There is no real “high ground” for either candidate.
Let’s start with Tom MacArthur.
For starters -
You know about the insurance issue. What you don’t know is that we were talking about this two months ago. I pointed out that there were no less than 47 individual cases in recent years of York doing exactly what they do – cases at the FEDERAL and APPELLATE level. There are unknown, and certainly far more numerable cases that were either before lower courts and “settled”, or that never came to trial because the victims didn’t have the wherewithal to obtain representation. (the ready cash of disaster victims is notoriously limited).
That’s right. We were writing about the specific cases before the Daily Mail article was published.
Then, there’s the fact that Mr. MacArthur has committed the exact same “crime” that a Somerset County Judge is potentially facing three to five years IN PRISON for – VOTER FRAUD. http://thealternativepress.com/articles/former-south-plainfield-municipal-court-judge-cha
While the MacArthur family did purchase a 2 bedroom attached PUD in Toms River prior to his candidacy grabbing any traction, he does not live there. He did, however, register to vote there. As the location is about a 10-minute walk from my office, I thought I would go knock on his door and welcome him to the neighborhood. Truth is, I didn’t by his bullshit line that he had moved into the townhome “to be closer to the district.” There, I met the contractor who cares for the exterior of the complex, an area professional who is a registered voter. “The MacArthurs?”, he answered. “They don’t really live here. Let me check.” He then called the Property Manager (apparently across the street). No, there is no one actually in the unit at this time. (Incidentally, he also signed my ballot petition, as a duly-registered voter in the district.). I knocked on many of the other doors, but no one had seen anyone there in weeks.
Okay, there was evidence of at least two issues…but, if he was registered to vote where he didn’t actually live, then he had violated the law. If he casts a ballot in June, mind you, that rises to a Federal Violation. In New Jersey, he would lose his voting privilege permanently for fraud, and could never again hold State or local office. (Oddly, through a deficiency in the Federal Law, it would NOT permanently prohibit him from seeking Federal Office.).
I checked with the Board of Elections – submitting the appropriate OPRA request (“Open Public Records Act”). I did this because the voter list I had obtained in the same manner in February didn’t show MacArthur registered in Ocean County at all – neither in Toms River nor Barnegat Light. Being very familiar with both the barrier island communities and lending practices, it made me wonder whether he had lied to the lender over whether the properties were primary, secondary, or investment properties when obtaining financing, but that’s not a bone to chew on, today. (might be for the lenders, though, since he apparently went on the hook for two million more).
Think about that. Why would someone spend millions to seek a job paying less than 1/10th of what he has put up for the PRIMARY alone? Where does he think the return on investment will come from, (and, as a “finance guy”, that had to enter into the equation)? After all, he was willing to pay the “out of district tuition” of $ 25,000 per County to the Republican establishment (the real number was much higher, but that was unreported…and in green cash, apparently – the proverbial “paper bag”).
So, MacArthur changed his voter registration to an address he doesn’t live at. His wife remains registered in Randolph. His younger daughter continues to go to school in Randolph. Sounds to me like the family still lives in Randolph. What do YOU think?
So, what, then, of the home in Barnegat Light? It’s really only a short swim from District Three. It’s NOT a requirement, as everyone knows by now, that one actually live IN the District to represent it at the Federal Level. Why lie when the truth will do? (Indicative of a pretty serious flaw in character, for starters.). His wife certainly didn’t go along with it.
There is the home in Barnegat Light…but that’s not the path he chose. Why? Because it’s not destroyed, and would probably paint a negative picture in the minds of those still picking up the pieces a year and a half after “SANDY”.
As local folks all know, Barnegat Light homes are often rented, and at a tidy sum, as weekly summer rentals, and one as nice as the MacArthur’s would bring 5 figures. However, there are limits under the Federal Tax Code as to how many weeks a year a home may be rented before being treated as an investment property, (for deduction of mortgage interest). Under “Haberkorn v IRS”, second-home mortgage interest (TRUE second home) applies to residences retained for personal use, with very limited rental, and only under specific guidelines – a specific case that also allows for certain boats and RV’s to qualify as “Second Homes”. I HAVE to know this. I’ve served the local community as a broker/lender for over a decade. Perhaps that’s why the tax returns have not been in the offing. No “Schedule E” means no reported rental income. If Lonegan found even one tenant, the MacArthur story would be over before the primary. (I’m not going to check unless he wins).
