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Victims of Communism: “We Put An End To Political Correctness,” Part 2

Republicans and other sociable guests are invited to attend:

Capitalism CommunismOn Thursday, Feb. 22, 7 pm in Montclair, join Murray Bessette, PhD, Director of Academic Programs of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), a Washington, DC-based educational and human rights nonprofit foundation devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes, for a sociable dinner and illuminating presentation. Location: Greek Taverna, 292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey.

Purchase your dinner & discussion tickets using Paypal (or credit card) below. Student rate available for youth aged 12-18 when accompanied by parent. RSVP required. Or, email with your RSVP and send your check (postmarked by February 14, 2018) for $35 (1 guest), $70 (2 guests), $15 (youth) to Montclair Republican Club, 12 Marquette Road, Montclair, NJ 07043.

Click HERE for 1 ADULT TICKET ($35)


CLICK HERE for 1 YOUTH TICKET ($15, youth aged 12 – 18, when accompanied by a paying adult).

The ‘People’s Republic of Montclair,’ as Star-Ledger editorial page editor and Montclair resident Tom Moran nicknamed our prominent community, has had a steady, growing socialist/communist presence or connection for generations. We live side by side, joke on social media, but…is it time for the romance language of communism — making everyone equal in some sort of Utopia (in our case, a ‘perfect’ Montclair?) — to be deconstructed? To do so would mark yet another end to political correctness. This conversation is especially important for young adults.

Communism promises to make everyone equal, but delivers radical inequality. Every time it’s tried, it ends in economic collapse or a police state. From the famines, purges, and gulags of Soviet Russia to Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge—from the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre to the Castro regime’s 2012 murder of Oswaldo Payá—communists have killed more than 100 million people. Countless more suffered and suffer still. – VOC Memorial Foundation

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“We Put An End To Political Correctness” Part 1

Montclair Republicans kick off 2018 with two very important meetings that each span subjects from immediately local to broadly global. We hope you’ll join in.

Republicans and other sociable guests  are invited to attend:

January 18, Thursday, 7 pm at Greek Taverna (Montclair):

Steve Rogers TrumpSTEVE ROGERS, Manager for New Jersey Trump 2020

He’s a regular guy, and our neighbor. Steve Rogers of Nutley is the New Jersey manager for Trump 2020, and a familiar face to Montclair Republicans. Join in a sociable dinner on Thursday, January 18, 7 pm at Montclair’s Greek Taverna to hear President Trump’s message through the perspective of Rogers‘ boots-on-the-ground operation. Steve was one of the few pundits who predicted a Trump presidential win in 2016. ‘We put an end to political correctness,’ he said following Trump’s 2016 election, as New Jersey campaign manager.  Purchase your dinner & discussion tickets using Paypal (or credit card) below. Student rate available for Montclair resident youth aged 12-18 when accompanied by parent. RSVP required. Or, email and send your check (postmarked by January 10) for $35 (1 guest), $70 (2 guests), $15 (youth) to Montclair Republican Club, 12 Marquette Road, Montclair, NJ 07043.

January 18 Dinner & Presentation: Click below to purchase by Paypal/credit card:

1 Adult Dinner Ticket $35       2 Adult Dinner Tickets  $70       1 Youth (12-18) Ticket $15


SAVE THE DATE: February 22, Thursday, 7 pm at Greek Taverna (Montclair):

MURRAY BESSETTE, PhD, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

Mark Your Calendar: On Thursday, Feb. 22, 7 pm join Murray Bessette, PhD, Director of Academic Programs of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), a Washington, DC-based educational and human rights nonprofit foundation devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes, for yet another Montclair Republican Club very sociable dinner and very illuminating presentation.




Meet Healthcare Policy Expert Alieta Eck, MD on Nov. 2, 7 pm in Montclair


Aleita Eck, MD

Get ready to focus on the November 7 election by coming together with your Republican, conservative, thoughtful independent, libertarian & open-minded neighbors for a fascinating speaker, New Jersey’s Dr. Alieta Eck. Dr. Eck ran for U.S. Congress in 2014 in the 12th Congressional District (Central New Jersey) and for U.S. Senate in 2013.

Dr. Eck will join in Montclair Republican Club’s traditional, sociable dinner meeting on Thursday, Nov. 2, 7 pm at Greek Taverna. An alternative thinker who has created a free, private medical clinic in Piscataway, Dr. Eck has long been involved in heath care reform and believes that the government is a poor provider of medical care.

Greek Taverna

Montclair Republicans Meet & Eat at Greek Taverna: Thurs, Nov 2, 7 pm

Purchase your dinner tickets ($35/pp) here using Paypal or credit card, or email to reserve and pay at the door. RSVP required.



