They say, “You can be anything you want in life, if you just put your mind to it.”

What happens when you put your mind to it, meditate on it, study it, go to school for it, get a degree in it, start at the bottom and work your way up to it, read every book there is on it, train with award winners and successful people in the field of it, sacrifice everything you have, and could ever want, for it and you still don’t obtain it?

The validity of the above statement looses its American appeal and “star spangled” luster when so many American’s living in the “land of opportunity” are struggling with depression and hopelessness because they have been laid off from a job or cannot obtain the job they truly want. Statements such as, “you can be anything you want in life…” could be bewitching to a generation because not everyone will actually obtain what they think they want out of life. Circumstances that are out of someone’s control may happen to anyone at any time and can drastically change the direction someone would want their life to go in. What happens then? Do we give up? Most people do, because they put their mind to it and give it everything they’ve got but somehow their life takes a turn in a completely different direction then they first imagined it to be. Disappointment, helplessness, low self esteem and even self hatred have a high chance of settling into the mind changing the chemical imbalance in the brain and leaving humans with no relief. A large majority of the population will to turn drugs, sex, or alcohol to bring the chemical imbalance in their brain back to a place of balance or normalcy. While others who have lost all hope will commit suicide. False dreams of success in America, false promises of an American Dream that we can have whatever we want have become a silent killer in our country. When a person who was once determined, strong willed, and even faith filled enters a place of deep depression in the “land of opportunity,” it may be time to raise some questions.

Wouldn’t it be better to say, “Life is unpredictable, go after what you want and if it doesn’t work out fight to be something greater?” This would prepare a person to accept the fact that life is not perfect and then expand their minds empowering him/her to keep going to reach their highest potential no matter what it is. Rather then keeping them bound to one specific goal, that can become an idol or obsession and then take the chance that their entire view of self is effected because they couldn’t obtain it. It leaves one wondering if they are good enough. It can cause someone to question if they really gave it all they had. It can leave one in prisoned in a cycle of analyzing and waisting years of their life trying to obtain something that perhaps was never meant for them in the first place. Are we selling someone a hopeless dream by telling them they can have anything they want? Or would we better off as a nation if we were just honest with others and told them, “Life is unpredictable, go after what you want and if it doesn’t work out fight to be something greater?” How much greater would we be as a nation if what we first wanted wasn’t good enough for us, but we were given hope to continue onward searching for the best?

That answer I leave to you…





Today, Senate Republicans are set to meet in-conference to begin discussing the details of their version of repealing and replacing Obamacare — and ultimately maybe even how the GOP will fare in the 2018 midterms.

No word on what will be included, but according to a June 20 NBC News report, “Republican senators say they expect to learn the contents of legislation to overhaul health care before the end of this week as their party leadership continues to work toward a vote on it before they leave town for the July 4 recess.”

Meaning, whatever is decided at this meeting may be in the final Senate bill, some version of which could ultimately become the law of the land. And voters will hold Republicans accountable for what is in it — and not in it.

That is, if it can pass the House or be reconciled in conference with the House version of repeal and replace that passed in May.

To that end, one thing Senate Republicans should definitely not strip out is the state opt-out provision of Obamacare regulations — the cornerstone of the House plan. It was one of the major reasons House conservatives were able to support the legislation, which is that they were supporting a bill that would get their states out from other the boot of the health care law’s many regulations.

In April, while negotiations were still ongoing, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) cited the state opt-out proposal as a source of potential unity among House Republicans: “[W]e still believe providing waivers at the state level from many of the Obamacare mandates that drive up costs might be a real path forward so I would say that conversations between moderates and conservatives are very constructive and it’s been due in no small part to the active involvement of the White House and leadership in trying to make sure we get a good bill — a better bill — going forward over to the Senate.”

Ultimately, it was this essential compromise, fought for by Meadows and the amendment’s sponsor, U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), that helped the House bill get across the finish line. Without it, the Obamacare repeal and replace would be very much in doubt.

Other elements of the House bill observers might take for granted, but it is worth repeating. The individual and employer mandates have to be eliminated.

Medicaid expansion for working adults is making it harder for states to provide services to others in the program, including seniors dependent on nursing home and home attendant care.

Still, there are items that the House bill neglected, that the Senate might do well to take up. For example, being able to sell insurance across state lines — a key Republican campaign promise going back several cycles — would be a great addition.

The House bill did not end the American Medical Association’s monopoly on doctor certification via control of medical schools, the Food and Drug Administration monopoly on approving new drugs, and the government-created state-by-state insurance monopolies. It did not address medical malpractice reform.

The House also replaced the individual mandate with a “continuous coverage” penalty that insurance companies can charge. As reported by Kaiser Health News, the “continuous coverage” penalty “increases premiums for people who buy insurance if they have gone 63 consecutive days without a policy during the past 12 months. Their premiums would rise by 30 percent and that surcharge would last for a year.”

The bill also proposed replacing the exchange plan subsidies with tax credits — which will cost $70 billion a year once fully implemented according to the Congressional Budget Office. The exchanges would remain in place. The plan also subsidizes a national, catastrophic-only insurance plan.

The House bill is by no means perfect, but it should not be seen by the Senate as the ceiling of what can be done, but the floor. Something to be improved upon, not cast away lightly.

Looking forward to 2018, Republicans have a much easier time defending the Senate majority than they did in 2016. Most of the Republicans seats up are fairly safe. In fact, 2018 might be the biggest opportunity for Senate Republicans to get a large majority in recent memory.

If Republicans win every Senate seat held by Democrats in states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016 — Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio — and hold all Republican seats, they would wind up with 61 Senate seats. That would be the first filibuster-proof majority in Republicans have ever had in U.S. history.

But to get there, the GOP must give their base a reason to turn out. Failure to repeal and replace Obamacare could be a death knell to that endeavor, sapping Republican enthusiasm at a critical time. Instead, now is the time for unity and to work with the House to get this legislation on President Trump’s desk. There are many other things that can be changed about the House health care legislation, but that state opt-out provision needs to stay in there.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at

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A very important election, in a normally solidly Republican district, is happening today. The eyes of the political world will be on Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where Jon Ossoff (D), is attempting to flip the district from red to blue against Karen Handel (R). The election has garnered national attention as a referendum on President Trump, with $40+ million being spent so far.

Why is a solid Republican district even this close? Will this be a preview of 2018? If Republicans lose today, here’s why.

One of President Donald Trump’s signature promises was the border wall. It would be hard to find a campaign stop where the President didn’t talk about building a wall, a big beautiful wall, and nobody builds them like him. Well, now the President is attempting to keep that campaign promise, but has run into a road block — his own party.

With control of the House and Senate, Republicans are refusing to fund the very idea that won them the election.

The border wall is a project that will pay for itself. A recent University of Chicago study estimate put the heroin epidemic cost to the U.S. at $50+ billion per year. Recent estimates put the wall costs at $21.6 billion to build, and $100+ million per year to maintain. If the border wall is able to stem the flow of heroin and reduce the that cost by a mere 10 percent, the wall will pay for itself in five years. This doesn’t include the cost of other illegal narcotics or the cost of illegal immigration on social services. If all those numbers are included, the wall would likely pay for itself in only a few months. But for some reason, this is not good enough for the Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Another big campaign promise from President Trump and Republicans was tax reform. The U.S. has a draconian tax plan that belongs in the third world. The U.S. currently has an effective rate of 39.2 percent, the highest among developed countries. This has caused many companies to keep profits overseas for fear of being taxed twice, once at the country where the transaction took place, and again when entering the U.S. It is estimated there is between $2.4 and $3 trillion overseas, that belongs to American companies.

