you join this discussion. While we have your attention can you please address this question about John Krickus, one of your candidates for Freeholder this year?

    Will one of his campaign practices include requiring a Washington Township employee to provide him with a list of vendors with whom the township spent $10K or more so he can send each a letter on township letterhead asking for a donation to your campaign? This is what the current township administrator and a former GOP township committeeman says he did when he was Mayor of Washington Township. Did you approve of this John? If you don’t, why should the voters of Morris County trust John Krickus? Especially with pay-to-play being such a big issue nowadays.

  9. hfa says:

    John, we all know that you have worked very hard and have accomplished alot. I was happy to hear that you were not going to leave the party’s chairmanship. Thank you for alll of your efforts. I have no doubt that you will win your election.

    Sincerely

  10. Kevin Nedd says:

    John R. Sette,

    Do you plan to answer my prior question?

  11. john r sette says:

    Kevin, I just got home….Let me address your concerns: First John Krickus is not “MY CANDIDATE” We have an open primary where anyone can run ..unlike the Democratic Party which has a “Party Line”. The Morris County Republican Committee does not pay for or endorse candidates in our Open Primary. Therefore any money that the candidates raise is for their use…Not the County Organization. As to getting a list of the vendors: I would assume that he put in an OPRA request. This is information that any citizen can request. Again, MCRC has no power to tell any candidate how to raise money for his or her own use. The Democratic Chairman has the ability to throw a candidate off the County Line if he or she does something wrong. I do not have that power.

  12. Kevin Nedd says:

    John,

    While I appreciate your attempt to respond, you answer seems to have avoided the most important part of my question. Unless you think it is OK for a sitting Mayor to direct a municipal employee to provide him a list of vendors with whom a township spends $10K or more so one can send them a letter on township letterhead asking for a campaign donation? Do you not see anything ethically wrong with this John? And by the way, based on what I have been told, John Krickus did not do this via an OPRA request.

    Also, I realize Krickus is not your candidate, but he is a Morris County Republican, is he not?

  13. john r sette says:

    Kevin….Enough…If an OPRA request is used the information is PUBLIC. If John choses to solicit contributions from these people it is not against the LAW… Ethics has nothing to do with it. He can solicit anyone. Maybe you should send him some $. As long as he follows all ELEC laws I have no problem with what he is doing….THE END I will not continue this so that you can keep it going on your Blog….I have answered. Have a nice day!!!

  14. Kevin Nedd says:

    John,

    Thanks for your reply. Your defense of Krickus’ actions, while disappointing, is not unexpected. While approaching township vendors may seem acceptable to you, what makes this troublesome for Krickus is that he has been highly critical of other candidates who have approached township vendors for financial assistance in the past.

    In addition, I find it is interesting you have not commented on whether or not you think it is unethical to solicit anyone using township letterhead. Is this acceptable to you? I realize it’s not something covered under ELEC.

  15. Kevin Nedd says:

    John R. Sette:

    It is most unfortunate you have chosen to cut off this debate without addressing the question as to whether or not you think it was ok for a local elected official to use taxpayer provided resources (township letterhead) to solicit campaign contributions. As a former elected official in Morris County, I find your continued silence on this matter unconscionable.

  16. Kevin Nedd says:

    Dear John:

    Still no answer to my question?

  17. P says:

    What part of “I have answered. Have a nice day!!!” wasn’t clear???? And since you’ve anointed yourself as the Ethics Scold, have you been harassing Nancy Pelosi about Charlie Rangel’s egregious violations of the law and the Ethics Committee’s interminable delay in reporting back to Congress on them? More hypocrisy from Mr. Nedd.

  18. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    The only thing that’s clear is that John Sette doesn’t want to answer the key question. I plan to keep asking it until it gets answered.

    In addition to losing his chairmanship, I think Rangel should give up his seat in Congress, due to his ethics violations. If he chooses not to step aside, then the voters of his Harlem district should vote him out as understand he will have a primary challenge this year from a former aid. But that’s for the voters of his district to decide.

    Closer to home, the individual who I am asking John Sette about is John Krickus, former Mayor of Washington Township who is running for Morris County Freeholder. Unless I am missing something, Krickus would be representing my interest and therefore I have significant concerns with respect to his past campaign practices, which Mr. Sette continues to ignore.

    So I am asking Mr. Sette again if he thinks it is OK for a sitting Mayor to request campaign contributions from township vendors using township letterhead?