So, he doesn’t want to call attention to his “wealth” under certain circumstances, but prefers to be perceived as a “local”…OR he doesn’t want to call attention to his use of the home in Barnegat to the IRS. Which is it?
Neither answer bodes well.
NOW, and most egregious in my opinion. MacArthur is a member of an established local church, and, by all reports, a consistent donor to local causes, which is certainly laudable. For that, I congratulate him.
HOWEVER, his campaign web page, public statements, and press releases all point to an amazing, if almost unbelievable accomplishment in public charity – the donation of over 1600 wheelchairs! WOW!!
When I first read that on his web-site, I thought, “How can that be the same guy who is so obviously party to all of what you read above?” Is it his way to assuage the loss of his disabled daughter? He all but says it is. 1600 wheelchairs? I would be impressed with twenty…as, indeed, was the world press, as they reported that a Taiwanese executive had “committed to donating” twenty wheelchairs.
Wait a minute. TWENTY is NEWS, but SIXTEEN HUNDRED is not? Maybe I should go a little easier on MacArthur. ..although, with his track record…
No. There’s no way anyone could be a) stupid enough to make such a claim as a candidate in what may end up being the most-watched Congressional race in the Nation this Fall (for reasons we’re not yet disclosing) and not be able to substantiate it…could they?, and b) There is NO WAY this guy would dishonor his daughter by using her as a “bumper sticker” for his otherwise ego-driven campaign – and through his “faith”?
I thought about this for a long while, and doubts started to creep in. “Leave it alone”, I thought. “If this is true, then his family had to know…what will it do to them.” Then a conversation I overheard brought it home. Someone said “There are 700,000 people in this district, and THIS GUY is who the Republicans anoint to go to Congress?”
Okay, I guess I had better check.
First stop? The IRS. Surely they have filed for non-profit status for “In God’s Hands”…Google gave me the address and phone for the charity – a land-line at the MacArthur’s home in Randolph. A quick search of the 5013c filings indicated no such organization. (I have the list of all such filings for Randolph, NJ) “Well, maybe he just failed to properly put his paperwork in. Executives are notoriously unaware of such requirements, as they are generally delegated to others. He can’t have not reached out to, say, ECFA”, I thought. (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). I called a friend down there, and a short search revealed….”not a member”.
Uh-oh. That’s NOT GOOD.
Okay, there has to be photos of some of the recipients – thank you letters, testimonials – a web-page of some kind – evidence SOMEWHERE on the internet, at least. After all, he had no trouble whipping up “MayorLonegan.com” pretty quickly.
No web presence…although someone privately owns the URL.
Since I asked about it, the web pages have been changed to reflect that he “helped distribute” the wheelchairs, but, being me, I ‘screen-shot’ the original wording…and he can’t edit the articles derived from his earlier posts that were written by others – at least not without writing another check ;).
Beyond his word that it happened, there is NO RECORD of even ONE wheelchair that shows up anywhere on the web. Indeed, there are fewer than 1600 images of wheelchairs with people in them on MSN “images”…and many of those are duplicate images. (Yup, I checked, and saved the entire list).
The wheelchairs are a lie, too – and, since he never filed as a non-profit with the IRS, I wonder who may have donated to that cause, and what happened to the money?
Even if he could show me something that indicated he did what he says he did…there’s all the rest.
Here’s a guy who, without Birdsall Engineering and Ritacco, has apparently managed to outsleaze the folks he overshadowed for the Republican anointing.
Great Job, TOM. Great job. (that’s called “sarcasm” – I know you’re from elsewhere, but folks from Jersey do that a lot.)
People from his camp have accused me of being a “Lonegan plant”. Um, NO. I am one of the executives of a fairly new, although historically old, party organization that is dedicated to defeating exactly such corruption and ineptitude in government as the above. In fact, we sued (and won) Lonegan and all 21 County Clerks, as well as Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, for their illegal “construction” of the ballot in last year’s Special Senate Election - a $ 25 Million dollar dog-and-pony show YOU paid for.
Steve will get the same going over after the primary, if he wins – and I already believe he will. The money machine is running out of fuel, and the rats are leaping from the sinking USS MacArthur.
As to Aimee Belgard – two words…”Weather Prevention?” Profound example of where that campaign is headed, all by itself.
This is an OPEN SEAT, in CONGRESS. THESE are the people the two so-called “Major” parties think you should choose from?
“Stand for what’s right, or settle for what’s left” – Frederick John LaVergne, “Democratic-Republican” for Congress, Congressional DISTRICT THREE.
Watch for FJL2014.com in June.