Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Running for Congress: Realization that the Sabrin line meant failure

When I started this blog, I promised to document my run for Congress as best as possible. It won't be easy to recall all of the exciting elements of the experience and I may over explain some non-sense and under explain some important items. Please leave a comment if there is a hole that needs to be plugged, questions about my story or if you met me somewhere and want to add to my story, please comment. This recap may make me look like a genius or it may prove me to be the average no one I have always insisted that I am. It might help me if I ever wanted to run for office again, or it might hurt me if I ever try to run for office again but I'll at least be as honest and open as I can remember the experience. My perspective of the story might be damaging, embarrassing, insulting or give more credit than is deserved to certain individuals or it might not be any of those things and might leave out important individuals or minimize the importance of some people. In any case, what I will write as my time permits is my experience, from my perspective, and I will preface each entry in my blog on the topic of "Running for Congress" with this same disclaimer, or a like disclaimer if I think it needs to change. Here goes...
Part 1 - Running for Congress: The Beginnings
Part 2 - Running for Congress: Getting on the Ballot
Part 3 - Getting on the Sabrin Line
Part 4 - Realization that the Sabrin line meant failure
Part 5 - The Monmouth County GOP Nominating Convention
Part 6 - Meeting the Bloggers
Part 7 - The Middlesex Convention and Meeting my Opponents
Part 8 - Learning How to Campaign
Part 9 - Steve Lonegan Becomes My New Best Friend
Part 10 - Trying to Capitalize on a FEMA/”BEMA” Meeting
Part 11 - The Last of the "Big Events"
Part 12 - The Calleia Murder Trial and the Wrong Priorities in Media
Part 13 - The Door to Door Effort, and Notable Characters
Part 14 - Primary Day, and Night
Part 15 - Random Observations During the Campaign

At the same time I would hear Murray speak so eloquently about the issues, I would receive a “press release”, sometimes two or three in a day, that was just over the top, ridiculous and some of the press releases were even slightly embarrassing as I wanted to be taken, somewhat, seriously and some of these press releases were just outright non-sense. I don’t know if the subject and contents were Murray’s words and ideas or if they were George’s, Paul’s, someone else’s or a combined group effort, but in general, these press releases were garbage, for lack of a better word, and portrayed the Sabrin campaign as garbage, which then portrayed the whole line under Murray Sabrin, me included, as garbage. It’s interesting that I had Ron Paul fanatics complaining about my platform while those same fanatics were probably fueling Sabrin and his negative, desperate and embarrassing campaign antics.

No offense to Murray, George, Paul or anyone else, but sending a press release announcing that you were going to gamble away donations is scary. I’ll agree that it is a good press stunt to try to get attention but kind of silly to demonstrate that you’re willing to gamble away money and call it an investment in your campaign, or claim that by you doing what the other politicians are doing by making silly “investments” with our money, you were somehow better and more responsible than they were. The press release claim was that instead of investing that money in some reasonable manner, it made sense to demonstrate how to waste money. As a voter, I immediately thought “would my US Senator gamble my tax money away?” If I knew the campaign was going to gamble with donation money, and I only donated $50 or so to his campaign early on, I would have saved my $50 for a tank of gas. The gambling press stunt didn’t just occur once, a second gambling press release betting on horses went out as well, leading me to think of Murray as a compulsive gambler involved in the corrupt sport of horse racing, rather than a serious candidate who understood the issues, I suspect I wasn’t the only one who might have thought this was the case.

These press releases, combined with the “send your tax rebate checks to me” press releases, made it sound like Murray was begging for money but didn’t know how to spend that money wisely. I don’t know how Murray did in the fundraising, but aside from my one or two very early, very small donations, I quickly stopped donating money to the campaign as it didn’t seem that the money was being spent very wisely. I suspect I’m not the only donor or supporter who was turned off by these press releases and the “big media” outlets never picked up any of these press releases. Although the press had given up on Murray, his style of press releases continued.

In addition to these silly press releases, if I knew Godwin’s Law would come in to play in the campaign anytime Joe Penn was mentioned in a press release, I might not have agreed to run on a line with Sabrin. It’s not that I agree with 100% of Joe’s “manifesto”, but then I also don’t disagree with 100% of Joe’s “manifesto” and at least he was willing, seventeen years prior, to make an effort to address the problems. Maybe Joe didn’t have the best answers, or answers I would support, but at least he wasn’t just pointing to problems and throwing his hands in the air saying “oh well, better collect more taxpayer money to throw at the problem”. A manifesto? Sure. A “fascist manifesto”? Harsh, and I believe undeserved, words for someone’s effort to address the issues. Murray didn’t have to agree with Joe’s manifesto, but Murray could have simply addressed the issues and provided his own solutions to the problem, for example “where Joe wants to do this ridiculous thing to solve this serious problem, I propose this solution which makes more sense because…” and voters would have seen the part of Murray I had seen, which was the part that had reasonable solutions to real problems. Rather than talk issues, Murray’s campaign spoke non-sense.