Imagine if that was taxed at only 15 percent and came back to the U.S. If only half of the profits came back, you are still looking at  trillions in cash being reinvested or paid out in stock dividends. If you have a 401k or other investments this is a good thing.

Even if all you cared about was tax dollars, repatriating makes sense, as many of these companies would also be taxed at the federal, state and local levels. That might help close budget gaps across the states. This means you California.

Yet Congress has still failed to act. No big tax cut bill has even been revealed, let alone voted on.

Perhaps the most disappointing action taken or not taken so far, has been on Obamacare. The day after former President Barack Obama signed Obamacare into law, it became a rallying cry for grassroots conservatives across the nation. Since that day, the Democrats have lost over 1,000 seats in elected government across the country.

At a federal level, the grassroots response to Obamacare gave the Republican leadership all the control they wanted: the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016.

The response to their base has been less than admirable. After years of preaching about repealing Obamacare on the campaign trail, and dozens of votes repealing and replacing Obamacare, including one that 50 GOP Senators currently serving passed in 2015. Why can’t the Senate pass what they passed in 2015 and go to conference with the House-passed legislation?

Like the 2015 version, the bill that did pass the House phases out the budget busting Medicaid program over the next several years. In addition, it provides tax credits to low income families. The bill is not perfect, but it is a start. The MacArthur Amendment provides an opt out for states that wish to do so — more than was included in the 2015 bill which did not touch the Obamacare regulations.

The Senate must muster the will to pass the American Health Care Act, or introduce their own version for a conference committee. Every day they stall, it gets closer to filing deadlines for primaries. No one wants to have a difficult vote near a primary filing deadline.

Americans for Limited Government President Richard Manning blasted Congressional Republicans in a statement, saying, “Right now, the Republicans are getting all the negatives and none of the positives from an energetic Trump administration. The left will raise millions of anti-Trump dollars regardless of what the House GOP does. The current curl up in a ball and hope it goes away strategy is doomed to fail. The only rational response is to aggressively push a limited government/Trump agenda, and send it over to the Senate. Failure to give your supporters something to fight for is a recipe for disaster on all battlefields, including political.”

The Republican establishment cannot see the tsunami coming at them in 2018. Republican voters are sitting at home watching the dumpster fire, also known as Capitol Hill, and have no reason to vote in 2018. They were told, “give us the House” in 2010, they did, and nothing happened. They were told, “give us the Senate” in 2014, they did, and nothing happened. Finally, they were told “give us the White House” in 2016, they did but not to the person the establishment wanted, and nothing happened.

The Democrats have given their base a reason to get excited and get out the vote, impeachment. Republicans have done the exact opposite and given their base every reason to stay home. Perhaps that’s what they really want.

Printus LeBlanc is a contributing reporter at Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at

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As Washington obsesses about its latest parlor game (“What Will James Comey Say Next?”), Republican voters are searching far and wide for any hint of the Republican majority agenda they voted for in November 2016. While Capitol Hill, the media, and all of their “unnamed sources” planted throughout the Republican establishment and administrative state have their eyes and ears peeled in hopes of another Watergate, Republican voters are wondering, “What does any of this have to do with me?”

It’s a good question and sadly, the answer is “Nothing.” The Comey hearing, the Mueller investigation, all of the so-called “Russia-gate” only seems to add more hot air to the Washington, D.C. summer — a distraction from the real problems Americans are facing at home.  Foolishly, Republicans have taken the bait and fallen into the trap of self-immobilization — a trap that will lead to electoral repercussions next year.

The Washington Examiner found evidence for this sentiment, while canvassing Republican voters in Georgia for the upcoming special election between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff on June 20.  A 79-year old, suburban, Republican woman summed up the consensus opinionby saying:

“President Trump is doing OK. He’s doing, as a matter of fact, very well. He’s getting a lot of things done that are good for the country — good for us. The Congress — not so much. I’m very disappointed.”

It should come as no surprise to anyone that while President Trump’s approval rating have dropped, largely due to the barrage of assaults he has taken from the national mainstream media, his favorables consistently remain at least three times higher than that of Congress.

As we enter the sixth month of Republican control of Congress and the White House, what can officeholders and candidates — like Karen Handel — brag about?  Once you get past confirming the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and revoking a few Obama-era regulations through the Congressional Review Act, not a whole lot.

Border Wall: Crickets.

Health Care:  After a successful mutiny by the House Freedom Caucus, the House fixed the “American Health Care Act,” using federalism to address key cost inflators, such as “essential health benefits.  While not fully repealing Obamacare, the measure marked a drastic improvement over the disastrous, original Ryancare bill cobbled together behind closed doors.  The Senate has not acted.

Financial Reform: The House has just passed the “Choice Act,” which would overhaul the disastrous Dodd-Frank Act and its legacy of killing off community banks and squelching economic growth. Unfortunately, the Choice Act is not expected to survive the Senate in its current form.

Government Spending: Fearful of a government shutdown, Congress passed a trillion dollar bill funding the government through the end of September. Largely seen as a sop to the Democrats, the measure did not fund a border wall or a crackdown on sanctuary cities — but did include funding for Democratic priorities like Planned Parenthood. It tilted so far left that even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised it.

Tax Reform: Some talk, no action by either the House or the Senate.

As of June 12, the House of Representatives will have been in session for 70 days, broken up by week-long recesses for MLK Day, Presidents Day, Passover/Easter, Memorial Day – and for some unknown reason, the week of May 8-12.  It is scheduled for another week off for Independence Day and then five weeks for the cherished August recess.

While some Republican voters might generously hold off judgment – scoring the first six months of the Republican majority as “incomplete” – others would be justified giving the GOP an “F.”  Whatever the grade, it cannot merit a month-long summer vacation while Americans outside the Beltway wait for an economic recovery, sweat out the soaring costs of health care, and toil under the costly burdens of high taxation and overregulation.

With that in mind, the House Freedom Caucus called for Speaker Paul Ryan to cancel the August recess to focus on tax reform efforts.  Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, endorsed this idea, saying:

“At a time when President Trump’s agenda is being stalled in Congress based on the calendar, it is time for Speaker Paul Ryan to cancel Congress’ paid vacation.”

Canceling the recess would actually improve the quality of life for members of Congress.  Most members use the August recess to visit their districts and hold town hall meetings, travel the globe on taxpayer-paid Congressional delegation (or CODEL) trips, or go on personal vacation.  Because Congressional recesses this year have been filled with nothing but staged protests of town hall meetings by the organized Left, none of the standard options (protests, foreign junkets, paid vacations) make for particularly good visuals. And this time they might also be filled with angry Republican voters demanding to know why Congress has been wasting so much time.