  19. P says:

    ” . . then voters of his Harlem district should vote him out . . ” – I expect that to happen about the same time as Hell freezes over.

    If you think a law has been broken you should be talking to the Morris county prosecutor’s office or strongly encouraging anyone with knowledge of a crime to do so. But you really don’t care about that, so you’ll keep filling this blog with your meaningless “question.” You’re like a three year old asking “Why?”

  20. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    I haven’t accused anyone of breaking the law. When Sette and Krickus answer the question, I’ll stop asking. Until then, let’s have the moderator decide what questions should or should not be asked in this forum.

  21. P says:

    You should have noted that I put the word “question” in quotes which means that I know you really aren’t asking a question, just posing your cheap political point in the form of a question (kinda like Jeopardy) at the expense of a political foe.

    But why stop at the local level. Why not write to the head of the NJ GOP, or maybe even Micheal Steele, the national head of the GOP?

    P.S. Those are also political points raised as a “question.”

  22. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    The reason I am asking the question is because I believe it is entirely fair to ask a similar question of Mr. Krickus that he himself once posed of a fellow Republican, who was running for public office. For more background , see the public comments appearing on page 8 of the following link:

    http://www.wtmorris.org/PDF/meetings/2007/cmm070416rm.pdf

    Is it not fair to ask Mr. Krickus to live up to a standard he set?

  23. P says:

    So ask Mr. Krickus.

    I would also note the following from the record – “Comm. Nedd queried of Mr.
    Krickus whether this issue from the year 2000 was brought to the State Ethics Board at that time. Upon a negative response, Comm. Nedd stated that he is concerned that the issue is politically motivated as the Township Committee
    Regular Meeting is not the appropriate venue to bring this concern.
    He opined that the State, not the Committee, has the authority to act. Comm. Cullen agreed. The Township Committee did not agree to pursue the matter.”

    And per your own recommendation, why not file an ethics complaint rather than pester John Sette on this Blog?!

  24. P says:

    P.S. Thanks for providing the ammo for your own “firing squad.”

  25. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    I have asked Mr. Krickus. He refuses to answer the question. So I have asked the chair of the party for whom Mr. Krickus is seeking a nomination on the November ballot for Freeholder. Mr. Sette has answered part of the question indicating he thinks it’s OK to solicit a list of vendors, but he has yet to answer it fully by stating if it is OK to solicit these vendors using township letterhead.

  26. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    Nice try, but I don’t see it that way. The state has enough issues to deal with than pursuing an 8 year old ethics case. The proper venue now for this matter is for Mr. Krickus to answer the question, since he is the one running for public office. If he won’t answer then moving up the food chain is justified and since Mr. Sette has already “engaged” himself by offering an incomplete answer, he should take the next step and provide one that fully addresses my question.

  27. P says:

    Eight years ago?! Wow, maybe we should check to see if Mr. Krickus had anything to do with the Lindbergh baby kidnapping too. This looks like more cheap political theater from the Neddster.

  28. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    I can see you taking this attitude as integrity probably wasn’t instilled where you went to college.

    If John Krickus wants to ask for the public trust (again), then he owes the public an answer as to how he conducted himself the last time he held office. Again, I am simply holding him to the same standard he set for someone else.

  29. P says:

    And when Krickus came before you, an elected official who swore to uphold the laws of the state of NJ, you blew him off. Maybe he thought that was the norm for pay-to-play in Lost Valley. Either way, you had your chance to do the right thing and it’s comical that you’re now harassing a party (not public) official to do what you wouldn’t. I still spell that H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y. And a cheap political stunt.

  30. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    The only thing comical is how clueless you are on this matter.

    1. When Krickus approached the committee in 2007, it was for the sole purpose of embarrassing a former planning board member who was running against Howard Popper in the primary election.

    2. In 2002, some 5 years prior, this former planning board member had approach a group of township professionals about an investment opportunity he was pursuing. While some may take issue with this, there was nothing illegal about it. Had any deal been struck, the individual in question stated he would step down from his appointed position.

    3. My comments to Krickus in 2007 were that if he had concerns about the matter, the proper venue was not the Township Committee. I further stated the proper place for him to raise his concerns was the Local Finance Board in Trenton since our township does not have a local ethics board (something Howard Popper promised, but never delivered). So your comment that I “blew him off’ is totally without merit. What a surprise?

