(Note from triCityNews Publisher Dan Jacobson: The following is my Message from the Publisher in our Feb. 22 issue. We never post content from the paper on-line — unless it’s of critical public interest. That’s the case here.)
“Wanna use an automatic weapon? Join the Marines,” tweeted a Congressional candidate after the tragic school shooting in Florida while retweeting a New York Times story about the tragedy.
A right-wing wacko running against, say, Speaker Paul Ryan in a Congressional Republican primary?
Wrong. This is actually a Democrat, one of the candidates seeking the Monmouth County Democratic nomination to run against Republican Congressman Chris Smith, whose district the national Democrats just announced they are targeting.
That Democrat is Josh Welle. And he’s a jerk off. This fraud is acting like he’s some conservative Democrat to win over Republicans in a very difficult race. Welle has come out of nowhere, a mystery man who just moved up here from Virginia because this political mutant decided it’s now his time to run for Congress.
Tell you what. I’m politically right-of-center, who’s voted for more Republicans than Democrats over the years, and Josh Welle is sure not convincing me. I live in Asbury Park, just outside of Chris Smith’s district. But if I lived across Deal Lake in Ocean Township, I would never pull the lever for this clown after his offensive and inappropriate automatic weapons tweet, which he’s since taken down. I’d simply not vote for either candidate, even though I’m ready to vote straight Democratic this year.
I’m utterly disgusted by Donald Trump. And we need a Democratic House of Representatives to investigate this fraud to truly expose him to the American people for what he is. The end goal, for this voter, is for Trump not to be on the ballot again, so people like me can vote for a normal Republican if we so choose — in other words, so the country has a sane choice. In the meantime, there must be a Democratic House as a check on Trump’s power.
That means contesting every Republican House seat where there’s even an outside chance of victory, including Chris Smith’s now that national Democrats are targeting it — although it’s still an almost impossible race for Democrats to win. The question today is whether the Monmouth County Democrats will go along with Welle’s bullshit and nominate him.
I’m backing former Asbury Park Councilman Jim Keady for the nomination, who, by the way, I disagree with on most issues, as he’s from the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party. He’s the real Bernie Sanders deal, spouting off leftist economic nonsense long before anyone around here ever heard of the Socialist from Vermont. This newspaper even opposed Keady in his two runs for Asbury Council. Still, I’ve always liked Jim personally and have watched him mature into someone, if I dare say it, I actually respect.
The Democrats best shot against Chris Smith is to nominate a known figure from the progressive wing of the party like Keady to activate their most passionate base, especially newly-energized young people. You only beat Smith with a record Democratic turnout in his district. Meanwhile, Josh Welle is acting like some conservative Democrat in a red state Congressional race thousands of miles away. Because he was in the military and tries to talk like a Republican, Welle thinks he can win Republican votes. He’s a fool. It won’t work here. Welle ought to have stayed down in Virginia, spared us his ego and pursued his ambitions there.
Here’s the problem with Josh Welle. If this right-of-center voter won’t support him in the wake of his offensive gun comment, just imagine what a mainstream liberal or progressive Bernie Sanders Democrat will do. They’ll abandon him and get involved in the two highly competitive Congressional races just north of here where the Democrats could flip the seats. In the effort to push back against Trump, that would in fact be the right thing to do. Josh Welle and his ego are a waste of time.
What’s so offensive about Welle’s automatic weapons comments is that they’re meant to be a dog whistle to conservatives and NRA members to show he’s not that bad for a Democrat, in that he can talk the slang of those who are OK with powerful weapons and support the military. In the wake of the Florida school shooting, his tweet with its bogus macho tone about firearms and the military is offensive, gross and inappropriate. There’s just been a horrific school shooting and this asshole is trying to use it for bullshit political reasons. Welle should get out of the race.
Welle touts his military background, saying on his website that he led missions in Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf and east Asia for the Navy. Although it’s not clear what type of missions he led, I’ll give him the benefit of assuming they were in actual combat or potentially dangerous situations.
But while Welle may have been brave in uniform, he’s a political coward here on the ground in Monmouth County. If he had any balls, he’d put his offensive tweet back up and stand behind it. Or he’ll apologize and take the heat for it, knowing that it would jeopardize his political ambitions. He’ll do neither. Coward.
On top of all that, Welle’s first endorsement last week by a Democratic leader in our area was from Red Bank Democratic Chairman Ed Zipprich, whom this Publisher has repeatedly hammered for his antics as both party leader and a Councilman.
In Red Bank, they can’t stand Zipprich from all sides, as he’s done more than anyone else to rip that town apart. As a party leader he’s also a disgrace. Last year we called him out for shitting on Democratic Mayor Pat Menna. Zipprich issued a late night press release using an old quote out of context without Menna’s consent to make it sound like the Mayor was with Zipprich and his idiot council allies on the controversial parking garage issue. He tried to trap Menna, but the mayor publicly rebuked Zipprich in these pages for it.
If the Democrats follow the likes of Ed Zipprich and nominate Welle, Jim Keady should absolutely run in the primary. Why not? Welle can’t beat Smith anyway, especially after his gun comment (and another offensive moment at a forum when he snapped at a woman that it’s “none of your business” after she legitimately questioned where Welle really lives).
If Keady pulls off a primary victory, he’ll only further burnish his credentials nationally with the progressive wing of the party and fire them up even more, which just increases the odds of victory in this especially tough district. And should he lose the Democratic primary, he’ll at least expose Welle to the left as a pandering embarrassment, which will really ensure he can’t beat Smith — and Monmouth County will be rid of this carpetbagger who’ll go back to Virginia. That sounds like a win-win to me.
God, that automatic weapons tweet from Welle fired me up. Disgusted me, quite frankly. I’m so sick of the enablers of Donald Trump, including the NRA. After this particularly upsetting Florida shooting, to see a Democratic candidate try to talk in such a bullshit macho way about firearms and the Marines to make him sound palatable to Trump enablers in order to neutralize them gets me sick.
People who meet this Publisher for the first time are surprised at how calm and easy-going I am compared to my fiery rhetoric in these pages. The reason is simple. This column is therapy. When I’m furious, like I am about this Josh Welle jerkoff, I get it all out in my writing, which I do pre-dawn.
So, yes, I feel much better now, thank you. I can go about my day in peace.
At least until I hear some other jackass comment from some other jerkoff politician.