Congress should cancel the August recess, stay in Washington, and get the people’s work done.  With health care, tax reform, financial reform, a border wall, twelve appropriations spending bills (remember “regular order”?) — and possibly a Supreme Court vacancy — on the stove, there’s plenty to do.

And if they still can’t get anything done? Turn up the heat and turn off the air conditioning at the Capitol.

Peter Hong is a contributing reporter at Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at 

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Some dude, or dudetress, in the Bronx is conducting an “LGBTQ needs assessment survey” during the month of June. Presumably, this survey will cost taxpayers money, as the dude-ess who has announced it is the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz. His press release proclaims that his office is conducting this survey as part their efforts to celebrate Pride Month.

Diaz stated, “Our LGBTQ population is growing and becoming more and more vocal about their needs and what services and amenities they would like to see in The Bronx. Through this survey, my office will acquire more detailed information about our borough’s LGBTQ residents and how we can provide this important community with better government, cultural, medical and other services.”

To make things equal, will Diaz’s office also conduct a survey to assess the needs to heterosexuals? Or are heterosexuals’ needs less valuable than homosexual (and the 29-different-gender-non-gender-whatever) needs? Doesn’t the Equal Protection Clause mean that taxpayers’ money should be spent equally?




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Twenty years ago, in 1997, the Englehardt machine ruled over much of Passaic County politics. A powerful GOP powerbroker, Edwin Englehardt served as the Passaic County Sheriff. His brother, Paul, was the Hawthorne mayor. The latter Engelhardt faced a primary challenge that year, waged by a popular then-councilman, Fred Criscitelli.

This primary challenge was rooted in constituents’ angst over the machine politics – they felt disenfranchised by the establishment and its political bosses. Sound familiar? Sound like today’s national politics? And today’s local politics?

Well, history has a way of repeating itself. People, 20 years ago, were disenchanted by the party insiders. And, today, once again they feel the same.

Twenty years ago in Hawthorne, Criscetelli – the outsider – won that race. It was the beginning of the end of the Englehardt machine. It was also the beginning of a novice politico’s career. No, not Criscetelli (he was already a veteran, though not an insider). The novice was a council candidate on Criscetelli’s ticket, who got swooped in with Criscitelli’s victory. That novice was Richard Goldberg.

Goldberg, who donned a strange pony tail at the time, actually had “lost” the election according  to election-night poll results in that November, 1997 contest. A running mate of his, a well-liked, kind-hearted local businesswoman, Gina Pontrelli, had been declared a victor. Goldberg, unsatisfied that his ticket companion had won and that he had been a loser, leapt over Pontrelli by a handful of votes under a specious recount. Thus, the weird-haired man became a Hawthorne councilman.

Criscitelli went on to serve eight successful years as Hawthorne’s mayor, with Goldberg re-elected along with his mentor at each stage. When Criscitelli left office after a 2005 primary defeat, Goldberg chose to stay on and run with a man who had opposed Criscitelli; this was considered an act of disloyalty by many. A few years later, after some additional dubious acts, Goldberg got himself elected mayor of Hawthorne.

Now, and for some time, Goldberg has become part of the establishment. He is an ultimate party insider. Also, now, he has his own primary battle for mayor. And his opponent is a fighter–and a winning fighter in many ways.

Frank Giglio, a lifelong Hawthorne resident, is a town favorite. This year, he retired from the Hawthorne Police Department, in the rank of sergeant. All accounts define the perfect law enforcement officicer: strong, but fair and honest. A man who only charged someone with an offense if he/she was  guilty. Relentless in his pursuit of justice, he thoroughly investigated matters. This led to successful prosecutions of cases for those who deserved to be prosecuted. Also compassionate, Giglio didn’t seek to drop the hammer on a person who needed a break in life (and who wasn’t a career criminal). However, if one was truly a bad guy, Sergeant Giglio was the last law enforcement officer he would want to face. That’s because Giglio is tenacious – and an intellect – who always finds a way to honest victory.

Giglio is also an accomplished businessman. As a fifth degree degree black belt, he is a mixed martial arts sensei. He’s the longtime owner of the Hawthorne Institute of Martial Arts (HIMA), Passaic County’s leading MMA academy. There, Giglio is a respected leader in a different manner than through his law enforcement occupation. But his passion for the craft and his oversight of his students is rooted in those same core qualities of strength, fairness and honesty.

A man of amazing range and successes, Giglio has additionally succeeded as a film actor. He recently played the lead role in a star-filled, important movie, The Savant, where plays guess what? A police officer who is a martial arts sensei. However, this is a fictional movie, where Giglio’s character trains an autistic savant high school senior, who has prodigious fighting abilities. The film, written/produced by acclaimed filmmaker and bestselling author (and former NJ judge) Kenneth Del Vecchio, also stars multiple Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees and other fan-favorite actors, including Robert Loggia, Eric Roberts, Joyce DeWitt, and Martin Kove. Giglio also has appeared in several other movies.

A person of this caliber of accomplishments is, no doubt, an exciting mayoral candidate for the the residents of Hawthorne. He has nothing to prove, as he’s his own successful man. He is beholden to no one. He is true political outsider, who doesn’t care what the party bosses want. He has led a career where he only yearns to attain the fair and just result. And he is a winner.

Hopefully, for the people of Hawthorne, Frank Giglio knocks Rich Goldberg out in the June 6 Republican primary. He deserves this victory, as do the town’s residents. History should repeat itself 20 years after Goldberg’s first election–but not with Goldberg getting re-elected; instead, with a true party outsider winning the contest.



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This could be the hottest summer in Washington, D.C.

I’m not talking about the weather.  I’m talking about the Supreme Court and the prospects for a confirmation fight like none other.

With the Supreme Court’s current term coming to an end, rumors abound that at least one vacancy on America’s highest court is likely.

Currently, there are three justices who were born before the end of World War II:  Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (84 years 2 months), Anthony Kennedy (80 years 9 months), and Stephen Breyer (78 years 9 months).  Cumulatively, they have served over 75 years on the Court, leaving in their wake a lot of bad decisions that have tilted our society to the left — perhaps irreversibly.

The track records of Justices Ginsburg and Breyer are not surprising; they are unapologetic judicial liberals. Both appointed by President Clinton, the two justices agreed 88 percent of the time in their twenty years together on the Court.

On the other hand, Justice Kennedy has been a head scratcher for Court watchers and a disappointment for conservatives, since his appointment 30 years ago by President Ronald Reagan. Positioning himself as the “man in the middle,” particularly since the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor, Kennedy has written or influenced key decisions reaffirming legalized abortion, overturning state laws on same-sex marriage, and upholding racial affirmative action in college admissions.

Rumors of retirements arise each summer as the Supreme Court’s term comes to a close, but this year’s chatter seems particularly intense. Following the election of Donald Trump, the Supreme Court itself had to shoot down rumors that Justice Kennedy was set to retire. With the next election for President over three years away, conservatives are hopeful and liberals are panicking that one or more of the three Court octogenarians (in Breyer’s case, octogenarian-to-be) will hang up the robe. If so, book the next flight to D.C. for Michael Buffet.

Article II of the U.S. Constitution delegates to the President of the United States three fundamental duties:  serve as chief executive officer of the government; protect our nation as commander-in-chief; and fill executive appointments and federal judicial vacancies.  It is this third duty — appointing judges to the federal bench — where the president, particularly this President, has the best opportunity to cast his shadow on history.