YOUNG ADULT TICKET ($15, age 18 & below): CLICK HERE


Some of Dr. Eck’s recent, relevant blog posts are: Caution: Is Health Care a Right?The Tangled Webs of Insurance Networks, and Obamacare Subsidies Rob the Middle Class.

With two important elections less than a week following, the November 2 Montclair Republican Club meeting will be a convivial opportunity to catch up with family and community members to discuss New Jersey’s gubernatorial election and Assembly District 34 election, featuring Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and newcomer Nick Surgent, respectively, and the two ballot questions.

Join Dr. Eck for a terrific evening, as usual, in the company of Montclair Republicans.


ELECTION 2017: Kim & Carlos, Men & Women…A Message from John Van Wagner


Montclair Republican Club President John Van Wagner

Hello, all, I hope everyone had a terrific summer.

Election 2017 is upon us.
If last year’s incredible events have taught us anything, we now know that conventional wisdom doesn’t exist, that what seems impossible can become reality, if enough people see through the media’s self-serving scrim.  In New Jersey we’re told, through journalism both overtly and obliquely biased, that our State is an impregnable Progressive fortress, that there’s disillusionment with our current governor, and fury about the election of a citizen ‘demagogue’ to the White House.   The message is sometimes subtle, but always clear:  you have no choice but to live with the Progressive agenda, so don’t even try to challenge the machine.
MRC Sorry Not Listening
Don’t listen to this nonsense. Act. Prove them wrong, as a great movement did on a national level less than a year ago.
We need Montclair Republican Club members and friends to help us get boots on the ground not only for the gubernatorial election, but also to support the candidacy of our young New Jersey Assembly candidate from Clifton, Nick Surgent.   Nick’s courageous and inspired run for office has enabled a growing connection with our sister organization, the Clifton Republican Club.  
If you haven’t yet met Nick, please come to a “Meet and Greet” at the home of Gerard Scorziello, Clifton Republican Club President, and his wife Kim Renta.  on Saturday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m.  131 Pershing Road in Clifton.   Wine and cheese will be served, along with the company and MRC JULY 4 2017insights of some great people.
At this gathering we’ll discuss how each of us can help Nick shine a light on everything that’s wrong with Trenton, and all the ideas the new generation of conservatives has for creating a better future.  RSVP to with your name, address, and contact information/comments/questions.
An Essex County Republican Women‘s organization is in formation, and will have a kick-off dinner meeting on Tuesday, September 26, 7 pm at Jim Johnston’s Steakhouse in Roseland. With leadership from our own club Women 2member Maureen Edelson, the nearly 10,000 active, female Republican voters from Newark to Fairfield can now more easily network to impact our regional political, governance and social landscape. ‘LIKE’ the club’s Facebook page, come out on the 26th, and meet like-minded women. Register at THIS LINK or RSVP to with your name, address, phone number and comments/questions. (New Montclair members to the County organization, a chapter of the National Federation of Republican Women, can also join Maureen’s informal, private Montclair Conservative & Republican Women’s Club at no additional fee.)
These, plus our burgeoning social media presence and continued interaction with conservative activists in Maplewood, South Orange, and Millburn, marks the start of a new stealth consolidation of the right-of-center movement  in Essex County and its environs, one which rejects the inevitability of Progressive oppression in our State and in our locales.
Stay tuned for other events including the campaign for the gubernatorial election, and a book reading and signing by a prominent author of political fiction.   And please, save the date on Thursday 11/2 when we will welcome the distinguished physician and health care policy expert Dr. Alieta Eck to our club meeting.
Welcome to the campaign season!   Time to step up.   Thanks.   


Meet Montclair’s InSurgent: Nick Surgent, 34th Assembly District Candidate (Thurs August 3 7:30 PM)

MRC JULY 4 2017

Nick Surgent, center, at Montclair’s Independence Day Parade (2017)

Become informed about your local political choices in the upcoming November election.

Join in an informal, sociable gathering with New Jersey Assembly candidate Nick Surgent on Thursday, August 3, 7:30 pm at a private home in Montclair.

The 34th Assembly District includes all of Montclair, Clifton, Orange and East Orange. Invite your friends, family & acquaintances from any of those communities, too.

Mr. Surgent, a Clifton native, is a young finance professional who embodies a generationally leading-edge mindset, skills and concerns. If you are interested in what type of future New Jersey can or will offer your children and grandchildren, come out to hear his perspectives. 


Independence Day 2017

MRC JULY 4 2017

One of the nicest Montclair Independence Day parades in memory took place on July 4, 2017, under perfect skies.

Pictured above are Montclair Republican Club President John Van Wagner, 34th Assembly District (NJ) candidate Nick Surgent, and his brother Mark Surgent.

