Category Archives: Uncategorized


This year the Montclair Republicans fielded its largest contingent yet in the township’s 4th of July parade. Every year we grow in numbers, diversity, passion…and visibility!

An Evening With Montclair Town Councillor Hurlock

Bill Hurlock

William Hurlock, Esq.  Montclair’s 1st Ward Councillor

Bill Hurlock made history in 2012, becoming the sole Republican on Montclair’s Town Council.

Bill showed that it CAN be done, long before the events of 2016.
During his seven years on the council, Bill has demonstrated how deficits can be cut, infrastructure replenished, and civility restored, in an adversarial, and sometimes toxic political environment. No one has better insight into the challenges ahead for us as conservative citizens in Montclair than Bill Hurlock. Let’s find out how we can best help him drive our town’s future prosperity.
Use the LINKS below for this sociable dinner meeting at Greek Taverna on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 7 pm. Youth rate available.
John Van Wagner, President
Montclair Republican Club

BARBARA From HARLEM: May 9, 7 pm in Montclair

Escaping the Racism of Low Expectations

Barbara From HarlemYou’ve heard of BLEXIT and #WalkAway. Come hear our own metro area spokesperson for these phenomena, Barbara From Harlem, on May 9, 7 pm, Greek Taverna Restaurant, 292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair. Advance RSVP required…use links below. Club members may RSVP by email at & pay at the door.
Learn more about Barbara’s political awakening. Read about her book, Escaping the Racism of Low Expectations, by clicking HERE.
Click links below to register for May 9. Registration is required.

A Pro-Life Discussion: April 11, 7 pm

Pregnant Couple

There’s no subject more searing in political consciousness than the rights of the unborn.  This intensely personal issue, so vulnerable to the public glare which has yielded  more distortions and recriminations than insights in the years since Roe vs. Wade, remains an open wound in the body of public discourse.    Please watch for the details for this important meeting, the first time the Montclair Republican Club has devoted an evening to eliciting  real understanding of, and insight into, a policy debate which has divided the nation for  so long, with no end in sight…

Reserve here for our sociable dinner on Thursday, April 11, 7 pm at Greek Taverna:

1 Adult ($35)

2 Adults ($70)

1 Youth ($15) Age 12 – 18, accompanied by paying parent


2019 Lincoln Day Dinner: Awards & Rewards

Seated Lincoln

‘Seated Lincoln’ Newark, NJ by Gutzon Borglum

Montclair Republicans successfully resurrected their historic Lincoln Day Dinner at the Montclair Golf Club on March 28 (in partnership with Essex County NJ Republican Women). Guests and volunteers enjoyed the evening thoroughly. New friends and old mingled, dined and enjoyed a rich and rewarding program.


Following an open bar cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeurvres, Montclair Republican Club president John Van Wagner introduced special guest and 1st Amendment Award winner, Mark S. Porter. Porter, a 1971 Montclair High School graduate, served as editor of The Montclair Times from 1998 – 2016.

Van Wagner’s introduction of Porter:

Lincold Day Dinner 2019 2nd Amendment Van Wagner Porter

John Van Wagner & Mark Porter, 1st Amendment Awardee

It’s the unsung heroes who hold things together, who take on the hard, thankless tasks,  simply because it’s right to do so,  because accomplishing them makes the world a more civilized place.   These folks are the precious few among us who put values over expediency, thoughtfulness over pride, and generosity of spirit over everything.   We’re proud to honor one such man at our upcoming Lincoln Day Dinner, for his contributions not just to his chosen field of journalism, but to his service to the Montclair community on multiple levels as an oasis of reason and measured ideas in a environment often plagued by rancor and distrust. 