Likewise, if I knew Dick Zimmer would be referred to as a “liberal loser lobbyist”, I might also have chosen to be on a different line, or no line. I did some basic research on Zimmer and his abuse of the farm tax break alone was a major turnoff and enough to sideline Zimmer for a vote from me. Through some Google searching, Wikipedia and old press coverage, there was enough other evidence to indicate that Zimmer was not the candidate for me. Murray could have sent press releases discussing the tax break Zimmer was taking and how to prevent future abuse of the tax break and address the issues, but instead Murray and/or his staff sent several press releases resorting to third grade name calling. The third grade name calling reminded me of the name calling I was a victim to in third grade, and earlier this morning, and just as Zimmer’s tax abuse issue was enough to turn me off of voting for Zimmer, the name calling was probably enough to turn me off of voting for Murray Sabrin. Again, I suspect the name calling was enough to turn off many other voters as well.

I may or may not have voted for Murray Sabrin when I walked into the voting booth on June 3rd, 2008, but I do believe that sending those press releases cost both Murray, and in my opinion those of us below him on the line, many votes as the press releases just fueled the “Ron Paul guys are whiney lunatics” belief that most people hold. I suppose there is a chance that most are right. I firmly believe that had Murray sent as many press releases addressing the issues, which he knows a great deal about, people would have been amazed by his wealth of knowledge and understanding of the issues. Even if Murray lost, the people would have been well informed and better off. Instead, the people decided that Murray was a negative campaigner, a lunatic if you will, and a fanatic who was unelectable. Those of us on a line with him suffered due to the distaste for him by the public and the media, a distaste caused by his own negative campaign, a distaste that even turned off NJ “conservative leader” Steven Lonegan, who probably could have been the big name that facilitated Murray Sabrin access to free press coverage.

Not to get too far ahead of myself, but it’s also worth noting that several of those press releases contained my name, something which I never authorized or agreed to, although it wasn’t worth complaining about publicly at the time.

If not just to set the record straight, I never attended a John McCain “protest” in Lakewood, NJ despite what the press release claimed. If I had taken a day off of work to benefit my campaign, I would have been out knocking on doors, not “protesting”. Far more could be achieved by peaceful communication than can be done by “protesting” to people who are clearly devoted to a candidate with very different positions. Murray was not going to “win over” McCain supporters with his platform, or his “protest”, but in my opinion if he spent that time going door to door talking about issues to undecided voters, he might have reached voters who would have supported his platform, and mine. The claim that the “experts” want us to believe is that many voters don’t really care for McCain, meaning the Sabrin/Paul platform is at least some alternative, maybe or maybe not a good alternative, but at least they’d of known that there was another choice.

Another item worth noting is that when I signed the “Sabrin Solution”, pledging to not run for re-election if all combat troops were not out of Iraq by September 2010, I did so because I believed, and still believe, that if I can’t get the job that 70% of people apparently want done in my term in office, then someone else should be in office who can get the job done and not take twenty years to do it. We can’t keep electing career politicians like Frank Pallone who aren’t serving the desires and needs of the people and if I can’t get those needs met, I shouldn’t be in office, just as Pallone shouldn’t be in office since he can’t get the job done. Signing the “Sabrin Promise” seemed reasonable as I was never looking to start a new career so I had nothing to lose and it stated a goal I intended anyhow – serve one or two terms, get a few things done, and let the next motivated representative take over with a new list of priorities.

However, there was no mention of this “Sabrin Solution” when I was invited up to Jersey City to attend a “press conference” where Murray was going to make some big foreign policy announcement about the Iraq war. Had I seen the “Sabrin Solution” in advance, or been told about the “Sabrin Solution” in advance, I might not have made the trip to Jersey City and signed it just because it seems like a bold promise from a lowly Congressman or a single Senator. It’s a bold statement that shows dedication to a cause; it’s also a promise to end a war, which is almost impossible to do as a Congressman.

The “Sabrin Solution” was sprung on me when I arrived in Jersey City for the press conference, not something that was discussed in advanced. I stand by the promise I made, if I won the election I would have worked every day to bring the men and women home and I would have not tried to run again if I couldn’t get the job done, but then signing the pledge didn’t really change that position. I’m not sure what the goal of the Sabrin Solution was supposed to be, but it would have sufficed to simply say “we the candidates intend to make getting out of Iraq the first issue to address in office”. When Murray eventually claimed that John McCain endorsed his “Sabrin Solution”, I was reasonably sure the truth had been stretched to the limits and on top of all of the other press releases, I was certain that Murray was costing me, and himself, more votes than his antics were earning him and people were just laughing at us, or calling us names.