In his eight years, former President Obama reset the federal judiciary with over 300 appointments to the federal bench, most notably Supreme Court Justices Kagan and Sotomayor.  When Obama took office in 2009, only one of the 13 federal appellate courts (the level below the Supreme Court) had a majority of Democratic appointees.  Today, that number is up to nine, including the historically conservative Fourth Circuit Court based in Virginia.

That court, where Democrat appointees now hold a 10-5 majority, issued two major decisions last year striking down North Carolina’s voter identification law and a Virginia school board policy that students use bathrooms corresponding with their biological sex (vacated for further argument by the Supreme Court).  It just blocked the President’s executive order on travel visa.

Federal judges matter.

Based on his selection of newly appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch and recent slate of lower federal bench appointees, President Trump appears to get it. And he has an unprecedented opportunity to restore ideological balance to the federal courts.  Upon assuming office, President Trump inherited over 100 vacancies to fill on the federal bench, nearly double the number inherited by Obama in 2009.

As critical as all of these seats on the federal bench are; when it comes to politics, a Supreme Court vacancy is like the Super Bowl.  And given the stakes and the current balance of the Supreme Court, the fight over the next vacancy will be more like a war than a game.

Fortunately, we have the weapon we need to win this upcoming war, and we have former Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to thank for it.  In 2013, hungry to confirm Obama appointees, Reid eliminated the use of a filibuster against executive branch and non-Supreme Court judicial appointments, thereby allowing confirmations on simple majority votes.  In doing so, Reid opened the door for the “nuclear option,” precluding filibusters against Supreme Court nominations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was forced to use the nuclear option when Senate Democrats filibustered the Gorsuch nomination earlier this year.  McConnell wisely pressed the red button and, surprise, surprise, the Senate still stands – and Judge Gorsuch is now Justice Gorsuch.  So, now that there is precedent for deploying the nuclear option to overcome Senate Democrat intransigence – no worries, right?

Not if Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has his way.  According to Politico, McCain made a last-ditch effort to cajole a small band of Democrats and Republicans into some kind of backroom deal. And while McCain’s attempt to thwart McConnell fortunately failed, the Arizonan and other Senate institutionalists continue to lurk in the corridors — waiting. They illustrate why presidents and members of the House label their opposing party as the “opposition,” but the Senate as the “enemy.”

McConnell is a cool, crafty, battle tested Senate veteran, but he will face unprecedented pressure to cave — from Democrats, who instinctively hate all things Trump, and Republicans who care more about their Senate traditions than the future of American jurisprudence.  It may not be July, but it’s not too early to start turning up the heat in Washington, D.C.

Peter Hong is a contributing reporter at Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at



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A contentious battle for New Jersey’s 40th legislative district is becoming hotter with just 10 days left in the race. Two tickets of experienced politicos are waging print, TV and social media campaigns in an effort to fill three seats just vacated by three veteran officials.

In an unusual topsy-turvy turn of events just months ago, state senator Kevin O’Toole and state assemblymen Scott Rumana and David Russo inexplicably announced that they were not seeking re-election. All three men are Republicans and all three are attorneys. It is rumored that at least two of them are heading toward the judicial bench. The other’s destiny is unknown, but a sizable government or private sector position is likely awaiting him (given that he chose to leave a coveted elected post). In any case, all are gonzo and, thus, in a moment, the entire 40th legislative district became up for grabs.

Democrats have about the same chance of winning any of the 40th’s state legislative seats as Republicans do in succeeding in a district that includes Newark. That means zero chance. Understanding this means understanding that this election is won in the Republican primary; it is all but certain that the GOP primary victors will become the district’s one state senator and two state assemblymen via the general election in November.

Certain Republican establishment chieftains, however, did not think a primary would occur or, more likely, tried to make one not happen. In lightning fashion, upon the incumbents’ announced departure, the old guard (whatever/whoever that is) announced that the GOP candidates for the 40th district would be: Kristin Corrado for state senator, and Kevin Rooney and Chris DePhillips for state assembly.

Corrado is currently the Passaic County Clerk (a position that most people can’t explain its function or otherwise don’t care about). Nonetheless, Corrado has held this position for some time, and she has some clout within local politics. Mostly, she’s known as an underling to Passaic County political arm-bender Peter Murphy, a once county GOP chairman who was convicted of a federal corruption offense (Murphy’s conviction was later overturned on appeal and then he pled guilty to a lower offense, getting time served, to avoid a re-trial). Murphy, now the Totowa municipal chair, still wields some influence in Passaic County and nearby areas. This has presumably led to Corrado getting the nod (from some in the NJ GOP front office) for the state senate slot.

Her running mates – Rooney and DePhillips – were selected to join her, likely to quell some political wranglings in Bergen County. Both gentlemen are from the town of Wyckoff, with both having experience on that municipality’s council and mayor posts. Rooney, a successful businessman, is technically an incumbent assemblyman (he was appointed in December to fill a vacated spot). DePhillips is an attorney, who also serves as the GOP’s 40th District chair.

While the Corrado group has some wherewithal, they pale in comparison to the strength, experience, and voter-desirability of their opponents. Yes, although the establishment sought to carry out its normal trickery of simply anointing candidates/elected officials, others had the gusto to step up to the plate and wage the All-American primary race. Unfortunately for the establishment, these “others” are heavyweights, who can throw a rather hard punch.

Paul DiGaetano, who not too long ago wasted Robert Yudin in a battle for the Bergen County Republican chairmanship, heads the second ticket vying for the 40th’s legislative seats. He is running for the state senate slot. DiGaetano’s resume is impressive. A graduate of Notre Dame University (as are all of his children), DiGaetano is the former state assembly majority leader; he was elected to eight terms as an assemblyman.  A veteran of the U.S. Navy, DiGaetano also served as a councilman for the City of Passaic from 1981 – 1997. Additionally, he is a highly successful businessman (using his aerospace engineering degree in commercial building), as are the two members of his ticket who are seeking the assembly positions.

Norm Robertson, a lawyer who specializes in election law matters, is himself a former state senator. This gentleman is also a former Passaic County Freeholder, and he served for years on the New Jersey State Parole Board. Joseph Bubba, Jr, an accomplished small business owner, has spearheaded multiple victorious grassroots campaigns in Wayne Township. A Wayne high school football star in the 1980s, Bubba is the founder of the Wayne Republican Party for the PEOPLE and is co-founder of Concerned Citizens of Wayne.

A well-balanced, experienced ticket of DiGaeteno-Bubba-Robertson in and of itself warrants election for these men. However, the Corrado-Rooney-DePhillips ticket can also make an “experience” argument, though not with as much strength as the DiGaetano team. What completely sets apart the DiGaetano group are their issue positions – and the fact that they can’t be controlled by the party bosses.

