2014 Year In Review

Montclair Republican Club
December 2014

Montclair Republican Club 2014 Year in Review

January 2014 Football Playoff / Chili Cookoff

Twenty club members and friends gathered for a purely social afternoon of enjoying competition on the football field and at the chili pot. Susan Straten’s venison-ginger chili, made with the fruits of her husband’s efforts, was the cookoff winner.

February 2014 Lincoln Day Dinner – Second Amendment Focus

Fifty-five members and friends met at Tierney’s for dinner and an extraordinarily educational program by Scott Bach, Esq., executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC). The club also welcomed Kathy Chatterton, president of the ANJRPC and women’s national pistol champion.  Scott reviewed the Trenton political scene, where there is tremendous legislative pressure to tighten New Jersey’s already-restrictive firearms laws.

March 2014 Luncheon with Montclair’s Mayor Robert Jackson

Twenty-five members and friends met at mid-day in Upper Montclair to hear a presentation on Mayor Robert Jackson’s background and vision for Montclair.

June 2014 Meeting at Tierney’s  – Immigration Focus

Thirty club members and friends were fascinated by a panel discussion by our member and friends who emigrated legally to the United States from Nigeria, Hong Kong and Ukraine. The three guests offered their very informed opinions on the current immigration status, and concurred that the United States they live in today, is not the same nation of unbridled opportunity to which they emigrated a generation ago.

July 2014 Meeting at Marzullo’s – State Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon on the New Jersey State Budget

Fifteen members and friends gathered to Hear Assemblyman O’Scanlon discuss the budget process and plans to reduce the inner cities’ strain on State education spending by busing those children to suburban schools.

July 4 2014 Independence Day Parade

Montclair Club leadership and friends marched in our community’s traditional Independence Day parade under the banner: ‘Montclair Republican Club – Montclair’s Leading Voice for Liberty.’

September 2014         U.S. Senate Candidate Jeff Bell

Thirty club members and friends were graced to hear Senate Candidate Bell, an architect of the Reagan-era policies that delivered the longest economic recovery in the nation’s history, review his platform focused on sound money and a means of revitalizing the nation’s economy.

October  2014 Common Core Curriculum with the Eagle Forum’ (NJ) Carolee Adams

Twenty-five friends and members gathered at Tierney’s to hear the backstory to the current fight over Common Core Curriculum and PARCC testing in New Jersey.

November 2014  Radical Islam

Twenty-five members and friends viewed the 2008 film, The Third Jihad, with discussion afterward. Many in attendance were unaware of the development of radicalism on our shores.

Lunch with the Constitution

November 2014 saw the first meeting of this monthly brown bag discussion group.

Yard Signs For Jeff Bell – Against Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

For the first time in many years, the club placed yard signs in town encouraging limited government through action on these two ballot items.


We recognize the passing in 2014 of Montclair Republicans Catherine Hudig and Robert Hague, and the birth of George Rubino, son of Hadley & John Rubino — Montclair’s newest conservative.

December 2013: YEAR IN REVIEW


I hope the holiday and New Year season find you and your loved ones well. As President of the independent, 133-year-old Montclair Republican Club, let me share with you highlights of 2013:

In an unusually active, exciting, and philosophically-driven election year, the club supported

• Steve Lonegan for United States Senate
• Chris Christie for Governor of New Jersey, and
• Joe Cupoli for New Jersey Senator in District 34.

The club held bi-monthly meetings, fundraisers and get-out-the-vote parties in concert with the Montclair Republican County Committee and the West Orange Republican Club, and featured the following speakers:

• Andrea Catsimatidis of the NYU College Republicans, and her husband, Christopher Cox
• Eugene Gitelson, Veterans Re-Entry Activist
• Gregory Menken of the Republican Jewish Coalition
• Thomas Reynolds of the Montclair National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and
• The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, two-term governor of New Jersey

I was honored to represent our club at a regular meeting of the Montclair NAACP, and gratified by generous coverage of our club by The Montclair Times. Appreciation for generous hospitality is due Susan & Roland Straten, Lauren Gross & Stephen Oder, Roger Dolden, J & K Steak House, Le Petit Parisien, Trend Café, New Jersey Beer Company and Church Street Catering. Their hosting and support allowed the Montclair Republican Club to continue a century-old tradition of very sociable meetings.

The club also reinvigorated its website, montclairrepublicans.com, and developed a Facebook page. We encourage you to visit the website and ‘LIKE’ us on social media.

Our club mourns the passing of long-time members Nancy Bush and Murray Stearns, while celebrating the accomplishments of member Michael Byrne in his remarkable management – against great odds – of Steve Lonegan’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

The initiatives of 2013 were possible because of a strong team: Roland & Susan Straten (Town Chair), and Club leadership Eugene Byrne, Mary Henderson, Maureen Edelson and Tom Halgren. It is a pleasure to work with them.

Looking forward to 2014, the Club will kick off the year with a social gathering for an afternoon NFL championship game on January 19 (location and time TBD). Visit our facebook page and respond to the event invite there. Children are welcome.

For Montclair’s high-school-aged young adults, a conservative, outdoor-oriented club (a Venture Crew, a co-ed division of the Boy Scouts of America), will have a kickoff meeting on January 19, during the game. Learn more about Venturing at
http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Venturing.aspx. Contact Club Secretary Maureen Edelson, an experienced Scout & Venturing leader, with your questions or to enroll (maureenedelson@hotmail.com).

Invited speakers for 2014 include:

• Scott Bach, Esq., of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs
• New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno
• Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson
• U.S. Senate hopeful Charles McCormick
• New Jersey State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff
• Journalist Jana Winter
• Montclair Board of Education President Robin Kulwin

To meet the needs of more members of Montclair’s conservative community during 2014, we will schedule some regular meetings during the daytime.

I encourage you to embrace the opportunities of affiliation with the Montclair Republican Club. Join or renew (information on the reverse), attend our meetings, engage your young adults, and volunteer to help. In Montclair, the game of governing, politics and healthfully sustaining our very special town will be more fun as we strengthen our team. Happy New Year!

John Van Wagner, President

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