A final item to set straight is that there was also an email sent, by me apparently, the day before the primary noting that I’ve been a vocal critic of President George W. Bush and some other non-sense. I’d be able to recall what I wrote in that email if I had actually written the email, or had some input into the email.

from James Hogan
date Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 1:22 PM
subject Vote to bring our troops home tomorrow

As you know, I am running to replace liberal Congressman Frank Pallone as a Republican for Congress in the 6th Congressional District in New Jersey. I am the ONLY candidate running for the 6th Congressional seat who is pro-life, pro-constitution, pro-2nd Amendment and promising to bring all combat troops home from Iraq otherwise I will not run for re-election.

I have been a strong and vocal critic of President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney's abuse of the U.S. Constitution and their failed foreign policy, not to mention the overspending by the Congress.

We don't need another lap-dog in Congress - we need a leader who isn't afraid of straight talk. If you vote for me, James Hogan, I will be a leader not a follower in the United States House of Representatives!

If you:
A) Want our troops home from Iraq
B) Want all human life to be protected
C) Want the 2nd Amendment to be protected
D) Want less government and lower taxes

Then I am the ONLY choice for Congress in the Republican Primary for the 6th Congressional District! My opponents cannot make the same promise to you! That is the reason Dr. Murray Sabrin, the front-runner to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate has also endorsed my campaign.

This will be a VERY VERY low turn-out election since most people don't realize there is a Primary tomorrow - so, YOUR VOTE matters more than ever!

Please remember to vote and to forward this email to all your friends and family who live in the 6th Congressional District (Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset and Union Counties).

James P. Hogan for Congress! For more information please visit

If you do not wish to receive any more emails please click unsubscribe.

If you look, the email came from a The email was not from my address or any other address or address I use or have access to, I did not send this email, but I wish I had access to whatever mailing list it went out to.

Again, while I appreciate the effort to help, I would have much preferred if whoever really sent that email, George, Paul, Murray or someone else had contacted me before sending such a message in my name. Truth be told, I’m not thrilled with President G. W. Bush or his policies, but I haven’t been so outspoken about it. In fact, thinking back to the choices, I’m glad he’s the President dealing with all of the problems in the world (not me, don’t elect me for President…this year, wink-wink) and at least we’re not in complete anarchy, or world war, today as I believe we would be had Gore or Kerry been in office on 9/11.

The email wasn’t worth complaining about at the time as it was the day before the primary and I had no means of really complaining, not to mention that I had already seen the writing “Sabrin Line Candidates All Lose” on the wall long ago and it was just one more day before the loss would be official. I think the intentions of the email were good, however, had I been consulted on my own email first, I would have asked that the email explain that I have been an outspoken critic of Frank Pallone and I believe Frank Pallone is the cause of all of my problems – ok, maybe not the mental ones - and I’d of noted the local problems that Pallone has failed to address for twenty years.

But anyhow, even after that “press conference” about the “Sabrin Solution”, where all of three reporters, no idea who they were or where they were from, maybe they weren’t even real reporters, showed up, I charged on and eventually turned in 244 signatures.

Coming up next - The Monmouth County GOP Nominating Convention - I'll be nice... "yeah right, and monkeys might fly out of my butt" - Wayne's World reference - Score +2!

Update 2008-06-25 11:45am: The actual orginal email, with headers included follows. The notable items should someone care:
1) Return-Path: NOT ME
2) Received: from ( []) STILL NOT ME
3) Received: from wma2185 (unknown []) Not sure what that IP resolves to
4) (Authenticated sender: - Ahh Ha!
5) some URL with the original message - not my server or a server I have access to

Received: by with SMTP id u1cs187219wfu;
Mon, 2 Jun 2008 10:20:29 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id n14mr15402273anf.98.1212427227344;
Mon, 02 Jun 2008 10:20:27 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id j10cs9655and;
Mon, 2 Jun 2008 10:20:26 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id y1mr5125275rvh.195.1212427219894;
Mon, 02 Jun 2008 10:20:19 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( [])
by with ESMTP id 4si4404532yxd.2.2008.;
Mon, 02 Jun 2008 10:20:19 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: neutral ( is neither permitted nor denied by best guess record for domain of client-ip=;
Authentication-Results:; spf=neutral ( is neither permitted nor denied by best guess record for domain of
Received: from wma2185 (unknown [])
(Authenticated sender:
by (Postfix) with ESMTP id EA68FE38032
for ; Mon, 2 Jun 2008 12:20:18 -0500 (CDT)
Thread-Topic: Vote to bring our troops home tomorrow
thread-index: AcjE1UST7GQ0kYDoRqiZvRu5BAL1oQ==
From: "James Hogan"
Subject: Vote to bring our troops home tomorrow
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 17:22:43 -0000
Message-ID: <8dbc8a8dbd91452da2ce2e03d765ebd8@dedus.onsus.win2003.hostway>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Mailer: Microsoft CDO for Windows 2000
Content-Class: urn:content-classes:message
Importance: normal
Priority: normal
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.3790.4133

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

As you know, I am running to ...

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