“Moderate” Bashaw Wins GOP Nomination for US Senate In NJ. Divided, Disorganized Conservatives Lose Again.

A Republican can win the US Senate seat now held by Democrat Bob Menendez this year. Although Democrats won every statewide election in NJ since 1997, they are very divided this year.

That is because Democrat US attorneys have twice indicted Menendez on corruption charges.

In 2015, Menendez was accused of helping Dr. Salomon Melgan, a longtime friend, get profitable contracts from the Obama administration in exchange for bribes. Dr. Melgan gave Menendez lavish vacations and other gifts together with $660,000 of campaign donations. The 2017 trial resulted in a hung jury, with only two of the twelve jurors voting to convict.  The justice department under President Trump then dismissed the charges.  Menendez defeated Republican Bob Hugin to win re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2018.

In an unrelated case, Dr. Melgan was convicted of Medicare fraud.  He was later pardoned by President Trump.

Last year, the Department of Justice, now run by President Biden, brought new charges against Menendez. It claimed that Menendez used his position as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations to help three business owners get contracts or permits from the Egyptian government. Those business owners had given Menendez and his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold, cash, and other gifts.  The trial for those charges is now taking place.

Bob Menendez is obviously not the only politician to get rich in public office by doing favors for people who do business with the U.S. government.  Various “charities” run by former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received hundreds of millions of dollars from businesses and governments they did favors for. President Biden’s entire family received millions of dollars from governments and businesses who received favors from Biden before and after he was elected President.

Why was Menendez selected for prosecution?  Was it because he publicly opposed and blocked sweetheart deals with Communist regimes in China and Cuba that former President Obama supported?  Was it because Menendez also opposed and blocked Obama’s sweetheart deals with the radical Islamic regime in Iran?

During the “Blue Wave” of 2018, Democrat Andrew Kim defeated Republican Tom MacArthur to represent Burlington and Ocean Counties in the House of Representatives.  Before that, Kim had been a student at Oxford College in England. There, he became a close friend of Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s current Secretary of Transportation.  After completing college, Kim was hired by the U.S. State Department under Democratic President Obama.  He later became an official of the National Security Council under Obama.

When Kim resigned to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, Kim was endorsed and supported by President Obama, Vice-President Biden, NJ Governor Phil Murphy and actress Piper Perabo.  Kim was re-elected in 2020 and 2022.  Last Tuesday, Andrew Kim won the Primary Election to be the Democratic Party candidate for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Menendez.

Last week, Senator Menendez filed papers to run for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat as an independent. Menendez still has strong political support in and around Jersey City. Last Tuesday, his son, Robert Menendez, Jr. won the Democratic nomination for the House of Representatives for Hudson County with 20,765 votes or 54% of the total against Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

In the Republican Primary, Curtis Bashaw defeated three conservative opponents to win the Republican nomination.

Curtis Bashaw, 52, is the owner and developer of several hotels and restaurants in and around Cape May.  His father was a real estate developer in the Cherry Hill area. His maternal grandfather was fundamentalist, conservative radio preacher and magazine publisher Carl McIntyre.

Bashaw’s first project was the 1986 restoration of the Virginia Hotel in Cape May, and its upscale restaurant The Ebbitt Room. In 2002, Bashaw restored and opened the Congress Hall hotel in Cape May.  Bashaw now also owns and operates the End Garage, Beach Shack, and the Sandpiper Beach Club.  In 2005, Bashaw remodeled the old Teplitsky Hotel in Atlantic City and renamed it The Chelsea.  After years of struggle during the worldwide 2008 financial collapse and competition from Philadelphia casinos after 2009, Bashaw sold the Chelsea to the Tropicana in 2017.

Around the late 1990’s, Bashaw developed a friendship with Jim McGreevey.  At that time, McGreevey was the Democratic mayor of Woodbridge, and had been narrowly defeated by Republican Christine Todd Whitman when he ran for NJ Governor against her in 1997.  McGreevey was elected Governor four years later in 2001.  In 2004, McGreevey appointed Bashaw to be Executive Director of the NJ Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.  However, Bashaw resigned 18 months later.

Bashaw won the June 4 Republican Primary with 139,587 votes or 45.5% of the vote. Conservatives divided their votes among three candidates who all lost.  Christine Serrano Glassner, Republican Mayor of Mendham Borough in Morris County got 118,365 votes or 38.6%.  Justin Murphy, an attorney and former Mayor of Tabernacle in Burlington County got 34,484 votes or 11.2%.  Albert Harshaw, a resident of Pemberton Township, also in Burlington County, got 14,333 or 4.7% of the vote.  Harshaw owns a tree and landscaping business in Jackson. He originally filed as a candidate for President, before withdrawing and running for U.S. Senate instead.

Some Topics For Discussion At Our Next Saturday Morning Breakfast:

Former President Donald Trump formally endorsed Christine Glassner at his rally on the Wildwood Beach last May 11. Trump called Bashaw a “Christie” person.  Last fall, former NJ Governor Chris Christie ran a very negative and personal campaign against Trump.  Bashaw donated $3,300 to Christie last fall. Bashaw later said the donation was made as a “courtesy” when Christie was in the area.

Mike DuHaime, a Chris Christie consultant was gloated that Trump endorsements have no value in New Jersey.  So did the national “mainstream” and leftist media. However, supporters of Glassner pointed out that Trump’s endorsement made less than a month before the election was too late to do much good. Also, Trump never followed up on his endorsement of Glassner. For example, Bashaw, not Glassner appeared in the same row or column as Trump in Cape May, Cumberland, and Ocean Counties. Also the Republican leaders in these counties, Mike Testa, Cumberland, Michael Donohue, Cape May, Don Purdy, Atlantic, and George Gilmore, Ocean all endorsed both Trump and Bashaw. South Jersey Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew also publicly supported both Trump and Bashaw.

Dishonest, oversized, slick postcards work—at least in low turnout GOP Primary Elections.  They were effective in helping Kim Guadagno defeat Jack Ciattarelli in June, 2017.  They helped Vince Polistina defeat Seth Grossman for NJ State Senate in June 2021.  They certainly helped Bashaw defeat Glassner last Tuesday.

Ballot position is critical in Primary Elections.  For more than 20 years, almost every candidate who has the “Party Line” and is in the same row or column as all other candidates endorsed by the County Chairman/Convention has won.  Almost every candidate “off the line” or “off the row” has lost.  Democrat Andrew Kim won his lawsuit to end that method of arranging the ballot in Democratic Primary elections.  However, that lawsuit did not apply to Republicans.  However, in Atlantic County, Republican County Clerk Joe Giralo arranged the ballot for both Republicans and Democrats by office, and NOT by rows or columns with a “party line”.

Turnout in Primary Elections is very low. There was little publicity other than the mailing of sample ballots.  There are no “public service” announcements by big corporations urging people to vote in Primary Elections.

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  • Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman is executive director of Liberty And Prosperity, which he co-founded in 2003. It promotes American liberty and limited constitutional government through weekly radio and in-person discussions, its website, email newsletters and various events. Seth Grossman is also a general practice lawyer.

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