Mark Porter led our flagship newspaper, The Montclair Times from 1998 to 2016.    When he took the job he probably wasn’t imagining that the diplomatic skills he’d need to bring to bear to his work would better qualify him to be the lead Ambassador to the Gaza strip.   Taking the helm of the paper as Montclair’s march to the extreme political left achieved critical mass, he was tasked with the Sisyphean feat of pleasing the ascendant, and powerful, political vanguard, while quietly creating a space for neutral, balanced, and factual reporting.    It’s probably easier to achieve a fossil-fuel free world in twelve years than do what Mark has done over the last eighteen. 
I came to know Mark soon after I took over as President of the Montclair Republican Club.   Having little experience with reporters I was wary at his first call, in which we discussed the state of the town council election of 2012.  But his questions weren’t probing as much as they were genuinely curious.   My nervousness melted away within the first minutes of our talk, and I found myself expounding on thoughts and ideas about the town, its political direction, the hopes of my organization for a saner fiscal state for the community, Montclair’s intense creative energy, and the necessity of diverse ideas to power political life.
Mark listened with patience, and responded eagerly to my suggestion that political differences are healthy, indeed necessary.   He never played ‘gotcha’, he never argued.   He listened.    And when he reported it was with honesty, insight, and respect, though he must have known I was green, and may have said things that could be taken out of context and used to undermine my fundamental positions.   Mark had the one quality that sadly  eludes most everyone in his profession, one that can make the work of journalism transcendent:   he was kind. 
He was also an incisive and insightful writer, with an economy of phrase that informed even as it gently coaxed.   He was never a flamethrower, though he didn’t back down from saying things that needed to be said.   His editorials always added to, and stimulated, the collective conversation, and reflected the warmth and creativity that undergird Montclair’s zeitgeist.  After our first conversation I trusted Mark implicitly, and regarded him as an asset to our club if not an adherent.   He remained a apart from us formally, politically, but his interest in, and sympathy for, our unique position in an increasingly hostile town always infused his reporting on our activities.  Mark Porter is a man who understands his community, and his time, and the synthesis between the two.   We miss him as our central voice of sanity and tolerance, and are delighted to honor him with our 1st award at this Lincoln Day Dinner.    
Porter’s reflections:

* Your freedom to establish and practice a religion.

* The right to speak your mind.

* The ability for people to gather peacefully.

* Your right to express grievances to the government and seek remedies.

* And, the First Amendment affirms, Congress cannot usurp the freedom of the press.

As a longtime editor of The Montclair Times, I maintained a professional and personal doctrine that we’re all equal.

Within the limit of 300 words, every Montclairite had the opportunity, really the right, to express her or his opinions in The Times’ Editorial section. 

The number of people who disagree with your dogmas should never crush your right to express them.

The Montclair Times, during my editorship, always published letters written by conservatives along with centrists, liberals, and so-called “lefties.” 

In Montclair, registered Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans. Independent voters in Montclair tend to veer left. 

As Gov. Christie can recall, Montclair wasn’t a town that his campaign staff counted on.

As the editor, I penned editorials endorsing Barack Obama and other Democrats for president. And governor.

But I posit that The Montclair Times’ integrity required it to print letters by people of all political persuasions. 

It was critical that The Montclair Times provide a platform for conservatives to express their views and exchange political broadsides with fellow letter-writers.


Fundamentally, we can cite the First Amendment.

Just as important: We’re all United States residents.

Reflecting this Lincoln Day Dinner, we citizens together should share an appreciation for what Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and many other Americans dedicated their lives to. 

It’s to preserve and strengthen the United States Constitution, including the First Amendment.

Following a dinner of petite duet of filet of beef and salmon with bordelaise and beure blanc, salad and rich carrot cake, Joan Furlong, Montclair Republican and Vice-President of Essex County NJ Republican Women, introduced and presented the evening’s 2nd Amendment Award to former New Jersey governor Christopher J. Christie.

Furlong’s introduction:

MRC ECNJRW LINCOLN DAY DINNER 2019 2nd Amendment Furlong Christie 1000

Joan Furlong & 2nd Amendment Awardee Governor Chris Christie

Many years ago a notorious gun control group in Montclair got permission from the Board of Education to distribute a flyer advocating for a piece of gun control legislation before the state assembly.

My kindergartner brought this home in his backpack, and my husband and I, both law-abiding citizens and gun owners, saw this as a partisan misuse of our public schools.
So we asked permission to distribute a flyer advocating against the legislation and were denied. And with the help of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, of which we were members at the time, we took the Board of Education to court, and 4 years later got permission to distribute flyers that advocated for educational events for youth, women, and everyone else on the proper use and safe handling of firearms.
At the time I was a registered Democrat. But the people who came out of the woodwork to support us were mostly Republicans. In fact there is someone here tonight (Maureen) who called me one afternoon out of the blue to offer her support. She didn’t know me at the time, and had no reason to reach out to me other than to let me know we were not alone.
And, coincidentally, that was when I first met Mark Porter at The Montclair Times, when we showed up at his office one Monday morning to challenge an unfair piece about us that had been published in The Montclair Times. He immediately recognized the First Amendment implications of our lawsuit.
Well, Governor Christie, by the time you won the primary in 2009, I was a die-hard Republican. And throughout your tenure I saw your advocacy on behalf of all New Jersey citizens and proponents of the 2nd Amendment as a God-send.
But I think the President of the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society, Alexander Roubian, said it best: that you “did more for Second Amendment rights in New Jersey than all other governors combined,” and he praised you with these words:

”Governor Christie is a beacon of hope and a saving grace for those who were unfairly and discriminatorily terrorized by New Jersey’s draconian gun laws. NJ 2nd Amendment Society witnessed first hand how he personally saved many from unfair prosecution and years in prison. Governor Christie’s pragmatism and fairness are greatly missed.”