While DiGataeno is himself the current Bergen County GOP chairman, he ascended to victory because of his powerful voice for the regular Republicans – because he is not a controlled-insider. Robertson, too, has shunned the grip of the party bosses, voting as a state senator and freeholder with his conscience and not at the whim of political chieftains. Bubba has dedicated a few decades of professional life to not being a “yes man” to local leaders. His grassroots organizations have bonded together masses of Republicans who have felt disenfranchised by  the robotic machine. The son of a very popular state senator from Passaic County (Joseph Bubba, Sr), Joseph Jr aims at continuing his father’s conservative tradition of never voting for a tax.

As an assemblyman, DiGateano was the prime sponsor of important passed legislation such as the Brownfields Redevelopment Act, the New Jersey Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, and the New Jersey Electric Discount and Energy Conservation Act. The DiGaeteno-Bubba-Robertson team have denounced the unwanted, high-density affordable housing that has been forced upon the 40th District’s constituents, and they are advocates of equal funding for all New Jersey students. These are guys who don’t falter to political pressure, and who think like the people in their district. They outshine their opponents and deserve election in the June 6 Republican Primary.








Nancy Pelosi – Isn’t she just about the dumbest politician you have ever seen? She admitted to not reading ObamaCare before she voted on it.

The Vast Majority of People Who Think They DESERVE Hand Outs from the Government – I didn’t even know what a cell phone was when I was growing up, much less thought the government would give me one for free.

Colonel Sanders – If the rumor is true that Kentucky Fried Chicken isn’t actually chicken, but some weird GMO concoction.

The Guy Who Gave Bruce Springsteen His Nickname – Not because I don’t like Springsteen’s music; I actually love it. But because he heisted President Donald Trump’s nickname. And don’t tell me Springsteen was called The Boss before The Donald was – and if that’s the case, then the nickname-giver was a prognosticator and he’s still guilty of this faux pas.

Al Sharpton – The man is an absolute racist. And what’s going on with his head in proportion to his body?

The Government of Iran – Let’s start with the way they treat women…

Men Who Use the Women’s Bathroom and/or Have Botox – Both are just odd.

Sandra Fluke – Why should we pay for her contraception? And does anyone really want to use it with her?

People Who Smell Like Fish – If they’re not fisherman, why is that?

Those Who Have Pigs for Pets – Can’t we just eat them?

A Subset of Those Who Have Pigs for Pets (Those Who Don’t Eat Bacon) – I just can’t trust someone who doesn’t eat bacon, unless it’s for a religious reason. And if it’s for a religious reason, the person better eat turkey bacon.

Planned Parenthood Employees – Can’t you get a job where you don’t murder babies?

Americans Who Don’t Realize That Israel is One of Our Most Important Allies – Knuckleheads…

Those Who Used Cocaine Yet Oversee Prosecutions of Others Who Snorted It – Oops, that’s exactly what Barack Obama did. He used the white powder in his student years and then, when he was the chief executive officer of the country (including overseeing the Justice Department), where he saw to thousands prosecuted for cocaine endeavors…Hypocrite….BTW: it’s just plain stupid to use coke or any CDS.

Vampires – Not into these weirdos.

The Guy With No Legs from South Africa Who Shot His Girlfriend – If he didn’t do it on purpose, he sure was reckless by firing into a closed bathroom door when he had no idea who was behind it…And I’m not being insensitive by describing him “as the guy with no legs” – it’s just a fact and I forgot his name. Everyone knows who I am talking about.

People Who are Overly Sensitive and Easily Offended – Boo hoo…Go pound salt.

Anyone Who Has a Problem With That I Believe in God – Self-explanatory…

I’m disgusted, grossed out and sickened by these above people.

More to Come…



Pic - KD - RM 3 stage w crowd



Now entering its 12th year, Hoboken International Film Festival (HIFF) has long-since proven it is one of the top multi-day entertainment events in the country. It has the celebrities. It has the corporate and media sponsors. It has the movies. It has the glitz and glamour. It has the economic development. It has the job creation. It has class, clout, power, and true international recognition in the film world. It has everything a municipality, or county for that matter, dreams of bringing within its boundaries.

Greenwood Lake, a village that is part of the Town of Warwick, won the lottery sweepstakes last year, when HIFF decided to once again pick itself up and travel to a new locale. This tiny village, which barely holds a population of 5,000, was a smart, if not genius, choice to house this world-renowned film festival. Greenwood Lake is a charming, well, lake community that has, well, a large, pretty lake. It has an actual beach, boating activities, some good restaurants, cute bed and breakfasts, and a growing downtown. Located at the outer perimeter of Orange County, the village is about 45 minutes from New York City, and it straddles Passaic and Sussex Counties in New Jersey, as well as Rockland County, New York. It’s a place that once was a destination location. And it’s a place that again will be. HIFF is the portal to allow Greenwood Lake its reincarnated destiny. HIFF isn’t just a home run for this lake town, it’s a grand slam.

But Greenwood Lake is also a grand slam for HIFF. This is the ideal location for a major entertainment event, specifically a film festival. That close proximity to Manhattan is an obvious benefit. Movie and TV stars can easily get to the festival. As can the huge NYC film community. As can the mega-regular-people-population of the United States’s largest city. As can the inhabitants of the very affluent, and densely populated Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Hudson, and Morris Counties of New Jersey.

What’s even more beneficial about Greenwood Lake’s geography, however, is that it is just far enough away from the Big Apple, that it might as well be in the middle of Iowa. People from Greenwood Lake and Orange County (and the surrounding Hudson Valley counties) are no more used to an event of this star-filled grandeur than the residents of Des Moines and Iowa City. To have HIFF in their front yard is a massively exciting anomaly. This means a large local turnout. Manhattan-ites – and those who live right by there (in, let’s say, places like Hoboken) – are sort of used to celebrities and such. Thus, it’s actually better business for Hoboken International Film Festival to not be in Hoboken or anywhere too close to Manhattan. But, on the other hand, it’s best to be close enough. Get it? Greenwood Lake is the perfectly situated place.

HIFF’s Opening Night last Friday proved this. The event was completely sold out, with over 1,000 people in attendance (there was standing room only in the theater tent plus another 200+ who had attended the party and left or remained congregated outside); this is priceless. Majestic tents with a stunning lake background sheltered an amazing party. Celebrities of all sorts graced the red carpet. The show, with the Lifetime Achievement Award personally accepted by legendary actor Armand Assante, was the most major of successes. And it was topped off by an important and highly entertaining star-studded movie, The Savant—a film about an autistic high schooler who has prodigious fighting skills. The entirety of this event is an absolute rarity, that 99% of communities, throughout the entire country, will never have on their grounds.

Complainers and whiners always snake out of the woodwork and make erroneous claims. One example is a social media posting where some politico allegedly said that the past attendance of the festival was in the low four digits. When the HIFF chairman (and we will get to him momentarily) was asked about this, he said, “There are several different ways that people attend the festival: through a substantial amount of all access passes that are provided, comped separate tickets, people coming through sponsors, filmmakers coming from all over the world, and people purchasing tickets online and at the box office. I always tell people that I rely on what independent, unbiased media report as the attendance numbers. We don’t have a clicker in hand. The media is the one who closely monitors things like this, so I largely rely on them for the best estimate.”

