Sweeney’s cronies: Taxpayer rip-offs?


Pocketed more than $1 million as a political consultant while employed by the county.

Call them his SUPERMEN.

They’re Senate President Steve Sweeney’s cronies who get paid for the work of two or three or even four people for jobs done simultaneously.  These cronies are truly amazing – one even has three careers – and when they attract the attention of the media, Senator Steve Sweeney is there to defend them with always the same claim:

“They work nights and weekends.”

Take the case of Mr. Robert N. DiLella.  He has an important job.  Not only is he supposed to maintain records on everything the Freeholder Board does, he is supposed to supervise other public employees – and he is the county’s public information officer – responsible for handling open records requests from citizens and journalists alike.  His responsibilities don’t end there.  Along with the Director of the Freeholder Board, the Clerk of the Board is authorized to execute agreements, contracts, and administer funds.

As Gloucester County Freeholder Director, Senator Steve Sweeney appointed DiLella to the job of Clerk of the Freeholder Board.  It should be a full time job, according to DiLella himself his 2012 salary was $83,326.  Unfortunately for the taxpayers who pay him, being the Clerk of the Freeholder Board isn’t really what DiLella does.  In 2006, the Courier-Post reported on how DiLella was doing political work for the same politicians who were supposed to be supervising him on the Freeholder Board.  The Courier quoted an ethics expert who said it was a “conflict” and noted that DiLella had pocketed $654,621 in fees for his political work.

Go to DiLella’s twitter page and it explains that he is a “Political Consultant” who is “President/ CEO Strategic Message Design Group”, a political consulting firm with clients from around the United States, in China, and from the Caribbean – including the Prime Minister of the Island of Aruba.  His corporate clients include Valero Energy, the Palm Beach Civic Association, and the Aruba Hotel &Tourism Association.

Looking at DiLella’s recent “tweets” gives you no idea that he holds an important county job paid for by Gloucester County’s taxpayers:

“SMDG Client has passed Miguel Pourier was of great significance for our Country – Curaçao Chronicle: http://www.curacaochronicle.com/main/miguel-pourier-/#.UVJM3hyAob4.twitter …

Florida elects their judges have signed 3 for the 2014 cycle … Still not sure this is the best way to seat judges!

At Emerald Society Breakfast in Ft. Lauderdale honoring SMDG clients Mayor Jack Seiler and Judge Dale Ross

From his Florida clients alone, DiLella pocketed $723,191.

Before you wonder how someone with the responsibilities of the Clerk of the Freeholder Board can also manage a pretty happening political consulting firm – stop, because that’s only half the story.  Robert N. DiLella is also the Chairman of the Gloucester County Pollution Authority AND the owner of a business called Cruise Outlets & Travel.  All of this is what DiLella himself lists on the personal financial disclosure statement he is required to file each year, under penalty of law.

What is Cruise Outlets & Travel?  Well, according to the information it provided a business website, it takes in between $1 million and $5 million each year – and DiLella is the owner!

How does he juggle a full-time job paid for by the taxpayers, a lucrative political consulting career, a second government appointment, and a second business too?  Well, it’s that same old story Sweeney likes to tell.  In 2006, DiLella told the Courier-Post that he worked “nights and weekends” to do it all.

That doesn’t seem to ring true though.  For one thing, in DiLella’s biography on the Cruise Outlets & Travel website it brags that he has vacationed in Aruba “over 100 times”.

You do the math.


As Clerk of the Freeholder Board, one of Bob DiLella’s more important roles is to oversee county employees like Michelle Coryell.  She’s paid $90,000 a year as a full-time county employee while being paid $50,000 a year to be the District 03 legislators’ chief-of-staff.  On top of this, she gets another $33,000 to run Senator Steve Sweeney’s political operation.

It’s clear somebody isn’t getting what they paid for… any doubt that it’s the county taxpayers who are getting ripped-off?

Somebody has got to look into the kind of operation being run out of the office of the Clerk of the Gloucester County Freeholder Board.  A complete review of how their time is being spent and on what – for the money the taxpayers pay them – is called for.

For more information, go to www.NJconservativeOnline.com



grassroots and soil

Editors’ note:  This submission, the first of our “grassroots perspectives”, was the cause of a lot of discussion.  There was some opposition to publishing this so we asked for documentation, reviewed it, and it did check out.

Steve Lonegan’s campaign manager is Rick Shaftan.  Rick has run all of Lonegan’s electoral efforts – including the loss for Congress, the first loss for Governor, the second loss for Governor, and now this campaign for the United States Senate.


The way Steve Lonegan’s latest campaign is being run has some people scratching their heads and wondering what’s up.  To some, Steve seems to be running for “top NJ conservative” instead of United States Senator.  Others say that he is posturing before a Republican primary audience and preparing for an early departure by Governor Christie and another special election, only next time it will be for Governor.

