New Jersey

Lonegan: The NJGOP must be torn down and rebuilt as a principled conservative party


I owe it to my supporters to explain why I made the decision to withdraw from the LD24 Senate race. Those who participate in politics have an obligation to explain their actions, so I will.

Early in my campaign, it became painfully clear to me that the New Jersey Republican Party is unprincipled and morally corrupt. This organization represents nothing and fights for nothing. I would challenge anyone reading this to tell me what firmly held belief has the NJGOP fought for over the past decade? There are not any. In fact, quite the opposite.

The Republican Party of New Jersey reminds me of “The Hollow Men” by TS Elliot. They are “the hollow men, the stuffed men”. Headdresses “filled with straw” hugging the wind…

Late in the game, when parental rights became the main driver of voter turnout, NJ’s Republican “leaders” support parents while standing with the NJEA in support of each of Phil Murphy’s Woke policies. S-588, the so-called “media literacy law” is a prime example of hypocrisy. This dangerous bill is nothing more than taxpayer-funded censorship and worse. This chilling bill provides for children to report “misinformation” to Murphy’s “misinformation portal.” This portal is part of the State Department of Homeland Security and is supported by the “Authorities”. What do Republicans assume these authorities will do with these reports? How long before armed men show up at the homes of these disinformation sources? Does this seem far-fetched to you? Ask Angela Reading for her opinion. Republicans lent their bipartisan seal of approval to this dangerous bill to Phil Murphy, who quickly marched this “nation-first” Woke legislation across the country. Shame on the hollow men of the GOP.

In February, I testified against another Woke attack on families, S-3330, the so-called “Grievance Counseling” bill. This bill drives another wedge between parents and children by replacing our churches, synagogues and mosques with NJEA “mourning counsellors.” When I walked into the Senate hearing, I was stunned to realize that I was the ONLY Republican in the room. Not a single Republican senator showed up to take part in this hearing. The entire room was filled with NJEA union activists because this bill creates another army of NJEA union workers and leftist Woke activists. Republican Senator John Bramnick co-sponsored this invasion of family responsibility. This bill takes the cradle-to-grave philosophy of the far left to a whole new level, and the NJ GOP Woke activists are once again giving it their stamp of approval.

The reality is NJGOP “leadership” and the bureaucrats running Republican offices in Trenton would rather govern alongside woke liberal Democrats than conservative Republicans. In fact, they hate the Conservative base and would like nothing better to see that base gone. They’re content to offer conservative lyrics, like saying they’ll fight for parental rights while standing with the NJEA, the biggest force behind Murphy’s liberal assault on parental rights. They shout that they will fight to lower taxes while being funded by Local 825, the gas tax union. They stand idly by as Democrats redirect funds from Republican communities to failing Abbott districts and suburban taxpayers suffer. They remained silent as Governor Murphy adopted ESG governance standards for state pension investments. Never said a single word.

Senator Steve Oroho has failed miserably as Minority Leader. So much so that he had to resign in disgrace ahead of the upcoming election debacle that was supposed to take place this fall. Oroho’s first and most tragic mistake was to keep the insider staff of the Senate Republican office intact. If ever the principle that “people is policy” applies, it is here. These are the people who advise Republican senators on legislation and that advice is always bad. This assumes this was a mistake and not a deliberate plan to maintain the Republican Party’s permanent minority status. Some have speculated that this was a manifestation of Senator Oroho’s close personal and political relationship with Democrat Steve Sweeney, the former Speaker of the Senate, and a continuation of the collaboration that brought us dramatically increased the gas tax while protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate in 2017.

If there was a system for the National Republican Party to oust a state party or revoke its charter, the NJGOP should be the first to go. It’s no wonder the NJGOP doesn’t embrace the GOP platform. They are not real Republicans.

Looking back on the last three years as a restaurant owner who experienced Murphy’s small business crushing policies firsthand, I realized the NJGOP had stood idly by. Yes, they sent out lame press releases, said a few words, but in reality they did nothing and were ineffective. They like it like that. You would think the GOP would adopt a principled conservative with first-hand knowledge of the Murphy administration’s assault on small business, but in reality, they feared it and preferred the status quo. The “hollow men” leaning in the wind.

Eventually, I realized and decided that I would stand alone as a principled conservative in the State Senate. I would have no allies – not one. I can be more valuable by managing my business, which is becoming increasingly difficult in this state, and by working from the outside to expose the political and moral corruption that infects the Republican Party of New Jersey. For too long, these “hollow men” have deceived the conservative base. I suspect their control will soon end, not with a bang but with a groan, and I hope to be part of making that happen.

There is no hope for the state of New Jersey until the Republican Party is torn down and rebuilt as a principled conservative party. To this end, I can be more effective from the outside.


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