Voters in the 34th Assembly District (East Orange, Orange, Montclair and Clifton) can visit with Nick on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at a private home in Montclair. Email for more information and to RSVP.

Here’s to a terrific year!





Disrupt NJ: Meet Nick [in]Surgent, Assembly Candidate in 34th AD (Montclair, Clifton, Orange, East Orange)

Come and Meet the Neighbors!  

The Montclair Republican Club and the Clifton Republican Club cordially invite all of their members, as well as friends and supporters, to our first joint meeting on Thursday, May 18  at 7:00 p.m. at the Bloomfield Town Pub.  It’s about time. 

For decades, now, Assembly elections in Essex County, so crucial to fiscal direction of our state, have come and gone under the radar. Every two years the public sector unions back entrenched incumbents who serve the interests of the progressive political class in Trenton. The result of these elections is never in doubt. 

It’s time for that to change.   This year, in honor of our first effort at District-wide club cooperation, we’ll be joined by Nick Surgent, a bold young Republican candidate for Assembly in District 34 (Montclair, Clifton, Orange and East Orange).   Please come, and get a glimpse into a brighter future for our respective communities, our State and our nation.

There’s no admission charge for this meeting.   You’re welcome to enjoy the hearty menu at the Town Pub, or just hoist a brew. Come and bring friends, and ideas about how disruptive  we inSURGENTS can be. RSVP to with ‘inSURGENT’ in the subject line.

About Nick SurgeNick Surgent Woodsnt:

Nick is a 2016 graduate of Drexel University, where he earned a BS in Business Administration, Finance and Business Analytics and graduated with a 3.9 GPA

While at Drexel, Nick worked at Goldman Sachs in Philadelphia from 2014 – 2015 in the Private Wealth Management Co-op.
Nick is currently employed as a Financial Reporting Associate at Prudential Financial.

From Nick Surgent:

I am running for the General Assembly in the 34th district (Clifton, Montclair, Orange, and East Orange). From school funding to wasteful spending and unnecessary tax increases, the people of our district deserve a new voice that has new ideas and new solutions.

This November I would be honored to have your vote, a vote for a renewed spirit and a voice for positive change.
Remember to RSVP for May 18, 7 pm at Town Pub:

Conservatives Come Together

Whether riding new waves or being old school, Montclair Republicans, conservatives, libertarians & independents are finding enjoyable ways to connect and communicate.

The 100+ year-old Montclair Republican Club believes in and maintains its century-old focus on sociable gatherings and presentations. Upcoming is a hospitable meet-and-greet on the evening of Primary Day, Tuesday, June 6, 7 pm for local Republicans, conservatives and conservative independents (and those who are transitioning from liberal to conservative) who would enjoy connecting with like-minded people at a special Montclair location (to be announced). Email to attend, with ‘June 6’ in the subject line. The success of last month’s Club luncheon featuring possible gubernatorial candidate Joe Piscopo proves the case that breaking bread together is still a favored form of bonding for conservatives and their guests. Remember to vote on June 6.


Digital media links individuals and organizations around the block and around the globe, almost effortlessly. In addition to the Montclair Republican Club’s Facebook page, similar hubs include the new discussion groups ‘Montclair Right-of-Center‘ (‘MRoC’) and ‘Montclair’s Other Watercooler,’ the latter for registered Montclair Republicans only. MRoC’s tagline is on the mark: ‘you are NOT alone!’ If you’re right of the political center, consider joining and ‘liking’ these groups and pages, especially if you DO feel ‘alone’ in your worldview as a Montclair resident.


Did you know Montclair has more than 9,000 independent voters, in addition to 13,000 Democrats and 2,500 Republicans?  No wonder the town has had the reputation of featuring 38,000 opinions: it is more diverse than suggested in chatrooms that focus on ‘progressive’ politics and ‘Montclair values.’

A new place for independents to gather is the Montclair Independents Facebook page, and it is yet to be seen if the town’s new weekly print and web publication, The Montclair Local, shows partisan stripes or merely reports on the town’s very vocal, active majority and thus appears to be left-leaning.

Mr. Piscopo and other conservative radio hosts are featured on 970 AM The Answer, while even Montclair’s mayor, Robert Jackson, listens to Mark Levin of 770 AM.  There are ample opportunities 24 / 7 to gather ’round the radio for centrist and conservative fireside chats.

