BEACHWOOD-Toms River Republicans on Tuesday lost once again in their effort to regain control of the non-partisan school board here, but one entrenched Republican official vowed to continue the fight which has embarrassed the school district all throughout 2017.
Daniel Leonard, a school board Republican representing the small sending district of Beachwood vowed on election night that he will continue his political battle for school board superiority.
Leonard took to Facebook to set the story straight.
“There is no such thing as a non-partisan school board,” Leonard confessed. “The Republicans and Democrats spend big money to fund pre-selected candidates to run. Once Elected, these Board Members vote to award professional contracts to a few partisan donors.”
In 2016, Leonard raised nearly $10,000 in donations for his campaign, the largest portion coming from a political action committee, GoPac, A GOP based PAC out of Arlington, Virginia used by Republicans to shield local candidates from having to report large campaign donations from pay to play professionals in New Jersey.
Leonard’s anger at Democrats in 2017 was heightened when the Clean Slate Team blocked the professional appointment of one of Leonard’s GoPAC campaign donors, which drove him into a summer-long tirade against fellow board members who blocked that appointment.
He went on to explain to his constituents that school board politics in Toms River has become all about money and campaign cash.
“In return, these professionals then funnel cash donations behind the scenes back into these board members re-election campaigns or to a new candidate,” he added. “It is a sick cycle of pay-to-play cronyism where deals are made in the shadows and rather difficult to prove.”
These transactions are indeed often difficult to prove. Earlier this year, the Toms River board nearly voted for one of Leonard’s campaign donors. When Board President Ben Giovine reportedly questioned Leonard’s campaign donation from the bidder in question, the board decided at the last minute that it had to award the contract to a higher bidder to remove itself from a possible conflict of interest problem.
Often times, elected officials also receive public jobs through their positions on the elected boards. Leonard, like many other Republican elected officials, holds a public job with Ocean County, which most shrug off merely as a coincidence or happenstance.
This year, Leonard was hoping his fellow Republicans Al Schwartz and Teri Kubiel would join him on the board and he would become the board president, but voters in Toms River rejected that notion, instead, the voted for Leonard Democrat opponents.
“I was hoping to have more of a formal leadership role with the board in the coming year but that is not going to happen due to the results of tonight’s election,” he sulked. “The Board remains a 5-4 under Democrat majority control.”
Leonard said he would soon release major announcements for 2018.
Leonard, who has a documented history of threats and harassment against others since taking his seat less than one year ago announced his first post-election loss goal, attacking the Shore News Network and editor Phil Stilton.
“Phil Stilton was unable to upload his Marine Profile Picture today without help from the folks at IMAX ……Let’s give those boys a round of applause,” Leonard said. “Team Leonard is coming after your online advertising rag in 2018 and there is nothing you’re gonna be able to do to prevent the shitstorm that’s going to rain upon ShoreNewsNetwork until you’re out of the Fake media business for good! Enjoy Thanksgiving, Sleep Well – For Tomorrow We Conquer”
“It Truly Is All About The Kids!” he added.
Few people are buying it, as evidenced by last Tuesday’s election results.