We here in this room second that sentiment.

So, it is with great honor and gratitude, on behalf of the Montclair Republican Club and Essex County New Jersey Republican Women, that I present you with our first 2nd Amendment Award.

Governor Christie responded to the award and the subject of the right to bear arms with many stories from his administration, but mostly the human ones — those where he pardoned &/or commuted sentences of good people who had gotten caught up, unwittingly, in the state’s extreme limitations on travel with legally-owned firearms, for example, Brian Aitken, Shaneen Allen.  He introduced his Attorney General, Chris Porrino, who was essential to the work done during his tenure to rationalize New Jersey’s gun restrictions in order to protect lives, especially in response to the 2015 murder of Carol Bowne of Berlin, New Jersey.

Christie went on to regale the audience with humor, excitement, and the upfront attitude he’s known for. Here are some of his thoughts:

On visiting Montclair, where he “didn’t get the warmest reception at Montclair High School:”

On his 2010 visit to MHS:

  • If you’re a leader, you go everywhere
  • You’ve got to show up
  • It’s harder to hate up close
  • Want to turn off the antagonism? Stick to the issues

On New Jersey’s big issues:

There is no discussion of the big problems…pension & healthcare, for example. Instead, we talk about recreational marijuana. The hell with property taxes. If you’re high all the time, maybe you don’t care.

General thoughts:

  • You have to have relationships with Democrats.
  • DeBlasio is a cautionary tale
  • Our state has gone overboard
  • We were not created to complain. We were created to act.
  • When you get done with Murphy, you’re going to think Jon Corzine was Thomas Jefferson.

In an unusual twist of fate, Mark Porter, who, during his career, had interviewed every New Jersey governor since Brendan Byrne except Governor Christie, finally got the chance to do so, however informally. Others’ comments:

“Chris Christie was my favorite part of the evening.”

“Sports, politics, family – I can’t wait to hang out with Chris Christie again.”

Five guests won copies of Christie’s new book, ‘Let Me Finish,‘ among other amusements.

To donate to the 2019 Lincoln Day Dinner Fund using PayPal or credit card, click HERE.

For more information on Montclair Republicans or Essex County NJ Republican Women, email &/or






Mark Porter, Former Montclair Times Editor, To Receive 1st Amendment Award At Lincoln Day Dinner

Mark Porter C

Mark Porter of Montclair

Montclair Republicans will honor former Montclair Times editor Mark S. Porter with its First Amendment Award at a Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser to be held Thursday, March 28, 6 pm at the Montclair Golf Club.


Porter, raised and educated in Montclair (Montclair High School 1971; Rutgers University 1977), served as editor of The Montclair Times from June 1998 until November 2016. During these eighteen years, he led The Montclair Times to win the New Jersey Press Association’s ‘Newspaper of Excellence’ or ‘New Jersey’s Best Large Weekly Newspaper’ nine times. From 2016 to his retirement in 2018, Porter served as local news editor for The Record and As a mentor, he nurtured the careers of hundreds of journalists. In retirement, he enjoys membership in the Dunworkin Club and the Montclair Bird Club.

Montclair Republicans will honor Porter for his unwavering support of press freedom and the First Amendment.

Across the nation, Republican clubs celebrate the first Republican U.S. president at Lincoln Day fundraising celebrations. The March 28 dinner will be held jointly with the Essex County NJ Republican Women. Funds raised will benefit the Montclair Republican Club Scholarship Fund, awarded annually to a Montclair-resident high school senior, and the two organizations. For more information about the scholarship, Montclair Republicans, or this event, email For more information about Essex County NJ Republican Women, email

The evening’s keynote speaker will be the Honorable Christopher J. Christie, 55th Governor of the State of New Jersey, and former U.S. Attorney for the State of New Jersey.

