Ferriero names ex-Judge to run BCDO election; hires Mariniello as new counsel

Former Superior Court Judge Paul Huot will preside over the election of a new Bergen County Democratic Chairman next week, according to a statement released by outgoing Chairman Joseph Ferriero today. 

“So as to properly preserve the integrity of this process, I am announcing the appointment of retired Superior Court Judge Paul R. Huot to conduct and to preside over this election,” said Ferriero.  “No one can question his experience and ability to assure the integrity of the election. “

Ferriero also named Joseph Mariniello as BCDO counsel.  He fired Paul Kaufman yesterday; Kaufman had replaced Dennis Oury, who was named in the same indictment as Ferriero last fall.

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DuHaime joins key public affairs group

DuHaime joins key public affairs group
Credit: Getty Images Photo
Mike DuHaime, who managed Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign, has joined Mercury Public Affairs as a managing director.

New Jersey Republican strategist Mike DuHaime, who is expected to be named the general consultant for Christopher Christie's gubernatorial campaign, has joined Mercury Public Affairs as a managing director.  DuHaime managed Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid and served as political director for the McCain-Palin campaign.  He is a former Republican National Committee political director, served as regional political director of the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign, and was the Executive Director of the New Jersey Republican State Committee.

Referred to by the National Journal's Hotline as a "rising star and political natural," DuHaime was ranked #22 on the PolitickerNJ.com 2008 Power List.

Mercury Public Affairs is a full-service public affairs consultancy that counsels leading global Fortune 500 corporations, non-profit organizations, and trade and advocacy coalitions, offering a sophisticated suite of services that includes campaign management, strategic communications, grassroots outreach, litigation and crisis communications, advocacy advertising, and state and federal government affairs.  Earlier this week, Mercury announced it would be forming LFM Campaigns, a ballot proposition firm

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FDU poll: Bush and Obama's outgoing and incoming NJ voter approval ratings

FDU poll: Bush and Obama's outgoing and incoming NJ voter approval ratings
Credit: Getty Images Photo

As he coasts out of office next week making the point to CNN’s Larry King that historians are still trying to figure out George Washington’s place in history, after all; and history, not polling, matters, President George W. Bush enjoys a five percent job approval rating uptick among New Jersey voters, according to Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll today released today. 

That puts him at a still abysmal 21 percent job approval rating here in the Garden State, an historical low mark from New Jersey voters but for Bush’s nearly bottomed out pre-election totem. Seventy-percent of voters disapprove of the lame duck's job performance.

Conversely and not surprisingly given honeymoon period history for national leaders, President-elect Barack Obama comes to office with high marks. 

The numbers: Thirty-four percent of New Jerseyans now say the country’s on the right track, up from 13 percent taken before the Nov. 4th presidential election. Fifty-two percent say the country is on the wrong track, declining from a high of 78 percent before the November election. "That change," according to the poll, "is reflected strongly among Democrats and independents rather than Republicans."

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Failed Sussex sheriff's candidate switches parties

When he ran for Sussex County sheriff as a Democrat in 2007, Wayne Yahm lost to then six-term incumbent Sheriff Robert E. Untig by a 58 to 42 percent margin, making him the “most successful” Democratic Party candidate that year in heavily Republican Sussex, in his words. 

Membership in a perpetually losing party organization held little interest for Yahm, however, as he digested his loss a year and a half after the fact and decided to change parties.

On Wednesday, Yahm delivered an affiliation declaration form to the Commissioner of Registrations Office in Newton, switching from the Democratic to the Republican Party.

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With Sarlo and Dressel out, Kasparian appears to have clear path to chairmanship; Ferriero fires BCDO attorney

With Sarlo and Dressel out, Kasparian appears to have clear path to chairmanship; Ferriero fires BCDO attorney

News tonight from Bergen County that labor leader Richard "Buzzy" Dressel has retreated from his bid to succeed indicted Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) Chairman Joe Ferriero came as no surprise to leaders on both sides of a fight who know Dressel can't win.

Dressel's intentions followed reports that members of a county committee built by Ferriero favor his hand-picked successor, Democratic Party fundraiser Michael Kasparian, in the lead-up to a Jan. 22 convention.

When party leaders tried to offer state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) as a compromise to the Kasparian forces on the one side and Dressel and key ally state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) on the other, Dressel backed down.

But Ferriero's people dug in with Kasparian, whose candidacy galled Weinberg's forces as the outgoing party boss personally called supporters seeking Kasparian support using the latter's office telephone.

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Yudin endorses Rumana and Russo

At a packed meeting of the county committee tonight in the Franklin Lakes Firehouse, Bergen County Republican Party Chairman Bob Yudin endorsed incumbent District 40 Assemblymen Scott Rumana and David C. Russo.

Earlier today, Yudin told PolitickerNJ.com that prior to Feb. 2nd he would make a decision about whether he would back the incumbents or candidates backed by former chair Peter Murphy, an ally of former Assembly Majority Leader Paul DiGaetano (R-Passaic).

Tonight, Yudin announced that decision in what was a victory for current Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany-Troy Hills), who had feared a primary battle fueled by Yudin's support of candidates other than Rumana and Russo.

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Brizzi, Pio Costa emerge as GOP contenders in 36th against troubled 40th backdrop

In a tortured political terrain, Republican power players in the 36th  legislative district appear to be slowly coalescing around East Rutherford Councilman/businessman Joel Brizzi and Nutley businessman Carmen Pio Costa as their best chance ticket this year. 

It’s not yet set – in this geographically jagged district encompassing battle weary portions of Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties – nothing is ever really set, and there are candidate screening opportunities, after all; but there remain real factors immediately outside the district threatening party implosion. 

Sensing opportunity after coming close to victory two years ago, the party – and this goes all the way up to the top of the hierarchy - wants to stay focused here in the 36th despite the flailing fortunes of divided Republicans in the neighboring 40th.  

Toward that end, local leaders will sit down tonight at the Franklin Lakes Firehouse and try to re-establish in their sights the deeply fractured Bergen Democrats as their enemies and Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) and Assemblyman Fred Scalera (D-Nutley) as statehouse targets one and two.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 22nd

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell Fight of the Week Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/79736/fight-week-donovan-v-pascrell     Paramus mayor's race: Candidates in closely-divided Bergen borough spar over taxes, towing issues PARAMUS - When voters go to the polls in November...

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Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

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