As pointed out by the HIFF chairman, numerous independent, unbiased media outlets, who have no stake in the game, have consistently reported the same thing. Examples that he provided below undisputedly confirm this:

On May 17, 2017, the Rockland County Times reported: “Now in its 12th year, HIFF – called by FOX, Time Warner and other major media ‘one of the 10 biggest film festivals in the world’…Over 15,000 people attended the festival in 2016, when it took place in Middletown.”

The Warwick Valley Dispatch wrote the following in a May 22, 2017 article: “The film festival, considered to be one of the ten biggest in the world, has brought an attendance of nearly 15,000 people in past years.”

The Epoch Times wrote in a June 8, 2016 article: “Estimated festival attendance has eclipsed 15,000 in past years…[HIFF] is one of the 10 Biggest in the World.”

On May 5, 2015, the Mid-Hudson News sated, “Since HIFF relocated to Middletown, it has attracted about 15,000 movie fans to the area in each of its first two years.” 

In a News 12 segment from June 3, 2016, the reporter said, “Officials say it has since infused millions of dollars into the economy near its new location. Thousands of people attend each year.”

The Daily Forum, in a June 3, 2016 piece, wrote, “Festival attendance has eclipsed 15,000 people in each of the past few years.”

In a Times Herald-Record article from June 5, 2015, the following was published: “‘The Hoboken International Film Festival draws 10,000 visitors, bringing millions of dollars to our local economy,’ said Maureen Halahan, Orange County Partnership CEO.”

A reporter from Time Warner Cable News stated in a news report on June 3, 2016 that HIFF is “one of the top 10 best festivals in the world, drawing thousands of people each year to the area.”

Any moderate to highly intelligent person would rely upon the reports of numerous different media outlets over some politically-charged statement by one, singular, complaining person. Thus, the real numbers for past HIFF attendance are obviously as stated in the above media reports, and not the lone wolf’s word.

It’s common sense to think that it is likely that what occurred in the most recent past will occur in the future. That said, numerous factors could change – more or less – the attendance in Greenwood Lake. The economy, the timing of the event, the locale, the weather, etc. Whatever the ultimate number in HIFF’s first year at Greenwood Lake (the same, more, or less than in the past festivals), definitively this is an economic/public relations/property-value boosting/excitement rocket for Greenwood Lake. In both the sprint of year one – and in the marathon. Over time, all the publicity, advertising, celebrities and filmmakers rolling through this town will, in the cumulative, put this place on the map—and then some. What it has already gained is that grand slam; what it will continue to gain is beyond a grand slam.

Now, that HIFF chairman is surely responsible for HIFF’s magnanimous accomplishments. And that is undoubtedly recognized; he received a well-deserved, full-house standing ovation at the festival’s opening night last Friday.

Kenneth Del Vecchio is the HIFF chairman.

Del Vecchio is an exceptional human being, a rare true genius. Allies proclaim him to be the most loyal of the loyal. The man has many friends and followers. He also has many detractors. Del Vecchio has often been called an ego-maniac, highly aggressive, an agitator, and very difficult to deal with. He has been labeled bombastic, obnoxious, and rude. To those few who recently complained, his response was: “They can go f+#k themselves. I am not at all receptive to complaints from the jealous, gopher-brained, mental midgets, who refuse to acknowledge others’ achievements because they hate themselves. They are pigeons.”

As a matter of disclosure, Del Vecchio has served as an analyst for Empire State News (ESN), and in more close relationships such as once brokering a deal for a proposed sale of this publication; ESN chose to not go forward on that deal. ESN, accordingly, knows Del Vecchio well. And ESN is not exactly pleased by some of Del Vecchio’s conduct. But, before we get to that – to be fair – ESN has accurately reported, in previous articles, the following extraordinary facts about this man:

In a 1996 article profiling a then 27-year-old Ken Del Vecchio’s unique Renaissance Man accomplishments, the Passaic County, New Jersey newspaper Herald News proclaimed that the young man had the “Midas Touch.” He can “turn anything into gold”, the newspaper reported, in writing about Del Vecchio’s successes as a published author, a prolific weightlifting champ, and being one of the youngest attorneys in New Jersey history to win a felony jury trial. Twenty years later, nothing has changed, except that Del Vecchio is now the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival  – called by FOX, Time Warner and other major media “One of the 10 biggest film festivals in the world.” Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker, who has written/directed/produced over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His movies are distributed by industry giants, such as Sony, NBCUniversal, Anchor Bay, Millennium Entertainment, and Cinedigm. He is a best-selling criminal suspense novelist, penning his first book as a 24-year-old law student. Additionally, Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books – including the New York Code of Criminal Justice, the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, and a national criminal codebook – published by the largest of publishing companies (Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New York & New Jersey Law Journals).

Del Vecchio also is a former New Jersey judge and prosecutor. As a practicing criminal attorney, he has tried over 400 cases and handled literally over 20,000 others. He has taught a few thousand police officers and lawyers criminal law at paid seminars. And he has been a frequent legal analyst on Fox News and other leading networks.

Del Vecchio, no stranger to the media, has had his accomplishments extensively profiled over the last 20 years. Some notables include the following highlighted feature articles and television appearances: “The Colbert Report”The Daily Beast, FOXCBSCNNNBCRadar OnlineThe New York Daily NewsThe Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, who wrote “As usual, Mr. Del Vecchio was larger than life.”

Legendary actor Paul Sorvino (GoodfellasNixon) called Del Vecchio “an extraordinary man.” Two-time Academy Award nominee Charles Durning (TootsieThe Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) exclaimed that “Kenneth Del Vecchio would make a great president!” Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts (The ExpendablesThe Pope of Greenwich Village) stated that “Kenneth Del Vecchio is the only judge I ever agreed with in personal conversation. He’s got some great views about freedom and liberty.” TV star Joyce DeWitt (”Three’s Company”) declared that Del Vecchio has “a vision and concept based on excellence and integrity.” Academy Award nominee Robert Loggia (ScarfaceBig) said of Del Vecchio: “The man is honest. Hard-working. Talented. And oh so intelligent.” And U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer proclaimed, “Del Vecchio is a man you can see, with the movies he is involved with, with the friends he has, he has a great mind and he also has a big heart.”

So, Del Vecchio is indeed that modern-day Renaissance Man, and he has many who recognize his unparalleled talents (including ESN) and embrace his authentic, unyielding loyalty to those he cares about. But here’s what, over time, has finally troubled ESN about Del Vecchio:

He portrays himself to be the “everyman”, when he certainly is not. It’s true that Del Vecchio doesn’t come from wealth. He emerged from the very middle-class of Kearny, New Jersey. The son of a medical doctor he didn’t meet until he was 11-years-old (his mother divorced him when Del Vecchio was an infant), he was kicked out of Jersey City’s academic and sports powerhouse St. Peter’s Prep with just a month left in his junior year; although he was a straight A student, a talented athlete, and a record-breaking weight-lifter, the elite Jesuit school booted him because he was a class clown. The priest-principal who, oddly enough, was later incarcerated on child pornography charges, told Del Vecchio’s mother that Del Vecchio “incited to riot” and had “too much peer pressure control over the other students.” Del Vecchio paid his own way through law school, not getting any assistance from that estranged dad. So, he had his tough roads like many other Americans. But long ago, he lifted himself far out of that middle-class background. And he has been exerting that riot-inciting and peer-pressure conduct, in the most fervent manner, ever since.