    4. As for the present, I am simply asking John Krickus and ANYONE associated with him to answer a simple question – Is it OK for an elected official to solicit campaign contributions from township vendors on township letterhead? This is what our Township Administrator and a former Republican committeeman claim Krickus did when he was running for reelection back in the 2000. And you can bet had I known about this when it occurred, I would have filed a charge with the LFB. As it stands now, my purpose for raising the issue is to insure as many Morris voters as possible are aware of John Krickus’ RECORD. If you want to call that “politics”, then so be it.

    By the way, the last time I checked, this forum is called “Morris Politics” is it not? I don’t think Fred is expecting us to trade recipes.

  31. P says:

    1. Anyone raising an issue from 2000 and asking the Morris county party leader to comment on what is basically a rumor is doing it, as you noted in your #1, to embarrass that official.

    2. As Sette noted, he doesn’t decide who is on the ballot in the primary. Maybe you’d like the Morris county GOP to switch to a system like this – http://www.politickernj.com/max/37518/defilippo-van-blake-disappointed-freeholder so the head of the GOP could pick and choose their favorites like the Dems do?

    3. The record shows that you really didn’t care about Krickus’s complaint, which, by the way, was more “current” than the one you accuse him of today.

    4. If you had some real actionable proof, you could call it his “record.” In the meantime, it is just politics as usual.

    P.S. You last statement makes no sense, but then again, that’s just par for the course.

  32. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    1. You are correct. I will do everything in my power to “embarrass” Krickus to ensure that every Morris voter is aware of his RECORD before they vote.

    2. I am not asking Sette to choose sides. I am simply asking him if it’s OK for any elected official to solicit campaign contributions from township vendors on township letterhead.

    3. You are correct. I found to Krickus’ complain to be without merit. I have read the Local Ethics law several times and nothing within it prohibits a sitting planning board member to enter into a business arrangement with a township professional, if that member resigns the moment the deal is struck.

    4. How about an old OT news article where Krickus admitted using the leatherhead, but only to “fax” his solicitation, as if this made a difference. How’s that for proof?

    You can be kind of slow sometimes. Maybe it will make sense tomorrow.

  33. Mark in Rockaway says:

    “You can be kind of slow sometimes. Maybe it will make sense tomorrow.”

    I don’t think “leatherhead” will make any more sense tomorrow than it does today. Glass houses…

  34. Kevin Nedd says:

    Mark,

    Good catch! Obviously, I meant letterhead.

  35. P says:

    NeddO – Actually, the more you press your case the sillier you sound. And if you’re serious about taking down Krickus you’ll need to do a lot more than spin your wheels arguing with me on Fred’s blog (see Ali, rope-a-dope).

    Most Morris voters have never heard of Fred, much less read his blog (sorry about that big guy).

    Or maybe not, since Krickus’s chances of winning are less than 10%.

  36. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t give your opinion on anything much weight.

    Besides, if my efforts to derail Krickus are so futile, why are you complaining?

    Like I said before, this isn’t your blog. When you get your own, you can make the rules, like I do on mine. But then again that might require you to use your real name wouldn’t it? Not your style….we know.

    If Fred doesn’t think my comments are worth posting, he can choose not to do so.

  37. P says:

    1.) Don’t care about your opinion.
    2.) What part of rope-a-dope didn’t you understand?
    3.) I’ve never told you what to do, just made some recommendations/constructive criticism. Ignore at your own peril.
    4.) My name doesn’t matter, just what I have to say on any given topic. A lesson you should learn if/when you stop promoting yourself.
    5.) Fred loves a good debate, just keep it clean and he’ll always press “accept.” Now, if they could just fix the damn website software so it didn’t randomly reject my brilliant submissions. 😉

  38. Kevin Nedd says:

    P,

    1) Likewise.

    2) Krickus won’t answer because he can’t face the truth. He represents the worst in politics.

    3) Excuse me, but did you say something?

    4) Actually you give yourself too much credit. What you have to say isn’t all that important. As for any self-promotion, you are the only person complaining. But if it gets under your skin…it’s worth it!

    5) Not an issue for me…Fred’s never rejected any of my postings.

  39. Mark in Rockaway says:

    Mark,

    Good catch! Obviously, I meant letterhead.

    You are welcome. Hopefully you won’t be as slow tomorrow.

  40. Kevin Nedd says:

    I’ll make sure I have my Wheaties.

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