Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Why all the trouble in the GOP with the "Bayshore Faction"?


There is all this talk that the GOP chairman and some others in the county have about the "Bayshore Faction." Let's clarify some terms here. "The Bayshore" is Middletown, Hazlet, Holmdel, Aberdeen, Keyport, Matawan, Union Beach, Keansburg, Highlands and Atlantic Highlands.

Middletown is commonly set aside from "The Bayshore" in practice if not theory because it is a power unto itself on the county committee since it has 92 committee votes in both parties. So, the monicker "Bayshore" is sort of left to 'the rest of the Bayshore.'

The Bayshore is geographically located in Northern Monmouth County. That part of the county has the largest number of votes in general elections, when Middletown is figured into that tally. Races are fought in the county, but won or lost in the Bayshore (Middletown inclusive)

OK, so why are Republican leaders so joyous about '...putting down the Bayshore faction' in the latest convention? This faction is home to very ardent, independent-minded Republicans, some of whom have been known to try and speak out on the county level to try and get good government principles forwarded on occasion.

In th GOP, Middletown's Republican leadership is treated like some sort of prized calf, while the towns around it are treated like second-class citizens politically. Yet, when it comes voting time, Middletown pre-eminance is really dependent on the ability for Bayshore Republican leaders to either amlify its message on the county stage or not work so hard for that message. Because when the Bayshore votes in contradiction to its 'big brother,' it virtually turns the Middletown vote into a wash. This was clear in the Assembly election four years ago.

What inducement is there for GOP volunteers, the grassroots, helping out their county party come election time if Republicans from that part of the county are looked upon, at the very least, very poorly or, at the worst, adversarially? Where's the part about 'one big happy family' for them. They're getting told to shut up and do as they are told for the privilege of being Republican alone (meaning, supporting certain law firms in their quest for tax money).

So the Monmouth County Republican Organization has 'chalked up a win' against its very own faithful in the Bayshore at its convention. Arguably, it has been proved how little this area's voice does mean to the county party and its loyalists. What's all the celebrating in that party about then? They have left a lot of volunteers and good Republicans wondering why they are jumping through hoops if their communities mean so little to the party they work so hard for every single year.

These are not questions that need to be asked in public to people as much as, I think, they need to be asked among Republicans in the Bayshore.

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