Del Vecchio makes himself “accessible.” He hangs out at local restaurants. He politics door-to-door, wearing jeans, boots and a leather jacket. He shoots many parts of his movies in the communities where he lives and works. He’ll personally call and speak with the smallest of filmmakers who make it into his festival. He does a local radio show. He’ll even pound down a six pack of beer at the local dive bar. Still baby-faced in his mid-40s, he has that friendly appeal. But at the same time, he will be publicly obnoxious, rude, combative, and unabashedly politically incorrect. He’ll brag and boast at the highest level, and he will seemingly “tell you everything.”

All of this makes Del Vecchio so very “real.” But he is indeed not the real everyman he wants everyone to believe. He is entrenched with the elite of the elite. He’s not telling everything at all. And that’s because he’s an integral part of the machine. Not the old machine, but the new machine – which, of course, always becomes the same thing as the old machine.

All politics is local. Part of the old machine, and thus the new machine, is to infiltrate locally and blast out from there. Key players play it locally, while all the while building regionally and then nationally. Looking at Del Vecchio’s trajectory, no one has done it better.

This guy has built it “locally” in several locales. His film festival has made calculated pit stops in Hackensack, NJ (most people don’t realize that’s where it started), Hoboken, NJ, Teaneck, NJ, Jersey City, NJ, and Middletown, NY, before finally resting in Greenwood Lake, NY. Certainly, these moves have benefitted his businesses; he’s built up bases of support in a wide, but cleverly designed radius. These bases have benefitted a much bigger goal than his film businesses, however. Del Vecchio’s recent run for Congress was no fly-off-the-handle decision, nor was it anything but a victory. Del Vecchio and the machine muscled out five other congressional candidates and he ran as an outsider against the establishment candidate. His vote percentage was alarmingly high for someone with allegedly no party support. He nearly won Orange County, which comprises more than half of his congressional district—and he outright won many Orange County towns, some with super-majority victories (go figure). The machine is a patient builder. Its best players are patient players. There’s lots more to come.

When you’re the smartest of the smart, you hide in public. Del Vecchio has been the master of that, hiding his elite pedigree by publicly playing it out that he’s a middle-class guy who’s done pretty damn good, but still is just a local dude who happened to be a small part of the…of the…of the…of the Trump machine.

Just a small a part?

Just a local, regular dude?

If one has any doubt of the real pedigree of this “real” guy, think about these facts.

Del Vecchio was the Orange County chairman of Trump’s New York campaign. Well, so what. That seems kind of local, right?

He was also the New York Congressional District 18 chairman of Trump’s campaign. A little bit more than local?

By the way, Orange County voted at a 70% clip for Trump in the Republican primary (one of the top Trump-voting counties in this blue state). And District 18 delivered over 67% of the vote for Trump in the Republican primary; it was in the top five congressional districts in the state for Trump (and it had the highest raw vote totals of the five).

Please keep in mind a few things. Del Vecchio was basically a one-man-band for Trump in Orange County and District 18 in the primary. At that time, most Republicans were shunning the now-president. And Del Vecchio wasn’t just an early on man, he was the earliest of the earliest: he was the first Congress candidate in the country to endorse Donald Trump.

Now, this is all public record. And Del Vecchio will himself tell everyone all of this, much in a braggadocios manner. But that’s a big part of the game; it’s a distraction. The bravado makes people not think too much into the relationship. It’s the quintessential hiding in public.

Simple research reveals many things that most people have no idea about. Del Vecchio’s ties are very deep.

Trump’s famous television show, “The Apprentice”, is an NBCUniversal show. Many of Del Vecchio’s movies are distributed by NBCUniversal. Add that to Del Vecchio being the first Congress candidate in the country to endorse Trump, and him being the Orange County and District 18 chairman of Trump’s New York campaign. And now add this:

Trump’s longtime chief political advisor was Roger Stone. If one doesn’t know who Stone is, one doesn’t know politics. Stone is the ultimate political dirty trickster. He started in the Nixon administration, worked for Reagan and Bush, and has turned up as the biggest behind-the-scenes player in many of the last several decades’ most important political mega-stories. Stone had been pushing Trump to run for president since the 1980s. And Stone is the subject of the brand-new Netflix Original Movie, Get Me Roger Stone, which was just released theatrically and on Netflix this month. In 2017, a Netflix Original Movie is as big as it gets. This film is on the Academy Award track, and is all over the news. And guess what?

The director of Get Me Roger Stone is Del Vecchio’s filmmaker partner, Dylan Bank. And Bank isn’t just a filmmaker partner of Del Vecchio’s – he is THE filmmaking partner of Del Vecchio. He has directed numerous Del Vecchio-produced movies, and he has co-written several scripts with Del Vecchio. There are six movies in HIFF this year (all non-competition, to Del Vecchio’s credit) that are jointly made by Del Vecchio and Bank. A close inspection of the Get Me Roger Stone credits shows that Del Vecchio is listed in the “Special Thanks” credits. Of course, Del Vecchio says that he has nothing to do with Get Me Roger Stone, other than chatting with Bank about the movie which got him that “Special Thanks” credit. But really, let’s get real here: It’s completely unbelievable that the one movie that Del Vecchio and Bank didn’t collaborate on is this one.

It’s interesting to note that Del Vecchio hires Bank and not the other way around. Del Vecchio is the producer, while Bank is the director that Del Vecchio retains to direct his movies. Almost forgot – Del Vecchio also serves as Bank’s manager.

Yeah, sure, Del Vecchio had nothing to do with Get Me Roger Stone.

Hiding in public…

The regular, “real” guy Del Vecchio also has been a frequent analyst on Fox News Channel and other major networks. How many attorneys and politicians from Orange County, New York are analysts on Fox News Channel? Ready for the answer? Zero. One couldn’t pay enough money to buy a position on those networks. How does Del Vecchio get there? That’s a “real”, regular guy?

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer says Del Vecchio “has a great heart and a great mind”? Movie star after movie star lauds Del Vecchio with accolades, even suggesting that he would make a great president? That happens with a “real”, regular guy?

His movies are distributed by Sony, NBCUniversal and others, Hmm. Ask the question – any other “real”, regular guys around Orange County, New York (not California) doing business deals with the upper-elite of Hollywood?

Oops – guess who else are Hollywood producers? A little-known tidbit: people like Trump’s closest White House advisor, Stephen Bannon, and his Secretary of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin.

Hiding in public…

Do you really think the elite in Hollywood hate Trump as is portrayed? Well, certainly Del Vecchio, Bannon and Mnuchin don’t. All “real”, regular guys who run in the same circles.

Hey, at ESN, Trump is loved. ESN has loved him since the get-go. And Del Vecchio is highly respected for his unmatched talent, intellect, and willingness to be politically incorrect without reservation. But let’s get real here about Del Vecchio. He’s tied in with the machine, at the greatest level. He’s now so clearly hiding in public, and this is troubling. ESN is disheartened by Del Vecchio’s secrets.

Del Vecchio once told ESN: “There’s constant secret surveillance going on. One law enforcement agency is doing improper surveillance. I know about it. And so I go to another top law enforcement agency who knows about the illicit surveillance. They tell me that they’re monitoring it and if it gets to a certain level, they will stop those who are engaging in the illicit surveillance, and they will be penalized. Same thing for non-public unlawful investigations that are occurring.”

