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  The Enemy Within
by Donald Sico

May 13, 2008

There is a crude but informative old saying that it is often used in political circles to explain why one would want someone who is sharply at odds with the views and beliefs of the group’s majority to join it.  The saying goes something like this:

It is better to have your enemy inside the tent urinating out, than outside the tent urinating in.  (And if this was not a family friendly website, I would use the precise language of that old saying.)

In U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin, the New Jersey Republican Party has someone who is inside the tent -- and it is getting more disgusting and messier every day.

If Republicans do not recognize the danger presented to The Grand Old Party by “The Nutty Professor from Ramapo,” it will wake up on the morning of June 4th and find someone who despises all for which it stands as its titular head.

And yes, Sabrin can win – unfortunately.  This will be a VERY low turnout primary – we assured that when we moved up the Presidential Primary in a failed attempt to be relevant. Dick Zimmer and Joe Pennacchio are basically pursuing the same voters – establishment party regulars.  Sabrin has been lent a national Libertarian fundraising network by Ron Paul and has a certain appeal to new and younger voters who do not know any better.  He can cobble together the small number of votes that will be necessary to win.  Those of us who still care about the Republican Party in New Jersey cannot allow that to happen.

If Republicans do not unite behind Zimmer or “Jersey Joe,” Sabrin can come out on top in a squeaker. And that could very well put an end to the Party as we know it.

On any given day, we can find Professor Sabrin and his Shermanesque campaign raping and pillaging our President, our Presidential Nominee, our State Chairman, our County Chairmen, our Republican Legislative Leaders, our beliefs, our ideals, our principles and whatever order and discourse we had left.

And as if that were not enough, Sabrin stakes out positions which are sure to make the party the laughing stock of the nation were he to become our statewide standard bearer in the fall.  In case you have not been paying attention – and why the heck would you – here are a few of the more whacky ideas proffered by the professor:

In an attempt to woo the young college voter, he has suggested that we allow states to lower the drinking age – as if enough of their friends and classmates were not already dying on our roads.

He has pledged to resign from the United States Senate by the fall of his second year in office if the United States has not withdrawn its combat troops from Iraq.  Once the new President gets a taste of “Senator” Sabrin, that might very well be enough for the President to keep our troops deployed there at least past the Sabrin deadline if for no other reason that to simply get him the heck out of Washington.

Sabrin wants to build a fence along our northern border to protect us from Canada.

Sabrin thinks hard working New Jersey families should “invest” their federal rebate checks in his campaign and just to prove that such an investment would be like burning the check in the living room fireplace to keep the kids warm, he bet some of the contributions he received on a 20 to 1 long shot in the Kentucky Derby.

There are just a few of the whacky ideas coming from the Sabrin campaign.  It is hard to imagine what will happen if he is given a bigger stage in a general election campaign and he reaches further and further for ideas that will get him press and feed his ever-growing ego.

There are plenty of reasons for Republicans in New Jersey to want to reform our Party.  In fact, there are a number of us who want to see change, but this is NOT the way to get the kind of meaningful reform that will put us on the path to greater success – a Sabrin victory will only spell disaster for the Party. Republicans better wake up and soon.

Donald Sico
is the former Executive Director of the Assembly Republican Office, having served as Chief of Staff to Speakers Chuck Haytaian and Jack Collins.  A former reporter and editor, he is currently in partnership with his wife, Joyce, with Donald Sico & Co. LLC. You can reach him by emailing him at

(Editor's Note: The views expressed are solely those of the author, who is also responsible for the content of the column.)

Copyright © by In The Lobby All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2008-05-12

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