Many movement conservatives have noticed that being the state’s “top conservative” has been very lucrative for Steve and Rick.  Largely unknown before 2005, Lonegan jumped into the Republican primary for Governor that year to split the conservative vote and deny the nomination for Bret Schundler.  As the winner of upset victories for Mayor of Jersey City and the 2001 Republican primary for Governor, Schundler had been the state’s great conservative hope, with no less a figure than William F. Buckley predicting that he would one day reach the White House.  But Lonegan, the mayor of a small town in Bergen County, ended all that by splitting the conservative vote in 2005.

Then they started the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP).  It should be remembered that AFP was formed with heavy funding from the Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President who ran against the Republican ticket of Ronald Reagan and George Bush in 1980.  AFP paid very well, with Lonegan holding a salaried position as State Director and Shaftan picking up lucrative consulting contracts for polling and media buys.  In his personal financial disclosure filed with the Secretary of the United States Senate, Lonegan lists his annual compensation from Americans for Prosperity as $228,936.16.


Here’s the rub and the reason behind the reference to divided loyalties.  Rick has other clients as well.  One of them is Hudson County Democrat political boss Nick Sacco.  Rick claims that because Nick Sacco employs him, Sacco should be considered a conservative too.  It is kind of weird to expect movement conservatives to buy that a pro-tax increase, pro-government spending, pro-union, pro-gay marriage, anti-Second Amendment, anti-Life, liberal Democrat should get a pass simply through the magic of regularly sending Rick Shaftan a check.  It shouldn’t work that way.


Machine boss Sacco is also a “triple dipper” – getting three taxpayer-funded checks for holding three different public offices.  Here is what Governor Chris Christie had to say about it:


Shaftan publically defends Sacco.  That takes a lot of nerve, because even many Democrats recognize that Sacco is a scumbag.  Below is a recording of Sacco’s messages to a public employee who refused to make her body available to the machine boss:



Now here’s the kicker. . . Sacco is a BIG supporter of Cory Booker.

Now how does that work?  Rick is running Steve Lonegan’s U.S. Senate campaign AND working for Nick Sacco who is working AGAINST Steve Lonegan and for Cory Booker.

That’s more than a little weird, until you view the entire enterprise through a non-ideological and purely commercial lens.  Then it makes perfect sense.

Steve Lonegan needs to tighten up his campaign in a hurry.  Steve should wise up and make sure his campaign manager does more than just talk the talk.  Make him walk the walk too.


Fellow Conservatives:


Thousands of you made phone calls this week to encourage conservative lawmakers in the House to oppose the Republican leadership’s “trick rule” to fund Obamacare, and it worked.

Don't Fund ObamacareHouse Republican leaders do not have the votes to advance the bill so they have pulled it from the calendar and postponed the debate until next week.

This is a major accomplishment and you made it happen.

Some Republicans in the House were annoyed by your calls, but that’s okay. They needed to know that freedom-loving Americans from across the country were counting on them to stop Obamacare.

Only 18 Days to Go — Help Us Turn Up the Heat


The American people oppose Obamacare and the votes do not currently exist in the U.S. House to fund it.

John Boehner - Mitch McConnellThe question now for Republican leaders in Washington is whether they will accept this reality and join us in the fight to defund Obamacare … OR … will they keep trying to find ways to trick us.

Will John Boehner and Mitch McConnell listen, or will they continue to work to fund a program that will destroy our country? Time will tell.

We hear that Republican leaders are now trying to cut a deal where Republicans would get a one-year delay of certain parts of Obamacare and give the Democrats more spending and a higher debt limit in exchange.

There are a couple BIG problems with this.

  1. The only way to delay Obamacare is to DEFUND it. If Obamacare is not defunded, the Obama Administration will still be able to use our tax dollars to implement portions of the law. The health exchange subsidies that are designed to make Americans dependent on Obamacare, for example, will go forward.
  2. Americans should NOT be forced to permanently pay for more spending and debt just to get a temporary delay in Obamacare. Congress already spends far too much. If Democrats want to also raise the debt limit, they should be forced to completely REPEAL Obamacare and pass a balanced budget.

We will keep you informed as things develop.


We won Round 1, but the fight isn’t over.

Please help us turn up the heat by making a secure, online donation to the Senate Conservatives Fund today.

Your support will help us:

  • Run more national TV and radio ads against Obamacare
  • Build upon the 1.2 million petitions to defund Obamacare
  • Drive thousands of calls into House and Senate offices
  • Target wavering Republicans who need to join the fight

We need to raise another $50,000 to pull out all the stops.

Obamacare starts in October so we don’t have much time. If we work together, we can fund the government without funding Obamacare.

Best regards,

Matt Hoskins
Executive Director
Senate Conservatives Fund