By Max Pizarro | January 18th, 2013 - 2:16pm
| More

The presence of former West New York Mayor Silverio "Sal" Vega at this week's commissioners meeting started some buzz in an increasingly complicated political situation.

Residents wonder if Vega is poised for a special election comeback to supplant Mayor Felix Roque, who's under indictment for computer hacking.

If he is, Vega would not have a clear pathway to resurrection.

Commissioner (and former Assemblywoman) Caridad Rodriguez is primed to take the mayor's seat and is best positioned to have the backing of the local party power structure.

But there's a fast-expanding wrinkle.

In the aftermath of a preliminary vote by the commissioners to eradicate TV on Wheels from the streets of the town, Commissioner Count Wiley cut out from the pack to define himself as the local defender of free speech. Now sources say Wiley, at onetime Roque's chief second lieutenant, is gaining ground as the face of the opposition. That's worrisome to old establishment Democrats, allies of state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-32) and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), who would prefer one of their own replacing Roque, namely Rodriguez.

Vega's footprint in the building just upped the level of intrigue.

As Sacco allies bristle, Wiley is scheduled to go on Fox TV to discuss his outrage over the proposed ordinance to cut down on street advertising, a First Amendment infringement, in his view.

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"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."

- The New York Times

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