Reserve for a very special evening with a very special guests in honor of the  first Republican president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

Montclair Republicans and Essex County NJ Republican Women 

Celebrate American Liberty At A Lincoln Day Dinner

March 28, 2019

6 – 9 pm

Montclair Golf Club

25 Prospect Avenue, West Orange, New Jersey 07052

Click these links to reserve or support with PayPal or credit card:

Single ticket – $200

Couples ticket – $300

Table of Ten – $2000

Donation only – no attendance

We welcome you to join the sociable chorus of Montclair and Essex County’s leading voices for Liberty.

See you on the 28th.

Lincoln Day Dinner: The Hon. Chris Christie To Speak March 28

MRC Chris-Christie-Signed-Autographed-8x10-Photo-Governor-ofArea conservatives and Republicans are invited to join in a sociable fundraiser featuring the Honorable Christopher J. Christie.

Restoring the Montclair Republicans’ traditional Lincoln Day Dinner, and in concert with the Essex County NJ Republican Women, the Montclair Golf Club venue will feature an open bar and reception from 6 to 7, dinner at 7, and program at 7:30.

Reserve for a very special evening with a very entertaining speaker in honor of the  first Republican president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

Montclair Republicans and Essex County NJ Republican Women 

Celebrate American Liberty At A Lincoln Day Dinner

March 28, 2019

6 – 9 pm

Montclair Golf Club

25 Prospect Avenue, West Orange, New Jersey 07052

Click these links to reserve or support with PayPal or credit card:

Single ticket – $200

Couples ticket – $300

Table of Ten – $2000

Donation only – no attendance

We look forward to welcoming you to join in with Montclair and Essex County’s leading voices for Liberty.

See you on the 28th.





New Jersey Public Pension Risks & Reforms: Feb 21, 7 pm at Greek Taverna

Powder KegJoin in a Montclair Republican Club educational dinner meeting for a presentation on New Jersey’s public pensions with Erica Jedynak of Americans For Prosperity (AFP) – New Jersey.  Ms. Jedynak is New Jersey’s state director for AFP.

Montclair Republican Club, unaffiliated with state or national organizations, has been meeting since at least 1880. Our sociable, educational dinner meetings give members, friends and guests from the community a chance to break bread, strengthen relationships, and hear new and varied perspectives. This Thursday, February 21, 2019 meeting will be held at the always-delicious Greek Taverna, 292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair.

New Jersey’s public pensions are considered a ticking time bomb. Whether you expect to MRC JEDYNAK croppedreceive a public pension, fund these pensions through your taxes, or both, you can learn more and meet new people by joining in. Youth accompanied by paying adults are welcome, too. Reservations required: reserve here using PayPal or credit card:

1 Adult ($35)

2 Adults ($70)

1 Youth ($15, must be accompanied by paying adult)

Learn more about New Jersey’s public pension issues at these links:

Byrne, Tom: Risks of Insolvency

Garden State Initiative: New Jersey Earns ‘D-‘ For Failing To Address Pension Crisis

Volcker: Truth And Integrity In State Budgeting: Preventing The Next Fiscal Crisis


Questions? Email



The CHAIR in the ‘CLAIR: NJ GOP Chairman to Visit Thurs Jan 31 7 pm

Montclair Republicans welcome New Jersey Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt


Douglas Steinhardt, Esq. NJ GOP Chairman

for a sociable dinner meeting on Thursday, Jan 31, 7 pm at Greek Taverna. Republicans from around New Jersey are welcome to join in our traditional dinner meeting, a format that hearkens back to our club’s roots 140 years ago.


We encourage interested teen-aged youth to attend (with a paying parent) at the rate of $15/per young adult.

Purchase your dinner tickets here (using PayPal or credit card):

Adult – Single ($35) Click HERE

Adult – Couple ($70) Click HERE

Youth (12-18) ($15) Click HERE

Listen to a seven-minute talk from Mr. Steinhardt on Facebook HERE.

Questions? Email



A Vital Message From Roland Straten

Hi, Montclair Republicans, and Happy New Year!


Roland Straten, Montclair’s Republican Town Committee Chairman

My head has been working overtime trying to make sense of all the political stuff going on. The election, confirmation of Kavanaugh, trade wars, fake news, the Mueller investigation, the Left’s hatred of the administration, and political correctness that has run amok are all things I could write about.

Here are some ideas and links on the political correctness that has run amok:

“Long time no see” is forbidden — it is micro aggression to either Asians or native Americans – the Left is not sure yet.