ESN asked Del Vecchio, who presents very outspoken Libertarian-type Republican ideology (the kind ESN likes best), “Why not out the illegal surveillance and investigations?”

Del Vecchio’s answer: “In these circumstances, I let that top law enforcement agency handle it because, in the end, I will be protected. They have their reasons to jump in when they determine. And if the illicit surveillance and non-public investigations stop, then the issue is remedied. If they don’t stop, eventually they’ll get fired and prosecuted, and I’m protected.”

That sort of sounds good. Del Vecchio has knowledge of the illegal surveillance and investigations, and he’s got contacts with some high-up law enforcement officials who are monitoring the unlawful activities of varied other high- and low-end law enforcement agencies.

But it also sounds like hiding in public.

Back to HIFF with some final thoughts:

Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, and State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec are in several media reports, stating their excitement for HIFF being in their respective village, county and assembly district. These are smart men, who have certainly done a great service to their constituents by securing HIFF. There are few locations – across the country, much less upstate New York – that have such an impactful event.

Del Vecchio likely will keep HIFF in Greenwood Lake in perpetuity. It seems that this stop is the culmination of his film festival travels. Del Vecchio does reside in Warwick, and he has built a substantial base in Orange County and the district that encompasses it, so those are strong additional indicators. In any case, HIFF is in Greenwood Lake for at least three years. And this year has shaped up to be one extravaganza event.

Celebrities and filmmakers from all around the world have descended upon Greenwood Lake and Orange County. Tough guy/charm-master legendary actor Armand Assante (Gotti; American Gangster; Golden Globe & Emmy Winner) was on site, accepting the HIFF Lifetime Achievement Award at the festival’s May 19 opening night. At the latter end of the festival, one of TV’s most loved icons, Joyce DeWitt (“Three’s Company”; Rock Story) will be at the Gala Awards Ceremony on May 25, receiving HIFF’s other big award. DeWitt’s award will be presented to her by fellow television star Julie McCullough (“Growing Pains”), and Assante’s award was given to him by famed actor Martin Kove (The Karate Kid; Rambo). Numerous other celebrities will also be on hand, including HIFF Gala Awards Ceremony perennial host, fan-favorite stand-up comedian Gilbert Gottfried (Problem Child; “Saturday Night Live”).

Some of the HIFF Official Selections to look out for, include:

In Kat Moon’s Yellow Fever, “Glee’s” Jenna Ushkowitz stars as Asia Bradford, who was adopted from Korea by white people. She knows she’s yellow. So, stop asking her where she’s from, from. The film also stars Scott Patterson, Jenna Ushkowitz, Luke Danes, Michael Lowry, Nahanni Johnstone

Toronto businessman-turned-filmmaker Frank D’Angelo directs and stars in The Red Maple Leaf, a high production value thriller about the kidnapping of the daughter of the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, and the crime’s investigation by an alcoholic, but well-respected Canadian secret service-type agent. The film showcases numerous movie stars including Mira Sorvino, James Caan, Martin Landau, Armand Assante, Paul Sorvino, Robert Loggia, Kris Kristofferson, Eric Roberts, Daniel Baldwin, Marc Blucas, Ellen Dublin, Laurie Fortier, Addison Holley, Margot Kidder, Michael Pare, and Doris Roberts.

Del Vecchio’s newest film, a top class expose of the great powers held by autistic people, premiered as HIFF’s opening night movie. The Savant, an action-packed thriller about an autistic savant high school student who has prodigious fighting and language skills, offers a powerful climactic twist ending. The film stars Academy Award nominee Robert Loggia (Scarface) in his last role, as well as Eric Etebari, Martin Kove, Joyce DeWitt, and Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts.

The slick Happy Hunting, from California filmmakers Joe Dietsch and Louie Gibson follows a strangely charming alcoholic drifter (Martin Dingle Wall) who fights the battle of good versus evil. After shooting down a drug dealer, he motors to a Texas border town, where an annual “hunting” event is the featured festival of the locale. Learning that men – and not animals – are the prizes of this hunt, he must battle withdrawal and psychotic rednecks after he becomes their sporting target.

Hear the Silence, a beautifully filmed Germany and Poland-shot flick directed by Ed Ehrenberg, about a group of German soldiers become stranded in a German-Russian village of women and children during WWII.

The Dunning Man chronicles the travails of an out of a job but somewhat business-savvy property owner, who returns to Atlantic City to try to rebuild his life with the last source of income that he has — a few apartments in a low-rise condo complex that sits in the shadows of the city’s newest and most expensive casino. In order to get his rent money, the landlord has to take on a pair of Chechen animal trainers with underworld ties, a rap star who parties so hard the neighbors can’t sleep, and a struggling single mother who steals his heart. The Dunning Man is based on an acclaimed, published short story by producer Kevin Fortuna of cold Spring.

Fear, Love and Agoraphobia, from filmmaker Alex D’Lerma, features outstanding dramatic performances from leads Linda Burzynski and Dustin Coffey, and Point Break’s Lori Petty. The film follows an agoraphobic man and a female Marine, who become emotionally entangled as they struggle to escape from their personal prisons.

Beyond the Silence, from helmer William Michael Barbee of New Jersey, chronicles the plight of man charged with capital murder, who suffers from multiple personality disorder, compounded with schizophrenia,. The film stars veteran actors Bill Cobbs, Bill Duke and Frankie Faison

West Milford, New Jersey native Dave Rogers serves as the screenwriter for the dramedy D-Love, which is directed by his wife, Elena Beauca. The pair also star in film, which is loosely based upon a true story about a young, strange European drifter who yields a magical sparkle to their deflating marriage.

Del Vecchio’s recent press release for HIFF touts:

“Isn’t it stupid to not believe in God? Can undocumented immigrants become success stories in America – or shouldn’t they all be deported? Isn’t it time to make abortion illegal again? Was Eric Garner murdered by a police officer, or was it a lawful killing? Was Russia rightful in annexing Crimea and invading Ukraine? Why are U.S. tax dollars being spent on heroin addicts? Is it nonsense that GMOs are the cause of numerous new diseases? Is the title “Yellow Fever” racist? Do autistic people really have exceptional skills? What does the Japanese government think of its own “Schindler”, who brought thousands of Jewish refugees into Japan? If a gay man kisses a woman, is he still gay? Why can’t schizophrenics face capital punishment like everyone else? Is China imprisoning, torturing and killing “adversarial” Tibetan nationals – and does anyone care? Could a black person once have been white – is that part of evolution? Can anything good come out of Iran? Is there really that much sexual harassment in America, or is this a bunch of politically correct propaganda? Is the left right – or has the right left?

“If you want fresh takes on these provocative issues, you can’t get it from sidewinding politicians, biased media, bent academia, or regular ole’ Hollywood. But you can get it straight – and sometimes with some twisted fun – at Hoboken International Film Festival.”

Without a doubt, you will get what Del Vecchio promises from HIFF. And you’ll also get him so unabashedly hiding right in front of you, in public. It’s interesting, to say the least.