A unique media product in New Jersey, the SAVE JERSEY blog appears to be the only conservative state-wide media outlet. Produced by South Jersey attorney Matt Rooney, Save Jersey is growing. [Addendum: a reader has mentioned new conservative media outlet, similar to the Drudge Report: Jersey Report]

Fifteen years ago, then-USA Today reporter Jill Lawrence created a ‘red vs. blue’ profile series featuring Montclair as a ‘liberal community’ profiled against Franklin, Tennessee as a ‘conservative community.’ Her fascinating multi-part series was proposed and researched just after the George Bush inauguration in 2001, and was interrupted by the events of 9/11. It ran in Gannett’s flagship national publication fifteen years ago, in February of 2002. Annotated syntheses for collegiate use are HERE, HERE and HERE ; click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE to read the original stories. Real-time Free Republic comments on the series are HERE.

From where do you get your news and information? What is your viewpoint or perspective? How do you form your opinions? How have journalism, information flow and politics changed in Montclair since Ms. Lawrence’s feature of 2002? Let us know at



Joe Piscopo Headlines Lunch Meeting in Montclair

Joe Piscopo

Joe Piscopo Addresses Montclair Republican Club on Wednesday, March 29, 12 noon

Entertainer, media personality and Essex County native Joe Piscopo will be the featured speaker at Montclair Republican Club’s sociable luncheon on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

The 12 noon event will be held at Greek Taverna Restaurant, 292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey. Tickets are $30 each, and can be purchased using Paypal or your credit card by clicking HERE.  A student (age 12 – 22) luncheon ticket is available for $10 by clicking HERE. For other payment arrangements, contact Space is limited; reserve early.

Piscopo is said to be entertaining a run for governor of New Jersey as an Independent. Known until recently as a life-long Democrat, Piscopo transitioned his voter registration to ‘unaffiliated’ several years ago.

The Club has asked Mr. Piscopo to speak about his political evolution and his possible run for New Jersey governor, in addition to sharing a Sinatra standard or two.

Montclair Republican Club, founded in 1880, stands for liberty, limited government, and economic opportunity. It presents informative speakers and panel discussions in a sociable luncheon or dinner setting, and welcomes convivial, open-minded individuals from across the political spectrum to attend its presentations. Montclair Republicans & supporters have included abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Montclair’s first African-American mayor, Matthew Carter, and Montclair’s first and only female mayor, Mary Mochary, among many other business, civic and social leaders. Join the Montclair Republican Club by clicking HERE.    ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

For more information, email

More on Joe Piscopo: 

The Road Ahead: Leadership Messages from Straten & Van Wagner

To Montclair Republicans,


Roland Straten

2016 was certainly a momentous year for Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress and a majority of state governorships and legislatures, in addition to the U.S. Presidency. We have an unprecedented opportunity to move America in the direction that we want it to go, and ‘Make America Great Again.’

This confluence of events presents not only an opportunity, but a duty for all Republicans and reasonably-minded citizens of Montclair. I suggest that we continue to come out of the closet. So many people with whom I’ve spoken agree with our principles of limited government, economic opportunity, and personal liberty/responsibility.

Come to Republican Club meetings and events, and join the Club. Become a Republican Committee member. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.

Tell people that Montclair was made into such a wonderful town by Republicans. Tell them that overreaching government regulation and mandates cripple our economy. Tell them that our current immigration policies, tax policies, welfare policies, education policies, environmental policies and bail-out-Wall-Street policies hurt the poor and middle class rather than help them.

For more information on what Republicans can do in Montclair, email

Happy New Year…and let’s get to work!

Roland Straten, Chairman, Montclair Republican Town Committee

A Message from Montclair Republican Club President John Van Wagner:

It Was A Year to Remember


John Van Wagner

Although 2016 was a year of multiple surprises and many blessings, my thoughts are firmly in the future. There are so many opportunities before us in the coming year as conservatives, and the Montclair Republican Club has a crucial role to play in our community as the nation undergoes a radical transformation.

We’ve always been a ‘safe space’ for those in our town who’ve felt silenced. But now that a shift in power has taken hold nation-wide, we, too, can throw off Progressivism at the county and local levels.

After the recent election, local Democratic Freeholder Brendan Gill pledged to work with his colleagues in Newark and Trenton to ‘protect’ our community from the ‘incursion’ of lighter, saner taxation, regulatory relief, and judicial restraint. This year, let’s show him that we consider that ‘protection’ to be tyranny, and that we won’t allow a county political machine to dictate who governs us and how.

As has been for the past fifty years, this is an uphill battle. But the events of this year must embolden us to speak out, to talk to neighbors, to bring new members into the fold who will help us to accelerate the process of the change we so desperately need. It’s not easy, but this time the country is behind us.

Let’s have the most energized and hopeful New Year the Montclair Republicans have had in a long, long time.

Thanks for your support and dedication. Happy New Year.

Very truly yours,

John Van Wagner