“I’m dreaming of a white Dorchester” put out by a Dorchester Historical Society is also a forbidden phrase, which puts the song “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” at risk.

While these topics are all symptoms of the Left gone wild, I have decided to write about the scariest moment of my life.

Here goes:

In a dark, gloomy room, I was standing in front of a blackened one-way window. I was told to slide my U.S. passport into a slot at the bottom of the window. Out came a slip of paper with my name and a few numbers written on it. I proceeded through gates and guards armed with Kalashnikovs. I emerged into a nearly dark, dingy street with old dirty houses lining it.

For the first time in my life I was in a Communist country, as I entered East Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie.

After graduating from Dartmouth with an MBA in 1968, I decided to delay my entrance into the workforce and took a summer job with the Experiment in International Living leading a group of high school students to Germany. After living with German families in the town of Herford, Germany and taking a bus tour of Germany, we went to Berlin, a trip which included a day in East Berlin.

Our group boarded a Boeing 727 in Frankfurt bound for West Berlin. When we reached the East

German border, the pilot revved up the engines to full power for the roughly 10-minute, 120-mile trip over East German airspace to West Berlin. I have never flown faster in my life.

We had a great time seeing the vibrant city, shops, beer gardens, and museums of West Berlin before heading for East Berlin.

Even after 50 years, the dichotomy between east and west was so great that it has left a lasting impression on me. It totally changed my world view.

Before visiting East Berlin, I had heard that life under Communism was drab, unfree and not pleasant. But we had also heard that offsetting the lack of freedom was that the government took care of the needy, provided low-rent housing, free educations, and free health care.

potsdamer platz cold war

Potsdamer Platz During the Cold War (1945 – 1990)

It immediately became clear that free stuff did not offset the lack of freedom. The utter feeling of despair that enveloped us convinced us that we were in an evil place, that no amount of free stuff could make life bearable. Looking at Potsdamer Platz filled with tank traps was unsettling. The scariest moment of my life was to stand on the wrong side of the Brandenburg Gate looking toward the west, 100 yards away, knowing that the only thing allowing me to leave was the slip of paper in my pocket from Checkpoint Charlie.

If you have read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, it was as if the dark cloud of ravens came over the country, removing all color and hope, creating a world of despair. Houses were gray and dirty. The people were like zombies looking straight ahead with a glum look on their faces. People were dressed in drab, ill-fitting clothes. A feeling of gloom came over our entire group. After 50 years, this sense of evil and despair is still with me.

I wish I had the communication skills to transfer this experience to our young socialists of today who demand free stuff. We need to get the message out to these youngsters who have not seen Hitler’s National Socialist Workers Party, Franco’s FET Party in Spain, Castro’s Communist Party of Cuba, and Mao’s Chinese Communist Party in action. We still have Venezuela and North Korea to remind us of the evils of socialism and communism, but Hollywood, the press and our educational establishment do not adequately show the evil of these systems. Even the story of thousands of people coming to the USA to escape despotic regimes is portrayed as our fault rather than the fault of repressive, corrupt, socialist regimes.

The message we need to get out is that the socialistic philosophy to give free stuff based on need, not ability, is flawed. The people who produce the free stuff are asked to produce for free or low wages. Even the most altruistic person will decide that working very hard to produce free stuff for other people while not getting any of the benefits may be a bit unfair. As the producers get the message, few and fewer people will produce the free stuff. The government steps in to make people produce. The government then has to resort to coercion to force the producers to make the free stuff.

It should not be hard for our young people to understand this logic, but many do not.

The resurgence of socialistic thought demonstrated by the popularity of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a clear and present danger.

It is a shame that we do not learn from history. Each generation makes the same mistakes again and again.

Our only hope is that we can get the message of the evils of socialism out to members of the next generation.

Please do your part to educate them!!


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 


Join the Montclair Republicans on Thursday, January 31, 7 pm at Greek Taverna for a sociable dinner and presentation by Douglas Steinhardt, Chairman of the New Jersey State Republican Committee. Reservations are required. Purchase your tickets using PayPal or credit card here:

Single ticket ($35)

Two tickets ($70)

Youth ticket (age 11 – 18, accompanied by paying adult, $15)

Montclair Republican Club and Republican Town Committee members may email the club with their reservation and pay at the door by check or cash:

Registered Montclair Republicans may join the Montclair Republican Club by using these links (annual membership):

SINGLE ($25)

COUPLE ($40)

Become a Registered Republican by clicking HERE

mrc 1880