Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tom MacArthur and the empty chair By J.D. Mullane

Aimee Belgard, Democratic cadidate for New Jersey's 3rd congressional district, did not show for a chat with her GOP opponent, Tom MacArthur, hosted by Dom Giordano at 1210 WPHT Philly.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It was the bitter aftertaste of the Republican primary for Congress in the 3rd District that led me to believe that Tom MacArthur was just another elite party pick, a closet lib and probably a soak-the-rich socialist, too.

That’s because last spring, when tea party fave Steve Lonegan ran against MacArthur, the rebel conservative’s campaign attempted to change MacArthur’s name to Tom “He raised taxes as mayor of Randolph!” MacArthur.

There were other jibes. MacArthur was not authentically pro-life. MacArthur is an establishment stooge, a gutless RINO, etc.

None of it worked. MacArthur triumphed, although the former self-made insurance company CEO had to spend $2 million of his own cash to beat the insurgent Lonegan.

When I met MacArthur on Tuesday in Bordentown Township, his easygoing manner and reasonable answers cleansed the palate of bitter backwash. I rifled questions at him.

Q: Pro-life, or pro-choice?

A: “I’m pro-life. I’ll work with anybody to foster a culture that respects and honors life and respects women.”

Q: Does the Second Amendment give us the right to shoot ducks, or shoot tyrants?

A: “The Second Amendment gives you the right to protect your family, yourself and your property without relying on the state.”

Q: “Obamacare”: Repeal and replace, or mend it don’t end it?

A: “It needs to be repealed and replaced — replaced with free-market reforms to create more competition and lower costs, like allowing people to buy insurance across state lines.”

Q: Immigration: Amnesty, or send them back?

A: “You keep speaking in these either/ors,” he said, vaguely annoyed. “We need to return anyone who’s committed a crime to their country of origin. There needs to be a tough but fair path to citizenship. Paying back taxes, learning English, and getting at the back of the immigration line, so not to bump people who are trying to come here legally.”

Amnesty is one of two top issues MacArthur hears about as he campaigns. The other is the Obama economy and its lack of good jobs.

“People are out of work, or they’ve given up in despair. I hear a lot from people who are stuck in part-time jobs that don’t pay very well.

“On immigration, I hear from two sides. From people who feel they are paying taxes to support people who are here illegally, and I hear from businesses, manufacturers, farmers, restaurant owners who want…”

“Cheap labor?” I said.

“Who want access to labor. And they want some sort of program for it,” he said.

To stop the illegals from flowing in, he wants the National Guard deployed in the border states.

We met at Mastoris Diner. MacArthur appeared on Dom Giordano’s radio show on WPHT-AM (1210), which was broadcasting from the diner. MacArthur is soft-spoken. He looks like a guy who sells insurance, which is how he amassed his fortune, building York Risk Services.

He is a center-right guy in a center-right district that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Delaware River in Burlington and Ocean counties. His opponent is Democrat Aimee Belgard, a Burlington County freeholder. Belgard was invited on Giordano’s program, but didn’t show. Instead, a chair with her name on it was set up next to MacArthur.

Her campaign told me Belgard had more pressing (undisclosed) obligations. However, eight debates are set, the first to be recorded Friday in Trenton at the NJTV studios.

Skipping Giordano was an amateur error. When a 50,000-watt radio station invites you to tell people why they should vote for you, you show up.

Polls show the race is tied. MacArthur told me his internal polling shows him ahead, which makes sense. Except for the brief Jon Adler interlude, 3rd District voters have picked Republicans for a century.

If Belgard wins, though, I will invite her to Mastoris Diner and she can pull up an empty chair, where I’ll eat crow.

J.D. Mullane can be reached at 215-949-5745 or Twitter: @jdmullane

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Obituary - Thomas

Judy Gray Thomas

AGE: 69 • Freehold, Twp.

Judy Gray Thomas, 69, of Freehold Township died Thursday, February 23, 2012 at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she lived there prior to moving to Freehold Township 40 years ago. Mrs. Thomas was a Librarian for the Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, retiring in 1972. She was an active supporter of the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation, Short Hills.

Surviving are her husband, David William Thomas; a son, Dr. Brian Thomas and his wife, Dr. Gabriela Thomas, Monroe Township; and a sister, Marion Oxley, and her husband, Lawrence, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Relatives and friends may call at the Higgins Memorial Home, 20 Center Street, Freehold, on Monday from 1:00 to 4:00p.m. Funeral services will be held at 4:00p.m. with Rev. Dr. Hugh A. MacKenzie officiating. Interment will be held at Sewickley Cemetery, Sewickley, Pennsylvania. Donations in her memory to the Long Branch Presbyterian Church, 167 Cedar Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740 would be appreciated

Funeral Home
Higgins Memorial Home
20 Center Street Freehold, NJ 07728
(732) 462-0895 Funeral Home Details

Published in Asbury Park Press on Feb. 26, 2012

Monday, September 22, 2014

Obituary - Reath

Tania D Boswell Reath

Birth: Feb. 16, 1947
Stafford County
Virginia, USA

Death: Sep. 25, 2010
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA

Tania D. Reath of Riverton passed away Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Pennsylvania from advanced cryptogenic cirrhosis. She was 63.

A beloved mother, sister, dedicated and nationally recognized educator for more than 30 years, Tania was born Feb. 16, 1947, to Ada and William Boswell in Stafford, Va. She was one of 13 children.

Graduate of Longwood College, Tania had devoted her life to the teaching and empowerment of children, not only her own, but also, the countless others she instructed throughout the years.

She is survived by her two loving sons, Ryan and Gavin Reath; her two cherished grandchildren, Jaden and Quincy Reath; her sisters, Delsea McKelvey, and Dot Leach; and her brother, William Boswell.

Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, at the First United Methodist Church, 32 Conrow Road, Delran.

Weber Funeral Home
112 Broad Street

Burlington County Times - October 7, 2010